Thursday, 16 November 2006

D. Afonso de Castelo Branco, Bishop of Coimbra

D. Afonso de Castelo Branco (1522-1615) – 41st Bishop of Coimbra and 6th Count of Arganil, Bishop of Algarve (1581-85) and Vice-Roy of Portugal (1603-05) during the reign of PhilipII (III of Spain) (1598-1621
Arms: Castelo Branco. Motto: «De forti egressa est dulcedo».
Tech.: X2. Size: 107mm x 123mm.
There are still doubts as to its use as a bookplate. The Castelo Branco's arms bear a lion rampant azure but without the book in his mouth.
During the succession crisis opened with the death of Cardinal-King D. Henrique in 1580, the University of Coimbra receiving news of the acclamation of Anthony, Prior of Crato (Order of Malta) at Santarém, recognized him as King of Portugal. But after a while, having received word of the recognition of Philip II of Spain as King of Portugal, the University sent a delegation to Philip on his arrival to Portugal presided by the Bishop, D. Afonso de Castelo Branco, to swear the allegiance of the University. This, however, did not avoid the prosecution of several scholars from the University.
Ordered the building of the Church of the Jesuits, started in 1598 and only finished in 1640. After the suppression of the Jesuits in 1759, became the new Episcopal See.
During his rule he also had the Synodal Constitutions, published in 1591 (reprinted in 1791):
· Constituições sinodaes do Bispado de Coimbra, feytas & ordenadas em Synodo pelo Illmº Sr. D. Affonso de Castel Branco, bispo de Coimbra, conde de Arganil & do Conselho del Rey N. S. &c. Coimbra : Antonio de Mariz, 1591.
· Constituiçoens synodaes do Bispado de Coimbra, feitas e ordenadas em Synodo pelo Illustrissimo Senhor Dom Afonso de Castel Branco, bispo de Coimbra, conde de Arganil, do Conselho del Rey N. S. &c. & por seu mandado impressas em Coimbra, anno 1591 : e novamente impressas no anno de 1730 com hum novo index... Coimbra : No Real Collegio das Artes da Companhia de Jesus, 1731.

(to be continued)

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