Biography of dom Antonio (1531-1595)

Portuguese religious born in Lisbon in 1531 and died in Paris in 1595. Natural son of the infante dom Luis of Beja, brother of Juan III and Violante Gomez, the Pelicana Jewish. He/She studied at Santa Cruz de Coimbra and followed an ecclesiastical career; He/She was prior of Crato when, in 1580, on the death of his uncle, the cardinal King dom Enrique and extinguished the House of Avis, the Portuguese nobles elected him King to oppose the succession claims of Felipe II of Spain. This sent an army under the command of the Duke of Alba, who defeated the supporters of Antonio Alcántara (25 August 1580) and forced him to take refuge in France. His subsequent attempts to regain the throne found the support of the rival powers of Spain, but were frustrated by new Spanish victories against the island of San Miguel (1582), on the outskirts of Lisbon (1589). He/She wrote numerous letters, some interesting memoirs and other works. Man illustrated and good-natured, but very ambitious and weak character, was a toy in the hands of France and England in the fight against Felipe II, against whom no met conditions to overcome. Finally, he/she asked his extradition and Don Antonio settled in a small village of Reuil. He/She spent the rest of his life in French exile. The eve of his death wrote to the Kings of France, England and other princes, recommending their children, more than ten different women. He/She was buried in the chapel of the convent of Santa María.