Christopher Columbus was Mallorcan

I’m in Mallorca and visiting Santueri Castle, in Felanitx.

This is where, allegedly, certain events took place that, according to the theory that Gabriel Verd Martorell puts forth in his book “CRISTÓBAL COLÓN y la revelación del enigma”, (“Christopher Columbus and the resolution of an enigma”), leads one to seriously consider that Christopher Columbus was born in Mallorca, and not Genoa, as most historians believe.



Let’s go back to the same period, more or less, as my previous post about Ludovico Sforza, the Moor of Milan, and Leonardo da Vinci’s fresco of The Last Supper.

Juan II of Aragon, the brother of Alfonso V, the Magnanimus, who he succeeded to the throne of Aragon, and the brother-in-law of Juan II of Castille, because the latter was married to Maria de Aragon, who I also mentioned in the other post, was also the son of Fernando I of Aragon. On July 18, 1420, in Pamplona, he married Doña Blanca of Navarre, which was her second marriage. It was quite an event: if they had children, the Kingdoms of Aragon and Navarre would be united, as Doña Blanca was the eldest daughter of Carlos III of Navarre and Doña Leonor of Castille, who had survived when her two brothers, Carlos and Luis, died during childhood.

From their marriage, less than a year after its celebration, Don Carlos de Trastamara was born, in Peñafiel on May 29, 1421, who later became Carlos IV of Navarre, better known as the Prince of Viana, given that he was the first person to receive the title Don Carlos III created, as the hier to the crown of Navarre. An aside: his godparents were his uncle, King Juan II of Castille and Don Alvaro de Luna, the King’s right-hand man. Both of whom would soon become sworn enemies of Carlos de Trastamara’s father.

When the Prince of Viana reached the age of 20, his mother, the Queen of Navarre, died and his father, rather than name him King of Navarre, as his wife had bequeathed in her will, did not let him take the throne, so leading to a struggle better father and son which would last as long as Carlos lived. First, father fought son, then, he obliged him to fight his stepmother, Doña Juana Enriquez, who wanted to secure the crown of Navarre for her children, even though they had no rights, and, finally, forcing him to flee to Naples and the protection of his uncle, Alfonso V, who still reigned as King of Aragon and Naples.

When Alfonso V died, Don Carlos attempted a rapprochement with his father to seek his backing, once his father had taken possession of the Aragonese crown, to reign in Navarre, which was his right. He even asked for his support for his pan to marry Isabel of Castille, the sister of King Enrique IV, who would eventually become Isabel, the Catholic Queen, something Enrique VI was also planning to avoid having to marry Doña Catalina of Portugla, but his father, Juan II of Aragon, had already decided that Isabel would marry another of his sons: Fernando.

But, rather than help his son, Juan II tricked him and took him to Mallorca, one of Carlos’ kingdoms by right, and held him captive in the very same Santueri Castle which I visited, under the premises of giving him possession of the castles which belonged to him, by rights, as King of Mallorca. This all took place between August 28, 1459 and March 28, 1460, when he left for Barcelona, where he was welcomed as the King he rightly was, but from where he left to become a prisoner again. A prisoner, nevertheless, who traveled from castle to castle, while his father tried to get him to relinquish his rights, until, on September 23, 1461, a little over a year after leaving Mallorca, he died at the age of 40.

While Don Carlos was suffering all these misfortunes in his struggle to secure the thrones that were rightly his, he did, however, have some incredibly good luck, at least in love, with many of the ladies he wooed during his short, but eventful, life. While he may not have had children from his marriage with Doña Ines of Cleves, who died and left him a widow shortly after marrying him, he did have issue with three other women: Doña Maria of Armendariz, who gave birth to Doña Ana of Navarre and Aragon and ended up marrying Don Luis de la Cerda, the 5th Count and 1st Duke of Medinaceli: with Doña Brianda Vaca, who gave birth to Felipe, the Count of Beaufort; and with Margarida Capa, who gave birth to Don Juan Alfonso of Navarre and Aragon, who went on to become the Bishop of Huesca.

As a result, he was rather prolific in love and rich in heirs, all of whom he recognized. But they weren’t the only relationships Carlos had. A number of others are known, such as Doña Catalina of Portugal, who entered the Convent of Santa Cruz in Coimbra, when the Prince died.

The theory put forward by Gabriel Verd in his book, citing another book by Manuel Iribarren, “El Príncipe de Viana, un destino frustrado,” (“The Prince of Viana, a frustrated destiny”) is that he also had an affair with another woman, Margarita, when he was held prisoner in Santueri Castle. And, to prove it, he found a document written by the Prince to the Governor of Mallorca, on October 28, 1459, in which he writes:

“We are very grateful for what you did for Margarita, the truth will reveal what you have done for her during her pregnancy.”

Which means that if Carlos arrived in Mallorca in August and Margarita knew she was pregnant by October, the child would probably have been born in June 1460 and would be little more than a year old when his father died.

“This Margarita was the daughter of Juan Colom, the father of some Mallorcan refugees in the service of Don Renato of Anjou, who lived in the town of Felanitx at the time, on a property known as Sa Alqueria Roja, and now called Son Ramonet, located some two kilometers from the town and close to Santueri Castle.” Gabriel Verd, “Cristóbal Colón y la revelación del enigma”, page 62.

From there, Verd begins to develop his theory that both unravels and explains the life of Christopher Columbus from this point of view. Why not take a look at the book and come to your own conclusions?

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