LIMA, D. Leonel de (1403 - 1495)
1st Viscount of Vila Nova de Cerveira (1403 - 1495).
Son of Fernão Anes de Lima, Lord of Valdez and Coura. His family, of Galician aristocratic ancestry, arrived in Portugal in the first days of nationality. After his older brother died, he received the totality of his father?s estate. In 1432, he married Dona Filipa da Cunha, daughter of Álvaro da Cunha, 3rd Lord of Pombeiro, and fathered 11 children by her. His association with the Royal House dates from the early appointment to attend to the prince Dom Duarte, after which he served Dom Afonso VI and Dom João II. He was the bearer of the basin and jar in the latter?s baptismal ceremony.
He began by supporting the faction in favour of Dona Leonor. After that, he supported the prince Dom Pedro?s claims, and went to Castile as the prince?s envoy, commissioned with the task of discouraging Dona Leonor?s pretensions to the throne, but ended up fighting by the side of King Afonso V in the Battle of Alfarrobeira. In consequence to his support, the King appointed him member of the Royal Council and granted him jurisdiction in the territory between Douro and Minho. In addition, he was given the posts of Chief Alcaide in Ponte de Lima (1454), where he was authorized to build a castle, and of chief keeper of the ports of Valença do Minho. He was also twice present in the Portuguese campaigns in Northern Africa, namely as a participant in the expedition to Tangier, in 1437, and in the taking of Alcacer Ceguer, in 1458. As a reward he was given several allowances and the village of Vila Nova de Cerveira. Proximity with the monarch was further strengthened by his participation in the expedition to Castile, in which he was joined by his sons João de Lima and Fernão de Lima. His support on that occasion originated another royal gift: the title of Viscount of Vila Nova de Cerveira, in a document signed in Toro, in 1476, two days after the battle that ended Dom Afonso?s claims to the Castilian crown had finished. From that date on until he died, in 1495, that are no records of any further political or military activities on his part.
DINIZ, Sofia e CARVALHO, Patrícia, ?Os Limas e a Política de D. Manuel I?, in A Alta Nobreza e a Fundação do Estado da Índia, coord. João Paulo Oliveira e Costa e Vítor Luís Gaspar Rodrigues, Lisboa, CHAM/IICT/UNL, 2004, pp. 259-277. DINIZ, Sofia, ?D. Francisco de Lima, Capitão de Goa?, in A Nobreza e a Expansão: estudos biográficos, coord. João Paulo Oliveira e Costa, Cascais, Patrimónia, 2000, pp. 298-315.
Author: Sofia Diniz
Translated by: Leonor Sampaio da Silva