TEODÓSIO, Dom, (1568 ?1630)
Son of Duke Dom Joao and of Dona Catarina, Dom Teodósio was born in Vila Viçosa on 28 April 1568, and the title of Duke of Barcelos was immediately awarded to him. He was raised by Fernão Soares Homem and António de Castro while Dom Luís de Noronha became his tutor.
In 1570, aged 10, Dom Teodósio substituted his ill father, and led the magnificent embassy of the Braganças which accompanied King Dom Sebastião to the North of Africa. The little Duke of Barcelos (who was under the protection of his uncle, D. Jaime) should represent his father, but not fight. Going against the king?s orders, who had instructed him to remain in his carriage during the battle of Alcácer Quibir, Dom Teodósio led his horse into combat, commanding his men and helping where he thought needed. In the midst of the battle heat, from which the king would not return, Dom Teodósio was wounded in the head and made prisoner by Mawley Ahmad, along with many of his men.
Realising the importance of his prisoner, Mawley Ahmad sent him in a litter to Fez, where he took residence in the Jewish quarter, along with the majority of prisoners. There, he waited for his release to be negotiated. His father sent Jorge de Lemos to set up the ransom, but Dom Filipe II also had a role to play in these negotiations.
The death of Dom Sebastiao brought the Spanish monarch closer to the Portuguese throne. Dom Fillipe II saw the Dukes of Bragança as his most dangerous opponents, as Dona Catarina and Dona Isabel (his mother) were daughters of Infante Dom Duarte. With the release of the Duke of Barcelos, the Spanish monarch hoped to ensure the Bragança?s gratitude and support. That did not happen, and despite Dom Teodósio being released in 1579, he was detained in San Lucas by the Duke of Medina Sidónia. He only returned to Portugal after the death of Cardinal Dom Henrique, when Dom Filipe II had already occupied the throne of Portugal.
Duke Dom João died in 1583. As Dom Teodósio was very young, it was Dona Catarina who guaranteed the administration of the House, until the young Duke of Bragança reached adulthood.
In 1589, when Lisbon was attacked by Dom António, Prior of Crato, and by the English, Dom Teodósio participated in the city?s defence by arming, at his own expense, a large military force whilst reinforcing all the coastal fortifications in his estates. Dom Filipe II wrote him a letter, thanking him for his help. In 1603, Dom Teodósio married with a bride chosen by the king, Dona Ana de Velasco. She was the daughter of Dom João de Velasco, Constable of Castile and León, Earl of Haro and Castel- Novo, a man very close to the king. By the time of the marriage, king Dom Filipe II (of Castile) renewed his favour for 26 years, what allowed him to bring from India 100 quintais of cinnamon, 100 of clove and 100 of nuts (if not, another 100 of clove) duty ? free . By the same time, the king awarded him with Vila do Conde.
In the following year, on 18 March, the couple?s first son was born in Vila Viçosa. He was named Dom João, Duke of Barcelos, and was to become the next king of Portugal. More children followed: Dom Duarte, Dona Catarina e Dom Alexandre. Dona Ana de Velasco died in 1607, aged 26.
In 1617, Dom Teodósio sent a preventive military force to the Algarve, as Francis Drake was threatening its waters, and in 1625 he contributed with 20 000 cruzados for the defence of Bahia.
The Duke died in Vila Viçosa on 29 November 1630. Ten years later, his son, Duke Dom João II, became the king of Portugal.
SOUSA, António Caetano de, História Genealógica da Casa Real Portuguesa, tomo VI, nova edição revista por M. Lopes de Almeida e César Pegado, Coimbra, Atlântida Livraria Editora, 1948.
Author: Maria Dávila
Translated by: Marília Pavão
Support: Fundação da Casa de Bragança