You see, this is the book that started it all. It was a marriage contract and it was pretty average as contract and marriages tended to go in those days.
It was 1496 and the happy wedding day arrives on October 20 in present-day Brussels Belgium. The reason for that location is unknown to me. Now the betrothed were known as Philip and Joanna. Yes, that Joanna – the crazy one, or so she was deemed in the many efforts to usurp her of her right to the kingdom. Now before you get the idea that Princess Joanna was a happy child, consider that her mother was Isabella who was credited with discovering the New World. Of course, happiness had long departed the family which experienced more deaths in a shorter time not to be repeated again until the Clinton years. Joanna was not supposed to be queen of anything because there were plenty of siblings to take care of that dirty work. She was supposed to live a life of ease in the Castle and take trips and springs and summers to the rest of Europe to enjoy her royalty-ship.
That was not to be. Siblings died off one by one. Joanna was left as the oldest Child and it would not go to have a princess become queen without a king of sorts. To remedy this, she was betrothed to Philip the handsome. This was not the same as King Philip who lost the entire Spanish Navy. He was from Flanders and his dad was Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor. The marriage was one of those political alliance deals. That’s how political treaties were executed in those days, Through a marriage. Know this may be getting out the track from Captain Aguero but we will get there presently. Perhaps, even in this particular post. Perhaps not. Now back to Philip.
Philip was a philanderer from Flanders and no redhaired teenage wife was going to change his ways. Besides, he saw an opportunity to take the entire kingdom if only she could be stripped of her birthright to power. This is kind of situation where the designation of insane tended to come about in those days. You would have to be crazy to believe the rumors but anything would do to take control of the kingdom. Princess-now-Queen Joanna spent a lot of her time being locked up or otherwise manipulated by Philip.
After a brief respite from death in the family Joanna’s mom died in 1504. In the midst of the confusion that is typical after a queen dies and no less than 38 distant relatives try to claim legal right to the throne all at the same time, our crazy post-tween queen ordered capt. Aguero to take command of a ship that would sail from Hesperia in the new world, laden with gold which was needed to help pay for the vacation trip to Brussels. Not only that, but more funds were needed to commission a couple of extra paintings of Joanna for Phillip to show off to his foreign friends. Here she is in her royal beauty.This was not a selfie because there were no iPhones for another 500 years. They didn’t even have telegraph. They did, however, have some really fast runners and riders.
Having received his orders, the captain caught the next cruise liner to Cuba. There, he took command of the new ship. Hey look it over and noticed that it had signs of being built a little too hastily. We have been assured that every ship could take the worst of beating the ocean could dish out, even fully loaded with 16 tons of Gold from the New World. The sailors did not seem to think so. In fact they were in a foul mood although the weather was quite fair and warm and balmy. The captain was too inexperienced to recognize that a foul mood among the sailors at this point in preparation for the journey was very unusual and he should have been asking more about their disposition. Hey very old local man regarded as somewhat a prophet by many had predicted a sudden end to the ship and most of its crew on its maiden voyage.
They set out on August 12th, the same day that Juanna had started her journey a few years before to the worst marriage in the history of Spain which was then known as Castile. A foul mood on the ship grew steadily worse until the captain ordered the beating of one of the officers who encourage the complaints of the crew. After he was beaten with 10 strokes of the rod the captain ordered the guard to secure him in the ship’s hold for three days to think it over. The officer looked around fiercely as he walked off the deck knowing that this was the last daylight he would ever see. The ship which bore the name Isabella destined to end as the prophet had claimed.
500 years later, A man named Philip got out of bed in his Delray Beach house in a community called Mizner’s Preserve where homes were pricey but gorgeous, and went to the beach. There in the sand was a single large gold coin. He picked it up.
You want more? You’ll have to come back tomorrow. I’m ready to call it a real estate SEO marketing day.