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Enrique IV de Castilla Y Leon
(1425 - 1474) Spain

Enrique IV



Son of Juan II, Enrique's homosexuality seems to have been common knowledge at the time, although it is difficult to know how much was true and how much was just part of a campaign to tarnish his image in politically uncertain times. Enrique's sexual habits are often linked to the habits of Arabs, who still held a few areas in southern Spain: in this way, the politically inconvenient king was related through accusations of sodomy to the loathed enemies, and homosexuality was used as a mark of otherness.

King Ferdinad of Aragon is reported to have mentioned Enrique's "frivoluosness and perversion" when told of his death. In life Enrique was attacked as having sex in the bushes and ignoring pressing matters of state. His "favourite" Don Juan Pacheco was one of the instruments used for attack. He was said to be an upstart who had sex with the king only to acquire social position, and when he was made Marquis of Villena animosity grew.

Enrique IV married twice. The first marriage was annulled when declared unconsummated. He then maried Juana de Portugal, whi did have a daughter. Court records suggest that mechanical devices were used to help the king fulfil his marital duties...


Source: excerpts from: Aldrich R. & Wotherspoon G., Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History, from Antiquity to WWII, Routledge, London, 2001


Enrique IVThe homosexual tastes of king Juan's son Enrique IV have been dealt with more openly. His reign was much more chaotic, and he seems to have suffered from a disease which affected his personality. Enrique did not have a governor with the talent of Alvaro de Luna and was unable to meet the challenges from the aristocracy.

His marriage with his first wife Blanca was unconsummated and annulled; Enrique's impotence was explained as enchantment. After remarriage, a major successorial and political issue arose concerning the legitimacy of his daughter Juana, widely believed to be the daughter of the court favorite Beltrán de la Cueva.

Enrique was dethroned in effigy as "puto," and during the latter part of his reign was almost without authority. A kind, cultured, but sick and weak man, like his father he enjoyed hunting expeditions, which apparently served as cover for homosexual activity. Juan II and Enrique IV stayed on comparatively good terms with both their Jewish subjects and the Islamic kingdom of Granada. Enrique in particular had a Moorish guard - the last Spanish ruler to do so until Franco - and gave other evidence of sympathy toward Spain's non-Christian cultures.


Source: Daniel Eisenberg in Juan II, an article from the Encyclopedia of Homosexuality - at http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/deisenbe/encyclopedia/Juan_II_and_Enrique_IV.pdf

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