B. The Manuscript of Salvador Soares Cotrim, 1724

The Origins of the Cotrim Family of Portugal

B.1. The Manuscript

The manuscript by Soares, dated 1724, was brought to my attention (in a very different context) by Paulo Alcobia Neves, [PAULO02].  The document is preserved in the Torre do Tombo in Lisbon and to my knowledge has never been published, reproduced or quoted elswhere.  In it there is reference to a James Cottrell who came to Portugal in 1386 with John of Gaunt.  He remained there the rest of his life, first as Mordomo-Mór to the Queen of Portugal, Philippa of Lancaster, the daughter and first child of John of Gaunt and Blanche of Lancaster, and after her death from the plague in 1415, as Monteiro-Mór to her son Henry (known as the Navigator.)  James took the Portuguese name of Jaime Cotrim, and married a lady of the queen's household, Ana Canas de Urofol.  Paulo Alcobia Neves [PAULO03] suggested that this lady was Anne de Ufford who had accompanied Philippa and had taken the Portuguese name of Ana Canas de Urofol.  On Henry's appointment to the lay Governorship and the Grand Mastership of the “Order of Christ”, in 1415, James accompanied him to live in the castle of the Order of Christ at Tomar.

The manuscript was written to establish the origins of the Portuguese noble family of Cotrim, and a translation of an extract follows dealing with the arrival of James Cottrell in Portugal, and his subsequent life there.


… Dom Afonso 11th., king of Castile, married Dona Maria, legitimate daughter of Dom Afonso, 4th king of Portugal, and had issue Dom Pedro, king of Castile, who died at the hands of his illegitimate brother Dom Henrique, who took the kingdom from him, and is named as Henrique the second in the list of the Kings of Castile  The afore-mentioned Dom Pedro had a daughter called Dona Constança, the legitimate pretender to the Castile kingdom, who was married in England to John of Lancaster, son of Edward III, king of England, and they had issue Dona Catherina.  By that time Dom Fernando was king of Portugal, and was worried about the usurpation of the Castile crown by the illegitimate and fratricide murderer and tyrant D. Henrique, who now held the power in Spain, which should have descended to the daughter of the dead king Dom Pedro.  D. Fernando didn't have enough power himself to start a legitimate and justified project, so he wrote to John, Duke of Lancaster, asking him to come to Portugal and promising to help him establish the legitimacy of what in justice was his right.  As the Duke of Lancaster was not able to come himself to Portugal, he sent his younger brother, the Count of Cambridge with a large army.  Among them was a General called Jayme Cotrim, or James Cottrell, born in London, and a member of one of the most important families of England, but they soon returned to England without glory, because firstly Dom Fernando, King of Portugal had established peace with Castile, and secondly because they realised they had not enough strength, so they decided to wait for a better opportunity.  Meanwhile Dom Fernando had died and the people proclaimed the Master of Avis (João) as the new king of Portugal.  At this time king João was a supporter of the rights of the Duke of Lancaster, and sent his support, help and friendship, with his ambassador, the Master of Santiago.  Happy, the Duke came himself to Spain bringing with him Dona Constança, his wife, their daughter Catherina, and his daughters Philippa and Isabel. They arrived in Corunha and the Portuguese King sent a delegation to meet them. They met in the borders of Galiza (Galicia) and a marriage was arranged.  The wedding was quickly celebrated, and among the nobles who joined Queen Felipa there was Jaime Cotrim, who remained in Portugal as the queen's Mordomo-Mór.  Jaime ceased this function when the Queen died.  After his mother died, Prince Dom Henrique, the legitimate son of Dom João and Dona Felipa, and Master of the Christ Order, named James Cottrell as his Monteiro-Mór.  They both lived many years in Tomar where the great Castle of this Order was located.  Jaime's arms and his descendants are registered in the Torre do Tombo (national archive) in page 34 of the Armory book.  They are composed of a chessed shield in blue and gold with 6/6 and as his timbre (over the helmet) three penachos in blue.  Jaime Cotrim married Dona Ana Canas de Urofol, a Dame of Dona Felipa's house and had a son called Lopo Canas Cotrim who married Dona Isabel de Sousa, daughter of Dom Gonçalo de Sousa and Dona Teresa de Alvim.

  --Soares,Títulos e noticia da, origem de seu apelido, sua antiguidade em Portugal, suas armas, sua genealogia continuada até ao ano de mil setecentos e vinte e quatro.  Translation by Paulo Alcobia Neves. Amended by Ron Catterall.