The Garden Guide

Book: Journey and Embassy to Samarkand
Chapter: Preface

Henry III of Spain

Previous - Next

The peaceful reign of Henry III of Castille is famous for the attempts of that prince to extend the diplomatic relations of Spain to the remotest parts of the earth {In 1388 peace was concluded between John I of Castille and the king of England; and Henry of Castille, aged twelve, was married to Catharine of Lancaster, aged fourteen. As the heirs of England were called princes of Wales, Henry, in imitation, was created prince of the Asturias. In 1390 John died of a fall from, his horse, at Burgos; and Henry III ascended the throne. Under his reign Spain enjoyed peace, and the queen gave birth to a son named John, in 1405. Henry III died at Toledo, on Christmas day 1407, leaving three children, John, Maria, and Catalina. He was affable and liberal, with a handsome face, well spoken, and eloquent.-Mariana}. Mariana tells us that he sent embassies to the princes of Christendom, and to the Moors, to gather information respecting their affairs, and to collect all the knowledge that could be useful for the good government of his own country. Amongst other embassies, Henry sent two knights, named Pelayo de Sotomayor, and Fernando de Palazuelos to the east, to report upon the forces, customs, and intentions of the rulers, in those distant countries. These ambassadors were present at the battle of Angora, between Timur and the Turk Bayazid, in the year 1402. The conqueror treated them with distinction, and dismissed them, on their return to Spain, in company with an envoy of his own, named Mohammed al Cazi, who brought a complimentary letter, and rich presents of jewels and women, to the king of Castille {Argote de Molina gives this letter in full}.