Biography of Pedro Froilaz (ca. 1070-ca. 1129)

Spanish Aristocrat, count of Traba and Galicia, born about 1070 and died to 1129. It was the most important noble from Galicia during the minority of age of Alfonso VII, which supported all his life.

During the last years of the reign of Alfonso VI of Castile (died 1109) the Barcelona title had a double reading: on the one hand count could be a denomination of that Lord whom the King had appointed to exercise territorial districts (Holdings) power judicial, military, and Government; Conde was also a personal title involving not be assigned to a territory and that enjoyed maximum consideration within the Royal Court. Pedro Froilaz, head of the Trastámara dynasty met both conditions County at the end of the 11th century and enjoyed political prominence over the other Galician Lords.

The count of Traba had a great connection with Ramón de Burgundy and his wife Doña Urraca, Alfonso Raimúndez (the future Alfonso VII) parents and was appointed his guardian. At the death of Ramon in 1107 Alfonso had only three years of age. In 1109 Alfonso VI of Castile died, and in his will left his Kingdom to his daughter Doña Urraca, on the condition that not to become married, in which case Castile would pass to his grandson Alfonso Raimúndez. Doña Urraca named Pedro Froilaz count of Galicia; This was probably an urgent measure to protect the future of his son Alfonso. But the Queen was married to Alfonso I of Aragon, which pretended to titular King of Castile by her marriage with Doña Urraca. In 1109 the count of Traba began a revolt in Galicia to the dynastic rights of his pupil, and tried the nobility to renew their oath of allegiance to the infant. At the beginning of the year following Froilaz managed to dominate the North of Galicia, but he/she was opposed by the vassals of Bishop Gelmírez (don't know if Gelmírez collaborated with them, but did nothing to faciclitar the oath to Alfonso Raimúndez), Doña Urraca and Alfonso the Battler, who controlled Compostela on behalf of the Queen. The King of Aragon launched a campaign in Galicia to undergo Froilaz, but obtained results opposite to its objectives: the party of the brotherhoods, called villagers, abandoned the side of Alfonso I for the brutality that the Aragonese troops showed. Despite all the comuneros were defeated and harshly repressed. Such brutality had dire consequences on the marriage of don Alfonso and Urraca, because there was the first of a series of ruptures between them. The count of Traba moved to the infant to León, where he/she also attended Gelmírez, in order to proclaim King Alfonso VII, although it did not; This happened at the end of the summer of 1110.

The Holy See declared null by inbreeding the marriage of Alfonso I and Doña Urraca. This made feeding the hopes of Pedro Frolilaz, who received a letter from Doña Urraca in which Queen, terrorized by the excommunication launched on real marriage by the Archbishop of Toledo, called for immediate Coronation of Alfonso Raimúndez as King of Galicia to the count. At the same time, the Queen turned to Sahagún, where publicly humbled before her husband to circumvent the anathema. The reconciliation was a political action that the count of Traba was considered a betrayal and acted by enclosing the infant in the fortress of Santa María de Castrelo. The Communards, with Arias Pérez at the head, knowing the desire of Doña Urraca proclaimed King Alfonso child, marched to the fortress of the count of Traba and seized the infante and Gelmírez, who had come to make peace. It was also imprisoned the Countess of lock which, together with the infant, was born from one to another of the strengths of Arias Pérez. After his release Gelmirez in Puentecesures was that faction of residents joined the of the count of lock for the coronation of Alfonso Raimúndez, while it offered to Doña Urraca, fenced at Carrion by the counts of Portugal, his armies if he/she let the coronation of Alfonso. Alfonso VII was proclaimed King of Galicia in Santiago from September 17, 1111. Later, the Queen authorized his coronation in León and the count of Traba stood in front of a small army to move there to Alfonso. Along the way they were forced to submit the city of Lugo, sublevada against the lock and Gelmirez. And Leon before they were surprised by the troops of Alfonso the Battler, who had broken the siege of Carrion and had again with the consent of his wife. In a place called Viandangos, near Astorga, the Aragonese army defeated the poor Galician garrison, killing most of the soldiers and capturing the count of Traba. Gelmírez was able to escape and save the King.

Did not remain long in prison the count of Traba, who at the end of the year approaching their positions Teresa of Portugal, freshly killed the count of Portugal, Henry. Relations between the lock and Doña Teresa had to be fluid, as demonstrated by the fact that the Countess was mistress of two of the children of Pedro Froilaz: Vermudo and Fernando. Teresa favored emigration of Galician nobles to Portugal. Also the count complied with Doña Urraca's authority when it proclaimed the union of the Galician under the cause of the young Alfonso and obtained substantial donations from the Queen, however, the Government of Galicia gave Gelmirez. The comuneros were opposed to the cause of Doña Urraca and broke out a new civil war in Galicia, in which troops of the Queen were incurred mainly by the coffers of the count and the Bishop Gelmírez and which ended with the surrender of the commoners to the Bishop. The count of Traba returned to fight for Doña Urraca in 1113, his troops joining the Gelmirez, when restarted the war between Alfonso I and Queen. The victory, partial, the Gallegos made that the fighter had to delay their positions. But soon came a new reconciliation between the Kings and Doña Urraca tried to divide the Galicians, trying to get Pedro Froilaz loyalty in Exchange for half of the lordship of Gelmírez; the Earl refused, and so did the Bishop when the Queen tried to bribe him.

The count of Traba returned to claim the rights of Alfonso Raimúndez to 1116, but Doña Urraca took Compostela and left it dominated by insurgents who demanded the head of Diego Gelmírez. Pedro Froilaz had to return to Compostela from the border, where he/she was to confront the troublemakers. The Countess of lock must leave Santiago with Alfonso Raimúndez and the Earl lost the support of the Bishop, who, under pressure from the Queen, attacked the lands of the lock. When the Bishop could take the reins of the city went back to the side of the count, and this time, also the Queen joined. But the powerful union returned to set fire to the masses, who, trying to capture the Bishop, fenced in addition to the count of Traba and the Queen in a tower of the Cathedral. The situation was calmed before 1117 thanks to the union of Doña Urraca and her son with the count of Traba.

1120 became Pedro Froilaz and Alfonso Raimúndez to confront Doña Urraca when it ordered the arrest to the Bishop Gelmírez and confiscated his ecclesiastical Lordship. In June the count and Prince marched on Compostela, whose population joined them against Doña Urraca and the Queen was forced to release to the Bishop. But the Queen, whose political movements were always conditioned by the circumstances, appointed Governor of Galicia Gelmírez the following year, seriously offending the lock. The count allied himself with Teresa of Portugal; her son, Fernando, lived in Portugal as consort of Teresa and was tenente of Oporto and Coimbra; Doña Teresa, meanwhile, married a daughter of his own with Vermudo, another son of the Earl. These marriages strengthened the Alliance between Portugal and lock counties, but bothered much to Galicia, especially in the circles near Gelmirez. In 1123 Doña Urraca ordered arrest Froilaz and war broke out again the in Galicia. They were the troops of Prince Alfonso that they could stop it in 1124.

Pedro Froilaz retired from politics in 1123 and marched to Mondoñedo, where he/she maintained friendship with his Bishop, Munio Alfonso. After the death of Doña Urraca in 1126 and the proclamation of his former pupil as Alfonso VII, Pedro Froilaz swore loyalty in Zamora with leading nobles in Galicia. He/She died shortly after. His marriage with Doña Mayor Guntroda Rodríguez had left ten sons, of which highlighted Fernando and Vermudo for being linked with the House of Portugal, which soon became a Kingdom.


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XAVIER, A. Diego Gelmírez. Kingdom of Galicia, centuries XI - XII. Barcelona, 1985.