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Pedro González de Lara (died 16 October 1130) was a Castilian magnate. He served Alfonso VI as a young man, and later became the lover of Alfonso's heiress, Queen Urraca. At the height of his influence he was the chief of the Lara clan and the most powerful person in the kingdom after the monarch. The proponderance of his power in Castile is attested in numerous documents between 1120 and 1127. He opposed the succession of Urraca's legitimate heir, Alfonso VII. This dispute ended with his premature death.

Pedro González was son of count Gonzalo Núñez de Lara and his wife, Goto Núñez, and was a kinsman of Gonzalo Salvadórez. He had a brother, count Rodrigo González. The Lara family lands were located in Old Castile. Between 27 December 1088 and 10 November 1091 Pedro served as alférez, standard-bearer of the king's retinue. By 6 May 1107 Pedro was ruling Lara with the title of Count. There is a brief notice from August 1110 that he was then ruling (tenente) Medina del Campo. While he continued to hold onto Lara, Pedro was also granted Peñafiel (1113), Palencia (1122), Torremormojón (1124), and Portillo (1125). Under Alfonso VII he ruled Dueñas and Tarego between 23 May 1127 and 13 May 1128.[1]

In the mid-1110s, count Pedro became the lover of the reigning queen, Urraca. He became one of the most influential figures in the kingdom. Urraca bore Pedro two children: a daughter, Elvira, and a son, Fernando Pérez Furtado, so-called because he was deprived of an inheritance as a bastard. (Hurtado means "robbed" in Spanish.) Elvira married Bertrán de Risnel as arranged by her half-brother Alfonso VII.[2] Sometime before November 1127 Pedro González married the countess Eva (Ava), the young widow of count García Ordóñez, who had ruled Nájera and been killed in the Battle of Uclés. She may have been the daughter of Pedro Fróilaz de Traba, but more probably she was French. With his wife, Pedro had several children, including four sons: Álvaro, Manrique, Nuño, and Rodrigo, and a daughter, Mayor. Sometime before 1065 Rodrigo became the prior of the Cluniac foundation of San Salvador de Nogal and is the only known male member of the Castilian aristocracy to become a religious in the twelfth century.[3]

On 2 September 1125 Pedro gave his villages of Uranave and Ranedo to Santo Domingo de Silos in exchange for the monastery's properties at Arlanza and Tordueles. In 1127 Pedro and Eva conceded a fuero to the village of Tardajos and in 1128 another to Jaramillo Quemado. This last fuero has been lost, but a copy was made by Prudencio de Sandoval in the seventeenth century. It shows that the village owed the large comparatively sum five silver solidi annually to the count for their privileges.[4] The fuero of Tardajos was re-issued with adjustments on three subsequent occasions by either Pedro or Eva, the last being in 1147.[4]

It was in Pedro's generation that the use of toponymics, as opposed to just patronymics, began in Spain. Pedro was the first member of his family to use the surname "de Lara", a practice continued by his descendants. A good example of Pedro's style is found in a royal charter of 1 February 1124: uenerabilis comes dominus Petrus de Lara, "the venerable count Don Pedro de Lara".[5] The last record of Pedro governing Lara dates from 2 April 1129.

Upon the accession of Alfonso VII in March 1126, the towers of León were held against him by some noblemen who preferred to be ruled Pedro and his brother Rodrigo (presumably on behalf of Urraca and Pedro's illegitimate son) than by Alfonso.[6] Eventually the towers were surrendered and Pedro and Rodrigo forced to make submission to the new monarch and do him homage. In 1130, after the birth of a son, Raymond, to Alfonso and his queen, Berengaria, Pedro, Rodrigo, and their supporters revolted, hoping to receive support from Alfonso I of Aragon and Navarre. Together Pedro and his son-in-law Bertrán de Risnel took the city of Palencia. Rodrigo rebelled in Asturias, one of their kinsmen, Jimeno Íñiguez, rebelled in Valencia de Don Juan, and one Pedro Díaz rebelled from his castle of Valle only to be put down by Osorio Martínez and his brother Rodrigo. In June Alfonso succeeded in taking Palencia and arresting Pedro and Bertrán. Their fiefs were confiscated and they were exiled. The remaining rebels soon came to terms.

Pedro spent his exile in the service of Alfonso of Aragon, whom he followed to the siege of Bayonne. There he challenged Alfonso Jordan, Count of Toulouse and nephew of Urraca, to a joust, was defeated and killed.

Notes

  1. ^ Simon Barton, The Aristocracy in Twelfth-century León and Castile (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 280.
  2. ^ Barton, 51.
  3. ^ Barton, 192.
  4. ^ a b Barton, 94–95.
  5. ^ Barton, 44.
  6. ^ Barton, 113.







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