Marshal of Portugal

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The office of Marshal of the Kingdom of Portugal (Marechal do Reino de Portugal, sometimes Mariscal) was created by King Ferdinand I of Portugal in 1382, in the course of the reorganization of the higher offices of the army of the Kingdom of Portugal. The Marshal was directly subordinate to the Constable of Portugal (Condestável), being principally responsible for the high administrative matters, including the quartering of troops, supplies and other logistical matters.

Ferdinand I of Portugal King of Portugal

Ferdinand I, sometimes called the Handsome or occasionally the Inconstant, was the King of Portugal from 1367 until his death in 1383. His death led to the 1383–85 crisis, also known as the Portuguese interregnum.

Kingdom of Portugal kingdom in Southwestern Europe between 1139 and 1910

The Kingdom of Portugal was a monarchy on the Iberian Peninsula and the predecessor of modern Portugal. It was in existence from 1139 until 1910. After 1415, it was also known as the Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves, and between 1815 and 1822, it was known as the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves. The name is also often applied to the Portuguese Empire, the realm's extensive overseas colonies.

Marshal is a term used in several official titles in various branches of society. As marshals became trusted members of the courts of Medieval Europe, the title grew in reputation. During the last few centuries, it has been used for elevated offices, such as in military rank and civilian law enforcement.


Gonçalo Vasques de Azevedo was appointed the first Marshal of the Kingdom in 1382. The office then passed to his son-in-law, Gonçalo Vasques Coutinho, and was maintained within the Coutinho family (see Counts of Marialva) until the Iberian Union of 1580. After the 1640 restoration of Portugal, the office was resurrected by King João IV of Portugal and the Algarves, and maintained for a few more years.

Iberian Union Spanish-Portuguese union between 1580-1640

The Iberian Union was the dynastic union of the Kingdom of Portugal and the Spanish Crown between 1580 and 1640, bringing the entire Iberian Peninsula, as well as Spanish and Portuguese overseas possessions, under the Spanish Habsburg kings Philip II, Philip III and Philip IV. The union began as a result of the Portuguese crisis of succession and the ensuing War of the Portuguese Succession and lasted 60 years, until the Portuguese Restoration War in which the House of Braganza was established as Portugal's new ruling dynasty.

John IV of Portugal King of Portugal

John IV, nicknamed John the Restorer, was the King of Portugal whose reign, lasting from 1640 until his death, led to the Portuguese "restoration" of independence from Spanish rule. His accession established the house of Braganza on the Portuguese throne, and marked the end of the 60-year-old Iberian Union, by which Portugal and Spain shared the same monarch.

The following is the list of title-holders. The date refers to the approximate year of appointment.

List of the Marshals of the Kingdom of Portugal

  1. Gonçalo Vasques de Azevedo – 1383
  2. Gonçalo Vasques Coutinho, lord of Couto de Leomil – 1385
  3. Vasco Fernandes Coutinho, 1st Count of Marialva – c.1413.
  4. D. Fernando (I) Coutinho – c. 1450
  5. D. Álvaro Gonçalves Coutinho – c. 1480
  6. D. Fernando (II) Coutinho – c. 1500
  7. D. Álvaro Coutinho – c. 1530
  8. D. Fernando (III) Coutinho – c. 1560
  9. D. Fernando (IV) Coutinho – c. 1578
  10. D. Fernando de Mascarenhas, Conde de Serém – 1643
  11. D. Jorge de Mascarenhas, Conde de Serém – 1650

See also

Constable of Portugal was an office created by King Ferdinand I of Portugal in 1382, to substitute the Alferes-Mor as the head of the Military. It was also referred as the Constable of the Kingdom.

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