Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Philippa of Lancaster
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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Philippa of Lancaster

PHILIPPA of Lancaster (1359-1415) queen of John I of Portugal, born in 1359, was daughter of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, and was first brought to Portugal by her father on his expedition in aid of Portuguese independence in 1386. While aiding his ally against Castille, the Duke of Lancaster settled the terms of a marriage alliance by which John I of Portugal, the founder of the house of Aviz, who had led the national rising against the threatened Castilian succession since 1383, was to marry his daughter Philippa. After King John had been released by Urban VI from the vows of celibacy which he had taken in earlier life as master of the order of Aviz, the marriage took place on 2 Feb. 1387. Philippa was twenty-eight years old on her marriage, and became the mother of five celebrated sons, the 'royal race of famous Infantes,' viz. King Edward I, Don Pedro the traveller and the great regent, Prince Henry the navigator, Ferdinand the saint, and John. Her two eldest children, Dona Branca and Don Alfonso, died in infancy. During her last illness in 1415 she was moved from Lisbon to Sacavem, while her husband and sons were on the point of starting for the conquest of Ceuta in Barbary. On her deathbed she spoke to her eldest son of a king's true vocation, to Pedro of his knightly duties in the protection of widows and orphans, to Henry of a general's care for his men. A story tells how she roused herself before she died to ask what wind it was that blew so strongly against the house, and being told it was the north, exclaimed to those about her 'It is the wind for your voyage, which must be about St. James's day' (25 July).

She died on 13 July, and was buried in Batalha Abbey church, where her recumbent statue rests by the side of King John's. She enjoyed the reputation of a perfect wife and mother. Her husband survived her till 1433, and was succeeded by their eldest son, Edward. Philip II of Spain descended from her through his mother Isabella, daughter of King Emanuel of Portugal, Philippa's great-grandson [see under Mary I of England].

[Chevalier's Répertoire; Notice by Ferd. Denis in Nouvelle Biographie Générale; José Soares de Silva's Memorias para a Historia del Rey dom João I; Barbosa's Catalogo das Rainhas; Schæffer's Historia de Portugal; Souza's His- toria Genealogica; Retraços e Elogios; Fernan Lopez's Chronicle of D. John I; Oliveiro Martins' Sons of D. John I; Major's Prince Henry the Navigator; Ramsay's York and Lancaster.]

C. R. B.

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