• The History

The Family

armeiromorThe Counts of Almada and Avranches own Paço de Lanheses since the nineteenth century.

On 30th March 1818, Count D. Antão José Maria Almada married in Lisbon to the heiress of this estate, D. Maria Francisca de Abreu Pereira Peixoto Cirne, only daughter of Sebastião Abreu Pereira Peixoto Cirne, 1st Tenant-in-Chief of Vila Nova de Lanhezes.

In doing so he takes his place in the house, which belonged to his wife´s family since the sixteenth century.

Today the family is represented by D. Lourenço José Almada, born in April 1961 in Lanheses. He is the father of two children and shares the estate with his mother and four brothers.

Mentioning ancestors of this ancient and aristocratic family is the same as talking about the history of Portugal. The Almada family always fought for their ideals and for their country, with character and chivalrous nobility, taking part in events in land and sea that influenced the rest of Europe and the world.

Since the instauration of a constitutional monarchy and then the republic the Almada family retired from an active participation in the government. They disagree with government policies and watch with concern the mismanagement of the Heritage and Traditions that constitute their legacy.


THE ALMADA

COUNTS OF ALMADA AND ABRANCHES

This family established centuries ago in Lisbon, and according to ancient nobility records, descends from an English Crusader who had accompanied the fleet of Sir William Longsword, illegitimate son of Henry II of England and half-brother of Richard Lionheart, who came Portugal to fight the Moors during the conquest of this city.
According to legend, the first King of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques, gave him the lands, he later named Almada, as a reward for his brave deeds.

It is documented that in 1445, the King of England Henry VI, awarded D. Álvaro Vaz de Almada the Most Noble Order of the Garter and the County of Avranches, a region with an important walled city located in the Duchy of Normandy, by the sea, as a reward for his participation in the Hundred Years War.

 

  • Twelve of England
  • St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle
  • Twelve of England

    According to another Portuguese chivalric legend told by the poet Luís de Camões in his Lusíadas (Canto VI), D. Álvaro Vaz de Almada was one of the twelve Portuguese who participated in the famous tournament known as the "Twelve of England" to rescue the honour of the ladies of that country, who had been offended.

    The Almada family coat of arms is painted on the roof of St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, under number 162.

  • St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle

    According to another Portuguese chivalric legend told by the poet Luís de Camões in his Lusíadas (Canto VI), D. Álvaro Vaz de Almada was one of the twelve Portuguese who participated in the famous tournament known as the "Twelve of England" to rescue the honour of the ladies of that country, who had been offended.

    The Almada family coat of arms is painted on the roof of St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, under number 162.

 

At the end of the fifteenth century, the eldest son of his second wife, D. Fernando Almada, accompanied D. Afonso V of Portugal to France to obtain help against Spain. The french monarch Louis XI granted him the title of Conte d’Avranches.

 

  • Restauração da Independência
  • Palácio da Independência
  • Restauração da Independência

    Another distinguished member of this noble family may be found in 1640: D. Antão de Almada, 7th Count of Avranches, Ambassador of Portugal to England, was one of the 40 noblemen that regained the independence of Portugal, after nearly sixty years under the Spanish rule.

    Due to this historical fact the 13th Count of Avranches was invested with the Portuguese title of Count of Almada.

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  • Palácio da Independência

    The meetings of the forty conspirators were held at his Rossio Palace in Lisbon, later called Palace of Independence, and is nowadays owned by the state.

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In the early nineteenth century, during the Succession War that turned later into the portuguese Civil War, the family was forced to leave Lisbon. Almada was one of the Kings Court Great Officer’s, serving as Grand Master of Ceremonies.

The 3rd Count of Almada and 15th of Avranches moved by that time to the north of Portugal, to the village of Lanheses, where he had an army at his command and established residence at his manor house: the estate comprising Paço de Lanheses.

At the present time the 8th Count of Almada and 19th Count of Avranches lives in Paço de Lanheses.

 


 

1st Count of Almada

1st Count of Almada

2nd Countess of Almada

2nd Countess of Almada

4th Count of Almada

4th Count of Almada

5th Count of Almada

5th Count of Almada

7th Countess of Almada and Sons

7th Countess of Almada and Sons

8th Count of Almada and Family

8th Count of Almada and Family