Alfonso XI of Castile

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Alfonso XI (Salamanca, August 13, 1311 – March 26/27, 1350 in Gibraltar) was the king of Castile, León and Galicia the son of Ferdinand IV of Castile and his wife Constance of Portugal.[1]

He is variously known among Castilian kings as the Avenger or the Implacable, and as "He of Salado River." The first two names he earned by the ferocity with which he repressed the disorder of the nobles after a long minority; the third by his victory in the Battle of Rio Salado over the last formidable Marinid invasion of Iberian Peninsula in 1340.

Alfonso XI never went to the insane lengths of his son Peter of Castile, but he could be bloody in his methods. He killed for reasons of state without form of trial. He openly neglected his wife, Maria of Portugal, and had an ostentatious passion for Eleanor of Guzman, who bore him ten children. This set Peter an example which he failed to better. It may be that his early death, during the Great Plague of 1350, at the Siege of Gibraltar, only averted a desperate struggle with Peter, though it was a misfortune in that it removed a ruler of eminent capacity, who understood his subjects well enough not to go too far.

Marriage and children

Alfonso XI first married Costanza Manuel of Castile on 1325, but divorced her two years later. His second marriage, on 1328, was to Maria of Portugal, daughter of Alfonso IV of Portugal.[2] They had:

By his mistress, Eleanor of Guzman, he had ten children:

After Alfonso's death, his widow Maria had Eleanor arrested and later killed.[3]


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