Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu

Infante Ferdinand
Duke of Viseu and Beja

Fernando in a 1534 miniature in the Genealogy of D. Manuel Pereira, 3rd Count of Feira
Born 17 November 1433
Died 18 September 1470
Spouse Beatrice of Portugal
Issue John, Duke of Viseu
Diogo, Duke of Viseu
Eleanor, Queen of Portugal
Isabella, Duchess of Braganza
Manuel I of Portugal
House House of Aviz
Father Edward of Portugal
Mother Eleanor of Aragon

Infante Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu and Beja (or Fernando, Portuguese pronunciation: [fɨɾˈnɐ̃du], 1433 1470) was the third son of Edward of Portugal and his wife Eleanor of Aragon.


Ferdinand was born in Almeirim on 17 November 1433, and died in Setúbal on 18 September 1470.

He was twice sworn Prince of Portugal (title granted to the presumptive heir to the throne): first between 1438 and 1451, once his older brother became king Afonso V of Portugal and had no children; and for the second time, in 1451, when Prince João was born, but died months later.

When Afonso V's first daughter, Princess Joan, was born (1452), Infante Ferdinand finally lost this title.

In 1452, Ferdinand fled the country looking for adventure. Some say he wanted to go to the north African cities controlled by the Portuguese; others say that he wanted to join his uncle, the King Alfonso I of Naples, in his campaigns in southern Italy. It seems Ferdinand had the hope to inherit his uncle’s kingdom, as he had no legitimate children.

The Infante Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu and Beja.

However, his brother, King Afonso V of Portugal, as soon as he knew about Ferdinand’s escape, ordered to the Count of Odemira, which was patrolling the strait of Gibraltar with a fleet, to intercept the infante ship and bring him back to mainland Portugal.

Duke of Beja and Viseu

In 1453, his brother, King Afonso V of Portugal granted him the title of 1st Duke of Beja.

When his uncle, Prince Henry the Navigator died, in 1460, he also became 2nd Duke of Viseu as well. He also succeeded his uncle as Master of the Order of Christ and responsible for the Discoveries (1460–1470).

He was finally allowed to fight in north Africa: first in 1458 he escorted the king to the conquest of the Moroccan city of Alcácer Ceguer; and for a second time, in 1468, he led a Portuguese fleet that conquered and destroyed the port of Anfa (Anafé in Portuguese), today included in Casablanca, which was a barbary corsairs base.

He was buried in the Religiosas da Conceição monastery, in Beja, founded by his wife.

Marriage and children

He married his cousin Beatrice of Portugal (Portuguese: Beatriz) in 1447, daughter of Infante João, Lord of Reguengos (his uncle). From this marriage, Ferdinand had ten children:


See also


”Nobreza de Portugal e do Brasil” – Vol. I, pages 311 and 312. Published by Zairol Lda., Lisbon 1989.

External links

Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu
Cadet branch of the House of Burgundy
Born: 17 November 1433 Died: ? 1470
Preceded by
Afonso (become Afonso V)
Prince of Portugal
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Prince of Portugal
Succeeded by
Portuguese nobility
Preceded by
New Title
Duke of Beja
Succeeded by
John of Viseu, 2nd Duke of Beja
Preceded by
Henry, the Navigator
Duke of Viseu
Succeeded by
John, 3rd Duke of Viseu
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