1451 (22nd April)
Isabella of Castile was born to King Juan (John) II of Castile and his second wife, Isabella of Portugal in Madrigal de las Altas Torres, Avila. She was second in line to the throne after her elder half-brother Enrique (Henry).
1453 (17th November)
Isabella’s brother Alfonso was born to King John II of Castile and Isabella of Portugal. He became second in line to the throne and Isabella was relegated to third in line.
Isabella’s father, King John II, died. Isabella’s elder half-brother, Enrique (Henry), became King Henry IV of Castile.
Isabella, her mother and her younger brother moved to the castle of Arevalo. Here they lived a frugal life as they were kept short of funds by the King.
Isabella and her brother, Alfonso, were summoned to court in Segovia. Henry IV’s wife, Joan of Portugal, was about to give birth. It was rumoured that the child was not fathered by the King and Henry was concerned that opposition nobles would use Isabella and Alfonso as the focus for rebellions against him.
1462 (21st February)
Henry IV’s second wife, Joan of Portugal, gave birth to a daughter, Joanna. However, many believed that the child was the daughter of Beltran de la Cueva, a fact that earned her the nickname Joanna la Beltraneja.
Isabella and her brother Alfonso, were separated. Alfonso was put in the care of a tutor while Isabella was made a member of the Queen’s household.
1462 (9th May)
King Henry IV announced that his daughter, Joanna, was heir to the throne of Castile.
A number of influential nobles forced Henry IV to renounce his daughter and name Alfonso his heir.
Alfonso’s supporters overthrew King Henry IV and named Alfonso as King of Castile. Henry IV was furious and civil war began.
1467 (20th August)
Battle of Olmedo
This was a battle between the forces of Henry IV and those that championed Alfonso. The battle was inconclusive.
1468 (5th July)
Isabella’s younger brother, Alfonso, died. Isabella was offered the crown of Castile by those nobles that had supported Alfonso but she refused.
1468 (19th September)
Accord of Toros de Guisando
This was an agreement between Isabella and her brother Henry IV that he should rule Castile until his death but that Isabella would be his heir. It also agreed that Isabella would not be forced into a marriage she did not agree to.
Henry IV wanted Isabella to marry Afonso V of Portugal but she refused. She was already secretly negotiating a marriage with her second cousin, Ferdinand of Aragon
1469 (before 19th October)
Isabella and Ferdinand signed an agreement that after their marriage they would share power.
1469 (19th October)
Isabella secretly married her second cousin, Ferdinand of Aragon at the palace of Juan de Vivero at Valladolid. Because Isabella and Ferdinand were second cousins a dispensation from the Pope was needed. Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia presented the couple with a dispensation signed by Pope Pius II, who had died 5 years earlier.
When he found out about the marriage, Henry IV declared Isabella guilty of treason. He also questioned the validity of the marriage since a correct papal dispensation had not been issued.
1470 (1st October)
A daughter, Isabella, was born to Isabella and Ferdinand at Duenas Palencia.
Isabella and Ferdinand received a papal bull declaring their marriage legitimate.
Isabella and Ferdinand gained the support of the powerful Mendoza family.
1474 (11th December)
Isabella’s half-brother, Henry IV, died.
1474 (13th December)
Isabella was crowned Queen of Castile and Leon at Segovia.
Isabella was concerned that there were around 150 mints in Castile all producing coin. She had all but 5 shut down and placed those that remained under royal control.
War of the Castilian Succession
Afonso V of Portugal, who was betrothed to Henry IV’s daughter Joanna Beltraneja, invaded Castile and declared Joanna the rightful Queen of Castile.
A stillborn son was born to Isabella and Ferdinand in Cerebros.
1476 (1st March)
Battle of Toro
This was a battle between Ferdinand of Aragon and Alfonso V of Portugal. Ferdinand was victorious leaving Isabella secure as Queen of Castile.
Isabella had her eldest daughter, Isabella, sworn as heir to the throne of Castile.
Isabella successfully put down a rebellion against her rule in Segovia.
Isabella introduced La Santa Hermandad, local police force in Extrenadyra and Andalusia.
1478 (28th June)
A son, Juan (John), was born to Isabella and Ferdinand at Seville. He was proclaimed heir to the throne and given the title Prince of the Asturias.
War of the Castilian Succession – Battle of Guinea
This was a naval battle fought between Portugal and Castile where the Portuguese ships captured the Castilian fleet.
1479 (4th September)
Treaty of Alcacovas
This treaty ended the war of the Castilian succession. It agreed that Alfonso V of Portugal would make no claim on the throne of Castile and Isabella and Ferdinand would make no claim on the throne of Portugal. The Atlantic islands would be divided between Spain and Portugal. The marriage of Joanna Beltraneja and Alfonso V was annulled and Joanna entered a convent. The treaty was to be sealed with the betrothal of Isabella and Ferdinand’s eldest daughter, Isabella to Alfonso, grandson of Alfonso V.
1479 (6th November)
A daughter, Joanna
, was born to Isabella and Ferdinand at Toledo, Spain.
Ferdinand and Isabella summoned the Cortes of Toledo. They agreed a code of law and centralised rule for Spain.
The Cortes of Toledo were concerned that the treasury had been left depleted by Henry IV who had sold off crown property at cheap rates to raise funds for war. Those properties that had not been given as rewards were bought back by Isabella for the price they had been sold at.
Isabella and Ferdinand began the Spanish Inquisition to remove heretics from Spain, notably those Jews and Muslims that had outwardly converted to Christianity but actually retained their religion.
Mohammed XII succeeded his father as Sultan of Graada. Known to the Castilians as Boabdil, he attempted to invade Castile.
Isabella and Ferdinand moved to Medina del Campo. They were to use this as a base for the conquest of Granada.
1482 (29th June)
A daughter, Maria, was born to Isabella and Ferdinand at Cordoba, Spain. Her twin was stillborn.
Isabella and Ferdinand captured Muhammad XII of Granada known to the Castilians as Boabdil at Lucena.
The Andalusian town of Ronda fell to Isabella and Ferdinand.
1485 (15th December)
The town of Loja fell to Isabella and Ferdinand.
Isabella and Ferdinand agreed to release Boabdil after he promised to make Granada subservient to Castile. He also agreed to take no part in the siege of Malaga.
The towns of Malaga and Baza fell to Isabella and Ferdinand.
The towns of Almunecar, Salobrena and Almreia fell to Isabella and Ferdinand.
Isabella’s daughter, Isabella married Afonso, son of King Juan of Portugal by proxy in Seville.
1490 (19th November)
Isabella’s daughter, Isabella travelled to Portugal for her wedding.
1490 (22nd November)
Isabella’s daughter, Isabella married Afonso of Portugal in Evora.
Granada was the sole remaining Muslim city in Spain andtThe forces of Isabella and Ferdinand placed it under siege.
Afonso of Portugal, Isabella’s daughter’s husband died following a riding accident.
1491 (25th November)
Treaty of Granada
This was a peace settlement between Isabella and Ferdinand and Muhammad XII, known as Boabdil. It agreed that Granada would be surrendered to Isabella and Ferdinand. In return the Moors would be granted freedom of religion and be treated fairly.
1492 (2nd January)
As agreed by the terms of the Treaty of Granada 1491, Muhammad XII surrendered the city to Isabella and Ferdinand. He left Spain and settled in North Africa.
1492 (31st March)
By the terms of this decree, Isabella and Ferdinand expelled the Jews from Spain. They were told to convert to Catholicism or leave. This marked the end of the period in Spanish history known as Reconquista (the reconquering of Spain from the Muslims).
1492 (17th April)
Isabella agreed to sponsor a Genoese explorer, Christopher Columbus
who wanted to find a route to the Indies by travelling west.
1492 (3rd August)
Christopher Columbus set sail to discover a new route to the Indies.
1492 (12th October)
Christopher Columbus reached San Salvador and claimed it for Spain.
1493 (15th March)
Christopher Columbus returned to Spain. He brought with him Natives and gold.
Treaty of Tordesillas
This treaty with Portugal divided the Earth outside Europe between their respective countries.
Pope Alexander VI gave Isabella and Ferdinand the titles ‘Catholic Monarchs’.
1496 (20th October)
Isabella’s daughter, Joanna married Philip, Archduke of Habsburg.
Isabella’s son and heir, Juan, married Margaret of Austria.
Isabella’s daughter, Isabella married Manuel of Portugal.
1497 (4th October)
Isabella’s son and heir, Juan, died at Salamanca, Spain. The cause of his death is unknown.
1497 (after 4th October)
Juan’s wife was seven months pregnant at the time of his death and the hope of the Spanish succession rested on the birth of Juan’s child.
Juan’s wife, Margaret of Austria, was delivered of a stillborn daughter. This meant that Isabella’s’s eldest daughter Isabella was now heir to the throne of Castile.
1498 (23rd August)
Isabella’s daughter, Isabella Queen of Portugal, died in childbirth at Zargoza, Spain. Her son, Miguel was heir to Castile.
The Muslims in Granada revolted agains the rule of the Catholic Monarchs.
1500 (19th July)
Isabella’s grandson, Miguel, heir to the throne of Castile died. This meant that Isabella’s daughter Joanna was now heir to Castile.
1500 (30th October)
Isabella’s daughter, Maria, married her sister Isabella’s widower, Manuel of Portugal.
1501 (14th November)
Isabella’s daughter, Catalina (Catherine of Aragon), married Prince Arthur, heir to the throne of England.
All Muslims remaining in Spain were ordered to either convert to Catholicism or leave the country.
1502 (2nd April)
Prince Arthur of England died leaving Isabella’s daughter, Catherine of Aragon, a widow. There ensued a long struggle over the question of her dowry which left her stranded in England.
1502 (22nd May)
Isabella’s daughter, Joanna and her husband Philip were formally proclaimed as heirs to Castile. Joanna would be Queen and Philip King Consort.
Isabella’s daughter Joanna had a terrible argument with her husband who left Spain and returned to Flanders alone. When Joanna, who was six months pregnant, discovered what had happened she wanted to ride after Philip but Isabella refused to let her go and locked her up in Castle La Mota. Both Isabella and Ferdinand had concerns about their daughter’s mental state.
Isabella and Ferdinand realised they could not keep their daughter away from her husband indefinitely and allowed her to return to Flanders on condition that she left her infant son, Ferdinand in Spain.
1504 (14th September)
Isabella withdrew from government.
1504 (12th October)
Isabella made her will. She determined that the throne of Castile should pass to her daughter, Joanna, then to Joanna’s son, Charles.
1504 (26th November)
Isabella died at Medina del Campo. She was buried in the Royal Chapel of Granada.