Peter of Castile Biography
(King of Castile and León (1350-1366))
Birthday: August 30, 1334 (Virgo)
Born In: Burgos, Spain
Peter of Castile, also known as Peter the Cruel and the Just, was the Spanish king of Castile and León from 1350 to 1369. His contemporaries accused him of being an extremely cruel ruler while later historians came to view him as a strong executor of justice and nicknamed him "Peter the Lawful". Born as the son and successor of Alfonso XI of Castile, he came to the throne when he was around 16 years old. The early years of his reign were subjected to stringent control by his mother and her favorite courtiers. Tired of his controlling mother, he sought the help of the minister Alburquerque and eventually freed himself from his mother’s control. However, he buckled under his mother’s pressure to marry Blanche of Bourbon who he deserted immediately after the forced marriage. Several years of his reign were spent in constant wars with Aragon in what came to be known as the "War of the Two Peters". During the war period, Peter gained much notoriety for the series of brutal murders he committed which earned him the name Peter the Cruel. As the king he faced much competition from his own half-brothers, including Henry of Trastámara who ultimately assassinated the king.