Wednesday, 28 April 2010


"Unexpectedly available: Castle with nice views of Portugal and river, tastefully furnished in genuine mediaeval style and fully equipped, low maintenance security for immediate occupancy."

Well, what do you do when you have just acquired a nice piece of real estate in exchange for a few measly royal supporters? You move yourself and your wife in, that's what. And if you happen to have a royal prince around, you move him in too so that he'll be nice and close to his aunt and uncle.

What made the usually cautious Pedro decide to move his wife, Mayor, and little Prince Alfonso Raimundez into his newly captured castle is a bit of a mystery and we can only assume that he thought that Teresa and Henry were a safer bet when it came to establishing the prince's right to the throne.

Urraca was no longer allowing the Battler to lay waste to her dominions, but she showed no sign of handing Galicia over to her son who was, after all, only six at the time. To do so was to give part and parcel to Pedro Froilaz whose ambitions for himself as regent were only too clear.

Instead she sent one of her staunchest supporters, a Galician noble by the name of Arias Pérez, to lay siege to the castle. Pedro presumably came out on his best charger leaving his wife and the prince in the castle.

Diego Gelmirez by this time was beginning his flip-flopping between whoever appeared to be on the winning side. At this point and for some time, he had aligned himself with Urraca's supporters: in this case Arias Pérez and the so-called Brotherhood. But Urraca knew that Diego could just as easily have re-joined his old ally Pedro Froílaz and didn't trust him at all. Be that as it may, Pedro prevailed upon Diego to plead with the queen on his behalf. Diego did just that, but perhaps was already having his doubts about which horse to back; as soon as the seige was lifted, Urraca captured and imprisoned not only Pedro and his wife, but Diego Gelmirez himself, and even her own son!

Somehow or another, the four were released because by the autumn of 1111 we read in the Historia Compostelana that Diego and Pedro - who presumably having been cell mates were friends again - had young Alfonso crowned King of Galicia in Compostela.

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