Beatrice of Portugal

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Sepulcro de la reina Beatriz de Portugal, esposa de Juan I , rey de Castilla y León. Monasterio de Sancti Spiritus de Toro.jpg
The effigy of Queen Beatrice, Monastery of Sancti Spiritus of Toro, in Zamora, Spain.
Queen consort of Castile and León
Tenure 17 May 1383 – 9 October 1390
Queen of Portugal and the Algarves (disputed)
Reign 22 October 1383 – 16 December 1383
Predecessor Ferdinand I
Successor John I
Regent Leonor Teles de Meneses
Born 7–13 February 1373[1][2]
Coimbra, Portugal
Died c. 1420[3]
Burial Monastery of Sancti Spiritus, Toro, Castile
Spouse John I of Castile
House House of Burgundy
Father Ferdinand I of Portugal
Mother Leonor Teles de Meneses
Religion Roman Catholicism

Beatrice (Portuguese: Beatriz; Portuguese pronunciation: [biɐˈtɾiʃ]; Coimbra, 7–13 February 1373[1][2] – c. 1420,[3] Castile), was the only surviving child of King Ferdinand I of Portugal and his wife, Leonor Teles de Meneses.

During her first years of life, Beatrice was a pawn in the changing politics of alliances of her father, who negotiated successive marriages to her. By her marriage with the King John I of Castile, Beatrce became in Queen consort of Castile, and at the death of her father and according to the Treaty of Salvaterra, her mother assumed the regency in the name of Beatrice, which was proclaimed Queen regnant of Portugal. Opposition to the regency, fear of the Castilian domination and loss of Portuguese independence[4] led to a popular rebellion and a civil war[5] between the master of Aviz, the illegitimate brother of King Ferdinand I (who was proclaimed regent and defender of the Kingdom) and King John I of Castile (who had taken the title of King of Portugal Jure uxoris, invaded the kingdom and obtained the transference of the government from Leonor Telles' regency). Finally, the master of Avís was proclaimed King of Portugal, and Juan I of Castile was definitively defeated in the Battle of Aljubarrota.

From that time Queen Batrice occupied herself and worried about the maintenance of the Portuguese exiles in Castile faithful to her dynastic cause to the Portuguese throne, and after the death of her husband she was relegated to a second plane in the Castilian court. But the dynastic cause that incarnated still continued in force and difficult the normalization of the relations between Castile and Portugal. From the second decade of the 15th century onwards, her documentary trail became scarce until completely disappears about 1420.


Early years and betrothals[edit]

Beatrice was born in Coimbra, during the brief siege that the Castilian troops imposed to the city during the second Fernandine War (1372–73). The siege was lifted and King Henry II of Castile continued on his way to Santarém and then to Lisbon. During the siege of Lisbon, Cardinal legate Guido of Bologna obtained the agreement between the Kings of Castile and Portugal in the Peace of Santarém. According to that treaty, King Ferdinand I of Portugal would abandon the petrism cause, that is, the dynastic legitimacy that was originated after the assassination of King Peter I of Castile in 1369; and also two marriages were celebrated between the two royal families to reinforce the peace:[6] between Sancho Alfonso, 1st Count of Alburquerque, brother of the Castilian King, and Beatrice, half-sister of the Portuguese King, and between Alfonso Enríquez, natural son of the Castilian King, and Isabel, natural daughter of the Portuguese King. In addition, was celebrated the betrothal of Beatrice, the newborn daughter of King Ferdinand I of Portugal, with Fadrique, who was another natural son of King Henry II of Castile, and who was crerated to Duke of Benavente.[7]

The Cortes de Leiria of 1376 swore Beatrice as heiress of the throne,[8] accepting her betrothal with the Duke of Benavente. The betrothal was solemnized in Leiria on 24 November 1376, and on 3 January 1377 was accepted by King Henry II.[9] Fernando I's testament of 1378 ratified all agreements concerning Beatrice, adding that in the absence of Beatrice and her descendants, the Portuguese King' half-brothers and children of Inês de Castro (John, Diniz and Beatrice) were disinherited, and the throne of Portugal would passed to any hypothetical sisters of Beatrice, and after them, to Duke Fadrique of Benavente. To ensure the succession of the throne in her daughter, Queen Leonor Teles devised a plot against John of Portugal, in which the Queen's own sister María Teles, John's wife, was accused of adultery and killed by her husband in June 1379.[10] Although John later obtained the royal pardon, he opted to flee to Castile fearful of the Telles family.[11]

In May 1379 King Henry II of Castile died and his son John I succeeded him. Once known in the Portuguese court these events, began the negociations for the betrothal of Beatrice with the first-born son of the new King, the future Henry III of Castile, in order to count with the political and military support of the Castilians in front of any aspiration of John of Portugal to the throne.[12] By agreement dated 21 May 1380, was established that the wedding would be celebrated when Prince Henry was 14-years-old, and was also stipulated that if Beatrice died before the marriage and her father had no more legitimate offspring, the throne would pass to John I of Castile, but if she died after her marriage and without any descendants, the throne would pass to her widower; in finally, if was Prince Henry who died first and without any issue with Beatrice, she would still be Queen regnant, but in the case that she failed to had offspring from a later union, the Portuguese throne would pass to the Kings of Castile. In this way the succession to the throne again was vetoed to the children of Inés de Castro. The marriage agreement was approved in the Cortes de Soria in August 1380.[13]

But in July 1380 King Ferdinand I had already changed his politics by secretly allying himself in the Treaty of Estremoz with King Richard II of England and the Duke of Lancaster, defenders of the Petrism cause. In this alliance, in addition to ascribing the Portuguese Kingdom to the obedience of Pope Urban VI, the Portuguese King arranged the betrothal of his daughter Beatrice with Edward of Norwich, son of the Earl of Cambridge and grandson of King Peter I of Castile. To negotiate this alliance came to Portugal an exile petrist, Juan Fernández de Andeiro, Count of Ourém, who would later have a prominent influence in the Portuguese court. When the Castilian King heard of this agreement (thanks to the exiled John of Portugal), he sealed his alliance with France by the Treaty of Vincennes, ascribed the Castilian Kingdom to the obedience of Antipope Clement VII,[14][15] and undertook the third Fernandine War.[16] While King Ferdinand I and his counselors are located in Elvas to discuss the war with Castile, on 19 July 1382 Queen Leonor Teles gave birth a son and heir, Afonso, who lived only four days, dying on 23 July under mysterious circumstances; some say it was due to the sultry weather that was felt in the Alentejo region during that summer, while others (like the later chronicler Fernão Lopes) said that the King, suspecting the infidelity of his wife, had thought the child was the son of the Count of Ourém (which was publicly pointed as the Queen's lover), and in a fit of anger, suffocated the little prince in his cradle. Fernão Lopes also states that the court dressed in mourning only for protocol, since most of the courtiers thought Afonso was not the son of the King.[17] One month later, on 10 August, the war was finished with the Peace of Elvas,[18] under which was celebrated the betrothal of Beatrice with the second son of King John I of Castile, the future Ferdinand I of Aragon. In addition, Portugal returned to the obedience of Antipope Clement VII, in a Kingdom religiously divided by the Western Schism.[19]

But John I of Castile widowed in 1382, and the Count of Ourém, favorite of Queen Leonor Teles, negociated a new betrothal for Beatrice, this time with the Castilian King.[20] Ferdinand I agonized, and at the prospect that his widow would have to take charge of the regency, with this marriage the succession of Beatrice seems to be secured,[21] because on one hand she would have a neighboring and powerful monarch as an ally that could counteract the aspirations to the throne of John of Portugal and his siblings instead of supporting them, and on the other hand, having to reside in Castile, John I would have to leave the affairs of Portugal in the hands of Queen Leonor as regent.[22] The marriage contract was signed on 2 April 1383 in Salvaterra de Magos. In these contract was stipulated that at the death of Ferdinand I without sons, the crown would pass to Beatrice, and her husband would be titled King of Portugal;[23][24][25][26][27] however, the Castilian and Portuguese parts agreed not to united the Kingdoms of Castile and Portugal, and to guarantee this, Queen Leonor Teles, would remain as regent and in charge of the government of Portugal until Beatrice had a son who reached 14 years of age, who would then assume the government and title of King of Portugal, and his parents would cease to be so.[23][28][29] If Beatrice died without surviving children, the crown would pass to other hypothetical minor sisters, and if not, the crown would pass to John I of Castile, and through him, to his son Prince Henry, disinheriting again the children of Inês de Castro. The succession of Castile also was regulated: thus, in case it could fail the succession of Juan I of Castile in his two sons, the crown would pass to his sister Eleanor, and in the case that she also one died without offspring, the Castilian throne could pass to King Ferdinand I Portugal and his descendants.[30] During the preparation of the marriage contract, the King of Castile objected to the dowry assigned to Beatrice, and also disagreed that his sons with her had to be raised in Portugal, that Queen Leonor Teles could hold the regency in Portugal, and that the border fortresses had to be in portuguese hands; But in view of the prospect offered to him, which was the whole Kingdom of Portugal, these objections were presented as secondary and he accepted the agreement.[31]

Pedro de Luna, a pontifical legate for the Kingdoms of Castile, Aragon, Portugal and Navarre, solemnized the betrothal in Elvas on 14 May 1383,[32] and the official wedding ceremony took place on 17 May in Badajoz Cathedral. To ensure the compliance with the Treaty, on 21 May a group of Castilian knights and prelates swore to denaturalize from the Kingdom and fight against their monarch, if the Castilian King broke the agreements made in the marriage contract, and in the same way a group of Portuguese knights and prelates (among them was the master of Aviz) made the same oath if the Portuguese King broke the treaty with Castile; later, Beatrice approved in her own name what was agreed in Salvaterra de Magos. Once the wedding took place, she went to live in Castile with her husband. The marriage contract was taken to the Cortes de Santarém of August and September to swear Beatrice and John I of Castile as heirs of Portugal, although the acts have not been conserved.[27] For her part, Queen Leonor Teles gave birth on 27 September a daughter who lived only a few days,[33] so Beatrice remained as the only legitimate descendant of King Ferdinand I.

Crisis of 1383–1385[edit]

King Ferdinand I of Portugal died on 22 October 1383. Leonor Teles, his widow, according to the Treaty of Salvaterra and the testament of the deceased monarch, assumed the regency and government of the Kingdom in the name of her daughter.[28][34][35][36] The regent maintained her clique of Castilian petrists, which formed an opposition that asked that the Council of the regent counted only with councilors of portuguese origin.[37]

The news of the death of the Portuguese King came to John I of Castile and Beatrice in Torrijos, once closed the Cortes in Segovia. The master of Aviz wrote to the Castilian monarch urging him to take the Portuguese crown that belonged to him through his wife and that the own master could assumed the regency on their behalf.[24][35][38][39][40] King John I, to avoid dynastic conflicts with John of Portugal (first-born son of Inês de Castro) imprisoned him in the Alcázar of Toledo, and adopted in that city the title and the arms of King of Portugal,[41] which was recognized by Antipope Clement VII.[34] Later, he convened the Royal Council in Montalbán and sent Alfonso López de Tejeda to Portugal with instructions to the regent to proceeded to proclaim him and his wife as King and Queen of Portugal.[42][43][44][45][46][47]

The proclamation was made, but in Lisbon and other places like Elvas and Santarém, a popular rejection was expressed in favor of John of Portugal.[35][39][40][48][49][50][51][52][53][54][55] But John I of Castile made the decision to lead his troops and entered in Portugal to take possession of the Kingdom, against the opinion of some members of his Council, since this supposes a clear contravention of the agreements made in the Treaty of Salvaterra.[23] In this movement, the Castilian monarch had the support of Beatrice's chancellor, Afonso Correia, Bishop of Guarda, who promised him the surrender of the territory. John I thus entered in Portugal, with Beatrice, to ensure the obedience of Portugal and the rights of his wife.[24][29][56][57]

For John I of Castile, the marriage with Beatrice supposed to him to maintain a protectorate on the Portuguese kingdom and the possibility to prevent the Engish to settle in the Iberian Peninsula.[18] In addition, the union of Castile and Portugal would benefit the Portuguese nobility, which would expand their expectations of land, titles and positions. Faced with this, the peasants, who had improved their situation as a result of the depopulation of the countryside, feared a reinforcement of the privileges of the nobility; and on the other hand, merchants, artisans, public officials and large sections of the small nobility feared their political, social and economic annulment in the face of an increase in the power of the Portuguese high nobility and the threat of a Castilian domination that favored agriculture over trade.[58] In this way, adding to the opposition to the regent and her petrist clique,[59] the expectation of a commercial monopoly,[18] and fears of the Castilian dominion and loss of the Portuguese independence,[28][60][61] in late November and early December, began in Lisbon the uprisings. The master of Aviz killed the Count of Ourém, favorite of the regent, and after that there was the uprising of the peasants against the government instigated by Alvaro Pais,[44] in which Martinho Anes, Bishop of Lisbon, was murdered. The uprising spread to the provinces, claiming the lifes of the Abbess of the Benedictine cloister in Évora, the Prior of the collegiate church of Guimarães and Lançarote Pessanha, Admiral of Portugal, in Beja, among others. The uprising had the support of the bourgeoisie but not of the nobility,[60][62][63] that maintained their support to the regent.

Queen Leonor Teles fled from Lisbon with the court[64] and took refuge in Alenquer. In Lisbon, Alvaro Pais proposed the marriage of the master of Aviz with the Queen regent and in this way both could jointly assumed the regency, but she refused. And with the news of the inminent coming of the Castilian King, the master of Aviz was chosen Defender and Regent of the Kingdom on 16 December 1383,[65] invoking the rights of John of Portugal,[66] first-born son of Inês de Castro. The master of Aviz constituted his own Council in which João das Regras appeared as Chancellor, and requested the aid of England; he also tried to besiege Alenquer, but the Queen fled to Santarém,[67] so he inmediately returned to prepare the defense of Lisbon. In Santarém, Leonor Teles proceeded to recruit an army and asked for help to her is son-in-law the King of Castile[68] to defeat the insurgents who didn't accept her regency or recognize her daughter Beatrice as Queen of Portugal.[69]

John I of Castile took the decision to control the situation in Portugal, and left in the Kingdom of Castile a Council of Regency formed by Alfonso of Aragon, Marquis of Villena, Pedro Tenorio (Archbishop of Toledo) and Pedro González de Mendoza (First Mayordomo of the King).[70][71] In early January 1384 John I, together with Beatrice, invaded the Portuguese Kingdom by the road to Santarém, following Queen Leonor Teles' call to control the situation in Portugal,[70] and a few days later, on 13 January, he obtained from his mother-in-law, the resignation of the regency and the government in him and his wife behalf. Thus the Castilian King assumed the control of the government,[63] and organized a chancellery, a court, and an army composed essentially of castilians.[72] After this, many knights and castle governors came to paid homage to him and his wife Beatrice,[56][73][74] such as those of Santarem, Ourém, Leiria, Montemor-o-Velho, Feira, Penella, Óbidos, Torres Vedras, Torres Novas, Alenquer, Sintra, Arronches, Alegrete, Amieira, Campo Maior, Olivenza, Portel, Moura, Mértola, Braga, Lanhoso, Valença do Minho, Melgaço, Vila Nova de Cerveira, Viana do Castelo, Ponte de Lima, Guimarães, Caminha, Bragança, Vinhais, Chaves, Monforte, Miranda do Douro, Montalegre, Mirandela, Castelo Rodrigo, Almeida, Penamacor, Guarda, Covilhã and Celorico da Beira, among others.[75][76][77] However, Queen Leonor Teles began to conspire against her son-in-law, and for this she was sent to the Monastery of Tordesillas. This encouraged the cause of the master of Avís to justify the revolt, because the terms of the Treaty of Salvaterra had been violated;[78] and in addition, the nobility, which had mostly supported Leonor, was split, with several of them allied with the master of Aviz, like the Chancellor of the regent, Lourenço Eanes Fogaça.[79]

Although it counted with the support of the majority of the Portuguese aristocracy,[5][63][80][81][82] King John I didn't repeat the Castilian triumphs of the Fernandine Wars and failed before Coimbra and Lisbon. On 3 September 1384 he left garrisons in the cities of his supporters, returned to Castile and asked for help to the King of France. Beatrice also left the Kingdom of Portugal, and would be the last time that she was there. In the meanwhile, the master of Aviz attempted to seize loyal cities from his adversaries, and although he took Almada and Alenquer, he failed in Sintra, Torres-Novas and Torres Vedras.[83] He then went to Coimbra, where he had summoned Cortes for March 1385. There, Beatrice was declared illegitimate because the marriage of her parents was considered invalid, and on 6 April was choose and proclaim the master of Aviz as King John I of Portugal. After the Cortes, the new sovereign undertook a campaign to obtain the control of the north of the Kingdom, and thus obtained Viana do Castelo, Braga and Guimarães.[84] John I of Castile entered again in Portugal by the route of Ciudad Rodrigo and Celorico, but the defeats that his army underwent in Trancoso and Aljubarrota in May and August 1385 supposed the end of the possibility of imposing himself as King of Portugal.

In Aljubarrota the castilian disaster was absolute, the King fled to Santarém and from there he descended through the Tajo river until he met his fleet around Lisbon,[85] and in September, the castilian fleet returned to Castile. In this situation, John I of Portugal gained control of the cities that were still opposed to him; from the region of Santarém, he took control of the region north of the Duero, where Portuguese knights still maintained their fidelity to Beatrice and John I of Castile:[77] Villareal de Pavões, Chaves and Bragança capitulated in late March 1386,[86] and Almeida in early June.[87]

Legitimism and truces with Portugal[edit]

The Castilian disaster in Aljubarrota produced an exodus towards Castile of Portuguese clerics who had remained faithful to Antipope Clement VII (whose maintenance was occupied by Queen Beatrice, who also requested for them benefits from the Antipopes of Avignon) and nobles, who initially didn't receive substantial compensations, since they were expected to return to Portugal.

But Aljubarrota also renewed the aspirations of the descendants of King Peter of Castile: his daughter Constance and her husband John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. On 9 May 1386, Portugal and England signed the Treaty of Windsor, and in July arrived in Galicia John of Gaunt, his wife and their daughter, Catherine of Lancaster. John I of Castile inmediately called the Cortes in Segovia to assure the defense of the Kingdom, and in addition rehabilitated John of Portugal, first-born son of Inês de Castro, entrusting him the regency of Portugal in his and his wife names,[88] with the purpose to undermine the position of John I of Portugal. Given the scant results of the Anglo-Portuguese campaign[89] and the loss of support in Galicia, John of Gaunt and John I de Castilla signed the Treaty of Bayonne on 8 July 1388, under whose terms John of Gaunt and his wife renounced to all their rights over the Castilian throne in favor of the marriage of their daughter Catherine with the first-born son and heir of John I of Castile, the future Henry III. The interruption of the Hundred Years' War with the Truce of Leulinghem motivated the Truce of Monção on 23 November 1389 between Castile and Portugal, under which were restored the occupied cities from both sides, but the dynastic claims of Beatrice remained pending.

The recovery of Portugal was still in the mind of the Castilian monarch; in 1390, celebrating Cortes in Guadalajara, he proposed to his Council his abdication to dedicate himself completely to Portugal. His death on 9 October 1390, generated a power struggle to constitute the regency, so that the issue of Portugal was postponed with the renewal of the truce in 1393. In those struggles, however, were kept the dispositions of King John I made in his testament wrote in Celorico da Beira in 1385,[90] about the economic maintenance of the household of the now Dowager Queen Beatrice, on which depended the Portuguese exiles who had followed her to Castile. The testament also made reference to the doctrinal part of the inheritance rights, in this sense Olivera Serrano indicates that John I recognized his wife Beatrice as the legitimate queen of Portugal, and she died without legitimate descendants, the rights would be passed to Henry III, according to the terms of the Treaty of Salvaterra de Magos in 1383; the mention of the Papal arbitration was merely to dictate and ratify that the rights of succession over Portugal would indeed belong to Henry III after Beatrice's death;[91] for his part, Oliveira Martins indicates that the Pope had to decide to who should belong the Kingdom of Portugal after the death of the Castilian King, if to Beatriz or to her stepson Henry III.[92] The dynastic rights of Beatrice will constitute for decades an insurmountable obstacle to normalize the relations between between the Kingdoms of Castile and Portugal, who only could be completely normalized in 1431, after the signing of the Treaty of Medina del Campo. Beatrice's presence in the Kingdom of Castile was beneficial to the aspirations of the House of Trastámara over Portugal, because the Dowager Queen represented the dynastic legitimacy against the illegitimacy of the House of Aviz.

During the reign of Henry III there was a greater Portuguese exile in Castile, whose common factor was the rejection to the House of Aviz, and to which the Castilian King granted some compensation for what they had lost in Portugal. These exiles will keep alive the rejection to the establishment of good relations between the Kingdom of Castile relations and the House of Aviz,[93] and also tended to maintain networks of kinship in function of their allegiances, thus the exiled adherents of Beatrice settled down in cities where the Dowager Queen had influence, like Toro or Valladolid.

John I of Portugal reactivated a new war between 1396–1399 to force favorable clauses in a peace treaty, but his results weren't the expected. The negotiations who culminated in the truce of 1402, persisted in maintaining the rights of Beatrice and a marriage between her and Afonso, first-born son of Juan I of Portugal, but this union was rejected because it would have relegated the House of Aviz. In this truce, in addition to Beatrice's dynastic rights, Henry III also raised his own inheritance rights in Portugal on the basis that Kings Ferdinand I of Portugal and John I of Castile had been first-cousins.

The death of Henry III in 1406 marked a new direction in the relations with Portugal. While the life of Beatrice in Castile didn't change (since the testament of the King indicated that the provisions made by his father for her should be respected) the government of the Castilian kingdom was now in the hands of a co-regency in the name of the infant King John II between his mother Catherine of Lancáster and his paternal uncle Infante Ferdinand; however, their political differences forced the division of the Kingdom of Castile between them for his administration. As for the peace issue with Portugal, Catherine favored her brother-in-law, the Portuguese King, while Ferdinand favored the position of legitimacy, which maintained the cordiality between Beatrice and Ferdinand, her youngest stepson. The disagreement between the regents prevented a peace with Portugal and the truces were renewed only in 1407.

The death of King Martin of Aragon in 1410 and Ferdinand's aspirations to the Aragonese throne made him more conciliatory with new peace negotiations with Portugal. Ferdinand still maintained the superiority and legitimacy of his family's dynastic rights, but in the negotiations that developed in the provisional treaty of 1411,[94] the dynastic question and the Western Schism remained separate from the settlement in other points of friction: the Castilians promised not to wage war with Portugal for the Beatrice's rights or the Western Schism, and agreed to suppress to the exiles faithful to Beatriz any claims over their confiscated property or indemnifications until the year 1402.

The problem concerning the Western Schism was solved at the Council of Constance (1414–1418). The new elected Pope, Martin V, recognized the King of Portugal, and thus in the bull Sane Charissumus of April 1418 he asked the Christian sovereigns to help the Portuguese monarch in his fight against the Saracens.[95] The death of King Ferdinand I of Aragon in 1416 and the deposition of Antipope Benedict XIII in 1417, eliminated the only remaining supports that Beatrice kept.

The dispute of power in Castile between Álvaro de Luna and the Infantes of Aragon, brothers of the King Alfonso V of Aragon, made to Portugal a factor of support to the Infantes of Aragon, that Álvaro de Luna tried to eliminated with a lasting peace. The Treaty of Medina del Campo of 30 October 1431 established that the rights of Beatrice died with her, and King John II renounced to the rights that could have through the kinship of Fernando I of Portugal and John I of Castile. In addition to that, the Castilian king accepted the House of Aviz as part of his family by virtue of the kinship between Catherine de Lancaster, mother of the Castilian King, and her half-sister, Philippa of Lancaster, wife of the Portuguese King; and on the other hand, to the Portuguese exiles weren't recognized in Castile any rights or compensations in Portugal.

Life in Castile[edit]

In 1376, when she was sworn heiress to Portugal in the Cortes de Leiria, Beatrice received a patrimony for the maintenance of her own household although was controlled by her mother; in this way, the Queen's favorite, Juan Fernández de Andeiro, was Beatrice's First Mayordomo. Following her marriage, the dowry of the princess didn't include territorial incomes but an amount of money, which had to be accepted by King John I of Castile with the prospect to obtain the Kingdom of Portugal. As a minor, her husband retained her custody, but since 1385, when she attained her legal majority, Beatrice was able to signed and sealed her own documents.

As Queen consort of Castile, she maintained her household in which Juan Rodríguez Portocarrero served as First Mayordomo, and as Chancellor, the Bishop of Guarda, Afonso Correia, later succeeded by the lawyer Vicente Arias de Balboa. About Beatrice's patrimony in Castile, this varied over the years, since the Castilian monarchs had to grace other relatives according to the political interests of the moment. In the testament of John I of Castile dated in 1385, some provisions concerning the patrimony of Beatrice couldn't be fulfilled in 1392, when the regency of Henry III revised the testament. Although at some point, as wife of the Castilian King she had jurisdiction over Tordesillas, San Esteban de Gormaz, Cuéllar, Peñafiel, Medina del Campo and Olmedo, when she became a widow only retained Béjar and Valladolid.[96] In 1396, Enrique III exchanged Béjar for Ciudad Real and the merindad of Valladolid.

From her marriage with John I of Castile she didn't had children, although a son called Miguel is mentioned in several genealogies of the 17th and 18th centuries and even in some modern history books,[97][98] most probably as a confusion with the grandchild of the Catholic Monarchs called Miguel da Paz.[97] From 1390 Beatrice, a 18-years-old widow, remained distanced from the intrigues of the court and in the shadows. Nevertheless, she still had a visible presence in the Castilian court, maintaining a relationship in a wider social circle than the group of Portuguese exiles. During the regency of John II of Castile, she settled in Ciudad Real, and it seems that she retired to Toro after the treaty of 1411, and her trace appears by letters. In 1409 she received the marriage proposal of a Duke of Austria member of the House of Habsburg, which was rejected, since a marriage of this nature would have made her lose her Castilian patrimony, which would have harmed her partisans exiled from Portugal, and in the case of an hypothetical return to Portugal, she would have been necessary a political marriage for the occasion.[99] Beatrice maintained a close relationship with her stepson Infante Ferdinand (later King of Aragon), supporting his family, and especially Infante Henry, because, in fact, she intervened to support his election as Grand Master of the Order of Santiago in 1410.

In 1419 Beatrice sent Juan González de Sevilla, professor of the University of Salamanca and later Bishop of Cádiz, an appeal to Pope Martin V asking some permissions who usually are granted to a person who was preparing to die. In spite of not having documentary evidence of the death of the Dowager Queen, the properties that she had dispersed appear granted to the constable Álvaro de Luna from 1420, and in June 1420 appears that Toro was reverted to the Crown.[100] Juan González de Sevilla, who was in charge of representing Beatrice as her ambassador before the pope, stopped calling himself as such since April 1420.[3]

In April of 1423 a new truce with Portugal was agreed, where was discussed the inheritance and succession of Beatrice, which supposes that by that time she was already dead.[101]

Status as monarch[edit]

Coat of arms of Beatrice of Portugal.

There has been some actual debate as to whether Beatrice should be counted as a monarch or not,[102] and there is, in the last decades, a historiographical current of Spanish and Portuguese authors defending that she was titular Queen of Portugal between 22 October and the middle of December 1383.[103] However, the majority of the Portuguese historians have argued that during the 1383–1385 period Portugal had no monarch, and Beatrice is not counted, in Portugal, as a national queen regnant.

The Portuguese rebellion was not the only problem to her ascension to the throne. Many Portuguese nobles of the pro-Castillian faction also recognized her husband, King John I of Castile, as their jure uxoris monarch, by rendering him vassalage and obedience, as, for example, Lopo Gomes de Lira in Minho.[104] John I of Castile, as can be read in his testament, dating of 21 July 1385, in Celorico da Beira, identified himself as the king of Portugal and possible effective owner of the kingdom, saying that if he predeceased his wife, the Pope should decide whether Beatrice or his son (her stepson) Henry should be the sovereign of Portugal.[105]



  1. ^ a b Cronicom Conimbricense, in Chronicles of López de Ayala, book II, p. 592.
  2. ^ a b Salvador M. Dias Arnaut in A crise nacional dos fins do século XIV (1960), indicates that the date of birth would be between the days 7-13 of February, but in the marriage contract of 1383, according to Olivera Serrano, the date of birth is 1 March. Olivera Serrano 2005, p. 57.
  3. ^ a b c Olivera Serrano 2005, p. 392.
  4. ^ Ayala's Chronicles, Madrid's edition 1780, book II, since page 292.
  5. ^ a b Newitt, M. D. D. (2005). A history of Portuguese overseas expansion, 1400-1668, Routledge. p. 16. ISBN 9780415239806.
  6. ^ Suárez Fernández 1976, p. 406.
  7. ^ Suárez Fernández, Luis (2003). Principado de Asturias: un proceso de señorialización regional (in Spanish). Real Academia de la Historia. p. 80. ISBN 9788495983329. 
  8. ^ Stephens 1891, p. 106.
  9. ^ Olivera Serrano, César (2006). Notas sobre el ducado de Benavente en el siglo XIV (PDF) (in Portuguese). 1. Estudos em homenagem ao professor doutor José Marques. Facultade de Letras da Universidade do Porto, Departamento de Ciências e Técnicas do Património, Departamento de História. p. 475. ISBN 9728932073. 
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  11. ^ Livermore 1947, p. 171.
  12. ^ Olivera Serrano 2005, p. 69.
  13. ^ Martínez Marina, Francisco (1813). Teoria de las Cortes, ó, Grandes juntas nacionales de los reinos de Leon y Castilla (in Portuguese). 2. Imprenta de D. Fermin Villalpando. p. 120. OCLC 239649907. 
  14. ^ O'Callaghan 1983, p. 530.
  15. ^ Álvarez Palenzuela, Vicente Ángel (2007). Historia de España de la Edad Media (in Spanish). Editorial Ariel. p. 690. ISBN 9788434466685. 
  16. ^ Suárez Fernández 1981, p. 310.
  17. ^ Lopes, Fernão (1436). Chronica de el-rei D. Fernando (in Portuguese). III. Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal. p. 110, Chapter CL. 
  18. ^ a b c Suárez Fernández 1981, p. 312.
  19. ^ Costa Gomes, Rita (2003). The making of a court society: kings and nobles in late medieval Portugal. Cambridge University Press. p. 157. ISBN 9780521800112. 
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  22. ^ Campos 2008, pp. 154–156.
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  24. ^ a b c Gebhardt 1864, p. 140.
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  28. ^ a b c Stephens 1891, p. 107.
  29. ^ a b Lindo, E.H. (1848). The Jews of Spain and Portugal. Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans. p. 164. OCLC 79558260. 
  30. ^ Campos 2008, p. 132.
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  32. ^ Fernão Lopes, Chronicle of D. Ferdinand, chapters CLXIV - CLXVII
  33. ^ Olivera Serrano 2005, p. 91.
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  48. ^ Fernão Lopes, Chronicle of D. Ferdinand, chapter CLXXVIII
  49. ^ Fernão Lopes, Chronicle of D. Ferdinand, vol. III, page 187
  50. ^ Fernão Lopes, Chronicle of John I, first part, vol. I, chapters LXI - LXII
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  58. ^ Teixeira Silva, Francisco Carlos (2001). Encontros de civilizações: Brasil 500 anos de história (in Portuguese). Senac. pp. 16–17. ISBN 9788574580579. 
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  63. ^ a b c O'Callaghan 1983, p. 532.
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  74. ^ Gebhardt 1864, p. 141.
  75. ^ Schäffer 1840, pp. 334–336.
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  85. ^ Gebhardt 1864, p. 143.
  86. ^ Livermore 1947, p. 179.
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  88. ^ Olivera Serrano 2005, p. 100.
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  94. ^ Pérez, Joseph (1997). Isabel y Fernando: los Reyes Católicos (in Spanish). Editorial NEREA. p. 17. ISBN 9788489569126. 
  95. ^ Hart, Jonathan (2003). Comparing empires. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 18. ISBN 9781403961884. 
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  97. ^ a b Olivera Serrano, 2005, p. 42, 354 (footnote 2), 397 (footnote 111).
  98. ^ For genealogies including Miguel, see: Die Könige von Kastilien und León IV, 1369–1504 a.d.H. Trastamara des Stammes Burgund-Ivrea, In: Detlev Schwennicke (Hrsg.): Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band II, Die außerdeutschen Staaten, Die regierenden Häuser der übrigen Staaten Europas, Tafel 65, Verlag von J. A. Stargardt, Marburg/Berlin, 1984, page 65.
  99. ^ Olivera Serrano 2005, p. 138.
  100. ^ Olivera Serrano 2005, p. 173.
  101. ^ Olivera Serrano 2005, p. 176.
  102. ^ David Williamson, «Debrett's Kings and Queens of Europe»,1988,Webb & Bower, Exeter, ISBN 0-86350-194-X; César Olivera Serrano, «Beatriz de Portugal»
  103. ^ García de Cortázar, Fernando (1999), Breve historia de España, Alianza Editorial, page 712; Armindo de Sousa, in História de Portugal coordinated by José Mattoso, Editorial Estampa, vol. II, ISBN 972-33-0919-X, pages 494/95
  104. ^ Fernão Lopes, Chronicle of Jonh I, vol. I, p. 193
  105. ^ Oliveira Martins, portuguese historian of the nineteenth century, «The life of Nun' Alvares», page 261, 2009, Guimarães Editores, SA, ISBN 978-972-665-570-1
  106. ^ António Henrique R. de Oliveira Marques, History of Portugal: From Lusitania to Empire, (Columbia University Press, 1972), p. 43.
  107. ^ Campos 2008, pp. 16–26.


  • Williamson, David (1988). Debrett's Kings and Queens of Europe. Exeter: Webb & Bower. ISBN 0-86350-194-X. 
  • Campos, Isabel Maria Garcia de Pina N. Baleiras S. (2008). Leonor Teles, uma mulher de poder? (PDF) (in Portuguese). 1. Universidade de Lisboa. 
Beatrice of Portugal
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty
Born: 7–13 February 1373 Died: c. 1420
Spanish royalty
Preceded by
Eleanor of Aragon
Queen consort of Castile and León
17 May 1383 – 9 October 1390
Succeeded by
Catherine of Lancaster