The Battle of Alcazar: An Account of the Defeat of Don Sebastian of Portugal at El-Ksar El-Kebir

By E. W. Bovill | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 2
Don Sebastian

F ORTUNE FROWNED UPON Sebastian, even before he had entered the world. His father, the son of John III, had died a few days before his birth and his widowed mother, Joanna, a daughter of Charles V, had deserted her child for her own country soon afterwards. She had refused the regency, on the grounds of her youth, in favour of the old queen-dowager, Catherine, her child's grandmother and her own aunt, the queen of John III and sister of the Emperor Charles V. As a queen Catherine had shown great qualities with which she had loyally served the country of her adoption. That she never won the confidence of the Portuguese and was therefore to fail as a regent was not her fault. The Portuguese hated everything Spanish. Catherine was unfortunately Spanish in birth, speech, bearing and appearance and was therefore disliked and mistrusted.

The likelihood of the infant king never reaching manhood in those days of high infant mortality was considerable. Except for him and his great uncle, Cardinal Henry, who being bound by a vow of celibacy did not count, there was no one to stand in the way of the crown passing to Philip II of Spain -- and of the hated Spaniards realising the ambitions they had cherished for centuries and which the Portuguese had no less fervently hoped would never be realised. The possibility of this dreaded union greatly aggravated the anti-Spanish feeling of which Catherine was the chief victim.

The difficulty of her position was increased by the jealousy of Cardinal Henry who, as heir presumptive, thought he had a better claim to the regency. Relying upon the anti-Spanish feeling of the populace, and persuading perhaps himself as well as others that she was plotting the very union they all feared, Henry finally

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The Battle of Alcazar: An Account of the Defeat of Don Sebastian of Portugal at El-Ksar El-Kebir
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vi
  • Preface vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Chapter I - The Fear of the Moor 1
  • Chapter 2 - Don Sebastian 7
  • Chapter 3 - Mulai Mohammed 19
  • Chapter 4 - The Kingdom of Fez 25
  • Chapter 5 - Mulai Abd El-Malek 36
  • Chapter 6 - Queen Elizabeth's Secret 43
  • Chapter 7 - The Meetinq at Guadalupe 53
  • Chapter 8 - Ways and Means 62
  • Chapter 9 - Lisbon 74
  • Chapter 10 - Africa Invaded 89
  • Chapter 11 - The Road to El-Ksar 100
  • Chapter 12 - On the Plain of El-Ksar 114
  • Chapter 13 - The Battle 127
  • Chapter 14 - Philip I of Portugal 141
  • Chapter 15 - Mulai Ahmed El-Mansur 158
  • Chapter 16 - The Moors Re-Arm 169
  • Chapter 17 - El-Mansur and Elizabeth 175
  • Note on the Contemporary Accounts of The Battle of Alcazar 187
  • Bibliography 189
  • Index 192
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