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Alfonso IX, King of Leon, and Berenguela of Castile

ALFONSO IX. King of León. [Familytree].
Born on 15 August 1171; the only son of FERDINAND II, King of León, and Urraca of Portugal.

King of León from the death of his father Ferdinand II in 1188 until his own death. Said by Ibn Khaldun to have been called the Baboso or Slobberer because he was subject to fits of rage during which he foamed at the mouth.

Though he took a part in the work of the reconquest, he is chiefly remembered by the difficulties into which his successive marriages led him with the pope. He was first married in 1191 to his cousin Teresa of Portugal, who bore him two daughters, and a son who died young.

The marriage was declared null by the pope, to whom Alfonso paid no attention till he was presumably tired of his wife. It cannot have been his conscience which constrained him to leave Teresa, for his next step was to marry Berenguela of Castile in 1197, who was his second cousin. For this act of contumacy the king and kingdom were placed under interdict.

The pope was, however, compelled to modify his measures by the threat that if the people could not obtain the services of religion they would not support the clergy, and that heresy would spread. The king was left under interdict personally, but to that he showed himself indifferent, and he had the support of his clergy. Berenguela left him after the birth of five children, and the king then returned to Teresa, to whose daughters he left his kingdom by will.

His eldest daughter, Sancha, was engaged to her cousin King Henry I of Castile, but Henry died in 1217 before the marriage could be solemnized. Wanting to disinherit his eldest son, Fernando, King Alfonso invited John of Brienne to marry his daughter Sancha and thus inherit the Leonese throne. However, Queen Berenguela convinced John of Brienne to marry one of her daughters instead. Though she was the nominal heiress on her father's death in 1230, Sancha was easily set aside by Berenguela and Fernando. Sancha became a nun at Cozollos, where she died in 1270; she was later beatified. Her sister Dulce-Aldonza spent her life with their mother in Portugal.

Alfonso also fathered many illegitimate children by the following women:
Teresa Gil de Soverosa.
Aldonca Martins da Silva.
Ines Iniguez de Mendoza.

ALFONSO died on 23 or 24 September 1230.

WIFE (1):
Teresa of Portugal

CHILDREN of ALFONSO IX and Teresa of Portugal:
  1. Sancha (c. 1192-1270)
  2. Dulce, also called Aldonza (c. 1195-c.1243)
  3. Fernando (1204-August 1214)

WIFE (2):
Berenguela of Castile.
Born in 1179 or 1180 in Burgos, Spain; the eldest child and heir presumptive of Alfonso VIII of Castile.

She was a sought after bride, and was engaged to Conrad, the son of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa. After his death, she married her cousin, Alfonso IX of León, to secure the peace between him and her father. She had five children with him before their marriage was voided by Pope Innocent III. (S2).
(m. 1197; annulled 1204). Berenguela left him after the birth of five children.

When her father died, she served as regent for her younger brother Henry I in Castile until she succeeded him on his untimely death. Within months, she turned Castile over to her son, Ferdinand III, concerned that as a woman she would not be able to lead Castile's forces. However, she remained one of his closest advisors, guiding policy, negotiating, and ruling on his behalf for the rest of her life. She was responsible for the re-unification of Castile and León under her son's authority, and supported his efforts in the Reconquista. She was a patron of religious institutions and supported the writing of a history of the two countries. (S2).

She died on 8 November 1246 at Las Huelgas near Burgos; and was buried at Las Huelgas near Burgos. (S2).

CHILDREN of ALFONSO IX and Berenguela of Castile:
  1. Leonor. (Eleanor). (1198/99-October 31, 1210)
  2. FERDINAND III. (Fernando). (1201-1252). King of Castile and Leon.
  3. Berenguela (1201-1237), married John of Brienne
  4. Alfonso, Lord of Molina (1203-1272)
  5. Constanza (1205-September 7, 1242), became a nun at Las Huelgas

WIFE (3):
Teresa Gil de Soverosa
daughter of Gil Vasques de Soverosa & Maria Aires de Fornelos

CHILDREN of ALFONSO IX and Teresa Gil de Soverosa:
  1. Martim Alfonso of Leon c.1210
  2. Maria Alfonso of Leon c.1190
  3. Sancha of Leon c.1210
  4. Urraca Alfonso of Leon c.1210

WIFE (4):
Aldonca Martins da Silva
daughter of Martim Gomes da Silva & Urraca Rodrigues

CHILDREN of ALFONSO IX and Aldonca Martins da Silva:
  1. Pedro Alfonso of Leon, Lord of Tenorio c.1200
  2. Rodrigo Alfonso of Leon, Lord of Aliger c.1200
  3. Alfonso of Leon (died young)
  4. Fernando of Leon (died young)
  5. Aldonza Alonso of Leon c.1215
  6. Teresa Alfonso of Leon c.1210

WIFE (5):
Ines Iniguez de Mendoza
daughter of Lope Iniguez, 1st Lord of Mendoza & Teresa Ximenez de los Cameros

CHILDREN of ALFONSO IX and Ines Iniguez de Mendoza
  1. Urraca Alfonso of Leon c.1190

WIFE (6):

CHILDREN of ALFONSO IX and (unknown):
  1. Maria Alfonso of Leon c.1200
  2. Fernando Alfonso of Leon c.1220


Alfonso IX, King of Leon, and Berenguela of Castile
Ferdinand III, , King of Castile and Leon, and Beatrice of Hohenstaufen
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