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Henry II of Castile

Henry of Trastamara (1333? - 1379), was the illegitimate son of Alfonso XI of Castile and Leonora de Guzman, and half brother to Peter I of Castile. Became Henry II of Castile in 1366 when, as head of a host of soldiers of fortune, and with the aid of Bertrand du Guesclin, he drove Peter from his throne without giving battle. Henry murdered Peter in 1369. Married to Joan, daughter of John Manuel of Villena , head of a younger branch of the royal house of Castile. Their son was John I of Castile.

Henry was the first nobleman to use antisemitism as a political tool in Spain. This led to an end to the convivencia, and a period of riots and pogroms, and can be seen as sowing the seeds of the Spanish Inquisition's persecution of the Jews, beginning a hundred years later.

Preceded by:
Peter I
King of Castile Succeeded by:
John I
King of Leon
Last updated: 11-05-2004 12:31:46