ISABELLA I (1451-1504), Queen of Castile and Aragon. Letter signed ("Yo la Reyna") to "the Council of Justice [and] Torts, to the religious orders and good men of the city of Ciudad Rodrigo," Seville, 30 June 1478. 1 page, oblong 8vo, 6 x 8½ inches, in Spanish, written in a clear court hand, headed at the top "La Reyna," secretarial endorsement at bottom, fine.
ISABELLA, SPONSOR OF THE COLUMBUS VOYAGES, ANNOUNCES THE BIRTH OF HER ONLY SON AND HEIR TO THE THRONE.
A very important letter, signed by the Queen, in which she proudly announces the birth of a Royal son: "Know ye that by the grace of our Lord and his immense goodness, I am delivered of a son [and] prince who was born to me today on the date of this [letter] between the tenth and eleventh hour of the day [and] that [regarding] the birth [as well as] the good disposition of my person, I command Catalina Gonzalez, my nobelwoman, to inform you that this is my signature."
Isabella, Queen of Castille, who married Ferdinand of Aragon in 1469, ruled jointly with her husband over Spain after 1479. The birth of her only son Juan, in 1478, was a significant event. Her rule over Castille had been challenged by the illegitimate daughter of the former king. The birth of a male heir helped to solidify her claim because her rival was childless. Unfortunately, Juan died in 1497, seven years before Isabella, never inheriting the throne from his mother. Isabella played a pivotal role in the voyage of Christopher Columbus. After the would be explorer was refused by several monarchs including, initially, Ferdinand and Isabella, the Queen was instrumental in the final decision to sponsor his voyage.