Alpedrinha, Jorge Da Costa

Alpedrinha, Jorge Da Costa, a Portuguese prelate, was born at Alpedrinha, in the province of Beira, about 1406. He is more commonly known by the name of cardinal de Alpedrinha, in remembrance of the place of his birth; but he was in reality cardinal of the capital of Portugal, and was one of the most able theologians of his time. Born of a noble family in the enjoyment of opulence, he received a brilliant education, became a priest, and was first bishop of Evora, from which he became archbishop of Lisbon. He was loaded with favors by Edward and his son, and it is said that he received more ecclesiastical revenue than any other prelate of his time. He was appointed counsellor of Alfonso V, and had charge of the education of Catharine, daughter of king Duarte. The credit of cardinal Alpedrinha became proverbial, and he maintained his influence in all the affairs during the reign of Alfonso V. In the time of Joao II he was prince-regent, and held the direction of affairs. Old causes of dissension still existing, however, eventually led to trouble between the youthful prince and the cardinal. At length, wearied of these dissensions, Alpedrinha betook himself to Rome, where he acquired as much influence as he had at Lisbon, and under Sixtus IV, Innocent VIII, Alexander VI, Pius III, and Julius II he served well the interests of Portugal. He died at Rome, Sept. 19. 1508, at an extremely old age. The fragments of his Letters still preserved bear evidence of great wisdom. See Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.

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