INEZ DE CASTRO (d.
Tradition asserts that her father, Don Pedro Fernandez de Castro, and her mother, Dona Aldonca Soares de Villadares, a noble Portuguese lady, were unmarried, and that Inez and her two brothers were consequently of bastard birth.
Educated at the semi-Oriental provincial court of Juan Manuel, duke of Penafiel, Inez grew up side by side with Costanga, the duke's daughter by a scion of the royal house of Aragon, and her own cousin.
In 1341 the two girls left Penafiel; Costanca's marriage was celebrated in the same year, and the young infanta and her cousin went to reside at Lisbon, or at Coimbra, where Dom Pedro conceived that luckless and furious passion for Inez which has immortalized them.
Pedro's connexion par amours with Inez would of itself have aroused no opposition.
He went in secret to the palace at Coimbra, where Inez and the infante resided, accompanied by his three familiars, and by others who agreed with them.
The beauty and tears of Inez disarmed his resolution, and he turned to leave her; but the gentlemen about him had gone too far to recede.
Inez was stabbed to death and was buried immediately in the church of Santa Clara.
The three murderers of Inez were sent out of the kingdom by Alphonso, who knew his son too well not to be aware that the vengeance would be tremendous as the crime.
The story of the exhumation and coronation of the corpse of Inez has often been told.
The gravest doubts, however, exist as to the authenticity of this story; Fernao Lopes, the Portuguese Froissart, who is the great authority fcr the details of the death of Inez, with some of the actors in which he was acquainted, says nothing of the ghastly ceremony, though he tells at length the tale of the funeral honours that the king bestowed upon his wife.
Inez was buried at Alcobaga with extraordinary magnificence, in a tomb of white marble, surmounted by her crowned statue; and near her sepulchre Pedro caused his own to be placed.
The children of Inez shared her habit of misfortune.
Hostilities with the Castilians and with the Moors occupied many years of his reign, during which he gained some successes; but by consenting to the barbarous murder of Inez de Castro, who was secretly espoused to his son Peter, he has fixed an indelible stain on his character.
The later years of his reign were darkened by the tragedy of Inez de Castro.
Diniz, eldest son of Inez de Castro, claimed the throne and invaded Portugal in 1398, but his supporters were easily crushed.