Don Sancho de Reynoso y Ortiz de Pobes was born around the year 1415 and was the 3rd Lord of Valoria del Alcor in the year 1440, the year of his execution.
The Chronicle of King John the Second of Castile by Don Fernán Pérez de Guzmán gives us information about this nobleman and his tragic end:
Sancho de Reynoso served as one of the Knights of the 2nd Admiral of Castile Don Fadrique Enriquez de Mendoza (1390-1473 – Son of Alonso Enríquez and Juana de Mendoza y Ayala “La Ricahembra”). While he served the Admiral he also lived in his residence of Medina de Rioseco.
In 1440, the year in which the Prince Henry of Castile (1425-1474) and Doña Blanche of Navarre (1424-1464) were married, a violent event occurred between the months of September and October because of Sancho de Reynoso and this marked his tragic end. Sancho’s father, Don Juan de Reynoso y Diez de Villarroel died when Sancho was young and his mother Doña Isabel Ortiz de Pobes contracted second nuptials to Don Nuño Ramírez de Guzmán, a descendant of the Lords of Aviados. Due to some disagreements with his stepfather in relation to his maternal inheritance and for strongly opposing his mother’s marriage, Sancho gathered three of his own knights and assaulted Don Nuño on a road of Palencia (near Santovenia de Pisuerga), then he personally beat his stepfather and took him to prison in the Fortress of Valoria del Alcor, village in which Don Sancho exercised his lordship.
This event reached the ears of Don Diego Gómez de Sandoval y Rojas (1385-1454), Count of Castrogeriz, who promptly gave notice to the King John II of Castile (1405-1454). They immediately sent the bailiffs to arrest Sancho, but he was already guarded in his fortress. The men of the Count promptly began the siege.
Valoria stood strong and the Count’s army could not storm the fortress nor break their defenses, Sancho stood firm and Don Diego decided to keep his men ready for combat until Sancho and his knights surrendered. The King John the II went along with his son the Prince Henry and other lords to the fortress to address this issue personally. The Prince arrived first with his men and requested to speak with the Lord of Valoria. Sancho looked out from battlements of the Fortress. The Prince made him see that his situation would not have a good end: well-armed men lay outside the fortress and they had all roads blocked, eventually there would be shortages of food and there would be no way out for Sancho and his men. The Prince ordered him to hand over the fortress and the prisoner. Sancho refused and asked the Prince to be patient until the King arrived and assured him that he would not be executed, only under that condition he would deliver the fortress.
The King arrived and Prince Henry transmitted the message. After discussing the situation and strategy, the King saw no reason to risk the lives of his men in the assault of the fortress. He requested to speak with Sancho and told him that he would make sure to keep justice, Sancho did not understand the real meaning of these words believing that the King was referring to the justice he demanded against his stepfather. Under this promise the Lord of Valoria opened the doors of the fortress and surrendered it to his King.
The knights of King Don Juan immediately seized Sancho and his men and put them under shackles for them to be transported to Valladolid where justice would be made.
Sancho and his men remained locked up waiting for the King’s sentence. The King and his counselor the Constable of Castile Don Álvaro de Luna were hard-working men who had to make firm decisions to maintain the order of a troubled Kingdom therefore it was not convenient to show other than firmness in the decisions of the King. After a period of deliberation, King Don Juan issued his sentence: Sancho and his men would be executed.
When the sentence was known the Kings of Navarre, the prince – future King Henry the fourth of Castile – and his wife Princess Blanche II of Navarre made several pleas to save Sancho’s life but the King stood firm in his decision and only replied that “he could not fail in giving the justice that God had entrusted to him”.
The next day, in 1440, Sancho de Reynoso was taken to the Plaza Mayor of Valladolid where he would be publicly executed. Sancho prostrated himself before the executioner and was executed as corresponded to a man of his quality. His death also brought an end to the very brief history of the Reynoso as Lords of Valoria del Alcor.
Execution. Image used only to illustrate the end of Sancho de Reynoso.
As previously stated Sancho was the only son of Juan Ruiz de Reynoso y Díez de Villarroel. Don Juan was born circa 1385 in the Casa-Fuerte of his ancestors in Mazuecos de Valdeginate and he was also a younger brother of the 3rd Lord of Autillo de Campos: Martín Ruiz de Reynoso. He contracted nuptials in the first decades of the 15th century with Doña Isabel Ortiz de Pobes, daughter of Don Pedro Ortiz de Pobes, 2nd Lord of Valoria del Alcor, and his wife Isabel Sánchez, she was also granddaughter of Don Sancho Ortiz de Pobes to whom the town of Valoria was granted in 1370 by the Count of Albuquerque Sancho of Castille (1342-1374), brother of the King Henry II of Castile (1334-1379). Don Juan Ruiz de Reynoso died a few years after he married and Doña Isabel Ortiz de Pobes contracted second nuptials with the knight Nuño Ramírez de Guzmán.
Chronicle of King Don Juan the Second of Castile by Don Fernán Pérez de Guzmán.
On December 15th, 1441, a year after Sancho was executed, his mother Doña Isabel Ortiz de Pobes exchanged the village of Valoria del Alcor for the village of Villatoquite de Campos that was property of Pedro García de Herrera y Rojas, Mariscal de Castilla and his wife Doña María de Ayala y Sarmiento, Lords of Ampudia:
First page of the exchange of Valoria del Alcor for Villatoquite. “Escritura de permuta de la villa de Valoria del Alcor, propia de doña Isabel Ortiz de Pobes, casada con Nuño Ramírez de Guzmán, por la de Villatoquite de Campos, propia de Pedro García de Herrera, mariscal de Castilla, y de doña María de Ayala, su mujer.” 1441 Manuscript. Real Academia de la Historia — Signatura: 9/285, fº 279 y 280. — Signatura antigua: D-10, fº 279 y 280.
*Casa-Fuerte: House-Fortress. A type of building smaller than a castle that was usually composed of residential quarters for the nobles and generally one defensive tower where the milites lived.
Read more about the author Erik Andrés Reynoso y Márquez here.