Philip I of Castile

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Philip I[1] (22 July 1478 – 25 September 1506), known as Philip the Handsome or the Fair, was the first Habsburg King of Castile. The son of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, Philip inherited the greater part of the Duchy of Burgundy and the Burgundian Netherlands (as Philip IV) from his mother, Mary of Burgundy, and briefly succeeded to the Crown of Castile as the husband of Queen Joanna of Castile, who was also heiress to the Crown of Aragon. He was the first Habsburg monarch in Spain. He never inherited his father's territories, nor became Holy Roman Emperor, because he predeceased his father, but his son Emperor Charles V eventually united the Habsburg, Burgundian, Castilian, and Aragonese inheritances.

Having, as a young prince, met Philip the Handsome at the court of Henry VII, the future King Henry VIII of England regarded him as providing a model of leadership towards which he aspired.



Early life

Philip was born in Bruges, in the County of Flanders (today in Belgium) and was named after his great-grandfather, Philip the Good. In 1482, upon the death of his mother Mary of Burgundy, he succeeded to her Burgundian possessions under the guardianship of his father. A period of turmoil ensued which witnessed sporadic hostilities between, principally, the large towns of Flanders (especially Ghent and Bruges) and the supporters of Maximilian.

During this interregnum, Philip became caught up in events and was even briefly sequestered in Bruges as part of the larger Flemish campaign to support their claims of greater autonomy, which they had wrested from Mary of Burgundy in an agreement known as the Blijde Inkomst or Joyous Entry of 1477. By the early 1490s, the turmoil of the interregnum gave way to an uneasy stand-off, with neither French support for the cities of the Franc (Flanders), nor Imperial support from Maximilian's father Frederick III proving decisive. Both sides came to terms in the Peace of Senlis in 1493, which smoothed over the internal power struggle by agreeing to make the 15-year old Philip prince in the following year.

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