Count of Vimioso
Count of Vimioso (in Portuguese Conde de Vimioso) is a Portuguese title of nobility which have its origins in Alphonse, Bishop of Évora, the natural son of Alphonse, 4th Count of Ourém and 1st Marquis of Valença (eldest son of Alphonse I, Duke of Braganza). Therefore, the Counts of Vimioso were closely related to the Braganzas.
This title was created on February 2, 1515, by King Manuel I of Portugal for his 3rd cousin, Francisco de Portugal (Francis of Portugal), also known as Francis I, 1st Count of Vimioso, a natural son of Alphonse of Portugal, Bishop of Évora.
The House of the Counts of Vimioso had also close links with the Portuguese Royal family, as members of the King's Council, ambassadors, and Vice-roys. The 2nd Count, Alphonse I of Portugal, joined King Sebastian in his crusade in Morocco, and died there (during the Battle of Alcazarquivir in 1578 or, according to others, imprisoned by the moors after the battle).
This was one of the few Portuguese high aristocracy families to support King Anthony I of Portugal against King Philip II of Spain claims, during the War of the Portuguese Succession (1580–1583). The 3rd Count, Dom Francisco de Portugal (Francis II), was appointed King's Anthony Constable, leading the Portuguese armies in the Battle of Alcântara (1580); he found death, two years later, in the naval Battle of Vila Franca, off São Miguel Island, in the Azores.
In 1687, the 7th Count, Dom Miguel de Portugal (Michael of Portugal), died without legitimate issue. To avoid that such an illustrious family would be extinct, the King Pedro II of Portugal, through a special decree, issued on December 13, 1681, legitimated the count's natural son, Francisco de Paula (or Francis III), as 8th Count, giving him all his father's honours and titles.
During the romantic period, the 13th Count of Vimioso (1817–1865) was quite a popular personality not only among aristocracy but also throughout the Portuguese society: he was a remarkable horse-rider, participating in bullfightings, with a bohemian life style; his mistress was the quite known fado singer, Maria Severa, and the story was later popularized by literature, music (the famous Fado do Conde de Vimioso), theatre and movies (A Severa).
List of the Counts
- Francisco de Portugal (1485–1549), Francis I, 1st Count of Vimioso in 1515
- Afonso de Portugal (1519–1579), Alphonse I
- Francisco de Portugal, 3rd Count of Vimioso (1550–1582), Francis II
- Luis de Portugal (1555–1637), Louis I
- Afonso de Portugal (1591–1649), Alphonse II
- Luis de Portugal (1620–1655), Louis II
- Miguel de Portugal (1631–1687), Michael
- Francisco de Paula de Portugal e Castro (1679–1749), Francis III, became 2nd Marquis of Valença
- José Miguel João de Portugal e Castro (1706–1775), José I
- Francisco José Miguel de Portugal e Castro (1736–1771), Francis IV
- Afonso Miguel de Portugal e Castro (1748–1802), Alphonse III
- José Bernardino de Portugal e Castro (1780–1840), José II
- Francisco de Paula de Portugal e Castro (1817–1865), Francis V
- José Luis de Sousa Coutinho Castelo-Branco e Menezes (1859–1930)
- António Luis de Sousa Coutinho (1925–2007)
- Fernando Patrício de Portugal de Sousa Coutinho (b. 1956)
Other titles granted to this family were:
- Marquis of Valença, in 1451, by King Alphonse V;
- Marquis of Aguiar, in 1643, by King John IV;
- Count of Aguiar, in 1808, by Queen Maria I.
The Counts' family name was de Portugal, as they descended from King John I of Portugal.
In the late 17th Century, the 8th Count, Francisco de Paula, also known as Francis III, joined the name Castro, given that he had inherited from an aunt properties and titles belonging to the Castro family and, from then on, the Counts bore de Portugal e Castro (of Portugal and Castro) as their family name.
In the late 19th Century, the Counts' family name became Sousa Coutinho, due to the marriage of Maria José de Portugal e Castro, the 13th Count's heir, with Fernando Luis de Sousa Coutinho (Marquis of Borba).
JOHN I (1357–1433) King of Portugal | __________________|.................................... | | : DUARTE I | AFONSO (1391–1438) | (1377–1470) King of Portugal | 1st.Duke of Braganza | | _________________|________________________ | | | | | | | | | | | JOHN<------------>ISABEL AFONSO FERNANDO I | (1400–1442) | (1402–1465) (1400–1460) (1403–1478) | Lord of Reguengos | 1st.Marquis of Valença 2nd.Duke of Braganza | | : | | | : | FERNANDO<------------------>BEATRICE ALPHONSE FERNANDO II (1433–1470) | (1430–1506) (c.1462-1522) (1430–1483) 2nd.Duke of Viseu | Bishop of Évora 3rd.Duke of Braganza 1st.Duke of Beja | : | | : | MANUEL I FRANCIS I | (1469–1521) (1485–1549) | 4th.Duke of Beja 1st.Count of Vimioso | King of Portugal | | | | | | | | Royal House of Portugal House of Vimioso House of Braganza
- "Nobreza de Portugal e do Brasil" – Vol. III, Pages 536-543. Published by Zairol Lda., Lisbon 1989.