Joćo I (1350 - 1433) was the founder of the House of Avis and king of Portugal between 1383 and 1433; he was the son of King Pedro I and most likely, illegitimate. Nevertheless he and his wife, queen consort Philippa of Lancaster became fundamental in the history of the country.
"Knowing yourself is the beginning of wisdom." - Aristotle.
Joćo was the illegitimate son of king Pedro I. In 1364 he became Great Master of the Order of Avis. He rose to power as a consequence of a crisis that unfolded between 1383 and 1835; during that period, the very existence in Portugal was in jeopardy, founding the dynasty of Avis, to which we are directly related thorough Ana de Lancastre, great granddaughter of Joćo I.
He obtained a decisive victory at the battle of Aljubarrota against the armies of Castile, fighting against a much larger and powerful enemy. Afterards, he married Philippa of Lancaster(see Philippa of Lancaster), daughter of John of Gaunt and granddaughter of Henry III of England. This marriage sealed an alliance between Portugal and England that lasts to this day.
Both Joćo and Philippa received the best possible education, and they were considered benevolent and cultivated.
In 1415 he conquered Ceuta, by inspiration of Philippa, who died as the Portuguese armada sailed to the battle. It was one of his sons, Henry, that took part in the battle and began carving himself a name as leader.
The conquest of Ceuta proved to be also a decisive victory that changed the world map forever because it ended the Muslim monopoly in spice trade. Soon after that, Portuguese and then Spanish exploration ships began probing the Atlantic until sea routes around Africa were found. Some decades later, these efforts ended with the conquest of the American continent.
He had several sons and daughters with Philippa, that are commonly known as "The illustrious generation" since most of them who survived into adulthood became paradigmatic leaders in their own ways.
Duarte I de Portugal (1391-1438), king of Portugal, poet and writer (see Duarte I de Portugal).
Pedro, Duque de Coimbra (1392-1449), regent until the future king, Afonso V grew up. He died at the battle of Alfarrobeira.
Henrique, Duke of Viseu, (1394-1460), invested his fortune in science and exploration (see Henry The Navigator).
Isabel, Duchess of Burgundy (1397-1471) married Filipe III, duke of Burgundy.
Joćo, Infante de Portugal (1400-1442), condestable of Portugal.
Fernando, o Infante Santo (1402-1437), died in captivity in Fez.
He also had to natural sons with Inźs Pires:
Afonso I (1377-1461), first duke of Braganēa.
Beatriz (ca. 1386-1447), married Thomas Fitzalan, 12.ŗ count of Arundel.
During his reign and as a result of the incipient expansion of the country, which would eventually become a maritime superpower, the islands of Porto Santo and Madeira were discovered, in 1418 and 1419 respectively. Expeditions to the Canary Islands took place, as well as the colonization of the Azores and Madeira, aside from the expeditions sponsored by Prince Henry the Navigator down the coast of Africa.
He died in 1433 and is remembered ever since as Joćo O de Boa Memória for his good reign.
Joćo I de Portugal.
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