Parents: Fernando I, king of Aragón, and Eleanor of Alburquerque
Date of Birth: 1396
Royal House: Trastámara
Spouse: Maria, daughter of Enrique III, king of Castile, and Catherine of Lancaster
Predecessor: Fernando I
Reign: 1416 – 1458
Summary: Very little is written about the early life of Alfonso V of Aragón. He was born at Medina del Campo to Fernando de Antequera (the future Fernando I) and Leonor de Alburquerque. He dynasty was a Castilian line descended through females to the old counts of Barcelona. He became king of Aragón, Majorca, Sicily, and Valencia upon the death of his father in 1416. In 1421, he was adopted as the heir to Juana II, queen of Naples. Alfonso immediately left for the south coast of Italy upon this declaration. He recruited local mercenaries to depose the pretender, Louis III, who was supported by Muzio Attendolo Sforza. Pope Martin V supported the Sforza army so Alfonso switched his allegiance to the Antipope Benedict XIII. Alfonso won the battle but lost favor with Juana after capturing her lover. After another brief war, Aragón was defeated and Louis III was declared Juana's heir.
Alfonso's reign fell into chaos after this. The Mediterranean chose sides in the ensuing war, with Genoa joining with Naples and Milan joining Aragón. The Italian portion of the kingdom of Sicily was taken in 1424 by Genoan soldiers and Alfonso's brother, Pedro, was forced to flee to the island of Sicily. For eight years, Naples remained outside of Alfonso's grasp. Then, in 1432, he had his chance to regain the favor of the queen. He failed, and Naples remained with Juana until her dead three years later. Naples was deeded to René of Anjou, the brother of Louis III, but the new pope opposed the inheritance. Alfonso set out again and was captured by Genoa. While imprisoned, he convinced Genoa to switch sides and the armies marched south again. During the meantime, René had made it to Naples and claimed the throne. Pedro was killed in the battle that followed when Alfonso tried to take the city, and then Aragón began to take over everything outside of Naples. In November 1441, the siege of Naples began and the city finally fell the next spring. He centralized the state and reduced the opposition, then conquered Sardinia as a slight to his temporary allies in Genoa. To ensure his legitimacy in Naples, he petitioned the pope and received license to pass the entirety of the kingdom on to his illegitimate son, Fernando. For the next ten years, Alfonso planned the conquest of Genoa, but the king died before ever marching on the merchant republic. While Alfonso was campaigning, his Hispanic possessions were controlled by Juan, his brother and eventual legitimate successor in Iberia, Sicily, and Sardinia.
Date of Death: 27 June 1458
Successor: Juan II
Other Monarchs Who Died Today: