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Continued from previous page.
Again from Livermore:
Afonso's heir, Don Pedro, was born at Coimbra in 1320 and betrothed at the age of eight to the Infanta Blanca of Castile, but in view of the bride's illness and weakness of mind, the marriage was later dissolved, and at the age of sixteen Pedro married his second wife Donna Constanza. The marriage was by proxy, and Constanza was only able to reach Portugal four years later, after the conclusion of peace with Castile. Some time after the repetition of the marriage ceremony in Lisbon, in August 1340, Constanza took as one of her ladies a Galician girl related to her, by name Inez Opires de Castro, and known for her elegance as Colo de Garcs, or Heron's-neck. With her Pedro fell in love.
It is important to note here that Inez was the illegitimate daughter of Pedro Fernandez de Castro of the powerful Castilian de Castro family and he was the grandson of Sancho IV of Castile. Pedro of Portugal was in fact also a grandson of Sancho so he and Inez were in fact cousins. Constanca Pedro's actual wife was the daughter of Juan Manual who was the grandson of Fernando II of Castile so again she was in fact also a cousin of both Pedro and Inez.
Constanza attempted to put an obstacle in the way of the attachment by choosing Inez de Castro as godmother for her son Luis, but Pedro with his violent and stubborn character ignored the relationship and at length scandalised his father the austere Afonso IV by his behaviour. Inez de Castro was exiled to Alberquerque, however D. Pedro continued to keep in touch with her. Constanza died in 1345, giving birth to the eventual heir D Fernando, and Inez de Castro soon returned to Portugal to take her palace. In the course of the following ten years, four children were born to Pedro and Inez, thus producing another bastard line fertile in further trouble.
Afonso IV urged his son to contract another marriage, but D. Pedro alleged his attachment to his late wife to avoid it, while Inez de Castro was said to have declared that she was, nor could be, his wife. In spite of this he came under the political influence of her two brothers, who intervened in both Portuguese and Castilian politics, and in 1354 claimed the throne of Castile, to which Pedro the Cruel had acceded four years before. According to Lopez de Ayala, the King of Portugal prevented the scheme from going any further, but the threat of an entanglement with Castile combined with the fear of an attempt to install one of the sons of Inez de Castro on the throne, in place of the direct line, caused the royal counsellors to urge Afonso to take action. Thus a background of intrigue developed behind the idyllic interlude of the Quinta das Lagrimas, the estate adjoining Santa Clara at Coimbra to which Pedro and Inez repaired. The three protagonists of this movement against the Castro's were Pedro Coelho, Diogo Lopes Pachecho and the Chief Justice Alvaro Goncalves. These men brought Afonso IV to the point of action on January 7 1355, when, the court being at Montemor, they persuaded him to ride the few miles to Coimbra and put Inez to death. According to Rui de Pina, who reproduces the ensuing scene, the King's heart was softened by the sight of his grand children imploring him to spare their mother, and he left the palace still in doubt. Only on the way back did the three courtiers return to their arguments, and wrested from him permission to do what they would. Riding back to Coimbra, they burst into the palace and murdered Inez de Castro. The deed drove Pedro into open rebellion. The brothers of Inez de Castro brought down an army from Galicia and overran northern Portugal. Pedro himself besieged Oporto, but raised the siege when his father marched upon Guimarais. The chronicler Acenheiro declares that the short civil war was productive of great bloodshed and disorder, until Queen Beatriz, following the example of her mother in law intervened to bring about a reconcilliation and peace was restored on August 15. In the general pardon Pedro promised to forgive the three counsellors, and in return received vice-regal powers as chief justice.
Afonso IV died soon after the civil war, and Pedro acceded to the throne in May 1357. He at once proceeded to take vengeance on Inez murderers. Two of them had been signatories to the peace of 1355, but later escaped to Castile. Already in 1358 a treaty with Castile was under consideration, and in 1360 it was followed by an agreement to extradite certain refugees in both Kingdoms. As a result Alvaro Gaoncalves and Pedro Coeldo were handed over to Pedro and executed at Santarem, their hearts being drawn, one through the chest, the other through the back. The third murderer made good his escape.
The episode was crowned by Pedro's last step in announcing that he had been secretly married to Inez years before, and in attempting to force recognition of the marriage on his vassals by the observance of pompous funeral celebrations.
What ever the motives of Pedros declaration - probably the legitimisation of Inez de Castro's children, since Don Fernando was his only lawful heir - the alleged marriage was widely rejected in Pedro's own time. The better to emphasise it, he ordered the manufacture of the two beautiful tombs which stand in the Abby of Alcobaca, recording in intricate tracery the life story of Inez de Castro and concluding with a scene of the Day of Judgement, in which Inez and himself are seen approaching Christ in the company of the blessed to witness from the casements of paradise the agony of Pedro Coelho and Alvaro Gancalves, engulfed in the jaws of hell.
Note Pedro is buried with Inez his mistress or his wife if his statement of marriage is correct (but which was found at the time to be false). Mind you the people who repudiated the marriage were trying to put one of Pedro's other illegitimate children on to the throne and Inez son was also being considered, the other party produced evidence the marriage did not take place and when they won this evidence was "lost" so no one can say one way or the other.
Note the classic Iberian story of plot and counter plot of legitimate and illegitimate children of mistress and wife etc. Note also Inez being related to the Queen? Not as strange as it may seem, as it would have been most unlikely that a stranger would have been asked to hold the post. These positions also had political implications.
I again pose the question that if during the rise of the state of Portugal and the consolidation of power of the then Royal house and the re-conquest of the lands held by the invaders from Africa all in the name of the very powerful Church if Pedro would have openly taken up with a lady (related to the Queen!!) who was of Jewish stock (open or converted and hidden?) I think not!
It is known by most people that a child born of a Jewish mother is considered as being of the Jewish faith, there is no Baptism into the Church as followed by the Christian faith. Bearing this in mind then we must assume that if Inez was Jewish then her children were also considered Jewish thus if they had managed to assume the right to inherit the Crown of their father then good Catholic Portugal would have come under the rule of a Jewish King? I just cannot see that the Portuguese would have permitted this to happen and I do not see how the possibility of Inez being Jewish could have escaped all the historians. I thus cannot see that Inez was any thing other than of good and impeccable Catholic stock. Thus how come our branch which was Jewish can claim to be related? It has been established this claim is not current but can be traced back to the 1700's with another branch of our family, for good measure it also seems that other de Castro families of Jewish origin also have the same fable. So while I say for what may seem to be logical reasons the story is just a fable there could be a grain of truth there somewhere.
May I digress here and relate how in the very early days of the 1900's that Paul Lopes de Castro made contact with the de Castro' descendant of Moses de Castro in Holland. Other than in an interest in the documents and deeds he was said to have Paul was rebuffed by the family as they were Jewish and after all the English branch he represented was very Christian by this time. The Dutch branch believed the English had betrayed their religion. So even in our own knowledge we have a branch of a very old Jewish family converted to another faith so why could it not have happened 900 years before particularly when your life was at stake?
Initially I was of the firm opinion that that such a connection could never be made, but then the family name was common and the fable exists in our history and the goings on in Portugal/Spain in the 1300's to me suggest that any thing is possible. It may point to the real reason that Inez was murdered and why she never married her Prince and first in line to a Kingdom.
The story of Inez resulted in some of the first romantic Portuguese writings and she is a revered person in her country. The Tombs still exist in Alcobaca in Portugal and members of the family have visited them.
The story does not end here, as there were Inez's children to take into account.
Fernando took the title from his father on his death aged twenty-two years. He was said to be a lusty youth fond of women and an accoster of them he was also said to have been left the largest fortune in Portuguese royal history. Pedro the first of Portugal before his death organised with Pedro the first of Castile a military alliance which was sealed by three betrothals, that of the heir of Portugal Fernando to the King of Castile's daughter Beatriz, whilst the two sons of Inez de Castro Joao and Denis, would also marry Castilian princesses. However at the same time he Pedro of Portugal began secret negotiations with the common enemy, the King of Aragon. On the death of Pedro of Castile Fernando became a claimant to the throne of Castile basing his claim on his descent from Sancho III and his marriage with the daughter of the late King. Prominent among Fernando's Galician adherents were the family of Inez de Castro. After the usual war and re-organisation of alliances Fernando contracted to marry a second Leonor the daughter of Pedro IV of Aragon. However after payment of large sums of money the girl's father refused to allow her to marry Fernando until Papal dispensation was obtained. One thing led to another and the marriage did not take place and Fernando lost the moneys he had paid. To make up for the loss of the fortune Fernando debased the local currency and this coupled with his unfortunate wars made him most unpopular. He blotted his copybook once more when he fell in love with and declared his intention of marrying a third Leonor, a Portuguese lady named Leonor Teles, a niece to the Count of Barcelos and already the wife of one Joao Lourenco da Cunha. . The husband fled and Fernando obtained the necessary divorce and married his third Leonor. They had one daughter. The tale soon spread that he had stolen his wife and this on top of every thing else caused great resentment among the nobles and common people. After the marriage it is stated that only Don Denis one of the sons of Inez de Castro refused to acknowledge her stating bluntly that he would not kiss her hand but she might kiss his. While D. Denis was ostracised, others who followed suit were later tortured and executed. Denis took refuge in Castile, and in 1379 the elder of Inez de Castor's sons followed him. Leonor Teles the new wife of Fernardo had a sister Maria, a young widow with whom Joao (son of Inez) fell violently in love and made a secret marriage, to the alarm of the queen who knew that Joao was popular and feared a plot to oust her only daughter from the throne, in the event of her husband's death. Leonor, masterful and jealous, could not abide the prospect of Maria's replacing her on the throne. To eliminate any such possibility, she pointed out to Joao that if he had not been so rash as to marry her sister, he might have wedded her daughter and thus come to the throne. Joao's ambitions were aroused. Hastening to Coimbra, he burst into his wife's palace and murdered her in cold blood. The reward of the crime never came. Leonor Teles had not intended to fulfil her promise; all she did was arrange a pardon for the murderer of her sister, who, threatened with persecution by the more scrupulous members of his wife's family, fled to Castile. Leonor gave birth to a son at Elvas However while Fernando was delighted, it was generally known that the father of the child was one of Leonor's lovers the Count Of Ourem. Perhaps fortunately the child died. The princess Beatriz the only child of Fernando had by this time become a bride for the fifth time before her twelfth birthday, her father's unstable manner and plotting had caused the others never to have taken place. This latest was to the widowed King of Castile Juan I. The major problem facing the Portuguese Royal family was that if the King died then the logical successor to the Portuguese throne would be the kings only child and she would be married to the arch rivals the King of Castile so ipso-facto the Castilians would take over the crown of Portugal. The only other heirs that could claim the throne would be the children of Pedro and Inez de Castro?
As it turned out the eldest son of Inez made a bid or was put up as a contender for King however the question of his birth came up and from documents given at the hearing it was proved that Pedro had asked for papal dispensation to marry Inez but this had been refused and the papers were said to prove that Inez and Pedro had never married thus the children were illegitimate. There was another contender who was of direct but remote line and the Portuguese in the end elected him King.
It is important at this time to establish one MOST IMPORTANT fact, and that is we at no time have ever been able to make any link to this family other than both families bear the same common surname. Some may say that is enough however please bear in mind the simple fact the earliest record of a de Castro we have in the area was in the early 1000's and then the family was described as being a powerful Castilian family. Later in 1350 we find it is a Galacian family. That is a time lapse of 200 or so years, We have not been able to take the family back from England in 1700 to Amsterdam where we feel it came from after leaving Portugal so that is a 400 year gap. In that 400 year or so gap we can make no connection to the family and so there is absolutely nothing to connect us with Inez other than family fable. I suspect that any sensible person will realise that to make a claim of descent we will need a little more than a name. If we are descendants of a Portuguese, Castilian or Galacian family that has the name de Castro then we could be a descendant of any one of hundreds of male or female lines that have existed in the area over the last 700 years. Any one persisting in making a claim that some how this de Castro family is connected in the distant past to the family of Inez de Castro needs to bear these facts in mind. They would be better to claim descent from Adam and Eve.
We must now jump forward to 1492.
It is reasonable to believe that the family was of Spanish (Castile or Galacia) origin and that it was (and there is no doubt on this point) Jewish. In 1492 Isabell and Ferdinand of the united country of Aragon and Castile decided in a very pious moment to expel all Jews from Spain. Again from Livermore I quote:
On march 31st 1492 Ferdinand and Isabella expelled the Jewish population of Spain. This anti-climax in the annus mirabilis of Spanish history came only two months after the conquest of Granada, which had capitulated on very favourable terms with regard to religion and the retention of Moslem possessions, law and customs. Already in November 1487 the Inquisition had been set up on the request of Ferdanand and Isabella to cope with cases of Judaism and heresy, but members of Jewish society held influential positions in the Spanish state and whilst their power stimulated the envy of their gentile compatriot's, it also protected them from the effects of this envy. The Middle Ages in the Peninsula had been coloured by the complete tolerance of Moslem society, and, apart from outbreaks of popular feeling against usury, were reasonably free of anti-Semitic violence. In Spain the unification of the three kingdoms of Castile, Aragon and Grenada, brought about in so short a time, was accompanied by a desire for religious unification. At the cortes of Toledo in 1480 residence in Jewries was enforced, together with other annoyances, but it was only with the wide publicity given to an alleged case of human sacrifice that general anti-Jewish feeling was aroused to support the order of expulsion.
Most of the Popes of the time had warned the Christian Church against the forced baptism of the Jewish population as they and their advisers believed if they converted in their own time without force they would stay Christian. If however they were forced to convert then they would assume all the rights of the Christian community and no one would know if they were truly converted or acting. As a case in point it is reported that one community in Northern Spain was "converted" in the 1500's and that same community came into the open 400 years later at the start of the 1900's as having been a public Christian but secret Jewish community all that time. The main point of concern to the Church about the secret Jews was that they would infiltrate all of the community even the Church, and indeed this came to pass with many documented instances of people in very high position in the Church in fact being secret Jews.
The great problem to the good Christians in Spain and later Portugal was not that the Jews were doing very well despite all the restrictions placed against them, but that the forcibly converted "New Christians" with all the privileges of the ordinary citizens were doing even better. Indeed many people do not know that one of the main aims of the Inquisition was to find the hidden Jews who in the eyes of the Church were committing a far greater sin by reverting from being Christian to their original faith, than the people who resisted conversion and publicly always remained Jewish.
What is even more surprising is to find that having got rid of hundreds of thousands of these people the economies of the "Cleaned" countries of the time promptly collapsed and there were almost no money lenders, traders, teachers, and doctors left.
Remember there were no banks about in those days and to lend money at interest was a sin reserved for the Jewish by the Christians, most countries passed laws forbidding Jews to engage in any trade other than money lending so it was to the great benefit to the various rulers to in fact have a Jewish population who could act as the bankers and then every now and then expel all the Jews and take over all the debts that they were owed as well as all their property. To make certain the Jewish people were unpopular one occupation reserved for them was that of "tax gatherer" and when ever the ruler decided to gather fame and glory by going to war, to finance his activity he sent out his tax gatherers to claim a new or special tax. So anti Jewish feeling was not initially based on religion it was based on occupation and as a people they became an easy target for the people when hard times arrived or such events as the plague arrived.
With the Spanish and Portuguese it would seem they (the Jewish people) recognised they actually contributed to the wealth of the land and they were tolerated. Rather than butcher them the church found it gave them great strength to try and convert them first. Naturally if the Spanish were expelling the Jews then the Portuguese found it very beneficial to their economy to say, "come here but at a price"
It is recorded that on 31st March 1492 Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain expelled what they considered to be the entire Jewish population of Spain. In the Middle Ages in the peninsular there had been a basic tolerance of Moslem society, and apart from outbreaks of popular feeling against usury, were reasonably free of anti-Semitic violence.
In Spain the unification of the three kingdoms of Castile, Aragon and Granada, brought about in a very short time, was accompanied by a desire for religious unification. Ferdinand and Isabella thus decided to take this step, however it was felt that if they expelled the Moors the Christian communities in Africa could be endangered so the Moors were left alone. However no such bar was in the way of the Jewish population so it was decided to expel them.
Four months was the time allowed for selling up and leaving Spain? The bulk of them sailed to Africa from the very same port in Spain that Christopher Columbus was at getting his fleet ready to sail off and discover the new world
It was not unnatural that numbers of Spanish Jews should seek the protection of Portuguese Jews who were numerous and powerful at the time, they were ready to offer large sums for permission to enter Portugal.
King John (of Portugal) anxious to profit by the situation, and on explaining to an advisory council that he felt he could extract enough money from the Jews to spare the Portuguese taxpayer his military expenditure in Africa, was advised the entry of the Jews should go ahead. The refugees it was agreed were to be allowed in for eight months and the king would then organise transport for them at their cost out of the country.
Six hundred families made a special contract, which included the right to settle in Portugal, and were absorbed in the large cities. Some 60,000 families or about one third of those expelled from Spain came to Portugal. For various reasons the King offered only passages to Tangier and Arzila in Africa, where the Moors plundered and abused them, many in time made for Constantinople which had recently been taken by the Turks from the Greeks and there they were made most welcome. Those who had no passage money or could not take ship were sold or given as slaves. Their children, after forcible baptism, were shipped off to the island of Sao Tome with the idea that they would grow up into good Christians and useful citizens of equatorial Africa, provided of course they survived the journey and climate.
The forced conversions did over time cause large numbers of the Jewish peoples to change for ever from their Jewish faith and as a result in both Spain and Portugal there are considerable numbers of people that had Jewish origins who not only became more Iberian than the inhabitants but who in many recorded instances set about persecuting those of their former faith who had always remained true to their Jewish origins.
There are also many documented cases where families who had been "converted" for in some cases many generations suddenly changed back or had individual members who changed back. As can be imagined that to try and work out who was who and what sort of religious history they had became almost impossible to tell. Some families in both Spain and Portuguese rose to very high rank, the da Costa family is one where they were granted rights that enabled them to create Knights of the realm and among other things to mint their own coin, their title protected them from prosecution from almost any crime and they could appoint priests and judges.
They, on the face of it, were Noblemen of sound Iberian stock but in fact most of them were followers of the Jewish faith, thus when we read the entire population was expelled we must realise that those expelled were possibly only those who were in public Jewish. In Time magazine recently there was a lead article about the fact that many of the Spanish American families were finding that certain of the traditions and activities they carried on say at marriage, baptism and funerals etc. were in fact Jewish rights that would have been passed on down the generations within the family without the modern day families realising their origins.
With a change of King from John to Manuel there was a change in attitude. Manuel released the Jews who had been place into slavery. However later he wanted to marry Isabella and Ferninand's daughter and to do so he was obliged to bring his policy into line with the intolerance practised in Spain.
So in December 1496 he issued an order expelling all the Jews and Moors who were unwilling to be baptised. They had to be gone or converted by October 1497. He changed is mind half way through and commanded that the Jewish children were to be removed and educated at the Kings expense. Every attempt was made to convert the Jews who were assembled in Lisbon by threats, promises and forcible conversion. Those who refused conversion were shipped out and those who stayed were converted. Manuel, who possibly realising the difficulties that would occur if all the Jews left, promised protection to those converted (and now called New Christians) what he promised was that for the next 20 years no enquiry would be made into their beliefs. The majority that who accepted forced conversion had no desire to stay in Portugal so it was necessary to pass laws that prohibited all ex-Jews from leaving Portugal.
Like those expelled from Spain the bulk of the Portuguese Jews made for Constantinople where they had been made welcome This was because the city had just been taken by Sulliman from the Greeks and it was very depopulated so he encouraged the exiles from Spain and Portugal to come and settle. He also knew of their trade connections and that they were in fact ruthless tax collectors when given the job so they were most welcome and many rose to very high positions in government.
In 1537 the inquisition was enforced with enthusiasm, however the results generally appalled the locals and this petered out. Spain rose and Portugal fell. Philip the third of Spain was Philip the second of Portugal between 1598 and 1621. The Dutch and English who were becoming powerful nations saw the Portuguese and Spanish possessions as fair game and at the same time a succession of unfortunate episodes saw Spain's finances shattered.
At this time the New Christians took the opportunity in Portugal to offer a huge sum for permission to leave and for those that remained the removal of all charges against them and to be treated as equals in the land. Philip agreed in 1601 and he allowed those who wanted to leave to go. Some smart families left immediately (mant going to Bayonne in France and others to other European states with a tolerant attitude. However due to a lot of double talk the Crown ended up with the cash and the New Christians were done out of their funds and were not given their pardon and were not allowed, as offered, to assume office in Portugal. Indeed those who had left were considered criminals and rewards were offered for their capture.
In 1610 the Inquisition was permitted to continue. In the 1640's the Crown again got stuck in by again confiscating the assets of the New Christians, however economics played a hand and the King allowed the property to be retained so long as it was pooled to serve as capital for the Portuguese Brazil Company. In general throughout all this time whenever the New Christians could flee they did and as said much earlier they settled where they could to conduct their trade. The inquisition finally ended in the mid 1800's.
Thus between 1492 and 1497 there occurred the complete expulsion of all Jews in Spain and Portugal who would not become Christians. From that time the Jews who were converted were referred to as New Christians and from a public point of view acted as Christians.
However the Crown realised the stupidity of the conversions and as time progressed the laws that were enacted against the Jews were re- introduced and applied to New Christians. They were denied basic property rights and were never classed as citizens. The first time the New Christians could leave Portugal was in 1601, and it was at this time the Jewish communities in Holland, England, Bordeaux, Bayonne Amsterdam etc. started to grow.
Others went to the community in Leghorn in Italy (now Livorno), which was at that time was basically considered a Spanish province.
I conclude by stating that there is absolutely no doubt that the family origins were in Spain, how or if they were connected to the powerful de Castro family of Castile we do not know. Other than having the same family name, it is very unlikely there is any family connection to Inez de Castro.
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