Fernão Soares de Quinhones
Trovador medieval

Nationality: Leonesa

Biographical Note:

Troubadour of leonese origins (certainly from Quiñones del Rio, near Astorga), active from the middle 13th century. Vicenç Beltran recently presented new documents (one of them with the troubadour’s own signature) that better clarify his biography, until then somewhat obscure1. The oldest of those documents, dated 1259 and preserved in the Leon cathedral, is an agreement, endorsed by Alfonso X himself, between Fernão Soares and a certain Paio Peres, pertaining to the division of a relatively hefty inheritance, containing among the assets some houses in Leon that went to Fernão Soares, that sold them the following year to master João, dean of the town’s church. In this second document, the troubadour commits himself to having the sale approved by his wife, Maria Guihelmes, and his brother, Pero Soares. In another document, previously released by Carlos Alvar2, we find Fernão Soares de Quinhones, in 1271, now mortgaging some of his assets in a notary as a guarantee to the payment of a debt to chief-bailiff of Leon, Don Gonçalo Moran. Putting aside his agitated financial life, attested by these documents, the first one also confirms his connection to Alfonso X, or at least his passage by his court. Actually, it’s possible that well before those dates Fernão Soares took part in the conquest of Seville (1248), since his brother, Pero Soares de Quiñones, is one of the beneficiaries of the city’s partition. Altough the exact name of the troubadour do not appear in that or any other known partitions, it’s possible, as Carlos Alvar suggests, that we may identify him with one of the Fernão Soares present there (possibly with Fernando III’s mesnadeiro bearing that name). Be that as it may, since his brother Pero Soares is again documented, between 1284 and 1289, in the chancellery of Sancho IV of Castile, it’s plausible that the troubadour lived around the same epoch, and therefore still frequented the Castilian court of Alfonso X’s heir.


1 Beltran, Vicenç (2005), La corte de Babel. Lenguas, poética y política en la España del siglo XIII, Madrid, Bredos, pp. 212-223.
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2 Alvar, Carlos (1991), “Apuntes para una edición de las poesias de Fernan Soárez de Quinhones”, in Estudos Portugueses. Homenagem a Luciana Stegagno Picchio, Lisboa, Difel.

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