Queen Eleanor Castile ENGLAND
- Born: Abt 1244-1246, Burgos, Burgos, Spain
- Married: 5 Aug 1254, Monastery, Las Huelgas, Burgos, Spain
- Died: 29 Nov 1290, Harby, Lincolnshire, England
- Buried: 16 Dec 1290, Abbey, Westminster, London, Middlesex, England
Other names for Eleanor were Dona Eleanora, Leonor, CASTILE & LEON Princess and ENGLAND Queen.
Ancestral File Number: 8XJ8-HJ. User ID: 2363719/39486303.
"Dona Eleanora", Princess of CASTILE & LEON, Queen of ENGLAND 1272- 1290.
The Oxford Book of Royal Anecdotes, Elizabeth Longford, 1991, Oxford Univ Press, pxix: "Normans and Plantagenets Genealogy: Eleanor of Castile, mar Edward I Longshanks, died 1290."
Political History of England 1216-1377, Vol III, T F Tout, AMS Press, 1905,
p72: "...Once more the neighboring princes cast greedy eyes on the de- fenceless duchy. In particular, Alfonso the Wise, King of Castile, who succeeded his father Ferdinand in 1252, renewed his father's claims to Gascony.
"The only way to save the duchy was for Henry to go there in person. Long delays ensued before the royal visit took place, and it was not until August, 1253, that Bordeaux sawher hereditary duke sail up the Gironde to he quays... Despairing of military success, Henry fell back upon diplomacy...His master-stroke was the conclusion, in April, 1254, of a peace with Alfonso of Castile, whereby the Spanish king abandonedhis Gascon allies and renounced his claims on the duchy. In return it was agreed that the lord Edward should marry Alfonso's half-sister, Eleanor, heiress of the county of Ponthieu through her mother, Joan, whom Henry had once sought for his queen. As Edward's appandage included Aquitaine, Alfonso, in renouncing his personal claims, might seem to be but transferring them to his sister.
"In May, 1254, Queen Eleanor joined Henry at Bordeaux. With her went her two sons, Edward andEdmund, her uncle, Archbishop Boniface, and a great crowd of magnates. In August Edward went with his mother to Alfonso's court at Burgos, where he was welcomed with all honour and dubbed to knighthood by the King of Castile, and in October heand Eleanor were married at the Cistercian monastery of Las Huelgas..."
p145: "... Edward's position against France was further strengthened in 1279 by the death of his wife's mother, Joan of Castile, the widow of Ferd- inand the Saint and the stepmother of Alfonso the Wise, whereupon he took possession of Ponthieu in Eleanor's name. Scarcely had he established himself at Abbeville, the capital of the Picard county, than the negotiations at Paris were so far ripened thatPhilip III went to Amiens, where Edward joined him. On May 23 both kings agreed to accept the treaty of Amiens by which the more important of the outstanding difficulties between the two nations were amicably regulated. By it Philip recognisedEleanor as Countess of Ponthieu, and handed over a portion of the inheritance of Alfonse of Poitiers to Edward..."
p184: "...These troubles bore the more severely on the king because this period saw also the removal of nearly all of thosein whom he had placed special trust. The gracious Eleanor of Castile died in 1290, at Harby, in Nottinghamshire, near Linclon, and the devotion of the king to the partner of his youth found a striking expression in the sculptured crosses, which marked the successive resting places of her corpse on its last journey from Harby to Westminster Abbey..."
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1981, Micropaedia, Vol IV, p98, Ferdinand III the Saint: "...In 1237 he married again; his second wife was Joan of Ponthieu. Their daughter Eleanor married the future Edward I of England in 1254..."
The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England, Antonia Fraser, 1975, Alfred Knopf, p71: "Edward I Mar (1) Eleanor of Castile..."
The Later Middle Ages 1272-1485, George Holmes, 1962, Norton Library of England p258: "Appendix B Genealogical Table I The Plantagenets: Edward I Mar (1) Eleanor of Castile (died 1291)..."
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1981, Micropaedia, Vol III, p830, Eleanor of Castile: "Born 1246, Died 28 Nov 1290, Harby Nottinghamshire, queen consort of King Edward I of England (ruled 1272-1307). Her devotion to Edward helped bring out his better qualities; after her death his rule became somewhat arbitrary. Daughter of King Ferdinand III Castile and Joan Ponthieu. In honour of her marriage in 1254, her half brother Alfonso X Castile transferred to Edward his claims to Gascony. Eleanor accompanied Edward on a crusade from 1270 to 1273. The story that she savedhis life at Acre by sucking poison from a dagger wound is evidently apocryphal...Upon her death, Edward erected the famous Eleanor Crosses-several of which still stand-at each place where her coffin rested on its way to London...effigy stands in Westminster Abbey."
Macropaedia, Vol VI, p434, Edward I of England: "...Henry negotiated Edward's marriage with Eleanor, half sister of Alfonso X of Leon and Castile. He married Eleanor at Las Huelgas in Spain (October 1254) and then travelled to Bordeaux to organize his scattered appanage...
"...As long as Burnell and Queen Eleanor lived, the better side of Edward triumphed, and the years until about 1294 were years of great achievement. Thereafter, his character deteriorated for lack of domestic comfort and independent advice...
"...After 1294, matters deteriorated. Queen Eleanor had died in 1290, Burnell in 1292, and Edward never thereafter found such good advisers..."
The Story of Civilization, Will Durant, Vol IV, The Age of Faith, Bk V, The Climax of Christianity, Ch XXX, Morals and Manners, Sec VII, In the Home, p835: "When Eleanor of Castile went to England in 1254 as the bride of the future Edward I, her servants covered the floors of herapartment at Westminster with carpets after the Spanish custom-which then spread through England."
Ch XXXI, The Resurrection of the Arts, Sec IV, Sculpture, p861: "About 1292 William Torel, a London goldsmith, cast in bronze the images of Henry III and his daughter-in-law Eleanor of Castile for their marble tombs in Westminster Abbey; these are as fine as any bronze work of the age..."
A History of the Plantagenets, Vol III, The Three Edwards, Thomas B Costain, 1958, Doubleday & Co
p9: "The Crusades were running down like an unwound clock...Only the hold that saintly King Louis of France had on the hearts and minds of men had made another effort possible in this year of grace 1270; and the fact that he had again unfurled the flag with the gallant cross brings to the fore a young man who was to play a very great part in history.
"Prince Edward, heir to the throne of England, had taken the cross at once. He was granted a subsidy by Parliament and on August 11 had sailed from Dover with a small band of zealous Englishmen. King Louis had taken his army to Africa earlier with the intention of striking into the Holy Land through Egypt. Edward's wife, the lovely Eleanor of Castile, had also goneahead.
"When the little English fleet arrived off Tunis, the prince learned that the great French king was dead. The blood burned fiercely in his veins when he was told that the son who had succeeded him had decided to abandon the crusade and was taking back to France the army his father and raised.
"`By the blood of God!' cried Edward in a fine Plantagenet rage. `Though all my fellow soldiers and countrymen desert me, I will enter Acre with Fowin, the groom of my palfrey,and I will keep my word and my oath to the death!'
"He was thirty-one years old; tall and long-legged, and with the handsome head of the Plantagenets, the golden hair, the blazing blue eyes, and the finely chiseled features. As would soonbe made clear, he had all the good qualities of his family and few of their many bad ones; and he had something no Plantagenet had ever before possessed- a true sense of the responsibility of kingship, with a desire to rule justly and well whenhis turn came. He was going to make a great king, this Edward, perhaps England's greatest...
"Nothing daunted, Edward and his gallant one thousand (`It is magnificent but it is not war,' someone might have said on this occasion also) landed the following year, 1271, near Acre a city still held by Christians but now under siege. So fiercely did the little force strike that the Mussulmen retreated and and Edward marched triumphantly into the beleaguered city. The start of his desperate venture had been successful.
"Knowing that he must strike quickly, for Bibars would soon be stretching out his steel-pointed claws to scoop him in, Edward carried the cross up the dusty road to Nazareth, which he captured. It was not a strategic victory, but there was a great moral advantage in having the home of Christ once more in Chtristian hands. A body of Saracens attacked them on the way back but were driven off. Edward then struck at the strong city of Haifa and won a second victory there. All this was indeed magnificent and it should have brought the laggard knights of Christendom to his aid. But the spirit had gone out of crusading, and the news that an English loon with long legs and a stout heart wasstriving to do with a thousand men what a hundred thousand had failed to do before him did not strike any spark...
"On the evening of June 17 Edward sat alone in his tent [awaiting] a messenger [from] the emir of Jaffa to propose terms ofpeace...The turbaned visitor drew a knife from his belt and struck savagely at the unprepared prince. Edward took the blow on his arm and had succeeded in killing the assassin with the same knife before his attendants came to his assistance. "The knife had been poisoned and in a few days the prince's arm had swollen to a great size and the flesh had turned dark and gangrenous. His wif sat at his couch and wept bitterly. She had loved him from the day they had taken the marriagevows; Edward, a tall youth with his blond locks clipped short below his ears, she the ten-year-old infanta with great dark eyes.
"When [his surgeon] proposed a heroic operation the prince agreed but said that Eleanor must not remain in the room. It was a measure of her devotion that she had to be removed forcibly before the surgeon took a knife and cut away all the flesh from around the wound. The story that it ws Eleanor herself who saved the prince by sucking the poison fromthe wound is not henerally accepted, but there is no reason to think that she would have hesitated had the thought occurred to her, so completely did she love him. He did survive, fortunately, and in a very few days was able to sit up again. "Bibars could have crushed the little band of Englishmen, but he had gained respect for their fighting spirit and instead he proposed a truce to last for ten years, ten months, ten days, and ten minutes. Edward, thin and weak and discouraged, could do nothing but accept. Accordingly he signed the papers and on August 15 he went sadly on board his ship and set sail for Sicily. Another of the long series of crusades had come to an end; the smallest, the least important perhaps, butcertainly the most daring and courageous."
p13: "Finally, on August 2, 1274, he landed at Dover and was given a loud and warm welcome.
"A large part of the welcome was for Eleanor. The people of England had not taken to her when she first came from Spain as a girl bride. They knew that the old king, Edward's father, who was an absurd spendthrift, had depleted the royal treasury to give banquets for her and to have quarters fitted up for her in Windsor Castle in the Spanishhabit, with costly tapestries, and carpets on the floors and with raised hearths and wardrobes and oriel windows. Moreover, on this first appearance, the infanta had brought a train of Spanish officials with her, little men of `hideous mien' who rode, not on horses like proper men, but on mules like monkeys!"
"...There was in Westminster a slab of marble called the King's Bench. As the first step in the ceremony, Edward was seated atop it on a white chair and proclaimed king. Then, accompanied by his glowing and lovely queen (for he had decided to set a precedent and have her crowned with him), he crossed from the palace to the abbey under a canopy carried by four of the most powerful noblemen in the kingdom. The oldking had been an inveterate builder, and a good one (he would have been a much better architect than a king), and had spent his last days in turning the abbey into an edifice of surpassing beauty. The original high altar had been extended and an apsidal chancel added. In the center of this new chancel, on earth which had been brought from the Holy Land for the purpose, a tomb of great magnificence had been raised for Edward the Confessor. Over this again a vast triforium was erected.It was in the dimly lit beauty of this new royal chapel that the returned crusader and his queen took their vows. Eleanor was in the customary white and gold, and her dusky eyes shone with content as she sat beside Edward on the falstool while Kilwardby, the Archbishop of Canterbury preached to them..."
p15: "...The new king's head had been filled with a great project which later would justify the motto `Pactum Serva' carved upon his tomb. The laws of England needed attention and he had brought in his train two men who could assist him in the work of amendment and codifcaiton which he saw was necessary..."
p17: "...On April 22, 1273, he summoned a great Parliament at Westminster to convert his suggestions into the permanency of national law...
p18: "When Parliament met at Westminster, therefore, Edward had something tangible to lay before that body. It was a measure of fifty-one clauses and so broad in its applications that it has been describedas practically a code in itself. It dealt not only with the clarification of common law but went into matters of governmental control. Most important of its many exactments was its affirmation of the Great Charter. The rights and privileges ofthe individual were to apply not only to men of noble birth but to all free men...The right of kings and their ministers to make regular financial demands on the nation was denied. A redefining of wardships limited the power of guardians to profit from the estates of minors, not excepting the kings...
"Out of the reports laid before this first Parliament of his reign came the Statute of Westminster I, which embodied all of his recommendations. It would be followed by many otherenactments over the years, each directed at some specific reform. In the end they would add up to a complete code, combining the best measures of the past with the new provisions that the spirit of the times made essential. In addition Edward would succeed in converting Parliament, which had been for two centuries a Normanized version of the Anglo- Saxon Witanagemot, into a House of Commons.
"The strength of Edward was not in innovation, but in his genius for adaptation and hisappreciation of the need to define and codify. He would in the years ahead of him earn the title of the English Justinian..."
p20: "While Edward labored thus to establish order in the land, his queen was equally active. She was finding some difficulty in settling down with her family. To begin with, she had no liking for the Tower of London as a home. This was not strange. It was too bleak, too grim, and too busy...The place was so lacking in comfort and coziness (a flagrant understatement) that the lovely queen from sunny Castile felt she must find a better home for her ailing children.
"There were innumerable royal residences to choose from...But Eleanor's choice was limited by the fact that the king must not be many miles from London, and so it inevitably fell on Windsor Castle...Windsor stood high and dry above a thickly wooded countryside, and it had come in for the serious attentions of Edward's father...But, alas, his builders had been optimistic in their estimate of the strength of the chalk ridge. Gradually the handsome new walls began to creak and sag. Then one day the ramparts were seen to be heaving, and soon there was a loud crash; and down came all the walls, taking with them some of the pride of the builder king.
"It was to the King's House of Henry I, therefore, that Edward's queen took her family. It had been renovated earlier and fitted up at great expense, as already noted, and so they were quite comfortable there. Although the queen was to continue bearing children with great regularity, she contrived to accompany her royal spouse on most of his journeyings at home and abroad. This meant there had to be a home in which to leave the children, andWindsor was selected.
"There is a disagreement among authorities as to the number of children presented to Edward by his queen, some saying fifteen, others claiming a total of seventeen. On one point there is accord, however. Only four ofthe children were sons. Of the eleven or thirteen daughters, as the case may be, a number died in their infancy and nothing is known about them, not even their names. With those who lingered just long enough to acquire names, there has been little statistical recognition. Let us pick out one at random from the long list: Eleanor, Joanna, Margaret, Berengaria, Mary, Elizabeth, Alice, Blanche, Beatrice, Katherine; Berengaria let it be, the fifth (an unnamed one was born in the East),who was called after the sad princess from Navarre who married Richard the Lion-Heart and was so openly neglected all her life. Here is what is recorded of little Berengaria. She was born in 1276, the exact day no known, at Kennington, and diedeither that year or the next, being buried at West- minster beside two of her little brothers; so ends the story of her brief existence. It may have been that princesses given that rare and lovely name were destined to ill luck.
"This much is well established, that all the royal children shared the Plantagenet beauty. Some of the daughters were blond and blue-eyed, some were cast in the duskier mold of Castile. Eleanor, the first, seems to have been the great beauty of the family. The second, Joanna, who was born at Acre and named after her maternal grandmother, was dark and of an imperious temper. She was left for several years at the court of Castile with her grandparents, who worshipped her, and she seems even atthat tender age to have carried things off with a high hand. They could not fail to be bright, these children of a really great father and a vital and beautiful mother; all but one, and that story will have to be told later.
"The first months at home were sad ones. The health of Prince Henry, the only son left after John's death, grew steadily worse. The king and queen did everything possible to save him. His wasted frame was kept wrapped in the skins of newly slaughtered sheep,in the hope that the animal heat would revive his energies. He was filled with all manner of queer medicinal mixtures. Wax replicas of his body were sent about to shrines to be burned in oil; a very strange superstition of that particular day.Nothing seemed to have any beneficial effect, and so finally they came to the last resort. A large number of poor widows were hired to supplement the efforts of the royal confessors by performing vigils ceaselessly for his recovery. Their mournful supplications, which filled the air at all hours, had no more effect than the weird efforts of the medical men. The heir to the throne, having been removed to Merton, passed away there.
"Edward loved all his daughters devotedly, but he must have looked them over with an uneasy eye. Daughters made poor successors to a throne as contentious as that of England."
p37: "Edward was a devoted husband and a fond father. If his eye had been disposed to rove a little when he wasyounger and the married beauties of his father's court had been prone to flaunt their willingness, he lost all interest in dalliance as soon as he and Eleanor began their life together. There would be no rifts in their marital happiness. Edward's father, Henry III, who so lacked the attributes of kingship, did leave behind one golden legacy, the love of family.
"...Windsor Castle became the main home of this family of delicate sons and radiantly lovely daughters..."
p39: "...Often in the field where the grass had sprouted thickly they would pass flocks of sheep particularly large and sturdy in conformation- the merino sheep from Spain. It was Edward's `chere reine' who had first suggested bringing these fine animals from her native Castile, and in time the Cotswold country of England would become noted for them..."
p42: "Queen Eleanor had been raised in the court of her half brother, Alfonso of Castile, and so had acquired a taste for the arts and sciences. Alfonso, called `El Sabio' by his subjects, was both a scholar and a poet and he kept his court filled with learned men. It was not surprising, therefore, that Eleanor had an appetite for culture which did not find much satisfaction in the atmosphere of the English court. Even opportunities for reading were limited, the royal library consisting of three books, and these considered to be of such value that they could not be reached easily; they were locked up with the royal jewels. What were these three precious volumes?
"A book of ancient chronciles, almost certainly in Latin.
"A Latin work on agriculture.
"A copy of fables in French called `Romaunt de Guillaume de Conquerant'...
"It is on record that both the king and queen played chess. One of the dignitaries of the Knights Templar in France presented Edward with a chessboard made of jasper and men of crystal. The king gave it in turn to Eleanor. The royal couple were inclined to the game, no doubt, by the commonly accepted but erroneous belief of that day that King Solomon had invented it...
"Eleanor strove to become a patroness of the arts and was willing to make personal grants, as large as forty shillings, for literary efforts such as translations from the Latin. An even more useful contribution to the cultural side of life in the country was her introduction of the fork..."
p53: "...The queen, who was often called Eleanor the Faithful, had gone north with him, but when he rode on to Clipstone she remained behind at Harby, a small village in Nottinghamshire, as a guest in the house of a gentleman of the court named Weston. She was seized almost immediately with a lingering fever. Master Leopardo, the queen's physician, did not consider it serious at first but becoming alarmed finally, he sent hastily to Lincoln for certain medicines, including a special syrup. The report sent to the king was sufficiently alarming to bringhim hurrying to her bedside. He left the Scottish situation still simmering and dismissed Parliament after no more than seven days of deliberation. When he reached Harby it was apparent that his beloved wife had not much longer to live. She died on November 28, in her forty-seventh year.
"The king was so stricken with grief that he remained in seclusion for two days, eating and drinking little...The body in the meantime was placed in a coffin filled with aromatic spices, and Edward emerged from his solitary mourning to accompany the cortege to Lincoln. The bier rested that first night at the Priory of St. Catherine close to that city, and it was probably then that the determination became fixed in the king's mind toexpress his grief in a memorable manner...
"Feeling that his once beautiful and always loving consort was worthy of special remembrance, Edward decided to erect a stone cross of surpassing beauty at every place where her body rested for anight. Because she had been so well loved by the people of England, he decided also that the work must be entrusted to native hands; a wise decision, for the work of the stone carvers of England could not be surpassed.
"The first of the Cleanor Crosses was set up on Swine Green opposite the priory in Lincoln. In addition to the cross, which was the work of one Richard de Stow, master mason, a tomb was built in the Angel Choir in Lincoln Cathedral to contain the viscera of the queen. The second cross was on St. Peter's Hill near the entrance to the town of Grantham. The third was at Stamford. The fourth was at Geddington, described as `one of the sweetest and quietest villages in England.' This one differed from the others in that the platform for the cross was raised over a bubbling spring.
"The fifth was at Hardingstone, about a mile from Northampton, the sixth at Stratford, the seventh at Dunstable where Icknield Way crossed Watling Street, the eighth at St. Albans. The ninth was at Waltham and the tenth at Cheapside in the outskirts of London. The eleventh, and last, was at the village called Cheringe then but now known as Charing. It was the most elaborate and stately of all.
"Thissorrowful procession had lasted from December 4 until December 14. All the noblemen and the bishops who had attended the Parliament at Clipstone were in the mourning train.
"Time and the parliamentary forces in the civil war collaboratedto destroy most of these beautiful memorials. The stone used for most of them could not resist exposure to the elements for much more than two centuries, after which the beautifully carved figures began to deteriorate...The Roundheads, as Cromwell's iron horsemen would be called in that bitter clash in in the seventeenth century, are said to have destroyed the crosses at Lincoln, Grantham, Stratford, Dunstable, St. Albans, Cheapside, and Charing.
"Perhaps it was just as well that they thus passed out of existence, for the efforts made at restoration had not been successful. One case of this may be recorded. The Cheapside Cross was handsomely designed by Michael of Canterbury, but it soon fell into disrepair and an elaborate restoration was decided upon by one of the mayors of the village, John Hatherly. The efforts were ill conceived and directed...
"Edward would have been very much saddened had be known that the memorials he raised to the memory of his beloved Eleanor would fail to survive the ravages of time and the religious rancors of civil war...
"The cost of the Eleanor Crosses was estimated to have been in the neighborhood of fifty thousand pounds, the equivalent of many millionsin present-day currency...
"Foreign queens were not often popular with the people of England. Edward's mother, the fair and sophisticated Eleanor of Provence, was so heartily detested that her barge was stoned on one occasion when it boreher up the Thames from the Tower of London. John's consort, the very beautiful Isabella of Angouleme, was admired but not liked. Eleanor of Aquitaine, the wife of Henry II and the mother of Richard of the Lion-Heart, was considered a wicked woman and blamed unjustly, for the death of the Fair Rosamonde. But Edward's queen was greatly loved in the country. She was not as brilliantly lovely as Isabella, nor to be compared for vivacity and charm with Eleanor of Aquitaine, who had beenthe toast of Europe. There were, however, a warmth and sweetness about her which won all hearts. Her endearing qualities may still be discerned from the statue in bronze on her tomb in Westminister Abbey. It was executed immediately after her death by a fine English sculptor, William Torell. Her delicate features are there shown in a gentle smile. The dusky softness of her long tresses can only be guessed at, but they form a pleasing background for her face.
"It was not her beauty alone which appealed to the people. She was generous and thoughtful in the extreme, as witness her will. It contained bequests for all who had served her, even in the most menial capacities...The queen remembered her ladies-in-waiting with enough to serve as marriage portions...The nature of some of the bequests made it clear that she had revised her will a very short time before the end, which is an evidence of great thoughtfulness. One of the chronicles of the day had this to say of her: `To our nation she was a loving mother, the column and pillar of the whole nation.'
"Wax candles burned without dimming around her tomb in the abbey for more than three hundred years, a proof that the affections she had inspiredwere not soon forgotten."
A History of the Plantagenets, Vol II, The Magnificent Century, Thomas B Cos- tain, 1951, Doubleday & Co
p218: "On reaching Bordeaux, Henry found conditions to be worse than ever. While he had fiddled at home, the fires of Gascon dissension had burned briskly. Gaston of Bearn had supplied yeast to the bread of discontent by making an open alliance with Alfonso the Wise of Castile. The latter was to push his claims to the province with the active aid ofthe troublesome Gaston and, in the event of success, Gaston was to be made seneschal...
"A solution was now in sight. The craftily smiling Alfonso of Castile had always been in the background of Gascon intrigue and Gaston of Bearn had never been more than a gadfly responding to the fan of Castile. If Alfonso could be persuaded to withdraw his pretensions, the disobedient nobility would be left without any prospect of support and would cease to be defiant. The first step towardsuch an agreement had been taken before Henry left England, a proposal that the Lord Edward, heir of England, should marry Alfonso's half sister the infanta Dona Eleanora of Castile. It was decided now to pursue the proposal actively.
"The plenipotentiaries were dispatched from Bordeaux to open negotiations in Burgos, Peter d'Aigueblanche, Bishop of Hereford, and the inevitable John Mansel. The Catilian ruler was found in a receptive mood. It is doubt ful if he had ever entertained serious designs on Gascony. Rather he had been using his claims as a means to an end. The infanta, a lissome girl of ten years with charming manners and the promise fo great beauty, pleased the English representatives. The bishop and the resourceful Mansel found one reservation in the mind of the Spanish monarch. English princes in the past had been notoriously fickle in matrimonial matters. The infanta's mother was the Joanna of Ponthieu who had been so unceremoniously tossed aside by Henry himself in his desire to have Eleanor of Provence as his Queen. There must be no playing fast and loose in this case. The Lord Edward must appear in Burgos not later than five weeks before Michaelmas of the following year to claimhis young bride. If he failed to arrive within that time, the marriage contract would be canceled."
p222: "The time has come to deal more fully with Lord Edward, as the heir to the throne was generally called in the records of the day, theprince who was to play such a magnificent role in English history. He is said to have grown into the tallest and strongest man in the kingdom. This is probably an exaggeration, but it is quite true that he never met his match in personal encounter or in any test of strength, and it is equally a fact that he towered over the men of his court. At the age of fifteen, when he married the infanta, he had not attained as yet his full stature, but he was a great gilded youth, vry long in the leg and as blondly handsome as Richard Coeur de Lion. His expression, according to one witness, was `full of fire and sweetness.' Certainly he was a figure to revive belief in the godlike origin of kings.
"None of the sagacity, the earnest desire to be just in all things, which distinguished Edward when he ruled as king, had yet become manifest in the proud and high-spirited youth...
"He had preceded his mother to Gascony and had been installed as ruler, to the great satisfaction of the people of the province, whp were capable of much sentimentality. Queen Eleanor, leaving England in the hands of Richard of Cornwall, arrived at Bordeaux in May, accompanied by a truly royal train. Henry remained behind when Edward and his mother went on to Castile, and Boniface of Canterbury was given charge of the party. Boniface, it seems, could be depended upon to be anywhere save where he should have been, attending at home to his long-neglected duties as archbishop. They reached Burgos, after a tedious journey over the Pyrenees, several weeks ahead of the stern limit set by Alfonso. That subtle monarch exercised his privilege of inspecting the prospective bridegroom before giving his final consent to the nuptials. Fortunately the tall youth, with his fair locks close-clipped below the ears, his strong back in stiffened tabard, his handsome legs in long leather riding boots, made the best possible impression, and Alfonso had no hesitation in accepting him for his young half sister. The arrangements for the ceremony were pushed ahead. Tournaments were held while they waited, and at one of them Edward was knighted by Alfonso.
"In October the prince and the ten-year-old Eleanora were married at the monastery of Las Huelgas. All royal marriages were made into spectacles of splendor and lavish color, and this was no exception. However, the Castilian monarch had earned for himself the sobriquet of El Sabio, the Wise, and he did not impoverish himself as Henry would have done. Any lack of ostentation, however, was more than compensated for by the picturesque detail of the ceremony, the
jugale,' the vivid coloring of the costumes.
"Edward was probably aa casual about romance as most boys of his age. As he played his part in the ritual his mind may have been filled with the jousting he had witnessed and teh splendid Spanish charger which had been one of his gifts. He must have been conscious in some degree, however, of the brightness of eye of the young girl who took the vows with him, of the soft flush on her youthful rounded cheek. Whatever his emotions may have been, this beautiful ceremony in the high vaulted chapel of Las Huelgas was the beginning of one of the truly great romances of history. Edward and Dona Eleanora of Castile would become ardently devoted to each other and would remain so until death separated them. If Eleanor of Provence was teh most unpopular of English consorts, Eleanora of Castile was to be the best liked, and deservedly so.
"The nuptials of Edward and Eleanora brought together in one sense the three great kings of the thirteenth century. The first was Edward himself, who would become in time the most illustrious of them all, a framer of just laws, a farseeing constitutional reformer, a doer and not a dreamer...
p226: "After the wedding Edward was left in Gascony. The rest of the party, including the bride (who was to pass several years in England before becoming a wife in any thing but name), traveled over into France on their way home. Henry, happy over a task so well done, went with them. King Louis and Queen Marguerite met them at Chartres with an imposing cavalcade and escorted them to Paris, where they were to be the guests of the French nation...
"...Henry called his people about him and began to plan for an entertainment such as had never before been seen on land or sea.
"He succeeded so completely in his purpose that the meal he served in the great chamber where the Templars had once assembled for their silent collations was called in the annals of the time the Feast of Kings. He insisted that the King of France take the head of the table, to which the magnanimous Louis agreed only after a protest. Henry tehn took his own place at the French King's right, while the King of Navarre sat on the left. There were twenty-five great peers present, eighteen countesses, and twelve bishops, as well as tableful after tableful of mere knights and ladies of lesser rank, not to mention rows of abbots and priors. After the feasting, which went on for hours, Henry distributed silver cups to all the male guests and silver girdles to the ladies.
"It was during this ostentatious and costly affair that Louis turned to Henry and said in an undertone,
If only the peers and barons would consent, what close friends we should be!'"
p303: "A number of women, all of them fair by repute, were to play parts in the drama which now unfolded. First there was Queen Eleanor, who was still in France and moving heaven and earth to find support for the royal cause and to get her husband out of captivity. She had pawned all her jewels and personal possessions and had contracted debts of such size that their redemption later swallowed up all of the fine of twenty thousand marks paid by the city of London. Nothing could discourage the firm-minded Queen, not even the letters of warning which Henry (under pressure, without a doubt) addressed to her..."
p326: "On October 29, 1265, Queen Eleanor returned to England, landing at Dover and accompanied by Dona Eleanora, the young wife of Prince Edward. The King and his heir met them at Dover with becoming state and ceremony.
"Dona Eleanora, who mus henceforth be called by the Anglicized form of Eleanor by which she is known in history, was now twenty years old. She had been in England at intervals before the start of the war and had borne her husband two children, a boy named John and a daughter. The great romace of the thirteenth century which links their names may be said to have started, however, on this bright October day when Edward saw that the bright-eyed princess who had been wedded to him at Las Huelgas had developed into a lovely woman, as sweet and gracious and intelligent, moreover, as she was beautiful. Her quite unusual attractiveness may have been due to the mixture of blood in her veins. Her grandmother had been the Alice of France who was affianced to Richard of the Lion Heart and whose charms had won the affections of Richard's father, Henry II. Her mother was the Joan of Ponthieu who would have been Henry III's wife if he had not become so enamored of the reputation of Eleanor La Belle of Provence (not to mention the lush romance she had penned) and who subsequently married Ferdinand III of Castile. Eleanor had lived through the years of turmoil with her widowed mother at Ponthieu.
"If Alice of Angouleme had ever held any real place in Edward's affections, which is doubtful, she was never given a serious thought from that moment on. Certainly Edward gave Gilbert of Gloucester no further reason for jealosy on the score of his flirtatious Alic. Eleanor suited him so completely that he was happy only in her company. She is given credit for the mellowing of his character, which began to manifest itself at this stage..."
p329: "Eleanor brought another son into the world, as handsome as the first one, and he was named Henry after his royal grandfather. Edward was fond of his little brood but had small chance to see them. He still had the reduction of Kenilworth on his hands and he was dreaming of going on what he had hoped would prove the final Crusade...It was not until the spring of 1270 that he was free to fulfill his great ambition. Eleanor was determined to go with him.
"Nothing ought to part those whom God hath joined.' she declared.
The way to heaven is as near, if not nearer, from Syria as from England or my native Spain...'"
World Ancestral Chart No. 31759 Ancestors of Warren Cash 1760.
Ancestral File Ver 4.10 8XJ8-HJ Leonor CASTILE Mar Oct 1254 Las Huelgas Burgos Spain, IGI Birth T990361 -151-0884798, IGI Marriage T990362-114-0884799 Leonor Princess of CASTILE Mar 5 Aug 1254 Burgos Burgos Spain, TPHE Died 1290 Harby. 8XJ8-HJ Died 1291 Herdeby, TMC Mar Oct 1254 Monastery Las Huelgas, TTE Died 28Nov Harby Nottinghamshire.
INTERNATIONAL GENEALOGICAL INDEX
IGI Birth T990361-151-0884798 Leonor Princess of CASTILE Father Ferdinand III King of CASTILE Mother Jeanne Countess of PONTHIEU 1244 Burgos Burgos Spain.
IGI Marriage T990362-114-0884799 Leonor Princess of CASTILESpouse Edward I King of ENGLAND 5 Aug 1254 Burgos Burgos Spain.
Eleanor married King Edward ENGLAND, I, son of King Henry ENGLAND, III and Queen Eleanor Provence ENGLAND, on 5 Aug 1254 in Monastery, Las Huelgas, Burgos, Spain. (King Edward ENGLAND, I was born on 17 Jun 1239 in Abbey, Westminster, London, Middlesex, England, christened on 22 Jun 1239 in Abbey, Westminster, London, Middlesex, England, died on 7 Jul 1307 in Burgh On The, Sands, Cambridge, England and was buried on 28 Oct 1307 in Abbey, Westminster, London, Middlesex, England.)