Alfonso XI of Castile

Alfonso XI of Castile

Alfonso XI of Castile (Salamanca, August 13, 1311 – Gibraltar, March 26/27, 1350) was the king of Castile and León, the son of Ferdinand IV of Castile and his wife Constance of Portugal.

He is variously known among Castilian kings as the Avenger or the Implacable, and as "He of Salado River." The first two names he earned by the ferocity with which he repressed the disorder of the nobles after a long minority; the third by his victory in the Battle of Rio Salado over the last formidable Marinid invasion of Spain in 1340.

Alfonso XI never went to the insane lengths of his son Pedro of Castile, but he could be bloody in his methods. He killed for reasons of state without form of trial. He openly neglected his wife, Maria of Portugal, and had an ostentatious passion for Eleanor of Guzman, who bore him ten children. This set Peter an example which he failed to better. It may be that his early death, during the Great Plague of 1350, at the Siege of Gibraltar, only averted a desperate struggle with Peter, though it was a misfortune in that it removed a ruler of eminent capacity, who understood his subjects well enough not to go too far.

Marriage and children

Alfonso XI first married Costanza Manuel of Castile on 1325, but divorced her two years later. His second marriage, on 1328, was to Maria of Portugal, daughter of Alfonso IV of Portugal. She was the mother of his sons Fernando (Valladolid, 1332 – 1333) and Pedro of Castile.

By his mistress, Eleanor of Guzman, he had ten children:
*Pedro Alfonso of Castile, 1st Lord of Aguilar de Campoo (1330 - 1338).
*Juana Alfonso of Castile, 1st Lady of Trastamara (born 1330).
*Sancho Alfonso of Castile, 1st Lord of Ledesma (1331 - 1343).
*Enrique Alfonso of Castile, 1st Count of Trastamara (1334 - 1379).
*Fadrique Alfonso of Castile, Master of the Order of Santiago and 1st Lord of Haro; (born 1335).
*Fernando Alfonso of Castile, 2nd Lord of Ledesma.
*Tello Alfonso of Castile, 1st Lord of Aguilar de Campoo (1337-1370).
*Juan Alfonso of Castile, 1st Lord of Badajoz and Jerez de la Frontera (1341 - 1359).
*Sancho Alfonso of Castile, 1st Count of Alburquerque (1342-1375).
*Pedro Alfonso of Castile (1345 - 1359).



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