On this day in 1489 – the Treaty of Medina del Campo was agreed

The Treaty of Medina del Campo was agreed on March 26th 1489. Henry VII needed a strong ally in a wealthy and powerful European country. The English crown was still vulnerable after Henry won the throne in battle against Richard III. Henry VII chose to enter into an alliance with Spain.

The Treaty of Medina del Campo agreed three main points

  1. A common policy between the two countries regarding France
  2. A reduction of tariffs between the two countries
  3. A marriage contract between Henry VII’s son, Arthur and the daughter of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, Katherine.

Arthur Tudor was only three years old at the time of the treaty with Katherine six months older. In accordance with the treaty they would be married when they come of age. Henry VII needed to build a strong Tudor dynasty and ensure the future generations so he needed to marry his heir to a Princess from a powerful nation. Katherine’s dowry was set at 200,000 crowns.

The other points of the treaty were that England and Spain would come to each other’s aide if they declared war against France; the terms of the treaty were more beneficial to Spain as they could call upon England to support any Spanish military campaign.

The full terms of the treaty were never held and it was renegotiated twice in 1492 and 1497. Arthur and Katherine were eventually married in 1502. Katherine bought with her half of her dowry; the rest would remain a sore point between Henry and Ferdinand in the years to come.

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