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ALFONSO I, King of Portugal, and Mafalda (Maud) of Savoy

ALFONSO I, King of Portugal. Commonly known as Afonso Henriques. (Afonso-S1)(Affonso)(Alphonso)(Latin: Alphonsus). (the Conqueror)(Portugese: Conquistador).
Born probably on 25 July (1106)(1109); the son of Henry of Burgundy, Count of Portugal and Teresa of León.

According to Fernão Lopes' Crónica de Portugal de 1419, the future Portuguese king was born in Guimarães, which was at the time the most important political center of his parents. This was accepted by most Portuguese scholarship until Torquato de Sousa Soares proposed in 1990 Coimbra, the center of the county of Coimbra and another political center of Afonso's progenitors, as his birthplace, which caused a huge outrage in Guimarães and a polemic between this historian and José Hermano Saraiva. Almeida Fernandes later proposed Viseu as the birthplace of Afonso basing himself on the Chronica Gothorum, which states Afonso was born in 1109, a position followed by José Mattoso in his biography of the king. Abel Estefânio has suggested a different date and thesis, proposing 1106 as the birth date and the region of Tierra de Campos or even Sahagún as likely birth places based on the known itineraries of counts Henry and Teresa. (S1).

The was the first King of Portugal, declaring his independence from León. He was proclaimed King on 26 July 1139, immediately after the Battle of Ourique.

He achieved the independence of the southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia, the County of Portugal, from Galicia's overlord, the King of León, in 1139, establishing a new kingdom and doubling its area with the Reconquista, an objective that he pursued until his death in 1185, after forty-six years of wars against the Moors. (S1).

At the end of the 11th century, the Iberian Peninsula political agenda was mostly concerned with the Reconquista, the driving out of the Muslim successor-states to the Caliphate of Cordoba after its collapse. With European military aristocracies focused on the Crusades, Alfonso VI called for the help of the French nobility to deal with the Moors. In exchange, he was to give the hands of his daughters in wedlock to the leaders of the expedition and bestow royal privileges to the others. Thus, the royal heiress Urraca of Castile wedded Raymond of Burgundy, younger son of the Count of Burgundy, and her half-sister, princess Teresa of León, wedded his cousin, another French crusader, Henry of Burgundy, younger brother of the Duke of Burgundy, whose mother was daughter of the Count of Barcelona. Henry was made Count of Portugal, a burdensome earldom south of Galicia, where Moorish incursions and attacks were to be expected. With his wife Teresa as co-ruler of Portugal, Henry withstood the ordeal and held the lands for his father-in-law.

From this wedlock several sons were born, but only one, Afonso Henriques (meaning "Afonso son of Henry") thrived. The boy, probably born around 1109, followed his father as Count of Portugal in 1112, under the tutelage of his mother. The relations between Teresa and her son Afonso proved difficult. Only eleven years old, Afonso already had his own political ideas, greatly different from his mother's. In 1120, the young prince took the side of the archbishop of Braga, a political foe of Teresa, and both were exiled by her orders. Afonso spent the next years away from his own county, under the watch of the bishop. In 1122 Afonso became fourteen, the adult age in the 12th century. He made himself a knight on his own account in the Cathedral of Zamora, raised an army, and proceeded to take control of his lands. Near Guimarães, at the Battle of São Mamede (1128) he overcame the troops under his mother's lover and ally Count Fernando Peres de Trava of Galicia, making her his prisoner and exiling her forever to a monastery in León. Thus the possibility of incorporating Portugal into a Kingdom of Galicia was eliminated and Afonso become sole ruler (Dux of Portugal) after demands for independence from the county's people, church and nobles. He also vanquished Alfonso VII of Castile and León, another of his mother's allies, and thus freed the county from political dependence on the crown of León and Castile. On April 6, 1129, Afonso Henriques dictated the writ in which he proclaimed himself Prince of Portugal.

Afonso then turned his arms against the everlasting problem of the Moors in the south. His campaigns were successful and, on 26 July 1139, he obtained an overwhelming victory in the Battle of Ourique, and straight after was unanimously proclaimed King of Portugal by his soldiers. This meant that Portugal was no longer a vassal county of León-Castile, but an independent kingdom in its own right. Next, he assembled the first assembly of the estates-general at Lamego, where he was given the crown from the archbishop of Braga, to confirm the independence.

Independence, however, was not a thing a land could choose on its own. Portugal still had to be acknowledged by the neighbouring lands and, most importantly, by the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope. Afonso wedded Mafalda of Savoy, daughter of Count Amadeo III of Savoy, and sent Ambassadors to Rome to negotiate with the Pope. In Portugal, he built several monasteries and convents and bestowed important privileges to religious orders. In 1143, he wrote to Pope Innocent II to declare himself and the kingdom servants of the Church, swearing to pursue driving the Moors out of the Iberian peninsula. Bypassing any king of Castile or León, Afonso declared himself the direct liegeman of the Papacy. Thus, Afonso continued to distinguish himself by his exploits against the Moors, from whom he wrested Santarém and Lisbon in 1147 (see Siege of Lisbon). He also conquered an important part of the land south of the Tagus River, although this was lost again to the Moors in the following years.

Meanwhile, King Alfonso VII of Castile (Afonso's cousin) regarded the independent ruler of Portugal as nothing but a rebel. Conflict between the two was constant and bitter in the following years. Afonso became involved in a war, taking the side of the Aragonese king, an enemy of Castile. To ensure the alliance, his son Sancho was engaged to Dulce Berenguer, sister of the Count of Barcelona, and princess of Aragon. Finally, in 1143, the Treaty of Zamora established peace between the cousins and the recognition by the Kingdom of Castile and León that Portugal was an independent kingdom.

In 1169, Afonso was disabled in an engagement near Badajoz by a fall from his horse, and made prisoner by the soldiers of the king of León. Portugal was obliged to surrender as his ransom almost all the conquests Afonso had made in Galicia in the previous years.

In 1179 the privileges and favours given to the Roman Catholic Church were compensated. In the papal bull Manifestis Probatum, Pope Alexander III acknowledged Afonso as King and Portugal as an independent land with the right to conquer lands from the Moors. With this papal blessing, Portugal was at last secured as a country and safe from any Castilian attempts of annexation.

In 1184, in spite of his great age, he had still sufficient energy to relieve his son Sancho, who was besieged in Santarém by the Moors. He died shortly after, in 1185.

The Portuguese revere him as a hero, both on account of his personal character and as the founder of their nation. There are story's that say it would take 10 men to carry his sword . He would want to battle king to king but no one would stand up to him .

Before his marriage to Mafalda, King Afonso fathered his first male son with Chamoa Gómez, daughter of Count Gómez Núñez and Elvira Pérez, sister of Fernando and Bermudo Pérez de Traba:
* Afonso (1140 – 1207). Born around 1140,[26] according to recent investigations, he is the same person as the one often called Fernando Afonso who was the alferes-mor of the king and later Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller. His presence in the court is first recorded in 1159. In 1169 he succeeded as alferes-mor his half-brother, Pedro Pais da Maia, the legitimate son of his mother and Paio Soares da Maia. (S1).

Afonso married (1) Mafalda or Maud of Savoy, in 1146. Both appeared together for the first time in May of that year confirming royal charters. (S1).

Afonso had extramarital children by Elvira Gálter (S1):
* Urraca Afonso. In 1185, her father gave her Avô, stipulating that this villa was to be inherited only by the children that she had with her husband Pedro Afonso de Ribadouro (also known as Pedro Afonso Viegas), grandson of Egas Moniz,[30] which could indicate another previous or subsequent marriage. In 1187, she exchanged with her half-brother, King Sancho, this villa for Aveiro. She died after 1216, the year she made a donation to the Monastery of Tarouca.
* Teresa Afonso. In some genealogies she appears as the daughter of Elvira Gálter, and in others as the daughter of Chamoa Gómez. Her first marriage was with Sancho Nunes de Barbosa with whom she had a daughter, Urraca Sanches, who married Gonçalo Mendes de Sousa, the father of Mendo Gonçalves de Sousa known as "Sousão". Her second husband was Fernando Martins Bravo, Lord of Bragança and Chaves, with no issue from this marriage.

King Afonso was also the father of (S1):
* Pedro Afonso (died after 1183), Lord of Arega and Pedrógão, mayor of Abrantes in 1179, alferes of King Afonso I between 1181 and 1183, and Master of the Order of Aviz. (S1).

Alfonso I died on 6 December 1185 in Coimbra. (S1).

In July 2006, the opening of the tomb of the King, with scientific proposes, provoked widespread preoccupation among some sectors of the Portuguese society, with the government halting the opening due to the importance of the king in the nation’s formation by requesting more protocols from the scientific team. (S1).

WIFE (1):
Mafalda of Savoy. (Maud). [Familytree].
Born in 1125; daughter of Amadeus III, Count of Savoy, and Mahaut of Albon.

She died in 1158.

CHILDREN of ALFONSO I, King of Portugal, and Mafalda (Maud) of Savoy:
  1. Henrique. (Henry). Born on 5 March 1147. Despite being just a child he represented his father at a council in Toledo at the age of three. He died in 1155, when only eight years old.
  2. URRACA, of Portugal. (Uracca Affonsez). [Familytree]. Born (in 1148-S1)(about 1151). She married FERDINAND II, King of León. The marriage was subsequently annulled in 1171 or 1172 and she retired in Zamora, one of the villas that she had received as part of her arras, and later at the Monastery of Santa María in Wamba, Valladolid where she was buried. She died in 1188.
  3. Teresa. (Born in (1151-S1)(1157). She married (1) Philip I of Flanders and after his death (2) Eudes III (Odo) of Burgundy. She died in 1218.
  4. Mafalda. Bonr in (1148)(1153-S1). In January 1160, her father and Ramón Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona, negotiated the marriage of Mafalda to Alfonso, future King Alfonso II of Aragon who at that time was three or four years old. After the death of Ramón Berenguer IV in the summer of 1162, King Ferdinand II of León convinced his widow, Queen Petronilla, to cancel the infante's wedding plans with Mafalda and for Alfonso to marry instead Sancha, daughter of Alfonso VII of León and his second wife Queen Richeza of Poland. Mafalda died in her childhood at an unrecorded dates, said to be (about 1160)(after 1162-S1).
  5. Sancho. Born on 11 November 1154. He was baptised with the name of Martin for having been born on the saint's feast day. He succeeded his father as 2nd King of Portugal. He died on 26 March (1211-S1)(1212.
  6. João. (John). Born in (1156-S1)(1160) He died (in 1160)(on 25 August 1164-S1).
  7. Sancha. Born in (1157-S1)(born ten days before the death of her mother-S1)(1160). Sancha died before reaching the age of ten on the 14th of February according to the death registry at the Monastery of Santa Cruz (Coimbra) where she was buried. (S1).


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