Theresa of León is Defeated at the Battle of São Mamede

Theresa of Portugal

Theresa of Portugal

On June 24, 1128, Theresa of León and Fernando Pérez de Traba were defeated by Alfonso I, Theresa’s son, at the Battle of São Mamede. Theresa was the illegitimate daughter of Alfonso VI of León and Castile by Ximena Moniz. She was married to Henry of Burgundy in 1093. When Alfonso VI died in 1109, he left everything to his legitimate daughter, Urraca of Castile. Henry then invaded León in an attempt to add it to his lands. He died in 1112, leaving Theresa to take on the responsibility of the government and recently reconquered lands.

Theresa allied herself with the Count of Trava and at some point began an affair with his son, Fernando Pérez de Traba with whom she had two daughters, Sancha and Teresa. After several battles against her sister, Theresa was captured at Lanhoso in 1121. A peace was negotiated and she was escorted back to the county of Portugal and allowed to hold it as a fief of León.

In 1122, after Alfonso, Theresa’s son, turned 14, he raised an army to take control of his lands from his mother. The Portuguese nobles supported Alfonso and after Theresa’s defeat at the Battle of São Mamede in 1128, she and Fernando were sent into exile in Galicia with their children. Theresa died soon afterwards in 1130.

Find out what else happened on June 24 in Women’s History.

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