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Hermenegildo Gutiérrez

Hermenegildo Gutiérrez

Spanish noble
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Spanish noble
Gender male
Birth 001
Children: Elvira Menendez
The details

Hermenegildo Gutiérrez (Hermenegildo Guterres in Portuguese) (c. 850 – after May 912), was a distinguished Galician noble who lived during the 9th and 10th centuries. As the Mayordomo mayor of King Alfonso III, he was an active member of the curia regia. His daughter Elvira, as the first wife of King Ordoño II, was queen consort of León.


Count Hermenegildo, the son of count Gutierre and his wife Elvira, appears in medieval documentation starting in 869 — when with his father-in-law, Gatón, count in Astorga and El Bierzo, settled a dispute between the king of Asturias and bishop Mauro — until his last appearance in May 912, when he confirmed a donation made by his son-in-law, king Ordoño II, to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. He was one of the most loyal vassals of King Alfonso III, who named him his mayordomo mayor and compensated his efforts and services to the crown with many properties and tenencias.

Hermenegildo played an active role in military operations during the Reconquista. In 878, he defeated the Muslim troops who had attacked Oporto and then Coimbra, repopulating these cities, as well as neighboring Braga, Viseu, and Lamego, with people from Galicia after expelling the Moors. His holdings there would pass to his descendants and come to be called the County of Coimbra, which was retaken again in 987 by Almanzor and it was not until 1064 that the city was permanently reconquered by the Christian armies of Ferdinand I of León.

In 895, Hermenegildo defeated and captured the Galician noble Witiza who had taken up arms against the king of Asturias, taking him in chains before the monarch who compensated the count with many of the rebel's estates and tenencias.

Marriage and issue

He married Ermesenda Gatónez, daughter of count Gatón. She was probably a first cousin of King Alfonso since Gatón is believed to have been the brother of Ordoño I, or perhaps of his wife. This marriage gave rise to one of the most prominent noble families in medieval Galicia and in the County of Portugal. The offspring of this marriage were:

  • Arias Menéndez (died after 924) count, married to Ermesenda Gundesíndez. He had at least one daughter, Elvira Arias, married to her cousin Munio Gutiérrez.
  • Elvira Menéndez, who married around the year 900 the future king of Galicia and León, Ordoño II of León, and was mother of his children, including Kings Ramiro II and Alfonso IV of León.
  • Gutierre Menéndez, count, who married Ilduara Ériz, daughter of count Ero Fernández and countess Adosinda. This couple had several children, including Saint Rudesind.
  • Enderquina "Palla" Menéndez, who married Gundesindo Eriz, son of count Ero Fernández.
  • Ildonza or Aldonza Menéndez who married Gutierre Osorio, count in Lourenzá, with whom she had several children, including Queen Adosinda Gutiérrez, the first wife of King Ramiro II of León, and Count Osorio Gutiérrez, called el conde santo (the saintly count), founder of the Monastery of Lourenzá
  • Patruina Menéndez
  • Gudilona Menéndez, the wife of count Lucidio Vimáraz of Portucale, son of count Vimara Pérez and Trudildi. Her filiation, a hypothesis by Almeida Fernández, is not documented.
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