Little Bits of History

May 9

Posted in History by patriciahysell on May 9, 2017

1386: The Treaty of Windsor is signed. A Civil War in Portugal was precipitated when King Ferdinand I died without a male heir in 1383. He had been King of Portugal and the Algarve from 1367 until his death at the age of 37. He had managed to sire a daughter before his death and her marriage was in contention since her husband would rule in Portugal. English and French princes were hopeful, but it was decided that King John I of Castile would be chosen even though Ferdinand had fought three separate wars with Castile during his reign. The marriage was celebrated in May 1383. However, this did not prove to be satisfactory to all, especially Ferdinand’s two illegitimate half-brothers. When Ferdinand died, there was, if not outright chaos, at least not a consensus over who would rule.

John, Great Master of Aviz was Ferdinand’s half brother and popular among the Portuguese middle class and traditional aristocracy. His father was King Peter I and his mother was Dona Teresa Lourenço and therefore he was part of the House of Burgundy as had been Ferdinand. The other half brother was John of Castile and the two men fought vehemently over the throne of Portugal. On August 14, 1385 the Battle of Aljubarrota was fought between the two Johns. England supported John of the House of Aviz and backed by the populace of Portugal while France and Aragon supported the contender from Castile. The battle was a decisive Portuguese victory even though Castile’s side had five times the men.

After his victory at Aljubarrota, John I of the House of Aviz was the undisputed King of Portugal. The support between England and Portugal was further cemented by the marriage of King John to Philippa of Lancaster. She was the daughter of John of Gaunt, the 1st Duke of Lancaster. The King married the English woman on February 14, 1387 as the last step in the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance. Like most arranged, royal weddings, the bride and groom only met for the first time twelve days after they were married in a proxy ceremony. Philippa was considered to be a plain woman and John already had a mistress with whom he had three children. His eldest son was ten by the time he was married.

Although Philippa was seen as a quietly demure queen who would never interfere with her husband’s affairs, she wielded considerable power in both the Portuguese and English courts. The King and Queen had nine children with three of them dying in infancy. The six remaining children were called the “Illustrious Generation” in Portugal. The Treaty of Windsor remains intact. The name was given as it was signed in Windsor, a market town in Berkshire, England and the treaty established a pact of mutual support between the two nations which makes it the oldest diplomatic alliance still in force anywhere in the world.

This treaty has been the cornerstone of both nations’ relations with each other ever since. – Matthew Winsett

I think men are mainly unfaithful because as they get older, they feel the urge to prove to themselves that they are still attractive. They need proof from outside the marriage. It’s really sad. It’s all about them. It’s not about their wives at all. – Pattie Boyd

The cultural expectation should be if there’s infidelity, the marriage is more important than fidelity. – Dan Savage

Infidelity raises profound questions about intimacy. – Junot Diaz

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