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christopherdombrowski

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I'm having trouble trying to get a read on the succession rules of the various post-Visigothic post-Moor Spanish medieval kingdoms. It seems the only one where there is a decent amount of information is Castile; so I've got Castile figured out: it seems it's basically the male-preference primogeniture like Britain. But it appears some of the other kingdoms might have been somewhat different. The other I'm most interested in, as may be guessed, is Aragon. Can anyone here offer help?
Peter

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There weren't any succession rules really, just custom. If the king died leaving a son he would naturally succeed, if childless but leaving a brother then he would. This is how things went until the accession of Martin I, in despite of his elder brother John I having surviving daughters. The eldest daughter disputed the succession in arms, but without avail. Then Martin died with no surviving legitimate descent, and no brothers left either. This was unprecedented, and quite literally no one knew what to do, as demonstrated by the fact that what actually ensued was a two-year interregnum. Eventually the deliberations of the nobles and other powers of the various realms united under the Aragonese crown led to the accession of Ferdinand I, a Castilian prince and the son of a sister of John and Martin. A couple of generations later Aragon and Castile united dynastically, and from then on the clear laws of Castile prevailed.
christopherdombrowski

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter

There weren't any succession rules really, just custom. If the king died leaving a son he would naturally succeed, if childless but leaving a brother then he would. This is how things went until the accession of Martin I, in despite of his elder brother John I having surviving daughters. The eldest daughter disputed the succession in arms, but without avail. Then Martin died with no surviving legitimate descent, and no brothers left either. This was unprecedented, and quite literally no one knew what to do, as demonstrated by the fact that what actually ensued was a two-year interregnum. Eventually the deliberations of the nobles and other powers of the various realms united under the Aragonese crown led to the accession of Ferdinand I, a Castilian prince and the son of a sister of John and Martin. A couple of generations later Aragon and Castile united dynastically, and from then on the clear laws of Castile prevailed.



Oh. Thanks. No established succession rule makes more sense of the King Martin situation.


So then is the Kingdom of Castile the only one you have heard of having clear succession rules before the dynastic unions?

Peter

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From its reestablishment as a separate kingdom Navarre seemed to follow male preference primogeniture pretty unswervingly, though I don’t know whether that was enshrined in law or just custom. This reestablishment was linked to Aragon’s previous succession crisis, leading to its dynastic union with Barcelona. I didn’t mention this as it didn’t seem germane, it was so historically remote and the circumstances so different from those pertaining to the death of Martin I (his accession having shown that it wasn’t taken as a precedent). Incidentally, mainly as a way of explaining it to myself I once wrote a longish piece about the development of the Iberian kingdoms, Portugal aside, which you might like to glance at. Or not, just pointing to it in case you are interested.
christopherdombrowski

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Thank you.
NeasOlc

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Reply with quote  #6 
From what I learned in a university course on the subject, earlier medieval Spanish kingdoms tended to work on a principle of partitive inheritance (IE, splitting up amongst the ruler's sons), probably until they realised that it divided and weakened their lands and had an annoying tendency to cause the sons to try and kill each other.
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