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Reply with quote  #1 

Columbus never acknowledged that he had done any such thing as sail to a new world, or continent. In the face of ever-mounting contrary evidence he maintained to the grave (pictured, though this is not the original tomb; his body got moved around a great deal, but since the end of the 19th century it has been here, in Seville Cathedral, resting on the shoulders of kings of the four main Spanish realms) that the lands he had discovered, and for a time governed, were off the shores of Cathay, or even part of the Asiatic mainland. But he was that sort of man, combining an unassailable conviction that he was right about absolutely everything with a remarkable capacity for getting almost everything wrong. And if he had not been like that, and incredibly determined and resolute with it, he would never have set sail, and subsequent events would have been much different.

He would also have never set sail were it not for the support of the Catholic Kings, Ferrando II of Aragón and his wife Isabella I of Castile. That support had been by no means assured; Columbus had applied to them before and been turned down, as he had by João II of Portugal and Henry VII of England. The Spanish royal couple had had a busy year, completing the Reconquista in January by taking Granada, and expelling all the Jews from Spain in March (including those of Granada, in flagrant violation of the treaty of surrender they had signed less than three months before), but still found time to listen to Columbus, again, and turn him down, again. But this time Ferrando had a change of heart, and against his wife and fellow monarch’s objections called Columbus back and authorised the voyage.

The Portuguese and English sovereigns had more in common with the Spanish pair than just having been approached by Columbus. Both were, like the Catholic Kings, strong monarchs who centralised power in their hands, quelled a fractious nobility, restored peace and order to their realms and replenished bankrupt treasuries. Ivan III of Russia and Hans of Denmark and Norway (plus, for a time, Sweden, though not yet at this date) were also similar types, particularly Ivan III, who absorbed all the different Russian principalities plus a republic or two into the Moscow Grand Principality, and began to call himself ruler of all Russia and sometimes even Tsar, though the title was not permanently adopted until the reign of his grandson Ivan IV.

Vladislav II of Bohemia and Hungary was definitely not like that. In fact, he was nicknamed ‘King All Right’, because ‘all right’ is what he said to almost any request made of him. This King Log approach kept him on his thrones, but was not much to the benefit of his realms. Nor was Charles VIII of France much like most of his contemporary rulers, his mild, pleasant air gaining him the sobriquet of ‘Charles the Affable’. He was not in truth quite such an ineffectual ruler as Vladislav II, but unfortunately wasted his energies, and despoiled rather than replenished the French treasury, in vain struggles to conquer the Kingdom of Naples which Pope Innocent VIII had kindly bestowed on him (neglectful, as had often been the Papal habit, of the fact that it was not his to give).

James IV of Scotland was more capable than either Vladislav II or Charles VIII, and certainly much more energetic than the former. He did a considerably better job than his father James III of handling the Scottish nobility, but subduing them and bringing the country to peace, order and prosperity was far beyond the meagre resources of any Scottish monarch.

The last of the 1492 monarchs left to cover, the Emperor Friedrich III (there is not too much to say of Catherine of Navarre, except that it was during her reign that an invasion led by Ferrando II reduced what had once been the dominant Spanish realm to a remnant on the other side of the Pyrenees), was actually the first to reign. He is perhaps under-appreciated, the first Habsburg Emperor, and progenitor of all the many that followed, the last Emperor ever to be crowned in Rome, and successful with his patient policies in laying the foundations of his dynasty’s powerful position in Europe over the next several centuries.

It was, then, a time of change in Europe, the modern era as we now see really starting to take hold, and some of these monarchs, powerful rulers with quite different ideas on government than their predecessors, were important figures in the continent’s political evolution. Also important to that were the consequences of a certain Genoese sailor’s inability to get anything right, and stubborn refusal to give up on his dreams.

The relationships of the monarchs of the day are covered in a single chart, but with an additional table for Ivan III. The chart proved just slightly too large to post in one piece, and as the sole Orthodox sovereign he was the natural choice to show separately. His relationships however are not examples and are intended to be the closest, so they are included in the combined statistics that follow the chart, key and statistical summary, and table for Ivan III. A two-part note on posterities concludes the thread.

For an explanation of how to read the chart, click here.


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Reply with quote  #2 
Relationships of the European sovereigns* on the day Columbus set sail on his first voyage of exploration, 3 August 1492
Reigning monarchF IIIVladislav IIIsabella IF IIHansJoão IICatherineCharles VIIIHenry VIIJames IV
Friedrich III, Holy Roman Emperor2c AGL4c2r MIIC4c2r MIIC2c2r BVM4c3r MIIC2c2r BVM2c2r BVM2c2r BVM2c3r BVM
Vladislav II of Hungary & Bohemia2c AGL4c1r WHH6c HVL
3c1r FVN5c WHH4c1r JIB
4c1r LIVE
4c1r JIB
4c1r LIVE
4c1r JIB
4c1r LIVE
3c2r AHH
Isabella I of Castile4c2r MIIC4c1r WHH2c JIC5c F2S2c JIP2c2r JIC3c1r PIVA2c1r JDL2c2r JDL
Ferrando II of Aragón4c2r MIIC6c HVL
2c JIC5c F2S1c1r FIASGU CIIA3c1r PIVA5c F2S5c1r F2S
Hans of Denmark & Norway2c2r BVM3c1r FVN5c F2S5c F2S5c1r F2S4c BVM
4c BVM
4c BVM
João II of Portugal4c3r MIIC5c WHH2c JIP1c1r FIAS5c1r F2S2c1r FIAS3c1r PIVA3c JDL3c1r JDL
Catherine of Navarre2c2r BVM4c1r JIB
4c1r LIVE
2c1r FIAS1c C7F2c CVIF4c1r BVM
4c1r SIIB
Charles VIII of France2c2r BVM4c1r JIB
4c1r LIVE
3c1r PIVA3c1r PIVA4c BVM
3c1r PIVA1c C7F2c CVIF3c2r PIIB
Henry VII of England2c2r BVM4c1r JIB
4c1r LIVE
2c1r JDL5c F2S4c BVM
3c JDL2c CVIF2c CVIF2c1r JES
James IV of Scotland2c3r BVM3c2r AHH2c2r JDL5c1r F2SN CID3c1r JDL4c1r BVM
4c1r SIIB
3c2r PIIB2c1r JES
*Excluding Ivan III of Moscow
After a forum software change, this chart exceeded size limits even with Ivan III taken out. The second occurrence of each red link, one uncle/nephew relationship aside, was therefore removed. All relationships are linked still so shown in red, but only those directly linked are underlined.

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Reply with quote  #3 
Algirdas, Grand Prince of Lithuania (1)Albrecht, Count of Holland and Hainaut (1)Barnabò Visconti, Lord of Milan (9)
Charles VII of France (1)Christian I of Denmark and Norway (1)Chuan II of Aragón (1)
Charles VI of France (2)Federico II of Sicily (5)Ferrando I of Aragón (2)
Friedrich V, Burgrave of Nürnberg (1)Henryk V, Duke of Legnica (1)John, Duke of Lancaster (4)
John Beaufort, Earl of Somerset (1)Johann of Bohemia (3)Juan I of Castile (2)
João I of Portugal (1)Ludwig IV, Holy Roman Emperor (3)Meinhard II, Duke of Carinthia (4)
Philippe II, Duke of Burgundy (1)Pero IV of Aragón (3)Stephan II, Duke of Bavaria (4)
Willem III, Count of Holland and Hainaut (2)  
Most connections formed:BVM (9)F2S (5)JDL, MIIC, SIIB (4)JIB, LIVE, PIVA (3)CVIF, FIAS, JIC, WHH (2)Others (1)

Posts: 7,547
Reply with quote  #4 
Relationships of Ivan III of Moscow with other European sovereigns on the day Columbus set sail on his first voyage of exploration  
Reigning monarchR'shipVia  
Friedrich III, Holy Roman Emperor2c1r AGL  
Vladislav II of Hungary and Bohemia2c1rAGL Ivan III – Genealogics
Isabella I of Castile7c1rBIVH Ivan III – Wikipedia
Ferrando II of Aragón7c1rBIVH Key:
Hans of Denmark and Norway4c2rGGL AGL
João II of Portugal7c1rBIVH Algirdas, Grand Prince of Lithuania (2)
Catherine of Navarre7c1rBIVH BIVH
Charles VIII of France7c1rBIVH Béla IV of Hungary (6)
Henry VII of England7c1rBIVH GGL
James IV of Scotland4c3rGGL Gediminas, Grand Prince of Lithuania (2)

Posts: 7,547
Reply with quote  #5 
Combined statistics 1492
BVMBarnabò Visconti, Lord of Milan9GGLGediminas, Grand Prince of Lithuania2
BIVHBéla IV of Hungary6JICJuan I of Castile2
F2SFederico II of Sicily5WHHWillem III, Count of Holland and Hainaut2
JDLJohn, Duke of Lancaster4AHHAlbrecht, Count of Holland and Hainaut1
MIICMeinhard II, Duke of Carinthia4C7FCharles VII of France1
SIIBStephan II, Duke of Bavaria4CIDChristian I of Denmark and Norway1
AGLAlgirdas, Grand Prince of Lithuania3CIIAChuan II of Aragón1
JIBJohann of Bohemia3FVNFriedrich V, Burgrave of Nürnberg1
LIVELudwig IV, Holy Roman Emperor3HVLHenryk V, Duke of Legnica1
PIVAPero IV of Aragón3JESJohn Beaufort, Earl of Somerset1
CVIFCharles VI of France2JIPJoão I of Portugal1
FIASFerrando I of Aragón2PIIBPhilippe II, Duke of Burgundy1

Posts: 7,547
Reply with quote  #6 

A note on posterities

Of the eleven monarchs covered here, eight are ancestors of all ten sovereigns currently reigning. The three exceptions are Ivan III, the last of whose known posterity died in 1610; João II, whom I will cover separately; and Charles VIII, none of whose six children with his wife Anne of Brittany lived beyond the age of three. It will be noted that here, just twenty-five years before the start of the Reformation, there is no sign of the religious divide, even though it was already apparent in the posterities of the sovereigns at that date.

The best I can do for a religious divide is to point out that only the King of Belgium, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg and the Prince of Liechtenstein are descended from Ferrando II’s illegitimate son Alonso de Aragón, Archbishop of Zaragoza (from age 18) and later Valencia also. If 18 be thought a little young for an archbishop, his father had first tried to have him appointed when he was aged five. His own several children were necessarily as illegitimate as their father, and one of them, Ana, wife of the 6th Duke of Medina Sidonia, was through her daughters Ana and Maria an ancestress of João IV of Portugal, first monarch of the Bragança dynasty.

She was also the mother of the 7th Duke, the commander of the Armada, and through him the great-grandmother of João IV’s wife – who was also descended from Archbishop Alonso through his grandson St Francis Borgia, son of another daughter, Juana. Subsequent Braganças had all these descents, but by the time they began to circulate further through royal families the religious divide had been in place for centuries, hence only these three Catholic monarchs being able to count their descents from Ferrando II other than through his legitimate daughters.

People who know something about royal ancestries might a little earlier have been furrowing their brows at my failure to exclude the Prince of Monaco from the descendants of Henry VII of England and James IV of Scotland, knowing he lacks descent from James I and VI, the usual conduit for descent from these sovereigns into the European royalty of today. Usual, but not only, as is explained in post #6 of the 1517 thread. The others are pretty straightforward, Friedrich III being a great-grandfather of the Emperor Ferdinand I, a universal ancestor of European royalty, while Ferrando II and Isabella I were his maternal grandparents and Vladislav II his father-in-law. Hans was similarly a universal ancestor of royalty today, which leaves Catherine of Navarre.

Those knowledgeable people will also know that the main conduit for descent from her is through her great-grandson Henri IV of France, an ancestor of none of the current Protestant sovereigns. However, descent from her is general through her daughter Isabelle, who married René I of Rohan. Their granddaughter Catherine married Johan II, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken (a Ferdinand I descendant, as it happens), and their only child Magdalena married Christian I, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken-Bischweiler. Among their grandchildren was Christian III, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld, familiar from later charts and keys as C3ZB, and an ancestor of all current sovereigns except the Queen.

She however is descended from Anna Magdalena, daughter of Magdalena and Christian I, by a chain winding through several other houses before ending up in Princess Karoline Polyxene of Nassau-Usingen, wife of Landgrave Friedrich of Hesse-Cassel and an ancestress of both George V and Queen Mary through their respective maternal grandmothers. The note will continue in the next post with an explanation of how it came to be that, after a gap of over 500 years, João II of Portugal again has living royal descendants.


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Reply with quote  #7 

A note on posterities – continued

Of the two legitimate children of João II, the younger died the day he was born and the elder aged 16 in a riding accident, leaving the throne to the king's first cousin Manoel I and his posterity (and that of his father, Afonso V) to his illegitimate son Jorge.

Afonso, Prince of Portugal, the king's heir who died in that tragic (and, some think, suspicious) accident in 1491, was as far as I can see the last descendant of João II to bear a royal title. Until this century, 23 April 2001 to be precise. And after the duck of centuries had been broken another royal descendant of João II was born, on 6 August 2003, one who would had things gone otherwise have one day been the royal pretender to an ancient throne:

1 João II, King of Portugal & Ana de Mendoza
2 Jorge de Lancastre, bâtard de Portugal, 2. Duque de Coimbra
3 João de Lancastre, 1. Duque de Aveiro
4 Jorge de Lancastre, 2. Duque de Aveiro
5 Juliana de Lancastre, 3. Duquesa de Aveiro m Alvaro de Lancastre, Duque de Aveiro
6 Affonso de Lancastre, 1. Duque de Abrantes
7 Agostinho de Lancastre Padilla, 2. Duque de Abrantes
8 Doña Maria Josefa de Lancastre y Noroña m Don Bernardino de Carvajal y Sanda de Vivero e Moctezuma, 2. Conde de la Enjarada
9 Don Juan Antonio de Carvajal y de Láncaster, 4. Duque de Abrantes
10 Don Manuel Bernardino Antonio de Carvajal y Zuñiga Láncaster y Noroña Ramirez de Arellano, 5. Duque de Abrantes
11 Doña Maria del Buen-Consejo de Gonzaga de Carvajal y de Gonzaga m Don Antonio Maria Ponce de León y Dávila, 3. Duque de Montemar
12 Doña Maria del Carmen Ponce de Leon y Carvajal, Duquesa de Montemar m Don Vicente Isabel Osorio de Moscoso y Alvarez de Toledo, Conde de Altamira
13 Vicente Pio Osorio de Moscoso, 15. Duque de Sessa
14 Don José Maria Osorio de Moscoso y Carvajal, 16. Duque de Sessa (m Infanta Luisa Teresa of Spain)
15 Dona Maria Cristina Osorio de Moscoso y Borbón, 9. Duquesa de Atrisco m Eugène, 6. Prince-Duc de Bauffremont-Courtenay
16 Théodore, 7. Prince-Duc de Bauffremont Courtenay
17 Jacques, 8. Prince-Duc de Bauffremont Courtenay
18 Princesse Isabelle de Bauffremont Courtenay, Princesse de Marnay m Comte Louis Mériadek de Rohan-Chabot
19 Marie-Liesse de Rohan-Chabot m Eudes, Prince d'Orléans
20 Thérèse, Princesse d'Orléans and Pierre, Prince d'Orléans

Something interesting might be noticed about the name of the husband in the eighth generation. Yes indeed, Prince Eudes' children are descendants through their mother of Montezuma II. Also, I might add, of James II and VII via his illegitimate son, the famous Marshal Duke of Berwick, of the infamous Cesare Borgia, Duke of Valentinois, who along with his full sister Lucrezia was the most notorious of Pope Alexander VI's numerous illegitimate children, and of Giacomo Boncompagni, Duke of Sora, illegitimate son of Pope Gregory XIII, of calendar fame. Descent from Popes Alexander VI and Paul III is universal in Catholic royalty, and from Innocent VIII (referred to in the introduction) and Julius II very widespread. However, descent from Gregory XIII and Clement VII, the other two Popes with known posterity today, is common in Italian and Spanish aristocracy but very unusual in royal lines; the only other royalty I can think of descended from the former are the children of the elder Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg.

Likewise, while descent from Alexander VI through Lucrezia and one or two other of his children is general in Catholic lines, descent from Cesare is not. The children and further descendants of Xavier, Duke of Parma share it, through his Bourbon-Busset wife (Prince Eudes' children also have it through a Bourbon-Busset ancestor of their mother's), but no other royalty that I am aware of. In the fourteenth generation, I put Infanta Luisa Teresa of Spain in brackets because she is there as additional information, that the rich and fascinating maternal ancestry of the young Prince and Princess includes legitimate as well as remote illegitimate (and Aztec) royal blood, rather than as part of the chain of descent. Infanta Luisa Teresa was a daughter of the Infante Francisco de Paula, youngest son of Carlos IV.

The only pity is that these very interesting descents, including that from João II, an arguably great and certainly significant Portuguese monarch, are most unlikely to spread further through even Catholic royalty. A few generations ago they would have stood a chance, but today, alas no.


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Reply with quote  #8 

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