Catalan Civil War

The Catalan Civil War, also called the Catalonian Civil War or the War against John II, was a civil war in the Principality of Catalonia, then belonging to the Crown of Aragon, between 1462 and 1472. The two factions, the royalists who supported John II of Aragon and the Catalan constitutionalists (Catalanists, pactists, and foralists), disputed the extent of royal rights in Catalonia. The French entered the war at times on the side on John II and at times with the Catalans. The Catalans, who at first rallied around John's son Charles of Viana, set up several pretenders in opposition to John during the course of the conflict. Barcelona remained their stronghold to the end: with its surrender the war came to a close. John, victorious, re-established the status quo ante.

Joan II d'Aragó
Late sixteenth-century image of John II of Aragon.


When the war started, John II had been King of Navarre since 1425 through his first wife, Blanche I of Navarre, who had married him in 1420. When Blanche died in 1441, John retained the government of her lands and dispossessed his own eldest son, Charles (born 1421), who was made Prince of Viana in 1423.[1] John tried to assuage his son with the lieutenancy of Navarre, but his son's French upbringing and French allies, the Beaumonteses, brought the two into conflict. In the early 1450s they were engaged in open warfare in Navarre.[2] Charles was captured and released; and John tried to disinherit him by illegally naming his daughter Eleanor, who was married to Gaston IV of Foix, his successor. In 1451 John's new wife, Juana Enríquez, gave birth to a son, Ferdinand. In 1452 Charles fled his father first for France, later for the court of his uncle, John's elder brother, Alfonso V at Naples.[3] From 1454 John governed his brother's Spanish realms—the Crown of Aragon—as lieutenant.[4]

When Alfonso died in 1458, Charles was arrested and brought to Majorca. John succeeded Alfonso as ruler of the Crown of Aragon. In his will John named Charles as his heir. Among John's early unpopular acts was to quit the war against Genoa, upsetting the merchants of Barcelona.[5] He also refused to aid his nephew, Ferdinand I of Naples, in securing his throne.

Cortes Catalanas
A fifteenth-century illustration from an incunabulum depicting the Catalan corts in session.

In 1460 Charles left Majorca unauthorised and landed in Barcelona, where he was welcomed by the two chief factions, the Busca, which were merchants, artisan, and laborers, and the Biga, which were honored citizens and landlords.[6] John did not initially react to the situation, but he called Charles to his court at Lleida to discuss the proposed marriage of Charles to Isabella, infanta of Castile. He still refused to recognise Charles as his "first born", probably seeking to reserve that title for Ferdinand, but arousing opposition in the meantime. Charles opened negotiations with Henry IV of Castile, his father's inveterate enemy. At Lleida on 2 December 1460 he was arrested and imprisoned in Morella.[2] This caused an uproar in Catalonia, where Charles was immensely popular, and the king was forced to suspend court. The Generalitat and the Diputació, the municipal council of Barcelona, created a Consell del Principat ("Council of the Principality") to settle the matter of the rightful succession.[7] A parliament was called for 8 January 1461.

At the parliament, Joan Dusai, the noted doctor of laws, ruled that the king had violated four of the Usatges de Barcelona, four of the Constitucions de Catalunya, and the Furs de Lleida. The parliament then demanded that John name Charles as his first-born son and heir. This he refused, and the parliament assembled an army under the Count of Modica. The army quickly captured Fraga and John capitulated in February. He freed Charles on 25 February and, on 21 June, signed the Capitulation of Vilafranca, whereby Charles was recognised as his first-born son, lieutenant in perpetuity, and heir in all his realms.[8] The king also surrendered his right to enter the Principality of Catalonia without the permission of the Generalitat. He was also forced to surrender royal prerogatives. The appointment of royal officials was to be done only on the advice of representative bodies. The treaty was a victory for the Catalanists (who stressed Catalan independence and preeminence), pactists (who stressed the relationship between monarch and Catalonia as a mutual agreement), and the foralists (who stressed the ancient privileges, the fueros, of Catalonia).[9]

Charles died of tuberculosis in Barcelona on 23 September, a fact which threatened the treaty of June. While Charles had inspired unity, his death sparked the reemergence of factionalism.[10] Though the treaty allowed for the young Ferdinand, only nine years old, to succeed John, Ferdinand's mother was conspiring with the Busca against the Biga to have the treaty overturned.

Revolt of the remences

Civil war broke out with the peasant revolt of the remences led by Francesc de Verntallat in February 1462.[11] The peasant revolted against the Consell del Principat with the hope of receiving royal support: Juana worked hard to stoke anti-Busca sentiment in Barcelona. In April a plot by some former Busca in support of the queen had been publicised and the deputy leader of the Consell, Francesc Pallarès, along with two former leaders, was executed in May. On 11 March, Juana and Ferdinand left unsafe Barcelona for Girona, hoping to receive protection from the French army there.

John signed two treaties at Sauveterre (3 May) and Bayonne (9 May) with Louis XI of France whereby the French king would lend 700 lances (4,200 knights plus their retainers) in military aid to John in exchange for 200,000 écus and, as surety of payment, the cession of the counties of Roussillon and Cerdagne, and the right to garrison Perpignan and Cotlliure.[12] In April, at Olite, the French king had already agreed to acquiesce in John's plan to make Eleanor and her husband his heirs in Navarre and dispossess his eldest daughter, Blanche II of Navarre, who was given over to Eleanor and Gaston's custody. She was poisoned in prison in 1464.

At the same time the Consell del Principat formed an army to put down the rebellion of the remences. The army of the Consell was placed under the command of Hug Roger III, Count of Pallars Sobirà, commander of the army of the Generalitat. After besieging and capturing Hostalric on 23 May, Hug Roger marched on Girona, where he was received warmly on 6 June while the queen and the prince took refuge in the citadel, the Força Vella ("old fort"), throughout June. Gaston of Foix, leading a French army, took Girona on 23 July and rescued the queen and prince.

Throughout the summer the Generalitat and the municipal council of Barcelona worked with the peasant leaders and various noble factions to draw up an agreement and bring an end to the revolt. The king, however, intrigued against it and negotiations were scuttled before a treaty could take effect.

Henry IV of Castile.

War against John II

John II took his first major offensive against the Principality by occupying Balaguer on 5 June. On 9 June 1462 the Consell declared him an enemy of the people and deposed.[13] In August the Generalitat offered the crown to Henry IV of Castile, who accepted and sent John of Beaumont as his lieutenant.[14] John II meanwhile marched on Lleida, which he did not besiege. He then defeated an army of the Consell near Cervera at Rubinat on 21–22 July, and proceeded to take Tàrrega. After the victory he joined his forces with Gaston's at Montcada in September and marched towards Barcelona.[15] The city was besieged until Hug Roger III could arrive with relief troops by sea in October.

John II then marched on Tarragona, where the Archbishop Pere d'Urrea urged surrender. With the fall of Tarragona (31 October), Henry IV, who was approaching Barcelona by sea, opened negotiations with John and Louis XI. Throughout the winter of 1462–63, both armies were plagued with desertions and neither side could call on more than a few hundred, mostly demoralised, troops.[15] John, though, was supported in Aragon and Valencia, and especially in Sardinia and Sicily. Major concessions to the Sicilian nobility in 1460 ensured Sicilian grain and money to feed and finance the royalist cause in Catalonia after 1462.[15]

In April 1463 John II ceded Estella in Navarre to Castile and in June Henry formally renounced the Aragonese throne. In October the Consell offered the throne to the constable of Portugal, a grandson of James II of Urgell, who was acclaimed as Peter V.[16] In November a delegation of Catalans approached Louis of France at Abbeville to seek his arbitration, but he loudly proclaimed himself a Catalan dynast and mused that "there are no mountains" between Catalonia and France.[15] The Catalan legates wisely decided to return without his arbitration.

Peter took ship to Barcelona, where he landed in January 1464. He lifted the siege of Cervera, but failed to duplicate the feat at Lleida, which John captured in July, and several smaller towns. Vilafranca del Penedès, where the Capitulation had been signed three years earlier, fell to the king in August. Cervera, Amposta, and Tortosa fell to John and the count of Praderas. Peter suffered a major defeat at Els Prats del Rei on 28 February 1465, where the count of Pallars Sobirà was captured.[17] Peter died at Granollers in June 1466. Tortosa capitulated shortly after his death, as did some other small places. The king had offered to pardon his enemies and respect the Constitucions and the municipal privileges, so that the Generalitat was debating submission, but a minority on the Consell was deadset against it.

On 30 July 1466 the Consell elected René the Good, the Count of Anjou and Provence and failed claimant to several crowns, as their new king. His election—he was a grandson of John I of Aragon—was designed to fracture the French alliance.[18] René sent as his lieutenant his blind son John II, Duke of Lorraine, with much needed reinforcements. Speedily John besieged Girona, captured Banyoles, occupied the Empordà, and entered Barcelona in August 1466. The entire Empordà, however, did not remain occupied for long.

In October John of Lorraine defeated Prince Ferdinand at Viladamat. The prince sustained heavy losses and John II, who had recently landed at Empúries, fled with his son to Tarragona. When the Duke of Lorraine was shortly forced to return to France to raise troops, Ferdinand campaigned northwards. All the while the king was working to foment a baronial rebellion against Louis XI of France and to foster a tripartite alliance between England, Burgundy, and Aragon.[17] When, in 1468, the brother of the childless Henry IV of Castile, Alfonso de Trastámara y Avís, died, John rushed to propose a marriage between his son Ferdinand and Henry's half-sister Isabella, formerly the proposed wife of Charles of Viana.

In September 1468 Ferdinand took Berga. His proposed marriage won the approval of the Aragonese and Castilian magnates and was celebrated in Valladolid in October 1469.[17] The Duke of Lorraine had returned to Catalonia in May that year and in June took Girona, which he had been holding out through 1467–68, and several smaller places. The Duke died in December 1470, before an attack on the mountainous redoubt of Francesc de Verntallat could be carried out. At a general cortes at Monzón in 1470 the king received the subsidy he requested to carry on the war until the expulsion of the French from Catalonia.[19]

The monastery of Pedralbes, site of the treaty ending the war.

With John of Lorraine dead, René appointed John's eldest bastard son, John of Calabria, Count of Briey, his new lieutenant.[20] In 1471 the French troops fighting with the Catalans retired to France and the advantage shifted decidedly to John II.[21] Joan Margarit, the Bishop of Girona, returned his city to John (October 1471), followed by other towns. Duke John of Lorraine died at Barcelona on 16 December 1470 and the Catalans lost their most important ally. King René lived until 1480, but was not personally present in Catalonia.

King John II campaigned in the Alt Empordà until June 1472 and then against Barcelona. A naval and land siege lasted from November 1471 to 16 October 1472. By the Capitulation of Pedralbes, Barcelona surrendered to king John, John agreed to let the warchief John of Calabria leave peacefully and a general pardon was granted. The Count of Pallars, however, was not pardoned. The acts of the Consell and the other organs of Catalan government since the death of Charles of Viana were approved and John swore to uphold the Constitucions. The Capitulation of Vilafranca, however, was rejected.[22]


The last action of the war was on the part of the Catalan barons of Roussillon and Cerdagne, which had been assigned to France as surety for war subsidies. The French were only slowly expelled. On 1 February 1473, John entered Perpignan to the joy of its citizens. He placed Catalan garrisons in the castles of Bellegarde, Collioure, and Salses. The French, angered by the abridgement of the treaty of Bayonne, counter-attacked a few weeks later, but some Castilian troops under Prince Ferdinand successfully resisted.[19] John began negotiations that led to a truce in July and a treaty at Perpignan on 17 September. John recognised the treaty of Bayonne in return for French recognition of his sovereignty in the disputed provinces. John agreed to pay 300,000 écus, and Roussillon and Cerdagne were proclaimed "neutral" until the payment was made.[19]

John returned to Barcelona triumphant, but failed to raise the necessary funds. In the summer of 1474 the French conquered Roussillon and March 1475 Perpignan fell to them. The French raided the Empordà as far as Girona in 1476, and John, his allies tied up by their own wars, could not even oppose them.[23] In October 1478 he ceded the two provinces to France until he could redeem them with cash. Revolts against his authority flared in Aragon and Valencia, which had stayed out of the civil war, and he failed to put them down. He did succeed in quashing a revolt in Sardinia.[23]


  1. ^ According to Bisson 1986, p. 147, it was Blanche's will that allowed John to postpone his son's succession to Navarre.
  2. ^ a b Bisson 1986, p. 148
  3. ^ In 1459–60 the Sicilian parliament, citing precedent, asked for Charles as their viceroy, but John refused them permission Bisson 1986, p. 148.
  4. ^ John, who had previously been lieutenant from 1436 to 1438, replaced the unpopular Galceran de Requesens in 1454 and was thus ruling Catalonia at the time of his succession to it, c.f. Bisson 1986, p. 147.
  5. ^ The Catalans continued the war with Genoa until 1463, when they signed a treaty in order to more fully invest in the war against John II.
  6. ^ Bisson 1986, p. 146
  7. ^ This "council representing the principality of Barcelona" was in existence by 8 December Bisson 1986, p. [1] 148.
  8. ^ All of the lands of the Crown voiced support for Charles Bisson 1986
  9. ^ Bisson 1986
  10. ^ A cult of Sant Karles de Cathalunya (Saint Charles of Catalonia) soon arose, but it did not have the force of the Prince's personal leadership Bisson 1986.
  11. ^ In contemporary eyes, the remences were chiefly to blame for the entire decade of war. Modern scholarship tended to stress economic factors, but the chronology of the Catalan economy does not easily line up with events in the civil war. The failure of the Busca and the remences, who shared opponents, to unite against them, and the arrogance of the Biga and pactists (the leaders of 1461 and demagogues of 1462 in the words of Jaume Vicens Vives) following Vilafranca have more to do with it. The war was essentially political, c.f. Bisson 1986, pp. 149–50.
  12. ^ A French army had presciently been established at Narbonne in 1461 Bisson 1986, pp. 150.
  13. ^ By invading Catalonia he had violated the terms of Vilafranc (Bisson, 151).
  14. ^ John succeeded in retaining power in Catalonia until early 1464.
  15. ^ a b c d Bisson 1986, pp. 151
  16. ^ James had been a candidate for the throne before the Compromise of Caspe in 1410. Probably the pactists thought they could control Peter, but he proved to be more independent-minded then they expected and he was unable to generate a strong following Bisson 1986, pp. 151. Partisans of James still existed in Catalonia during the war: one of them wrote the anti-royalist tract La fi del comte d'Urgell.
  17. ^ a b c Bisson 1986, pp. 152.
  18. ^ It was, on the face of it, bizarre. René was the old enemy of Alfonso V and a Frenchman with a claim to Naples. His election smacked of desperation, but his military funding capabilities were an important asset in continuing the war Bisson 1986, pp. 152).
  19. ^ a b c Bisson 1986, pp. 153.
  20. ^ The Catalans, temporarily leaderless, were torn by defections: Juan and Bertran d'Armendaris, Pere Joan Ferrer i Destorrent, and Joan de Sarriera. They were also racked by internal dissension: the Church, the Generalitat, and the Consell were unable to reconcile their differences.
  21. ^ John, who had had his sight recently restored by a Jewish physician, Crexcas Abiatir, was the prime beneficiary of his own wise French diplomacy Bisson 1986, pp. 152.
  22. ^ The royalists blamed the one-side Capitulation for the war Bisson 1986, pp. 153).
  23. ^ a b Bisson 1986, pp. 154.

External links


  • Bisson, Thomas N. (1986), The Medieval Crown of Aragon: A Short History, Oxford: Clarendon Press, ISBN 0-19-821987-3
Caterina d'Ortafà

Caterina d'Ortafà (fl. 1474), was a Catalan noble. She is known for her defense of Canet-en-Roussillon during the French invasion of Roussilon following the Catalan Civil War in 1474.

She was married to nobleman Pere de Rocabertí, lord of the castle Sant Mori. Along with her sister Joana, she was taken hostage by the king of Aragon after the fall of Sant Mori during the Catalan Civil War in 1462 and held captive in Barcelona until 1463. She was often present by her spouse in his campaigns on the royal side during the Civil War, such as during the Battle of Girona in 1467.

Count of Barcelona

The Count of Barcelona (Catalan: Comte de Barcelona, Spanish: Conde de Barcelona, Latin: Comites Barcinonenses) was the ruler of Catalonia for much of Catalan history, from the 9th century until the 15th century.

County of Barcelona

The County of Barcelona (Latin: Comitatus Barcinonensis, Catalan: Comtat de Barcelona) was originally a frontier region under the rule of the Carolingian dynasty. By the end of the 10th century, the Counts of Barcelona were de facto independent, hereditary rulers in constant warfare with the Islamic Caliphate of Córdoba and its successor states. The counts, through marriage alliances and treaties, acquired the other Catalan counties and extended their influence along Occitania. In 1164, the count of Barcelona, Alphons I, inherited the Kingdom of Aragon (as Alphons II). Thenceforward, the history of the county of Barcelona is subsumed within that of the Crown of Aragon, but the city of Barcelona remained preeminent within it.

Francesc de Verntallat

Francesc de Verntallat (Sant Privat d'en Bas, 1426 or 1428 - San Feliu de Pallarols,1498 or 1499), was a Catalan soldier who participated in the War of the Remences.

He was a member of the Catalan lower nobility, and was responsible for the Batet Noguer farmhouse, where is saved the styling and the digging, and formed part of the Royal Knights, generous arm and men in place of the Principality of Catalonia. Later known as gentlemen of Catalonia.When the Catalan civil war broke out between the generalitat and Juan II of Aragon the Great, the lower nobility stood on the side of the King, who took the contact which was among the remensa peasantry and the gentlemen to bring to their cause the whole of the farmers.Francesc de Verntallat organized a small army of laborers from Pyrennean areas that assaulted the Bestracà Castle, where the Lord kept a remensa who didn't want to or couldn't afford.

He later besieged the castle of Castellfullit for a similar cause. During the siege of Gerona, it was called by the Queen Juana Enríquez to help in the defense of the city, in which she and the Infante Fernando were blocked. Grateful for the performance of the remences, the Queen gave him the title of Captain Real. From that moment his fully identified with the men began to be known as Verntallats.Verntallat and his army occupied Olot, Castellfullit de la Roca, Banyoles, and the castles of the mountain, fought in numerical inferiority against the various forces of the generality; Hugo Roger III , Enrique IV de Castilla, Pedro de Portugal and John II, Duke of Lorraine.

The war had ups and downs until finally on 28 October 1472, the troops of Juan II came to Barcelona, where it is signed the Capitulación de Pedralbes, which Catalonia retained its charters and privileges.

The remences troops were organized in captaincies and subcapitanies, thus, of every three tenants, two farmed the land of the third, which was mobilized. This recruitment system lasted in the different guerrilla forces that have occurred in the country.

As the Catalan site Editorial Base points out, Verntallat could potentially have been a Catalan Robin Hood.

Jaume Safont

Jaume Safont (1420–1487), called Jacme ça Font in contemporary records, was a Catalan poet and notary.

From March 1436 he worked as a scrivener for the municipal council of Barcelona, his birthplace, and from July 1440 he worked in the scriptorium of the Generalitat de Catalunya. In that capacity he wrote the Dietari de la Generalitat for the years between 1454 and 1472. The Dietari is a daily record of events political, military, and religious for the use of the Generalitat. Jaume compiled his information for the Diputació del General that covers the years between 1411 and 1478/84; his years are the most detailed and anecdotal. The Dietari was edited under the title Dietari, o, Llibre de jornades de Jaume Safont by Josep Maria Sans i Travé (Barcelona: Fundació Noguera, 1992).

In 1462 Jaume was named procurator in charge of collecting the imposts known as the generalitats. In politics he was a member of the faction known as the Biga and opposed the royal interests of Alfonso the Magnanimous. When the opponents of the Biga, the Busca, removed the Lieutenant of Catalonia, Galceran de Requesens, and took control of the Barcelonan government in 1456, instituting proctectionist reforms, Jaume records in his Dietari the tension that existed between the Biga-dominated Generalitat and the royally-supported Busca municipal council. During the Catalan Civil War, he supported Charles, Prince of Viana, against John II.

Joan Margarit i Pau

Joan Margarit i Pau, or in Spanish Juan Margarit y Pau (died 21 November 1484), was a prominent Catalan prelate, a bishop of Girona and a cardinal.

Joana de Castre

Joana de Castre (1430-1480), was a Catalan noble.

She was born to the noble Pere de Castre and Blanca de So, and married viscount Jofre de Rocabertí, Lord of Peralad, and had four sons and a daughter. She managed the fief of Rocabertí on several occasions during the absence of her spouse. In 1461, her spouse participated in the liberation of Charles, Prince of Viana, from the captivity of his father John II of Aragon and Navarre. When Charles' death resulted in the Catalan Civil War, her brothers sided with the rebels, while Joanna and her spouse sided with John II. During the royal expedition to Girona, Joanna acted as a mediator between the king and her brother Guillem Ramon. When her spouse was taken captive in 1464, she was forced to assume responsibility for his fief until his release in 1472.

L'Hospitalet de l'Infant

L'Hospitalet de l'Infant is a town based in the coast of Tarragona, inside the municipality of Vandellòs i l'Hospitalet de l'Infant, located in the south-west of Baix Camp in the region of Catalonia.

The center of the current population is on a rocky promontory flanked by an extensive beach called L'Arenal and crossed by the course of Llastres river now reduced to a torrent. At the top of this hill are the remains of the hospital built in the middle of fourteenth century (1344), the will of the child Pedro of Aragon and Anjou son of Jaume el Just and Blanca d'Anjou and who gave the town its name. The hospital Coll de Balaguer (as is mentioned in medieval documents) was built to provide accommodation for religious travelers and beggars who were crossing the route between Barcelona and Valencia, the route of the ancient Via Augusta Roman. In fact, mansion Oleastrum mentioned by ancient authors Antonino and Strabo has been located, since the end of the nineteenth century, as Hospitalet del Infante. Exists also the same name of the river Llastres (in Catalan Ullastres ', from the Latin' 'Oleaster' ') and references Avienus as' Oleum flumen 'the work' Ora maritima ', as the archaeological remains found in the Roman town.

The reasons for the foundation of the old Gothic hospital by Peter of Aragon, from the 1341 Lord county of Prades and the barony of Entença, prompted by the desire to establish bases for resettlement and economic revival of the area, and fortified by this construction ensure control of costs then exposed to frequent attacks by corsairs. The building was founded in 1344 and has a structure of about 55 square meters wide, with central courtyard flanked by six towers: four at the corners and two in the center of the north and south sides. The enclosure, an excellent example of Catalan Gothic civil buildings with large diaphragm arches crowned on the wooden beams that supported only be accessed by the existing door to the southern tower. The construction, which fulfills its mission of welcoming travelers to the early nineteenth century was involved, to be a fortress in the Catalan Civil War of sixteenth century in the Revolt (battle of the Coll de Balaguer, 1640), was the subject of pirate attacks and seriously affected during the French War, facts which implies impairment.

Currently, the hospital conserve just one of the four towers raised, the entrance to the Plaça del Pou, three walls and three Gothic arches rear courtyards of the houses that are on the inside.

La fi del comte d'Urgell

La fi del comte d'Urgell or Scriptura privada is an anonymous Catalan political tract written during the Catalan Civil War (1462–72) by an enemy of king John II. Largely composed of personal stories, including that of the death of James II of Urgell, whose right to the throne is championed. The decadence of the great noble families who supported Ferdinand of Antequera in the Compromise of Caspe is portrayed as a divine curse on them. The earliest known manuscript of La fi dates from 1598 and its editor, Xavier de Salas Bosch (1931), considers it a sixteenth-century work, though most commentators prefer a fifteenth-century provenance, some suggesting as early as 1410–33.

List of Aragonese monarchs

This is a list of the kings and queens of Aragon. The Kingdom of Aragon was created sometime between 950 and 1035 when the County of Aragon, which had been acquired by the Kingdom of Navarre in the tenth century, was separated from Navarre in accordance with the will of King Sancho III (1004–35). In 1164, the marriage of the Aragonese princess Petronila (Kingdom of Aragon) and the Catalan count Ramon Berenguer IV (County of Barcelona) created a dynastic union from which what modern historians call the Crown of Aragon was born. In the thirteenth century the kingdoms of Valencia, Majorca and Sicily were added to the Crown, and in the fourteenth the Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica. The Crown of Aragon continued to exist until 1713 when its separate constitutional systems (Catalan Constitutions, Aragon Fueros, and Furs of Valencia) were swept away in the Nueva Planta decrees at the end of the War of the Spanish Succession.

Mieres uprising

The Mieres uprising (Catalan: Alçament de Mieres) was a peasant revolt which occurred on 22 September 1484 in the valley of Mieres (Garrotxa). It was led by Pere Joan Sala, and precipitated by the attempted seizure of the property of farmers that were not willing to accede to the droit du seigneur. It was the beginning of the Second War of the Remences (Peasants' War).The revolt came about in the environment following the Catalan Civil War, and the king's 1481 approval of a constitution favouring the rights of the nobility over those of the remensas.

Navarrese Civil War (1451–1455)

The Navarrese Civil War of 1451–1455 pitted John II of the Kingdom of Navarre against his son and heir-apparent, Charles IV.

When the war started, John II had been King of Navarre since 1425 through his first wife, Blanche I of Navarre, who had married him in 1420. By the marriage pact of 1419, John and Blanche's eldest son was to succeed to Navarre on Blanche's death. When Blanche died in 1441, John retained the government of her lands and dispossessed his own eldest son, Charles (born 1421), who was made Prince of Viana in 1423. John tried to assuage his son with the lieutenancy of Navarre, but his son's French upbringing and French allies, the Beaumonteses, brought the two into conflict. John was supported by the Agramonteses.

From 1451 to 1455, they were engaged in open warfare in Navarre. Charles was defeated at the Battle of Aybar in 1452, captured, and released; and John tried to disinherit him by illegally naming his daughter Eleanor, who was married to Gaston IV of Foix, his successor. In 1451, John's new wife, Juana Enríquez, gave birth to a son, Ferdinand. In 1452, Charles fled his father first to France, where vainly sought allies, and later to the court of his uncle, John's elder brother, Alfonso V at Naples. Charles was popular in Spain and John was increasingly unpopular as he refused to recognise Charles as his "first born", probably planning to make Ferdinand his heir. The Navarrese Civil War presaged the Catalan Civil War of 1462–72, in which John's ill-treatment of Charles was a precipitating event.

Old Catalonia

Old Catalonia (Catalan: Catalunya Vella) was a legal concept created by Catalan jurist Pere Albert in the second quarter of the thirteenth century to refer to the territories of Catalonia containing remensa peasants from the Diocese of Girona, the eastern half of the Diocese of Vic and the portion of the Archdiocese of Barcelona east of the Llobregat river.

In the 9th and 10th centuries these territories, like all of ancient Gothia or Marca Hispanica had been an area of relative freedom for the peasants. But in the 11th century, as a result of the feudal revolution and the weakening of the noble auctoritas, the nobles began to impose burdensome evil customs on the peasants. The situation worsened in the 12th century, when the nobility used their powers to attach the peasants to their lands, to keep them from fleeing to the new southern lands conquered by Ramon Berenguer IV, and by such attachment turning them into remensa peasants.

At the end of the thirteenth century, jurist and Canon Pere Albert wrote his Commemorations, a treatise on customary law that collected in one place all the procedures and customs currently in force in Catalonia. In order to define the territories where the remensa peasants were, Albert created the concept of Old Catalonia, defining it as Diocese of Girona, half the Archdiocese of Barcelona east of the Llobregat, and most of the Diocese of Vic. Old Catalonia was created in opposition to the notion of New Catalonia, which according to Albert had already received this name in the time of Ramon Berenguer IV in the 12th century. The boundary between Old and New Catalunya was marked by the Llobregat River. Albert discussed the legal situation of the peasants in point 35 of his Commemorations, and differentiated between peasants that were in Old Catalonia, and those in New Catalonia.

In the 15th century, after the War of the Remensas and the Catalan Civil War, King Ferdinand II of Aragon issued the 1486 decree Sentencia Arbitral de Guadalupe, which liberated the remensa peasants from the evil customs, thus rendering the concept of Old Catalonia obsolete.

Pere Joan Sala

Pere Joan Sala (? -1485) was the leader of the radical remensas in the Second War of the Remences, which began with the uprising of Mieres in 1484. Joan Sala was the lieutenant of Francesc de Verntallat, but unlike the latter, JOan Sala was a radical revolutionary who wasn't interested in any treaty with royalty.

The Second War of the Remences was motivated by attempted legal action against the assets of the peasants who refused to pay the manorial fees. Additionally, there was an alignment of interests and support between the remensas during the first War of the Remences and King John II in the Catalan Civil War. They were aligned both in time (1462-1472) and in their adversary: the Generalitat and the nobility. However, at the end of the Catalan civil war, the king pretty much forgot about the remensas.

The Viceroy of Catalonia tried to curb the revolt without success, and the conflict spread throughout the Principality of Catalonia.

In 1485 in Montornès del Vallès, at the head of 400 peasants, Joan Sala defeated the army of the Diputació del General de Catalunya commanded by the Viceroy of Catalonia Pere Anton de Rocacrespa. Later, Joan Sala took the villa of Granollers, from where the revolt spread through Valles, Maresme and the Baix Llobregat. When the threat to Barcelona became clear, the authorities reacted and defeated them in Les Franqueses del Vallès (Llerona) in March 1485. They then took them prisoner and had them executed.

This remensa rebellion succeeded in getting the monarchy, headed by Ferdinand II of Aragon son of John II, involved with the cause of the remensas and after much negotiation Ferdinand announced, on April 21, 1486, the Sentencia Arbitral de Guadalupe. This decree forgave the rank-and-file insurrectionists but had severe consequences for the leaders of the revolt.

Quermançó Castle

The Quermançó Castle is located about 2 km north of Vilajuïga, Spain, situated on top of a remote hill and directly accessible only on foot from a small road that turns off the N-260.

The history of the castle dates back to 1078. It was owned by Counts in the Empúries region. In 1472, during the Catalan Civil War, the castle was occupied by forces loyal to John II. In 1808, the castle was captured by Napoleonic troops, occupied for several years, and was even fortified as a keep for armaments. Despite the additional fortifications, an explosion ordered by Marshal Suchet during the French withdrawal in 1814 left the castle in ruins, which have degraded further into what is now the current state of the castle.

The surrealist painter, Salvador Dalí, had a deep affection for the castle and was very familiar with it as it is positioned on the road nearly halfway between his home town of Figueres and his coastal home in Cadaqués. He had several ideas for the castle including creating a natural pipe organ in the castle which would have been "played" by the tramuntana wind that constantly blows in the area. Another was to house a rhinoceros in the basement purely for tourists to come and view, and the other was to acquire the ruins of the castle and make them in the residence of his wife, Gala.

Moderate work has been performed on the castle to maintain its current state, but visitors will note that it is on privately owned land. Also of note is that the interior has been closed to the public in order to thwart vandals, so only the exterior is visible to visitors.


Remensa (Catalan: Remença) was a Catalan mode of serfdom. Those who were serfs under this mode are properly pagesos de remença (pagesos meaning "peasants"); they are often (though not quite correctly) referred to simply as remences (singular remença).

The Catalan term remença derives from the Latin redementia and emphasizes the possibility of redemption from servitude.The severity of this way of life led to rebellions by the remensa peasants in 1462 and 1485 known as the War of the Remences. After the second revolt, King Ferdinand II of Aragon issued the Sentencia de Guadalupe (1486), outlawing the more severe abuses of the oppressive evil customs and allowing remensa peasants to be redeemed by a payment of 60 sous per household, leaving a rural society that was still feudal in character, but significantly reformed.

Siege of Barcelona

Siege of Barcelona may refer to one of the following:

Siege of Barcelona (1462), during the Catalan Civil War

Siege of Barcelona (1465), during the Catalan Civil War

Siege of Barcelona (1472), during the Catalan Civil War

Siege of Barcelona (1651), during the Catalan Revolt

Siege of Barcelona (1697), during the Nine Years' War

Siege of Barcelona (1705), during the War of the Spanish Succession

Siege of Barcelona (1706), during the War of the Spanish Succession

Siege of Barcelona (1713–1714), during the War of the Spanish Succession

Siege of Barcelona (1808), during the Peninsular War

Violant de Prades de Gandia

Violant de Prades de Gandia (1395-1471), was a Spanish noblewoman.

She was born to the noble Jaume de Prades and Violant de Gandia, and married viscount Bernat Joan, viscount de Cabrera and count de Mòdica. She often managed the fief during the absence of her spouse. In 1461, her spouse participated i the capture of Charles, Prince of Viana, but in the Catalan Civil War, he sided with the rebels against John II of Aragon and Navarre. Violant, however, sided with John II, for which she has in history traditionally been given a bad name. When her spouse was captured by the king, she was able to act as a mediator and eventually facilitate his release. She also fought for the property of her spouse not being confiscated, though she failed in this regard.

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