1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Charles (Prince of Viana)

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CHARLES (1421–1461), prince of Viana, sometimes called Charles IV. king of Navarre, was the son of John, afterwards John II., king of Aragon, by his marriage with Blanche, daughter and heiress of Charles III., king of Navarre. Both his grandfather Charles and his mother, who ruled over Navarre from 1425 to 1441, had bequeathed this kingdom to Charles, whose right had also been recognized by the Cortes; but when Blanche died in 1441 her husband John seized the government to the exclusion of his son. The ill-feeling between father and son was increased when in 1447 John took for his second wife Joanna Henriquez, a Castilian princess, who soon bore him a son, afterwards Ferdinand I. king of Spain, and who regarded her stepson as an interloper. When Joanna began to interfere in the internal affairs of Navarre civil war broke out; and in 1452 Charles, although aided by John II., king of Castile, was defeated and taken prisoner. Released upon promising not to take the kingly title until after his father’s death, the prince, again unsuccessful in an appeal to arms, took refuge in Italy with Alphonso V., king of Aragon, Naples and Sicily. In 1458 Alphonso died and John became king of Aragon, while Charles was offered the crowns of Naples and Sicily. He declined these proposals, and having been reconciled with his father returned to Navarre in 1459. Aspiring to marry a Castilian princess, he was then thrown into prison by his father, and the Catalans rose in his favour. This insurrection soon became general and John was obliged to yield. He released his son, and recognized him as perpetual governor of Catalonia, and heir to the kingdom. Soon afterwards, however, on the 23rd of September 1461, the prince died at Barcelona, not without a suspicion that he had been poisoned by his stepmother. Charles was a cultured and amiable prince, fond of music and literature. He translated the Ethics of Aristotle into Spanish, a work first published at Saragossa in 1509, and wrote a chronicle of the kings of Navarre, Crónica de los reyes de Navarra, an edition which, edited by J. Yangues y Miranda, was published at Pampeluna in 1843.

See J. de Moret and F. de Aleson, Anales del reyno de Navarra, tome iv. (Pampeluna, 1866); M. J. Quintana, Vidas de españoles célebres (Paris, 1827); and G. Desdevises du Dézert, Carlos d’Aragon (Paris, 1889).