Inés de Castro, Queen After Death

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Pablo Edronkin

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Inés was the lover of Infant Pedro of Portugal, later king Pedro I; she was murdered by members of the court, and that caused a reaction from Pedro which gained himself the nickname 'El Cruel.'

"Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond." - Rumi.

The history of Inés de Castro[1.169][148] is shrouded in mystery; there are parts of it that are pure legend, others are maybe legendary, while others are based on historical facts. For sure, she belonged to the Galician royalty, was a child born outside legal marriage - a common ocurrence then - and later befriended Pedro, the then crown prince or Infante of Portugal. Some nobles were not very happy with the relationship between Pedro and Inés.

One of the problems with their relationship was that Pedro was already married at the moment Inés arrived from Galicia to Portugal. However, Constanza died at childbirth, when Fernando, the next heir of the throne was born.

Inés had herself four know children from Pedro: Afonso, who died soon after being born in 1346, Beatriz, João and Dionisio. At the time they were illegitimate; later they were recongized both as legitimate as well as royals.

Nine years after the death of Constanza, Pedro and Inés apparently married in secret; however, the prince and then king, neither the witnesses of the wedding could produce any document stating how the ceremony took place or exactly when, neither the rights and position of the sons of this second marriage.

In 1355 king Afonso IV was persuaded by enemies of the de Castro family to curtail its rise to power, which would be completed the moment Inés would became queen consort of Portugal. So, Alonso Goncalves, Pedro Coelho and Diego López Pacheco[1.112] began conspiring in order to assasinate the future queen.

Just having a love affair is considered a minor issue in most cases, but when a chief of state is involved, then an affair becomes a matter of politics, and more so since Pedro's first marriage had produced a heir and the children from Inés did pose a serious menace to those who were relying in the interests interwoven before his firs marriage.

The problem was, however, how to kill an innocent and defenceless woman. It wasn't exactly what I would call heroism, and back then the consideration about the issue was the same. On the other hand, killing others was often a matter of survival back in those days.

The king, taking advantage of the fact that one day Pedro went on a hunting expedition - this was a sport quite popular among kings those days -, went with some knights to Coímbra, and they stabbed Inés to death.

When Pedro returned he took his revenge. Not all facts have been established as purely historical and it is possible that some are just legend, but apparently, after he was crowned he ordered that the body of Inés shall ber emoved from her tomb. He then had the corpse be seated on the throne and have her posthumously crowned Inés as queen, while everyone paid homage to her dead body, forcing everyone around to act with the corpse as she were alive, giving perhaps a new meaning to necrophilia, and this was just to warm up.

King Pedro had Coelho's hearth ripped from his chest, and Goncalves's thorough his back while he watched and made others watch - some say during a banquet. He hunted down everyone involved in the assasination. The only who could escape was Pacheco, who fled to France and only many years later was pardoned. By the way, Diego López Pacheco also belonged to the family, and this was not the only case of murder among relatives who belonged to royalty. In fact, survival wasn't guaranteed. Murdering a relative in a position of power wasn't unheard of and there were many individuals daring enough to go outside the envelope even for XIV-century standards.

Also, murdering the king's woman, the would-be queen, was a challenge that realistically no ruler could tolerate. Common sense alone, aside from any other considerations, was enough to guarantee a harsh response from Pedro if he had any interest in surviving and keeping power. Besides, the murder didn't stop the de Castro family.

Inés' childred married into many European royan families; descendants from further generations did become rulers of Portugal, but there is doubt about the first generation after her: One of her sons was named João, and one of the sons of king Pedro I was indeed king João I of Portugal. He was for sure the son of Pedro, but he could have been the son of Inés, or of a noble woman maned Teresa.

It is still not clear whether João I the king of Portugal that went into power after Pedro I - who was his father - was the actual son of Inés de Castro; normally it has been accepted that João, the son of Inés was the Duke of Valencia de Campos but there are doubts about the women who were lovers or wives of Pedro I of Portugal[150.1]. Hence, it is not entirely clear whether the Duke and the future King João I (see João I de Portugal) were both sons of the same father and different mother, or that the Duke was the son of another father - however, it is generally considered that they were different persons. To this we should add that it was very rare that two sons of the same father or mother would receive the same name except when one son died in infancy and thus, a child born afterwards was named like the deceased one. This implies that while we indeed descend from João I of Portugal[118] and Philippa of Lancaster[119] according to Gottheil[1.4] and existing documents (see The Skowronek Bankers - Sources and references), it is very probable that the woman from whom we descen one generation prior to that, who was the lover or wife or Pedro I, was indeed Inés. If that is not the case, then the lover - or wife - king João's I mother would have been Teresa Lourenco[150.2].

If king João was the son of Inés, then she would be my 19th great grandmother, as follows. Otherwise, - and quite more probably - Pedro I would still be my 19th great grandfather but my 19th great grandmother would be Teresa. Interestingly, both surnames, - de Castro and Lourenco - appear realted to the Schoenberg / Belmonte family in other generations as well. So, whether it is one or the other, from Pedro I and his wife or lover, whomever she might have been, we reach our day sin the following way:

João I de Portugal (1357 - 1433) son[1.4], married Philippa of Lancaster (see The Curse of the Lancasters.)

Duarte I Anes de Portugal (1391 - 1438) son

Afonso V Duartes "O Africano" de Portugal (1432 - 1481) son

João II de Portugal (1455 - 1495) son

Jorge de Lancastre - Coimbra (1481 - 1550) son

Luis de Lancastre (1505 - 1574) son

Ana de Lancastre ( - 1625) daughter, [1.6] married with the Sampayo family (See Dom Iago de Sampayo y Belmonte)

Iago Antonio de Schonenberg (1554 - ) son

Philippina Alberta de Schonenberg (1585 - ) daughter

Simkha ben Ephraim Schoenberg ( - 1685) son

Joseph Jessel Schoenberg ( - 1738) son

Ephraim Shimon Schoenberg ( - 1742) son

Shmuel Schoenberg HaCohen (1740 - ) son

Yitzkhak Aizik Schoenberg HaCohen (1764 - 1854) son[1.79], was the first Schoenberg in Warsaw (See The First Schoenbergs in Warsaw)

Wolf Lejb Schoenberg (1795 - ) son

Yekhel Michal Schoenberg (1830 - 1909) son, married into the Rotenberg family (see The Bet of Meir ben Barukh von Rothenburg Against Himself)

Dinah Estera Schoenberg (1850 - ) daughter[1.16], married into the Skowronek family (see The Skowronek Bank Robbery)

Hena Skowronek ( - 1942) daughter[1.14]

Dwojra Blat (1908 - 1991) daughter (See Bashing the Villa)

Yolanda Braun Dr. MD (1935 - ) daughter (See The Day Yolanda met General Anders and the Archbishop of Canterbury)

Pablo Edronkin (1967 - )

The ill-fated life of Inés became the inspiration of many artists and even his own husband, Pedro. After her death he ordered the construction of two tombs, one for Inés and one for heimself very close to one another and in a position that was such as, when Judgement day would come and the dead would rise, the first thing he would see would be Inés alive again.

The tomb of Inés de Castro
The tomb of Inés de Castro, the woman who became a queen after death.
From Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia. Public domain[149]

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