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Introduction part I – the sovereigns

One hundred and two years before the Reformation began, the Reformation began. Its first act was not the nailing of parchments, but the burning of a man. Jan Hus, a simple priest from Bohemia, had gained a huge following in that country due to the sincerity, fervour and eloquence of his preaching, his plainly upright and moral character and the clarity of the doctrines he taught, modelled on those of Wycliffe. The King, Václav IV, was sympathetic, and even some of the Bohemian hierarchy not unswayed. Bulls and interdicts and excommunications had achieved nothing except to increase Hus's power.

 ‘One pays for confession, for mass, for the sacrament, for indulgences, for churching a woman, for a blessing, for burials, for funeral services and prayers. The very last penny which an old woman has hidden in her bundle for fear of thieves or robbery will not be saved. The villainous priest will grab it.’ Thus Hus, on what he saw as the endemic corruption of the Church. What might have been tolerated from an obscure priest could not be from a man who had become a national leader, and whose reputation and teachings were already spreading outside Bohemia’s borders.

The German King, Sigismund, younger half-brother of Václav IV, was determined to solve the problem of their being three Popes simultaneously. The Church, in all three factions, was determined to solve the problem of Hus and the threat he posed to its power. The Council of Constance was called to solve the first problem, which it did by removing all three Popes and installing a fourth. It also solved the second problem, luring Hus to Constance under a promise of safe conduct which it never meant to be honoured, seizing, imprisoning and torturing him and, after a mockery of a trial, burning him alive.

Except it didn’t solve it. The outraged Bohemians revolted altogether against the Church’s authority and, after the complete failure of no fewer than five separate Crusades spread over eleven years, had their independence in doctrine and liturgy formally acknowledged; the first breach in the monolithic sway of the Roman Church over the lands of Western and Central Europe, and one that endured until, ironically, the Counter-Reformation against the Protestant faith so much inspired by Hus snuffed out Bohemian religious liberties.

‘God is my witness that the things charged against me I never preached. In the same truth of the Gospel which I have written, taught, and preached, drawing upon the sayings and positions of the holy doctors, I am ready to die today.’ These were Hus’s formal last words, already stripped, tied to the stake and with fuel piled around him. His actual last words were briefer. ‘Sancta simplicitas.’  This to an old woman in the crowd who, seeing the executioners were having trouble getting the fire to burn strongly, came forward and added a small amount of brushwood to the pile.

‘Holy simplicity’ is a good epitaph for Hus, for it is how he lived his life and died his death. On the 500th anniversary of which his memorial shown above was unveiled in Prague’s Old Town Square, where it stands today. When complete, the remainder of this introduction will move on from Hus to deal with Václav IV and Sigismund, Václáv’s heir who spent most of the rest of his life striving to deal with the consequences of the shameful deeds of 6th July 1415, and the other European monarchs of the day, from the famous Henry V pf England to the obscure Janus of Cyprus. That is not yet, and I will now pass to the second part of the introduction and thence to the charts which are, as I observed once before, the whole point of the exercise.


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Introduction part II – the relationships

Only fifteen years into the 15th century, the pattern seen here is more familiar than that of the two 14th-century dates, with fewer monarchs, 15 to the 20 of 1330 and 19 of 1371, complete coverage with no omissions, and all sovereigns connected to all others. With a 13/2 Catholic/Orthodox ratio and an accession date split unlikely to be profitable I again divided the monarchs into two groups on the basis of how they were related.

Those nearest akin to each other form the first group, called ‘Western’ for convenience but this time actually only containing Western European sovereigns, though not all of them. Those more remotely connected on the whole, both to each other and to members of the first group, were placed in the second, called ‘Eastern’, which is perhaps something of a misnomer, though only two sovereigns out of eight would geographically be classed as undoubted Westerners.

As in 1371 I was a little undecided in some of the cases, but followed my rule of thumb, which is ‘no relationships more distant than fourth cousin within the first group’ and produced what seemed to be reasonable groupings, consistent with the patterns seen before in 1330 and 1371, though rather more mixed than the latter, just as it was more mixed than 1330: 

 105212856 100202753

Once again, T is the original 15-monarch chart, too large to be posted hence the need for division, I is Western group amongst themselves, II is Eastern group amongst themselves, and III the two groups with each other. Figures on the left are actual numbers, and on the right the percentages these form; for example, 9% of the total relationships are as first cousins, and chart I contains 33% of these.

The two parts of the combined statistics and again a single-part note on posterities, albeit less exiguous than that for 1371, follow charts I-III and their keys and round off the main part of the thread, which is supplemented by two addenda, one in chart form and one narrative but each concentrated on a particular sovereign among the fifteen. And now, the charts. If required, an explanation of how to read them is available here.


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Relationships of the European sovereigns at 6th July 1415, the day of the immolation of Jan Hus (part I)
Reigning MonarchCharles VIJoāo ICharles IIIJuan IIFerrando IHenry VGiovanna II
Charles VI of France4c CIA1c JIIF2c2r CCV4c CIIN2c2r CCV2c1r CCV
Joāo I of Portugal4c CIA4c1r CIA1c3r AIVP2c2r DPA
2c2r SIVC
4c1r F3C3c1r P3A
Charles III of Navarre1c JIIF4c1r CIA3c1r CCV
3c1r PIVF
4c CIIN3c1r CCV
3c1r PIVF
3c CCV
Juan II of Castile2c2r CCV1c3r AIVP3c1r CCV
3c1r PIVF
Ferrando I of Aragón4c CIIN2c2r DPA
2c2r SIVC
4c CIINU JIC4c1r F3C
4c1r CIIN
3c1r CIIN
Henry V of England2c2r CCV4c1r F3C3c1r CCV
3c1r PIVF
1c JDL4c1r F3C
4c1r CIIN
3c1r CCV
Giovanna II of Naples2c1r CCV3c1r P3A3c CCV3c1r CCV3c1r CIIN3c1r CCV

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Reply with quote  #4 
Afonso IV of Portugal (1)Charles, Count of Valois (8)Chaime I of Aragón (2)
Charles II of Naples (4)Diniz of Portugal (1)Fernando III of Castile (2)
John, Duke of Lancaster (1)Juan I of Castile (1)Jean II of France (1)
Pero III of Aragón (1)Philippe IV of France (2)Sancho IV of Castile (1)
Most connections formed:CCV (8)CIIN (4)CIA, F3C, PIVF (2)Others (1)

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Reply with quote  #5 
Relationships of the European sovereigns at 6th July 1415, the day of the immolation of Jan Hus (part II)
Reigning MonarchVasily IVáclav IVWładysław IISigismundErik VIIManuel IIJanusJames I
Vasily I of Moscow5c2r MGK4c1r BGR
4c1r DRH
4c1r YIIV
5c2r MGK7c2r YDK8c1r MIGK8c1r B3P
8c1r MIGK
10c2r YIK
Václav IV of Bohemia5c2r MGK3c1r KIKB KIVB3c BIJ3c JBL6c AIIB
6c JPT
Władysław II of Poland4c1r BGR
4c1r DRH
4c1r YIIV
3c1r KIK1c2r GGL6c1r B3H
6c1r BDM
4c1r BIVH7c CPA9c3r YIK
Sigismund of Germany5c2r MGKB KIVB1c2r GGL1c BVP3c JBL5c OIBL8c BIVS
Erik VII of Kalmar7c2r YDK3c BIJ6c1r B3H
6c1r BDM
1c BVP4c3r TIS3c HIB8c1r HEH
Manuel II, E Emperor8c1r MIGK3c JBL4c1r BIVH3c JBL4c3r TIS4c HIVL8c BIVS
Janus of Cyprus8c1r B3P
8c1r MIGK
6c JPT
7c CPA5c OIBL3c HIB4c HIVL9c1r HIE
James I of Scotland10c2r YIK8c BIVS9c3r YIK8c BIVS8c1r HEH8c BIVS9c1r HIE
Note: as two of the relationships of James I of Scotland were too remote for a red ink to have been obtained, in those cases a link in purple shows the descent of the sovereign whose row it is from his mutual ancestor with the other sovereign (for James I, going only as far as his paternal grandfather Robert II).

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Reply with quote  #6 
Albrecht II, Margrave of Brandenburg (1)Béla III of Hungary (1)Bolesław III, Duke of Poland (1)
Berthold, Duke of Meran (1)Boris, Grand Prince of Rostov (1)Bolko I, Duke of Jawor (1)
Béla IV of Hungary (1)Bernard IV of St Valéry (3)Bogislaw V, Duke of Pomerania (1)
Constance, Princess of Antioch (1)Daniel Romanovich of Halicz (1)Gediminas, Grand Prince of Lithuania (1)
Henry, Earl of Huntingdon (1)Heinrich I, D of Brunswick-Grubenhagen (1)Henry I of England (1)
Hethum IV, Lord of Lambron (1)Jan I, D of Brabant, Lothier and Limburg (2)Jutta of Thuringia (1)
Kazimierz I of Kuyavia (1)Karl IV, Holy Roman Emperor (1)Mikhail, Grand Prince of Kiev (2)
Mstislav I, Grand Prince of Kiev (2)Otto I, D of Brunswick-Lüneburg (1)Tommaso I, Count of Savoy (1)
Yuri Dolgorukiy, Grand Prince of Kiev (1)Yaroslav II, Grand Prince of Vladimir (1)Yaroslav I, Grand Prince of Kiev (2)
Most connections formed:BIVS (3)JBL, MGK, MIGK, YIK (2)Others (1)

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Reply with quote  #7 
Relationships of the European sovereigns at 6th July 1415, the day of the immolation of Jan Hus
(part III)
Reigning MonarchVasily I
of Moscow
Václav IV
of Bohemia
Władysław II
of Poland
of Germany
Erik VII
of Kalmar
Manuel II
E Emperor
of Cyprus
James I
of Scotland
Charles VI of France6c1r MGK
6c1r RGK
1c1r JIB5c AIIH1c1r JIB4c1r RIG3c1r JBL6c JLE7c1r BIVS
Joāo I of Portugal8c MIGK5c PGI5c AIIH5c PGI5c FIIE4c2r TIS5c FIIE8c2r HIE
Charles III of Navarre6c1r MGK
6c1r RGK
1c1r JIB4c2r BIVH1c1r JIB4c1r RIG3c1r JBL6c JLE7c1r BIVS
Juan II of Castile7c3r YDK4c1r HCL4c3r BIVH4c1r HCL4c2r BIIS4c2r I5H
4c2r TIS
5c1r AIVS8c1r HEH
Ferrando I of Aragón7c2r YDK4c1r BDP
4c1r BIIS
4c2r BIVH4c1r BDP
4c1r BIIS
4c1r BIIS4c1r I5H
4c1r TIS
4c2r AIVS9c1r HIE
Henry V of England8c2r MIGK4c1r HCL4c3r BIVH4c1r HCL6c FIVH
6c IAE
6c JLE
4c2r I5H6c IAE
6c JLE
5c1r JFS
Giovanna II of Naples8c1r MIGK5c BIVH4c1r BIVH5c BIVH5c1r FIIE4c I5H5c1r FIIE8c2r HEH
Note: in view of doubts expressed over the identity of the wife of James Stewart, 5th High Steward and great-great-grandfather of James I (see posts #70-71 in the discussion thread for details), the link for Henry V and James I has been expanded to show their nearest relationship not passing through the lady in question, which is 6c in two different ways.

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Reply with quote  #8 
András II of Hungary (2)Amadeo IV, Count of Savoy (2)Bolesław, Duke of Greater Poland (2)
Bolesław II, Duke of Schlesien (4)Béla IV of Hungary (7)Bernard IV of St Valéry (2)
Friedrich II, Holy Roman Emperor (4)Floris IV, Count of Holland (1)Henri, Count of Luxembourg (4)
Henry, Earl of Huntingdon (2)Henry I of England (2)István V of Hungary (4)
isabella of Angoulême (2)Jan I, D of Brabant, Lothier and Limburg (2)John FitzGeoffrey, Lord of Shere (1)
Jan of Bohemia (4)John of England (4)Mikhail, Grand Prince of Kiev (2)
Mstislav I, Grand Prince of Kiev (3)Philipp of Germany (2)Roman, Grand Prince of Kiev (2)
Rudolf I of Germany (2)Tommaso I, Count of Savoy (3)Yuri Dolgorukiy, Grand Prince of Kiev (2)
Most connections formed:BIVH (7)BIIS, FIIE, HCL, I5H, JIB, JLE (4)MIGK, TIS (3)

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Reply with quote  #9 
Combined statistics 1415 part one: individuals forming more than one connection
BIVHBéla IV of Hungary8-17HEHHenry, Earl of Huntingdon3-12
CCVCharles, Count of Valois88--HIEHenry I of England3-12
BIVSBernard IV of St Valéry5-32YDKYuri Dolgorukiy, Grand Prince of Kiev3-12
MIGKMstislav I, Grand Prince of Kiev5-23AIIHAndrás II of Hungary2--2
BIISBolesław II, Duke of Schlesien4--4AIVSAmadeo IV, Count of Savoy2--2
CIINCharles II of Naples44--BDPBolesław, Duke of Greater Poland2--2
FIIEFriedrich II, Holy Roman Emperor4--4CIAChaime I of Aragón22--
HCLHenri, Count of Luxembourg4--4F3CFernando III of Castile22--
I5HIstván V of Hungary4--4IAEisabella of Angoulême2--2
JBLJan I, D of Brabant, Lothier and Limburg4-22PGIPhilipp of Germany2--2
JIBJan of Bohemia4--4PIVFPhilippe IV of France22--
JLEJohn of England4--4RGKRoman, Grand Prince of Kiev2--2
MGKMikhail, Grand Prince of Kiev4-22RIGRudolf I of Germany2--2
TISTommaso I, Count of Savoy4-13YIKYaroslav I, Grand Prince of Kiev2-2-

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Reply with quote  #10 
Combined statistics 1415 part two: individuals forming only one connection
AIIBAlbrecht II, Margrave of Brandenburg-1-HIBHeinrich I, D of Brunswick-Grubenhagen-1-
AIVPAfonso IV of Portugal1--HIVLHethum IV, Lord of Lambron-1-
B3HBéla III of Hungary-1-JDLJohn, Duke of Lancaster1--
B3PBolesław III, Duke of Poland-1-JFSJohn FitzGeoffrey, Lord of Shere--1
BDMBerthold, Duke of Meran-1-JICJuan I of Castile1--
BGRBoris, Grand Prince of Rostov-1-JIIFJean II of France1--
BIJBolko I, Duke of Jawor-1-JPTJutta of Thuringia-1-
BVPBogislaw V, Duke of Pomerania-1-KIKKazimierz I of Kuyavia-1-
CPAConstance, Princess of Antioch-1-KIVBKarl IV, Holy Roman Emperor-1-
DPADiniz of Portugal1--OIBLOtto I, D of Brunswick-Lüneburg-1-
DRHDaniel Romanovich of Halicz-1-P3APero III of Aragón1--
FIVHFloris IV, Count of Holland--1SIVCSancho IV of Castile1--
GGLGediminas, Grand Prince of Lithuania-1-YIIVYaroslav II, Grand Prince of Vladimir-1-

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Reply with quote  #11 

A note on posterities

Of the fifteen sovereigns reigning at this date nine, Ferrando I of Aragón, Juan II of Castile, Janus of Cyprus, Charles VI of France, the German king Sigismund, later Holy Roman Emperor, Charles III of Navarre, Władysław II of Poland, João I of Portugal and James I of Scotland are universal ancestors of the sovereigns of today. Two of the remaining six, the Eastern Roman Emperor Manuel II and the Moscow Grand Prince Vasily I, are ancestors of only some of today’s sovereigns, while of the other four Václav IV of Bohemia, Erik VII of the Kalmar Union and Giovanna II of Naples never had children. Henry V of England had one son, Henry VI, and one grandson, Edward, Prince of Wales, but his line failed when they met violent ends within a few days of each other.

Ferrando I was the great-great-grandfather of the Emperor Ferdinand I, shown to be a universal ancestor in part I of the 1453 note. Since he survived till then, Juan II is covered in the same note. For Janus of Cyprus, the links from Hugues IV of the same to James I of England and Charlotte de la Trémoille in the 1330 note part I both pass through him. And for Charles VI, as mentioned in the note for 1371 his son Charles VII and his daughter Catherine are both universal ancestors, the latter by her union (we don’t know if they ever married) with Owen Tudor, by which she was mother of Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond, father of Henry VII of England.

However, Catherine and Charles VII were the tenth- and eleventh-born of their father’s twelve children. When they were conceived he had long been suffering from his periodic bouts of insanity, and their mother, the Queen Isabeau of Bavaria, had therefore been forced to assume a position of power. Naturally this resulted in many enemies, who made many damaging assaults on her character, especially her fidelity. I personally see no reason to regard these as other than propaganda, or to doubt the oft-questioned paternity of these two of her children.

However, since some do give the stories credence here is another route entirely from Charles VI, to Jan Willem Friso, Prince of Orange, the most recent common ancestor of the ten current sovereigns. It originates with the couple’s fourth child Jeanne, Duchess of Brittany, born six years after their marriage and the year before the King’s mental illness began to manifest itself, so the, I believe, spurious reasons given for doubting the other two would not apply to her.

Moving on to Sigismund, I again refer you to the 1330 note part I, this time to the link from Władysław I of Poland to Anna Jagiello, wife of the aforementioned Emperor Ferdinand I, which passes through Sigismund, his great-great-grandson. For Charles III, I could again refer to several other notes but instead will provide a link here from him to Karl I, Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel. His daughter Landgravine Marie Luise was the wife of Jan Willem Friso and thus the other nearest common ancestor of the current sovereigns. For evidence of this, you need merely click on Karl I’s name, highlighted at the bottom of the link, and then on that of Marie Luise among the children shown on his page.

For Władysław II, here is a link from him to his great-granddaughter Anna Jagiello. For João I, I will trace one of his four descents to her husband Emperor Ferdinand I. The second addendum to the thread will delve into the descendants of Joāo I in considerably more depth. Finally among the universal ancestors, James I. Unusually for a Scottish King, he had children by only one woman, and that his wife, Joan Beaufort. For descent from their son, his successor James II, I refer you to the 1371 note and the link from James I’s grandfather Robert II.

Both Robert II and James I’s father Robert III married Scottish ladies of no great birth, explaining why, remote as the relationships shown for Robert II in 1371 are, those for his grandson in 1415 are remoter still. Joan Beaufort was however a lady of English royal blood. The first addendum of the two that follow compares her relationships with the sovereigns of the day with those of her husband, and illustrates why the Kings of Scots were never again as genealogically remote from the mainstream as James I, Robert II and, back in 1330, David II all were.*

It has been a long trek to get through the universal ancestors, but then again there were a lot of them. Nevertheless, before we move on I will just for interest provide a completely different route from James I. This goes to Ludwig IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt, who on the next change of reign in Britain will displace Jan Willem Friso as nearest common ancestor of the current sovereigns; see here for evidence of this.

Manuel II and Vasily I, the two sovereigns who were partial ancestors, can be swiftly dealt with by referring you to the 1415 note part III, where their sons Constantine XI and Vasily II are covered. Finally I need to show collateral descent from the childless Václav IV, Erik VII and Giovanna II, also from Henry V whose line failed. For him, see the 1453 note part III as it relates to his son Henry VI. However, I there only asserted the descent of the Queen from Henry V’s brother Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, without verifying links which I will now provide: stage I, stage II.

For Giovanna II, I can do no better than refer to the 1330 note part II and its dealings with her great-great-grandfather Robert of Naples. The Neapolitan Angevins, like their Hungarian cousins, have no nearer traceable descent today than through their mutual forefather Charles II of Naples, Robert’s own father.

Václav IV, who depending on the uncertain identity of his maternal grandmother may have shared in that lineage, can best be connected through his paternal half-brother Sigismund, discussed above (his sister Elisabeth, his only full sibling, was childless). That just leaves Erik VII, whose paternal grandfather Bogislaw V of Pomerania was the grandfather also of Sigismund of Germany, as can be seen if you click either link between them in chart II.

However, his crowns came to him due to his mother’s blood, so I need to show something for that side of his ancestry also. For Norway and Sweden, I refer you to the 1330 note part II and the link from Magnus III/IV’s sister Euphemia, who was mother of Erik VII’s maternal grandfather. Similarly, that note links to descent from Richeza, sister of Christopher II of Denmark and paternal aunt of Valdemar IV, who was father of Erik VII’s maternal grandmother. With which I will at last conclude this note, though not the thread, since as discussed there are two more parts to follow.

* What the addendum does not show is the relationship between James I and Joan Beaufort themselves. Not too surprisingly, this turns out to be the same as the relationship of Henry V with his Scottish fellow monarch and sometime captive, 5c1r JFS.

 I had originally thought, and said in the note, that Albert II of Monaco was also so descended, but on thorough checking was unable to find that this was the case, so have removed the reference.

 She may have been a daughter of Károly I of Hungary. Or she may not, the sources are unclear. In any event she only had one child, Anna of Swidnica who was the third wife of the Emperor Karl IV, and their two children Václav and Elisabeth were themselves childless, as stated above.


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Reply with quote  #12 
Relationships of the other European sovereigns of 6th July 1415 with Joan Beaufort and her future husband James I of Scotland
Reigning monarchVasily I
of Moscow
Václav IV
of Bohemia
Charles VI
of France
Joāo I
of Portugal
Władysław II
of Poland
Charles III
of Navarre
of Germany
Joan Beaufort8c2r MIGK4c1r HCL2c2r CCV4c1r F3C4c3r BIVH3c1r PIVF
3c1r CCV
4c1r HCL
James I10c2r YIK8c BIVS7c1r BIVS8c2r HIE9c3r YIK7c1r BIVS8c BIVS
Reigning monarchErik VII
of Kalmar
Manuel I
E Emperor
of Cyprus
Juan II
of Castile
Ferrando I
of Aragón
Henry V
of England
Giovanna II
of Naples
Joan Beaufort6c FIVH
6c IAE
6c JLE
4c2r H3BL
4c2r I5H
6c IAE
6c JLE
1c JDL4c1r F3C
4c1r CIIN
1c JDL3c1r CCV
James I8c1r HEH8c BIVS9c1r HIE8c1r HEH9c1r HIE5c1r JFS8c2r HEH
The first instance of Joan Beaufort's name is linked to her Genealogics ancestry, and the second to her Wikipedia article
Key Joan Beaufort:  
Béla IV of Hungary (1)Charles, Count of Valois (3)Charles II of Naples (1)
Fernando III of Castile (2)Floris IV, Count pf Holland (1)Hendrik III, D of Brabant and Lothier (1)
Henry, Count of Luxembourg (2)István V of Hungary (1)isabella of Angoulême (2)
John, Duke of Lancaster (2)John of England (2)Mstislav I, Grand Prince of Kiev (1)
Philippe IV of France (1)  
Key James I:  
Bernard IV of St Valéry (5)Henry, Earl of Huntingdon (3)Henry I of England (3)
John FitzGeoffrey, Lord of Shere (1)Yaroslav I, Grand Prince of Kiev (2) 

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Reply with quote  #13 

Blood of the Braganças

João I of Portugal had five sons and a daughter that lived to adulthood by his marriage to Philippa of Lancaster, daughter of the first marriage of John of Gaunt and thus a full sister of Henry IV of England. The sons are known in Portugal as Ínclita Geração, ‘the illustrious generation’, so brightly did their gifts shine. Of them two, the famous Henry the Navigator and the tragic Saint-Infante Fernando, had no issue, but descent survives from the other three and the daughter. The 1492 note on posterities part II covers descent from the great Pedro, Duke of Coimbra, the second son, but so far as royalty of today is concerned the descent is very limited, in fact to the two children of Prince Eudes of Orléans.

Descent from the first son, Duarte I of Portugal, and the fourth (slotting in between Henry the Navigator and the Saint-Infante Fernando), João, Constable of Portugal, is however universal in today’s royalty, as is descent from the daughter, Isabella, Duchess of Burgundy. In this thread’s note on posterities I already demonstrated the descent of the Emperor Ferdinand I, an acknowledged universal ancestor, from João I through Duarte I. I will now do the same for João, Constable of Portugal and Isabella, Duchess of Burgundy. However, that makes three descents from João I, and my assertion in the note was four. This is the fourth, and it comes through the Constable’s wife, his half-niece Isabella of Bragança.

Long before there were ever thoughts of his becoming King of Portugal & the Algarve* and marrying the King of England’s sister, João, illegitimate son of Pedro I by a Galician noble lady called Teresa Lourenco and half-brother of the King, Fernando I, had been Grand Master of the Order of Aviz, from which his House took its name.  The Order, dating from the 12th century, was a monastic military order on the lines of the Templars and Hospitallers, so naturally its Grand Master was required to take a vow of chastity. Which the future João I ignored, like so many royal and noble youths in the same situation, fathering three children on his mistress Inês Peres, a lady of uncertain origin, though see at the bottom here.

There is posterity from only the first of these, Afonso, later 1st Duke of Bragança, but apart from the Most Serene House of Bragança itself, which became one of the great noble houses of all Iberia and eventually the Royal House of Portugal, it includes all ten current sovereigns, as Afonso was the father of Isabella of Braganca above. His wife, Isabella Pereira de Alvim, was a noble Portuguese lady, only child of the great general Nuno Álvares Pereira, the man who more than any other was responsible for preserving Portugal’s independence from Castile and establishing the reign of the House of Aviz. In later life he became a Carmelite friar and a noted mystic, and is now a Saint of the Catholic Church. His tomb is lost, destroyed in the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, but the epitaph on it has been preserved. In translation it read:

Here lies that famous Nuno, the Constable, founder of the House of Bragança, excellent general, blessed monk, who during his life on earth so ardently desired the Kingdom of Heaven that after his death, he merited the eternal company of the Saints. His worldly honours were countless, but he turned his back on them. He was a great Prince, but he made himself a humble monk. He founded, built and endowed this church in which his body rests.

His sanctity was perhaps appropriate considering his bloodline. Or inappropriate, depending on how you look at it. He was the illegitimate son of the Prior of Crato, Alvaro Gonçalves Pereira, himself the illegitimate son of Gonçalo Pereira, Archbishop of Braga, whose own father, a Portuguese Count, was a Knight Hospitaller, though I don’t know whether his son the Archbishop was illegitimate or was born before his father took vows. Alvaro Gonçalves Pereira, Prior of Crato, was also a Hospitaller, commander of the Order in Portugal and, like his son, a famous warrior and general.

With all these illegitimacies I had better specify that Isabella of Bragança, wife of the Constable João, was for a change a daughter of Afonso, the first Duke, by his wife Beatrice, daughter and heiress of the sainted Nuno Álvares Pereira, and thus these saintly, clerical and military descents are shared by all sovereigns of today. The purpose of this post is to show some of the other unique descents that come through the Bragança bloodline to today’s sovereigns, though only some of them as the 1st Duke was also the last universal ancestor in the House.

Beatrice and Afonso had two other children besides Isabella, of whom Afonso, the eldest, predeceased his father and left no legitimate children. The 2nd Duke was therefore his younger brother Fernando I. A general who played a part in the Portuguese conquests in North Africa and was Governor of Ceuta, Fernando married a Portuguese noblewoman, Juana de Castro, and had several children from whom descent survives, but I will be concentrating here on the eldest of them, Fernando II, and his further descent. Much involved in Afonso V’s wars in North Africa and Castile, he was a favourite of that King but not of his son João II, who had him summarily executed soon after ascending to the throne.

It is however not his end but his continuation that I am concerned with. His wife Isabella was a sister of the later King Manoel I and a daughter of Infante Fernando, Duke of Viseu, a younger son of Duarte I, by Leonor, daughter of João the Constable, thus making Isabella herself a great-granddaughter of the 1st Duke of Bragança whose grandson and heir she married. Their son Jaime, the 4th Duke, was restored to his father’s lands and titles and had two children by his wife Leonor Pérez de Guzmán, daughter of the Castilian 3rd Duke of Medina Sidonia, before he had her murdered on suspicion of adultery.

With the exception of the Prince of Monaco, all Catholic monarchs today are descended from Jaime I and Leonor (the founder of whose line appears to have been a Moorish convert from Morocco), as shown here by a link illustrating the descent from them of Carlos IV of Spain, shown in the 1330 note on posterities part II to be an ancestor of the other four Catholic monarchs.  However that is not through Jaime and Leonor’s son Teodósio I but their daughter Isabel, wife of Duarte, Duke of Guimarães, a younger son of Manoel I.

Jaime I had been a true Renaissance prince, building the sumptuous ducal palace of Vila Viçosa. And Teodósio I followed in his footsteps, being the foremost patron of the arts in the at the time very wealthy Kingdom of Portugal. He refrained however from murdering his wife, Isabella de Castro de Portugal. She was also his first cousin, daughter of Diniz, Count of Lemos, younger son of Duke Fernando II. Isabella’s mother Beatriz de Castro Osório came of illustrious Castilian noble and royal blood, the latter illegitimate of course.

Their son Jaime died at the Battle of Alcacer Quibir, fighting against the Moors of Morocco alongside his King, Sebastião, who also fell. Jaime’s nephew the future Teodósio II, the King’s page, was also present at the battle, aged just ten. He was the son of Duke João I by Infanta Catarina, daughter of Duarte, Duke of Guimarães by Isabel of Braganza above and thus again her husband’s first cousin, they both being grandchildren of Duke Jaime I. It was Catarina’s other grandfather Manoel I who was more important in the context, however, as on the death in 1580 of the Cardinal King Henrique and the extinction of the male line of the House of Aviz she became a claimant to the throne.

Her elder sister Maria, wife of Alessandro Farnese, the famous Duke of Parma who governed the Spanish Netherlands, had died three years earlier but left a son and daughter. The son, Ranuccio, who can be seen in the fourth generation of the link above between Duke Jaime I and Carlos IV, was the actual senior heir of line, but had three strikes against him; he was Italian, just  eleven years old and his father was a loyal servant of Felipe II of Spain, who fancied he had a claim to Portugal. A mature woman, Portuguese of the Royal House and wife of the greatest noble in Portugal, himself a man of high royal lineage, Catarina believed she was the more credible claimant. Her competitors were António, Prior of Crato, an illegitimate son of Luis, Duke of Beja, second son of Manoel I, and Felipe II as aforesaid, whose mother Isabella was a daughter of Manoel I.

António attracted more support than Catarina, but Felipe II, whose claim was weak to the point of non-existence but whose armies were strong, came out the winner. Catarina and her husband accepted this and became faithful and well-rewarded supporters of the first of Portugal’s three Habsburg Kings. Their son Teodósio II, who at ten years old had not merely been present at the Battle of Alcacer Quibir but fought and was wounded in it, was also a firm supporter of Filipe I, as Felipe II was in Portugal, and later of his son Filipe II/Felipe III and grandson Filipe III/Felipe IV.

The same cannot be said of his son Duke João II, as he is better known to history as João IV of Portugal, raised to the throne in 1640 and displacing Filipe III. Protracted warfare followed, but in 1668, during the reign of João IV’s son Afonso VI, the Treaty of Lisbon embodied Spanish recognition of Portuguese sovereignty and the legitimate reign of the House of Bragança.

João IV’s mother Ana de Velasco y Girón was of the highest Spanish nobility, her ancestry crowded with major figures in the recent history of Castile and Spain. Her grandmothers were sisters, daughters of the 6th Duke of Medina Sidonia by Ana, illegitimate daughter of Alonso, Archbishop of Zaragoza, himself an illegitimate son of Ferrando II of Aragón. Her male-line forefather Pedro Fernández de Velasco, 2nd Count of Haro, was made hereditary Constable of Castile by King Enrique IV and played an important part in the final stages of the Reconquista.

Ana’s maternal grandfather Pedro Téllez-Girón, created Duke of Osuna by Felipe II, was a Governor of Naples and ambassador to Portugal and the Holy See.  His family line had been founded by Pedro Girón Acuña Pacheco, of Portuguese noble origin, who with his elder brother Juan Pacheco and uncle Alfonso Carrillo de Acuña, Archbishop of Toledo, had effectively ruled Castile under the weak Enrique IV, until displaced by a new favourite, Beltrán de la Cueva, of whom more anon.

As Master of the Order of Calatrava Pedro was vowed to chastity, which did not prevent him having children including Juan Téllez-Girón, 2nd Count of Ureña, father among others of another Juan, 4th Count. His wife Maria de la Cueva y Toledo was a daughter of Francisco Fernándo de la Cueva, 2nd Duke of Albuquerque and a son of the 1st Duke, that very Beltrán de la Cueva mentioned earlier, who not only displaced the Pacheco family as effective ruler of Castile but is believed to have fathered Enrique IV’s sole child Juana, mockingly known as ‘la Beltraneja’ in consequence.

He probably was the father, but it must be remembered that the histories of Enrique IV’s reign were written during the reign of his half-sister Isabella I, victor in the succession war against Juana. It is not certain that Enrique’s sobriquet ’the Impotent’ was accurate, and Isabella I may in fact have been a usurper. As Juana had no children it is though all moot, and on her death in 1530 Isabella I’s daughter Juana I would have been legitimate heiress in any case, albeit as Juana II.

Returning to the other Juana’s possible father, his wife was Mencía Hurtado de Mendoza y Luna, daughter of Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, 1st Duke of the Infantado and in paternal line the son, grandson and great-grandson of notable poets, important figures in the development of Castilian literature. Their descendant the 2nd Duke of Albuquerque, great-great-grandfather of the mother of João IV of Portugal, was married to Francisca Álvarez de Toledo, daughter of García Álvarez de Toledo y Carrillo, 1st Duke of Alba, the founder of a famous line.

So this was the heritage of blood of the first Bragança King. Future Kings of the line had an even richer heritage through his Queen, the remarkable and courageous Luisa de Guzmán y Sandoval, daughter of the 8th Duke of Medina Sidonia (whose father was the commander of the Armada) and her husband’s third cousin, which by Bragança standards was a remote relationship. She was not without Bragança blood herself, being descended from Alvaro and Afonso, younger sons of the 2nd Duke.

There are some other interesting descents shown in the second link, for example from Francisco de Sandoval Rojas y de Borja, 1st Duke of Lerma, effective ruler of Spain for much of Felipe III’s reign, a Cardinal in later life and a grandson of St Francis Borgia (a Catholic saint who genuinely does appear to have been of saintly character, which is not always the case), himself a great-grandson of both Pope Alexander VI and Ferrando II of Aragón, through Archbishop Alonso again.

Francisco de Sandoval’s wife Catalina de la Cerda had other royal descents besides that from Afonso of Bragança, including from an illegitimate son of Enrique II of Castile and, more interestingly, an illegitimate daughter of Fernando I of Portugal. The descent shown here to the third Bragança King, Pedro II (the second, his elder brother Afonso VI, was childless) is the only conduit from Fernando I to the royalty of today, and also the only conduit for the legitimate issue of Fernando I’s father Pedro I, the other children of his marriage to Costanza Manuel of Castile having died young.

Of course, Pedro claimed to have married his mistress Inês de Castro, legitimating their children. You would have thought the eldest son João, also an ancestor of Luisa de Guzmán,  might have claimed the throne after his half-brother Fernando I’s death, and he did, but was beaten out by his other half-brother, his namesake João I. Descent from the tragic Inês de Castro is universal in the royalty of today, but the interesting point here is that Luisa de Guzmán, and thus her sons and all future Portuguese monarchs, descended from all three unions of Pedro I known to have produced issue, and was as mentioned above the unique conduit for descent to royalty today from his one undoubted marriage, and indeed from the last King of the original Burgundian line, Fernando I.

I will cover two further interesting descents Doña Luisa had, then conclude by tracing from her to sovereigns of today. The first goes through Francisco de Sandoval rather than his wife, and is from Alvaro de Luna, who for long was the most powerful man in Castile under Juan II. He arranged the King’s second marriage, to Isabella of Portugal, mother of Isabella I. Although it was de Luna who brought her to Castile in the first place the elder Isabella took against him and successfully plotted his downfall and execution.  Knowing that de Luna had been his true and faithful servant, guilt and grief hastened Juan II to his grave, while his widow went mad with her own guilt. Poignantly, the blood of all three was mingled in all Portuguese monarchs after João I.

The other descent is from Gaston III, Count of Foix, famed for his remarkable personal beauty, from which his sobriquet Gaston Phoebus derived, for the splendour and extravagance of his court and as the author of the Livre de Chasse, the foremost medieval book on hunting, his great passion. Gaston killed his only legitimate son in a quarrel, so was succeeded by the son of a cousin. Descent from Gaston Phoebus, one of the great figures of his day, was confined to that through his illegitimate son Bernardo, which eventually reached the royal house of Portugal and thus other royal lines, once again through Catalina de la Cerda and Luisa de Guzmán.

But what other royal lines? Numerous claimant Houses have the descent, but I will give here only that to the three current sovereigns possessing it, Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein, Henri of Luxembourg (six times, while the others are twice each) and Philippe of Belgium. All three monarchs share in the rich heritage of the Blood of the Braganças, but with equal marriage virtually a thing of the past it seems unlikely that the descents will enter other current royal lines. Restoration in Romania and Serbia, both possible, would though increase the number of sovereign descendants to five, while considerably less likely prospects such as Portugal itself, Brazil, France (Orléans claimant), Austria and Italy (either claimant) would also do the trick. Maybe someday.

* The singular form is correct, the style did not become ‘Portugal & the Algarves’ until the reign of Duarte I’s son Afonso V.

 If you wonder how this was allowed, it wasn’t. The King, Sebastião, ordered servants to take the boy to safety as the battle began, but young Teodósio escaped them and charged at the enemy. He was taken prisoner and his distraught father offered a huge ransom, which the Sultan chivalrously declined, letting the boy go free without payment as he was touched by the story of his courage when at such a young age.


Posts: 462
Reply with quote  #14 
Peter, Thanks for the 1415 Sancta Simplicitas charts. I noticed that in Post #8, AIVS (Amadeo IV of Savoy) links to the Wikipedia article for Amedeo V the Great of Savoy.

These charts bring together some very disparate relationships, which will be interesting to analyze over the next few months.

Dis Aliter Visum "Beware of martyrs and those who would die for their beliefs; for they frequently make many others die with them, often before them, sometimes instead of them."

Posts: 7,547
Reply with quote  #15 
Thanks very much for the correction, now fixed. I do carefully check everything but of course the volume of data is huge, and it only takes a moment's inattention for something like this to slip by. It is a real help if people notice and point out errors so I can fix them.
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