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Fernando I, Duke of Braganza


Fernando I, Duke of Braganza

Fernando I
D. Fernando I; Ducal Palace of Vila Viçosa
Duke of Braganza
Tenure 15 December 1461 - 1 April 1478
Predecessor Afonso I
Successor Fernando II
Spouse Joana de Castro
Fernando II
João, 1st Marquis of Montemore-o-Novo
Álvaro, 4th Lord of Cadaval
House House of Braganza
Father Afonso I
Mother Beatriz Pereira de Alvim
Born 1403
Kingdom of Portugal
Died 1 April 1478
Vila Viçosa, Alentejo,
Kingdom of Portugal
Religion Roman Catholicism

Dom Fernando I of Braganza (Portuguese pronunciation: [fɨɾˈnɐ̃du]; 1403 – 1 April 1478) was the 2nd Duke of Braganza and the 1st Marquis of Vila Viçosa, among other titles. He took part in the Portuguese conquests in North Africa and served as governor of different territories there.

Early Life and North African Conquest

Born in 1403, when Fernando was a child, he inherited the title of 3rd Count of Arraiolos.

In 1432, the young Fernando was called upon by King John I for consultation on a project, promoted by Prince Henry the Navigator, to launch a campaign of conquest against the Marinid sultante of Morocco. Fernando submitted opinion was almost wholly against the project. When the project was picked up again during the reign of King Edward in 1436, Fernando once again reiterated his objections. Nonetheless, despite his opposition, Edward appointed Fernando as constable of the nobles for the 1437 expedition to seize Tangier. Although the expedition was under the overall command of Henry the Navigator, Edward felt Fernando's military expertise was necessary to make up for Henry's inexperience.

After failing to conquer the city by assault, the Portuguese expeditionary army was surrounded and starved into submission by a Moroccan relief army. In return for being allowed to withdraw his troops unmolested, Henry agreed to a treaty to deliver Ceuta back to the Marinids. For the fulfillment of the treaty, Henry handed over his own brother, Ferdinand the Saint Prince as a hostage to the Moroccans.

Return to Portugal

Back in Portugal, Fernando led the opposition to the treaty. At the Cortes of Leiria assembled in early 1438 by King Edward, Fernando rallied the nobles and took the floor, urging them to refuse to surrender Ceuta. Fernando claimed the treaty was signed under duress and invalid. It was largely because of Fernando's energetic campaign that the Cortes rejected ratification and told the king to find some other way of securing Prince Fernando's release (none was found - Fernando the Saint Prince would die in Moroccan captivity in 1443).

Fernando was nominated Governor of Ceuta from 1445 until 1450.

By royal decree dated from May 25, 1455, King Afonso V of Portugal granted Fernando the new title of 1st Marquis of Vila Viçosa.

In 1458, Fernando took part, along with his sons, in the expedition that conquered the Moroccan city of Alcácer Ceguer.

In 1460, as his older brother Afonso, died without legitimate issue, he became the 5th Count of Ourém and the House of Braganza's heir. One year later, following his father’s death, in 1461, he also became the 2nd Duke of Braganza, 9th Count of Barcelos, 3rd Count of Neiva, and 3rd Count of Faria.

In 1471, when King Afonso V took to North Africa to conquer the city of Arzila, he remained in mainland Portugal as regent of the kingdom.

Marriage and Issue

Fernando I married, on 28 December 1429, D. Joana de Castro, Lady of Cadaval, (1410 - 14 February 1479). They had nine children, of whom three were still born.

Name Birth Death Notes
Fernando II 1430 20 June 1483 3rd Duke of Braganza, 2nd Marquis of Vila Viçosa, 1st Duke of Guimarães
João 1430 30 April 1484 1st Marquis of Montemor-o-Novo
Afonso 1435 unknown 1st Count of Faro
Álvaro 1440 1504 5th Lord of Ferreira, 4th Lord of Cadaval, 1st Senhor de Tentúgal
António unknown unknown Still born
Isabel unknown unknown Still born
Beatriz 1440 unknown Married Pedro de Meneses, 1st Marquis of Vila Real
Guiomar 1450 unknown Married Henrique de Meneses, 4th Count of Viana do Alentejo
Catarina unknown unknown Still born


See also


  • ”Nobreza de Portugal e do Brasil” – Vol. II, page 439. Published by Zairol Lda., Lisbon 1989.
  • Genealogical information on Fernando I of Braganza (in Portuguese)

External links

Fernando I, Duke of Braganza
Cadet branch of the House of Aviz
Born: 1479 Died: 1532
Portuguese nobility
Preceded by
Afonso I
Duke of Braganza; Count of Barcelos
Succeeded by
Fernando II
Preceded by
Nuno Álvares Pereira
Count of Arraiolos
Preceded by
New Title
Marquis of Vila Viçosa
Preceded by
New Title
Count of Neiva
Preceded by
Afonso, Marquis of Valença
Count of Ourém

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