Peter I of Portugal

Peter I of Portugal

Infobox Portuguese Royalty|monarch
name =Peter I
title =King of Portugal and the Algarve

caption =17th century painting of Peter I
imgw =200
reign =May 8, 1357—January 18, 1367
predecessor =Afonso IV
successor =Ferdinand I
spouse =Blanca of Castile
Constance of Peñafiel
Inés de Castro (disputed afterdeath queen)
issue =Infanta Maria, Marchioness of Tortosa
Ferdinand I
Infanta Beatriz, Countess of Alburquerque
Infante João, Duke of Valencia de Campos
Infante Dinis, Lord of Cifuentes
John I
issue-link = #Marriage and descendants
issue-pipe = among others...
royal house =Capetian House of Burgundy
dynasty =Affonsine Dynasty
father =Afonso IV
mother =Beatrice of Castile
date of birth =April 8, 1320
place of birth =Coimbra, Kingdom of Portugal
date of death =January 18, 1367
place of death =Estremoz, Kingdom of Portugal
place of burial =Monastery of Alcobaça, Alcobaça, District of Leiria, Portugal|

Peter I (Portuguese: "Pedro", pronounced|ˈpedɾu; 8 April 1320 – 18 January 1367), called the Just (Portuguese: "o Justiceiro"), was the eighth King of Portugal and the Algarve from 1357 until his death. He was the third but only surviving son of Afonso IV of Portugal and his wife, princess Beatrice of Castile.

Early life

Afonso IV married his daughter Maria to Alfonso XI of Castile, but quickly learned that she was being mistreated by her husband. Alfonso's cousin, Juan Manuel, had also been rebuffed by the king when his daughter Constanza was rejected in favor of the Portuguese princess. Feeling as though his daughter was being dishonored, Afonso was glad to enter into an alliance with Juan Manuel and married Pedro to Constanza. When Constanza arrived in Portugal, Inês de Castro, the daughter of a Castilian landed aristocrat accompanied her as her lady-in-waiting. Pedro fell in love with Inês very quickly and the two conducted an affair until Constanza's death in 1345. The scandal of this affair caused Afonso to banish Inês from court, but this did not end the relationship since the two began living together in secret. According to the chronicle of Fernão Lopes, this period was when Pedro began giving Inês' brothers important positions at court. This behavior alarmed Afonso and made him believe that upon his death the Portuguese throne would fall to Castilians. This is the official motive behind Afonso's next actions: he sent three men to find Inês and murder her in 1355. Pedro's rage at the murder of his love is what supposedly sparked his desire to revolt against his father. This revolt lasted from 1355 until 1356 when Afonso defeated his son. One year later, in 1357, Afonso died and Pedro succeeded the throne.

King of Portugal

Fernão Lopes labels Pedro as "the Just" and said that Pedro loved justice, especially the dispensing of it, something which he enjoyed doing himself. Inês' assassins were the recipients of his harshest punishment. The three had escaped to Castile, but Pedro arranged for them to be exchanged with Castilian fugitives residing in Portugal with his nephew, the Castilian Pedro I. One man escaped, but the other two were brought to justice, and Lopes said that Pedro ripped their hearts out with his own bare hands. There is a possibility that Pedro of Portugal has been confused with Pedro I of Castile: they are both Pedro I, they both lived at the same time, the two were closely related, and are both credited with committing violent acts towards their subjects. Despite his gruesome legacy, Pedro of Portugal did have a peaceful reign and managed to install a system of justice which was relatively fair for the times. He attempted this with his "Beneplácito Régio" in 1361, which forbade any Papal Bulls to be published without his prior consent. This was a result of the number of fake papal documents that had been entering the country. He also began the "nationalization" of the military orders by placing his youngest son João (the illegitimate son born after the death of Inês) as the Master of the Order of Avis. He did attempt to claim that he and Inês had been married and therefore their four children were legitimate, but nothing ever came of this, and Inês' children went to live in Castile.

Legend holds that Pedro later had Inês' body exhumed and placed on a throne, dressed in rich robes and jewels, and required all of his vassals to kiss the hand of the deceased "queen". This has never been proven, but what is known is that Pedro did have Inês' body exhumed from her resting place in Coimbra and taken to Alcobaça where her body was laid to rest in the monastery. Pedro had two tombs commissioned for the monastery, one for each of them. The tombs still exist today; they are images of Pedro and Inês facing each other, and inscribed on the marble is "Até o fim do mundo..." or "Until the end of the world..."

Pedro was also the father of Fernando I and João I. João was the Master of the military order of Avis, and he would become the founder of the Avis dynasty in 1385 after defeating an attempt by Juan I to usurp the Portuguese throne.


Marriage and descendants

ee also

*Quinta das Lágrimas

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