Though he took a part in the work of the reconquest, this king is chiefly remembered by the difficulties into which his successive marriages led him with the pope. He was first married to his cousin Teresa of Portugal, who bore him two daughters, and a son who died young.
The marriage was declared null by the pope, to whom Alfonso paid no attention till he was presumably tired of his wife. It cannot have been his conscience which constrained him to leave Teresa, for his next step was to marry Berenguela of Castile, who was his second cousin. For this act of contumacy the king and kingdom were placed under interdict.
The pope was, however, compelled to modify his measures by the threat that if the people could not obtain the services of religion they would not support the clergy, and that heresy would spread. The king was left under interdict personally, but to that he showed himself indifferent, and he had the support of his clergy. Berenguela left him after the birth of five children, and the king then returned to Teresa, to whose daughters he left his kingdom by will.
This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
|List of Castilian monarchs||