Sancho III of Castile

Sancho III
Sancho III de Castela - Compendio de crónicas de reyes (Biblioteca Nacional de España).png
Sancho III of Castile in the Castilian manuscript Compendium of Chronicles of Kings (...) (c. 1312-1325). Currently located at the National Library of Spain
King of Castile and Toledo
Reign21 August 1157 – 31 August 1158
PredecessorAlfonso VII
SuccessorAlfonso VIII
Bornc. 1134
Died31 August 1158 (aged 23–24)
BurialCathedral of Toledo
ConsortBlanche of Navarre
IssueAlfonso VIII of Castile
Infante Garcia
HouseCastilian House of Ivrea
FatherAlfonso VII of León and Castile
MotherBerengaria of Barcelona
ReligionRoman Catholicism

Sancho III (1134 – 31 August 1158), called the Desired (el Deseado),[1] was King of Castile and Toledo for one year, from 1157 to 1158. He was the son of Alfonso VII of León and Castile and his wife Berengaria of Barcelona, and was succeeded by his son Alfonso VIII. His nickname was due to his position as the first child of his parents, born after eight years of childless marriage.

During his reign, the castle of Calatrava-la-Vieja was conceded to Abbot Raymond Serrat of Fitero, who propposed using the lay brothers of his monastery as knights to defend this castle. These knights would give rise to the Order of Calatrava, which was confirmed in 1164 by Pope Alexander III.[2][3] It was also in his reign that the Leonese and Castilian spheres of conquest against al-Andalus were decided in the Treaty of Sahagún (May 1158), besides an exclusion of the conquering rights and a possible division of the Portuguese kingdom among the two sons of Alfonso VII, which would come to nothing possibly due to the premature death of Sancho.[4][5]


Sancho was the eldest son of King Alfonso VII of León and Castile and Berengaria of Barcelona.[6] He was endowed with the "Kingdom of Nájera" in 1152, and according to Carolina Carl never appears in documents as "king of Nájera".[7] His father's will partitioned the kingdom between his two sons: Sancho inherited the kingdoms of Castile and Toledo, and Ferdinand inherited León.[8] The two brothers had just signed a treaty when Sancho suddenly died in the summer of 1158, being buried at Toledo.[9]

He had married, in 1151, Blanche of Navarre, daughter of García Ramírez of Navarre,[10] and had two sons:



  1. ^ The early 13th-century historian Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada called him desiderabilis Sancius.
  2. ^ Linehan, Peter (2008). Spain, 1157-1300: A Partible Inheritance. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-631-17284-0.
  3. ^ Lay, Stephen (2009). The Reconquest Kings of Portugal. Political and Cultural Reorientation on the Medieval Frontier. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 184. ISBN 978-1-349-35786-4.
  4. ^ Linehan, Peter (2008). Spain, 1157-1300: A Partible Inheritance. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 8–10. ISBN 978-0-631-17284-0.
  5. ^ Mattoso, José (2007). D. Afonso Henriques (2nd ed.). Lisbon: Temas e Debates. pp. 286–287. ISBN 9789727599110.
  6. ^ Van-Houts 2013, p. 160.
  7. ^ Carl 2011, p. 155.
  8. ^ Linehan 2011, p. 8.
  9. ^ O'Callaghan 1975, p. 235.
  10. ^ Hourihane 2012, p. 548.
  11. ^ Shadis & Berman 2002, p. 204.
  12. ^ del Alamo & Pendergast 2000, p. 45.


Further reading[]

Sancho III of Castile
Born: circa 1134 Died: 31 August 1158
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Alfonso VII
King of Castile and Toledo
Succeeded by
Alfonso VIII