John I of Portugal

John I (Dom João I) ( * April 11, 1357 in Lisbon; † August 14, 1433 in Lisbon ) was the tenth King of Portugal, the first from the home Avis. He reigned from 1385 to 1433.


John I was the son of Peter I and his mistress Teresa Lourenço. Before his accession, he was called John of Avis.

Because he could make no vested rights to the throne claimed as illegitimate child, he joined the Cistercian Order and was Dept. 1363 he was Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of Avis.

Died 1367 Peter I. was succeeded by his son Ferdinand I.. He died in 1383 without a male heir. Thus, the direct male line of the House of Burgundy rulers in Portugal was extinguished. About Ferdinand's heiress, Beatrix, who was married to King John I of Castile, Portugal would have fallen to the Castilian crown by way of inheritance.

After the death of Ferdinand I at first took his widow, Leonore Teles de Menezes, together with her lover shortly power. She was in the people, because of their pro- Castilian attitude, but extremely unpopular. A majority of the Portuguese distrusted Castilian autonomy promise and was against an association of the country with Castile.

With the revolution of 1383 Leonore was overthrown after only six weeks rule. John of Avis placed himself at the head of the insurgents, killed the lover of Leonora's hand and forced them into exile Castilian. When the Castilian Johann it invaded with a large army to Portugal, John of Avis was appointed by the Cortes to the Defender of the Fatherland.

1385 was the decisive battle of Aljubarrota in which faced the Portuguese under the leadership of John of Avis and his general, Nuno Álvares Pereira of the holy, a numerically stronger and better equipped Castilian army. With the help of the allied British succeeded John of Avis to beat Castile. Thus were Castilian attempts to annex Portugal, permanently blocked, saved the independence of Portugal. The Cortes proclaimed John of Avis as the new king of the land. To commemorate the decisive battle won Johann founded the Monastery of Santa Maria da Vitória in Batalha.

Johann was the progenitor of two Portuguese royal dynasties. He was the founder of the house of Avis, which ruled Portugal until 1580. On his illegitimate son of Alfonso, the first Duke of Braganza, the House of Braganza returns, the Portugal 1640-1853 reigned. With his son Henry the Navigator began the Age of Discovery for Portugal.


John I applies in historiography as a clever and power-conscious ruler who was but personally affable and extremely thanks formed his spiritual upbringing.

The German writer Reinhold Schneider is in his novel The silver lights ( Cologne - Olten 1956), the primary life of Nuno Álvares Pereira 's content has a vivid picture of the era of John I


In order to secure an alliance with England, married Johann 1387 Philippa of Lancaster, a daughter of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster and thus granddaughter of King Edward III. of England. With her he had the following children:

  • Branca (* July 13, 1388, † 1389 )
  • Alfonso (* July 30, 1390, † November 22, 1400 )
  • Edward I (* October 31, 1391, † September 9, 1438 )
  • Peter of Portugal (* December 9, 1392, † May 20, 1449 ), Duke of Coimbra and regent of Portugal
  • Henry the Navigator (* March 4, 1394, † November 13, 1460 )
  • Elisabeth ( Isabel ) (* January 21, 1397, † December 17, 1472 ). , 1430 she married Duke Philip III the Good of Burgundy and was the mother of Charles the Bold ( House of Burgundy )
  • Branca
  • John of Portugal (* January 13, 1400, † October 18, 1442 )
  • Ferdinand of Avis (* September 29, 1402, † June 5, 1443 )

He was also father of the following illegitimate children:

  • ( with Inez Pirez ) Alfonso of Braganza, 1st Duke of Braganza and progenitor of the House of Braganza (* 1377, † 1461 ),
  • ( with Inez Pirez ) Beatriz (c. 1386; † October 23, 1439 ), married to Thomas Fitzalan, 12th Earl of Arundel (House FitzAlan ), and John Holland, 2nd Duke of Exeter ( Holland House )
  • Branca (* 1378, † 1379 )