TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE PRINCE OF VIANE IN SICILY AND MAJORCA (1458-1460)
JUAN ALFONSO OF ARAGON AND NAVARRE
THE PRINCE OF VIANE IN SICILY
THE PRINCE OF VIANE IN MAJORCA
THE PRINCE OF VIANE AND GEORGES DESDEVISES DU DEZERT
GUIOMAR DE SAYAS, THE PRINCE OF VIANE’S MAJORCAN MISTRESS
AILMENTS AND AGE OF THE DISCOVERER OF AMERICA
THE ADMIRAL’S AGE
BY WAY OF CONCLUSION
NOTES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY
TABLE OF ILLUSTRATIONS
Numerous biographies have been written about Charles d’Evreux y Trastámara, Prince of Viane, born in Peñafiel on May 29 1421, son of Blanche I, Queen of Navarre (1425-1441) and Prince John of Trastámara y Albuquerque (Medina del Campo, 1398) – King John II of Catalonia and Aragon up to his death in Barcelona in 1479 – and hence half brother of Ferdinand II the Catholic (1452-1516), and my intention here is not to present yet another such biography but to write about his visits to the Mediterranean islands of Sicily and Majorca. We will meet his wife, his mistresses and his illegitimate offspring and will place in doubt, on the basis of recent scrupulous research, the illusory theory that Christopher Columbus was in actual fact the son of the Prince of Viane and a woman by the name of Margaret Colom of Felanitx (Majorca). Let us examine the facts step by step.
The Prince of Viane was married in Olite (Navarre) on September 30 1439, taking as his wife the Flemish Princess Agnes of Cleves, the daughter of the duke of Cleves and niece of the Duke of Burgundy, Philip the Good. Princess Agnes died, childless, on April 6 1448, eight years after her marriage to Prince John.
The unfortunate prince, rejected by his father and hated by this stepmother Juana Enríquez, was an extremely cultured and urbane person as well as being something of a ladies’ man. Although he never remarried, he took several mistresses, all of which were well known and extensivelyl documented. The first of these was Maria of Armendáriz, a lady-in-waiting at the court of her younger sister Eleonor of Foix, who gave him a daughter, Ann of Navarre, later married to Louis de la Cerda, Count of Medinaceli.
Another of his mistresses was Brianda de Vega – not Vaca, as her name appears in the research carried out by Nuria Coll Fluvià in the Barcelona Historical Archives – who, in 1456, gave birth to a son by the name of Philip of Navarre, Count of Beaufort, Archbishop elect of Palermo, although he renounced the nomination to the post before ever taking it up, to become the Master of the Montesa order. Philip died in the war in Granada fighting alongside his uncle Ferdinand the Catholic.
History tells us that while he was in Sicily Charles fell in love with a beautiful maiden of humble birth by the name of ‘la Cappa’, although her first name is unknown. She gave birth to Juan Alfonso of Aragon and Navarre who became the Abbott of San Juan de la Peña and later the Bishop of Huesca.
The Prince of Viane died on September 23 1461 in the royal palace of Barcelona at the age of 40 years, three months and 26 days. In his will, which was officially ratified prior to his death, he recognised his three natural children: ‘Philipo Comiti de Beufort et aliam donno Joanni Afonso in Sicilia genitor reliquam vero tertiam parte donne Anne inclitis natis nostris naturalibus’ - ‘To Felipe, Comte de Beaufort and another (part) to Don Alfonso born in Sicily, (and) the thirdremaining part to Donna Anne, our illustrious natural children’. These provisions have been recorded in ‘Documentos relativos al Príncipe de Viana’ (Volume XII, Barcelona, 1864, published by Manuel de Bofarull y de Sartorio, Archivist of the Crown of Aragon). And no other natural children of the Prince of Viane have been historically documented, despite the media campaign organised and orchestrated from Majorca in recent times – in fact the confusion was first generated in Felanitx in 1968 – particularly after it had been announced far and wide that the Discovery Channel was preparing a documentary on the origins of Christopher Columbus. This programme would also give the results of the genetic and anthropological studies carried out on the remains of Christopher Columbus and his son preserved in the cathedral of Seville by José A. Lorente and Miguel C. Botella, scientists from the University of Granada. The documentary was broadcast in Spain on October 12 2004.
JUAN ALFONSO OF ARAGON AND NAVARRE
It is strange that we do not know with any certainty the exact date of birth of the Sicilian son of the Prince of Viane, but we will attempt to narrow it down as much as we can, basing our data on irrefutable facts. According to Ricardo del Arco Garay(1), Juan Alfonso was 18 years old in 1477, according to the papal bull of Sixtus IV, published on May 21 of that same year, confirming his appointment to the position of Abbott of San Juan de la Peña. He would therefore have been born in 1459 in Palermo, a year after his father’s arrival in Sicily from Naples, concludes del Arco. So, since Charles of Viane arrived in Sicily on June 15 1458, we can estimate that he would have been born in July 1459.
For his part, Antonio Duran Gudiol(2) writes that as Juan Alfonso was orphaned of his father from the age of two, he must have spent his childhood and adolescence by the side of his mother in the city of Palermo, and considering that the Prince of Viane died on September 23 1461, we can estimate that he would have been born in September 1459. We continue with the words of Duran Gudiol who tell us that: ‘On October 24 1482, Sixtus IV appointed him administrator of the Sicilian bishopric of Patti, although he would only take over as bishop when he was old enough to do so legally under ecclesiastical rules. In this same pontifical document the Pope authorised him from there on to take orders from any bishop on matters relating to the subdiaconate, diaconite and presbyterate on Sundays or religious holidays. He was 23 years of age. And as a matter of interest, we would like to point out that Innocence VIII promoted him to the bishopric of Huesca-Jaca on Ocbober 1 1484. The papal curia published six bulls on this subject, three of which still exist today, addressed to Juan Alfonso of Aragon, ‘clericoPanormitano’; that is, Rome confirms that he was from Palermo, panormitano being an old name for an inhabitant of Palermo.
We can therefore come to the provisional conclusion, for lack of other documentary evidence so far in existence, that Juan Alfonso of Aragon, the Sicilian son of Charles of Viane and ‘la Cappa’ was born between July and September 1459.
THE PRINCE OF VIANE IN SICILY
Jerónimo Zurita(3) offers us a detailed account of the Prince of Viane’s visit to the island of Sicily between 15 July 1458 and his departure to Sardinia which took place towards the end of July of 1549. On his arrival in Palermo he was given a warm welcome by the Viceroy Don Lope Jiménez de Urrea, took up residence in Castrogiovanni, a fortress situated in the middle of the island, from where he travelled to Chaca, Cata Girón, Lentini, Paterno and Messina, where he arrived at the beginning of November. On the 15th of this same month he received word from the ambassadors he had dispatched to the Kingdoms of Aragon, Valencia and the Principality of Catalonia in an attempt to become reconciled with his father King John II.
Zurita tells us that Don Charles remained in Messina from the beginning of December until the summer of 1459, enjoying the hospitality of a Benedictine convent. However, the King was extremely annoyed at the favourable treatment and financial assistance afforded to his first-born son and ‘decided to dispatch to Sicily Juan de Moncayo, the governor general of Aragon, an important figure in the court and a gentleman of great experience, charged with the task of bringing the Prince to the island of Majorca together with Don Lope Jiménez de Urrea, the Lieutenant General of the Realm in Sicily, while the new governor (Juan de Montoya) was to take over his position’.
So in April Charles left Messina for Palermo where he remained until July 11 1459, ‘waiting for the Viceroy to put the affairs of that kingdom in order’. We continue with Zurita: ‘And having mustered his fleet on the beaches at Solento and Palermo, he went aboard his flagship and sailed from Sicily towards the end of July, arriving at the port of Càller (Cagliari, Sardinia) on August 3 and taking up residence in the castle’.We learn from Zurita that the Prince then sailed from Sardinia in defiance of his father the King’s orders to the coasts of Catalonia, sailing into Salou (Tarragona) with seven galleys during the night of August 15. While his fleet rested at anchor in the port of Salou, he sent Don Lope Jiménez de Urrea to his father the King on August 17 1459. Zurita tells us that the king was somewhere on the borders of Castile and Aragon, so they waited for him in Zaragoza. The following day, August 18, Charles set sail for Majorca, reaching Palma on August 20 1459.
THE PRINCE OF VIANE IN MAJORCA
The first news we have of his visit to Majorca again comes from Zurita, who says: ‘The welcome afforded to Prince Charles was not as warm as the people thought it should have been, and he was of the same opinion since, although he should have been offered lodging in the Castle in the city as well as that of Bellver, he was not given the Castle at Bellver and only rather grudgingly allowed to take up residence in the Royal Palace in the city of Majorca, and he felt he was always under the shadow of his father the King’s disfavour and his step-mother’s intense dislike’. I would now like to call special attention to the fact that Prince Charles took up residence in the RoyalPalace in Palma and not in the castle of Santueri in the Majorcan town of Felanitx. We know this not only from Zurita but also from José María Quadrado and Pablo Piferrer: ‘More a prisoner than a guest, watched by those who only appeared to serve him, with the castles wrested from his control, poor Charles spent seven months in the palace ofa dynasty whose throne hadbeen usurped …’ . Moreover Quadrado and Piferrer add that ‘among the reforms carried out in thepalace for his reception we can point out the oilcloth hung at the library window and a newwooden writing desk, and on it four boards resting against the wall for the Prince to keep hisbooks’. That is, Prince Charles took up residence in the Almudaina, in Palma.
There is a letter from the Prince to his father seeking reconciliation, written in Majorca and dated November 22 1459. Zurita tells us that ‘the Viceroy of Sicily (Lope Jiménez de Urrea) and Bernardo de Requesens went to Majorca’ and that on December 29, at the start of the year of Our Lord 1460, the Prince had sent Don Lope Jiménez de Urrea from Majorca with the authority to agree on terms ofsettlement with his father. That is to say, Lope Jiménez de Urrea who had been Viceroy of Sicily from 1443 to 1459, and who would later occupy the same position from 1465 to 1475, apparently travelled from the mainland to Majorca to receive instructions and to plan the strategies to be employed in the conversations held with John II as to the Prince’s future. And meanwhile, Juan de Moncayo naturally took up office as governor of Sicily. Finally, we should point out that the Prince ‘set sail from Majorca in his galleys, reached shore in Barcelona on March 22 1460 and then took up residence in the Monastery of Valdonzellas’. So ended Prince Charles’s exile in Majorca, where he was virtually held prisoner for seven months.
THE PRINCE OF VIANE AND GEORGES DESDEVISES DU DEZERT
We must return to the nineteenth century to understand the confusion, or rather the muddle, surrounding a certain Margaret, surname unknown, who appears in one of Prince Charles’s letters from Majorca dated October 19 1459 and which, according to the French historian Desdevises du Dezert was addressed to the Governor of Majorca(4). Prince Charles writes to the Governor of Sicily: ‘We are most grateful to you for all you have done to help Margarita, which truly shows her worry at being pregnant …’. And he goes on to say: ‘Let the said Margaret beentrusted to your care’.
It has been claimed time and time again that Margarita was Charles of Viane’s Majorcan mistress and in fact Christopher Columbus’s mother. But we shall see in a few seconds the unforgivable copy error made by the illustrious French historian.
G. Desdevises writes on page 227 that ‘pour occuper les loisirs (leisure) de sa demi-captivité,le prince semble avoir pris une nouvelle maîtresse, nommée Marguerite …’. Footnote 7 reads : Lettre du Prince de Vianne au Gouverneur de Majorque (28 oct. 1459), la verdad de la cosamostrara lo que haveys sentido de ella ser prenyada. Arch. D’Aragó, t. V. fº 24. Here, in the date in brackets, we have found a further error of George Desdevises, in that the original document does not say October 28 1459, but XVIIII (19) October 1459, according to the latest document transcription carried out by the Ibizan historian Toni Ferrer Abárzuza, the palaeographer and historian from Alicante, David Garrido and by Fanny Tur, the director if the Ibiza Historical Archives.
The greatest snag in the theory of a ‘Majorcan Columbus’, as son of the Prince of Viane and an impossible Margarita Colom stems from the fact that the letter to which we have referred above was not written to the Governor of Majorca but to the governor of Sicily. Indeed, the transcriptions that have recently been made indicate that the letter was addressed to the Governor of Sicily, resident in Palermo, by the name of Juan de Moncayo, a man of confidence of King John II who had been entrusted with the task of persuading Prince Charles to travel to Majorca. So on November 15 2004, Jaume Riera i Sans, an historian working in the Crown of Aragon Archives (Barcelona) wrote to me as follows: ‘Desdevises took it that the Governor to whom the letter wasaddressed was the governor of Majorca. If one reads the document with care, it becomes perfectlyclear that it is not the Governor of Majorca, but that of Sicily, which is where the Prince had come from when he arrived in Majorca, from where the letter was written’. Therefore, we can understand that on September 21 1459, the Governor had written a letter from Palermo addressed to Prince Charles, who by then had taken up residence in Majorca, to inform him that he had left Margarita with child in Palermo. The document is marked Reial Cancelleria, Varia 394, fol.24v. Apart from this, this would in any case be the logical conclusion, since Juan de Moncayo was always referred to as Governor and not Viceroy, the title which corresponded to Lope Jiménez de Urrea.
It also turns out that Charles of Viane wrote another letter to Sicily, in Italian and addressed to his own man of confidence in Palermo, Troyano Abatte la Viesca, a person previously mentioned in the October 19th letter. The letter to Abatte was translated on May 29 2005 by the distinguished Prof. Luciano Formisano of the University of Bologna, and reads: ‘…it is our wish that MargaritaPanormitana, niece of fray Luichi de Luchesi, receive a gonella (a long, wide overskirt) and a doublet (a blouse or bodice covering the body from the shoulders to the waist) made of Florentine cloth’. Julio Casares tells us in his Diccionario ideológico de la lenguaespañola that such clothes were a gift made by kings to their maidservants on becoming pregnant. We know, therefore, that Margarita was from Panormita, an old name for the city of Palermo, and a niece of fray Luichi Luchesi, a member of a noble Sicilian family, which proves beyond any doubt that the claim made of the Prince of Viane having another natural child with a Majorcan girl was completely false.
Prof. Formisano explains that he has translated nepota as niece ‘since one must assume that a friar would not have had any children or children of children, although in this case it could have been the granddaughter of one of his brothers or sisters’. He also explains that ‘in the south of Italynepote is ambiguous’. For his part, the Catalan philologist, Joan Corominas says in his great etymological dictionary that ‘nebot (nephew) is the son of a brother of a sister; while the feminine form neboda (niece) would come from the Vulgar Latin word nepota’. And we should also remember that the letter in question was written in Majorca, where we would find the Catalan camia (camisa – shirt), so that in my opinion the letter is written in a mixture of Italian dialects, also influenced by Catalan. So, I am of the same opinion as Prof. Luciano Formisano, that in this instance the translation of nepota for niece would appear to be the most correct.
Consequently, we must accept that the margarita panormitana, Margarita Luchesi, whom I have tracked down in the Archives of the Kingdom of Aragon and Navarre was another of Prince Charles’s Sicilian mistresses. We must therefore reach the only too logical conclusion that ‘la Cappa’, the mother of Juan Alfonso of Aragon and Navarre, bishop of Huesca, and Margarita Luchesi of Palermo were two totally different women. And proof of this lies in the fact that Prince Charles wrote the famous letter, source of all the confusion over the ‘alleged Majorcan Columbus’, to the Governor Juan de Moncayo from Palma de Majorca on October 19 1459. And he did so in reply to ‘… vuestra letra hecha en Palermo a XXI de setembre…’. Therefore on September 21 1459, this margarita panormitana was pregnant and should in no way be confused with ‘la Cappa’ let alone with a certain imaginary Margalida Colom who was never documented in any of the other letters of the Prince of Viane that I have recently come across in the Crown of Aragon Archives and I am indebted to Ms. Josefina Cubells, one time director of the Arxiu Històric de Tarragona, for their transcription. Something for which we have found no documentary proof, awaiting further research, is if Margarita Luchesi could have given birth to a second child fathered by Prince Charles, although this would not seem to be very probable since such a child would have been born in time to be recognised in the will drawn up in Barcelona and in which, as we have already seen, our prince only recognised three natural children.
GUIOMAR DE SAYAS, THE PRINCE OF VIANE’S MAJORCAN MISTRESS
Georges Desdevises points to Guiomar de Sayas, a lady-in-waiting in the Royal Palace ofMajorca, as a likely mistress for Prince Charles. Indeed, based on a document preserved in the Aragon Archives (pr. De V., t.V, fº 58), the French author tells us that Guiomar de Sayas was young, extrovert and sweet as well as an accomplished dancer and singer. Desdevises suspects, and in this case was most probably right, that Guiomar de Sayas was the Prince of Viane´s romantic distraction during his stay in Palma.
AILMENTS AND AGE OF THE DISCOVERER OF AMERICA. THE DNA OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS AND HIS SON PRESERVED IN SEVILLE CATHEDRAL
THE LATEST SCIENTIFIC REPORTS ON THE REMAINS OF THE EXPLORER FOUND IN THE ‘FARO DE COLÓN’ IN SANTO DOMINGO
REPORT GIVEN BY THE MEMBERS OF THE SPANISH RESEARCH TEAM: PROFESSORS JOSÉ A. LORENTE AND MIGUEL C. BOTELLA, HEAD OF THE SCHOOL OF FORENSIC MEDICINE AND THE ANTHROPOLOGY LABORATORY OF GRANADAUNIVERSITY RESPECTIVELY
A decree of King Ferdinand, registered in the Simancas Archives dated February 23 1505, authorised Christopher Columbus to ride throughout the realm on mule-back. The King says ‘Por cuanto soy informado que vos el Almirante don Cristóbal Colón estáis indispuesto de vuestra persons a causa de ciertas enfermedades que habéis tenido e tenéis, e que no podéis andar a caballo sin mucho daño de vuestra salud: por ende, acatando lo susodicho e vuestra ancianidad, por lo presente vos doy licencia para que podáis andar en mula ensillada e enfrenada por cualquier partes de estos reinos e señoríos que vos quisiéredes y por bien toviéredes (…) Fecha en la ciudad de Toro a veinte y tres de febrero de mil quinientos y cinco’. (As I have been informed that you, Admiral Christopher Columbus, are in ill health as a result of certain ailments you have suffered or still suffer, and are unable to go on horseback without further endangering your health: taking into consideration the aforesaid circumstances and your old age, with the present document, I therefore give you leave to travel on a saddled and bridled mule throughout the realm and itsdomains, anywhere that you wish (…) Signed and sealed in the city of Toro on February 231505.
Reports published by Monica Smith of the Maryland Medical Center and research carried out by Isabel Espiño (www.elmundo.es/elmundosalud/2005/05/17/dolor/1116352196.htlm) have revealed that Columbus suffered from severe arthritis that had left him a cripple, as well as suffering from bouts of severe fever and bleeding eyes. After several years of intense pain and strange symptoms, Columbus died of reactive arthritis.
This is the theory presented by Frank Arnett, M.D., a renowned rheumatologist and Professor in the departments of Internal Medicine, Pathology and the medical laboratory and holder of the Elizabeth Bidgood Chair in Rheumatology at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. The lecture was given on May 6 2005 in the Davidge Hall at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
The first mention we have of his illness appears in the account of his return from his maiden voyage. According to fray Bartolomé de las Casas, Columbus had slept badly and suffered from paralysis of his lower extremities. In later years, both on land and during his voyages, Columbus continued to suffer fevers, bleeding eyes and continual prolonged attacks of what the writers of the day termed ‘gout’.
Dr Frank Arnett has come to the conclusion that the explorer suffered from reactive arthritis, a form of arthritis resulting from a bacterial infection of some kind. The disease in question consisted of an inflammation in the joints (arthritis), urethra (urethritis) and the eye (conjunctivitis). The causes are unknown, but in men of advanced age, like Columbus, it could have resulted from an infection.
It would seem probable, says Dr Arnett, that Columbus would have contracted reactive arthritis from food poisoning due to lack of hygiene or inadequate food preparation. In the rheumatologist’s opinion, Columbus does not fit the profile of a man given to overindulgence in heavy meals or alcohol, which might have caused gout. Another strong argument against the gout theory is the length of the bouts, which, in the case of gout, normally last for between seven and ten days and then clear up completely, whereas on several occasions Christopher Columbus suffered from months of continual relapses before finally becoming totally crippled.
In fact, during his fourth voyage (1502-1504) Columbus was so ill that a small cabin had to be built for him on the poop deck so that he might continue to captain the ship. Apparently his upper extremities were not affected, while his legs were getting worse and worse. After returning to Castile at the end of his fourth voyage, Columbus became totally bedridden for the last years of his life.
For his part, Prof Miguel Botella states that ‘we cannot obtain any amount of real evidence from the 150 grammes of the remains preserved in Seville Cathedral alleged to be those of Christopher Columbus’. Apart from the age, which we will look at in more detail below, Botella says that ‘there is no observable pathology, though this does not mean that no pathology existed, simply that there are no signs of such in these bone fragments’.
Dr Fernando Luna Calderón, director of the National Natural History Museum in Santo Domingo, offers us further interesting information (www.ahora.com.do/Edición1295/SECCIONES/actualidad2.html and also http://hoy.com.do/app/article.aspx?id=25819+comment&Mode=true). Luna Calderón is a human biologist and palaeontologist. He is a specialist in Physical Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institute in WashingtonDC and has been involved with research on the explorer’s remains since the 1970s. Each time that the urn has been opened he has carried out extensive in-depth research into Columbus’s life, voyages, ailments, diet and anatomy.
Dr Luna Calderón sustains that Christopher Columbus ‘suffered from Reiter’s syndrome, the symptoms of which are arthritis, conjunctivitis and blenorrhea, a rheumatic disease which attacks the joints and destroys the distal phalanx of the toes, especially the big toe, giving them the shapeof a hollow punch (a tool with a round cutting edge used for drilling holes)’. One of the effects of this disease, he adds, is to cause degenerative damage to the spine. Luna Calderón recalls that historical records tell us that Columbus was bedridden in Hispaniola from December to March and that his hand twitched convulsively as a result of this arthritis, ‘and this is evidenced in the remains preserved in the Dominican Republic’.
THE ADMIRAL’S AGE
As regards Columbus’s age, there is only one proven and undisputed fact, due to the existence of an authentic will, and that is that he died on May 20 1506 in Valladolid. Let us leave to one side the well-known historical documents that have been used to calculate his age, and I do this since each author or theory contrives to make the figures work out to suit themselves. So, in my opinion, the only way we have of discovering Columbus’s age at his death is to base a calculation on the palaeopathological and anthropological studies carried out on the remains. And this is where the first problem arises, since people are still arguing as to whether Columbus is really buried in Seville Cathedral or in the ‘Faro de Colón’ in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic).
I/ In the first place, Dr Charles W Goff, an eminent anthropologist at the University of Yale, whose files and records I had the honour of discovering in Newhaven in June 2004, studied the remains preserved in Santo Domingo in May 1959 and reached the conclusion that Columbus would have been about 60 years old when he died. Indeed, EFE gave the news of the discovery of Dr Goff’s data, passing on the information to the news media throughout Spain and America.
II/ In the course of a lengthy telephone conversation on June 3 2005, Dr Fernando Luna stated textually that Christopher Columbus died at the age of 60.
III/ Now we will examine the latest report on the remains said to be those of Christopher Columbus and preserved in Seville Cathedral. Its author is Dr Miguel C Botella, Director of the University of Granada Anthropology laboratory. It is a recent study of the 150 grammes of bone fragments in the urn. On October 21 2004, in his symposium titled ‘Los Enigmas de Colón’, Professor Botella says : ‘I would estimate that Columbus would be between 50 and 70 years of age. I would even go as far as to say that he would have been nearer 60 than 50…’.
IV/ So, according to the anthropological research carried out by Drs. Goff, Luna Calderón and Botella, Columbus would have been about 60 at the time of his death.
V/ Therefore we can see that scientific data clearly show that an alleged natural son of the Prince of Viane and a Majorcan girl, who would have been born in 1460, could not possibly have been Christopher Columbus, simply because he would only reached the age of 46 in 1506 when Columbus died.
Therefore, Christopher Columbus was not a Majorcan son of the Prince of Viane.
BY WAY OF CONCLUSION
Apart from all the evidence set out above, the final proof that Christopher Columbus could not have been the natural son of the Prince of Viane with a Majorcan girl is clear, transparent and indisputable and is based on history and anthropology. If Prince Charles had had a Majorcan son, since he arrived on the island towards the end of August, 1459, there can be no doubt that the child would have been born in 1460. But if there is one thing certain about the life of Christopher Columbus is that he died in Valladolid on May 20 1506. So the Prince’s putative son would have only been 46 years of age.
I do not wish to be too long-winded, but I would like us to recall that Andrés Bernáldez, the priest of the village of Los Palacios (Seville) and a personal friend of Columbus’s, wrote in his work ‘Memoirs of the reign of the Catholic Monarchs’(5)that The Admiral died at the age of sixty, although there are even some copies of the ‘Memoirs’ which say seventy. So a possible Majorcan son would have been too young to be Columbus since the difference of 14 years at the very least would have been far too much.
Therefore, now that anthropology can now count on new and up-to-date research techniques and all kinds of sophisticated instruments, such as 3-D cameras, it would be a magnificent idea for Prof Miguel Botella to be given permission by the Dominican government to carry out a new study on Columbus’s alleged remains preserved in the ‘Faro de Colón’. At the same time, considering that Prof José A Lorente, Director of the University of Granada Genetic Identification Laboratory, has managed to extract the Y chromosome from Hernando Coumbus, the explorer’s natural son, and knowing that this chromosome can only be passed down from father to son, this new study, directed and supervised by Santo Domingo scientists, would allow us to identify Christopher Columbus once and for all. I sincerely believe that such a study should be carried out, if only to clear up any doubts and put an end to the long-standing conflict between Dominicans and the Spanish.
And what is there left of the ‘illusory Majorcan Columbus’ after examining all the documentary and scientific proof that I have offered? In my humble opinion; nothing at all.
Ibiza, June 27 2005
NOTES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY
(1).El Obispo Don Juan de Aragón y Navarra, hijo del Príncipe de Viana, Diputación Foral de Navarra, Institución Príncipe de Viana, Consejo de Cultura, no. XLII and XLIII, 1951, p 40.
(2).Juan de Aragón y Navarra in Jerónimo Zurita, Cuadernos de Historia, 49-50, 1984, p 32, 33.
(3).Los cinco libros postreros de la segunda parte de los Anales de la Corona de Aragón, written by Jerónimo Zurita, chronicler to the Crown of Aragon, Zaragoza, 1658, vol. IV, p 53-98.
(4).D. Carlos d’Aragon, Prince de Vianne, Paris, 1889, p 252-284.
(5).Publication and study by Manuel Gómez-Moreno and Juan de Mata Carriazo, Real Academia de la Historia, Madrid, 1962.
Jaime Vicens i Vives: Trayectoria mediterránea del Príncipe de Viana, Pamplona, 1950 / La politique méditerranéenne et italienne de Jean II d’Aragon entre 1458 et 1462./ Fernando el Católico Príncipe de Aragón, Rey de Sicilia 1458-1478 (Sicilia en la política de Juan II de Aragón) Madrid, 1952.
José Yanguas y Miranda: Noticias biográficas de D. Carlos Príncipe de Viana en Crónica de los Reyes de Navarraescrita por Don Carlos Príncipe de Viana …, Pamplona, 1843.
Núria Coll Julià: Briandade Vega, amante del Príncipe Carlos de Viana esposa de Berenguer de Peguera, Barcelona, 1984.
Joaquim Guitart i Fontseré: Col.lecció de manuscrits inèdits monjos del Reial Monestir de Santa Maria de Poblet, La Selva del Camp, 1948.
Miguel Saperas & José Mª Azcona: Notas bibliográficas: El Príncipe de Viana, Esccritos del Príncipe, FuentesHistóricas, Iconografía. In El Príncipe de Viana, Año I-II, Consejo de Cultura de Navarra, March 15 1941.
Manuel Iribarren: El Príncipe de Viana (un destino frustrado), Buenos Aires, 1951.
Mariona Ibars: El Príncep de Viana, Barcelona, 1996.
José Luis García de Paz and Mariona Ibars: En busca de Carlos, Príncipe de Viana, Revista de Arqueología del siglo XXI, 289, Madrid, May 2005.
José Mª Cuadrado: Forenses y ciudadanos, Palma de Mallorca, 1986 edition; El Príncipe de Viana, 1461, Madrid 1845.
Manuel Álvarez de Sotomayor: ¿Colón mallorquín? – Juicio crítico a la tesis del Colón balear, in Historia de Mallorca coordinated by J. Mascaró Pasarius, Vol VII, Palma de Mallorca, 1978.
Pedro Piferrer y José Mª Cuadrado: España, sus monumentos y artes – Su naturaleza e historia – Islas Baleares, Barcelona, 1888.