Beltrán de la Cueva, 1st Duke of Alburquerque
|Beltrán de la Cueva
Duque de Alburquerque
|Died||November 1, 1492
Beltrán de la Cueva y Alfonso de Mercado, 1st Duke of Alburquerque (in full, Spanish: Don Beltrán de la Cueva y Alfonso de Mercado, primer conde de Ledesma, primer duque de Alburquerque, primer conde de Huelma, comendador de Uclés, caballero de la orden de Santiago, señor de las villas de Roa, Cuéllar, Pedro Bernardo, Ledesma, La Adrada, Ximena, Atienza, Molina, Peña del Alcázar, Huelma, Torre Galindo y La Codosera, trigésimo séptimo Gran Maestre de la orden de Santiago (1460-1464), Capitán mayor y Alguacil mayor de Úbeda, señor de Gibraltar y Cartagena) (c. 1443 – 1 November 1492) was a Spanish nobleman and presumed lover of Queen Joan of Portugal.
Early life 
King Enrique IV, in his second year as King, travelled to Úbeda and stayed with Beltrán's father, Diego Fernández de la Cueva, 1st Viscount of Huelma. When he left this house, he took Diego's second oldest son, Beltrán, with him to stay at Court to show his gratitude to Diego. (Diego offered Beltrán after Enrique asked for Diego's oldest son, whom Diego wanted to keep close by).
He married as his first wife Teresa de Molina de Quesada, of Úbeda, daughter of Francisco Cazorla de Quesada and wife Guiomar Mayor de Molina y Vera, without issue.
Beltrán soon became the King's favourite and married Cardinal Mendoza's niece, Doña Mencía Hurtado de Mendoza y Luna, daughter of Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, 1st Duke of the Infantado, by whom he had a son Francisco Fernández de la Cueva.
Royal affairs 
Beltrán de la Cueva is, however, best known for allegedly having an affair with Enrique's second wife, Joan of Portugal. It was rumoured that Henry's only daughter, Juana of Castile was fathered by Beltrán and not by the King himself, who may have been impotent. This made Juana illegitimate in the eyes of some, which led to a four-year War of the Castilian Succession, which was won by Isabella I of Castile, Enrique's half-sister. It is unlikely that an agreement as to Juana's probable paternity will ever be reached by historians, as there is not enough evidence to support either possible father with certainty. Most of the extant contemporary sources about Henry's potency are suspect, as the royal chronicles of his reign were either written or revised under the influence of Isabel, whose personal interest in the succession caused her to take great pains to insist on Juana's illegitimacy. Much of Isabel's attention to Henry, in fact, was spent on harming his reputation in order to cement the legitimacy of her own reign. The question of Juana's paternity has, as a result, fascinated historians for centuries: If Juana was not in fact Beltran's daughter, and was actually legitimate, Isabel's tremendously influential reign would have been an illegal usurpation.
Royal chronicler Alfonso de Palencia, known for his particularly venomous attitude toward Henry, made many allusions in his writings that can be interpreted as accusations concerning Beltran's sexuality. Palencia and other avid anti-Henryites often accused the two of pursuing a homosexual relationship, though it is not clear to what extent these accusations were based on fact, or whether they were a form of anti-Henry, pro-rebellion, pro-Isabelline propaganda.
Height of Power 
Beltran was among Henry IV's most-popular favourites; throughout his time in court, Henry showered him with gifts—land, money, offices—of such magnitude that many nobles of higher background took offense. He was a Great-Master of the Order of Santiago and Chamberlain-Major. In 1462 the King granted him the title of 1st Count of Ledesma. In 1463 Beltrán was removed from Court and received as compensation the title of Duke of Alburquerque and Grandee of Spain by mercy of King Henry IV at Segovia, Letter of 16 November or 26 November 1464. He was also created in 1464 1st Lord of Cuéllar, Roa, Atienza, Torregalindo, Codecera, etc.
In 1467 he fought in the Second Battle of Olmedo against the rebels supporting Alfonso of Castile, Prince of Asturias. In the War of the Castilian Succession, he supported the Catholic Monarchs against his presumed daughter Juana. As a reward he was also created 1st Count of Huelma by Decree of the same King on August 20, 1474, later confirmed by Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand V of Castile on April 20, 1475. He also distinguished himself in the conquest of Granada along with his son Don Francisco.
Later life 
A widower in 1474, he married in 1479 as her second husband Dona María Fernández de Velasco y Ponce de Leon, daughter of the Constable of Castile, Don Pedro Fernández de Velasco and Isabel Ponce de Leon y Baenza. This marriage produced two sons. The first, Don Cristóbal de la Cueva y Velasco, was born in Cuéllar. He married Leonor de Velasco y Carrillo de Córdoba, 3rd Countess of Siruela, who died in 1529, and had issue. The second son, Don Antonio de la Cueva y Velasco, 1st Lord of La Adrada, married Elvira de Ayala and had issue.
He also had a bastard son named Manuel Beltrão, who went to Portugal and married Francisca da Mota, descendants of the Beltrão family.
There are more children born of the marriage of Beltran de la Cueva and Maria de Velasco. 1: Francisco de la Cueva who married Juana Villavicencio de Villacreces and had issue. In the year of 1466 December 9 he married Maria Pacheco y Velasco
2: Beatriz de la Cueva who married Pedro de Alvarado
3: Cristobal de la Cueva who married María de Porras
6: Pedro de Velasco y de la Cueva
7: Íñigo de la Cueva who married Ana de la Cueva
8: Beltrán de la Cueva la de Roa
9: Mencía de Velasco y de la Cueva
Source for children of María de Velasco and Beltrán de la Cueva: http://www.blogster.com/ayesart/de-la-cueva-genealogy-corrected-and-continued
Additional information 
See also 
- According to the inscription at his tomb in the Convent of San Francisco de Cuéllar.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- "Castillo de Cuéllar" (in Spanish). 2007. Archived from the original on 25 February 2009. Retrieved 15 February 2009.
- Castro Pereira Mouzinho de Albuquerque e Cunha, Fernando de (1995). Instrumentário Genealógico - Linhagens Milenárias (in Portuguese). pp. 329–30
- Costa Felgueiras Gaio, Manuel José da. Nobiliário das Famílias de Portugal (in Portuguese) VII. Portugal: Beltroens
- John Browne Ayes, Biogeographical Genealogist: http://www.blogster.com/ayesart/de-la-cueva-genealogy-corrected-and-continued
- Hobbs, Nicolas (2007). "Grandes de España" (in Spanish). Retrieved 15 October 2008.
- Sousa, Dom António Caetano de (1946). História Genealógica da Casa Real Portuguesa (in Portuguese) VI (2ª Edição ed.). Coimbra, Portugal: Atlântida-Livraria Editora, Lda. p. 323
- Instituto de Salazar y Castro. Elenco de Grandezas y Titulos Nobiliarios Españoles (in Spanish). periodic publication
- "Origin of the Surname Cortés" (in Spanish). 2007. Retrieved 15 February 2009.[dead link]
- "Beltrán de La Cueva" (in Spanish). 2007. Retrieved 15 February 2009.
- "Geneallnet" (in Spanish). 2007. Retrieved 15 February 2009.
|New title||Duke of Alburquerque
Fernández de la Cueva
|Count of Ledesma
Juan de la Cueva
|Count of Huelma