Count of Portalegre
Count of Portalegre (in Portuguese Conde de Portalegre) was a Portuguese title of nobility created by royal decree dated from February 6, 1498, by King Manuel I of Portugal, and granted to Diogo da Silva.
The 3rd Cound of Portalegre, Álvaro da Silva, was succeeded by his granddaughter, Filipa da Silva, thanks to a special royal permission allowing to overcome the Lei Mental (Mental Law) which stands that females could not inherited their father's titles and estates.
Filipa married the Spanish ambassador, Juan de Silva, Count of Salinas (in Spain), very influential during the reign of Sebastian I of Portugal. Together with the King, he participated in the Battle of Alcacer Quibir, where he felt prisoner of the moors. During the transition reign of Henry I of Portugal, he did a remarkable job supporting Philip II of Spain claims to the throne of Portugal.
The Habsburgs rewarded this House's fidelity with new honors and titles (Marquis of Gouveia, granted by a royal decree of King Philip III of Portugal, also known as Philip IV of Spain, dated from January 20, 1625).
List of the Counts of Portalegre
- Diogo da Silva, 1st Count of Portalegre (1430- ? );
- João da Silva, 2nd Count of Portalegre (1480- ? ), son of the 1st count;
- Álvaro da Silva, 3rd Count of Portalegre (1505–1580), son of the 2nd count;
- Filipa da Silva, 4th Countess of Portalegre (1550–1590), granddaughter of the 3rd count; married to the Spanish ambassador Juan de Silva (1528–1601), Count of Salinas (in Spain), who became Count of Portalegre by marriage;
- Diogo da Silva, 5th Count of Portalegre (1579–1640), older son of the 4th counts;
- Manrique da Silva, 6th Count of Portalegre (1585- ? ), younger son of the 4th counts, became 1st Marquis of Gouveia in 1625;
- João da Silva, 7th Count of Portalegre (1625–1686), son of the previous count; also 2nd Marquis of Gouveia, died without issue.