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Alphonso V


ALPHONSO V., "Africano" (I 43 2-1481) succeeded his father, Edward, in 1438. During his minority he was placed under the regency, first of his mother, and latterly of his uncle, Dom Pedro. In 1448 he assumed the government and married Isabella, Dom Pedro's daughter. Next year, being led by what he afterwards discovered to be false representations, he declared Dom Pedro a rebel and defeated his army in a battle at Alfarrobeira, in which his uncle was slain. In 1458, and with more numerous forces in 1471, he invaded the territories of the Moors in Africa and by his successes there acquired his surname of "the African." On his return to Portugal in 1475 he invaded Castile, where two princesses were disputing his succession to the throne. Alphonso was be trothed to the princess Juana, and was proclaimed king of Castile and Leon; but in 1476 he was defeated at Toro by Ferdinand, the husband of Isabella of Castile. He sought in vain the assistance of Louis XI., and was compelled to abdicate in favour of his son John. John refused the crown, and Alphonso ruled for two years longer. He then retired into a monastery at Cintra.