Peter I, 1320–67, king of Portugal (1357–67), son and successor of Alfonso IV. He married (1336) Constance Manuel, a Castilian noblewoman, but subsequently fell in love with one of her ladies in waiting, Inés de Castro. Their tragic love affair has been a favorite theme in Portuguese literature. When Alfonso IV allowed Inés, whom Peter later claimed to have married, to be murdered (1355), the prince led a rebellion against his father. Peace was restored, and the prince formally pardoned the murderers. Nevertheless, when Peter became king, he had two of them executed by having their hearts drawn out. This act, and his concern for legal reform, earned him the names Peter the Severe, or the Cruel, and Peter the Justiciar. He was succeeded by his son, Ferdinand I.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.