Death of a decent King

2nd April 1416 - King Ferdinand of Aragon died

King Ferdinand of Aragon, who died 600 years ago, was born into the royal family of Castile but was never supposed to be King. Even after the death of his elder brother, King Henry, he still passed up his chance of ruling, instead offering the crown along with his guidance and wisdom to his baby nephew, John II. It was a move that was characteristic of his kind and generous nature. 

Ferdinand I of Aragon

King Ferdinand I of Aragon
Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons 

Contemporary chronicles, indeed, described him as: “very patient to all who wanted to talk to him, even if their speeches were ordinary or not well-reasoned”. Given that most other Kings of this time spent most of the time cutting up neighbours and enemies, it marks Ferdinand out as being a rather remarkable person. Perhaps it was for this reason therefore that when he was 32 he was chosen to succeed his mother’s brother as King of Aragon. 

Ferran d'Antequera al retaule Sancho de Rojas (detall)

King Ferdinand of Aragon
Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

He ruled for only a few years until his early death and his reign was marked largely by moves towards peace. He put down a rebellion in the first year of his reign and in the last, ended a 40 year old division in the church by reaching a seemingly impossible compromise. It seems that there is a lot the modern world could learn from him. His humility, patience, tact and wisdom would be gifts we perhaps all could benefit from. 

© Isla Robertson 2017