Leonor de Castro Mello y Meneses

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Leonor de Castro Mello y Meneses
COA Duke of Gandia.svg
Duchess of Gandía
Born 1512
Died 1546
Monastery of Sant Jeroni de Cotalba
Burial Gandia
Spouse Francis de Borja, IV Duke of Gandía
Full name
Leonor de Castro Mello y Meneses
Father Álvaro de Castro "the Old"
Mother Isabel de Melo Barreto e Menezes
Religion Roman Catholicism

Leonor Castro de Mello y Meneses (born 1512, died March 27 of 1546, in Gandía) was the IVth Duchess of Gandia.[1] She was a noble Portuguese and the Lady and close friend of the Empress Isabella of Portugal. She was daughter of Álvaro de Castro "the Old", Captain-general of Africa of King Manuel I of Portugal, and of Isabel de Melo Barreto e Meneses. Her brother, Rodrigo de Castro, was governor of the Portuguese seat of Safí (Morocco).


During 1529 the negotiations took place to resolve her marriage with Francis de Borja.[2] The emperor Carlos I of Spain, represented by his majordomo Pedro González de Mendoza, negotiating in the name of Leonor, urging the Duke of Gandía to accept her conditions. After agreeing the marriage, the spouses met in Toledo in August, 1529.

Her marriage with Francis Borja took place in 1529 in the Royal Alcazar of Madrid. They had eight children, of whom five were males and three women: Carlos in 1530, Isabel in 1532, Juan in 1533, Álvaro in 1535, Juana Francisca in 1535, Fernando in 1537, Dorotea in 1538 and Alonso in 1539.

She accompanied her husband to Granada for the burial of Isabella of Portugal, (mother of Philip II of Spain). Leonor de Castro was her Lady and close friend.


She passed her last days in the Monastery of Sant Jeroni de Cotalba, very near to Gandia, recovering from her ailments, where she died on March 27 of 1546.

At the death of Leonor de Castro, her husband, Francis Borja, saddened, resigned his goods and possessions in favor of his children, yields the nobility titles and goes to Rome, where in June, 1546, he would enter in the Society of Jesus.

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