The Cotrim Family of Portugal

Thanks to the work of José Paulo Neves we know that the Cotrim family of Portugal are descended from James Cottrell or Catterall who accompanied Philippa of Lancaster (daughter of John of Gaunt and grand-daughter of Edward III of England) on her marriage to King João I of Portugal in 1386.  James was the Mordomo-mór of Queen Felipa until her death in 1415.  Previous to this James had been with Edmund, Earl of Cambridge (and later Duke of York,) on an expedition to the south-west of France and the Spanish border in 1381.  James took the name of Jaime Cotrim in Portugal.

After the death of Felipa, her son, Prince Henry, as master of the Christ order, named James as his Monteiro-mór and they lived in the Castelo da Ordem de Cristo in Tomar. This had been the original headquarters of the Knights Templar, and after their dissolution passed to the newly founded Order of Christ. Prince Henry is perhaps best remembered as 'Henry the Navigator' who carried out his mother's project of a seearch for trade routes to the east around Africa, and the attempt to establish contact with the Christian realm of Prester John.

At some stage, possibly before he came to Portugal, James married Anne de Ufford , probably a daughter of William of Ufford, Earl of Suffolk who had assisted the young British king, Richard II and John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, during the Peasant's Revolt in 1381 when the Duke's house in London (the Savoy) was badly damaged. Anne assumed the name of Dona Ana Canas de Urofol in Portugal .

The descendants of James and Anne (Jaime and Ana) founded an important noble family in Portugal and occuppied many important posts in the country (see the genealogical notes below.)

The following genealogical notes are the work of José Paulo Neves and the photographs of the Cotrim sites in Portugal are by Paulo and Sergio.  The maps and the dictionary links were added to supplement my very meagre knowledge of Portugal and the Portugese language.  The translation of the important manuscript of Salvador Soares Cotrim of Tomar, 1724, is the work of Paulo, slightly rounded off by me, which may possibly have introduced errors.

See Paulo and Sergio at the Castelo da Ordem de Cristo in Tomar.

A Little Historical and Literary Background Material

The MS of Salvador Soares Cotrim ofTomar, 1724

Genealogical Information



A Cotrim family site


Order of Christ (Rod Thorne)

Ferreira da Zêzere

English-Portugese-English Dictionary