Afonso IV, King of Portugal and The Algarves

Male 1291 - 1357  (66 years)

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  • Name Afonso IV  
    Suffix King of Portugal and The Algarves 
    Born 8 Feb 1291  Lisbon, Portugal Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Died 28 May 1357  Lisbon, Portugal Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Buried Lisbon Cathedral, Lisbon, Portugal Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Person ID I45446  The Hennessee Family
    Last Modified 9 Dec 2016 

    Family Beatrice of Castile,   b. 8 Mar 1293, Lisbon, Portugal Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Oct 1359, Lisbon, Portugal Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 66 years) 
    Married 12 Sep 1309  Lisbon, Portugal Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
     1. Maria of Portugal,   b. 0___ 1313, Lisbon, Portugal Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Jan 1357, (Lisbon, Portugal) Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 44 years)
    Last Modified 19 Aug 2020 
    Family ID F16577  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 8 Feb 1291 - Lisbon, Portugal Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 12 Sep 1309 - Lisbon, Portugal Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 28 May 1357 - Lisbon, Portugal Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Lisbon Cathedral, Lisbon, Portugal Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • Afonso IV[a] (Portuguese pronunciation: [?'fäosu]; 8 February 1291 - 28 May 1357), called the Brave (Portuguese: o Bravo), was King of Portugal and the Algarves from 1325 until his death. He was the only legitimate son of King Denis of Portugal by his wife Elizabeth of Aragon.

      Early life

      Afonso, born in Lisbon, was the rightful heir to the Portuguese throne. However, he was not Denis' favourite son, the old king preferring his illegitimate son, Afonso Sanches.[1] The notorious rivalry between the half brothers led to civil war several times. On 7 January 1325, Afonso's father died and he became king, whereupon he exiled his rival to Castile, and stripped him of all the lands and fiefdom given by their father. From Castile, Afonso orchestrated a series of attempts to usurp the crown. After a few failed attempts at invasion, the brothers signed a peace treaty, arranged by Afonso's mother Queen Elizabeth.[2]

      In 1309, Afonso IV married Infanta Beatrice of Castile, daughter of King Sancho IV of Castile by his wife Marâia de Molina. The first-born of this union was Infanta Maria of Portugal.

      King of Portugal and Algarve

      In 1325 Alfonso XI of Castile entered a child-marriage with Constanza Manuel of Castile, the daughter of one of his regents. Two years later, he had the marriage annulled so he could marry Afonso's daughter, Maria of Portugal. Maria became Queen of Castile in 1328 upon her marriage to Alfonso XI, who soon became involved publicly with a mistress.[2] Constanza was imprisoned in a castle in Toro while her father, Juan Manuel, Prince of Villena, waged war against Alfonso XI until 1329. Eventually, the two reached a peaceful accord after mediation by Juan del Campo, Bishop of Oviedo; this secured Constance's release from prison.

      The public humiliation of his daughter led Afonso IV to have his son and heir, Peter, marry the no less aggrieved Castilian infanta, Constanza. Afonso subsequently started a war against Castile,[2] peace arriving four years later, through the intervention of the Infanta Maria herself. A year after the peace treaty was signed in Seville, Portuguese troops played an important role in defeating the Moors at the Battle of Râio Salado in October 1340.

      Later life

      Political intrigue marked the last part of Afonso IV's reign, although Castille was torn by civil war after Alfonso XI died. Henry of Trastâamara challenged the new King Pedro of Castile, who sent many Castilian nobles into exile in Portugal. Afonso's heir, Pedro, fell in love with his new wife's lady-in-waiting, Inăes de Castro. Inăes was the daughter of an important noble family from Galicia, with links (albeit illegitimate) to both the royal houses of Castile and Portugal. Her brothers were aligned with the Trastamara faction, and became favorites of crown prince Pedro, much to the dismay of others at the Portuguese court, who considered them Castilian upstarts. When Constance of Peänafiel died weeks after giving birth to their third child, Pedro began living openly with Inăes, recognized all her children as his and repudiated the idea of marrying anyone other than Inăes herself. His father refused to go to war again against Castile, hoping his heir's infatuation would end, and tried to arrange another dynastic marriage for Pedro.

      The situation became worse as the years passed and the aging Afonso lost control over his court. His grandson and Pedro's only legitimate son, future king Fernando of Portugal, was a sickly child, while Inăes' illegitimate children thrived. Worried about his legitimate grandson's life, and the growing power of Castile within Portugal's borders, Afonso ordered Inăes de Castro first imprisoned in his mother's old convent in Coimbra, and then murdered in 1355. He expected his son to give in and marry a princess, but the heir became enraged upon learning of his lover's decapitation in front of their young child. Pedro put himself at the head of an army and devastated the country between the Douro and the Minho rivers before he was reconciled to his father in early 1357. Afonso died almost immediately after, in Lisbon in May.

      Afonso IV's nickname the Brave alludes to his martial exploits. However, his most important accomplishments were the relative peace enjoyed by the country during his long reign and the support he gave to the Portuguese Navy. Afonso granted public funding to raise a proper commercial fleet and ordered the first Portuguese maritime explorations. The conflict with Pedro, and the explorations he initiated, eventually became the foundation of the Portuguese national epic, Os Lusâiadas by Luâis de Camäoes.

      The dramatic circumstances of the relationship between father and son and Inăes de Castro was used as the basis for the plot of more than twenty operas and ballets, as well as the "Nise lastimosa" and "Nise laureada" (1577) by Jerâonimo Bermâudez, 'Reinar despues de morir' by Luâis Vâelez de Guevara, "Inez de Castro" by Mary Russell Mitford, and La Reine morte (The Dead Queen) by Henry de Montherlant. The story with its tragic denouement is immortalized in several plays and poems in Portuguese, such as The Lusâiadas by Luâis de Camäoes (canto iii, stanzas 118-135), and in Spanish, including Nise lastimosa and Nise laureada (1577) by Jerâonimo Bermâudez, Reinar despues de morir by Luâis Vâelez de Guevara, as well as a play by French playwright Henry de Montherlant called La Reine morte (The Dead Queen). Mary Russell Mitford also wrote a drama based on the story entitled Inez de Castro. Inăes de Castro is a novel by Maria Pilar Queralt del Hierro in Spanish and Portuguese.


      Marriage and descendants

      On 12 September 1309,[3][4] Afonso married Beatrice of Castile, daughter of Sancho IV of Castile, and Marâia de Molina,[3][5] and had four sons and three daughters. Afonso broke the tradition of previous kings and did not have any children out of wedlock.[b][c][d]

      Maria (1313 – 18 January 1357),[4][8][4] was the wife of Alfonso XI of Castile,[7] and mother of the future king Peter I of Castile. Due to the affair of her husband with his mistress Leonor de Guzmâan "it was an unfortunate union from the start, contributing to dampening the relations of both kingdoms";[9]
      Afonso (1315 – 1317), heir to the throne, died in his infancy.[4][7] Buried at the disappeared Convento das Donas of the Dominican Order in Santarâem;[10]
      Denis (born 12 February 1317), heir to the throne, died a few months after his birth,[4][7] and was buried in Alcobađca Monastery;[10]
      Peter (8 April 1320 – 18 January 1367), the first surviving male offspring, he succeeded his father.[4] [7] When his wife Constance died in 1345, Queen Beatrice took care of the education of the two orphans, the infantes Maria and Ferdinand, who later reigned as King Ferdinand I of Portugal;[11]
      Isabel (21 December 1324[4] – 11 July 1326), buried at the Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha in Coimbra;[7][10]
      John (23 September 1326 – 21 June 1327), buried at the Monastery of Säao Dinis de Odivelas;[7]
      Eleanor (1328 – 1348), born in the same year as her sister Maria's wedding,[4] she married King Peter IV of Aragon in November 1347 and died a year after her marriage succumbing to the Black Death.[12][7]


      Jump up ^ English: Alphonzo or Alphonse, or Affonso (Archaic Portuguese), Alfonso or Alphonso (Portuguese-Galician) or Alphonsus (Latin).
      Jump up ^ "We assume that after the marriage of dona Beatriz and don Alfonso IV, married life was harmonious (...) based on the fact that D. Afonso IV did not have any bastard children, thereby breaking a long family tradition" (loose translation)[6]
      Jump up ^ "Perhaps since he had so many problems with those of his father, D. Afonso did not have any illegitimate children." (loose translation)[7]
      Jump up ^ "There are no known bastard children of the king. Two possible explanations could be the ties of profound esteem, friendship and respect that existed because he had been raised and had lived from a very early age with his future wife or, perhaps, because he wanted to avoid that his heirs had the same problems that he had had with his bastard brothers".(loose translation)[4]
      Jump up ^ Josâe Miguel Pero-Sanz (19 September 2011). Santa Isabel: Reina de Portugal. Palabra. p. 69. ISBN 978-84-9840-546-0.
      ^ Jump up to: a b c Spain and Portugal, Graeme Mercer Adam ed., J. D. Morris, 1906
      ^ Jump up to: a b Sousa 1735, p. 312.
      ^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i Rodrigues Oliveira 2010, p. 217.
      Jump up ^ Rodrigues Oliveira 2010, p. 215.
      Jump up ^ Lourenđco Menino 2008, p. 356.
      ^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h Sotto Mayor Pizarro 1997, p. 201.
      Jump up ^ Sousa 1735, pp. 317 y 322.
      Jump up ^ Rodrigues Oliveira 2010, p. 218.
      ^ Jump up to: a b c Sousa 1735, p. 315.
      Jump up ^ Rodrigues Oliveira 2010, pp. 228-229.
      Jump up ^ Rodrigues Oliveira 2010, pp. 217, 220.


      Gonzâalez Mâinguez, Câesar (2004). "Fernando IV de Castilla (1295-1312): Perfil de un reinado" (PDF). Espacio, Tiempo y Forma, Serie III, Historia Medieval (in Spanish) (17) (Madrid: Universidad Nacional de Educaciâon a Distancia (UNED), Facultad de Geografâia e Historia). pp. 223–244. ISSN 0214-9745.
      Lourenđco Menino, Vanda Lisa (2008). "Cartas de Arras da Rainha D. Beatriz (1309-1359)" (PDF). Estudios humanâisticos. Historia (in Portuguese) (7) (Leâon: Universidad de Leâon: Servicio de Publicaciones). pp. 349–358. ISSN 1696-0300.
      Rodrigues Oliveira, Ana (2010). Rainhas medievais de Portugal. Dezassete mulheres, duas dinastias, quatro sâeculos de Histâoria (in Portuguese). Lisbon: A esfera dos livros. ISBN 978-989-626-261-7.
      Sotto Mayor Pizarro, Josâe Augusto (1997). Linhagens Medievais Portuguesas: Genealogias e Estratâegias (1279–1325) (in Portuguese). Oporto: Doctorate thesis, author's edition.
      Sousa, Antâonio Caetano de (1735). Historia Genealâogica da Casa Real Portugueza (PDF) (in Portuguese). Lisbon: Lisboa Occidental, of. de Joseph Antonio Da Sylva, Impressor da Academia Real. OCLC 3910285. [1]

  • Sources 
    1. [S9112] "Afonso IV of Portugal" biography,, retrieved March 4, 2016 by David.