Ines De Castro, wife of the crown prince Dom Pedro of Portugal, assassinated in 1355. She was a daughter of Dom Pedro Fernandez de Castro, a descendant of the royal house of Castile, and a maid of honor to Constantia, first wife of Pedro. After Constantia's death in 1344, Pedro, fascinated by the extraordinary beauty of Ines, contracted a secret marriage with her, which, when a few years afterward it was disclosed to his father Alfonso IV., met a violent opposition from the king. The apprehension that the children of Ines might interfere with the claims to the throne of Pedro's children by his first wife, also preyed upon the mind of Alfonso. Her death was therefore resolved upon by the king, who caused her to be assassinated while Pedro was on a hunting excursion. When Pedro came home and found the bleeding corpse of his wife, his mother and the archbishop of Braga succeeded with the greatest difficulty in restraining him from taking vengeance upon the king. After the king's death in 1357 his wrath broke out with increased fury.

One of the assassins succeeded in escaping to Aragon. The other two, who had sought protection at the court of Pedro the Cruel in Castile, were surrendered to the king of Portugal, who, after subjecting them to torture, had their hearts torn out, their bodies burnt, and their ashes scattered to the winds. He convened a council at Castanheda, when, in the presence of the nobility and the court, he produced the papal documents and the evidence of the archbishop of Guarda, the attending priest, in order to establish by irrefragable proof the legiti-macv of his marriage with Ines. The remains of Ines were then exhumed, her corpse was put upon the throne, clothed with the insignia of royalty, and the dignitaries of the kingdom approached to kiss the hem of the royal garment. Ines was afterward buried with great pomp at Alcobaca, the king, the bishops, the lords and officers of Portugal following the funeral procession on foot, a distance of 60 miles. A superb monument was dedicated to her at Alcobaca. Gomes in Portugal, Count Soden in Germany, and Feith in Holland have founded tragedies upon the incidents of Ines de Castro's life; but the most remarkable tribute paid to her memory is that of Camoens in the "Lusiad."

Ines De Castro #1

See Castro, Ines de.