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The Battle of Montiel, near Toledo, in March, King Peter is defeated, and flees to the castle of Montiel.

The Battle of Montiel, near Toledo, in March, King Peter is defeated, and flees to the castle of Montiel.

Peter, byname Peter The Cruel, or The Just, Spanish Pedro El Cruel, or El Justiciero (born Aug. 30, 1334, Burgos, Castile—died March 23, 1369, Montiel, Fr.), celebrated king of Castile and Leon from 1350 to 1369, charged by his contemporary enemies with monstrous cruelty but viewed by later writers as a strong executor of justice.
He succeeded his father, Alfonso XI, at the age of 15, and John II of France saw the chance to force Castile into a military alliance against England. The alliance was concluded (1352), and Peter was forced to marry (1353) Blanche, daughter of Pierre, duc de Bourbon, though he was already passionately in love with the beautiful María de Padilla—who was to remain his mistress, and perhaps his legal wife, until her death (1361). He abandoned Blanche immediately after the marriage. This act ruptured the Franco-Castilian alliance.

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