Inês de Castro
|Inês de Castro|
|Queen consort of Portugal|
|Spouse||Peter I of Portugal|
|Infanta Beatriz, Countess of Alburquerque
John, Infante of Portugal
Denis, Infante of Portugal
|Father||Pedro Fernandez de Castro|
|Mother||Aldonça Lourenço de Valadares|
|Died||7 January 1355
Inês de Valadares é Peres de Castro (Portuguese pronunciation: [iˈneʃ ˈpɛɾɨʃ dɨ ˈkaʃtɾu] born Inés Pérez de Castro y Valadares Sánchez de Castilla in Castilian and Inés Péres de Castro e Valadares in Galician; 1325 – 7 January 1355) was a Galician noblewoman born of a Portuguese mother. She is best known as lover and posthumously exhumed and declared lawful wife of King Peter I of Portugal, and therefore Infanta of Portugal by order of Peter himself, as she died before he acceded to the throne.
Inês was the daughter of Pedro Fernández de Castro, Lord of Lemos and Sarria and his noble Portuguese mistress Aldonça Lourenço de Valadares. Her family descended both from the Galician and Portuguese nobilities. She was also well connected to the Castilian Royal Family, by illegitimate descent. Her stepmother was Infanta Beatrix of Portugal, the youngest daughter of Infante Afonso, Lord of Portalegre and Infanta Violante Manuel of Castile. Her grandmother was Violante Sánchez de Castile, Lady of Uzero, the illegitimate daughter of Sancho IV of Castile. Her great-great grandfather was Rodrigo Alfonso de León, Lord of Aliger, the illegitimate son of Alfonso IX of León. She was also legitimately descended from Infanta Sancha Henriques of Portugal, the daughter of Henry, Count of Portugal.
Inês came to Portugal in 1340 as a maid of Infanta Constance of Castile, recently married to Peter, the heir apparent to the Portuguese throne. The prince fell in love with her and started to neglect his lawful wife, endangering the already feeble relations with Castile. Moreover, Peter's love for Inês brought the exiled Castilian nobility very close to power, with Inês's brothers becoming the prince's friends and trusted advisors. King Afonso IV of Portugal, Peter's father, disliked Inês's influence on his son and waited for their mutual infatuation to wear off, but it did not.
Constance of Castile died in 1345. Afonso IV tried several times to arrange for his son to be remarried, but Pedro refused to take a wife other than Inês, who was not deemed eligible to be queen. Peter's legitimate son, future King Ferdinand I of Portugal, was a frail child, whereas Peter and Inês's illegitimate children were thriving; this created even more discomfort among the Portuguese nobles, who feared the increasing Castilian influence over Peter. Afonso IV banished Inês from the court after Constance's death, but Peter remained with her declaring her as his true love. After several attempts to keep the lovers apart, Afonso IV ordered Inês's death. Pêro Coelho, Álvaro Gonçalves, and Diogo Lopes Pacheco went to the Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha in Coimbra, where Inês was detained, and killed her, decapitating her in front of her small child. When Peter heard of this he sought out the killers and managed to capture two of them in 1361. He executed them publicly, ripping their hearts out claiming they didn't have one having pulverized his own heart.
Peter became King of Portugal in 1357. He then stated that he had secretly married Inês, who was consequently the lawful queen, although his word was, and still is, the only proof of the marriage. Legend has it that he had Inês's body exhumed from her grave and forced the entire court to swear allegiance to their new queen by kissing the corpse's hand. She was later buried at the Monastery of Alcobaça where her coffin can still be seen, opposite Peter's so that, according to the legend, at the Last Judgment Peter and Inês can look at each other as they rise from their graves. Both marble coffins are exquisitely sculpted with scenes from their lives and a promise by Peter that they would be together até ao fim do mundo (until the end of the world).
Inês de Castro and Peter I had the following children:
- (Prince) Afonso (1346), died young shortly after birth.
- Infanta Beatrice, Countess of Alburquerque (c. 1347–1381), married Sancho Alfonso, 1st Count of Alburquerque.
- John, Prince of Portugal (1349–1397), claimant to the throne during the 1383–1385 Crisis.
- Denis, Prince of Portugal (1354–1397), claimant to the throne during the 1383–1385 Crisis.
Inês de Castro in literature and music 
Inês de Castro’s history is immortalized in several plays and poems in Portuguese, such as The Lusíadas by Luís de Camões, and Spanish, such as "Nise lastimosa" and "Nise laureada" (1577) by Jerónimo Bermúdez, Reinar despues de morir by Luís Vélez de Guevara, as well as a play by French playwright Henry de Montherlant called La Reine morte (The Dead Queen). Mary Russell Mitford also wrote a drama from the story entitled "Inez de Castro".
There have been over 20 operas, including
- Ines de Castro by Niccolò Antonio Zingarelli (1798)
- Ines de Castro by Walter Savage Landor (1831)
- Ines de Castro by Giuseppe Persiani to a libretto by Salvadore Cammarano (1835)
- Ines de Castro by Scottish composer James MacMillan was first performed at the 1996 Edinburgh International Festival
- The opera Wut (Rage) in German by Swiss composer Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini (born 1971) was performed for the first time at the Theater Erfurt, Germany, on 9 September 2006.
- Ines de Castro by American composer Thomas Pasatieri premiered in 1976 with the Baltimore Opera
- Ines by Canadian composer James Rolfe premiered in 2009 by the Queen of Puddings Music Theatre Company in Toronto.
|Ancestors of Inês de Castro|
- Diccionario histórico, genealógico y heráldico de las familias ilustres de la Monarquia Espanola, Ed. Luis Vilar y Pascual, Juan José Vilar Psayla, (Imprenta de D.F. Sanchez A Cargo de Augustin Espinosa, 1859), 253.
- [Coelho and Gonçalves. Pacheco died in 1383]
See also 
- Diccionario histórico, genealógico y heráldico de las familias ilustres de la Monarquia Espanola, Ed. Luis Vilar y Pascual, Juan José Vilar Psayla, Imprenta de D.F. Sanchez A Cargo de Augustin Espinosa, 1859.
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