Duarte[a] ([duˈaɾt(ɨ)]; 31 October 1391 – 9 September 1438), known in English as Edward and called the King Philosopher (o Rei-Filósofo) or the Eloquent (o Eloquente), was King of Portugal from 1433 until his death. He was born in Viseu, the son of John I of Portugal and his wife, Philippa of Lancaster. Edward was the oldest member of the "Illustrious Generation" of accomplished royal children who contributed to the development of Portuguese civilization during the 15th century. As a cousin of several English kings, he became a Knight of the Garter.[b]
|King of Portugal|
|Reign||14 August 1433 – 9 September 1438|
|Born||31 October 1391|
Viseu, Kingdom of Portugal
|Died||9 September 1438 (aged 46)|
Tomar, Kingdom of Portugal
|Spouse||Eleanor of Aragon|
|Issue||Afonso V of Portugal|
Infante Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu
Eleanor, Holy Roman Empress
Joan, Queen of Castile
|Mother||Philippa of Lancaster|
Before he ascended the throne, Duarte always followed his father in the affairs of the kingdom. He was knighted in 1415 after the Portuguese capture of the city of Ceuta in North Africa, across from Gibraltar. He became king in 1433, when his father died of the plague.
As king, Duarte soon showed interest in building internal political consensus. During his short reign of five years, he called the Portuguese Cortes (the national assembly) no less than five times to discuss the political affairs of his kingdom. He also followed the politics of his father concerning the maritime exploration of Africa. He encouraged and financed his famous brother, Henry the Navigator, who initiated many expeditions on the west coast of Africa. An expedition of Gil Eanes in 1434 first rounded Cape Bojador on the northwestern coast of Africa, leading the way for further exploration southward along the African coast.
The colony at Ceuta rapidly became a drain on the Portuguese treasury, and it was realised that without the city of Tangier, possession of Ceuta was worthless. After Ceuta was captured by the Portuguese, the camel caravans that were part of the overland trade routes began to use Tangier as their new destination. This deprived Ceuta of the materials and goods that made it an attractive market and a vibrant trading locale, and it became an isolated community.
In 1437, Duarte's brothers Henry and Ferdinand persuaded him to launch an attack on the Marinid sultanate of Morocco. The expedition was not unanimously supported and was undertaken against the advice of the Pope. Infante Peter, Duke of Coimbra, and the Infante John were both against the initiative; they preferred to avoid conflict with the Marinid Sultan. Their instincts proved to be justified. The resulting Battle of Tangier, led by Henry, was a debacle. Failing to take the city in a series of assaults, the Portuguese siege camp was soon itself surrounded and starved into submission by a Moroccan relief army. In the resulting treaty, Henry promised to deliver Ceuta back to the Marinids in return for allowing the Portuguese army to depart unmolested. Duarte's youngest brother, Ferdinand, was handed over to the Marinids as a hostage for the final handover of the city.
The debacle at Tangier dominated Duarte's final year. Peter and John urged him to fulfill the treaty, yield Ceuta and secure Ferdinand's release, whereas Henry (who had signed the treaty) urged him to renege on it. Caught in indecision, Duarte assembled the Portuguese Cortes at Leiria in early 1438 for consultation. The Cortes refused to ratify the treaty, preferring to hang on to Ceuta and requesting that Duarte find some other means of obtaining Ferdinand's release.
Duarte died late that summer, in Tomar, of the plague, like his father and mother (and her mother) before him. Popular lore suggested he died of heartbreak over the fate of his hapless brother; Ferdinand would remain in captivity in Fez until his own death in 1443.
Duarte's premature death provoked a political crisis in Portugal. Leaving only a young son, Afonso, to inherit the throne, it was generally assumed that Duarte's brothers would take over the regency of the realm. But Duarte's will appointed his unpopular foreign wife, Eleanor of Aragon, as regent. A popular uprising followed, in which the burghers of the realm, assembled by John of Reguengos, acclaimed Peter of Coimbra as regent. But the nobles backed Eleanor's claim, and threatened civil war. The regency crisis was defused by a complicated and tense power-sharing arrangement between Eleanor and Peter.
Another less political side of Duarte's personality is related to culture. A reflective and scholarly infante, he wrote the treatises O Leal Conselheiro (The Loyal Counsellor) and Livro Da Ensinança De Bem Cavalgar Toda Sela ("Book of Teachings on Riding Well on Every Saddle") as well as several poems. He was in the process of revising the Portuguese law code when he died.
Marriages and descendantsEdit
|By Eleanor of Aragon (c. 1402–19 February 1445); married on 22 September 1428)|
|Infante John||October 1429||b. 14 August 1433||Prince of Portugal.|
|Infanta Philippa||27 November 1430||24 March 1439||Died young.|
|Infante Afonso||15 January 1432||28 August 1481||Who succeeded him as Afonso V, King of Portugal.|
|Infanta Maria||7 December 1432||8 December 1432||Died in infancy.|
|Infante Ferdinand||17 November 1433||18 September 1470||Duke of Viseu. He was declared heir to his brother Afonso V for two brief periods, and therefore used the style of Prince instead of Infante. He was the father of future king Manuel I.|
|Infanta Eleanor||18 September 1434||3 September 1467||Holy Roman Empress by marriage to Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor.|
|Infante Duarte||12 July 1435||12 July 1435||Died shortly after being born.|
|Infanta Catherine||26 November 1436||17 June 1463||She was betrothed to Charles IV of Navarre but he died before the marriage could take place. After his death, Catherine entered the Convent of Saint Claire and became a nun.|
|Infanta Joan||20 March 1439||13 June 1475||Queen of Castile by marriage to Henry IV of Castile.|
|Ancestors of Edward, King of Portugal|
- Collins 2000, p. 157.
- Stephens, Henry Morse. The Story of Portugal, G.P. Putnam's sons, 1903
- Watanabe 1988, p. 136.
- John I, King of Portugal at the Encyclopædia Britannica
- Armitage-Smith, Sydney (1905). John of Gaunt: King of Castile and Leon, Duke of Aquitaine and Lancaster, Earl of Derby, Lincoln, and Leicester, Seneschal of England. Charles Scribner's Sons. p. 21. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
- Peter I, King of Portugal at the Encyclopædia Britannica
- de Sousa, Antonio Caetano (1735). Historia genealogica da casa real portugueza [Genealogical History of the Royal House of Portugal] (in Portuguese). 2. Lisboa Occidental. p. 4.
- Collins, Hugh E. L. (2000). The Order of the Garter, 1348-1461: Chivalry and Politics in Late Medieval England. Clarendon Press.
- Watanabe, Morimichi (1988). Christianson, Gerald; Izbicki, Thomas M. (eds.). Nicholas of Cusa – A Companion to his Life and his Times. Ashgate Publishing Limited.