Henry of Burgundy


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Henry of Burgundy,

d. 1112, count of Portugal. One of a group of French nobles called by Alfonso VI of León to assist in the fight against the Moors, he arrived in Spain c.1095. He was assigned a portion of land previously held by his cousin Raymond, who was the husband of Alfonso's daughter Urraca. To Henry, Alfonso gave his illegitimate daughter Teresa and the title count of Coimbra—later exchanged for the title count of Portugal. After the death of Alfonso VI, Henry tried to enhance his position by war and intrigues with and against Urraca, her son Alfonso (later Alfonso VII of Castile), and her second husband, Alfonso I of Aragón. In this he failed, but he died leaving a territory that was to become the independent kingdom of Portugal under his son Alfonso I.

Henry of Burgundy

 

Born circa 1057 in Dijon; died May 1, 1114, in Astorga. First count of Portugal; duke of Burgundy.

After his marriage to Teresa, a natural daughter of King Al fonso VI of Leon and Castile, Henry was granted the territory between the Mondego and Douro rivers and the title of count of Portugal (his residence was at Portucale [modern Porto]). Although he remained a nominal vassal of Alfonso VI, Henry ruled autonomously; his relatively independent position contributed to the transformation of the country into the kingdom of Portugal in 1139. He took part in the First Crusade (1096–99) and waged a tenacious struggle against the Moors. In 1111, Henry brutally crushed a large peasant rebellion.