Count of Vimioso

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The Comital House of Vimioso
Parent houseHouse of Braganza
FounderFrancisco de Portugal
Current headFernando Patrício de Portugal de Sousa Coutinho
Estate(s)of Portugal and Brazil

Count of Vimioso (in Portuguese Conde de Vimioso) is a Portuguese title of nobility which have its origins in Alphonse, Bishop of Évora, the natural son of Alphonse, 4th Count of Ourém and 1st Marquis of Valença (eldest son of Alphonse I, Duke of Braganza). Therefore, the Counts of Vimioso were closely related to the Braganzas.

This title was created on February 2, 1515, by King Manuel I of Portugal for his 3rd cousin, Francisco de Portugal (Francis of Portugal), also known as Francis I, 1st Count of Vimioso, a natural son of Alphonse of Portugal, Bishop of Évora.

The House of the Counts of Vimioso had also close links with the Portuguese Royal family, as members of the King's Council, ambassadors, and Vice-roys. The 2nd Count, Alphonse I of Portugal, joined King Sebastian in his crusade in Morocco, and died there (during the Battle of Alcácer Quibir in 1578 or, according to others, imprisoned by the moors after the battle).

This was one of the few Portuguese high aristocracy families to support António, Prior of Crato against Philip II of Spain claims, during the War of the Portuguese Succession (1580–1583). The 3rd Count, Dom Francisco de Portugal (Francis II), was appointed António Constable, leading the Portuguese armies in the Battle of Alcântara (1580); he found death, two years later, in the naval Battle of Vila Franca, off São Miguel Island, in the Azores.

The family supported the 1640 revolution against the Spanish Habsburgs, receiving a new title from the Braganzas (Marquis of Aguiar, in 1643).

In 1687, the 7th Count, Dom Miguel de Portugal (Michael of Portugal), died without legitimate issue. To avoid that such an illustrious family would be extinct, the King Pedro II of Portugal, through a special decree, issued on December 13, 1681, legitimated the count's natural son, Francisco de Paula (or Francis III), as 8th Count, giving him all his father's honours and titles.

During the romantic period, the 13th Count of Vimioso (1817–1865) was quite a popular personality not only among aristocracy but also throughout the Portuguese society: he was a remarkable horse-rider, participating in bullfightings, with a bohemian life style; his mistress was the quite known fado singer, Maria Severa, and the story was later popularized by literature, music (the famous Fado do Conde de Vimioso), theatre and movies (A Severa).

List of the Counts[edit]

  1. Francisco de Portugal (1485–1549), Francis I, 1st Count of Vimioso in 1515
  2. Afonso de Portugal (1519–1579), Alphonse I
  3. Francisco de Portugal, 3rd Count of Vimioso (1550–1582), Francis II
  4. Luis de Portugal (1555–1637), Louis I
  5. Afonso de Portugal (1591–1649), Alphonse II
  6. Luis de Portugal (1620–1655), Louis II
  7. Miguel de Portugal (1631–1687), Michael
  8. Francisco de Paula de Portugal e Castro (1679–1749), Francis III, became 2nd Marquis of Valença
  9. José Miguel João de Portugal e Castro (1706–1775), José I
  10. Francisco José Miguel de Portugal e Castro (1736–1771), Francis IV
  11. Afonso Miguel de Portugal e Castro (1748–1802), Alphonse III
  12. José Bernardino de Portugal e Castro (1780–1840), José II
  13. Francisco de Paula de Portugal e Castro (1817–1865), Francis V
  14. José Luis de Sousa Coutinho Castelo-Branco e Menezes (1859–1930)
  15. António Luis de Sousa Coutinho (1925–2007)
  16. Fernando Patrício de Portugal de Sousa Coutinho (b. 1956)

Other titles[edit]

Other titles granted to this family were:

Family name[edit]

The Counts' family name was de Portugal, as they descended from King John I of Portugal.

In the late 17th Century, the 8th Count, Francisco de Paula, also known as Francis III, joined the name Castro, given that he had inherited from an aunt properties and titles belonging to the Castro family and, from then on, the Counts bore de Portugal e Castro (of Portugal and Castro) as their family name.

In the late 19th Century, the Counts' family name became Sousa Coutinho, due to the marriage of Maria José de Portugal e Castro, the 13th Count's heir, with Fernando Luis de Sousa Coutinho (Marquis of Borba).

Genealogical summary[edit]

King of Portugal
King of Portugal
1st.Duke of Braganza
Lord of Reguengos
1st.Marquis of Valença
2nd.Duke of Braganza
2nd.Duke of Viseu
1st.Duke of Beja
Bishop of Évora
3rd.Duke of Braganza
4th.Duke of Beja
King of Portugal
1st.Count of Vimioso
Royal House of PortugalHouse of VimiosoHouse of Braganza

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  • "Nobreza de Portugal e do Brasil" – Vol. III, Pages 536-543. Published by Zairol Lda., Lisbon 1989.