Kingdom of Majorca

The Kingdom of Majorca (Catalan: Regne de Mallorca, IPA: [ˈreŋnə ðə məˈʎɔɾkə]; Spanish: Reino de Mallorca; Latin: Regnum Maioricae) was founded by James I of Aragon, also known as James The Conqueror. After the death of his firstborn son Alfonso, a will was written in 1262 and created the kingdom to cede it to his son James. The disposition was maintained during successive versions of his will and so when James I died in 1276, the Crown of Aragon passed to his eldest son Peter, known as Peter III of Aragon or Peter the Great. The Kingdom of Majorca passed to James, who reigned under the name of James II of Majorca. After 1279, Peter III of Aragon established that the king of Majorca was a vassal to the king of Aragon. The title continued to be employed by the Aragonese and Spanish monarchs until its dissolution by the 1715 Nueva Planta decrees.

Kingdom of Majorca

Regne de Mallorca (in Catalan)
Reino de Mallorca (in Spanish)
Regnum Maioricae (in Latin)
1231–1715 (1349)
Flag of Majorca
Coat of arms of Majorca
Coat of arms
The Kingdom of Majorca
The Kingdom of Majorca
CapitalPalma and Perpignan
Common languagesCatalan
Roman Catholicism
• Established
1715 (1349)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Crown of Aragon
Enlightenment Spain
Today part of Spain


The kingdom included the Balearic Islands: Majorca, Menorca (which was still under the rule of Muslims until 1231 when its sovereignty was surrendered to James I), Ibiza and Formentera. The king was also lord of the mainland counties of Roussillon and Cerdanya, and the territories James I kept in Occitania: the signory of Montpellier, the viscountcy of Carlat in Auvergne, and the barony of Aumelas, contiguous with Montpellier.


The legacy of James I included the creation of a strategic Mediterranean enclave, including territories between two large kingdoms, the Capetians of France and the Crown of Aragon, which were in constant conflict at the time. Conscious of the fragility of the Kingdom of Majorca, James I undertook the conquest of Cerdanya to unify the new kingdom. He also entered into negotiations to arrange the marriage of his son James to Beatrice of Savoy, daughter to Count Amadeus of Savoy. Neither plan was successful.

On the death of James I, the new king of Majorca, James II, decided not to pay tribute to Peter III of Aragon. Preoccupied with diverse problems within the realm, it was not until 1279 when the Majorcan monarch reconciled to have his states recognized as subordinate to the king of Aragon. As a consequence the Kingdom of Majorca could not hold court, and the king of Majorca was forced to go to Catalonia to present tribute to the king of Aragon. By means of the Treaty of Perpignan in 1279, an imbalance of power between the Kingdom of Aragon and the Kingdom of Majorca was created. The Aragonese king maintained the political and economic control of Aragon over the Kingdom of Majorca, reestablishing the unified jurisdiction of the Crown of Aragon, which was broken by the will of James I. This treaty would condition relations between the Kingdom of Majorca and the Crown of Aragon throughout the former's existence. The lack of courts later aggravated the destabilization of a kingdom already on the brink of fracture, which, besides this, lacked any common institution beyond the monarchy.

During the Aragonese Crusade, James II of Majorca allied himself with the Pope and the French against Peter of Aragon. As a result, Peter's successor Alfonso conquered the kingdom in 1286. However, by the Treaty of Anagni in 1295, James II of Aragon was required to restore the Balearics to James of Majorca.

On the death of James II of Majorca's son Sancho in 1324, James III took the throne at the age of nine, necessitating a regency council headed by his uncle Philip to govern the realm. The situation was difficult since James II of Aragon did not renounce his claim to the Majorcan throne. In 1325, Philip secured the renunciation by the Aragonian king of any claim on the rights of succession of the Majorcan throne after the repayment of a great debt incurred by Sancho during an invasion by Sardinia. While the act solved the problem of succession, it also plunged the kingdom into a serious financial crisis.

James was forced to develop policies similar to that of Aragon's. To that end, he was forced to participate in the war against Genoa (1329-1336), which resulted in the loss of various economic markets for the kingdom. Again, it was necessary to impose new taxes and fines on the Jewish community though this was insufficient to resolve the financial crisis. The problems of the kingdom did not appear to have an end since in 1341, Peter IV of Aragon closed relations with the Kingdom of Majorca as a prelude to invasion. In May 1343, Peter IV invaded the Balearic Islands and followed that in 1344 with the invasions of the counties of Roussillon and Cerdanya. James III was able to keep only his French possessions. After the sale of these possessions to the king of France in 1349, James III left for Majorca. He was defeated and killed at the Battle of Llucmajor on 25 October 1349. Then, the Kingdom of Majorca was definitively incorporated into the Crown of Aragon.

Fall of Majorca

The extinction of the Kingdom of Majorca was inevitable given the conflicts by which it was affected: the Hundred Years War between France and England; the war of the benimerines, which involved Castile and the Crown of Aragon as well as attempts by the Genoese to make the Balearics a satellite state. The kingdom of Majorca, which had bonds of vassalage with the crowns of France (through Montpellier) and Aragon, could not remain neutral during the conflicts. In addition, increased taxes to fund the kingdom's economy during its neutrality managed to unsettle the people of the kingdom.

See also


  • A Mediterranean emporium - The Catalan kingdom of Majorca, by David Abulafia, ISBN 0-521-89405-0
  • Abulafia, David. The Western Mediterranean Kingdoms, 1200-1500. 1997. ISBN 0-582-07820-2

External links

Alfonso III of Aragon

Alfonso III (4 November 1265, in Valencia – 18 June 1291), called the Liberal (el Liberal) or the Free (also "the Frank," from el Franc), was the King of Aragon and Count of Barcelona (as Alfons II) from 1285. He conquered the Kingdom of Majorca between his succession and 1287.

He was a son of King Peter III of Aragon and Constance, daughter and heiress of King Manfred of Sicily.

Soon after assuming the throne, he conducted a campaign to reincorporate the Balearic Islands into the Kingdom of Aragon - which had been lost due to the division of the kingdom by his grandfather, James I of Aragon. Thus in 1285 he declared war on his uncle, James II of Majorca, and conquered both Majorca (1285) and Ibiza (1286), effectively reassuming suzerainty over the Kingdom of Majorca. He followed this with the conquest of Menorca - until then, an autonomous Muslim state (Manûrqa) within the Kingdom of Majorca - on 17 January 1287, the anniversary of which now serves as Menorca's national holiday.

He initially sought to maintain Aragonese control over Sicily early in his reign by supporting the claims to the island of his brother, James II of Aragon. However, he later retracted the support for his brother shortly before his death and instead tried to make peace with the Papal States France.His reign was marred by a constitutional struggle with the Aragonese nobles, which eventually culminated in the articles of the Union of Aragon - the so-called "Magna Carta of Aragon", which devolved several key royal powers into the hands of lesser nobles. His inability to resist the demands of his nobles was to leave a heritage of disunity in Aragon and further dissent amongst the nobility, who increasingly saw little reason to respect the throne, and brought the Kingdom of Aragon close to anarchy.

During his lifetime a dynastic marriage with Eleanor, daughter of King Edward I of England, was arranged. However Alfonso died before meeting his bride. He died at the age of 26 in 1291, and was buried in the Franciscan convent in Barcelona; since 1852 his remains have been buried in Barcelona Cathedral.

Dante Alighieri, in the Divine Comedy, recounts that he saw Alfonso's spirit seated outside the gates of Purgatory with the other monarchs whom Dante blamed for the chaotic political state of Europe during the 13th century.

Battle of Llucmajor

The Battle of Llucmajor (Catalan: Batalla de Llucmajor; IPA: [bəˈtaʎə ðə ˌʎumːəˈʒo]) occurred in 1349 when Peter IV of Aragon's forces defeated and killed his cousin James III of Majorca in the town of Llucmajor on the Balearic Islands, resulting in the end of the independent Kingdom of Majorca.

Castle of Capdepera

The Castle of Capdepera is a walled fortress located in the Spanish municipality of Capdepera, on the island of Majorca. It is one of the largest castles on the island. Its construction began in 310, but in the fourteenth century it was rebuilt on the remains of a Muslim village.

Coat of arms of Balearic Islands

The Coat of arms of Balearic Islands (Spanish: Escudo de las islas Baleares) is described in the Spanish Law 7 of November 21, 1984, the Law of the coat of arms of the Autonomous Community of Balearic Islands. Previously, by Decree of the Interinsular General Council of August 7 and 16, 1978, adopted the coat of arms as official symbol of the Balearic Islands.The blazon of the arms is: Or, four pallets of gules differenced by a bendlet azure.The shape of the shield is traditional Iberian or curved and it is embellished with lambrequins Or.The historians Faustino Menéndez-Pidal and Juan José Sánchez Badiola find the first references to it in two rolls of arms from the latter half of the late 13th century – in Wijnbergen and in the Lord Marshal's Roll – which attributed the coat of arms to the king of Majorca. Other roll of arms, Hérault Vermandois, attributed the royal arms of Aragon and, in the late 14th century, Gelre Armorial shows it with same colors reversed, blazoned: Gules, four pallets of Or.The bendlet azure was the mark of cadency of the cadet branch of the House of Aragon that ruled the Kingdom of Majorca. It was only used abroad until the 16th century.The King James III's will (1349) depicts these arms. Later the arms were used by some members of the royal family of Majorca, the Crown of Aragon and the Monarchy of Spain. Cartography in the 17th and 18th centuries often shown the royal arms of Majorca. In the 19th century, is documented a marginal use as administrative symbol of the Balearic Islands. It was topped with the former royal crown (without arches). The crown has been removed from the present model.

Ferdinand of Majorca

Ferdinand of Majorca (Catalan: Ferran de Mallorca; 1278, Perpignan – 5 July 1316, Glarentza) was an infante of the Kingdom of Majorca as the third son of King James II. He was Viscount of Aumelas and Lord of Frontignan from 1311 and claimed the title of Prince of Achaea from 1315.

He was sent by Frederick III of Sicily to take command of the Catalan Company in Frederick's name, but was rebuffed by Bernat de Rocafort, one of their leaders. On his return with the chronicler Ramón Muntaner, he was captured by the Venetians at Negroponte. He had been released by 1310, when he distinguished himself at the siege of Almería by killing the son of the King of Guadix.

In 1313, he returned to Sicily to take part in the war then in hand with the Angevins and was created Lord of Catania. Margaret of Villehardouin was then in Sicily, seeking to advance her claim to the Principality of Achaea. She gave her daughter Isabella of Sabran to Ferdinand in marriage and resigned Akova and her claim on Achaea to the couple, who were married in Messina. Margaret died in March 1315 in captivity in Chlemoutsi, and her daughter on 7 May 1315 in Catania, shortly after bearing a son, James III of Majorca.

Shortly after her death, Ferdinand set out with a small company for the Morea to uphold the claim now held by his son. He seized Clarenza in June 1315 and briefly took control of the Morea. In the autumn of 1315 he took a second wife, Isabella of Ibelin, daughter of the Seneschal of Cyprus. However, his rival claimant Matilda of Hainaut, and her husband Louis of Burgundy returned to the Morea in the spring of 1316 with Venetian aid. Ferdinand's expected aid from Majorca and Sicily was tardy, as was that of the Catalan Company from Athens. Facing superior numbers, he was killed at the Battle of Manolada on July 5, 1316. He was succeeded as heir presumptive of Majorca by his elder son, the future King James III, and as Viscount of Aumelas by his posthumous son, Ferdinand.

Gran i General Consell

The Gran i General Consell (Catalan: Great and General Council) was the supreme political, administrative, and representative organ of the Kingdom of Majorca. Since the Kingdom of Majorca did not have courts, the Gran i General Consell took over most of the functions they would otherwise have had, including the role of a representative body. The Gran i General Consell evolved from the Catalan municipal councils, especially that of the City of Majorca (present-day Palma de Mallorca. The body that was to become the Gran i General Consell was founded in 1249, and the Consell was abolished on 22 July 1718 by Philip V, empowered by the Nova Planta Decree of Majorca and Ibiza (28 November 1715). At the same time, all other separate Majorcan institutions were dissolved.

Three important characteristics of the Gran i General Consell were:

Unlike, for example, the French Estates-General, the three estates represented in the Gran i General Consell were given equal representation.

The principle that the amount of participation granted to representatives in the Gran i General Consell should be in line with their contributions to society.

The democratic principle of decision-making based on the wishes of the majority.

James IV of Majorca

James of Majorca (c. 1336 – 20 January 1375) unsuccessfully claimed the thrones of the Kingdom of Majorca and the Principality of Achaea from 1349 until his death. He served as king consort of Naples, as such being excluded from government.

John III, Count of Armagnac

John III of Armagnac (1359 – July 25, 1391) was a Count of Armagnac, of Fézensac and Rodez from 1384 to 1391.

He was the son of John II of Armagnac, and Jeanne of Périgord.

In 1390, John claimed the kingdom of Majorca, but was overcome by the troops of Juan I of Aragon in a battle near Navata. John III consequently led military actions in Roussillon.

In 1391, he had to leave for Italy in order to go to the assistance of Charles Visconti, Lord of Parma and husband of his sister, Beatrix of Armagnac. Visconti was in conflict with his acquisitive cousin Gian Galeazzo Visconti, later the duke of Milan, whose ambition was to control the whole of northern Italy.

His army was attacked and decisively beaten by that of Gian Galeazzo Visconti as it passed through Alessandria in Piedmont. John III was killed in the battle.

Kingdom of Aragon

The Kingdom of Aragon (Aragonese: Reino d'Aragón, Catalan: Regne d'Aragó, Latin: Regnum Aragonum, Spanish: Reino de Aragón) was a medieval and early modern kingdom on the Iberian Peninsula, corresponding to the modern-day autonomous community of Aragon, in Spain. It should not be confused with the larger Crown of Aragon, that also included other territories — the Principality of Catalonia (which included the County of Barcelona and the other Catalan Counties), the Kingdom of Valencia, the Kingdom of Majorca, and other possessions that are now part of France, Italy, and Greece — that were also under the rule of the King of Aragon, but were administered separately from the Kingdom of Aragon.

In 1479, upon John II of Aragon’s death, the crowns of Aragon and Castile were united to form the nucleus of modern Spain. The Aragonese lands, however, retained autonomous parliamentary and administrative institutions, such as the Corts, until the Nueva Planta decrees, promulgated between 1707 and 1715 by Philip V of Spain in the aftermath of the War of the Spanish Succession, finally put an end to it.

List of Majorcan consorts

This is a list of consorts of the Kingdom of Majorca.

List of monarchs of Majorca

The Kingdom of Majorca (1231–1715) was created by James I of Aragon following his conquest in 1229 and the subsequent surrender of sovereignty by the Muslim rulers in of the Balearic Islands in 1231. It was ruled in conjunction with the Crown of Aragon until his death when by will it passed to a younger son, James (II), who ruled the kingdom as nominal vassal of the Aragonese Crown. He was removed by his nephew Alfonso III of Aragon, who conquered the island of Menorca in 1287, effectively recovered Menorca from Moorish rule.

By the Treaty of Anagni of 1295, however, these island territories were yielded back to James. In 1344, the kingdom was again united with the Crown of Aragon but still disputed by pretenders until 1403. It subsequently formed an administrative kingdom within the Crown of Spain periodically included in the royal style – as in Philip II's in the 1584 Treaty of Joinville – until the Nueva Planta Decrees abolished these divisions in 1715.

Lord of Balaguer

Lord of Balaguer (Catalan: Senyor de Balaguer) is a title historically held by the person first in line to the Kingdom of Majorca, a part of the Crown of Aragon. The current holder is Leonor, elder daughter and heir presumptive of Felipe VI.

Palace of the Kings of Majorca

The Palace of the Kings of Majorca (French: Palais des Rois de Majorque, Catalan: Palau dels Reis de Mallorca), is a palace and a fortress with gardens overlooking the city of Perpignan in Pyrenees-Orientales, Occitanie, France.


Perpignan (, US: , French: [pɛʁpiɲɑ̃] (listen); Catalan: Perpinyà [pəɾpiˈɲa]) is the prefecture of the Pyrénées-Orientales department in Southwest France. Perpignan was the capital of the former province and County of Roussillon (Rosselló in Catalan) and continental capital of the Kingdom of Majorca in the 13th and 14th centuries.

In 2013 Perpignan had 118,238 inhabitants (Perpignanais(e) in French, Perpinyanés(a) in Catalan) in the commune proper. The metropolitan area had a total population of 305,837 in 2010.

Ra'îs of Manûrqa

The Ra'îs of Manûrqa is a Muslim political title given to the two governors that from 1234 to 1287 ruled the island of Manûrqa (modern Menorca) as a vassal state of the Kingdom of Majorca. During this period, the island was allowed a great deal of autonomy and it had the protection of the Kingdom of Majorca in exchange of an annual tribute.

Royal Palace of La Almudaina

The Royal Palace of La Almudaina (Spanish: Palacio Real de La Almudaina, pronounced [paˈla.θjo reˈal de la al.muˈðai̯.na]) is the Alcázar (fortified palace) of Palma, the capital city of the Island of Majorca, Spain.

Treaty of Anagni

The Treaty of Anagni was an accord between the Pope Boniface VIII, James II of Aragon, Philip IV of France, Charles II of Naples, and James II of Majorca. It was signed on 20 June 1295 at Anagni, in central Italy. The chief purpose was to confirm the Treaty of Tarascon of 1291, which ended the Aragonese Crusade. It also dealt with finding a diplomatic solution to the conquest of Sicily by Peter III of Aragón in 1285.

Neither Frederick II of Sicily, James of Aragon's brother, nor the Sicilian people accepted the treaty and instead pursued a war against the Angevin forces of Charles of Naples. Charles was, as per the respective clause of the treaty, assisted by the fleet of James of Aragón. This war did not end until the Peace of Caltabellotta in 1302.

Treaty of Capdepera

The Treaty of Capdepera was an agreement signed between King James I of Aragon and Abu'Abd Allah Muhammad, the Muslim qadi on the island of Menorca, on June 17, 1231, in the current Majorcan town of Capdepera. The treaty was signed at the Castle of Capdepera, in what was known as the "Torre den Nunis". The treaty permitted the island of Menorca to remain under Muslim rule, while remaining subject to the Aragonese king by means of the payment of a tribute.Having conquered Majorca, James I decided against an invasion of the neighbouring island because he needed the forces for the conquest of Valencia. Thus he resorted to a stratagem of dissuasion. He ordered huge bonfires, which could be seen from Menorca, to be lit in the town so that the Muslims who lived there would think that there was a great army ready to invade. The committee in charge of going to Menorca to parley was formed by the Master of the Knights Templar, Fray Ramón de Serra, the knight Bernardo de Santa Eugenia, and Pero Masa, lord of Sangarrén.

Valldemossa Charterhouse

The Valldemossa Charterhouse (Catalan: Cartoixa de Valldemossa, Spanish: Cartuja de Valldemosa, translatable as Carthusian Monastery of Valldemossa) is a palace in Valldemossa, Majorca that was residence of the king Sancho of Majorca former royal residence and Royal Charterhouse (15th century).

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