James IV of Majorca

James IV of Majorca

James IV of Majorca (c. 1336 – January 20, 1375) was the son of James III of Majorca and Constance of Aragon. His maternal grandparents were Alfonso IV of Aragon and his first wife Teresa of Entença and Antillon.

His father was killed at the Battle of Llucmajor in 1349 while attempting to recapture his kingdom, and James IV was taken prisoner by Pedro IV of Aragon. Now pretender to the Kingdom of Majorca and the Principality of Achaea, James was kept in close confinement in Barcelona until 1362. He then contrived to escape and take refuge with Joan I of Naples, who had aided his father's last attempt on Majorca.

Joan was then childless, and in need of an heir: she married James on September 26, 1363, at Castelnuovo. Perhaps to avoid the civil strife of Joan's first marriage, he was given the style of Duke of Calabria, not of King. However, the marriage proved unsuccessful. The couple had no children. James was determined to recapture his kingdom, and soon departed to make war on the Kingdom of Aragon. He was defeated and forced to flee to Bordeaux.

There he gained the support of Edward the Black Prince, whom he hoped would restore him to Majorca after restoring Pedro the Cruel in Castile. He joined the invasion of Castile, but was stricken with a long and severe illness in Valladolid. Unable to ride, he could not leave the city and was captured by Henry of Trastamara. Ransomed by Joan, he returned to Naples only briefly before setting off again.

Henry of Trastamara had launched a war against Pedro IV of Aragon, and James hoped to take advantage of this to capture Roussillon and Cerdanya, the mainland portions of the Majorcan kingdom. However, John of Gaunt procured a truce between Castile and Aragon, and the full weight of the Aragonese forces fell upon James. Defeated again, he fled into Castile, where he died of illness or poison at Soria in 1375.

His pretensions to Majorca passed to his sister Isabel of Majorca, wife of John II of Montferrat. He willed his rights to Achaea to Joan, who had ruled the remains of the Principality since 1373 by cession of Philip II of Taranto.

External links

* [http://libro.uca.edu/chaytor/hac12.htm History of Aragon and Catalonia]

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