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House of Lara

The House of Lara or Casa de Lara are a noble family, known from the medieval Kingdom of Castile.

Two of its branches, those from the Duke of Nájera and from the Marquis of Aguilar de Campoo were considered Grandees of Spain. The Lara family, which gained numerous territories in Castile, León, Andalucía, and Galicia, were most prominent in the history of the first two realms from the 11th to the 14th century. For example, Álvaro Núñez de Lara served as regent for Henry I of Castile. They had much of their land dispossessed by Peter I, only to have much returned by Henry II.

The authors Gómez Manrique and Jorge Manrique belong to this lineage.


The family arose in the 11th century through a marriage that united the paternal lands around Lara of Gonzalo Nuñez with the inheritance of his wife Goto, representing those of the noble Álvarez and Alfonso families. During the 12th through 15th centuries, members of the Lara family found themselves at different times in either support or opposition to the established ruler. In 1113, Pedro González de Lara supported Queen Urraca of Castile in her struggles against Alfonso I of Aragón. Pedro and his brother, Rodrigo, also confronted Alfonso VII of Castile in 1130. Rodrigo later helped Alfonso counter the rise of the Almoravids. Manrique Pérez de Lara, Álvar Pérez and Nuño Pérez de Lara disputed the regency of Alfonso VIII, and Fernando Núñez de Lara was Alfonso's alférez. Álvaro Núñez de Lara became regent of Henry I. Nuño González de Lara served Fernando III and Alfonso X, but in 1270 led an alliance of nobles against the same king.Juan Núñez I de Lara el Gordo, Señor de Albarracín, opposed the crowning of Sancho IV, and had to temporarily flee to France. Juan Núñez II de Lara headed various rebellions against Alfonso XI. Ultimately, the family suffered greatly after the victory of Peter I the Cruel against Henry II of Castile.

The Manrique de Lara

The only branch of the family to survive the Middle Ages were the Manrique de Lara, who supported the Catholic Monarchs in their war against the supporters of the contender Joanna la Beltraneja. In 1520, Charles I of Spain raised the House of Lara to a position as Grandees, as Dukes of Nájera and Marquis of Aguilar de Campoo. Members of the family were to serve the crown as viceroys, captain generals, ambassadors and cardinals. The first Count of Paredes de Nava became Master of the Order of Santiago.

The original coat of arms is supposed to represent two cauldrons, which represent the ability of the family to sustain many followers.

Family tree



  • , Volume 3; Madrid (Spain); 1859; pp. 10–18.
  • , Four volumes; Madrid (Spain); 1694 - 1697.
  • ; Doctoral Thesis; University of Sevilla (Spain); 2003. Critical edition based on documents and socio-economic analysis of the facts and hypotheses of the Casa de Lara.
  • Documentos sobre los Lara.
  • Riquer, Martín de; "Heráldica castellana en tiempos de los Reyes Católicos" Ed. Quaderns Crema; Barcelona; 1986
  • Menéndez Pidal de Navascués, Faustino; "Los sellos de los señores de Molina", Anuario Estudios Medievales Nº14; Editor Consejo Superior Investigaciones Científicas; Barcelona (España) 1984; pp. 101–119.
  • Doubleday, Simon R.; "Los Lara" (Nobleza y monarquía en la España medieval", Ed Turner; Madrid; 2004.
  • Pardo de Guevara, Eduardo; Manual de Heráldica Española, Ed. Aldaba; Madrid; 1987.

External links

  • by Charles Cawley.
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