Alfonso I of PortugalAge: 76 years11091185

Alfonso I of Portugal
Given names
Alfonso I
of Portugal
Name prefix
Birth 1109 43 29

MarriageMaud of SavoyView this family

Death of a fatherHenry of Portugal
1112 (Age 3 years)

Death of a motherTeresa of Leon
November 11, 1130 (Age 21 years)

Birth of a son
Sancho I of Portugal
November 11, 1154 (Age 45 years)
Death of a wifeMaud of Savoy
1158 (Age 49 years)

Record ID number

Record ID numberMaud of SavoyView this family

Death 1185 (Age 76 years)
Family with parents - View this family
Family with Maud of Savoy - View this family

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Afonso I ( 25 July 1109, Guimarães or Viseu - 6 December 1185, Coimbra), or also Affonso (Archaic Portuguese), Alfonso or Alphonso (Portuguese-Galician) or Alphonsus (Latin version), sometimes rendered in English as Alphonzo or Alphonse, depending on the Spanish or French influence, more commonly known as Afonso Henriques (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐˈfõsu ẽˈʁikɨʃ]), nicknamed the Conqueror (Port. o Conquistador), El-Bortukali («the Portuguese») by the Moors, was the first King of Portugal, achieving its independence from León and doubling its area with the Reconquista. Contents * 1 Life * 2 Scientific research * 3 Ancestors * 4 Descendants * 5 See also * 6 Bibliography * 7 References [edit] Life Afonso I was the son of Henry of Burgundy, Count of Portugal and Teresa of León, the illegitimate daughter of King Alfonso VI of León. He was proclaimed King on 25 July 1139, immediately after the Battle of Ourique, and died on 6 December 1185 in Coimbra. At the end of the 11th century, the Iberian Peninsula political agenda was mostly concerned with the Reconquista, the driving out of the Muslim successor-states to the Caliphate of Córdoba after its collapse. With European military aristocracies focused on the Crusades, Alfonso VI called for the help of the French nobility to deal with the Moors. In exchange, he was to give the hands of his daughters in wedlock to the leaders of the expedition and bestow royal privileges to the others. Thus, the royal heiress Urraca of León wedded Raymond of Burgundy, younger son of the Count of Burgundy, and her half-sister, princess Teresa of León, wedded his cousin, another French crusader, Henry of Burgundy, younger brother of the Duke of Burgundy. Henry was made Count of Portugal, a burdensome county south of Galicia, where Moorish incursions and attacks were to be expected. With his wife Teresa as co-ruler of Portugal, Henry withstood the ordeal and held the lands for his father-in-law. Tomb of Afonso Henriques in the Santa Cruz Monastery in Coimbra. From this marriage several children were born, but only one son, Afonso Henriques (meaning "Afonso son of Henry") survived. The boy, born 1109, followed his father as Count of Portugal in 1112, under the tutelage of his mother. The relations between Teresa and her son Afonso proved difficult. Only eleven years old, Afonso already had his own political ideas, greatly different from his mother's. In 1120, the young prince took the side of the archbishop of Braga, a political foe of Teresa, and both were exiled by her orders. Afonso spent the next years away from his own county, under the watch of the bishop. In 1122 Afonso became fourteen, the adult age in the 12th century. He made himself a knight on his own account in the Cathedral of Zamora, raised an army, and proceeded to take control of his lands. Near Guimarães, at the Battle of São Mamede (1128) he overcame the troops under his mother's lover and ally Count Fernando Peres de Trava of Galicia, making her his prisoner and exiling her forever to a monastery in León. Thus the possibility of incorporating Portugal into a Kingdom of Galicia was eliminated and Afonso became sole ruler (Duke of Portugal) after demands for independence from the county's people, church and nobles. He also vanquished Alfonso VII of León, another of his mother's allies, and thus freed the county from political dependence on the crown of León. On 6 April 1129, Afonso Henriques dictated the writ in which he proclaimed himself Prince of Portugal. Portuguese Royalty House of Burgundy Afonso Henriques (Afonso I) Children include * Infanta Mafalda * Infanta Urraca, Queen of Léon * Infante Sancho (future Sancho I) * Infanta Teresa, Countess of Flanders and Duchess of Burgundy Sancho I Children include * Infanta Teresa, Queen of Castile * Infanta Sancha, Lady of Alenquer * Infanta Constança * Infante Afonso (future Afonso II) * Infante Pedro, Count of Urgell * Infante Fernando, Count of Flanders * Infanta Branca, Lady of Guadalajara * Infanta Berengária, Queen of Denmark * Infanta Mafalda, Queen of Castile Afonso II Children include * Infante Sancho (future Sancho II) * Infante Afonso, Count of Boulogne (future Afonso III) * Infanta Leonor, Queen of Denmark * Infante Fernando, Lord of Serpa Sancho II Afonso III Children include * Infanta Branca, Viscountess of Huelgas * Infante Dinis (future Denis I) * Infante Afonso, Lord of Portalegre * Infanta Maria * Infanta Sancha Denis Children include * Infanta Constança, Queen of Castile * Infante Afonso (future Afonso IV) Afonso IV Children include * Infanta Maria, Queen of Castile * Infante Pedro (future Peter I) * Infanta Leonor, Queen of Aragon Peter I Children include * Infanta Maria, Marchioness of Tortosa * Infante Fernando (future Ferdinand I) * Infanta Beatriz, Countess of Alburquerque * Infante João, Duke of Valencia de Campos * Infante Dinis, Lord of Villar-Dompardo * John, Grand Master of the Order of Aviz (future John I) (natural son) Ferdinand I Children include * Infanta Beatrice, Queen of Castile and Leon (future Beatrice I of Portugal) Beatrice (disputed queen) Children include * Infante Miguel of Castile and Portugal Afonso then turned his arms against the persistent problem of the Moors in the south. His campaigns were successful and, on 25 July 1139, he obtained an overwhelming victory in the Battle of Ourique, and straight after was unanimously proclaimed King of Portugal by his soldiers. This meant that Portugal was no longer a vassal county of León, but an independent kingdom in its own right. The first assembly of the estates-general convened at Lamego (wherein he would have been given the crown from the Archbishop of Braga, to confirm the independence) is likely to be a 17th century embellishment of Portuguese history. Independence, however, was not a thing a land could choose on its own. Portugal still had to be acknowledged by the neighboring lands and, most importantly, by the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope. Afonso wed Mafalda of Savoy, daughter of Count Amadeo III of Savoy, and sent Ambassadors to Rome to negotiate with the Pope. In Portugal, he built several monasteries and convents and bestowed important privileges to religious orders. In 1143, he wrote to Pope Innocent II to declare himself and the kingdom servants of the Church, swearing to pursue driving the Moors out of the Iberian peninsula. Bypassing any king of León, Afonso declared himself the direct liegeman of the Papacy. Thus, Afonso continued to distinguish himself by his exploits against the Moors, from whom he wrested Santarém and Lisbon in 1147 (see Siege of Lisbon). He also conquered an important part of the land south of the Tagus River, although this was lost again to the Moors in the following years. Meanwhile, King Alfonso VII of León (Afonso's cousin) regarded the independent ruler of Portugal as nothing but a rebel. Conflict between the two was constant and bitter in the following years. Afonso became involved in a war, taking the side of the Aragonese king, an enemy of Castile. To ensure the alliance, his son Sancho was engaged to Dulce Berenguer, sister of the Count of Barcelona, and princess of Aragon. Finally, in 1143, the Treaty of Zamora established peace between the cousins and the recognition by the Kingdom of León that Portugal was an independent kingdom. In 1169, Afonso was disabled in an engagement near Badajoz by a fall from his horse, and made prisoner by the soldiers of the king of León. Portugal was obliged to surrender as his ransom almost all the conquests Afonso had made in Galicia in the previous years. In 1179 the privileges and favours given to the Roman Catholic Church were compensated. In the papal bull Manifestis Probatum, Pope Alexander III acknowledged Afonso as King and Portugal as an independent land with the right to conquer lands from the Moors. With this papal blessing, Portugal was at last secured as a country and safe from any Leonese attempts at annexation. In 1184, in spite of his great age, he still had sufficient energy to relieve his son Sancho, who was besieged in Santarém by the Moors. Afonso died shortly after, on 6 December 1185. The Portuguese revere him as a hero, both on account of his personal character and as the founder of their nation. There are stories that it would take 10 men to carry his sword, and that Afonso would want to engage other monarchs in personal combat, but no one would dare accept his challenge. [edit] Scientific research In July 2006, the tomb of the King (which is located in the Santa Cruz Monastery in Coimbra) was opened for scientific purposes by researchers from the University of Coimbra (Portugal), and the University of Granada (Spain). The opening of the tomb provoked considerable concern among some sectors of Portuguese society and IPPAR – Instituto Português do Património Arquitectónico (Portuguese State Agency for Architectural Patrimony). The government halted the opening requesting more protocols from the scientific team because of the importance of the king in the nation's formation.[1][2]
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