Royal Finances in the Reign of María of Castile, Queen-Lieutenant of the Crown of Aragon, 1432–53

Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


Medieval royal finances reflected the complex amalgam of the commingling of institutional, personal, legal, and spiritual so neatly captured in Ernst Kantorowicz’s famous formulation of the king’s two bodies.1 But there is more than one twinned body in a monarchy, and it belongs to the queen. This is, of course, self-evident, yet until recently the queen was rarely, if ever, included in scholarly considerations of the royal fisc.2 Scholarly interest in queens has surged since the 1970s and two studies, both concerned with England, led the way for the study of queens and money—Margaret Howell’s work on the Queen’s Gold in the reign of Eleanor of Provence and John Carmi Parsons’s analysis of the fiscal accounts of Eleanor of Castile.3 This chapter is not, however, a quantitative study of a queen’s household accounts, personal wealth, and income and expenditures. I am interested in the power relations between the queen and king and how getting and spending of money is both the driving force in this relationship and a precise indicator of other, more subtle, forms of power and influence mediated by gender and the wider political culture. As Helen Gaudette, Ana Maria Rodrigues, and Manuela Santos Silva point out in their studies of queens and royal finances in this volume, queens may be loftier than other women and most men, but they are subordinate to a king.


Fourteenth Century Military Expenditure Cash Payment Personal Wealth Personal Finance 
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    These suits (pro luïcione) were especially numerous in the Ampurda, in the locales of Verges, La Tallada, Bellcaire, Albons, Monells, Ullastret, La Pera, Palau Sator, Sant Pere Pescador, Les Olives, and Pelacals. The documents are numerous and contained in several registers. Among the most important are ACA:C Secretorum 2699, 155r–157v, 25 January 1449; Curiae 2656, 165r–v, 26 February 1449; Curiae 2655, 54r–55v, 1 March 1449. See also María’s orders to her royal officials: ACA:C Curiae 3203, 11v–12v, 14 October 1448); 18v, 26 October 1448; 30r, 23 December 1448; and 60r, 5 April 1449. Santiago Sobrequés i Vidal, “Política remensa de Alfonso el Magnánimo en los últimos años de su reinado (1447–1458),” Anales del instituo de estudios gerundenses (1960): 117–54; esp. p. 122; Santiago Sobrequés i Vidal and Jaume Sobrequés i Callicó, La guerra civil catalana del segle XV, 2 vols. (Barcelona: Edicions 62, 1973), vol. 1, pp. 15–16.Google Scholar
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© Theresa Earenfight 2010

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