2 Maravedi Spain Billon

Issue year(s):

1454-1474, Spain, Henry IV of Castile. Billon 2 Maravedis (Blanca) Coin

References: FAB-821.

Mint Place: Toledo (T)

Mint Period: 1454-1474

Denomination: Blanca de 2 Maravedis

Material: Billon (low grade silver alloy)

Diameter: 24mm

Weight: 2.01gm

Obverse: Crowned rampart lion (arms of León) left within round border. Legend around.

Legend: + ENRICUS * QVARTUS * DEI * G :

Reverse: Castle with three towers (arms of Castile) within double round border. Mint letter (T) in exergue. Legend around.



The Crown of Castile was a medieval polity in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and, some decades later, the parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then Castilian king, Ferdinand III, to the vacant Leonese throne. It continued to exist as a separate entity after the personal union in 1469 of the crowns of Castile and Aragon with the marriage of the Catholic Monarchs up to the promulgation of the Nueva Planta decrees by Philip V in 1715.

Henry IV of Castile (Castilian: Enrique IV; 5 January 1425 – 11 December 1474), nicknamed the Impotent, was King of Castile and León and the last of the weak late-medieval kings of Castile and León. During Henry’s reign, the nobles became more powerful and the nation became less centralised.

Henry IV’s father died on 20 July 1454 and he was proclaimed king the following day.

One of King Henry’s first priorities was the alliance with Portugal. He achieved this by marrying a second time to Joan of Portugal, daughter of King Edward of Portugal, in 1455; and by meeting her brother King Afonso V of Portugal in Elvas in 1456. His other main concerns were the possibility of intervention from King John II of Navarre, establishing peace with France and Aragon, and pardoning various aristocrats. : 73  Henry IV convened the Cuéllar Courts to launch an offensive against the Emirate of Granada. : 73  The campaigns of 1455 and 1458 developed into a war of attrition based on punitive raids and avoiding pitched battles. It was not popular with the aristocracy or the people. Juan Pacheco, the Marquis of Villena, and his brother Pedro Girón were put in charge of government decisions. King Henry also took other advisors, such as Beltrán de la Cueva, Miguel Lucas de Iranzo, and Gómez de Cáceres to balance against their influence.

In 1458, King Alfonso V of Aragon died and was succeeded by his brother, John II of Navarre. King John II resumed his interference in Castillian politics, supporting the aristocratic opposition to Juan Pacheco’s ambitions. With the support of the King Henry, Pacheco moved to seize Álvaro de Luna’s assets, but his widow allied herself with the Mendoza family, causing a division among the aristocracy. This process resulted in the formation of a League of Nobles in March 1460. They raised a large number of noblemen, took control of expenditure, and gained the acceptance of Alfonso of Castile, the King Henry’s half-brother and Prince of Asturias.

To counteract King John II’s politicking, Henry IV reacted by invading Navarre in support of Charles, Prince of Viana. Charles was the heir to Navarre, and he revolted against his father John II in 1450 when he refused to cede the throne of Navarre. The campaign was a military success, but King Henry made peace with the League of Nobles in August 1461 to ward off the power of the Mendozas, which had allowed John II to intervene in Castile.

King John II was in conflict with the Principality of Catalonia, and on the death of his eldest son, Charles of Viana, the principality elected Henry IV to be Count of Barcelona on 11 August 1462. King Henry’s intervention was framed as a rivalry between him and John II, making Catalonia an unstable point in the Crown of Aragon. But he was unsuccessful, and the Castillian economy would suffer from an enmity with France, who had supported John II with the Treaty of Bayonne. Henry IV therefore agreed to a settlement in the Judgment of Bayonne, resulting in the abandonment of the Catalans. : 183 

During his reign as king, Henry IV spent a lot of time at the Royal Alcázar of Madrid where he would stay there for long periods of time. The Royal Alcazar was later replaced with the Royal Palace of Madrid by the rulers of Spain.


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Posted by: anonymous  2024-02-24
1454-1474, Spain, Henry IV of Castile. Billon 2 Maravedis (Blanca) Coin. Toledo! References: FAB-821. Mint Place: Toledo (T) Mint Period: 1454-1474 Denomination: Blanca de 2 Maravedis Condition: Minor deposits, otherwise about XF! Material: Billon (low grade silver alloy) Dia ...

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