ALPHONSO AFRICANO was born in 1432, and succeeded his father Edward in 1438. During his minority he was placed under the regency, first of his mother and latterly of his uncle, Dom Pedro. In 1448 he assumed the reins of government and at the same time married Isabella, Dom Pedro's daughter. In the following year, being led by what he afterwards discovered to be false representations, he declared Dom Pedro a rebel and defeated his army in a battle at Alfarrobeira, in which his uncle was slain. In 1458, and with more numerous forces in 1471, he invaded the territories of the Moors in Africa and by his successes there acquired his surname of "the African." On his return to Portugal in 1475 his ambition led him into Castile, where two princesses were disputing his succession to the throne. Having been affianced to the Princess Juana, Alphonso caused himself to be proclaimed king of Castile and Leon; but in the following year he was defeated at Toro by Ferdinand, the husband of Isabella of Castile. He went to France to obtain the assistance of Louis XI., but finding himself deceived by the French monarch, he abdicated in favour of his son John. When he returned to Portugal, however, he was compelled by his son to resume the sceptre, which he continued to wield for two years longer. After that he fell into a deep melancholy and retired into a monastery at Cintra, where he died in 1481.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)