Filipa Moniz Perestrelo

Filipa Moniz Perestrelo (c. 1455 – between 1479 and 1484) was a Portuguese noblewoman from Porto Santo Island, in Madeira, Portugal. She was the wife of Christopher Columbus, married in 1479 in Vila Baleira on the island.

Filipa Moniz Perestrelo
Bornc. 1455
Diedbetween 1479–1484 (aged 24–29)
(m. 1479)
ChildrenDiego Columbus
Parent(s)Bartolomeu Perestrelo
Isabel Moniz
Todos-os-Santos All Saints Monastery of the Order of Santiago, Lisbon where Filipa used to live, today houses the French Embassy.
Capela da Piedade (Chapel of Piety) at Carmo, Lisbon where Filipa was buried.


Filipa Moniz was the daughter of Isabel Moniz and Bartolomeu Perestrelo.[1] Prior to marrying she was one of the twelve elite Comendadoras of the Monastery of All Saints in Lisbon of the Military Order of St. James, which means she had a comendary.[2] Her step son Ferdinand Columbus and her brother-in-law Bartholomew Columbus, described her as a "noble Comendadora" residing in the Monastery of All Saints.[3]


Discussing the question how Christopher Columbus, the son of a Genoese wool weaver, could marry the daughter of a Portuguese Knight of Santiago, member of the household of Prince John, Lord of Reguengos de Monsaraz (Master of Santiago,) and of Prince Henry the Navigator's household, Samuel Eliot Morison[4] wrote that this is "no great mystery." Filipa was "already about 25 years old," her mother was a widow "with slender means," and "her mother was glad enough to have no more convent bills to pay, and a son-in-law [...] who asked for no dowry."

Another view is presented by Portuguese professor Joel Silva Ferreira Mata, who researched All-Saints and its residents.[5] According to him, as "member" of the Order of Santiago, in order for Filipa to marry the future Admiral Columbus, she, like all members, required authorization from Santiago's Master,[6] because, like all other religious and military orders, the Order of Santiago had its established rules and protocols by which it was governed.[7] The Master of Santiago from 1470 to 1492, thus governing at the time of Filipa's marriage, was King John II of Portugal. From this marriage was born Diego Columbus in 1479 or 1480 who went on to become 2nd Admiral of the Indies, 2nd Viceroy of the Indies and 4th Governor of the Indies, and who married King Fernando's cousin, María de Toledo y Rojas. Thus Filipa Moniz was daughter of a King's Captain, wife of a Viceroy and mother of another Viceroy.

After Filipa died, Columbus had a second son, Fernando, by Beatriz Enriquez de Arana, in 1488.


Filipa's fate is unknown and it is uncertain whether she was dead before Columbus left Portugal, nor is her cause of death known. Current scholarship places her death sometime between 1478 and 1484.[8] She was buried in the Capela da Piedade (Chapel of Piety), which is the first chapel to the right of the main chapel in the Carmo Convent along with her sister, Izeu Perestrelo and her brother-in-law, Pedro Correia da Cunha.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Freitas, Antonio Maria de (1893). The Wife of Columbus: With Genealogical Tree of the Perestrello and Moniz Families. New York: Stettinger, Lambert & Co.
  2. ^ A district or a manor with lands and tenements appertaining thereto, under the control of a member of an order of knights who was called a commander; - called also a preceptory.
  3. ^ Historie del S. D. Fernando Colombo; nelle quali s'ha particolare, & vera relatione della vita, & de fatti dell'Ammiraglio D. Cristoforo Colombo, suo padre: Et dello scoprimento ch'egli fece dell'Indie Occidentali, dette Mondo Nuovo (The life of the Admiral Christopher Columbus by his son Ferdinand)
  4. ^ Samuel Eliot Morison, Admiral of the Ocean Sea pp. 37-39
  5. ^ A Comunidade Feminina da Ordem de Santiago: A comenda de Santos na Idade Média, Prof. Joel Silva Ferreira Mata, Universidad Lusíada, Oporto, 1992.
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2011-12-14.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ MATA, Joel Silva Ferreira – A comunidade feminina da Ordem de Santiago: a comenda de Santos em finais do século XV e no século XVI. Um estudo religioso, económico e social. In Militarium Ordinum Analecta. Porto, No. 9, Fundação Engenheiro António de Almeida, 2007.
  8. ^ Davidson, Miles H. (1997). Columbus Then and Now: A Life Reexamined. University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 47–49. ISBN 9780806129341. Retrieved 14 January 2018.

Further readingEdit

  • Fernández-Armesto, Felipe (1991). Columbus. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-215898-8.
  • Phillips, William D. (1992). The Worlds of Christopher Columbus. Carla Rahn Phillips. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-35097-2.
  • Taviani, Paolo Emilio (1992). "Perestrelo y Moniz, Filipa". The Christopher Columbus Encyclopedia. Simon & Schuster.