Diaz de Haro, María

María Díaz de Haro, the founder of Portugalete was a daughter of the Lord of Bizkaia, Lope Díaz de Haro III, who married the daughter of the Infante of Castile Alonso of Medina in 1269.

María was married very young, with the infante Juan of Castile, brother of the king Sancho, she lived an eventful epoch of big turbulences, machinations and internal fights.

In 1288, a year after her wedding, the Castilian King murdered her father in Alfaro and his husband enclosed in prison.

His brother Diego, who inherited the Tittle Lord of Biscay, died the following year.

Hereby the Lordship corresponded to her according to the Privilege, though the power was exercised by the Castilian king who invaded the Lordship, until in 1295 his uncle Diego Lopez de Haro, the Intruder, snatched it taking advantage of the disturbances that existed in Castile for the minority of Fernando IV.

This D. Diego, which founded Bilbao in 1.300 had always opposite the prince Juan, who as husband of María Díaz de Haro, claimed the Lordship for her.

In 1307, D. Diego recognized her as the real heiress of his brother to the Biscayans congregated in Arechabalaga's Meeting, and asked them to recognize and accept her to his death as Lady of Biscay.

With this act, it was settled a long question that had stained with blood the country for years and three years later, when D. Diego died in the siege of Algeciras, made her recover the Lordship.

This one was her second mandate, that begins in 1310, with the request to the local people that would legitimize her founding charter, and it finishes in 1322 with the Portugalete’s foundation and the death of her husband in the war against the Moors.

The foundation of our town was a right decision, such a strategic situation that occupied in the region from Somorrostro to Luchana and was based on his perfect knowledge of the zone, not in vain, as Coscojales says, she had lived in Santurtzi where she had a strong house. After having founded the Dominican convent of Valencia de Campos and taken the habit in the Perales’s one, the same year, she gave the Lordship to his son John "the one-eyed" which had been in the court as tutor of Alfonso XI and forced her as a good mother, to make diligent offices to contain his turbulent character and bad behavior in those Castilian lands.

This one was murdered in 1326 by order of Alfonso XI, who suspected of the great power he was getting (he had agreed his marriage with the granddaughter of the King of Aragon) and confiscated his properties of Castile, also claiming the Lordship.
Dona Maria recovered her rights against the attempts to usurp them by the King or at least, being sold to him, what Biscayans did not accept. Besides the Portugalete’s foundation, she founded Lekeitio in 1325 and Ondarroa in 1327, having to confirm our privilege on June 11, in 1333 because the original had fallen to the water and lost.

In 1334 he finally gave the Lordship for his granddaughter, also called Maria Diaz de Haro, fruit of the marriage of his son Juan "The one-eyed" with Isabel of Portugal.

Her granddaughter was married to Juan Núñez de Lara and would govern in the following decades. Coscojales in his manuscripts of the history of Bizkaia, notes that at the dawn of Wednesday, November 3, in 1342, Doña Maria died. She was known for his facts and is remembered by the nickname of "The Good one." He mentions later an illegible name that seems to be Breasaichaga and according to Labayru may well could be, Berresonaga, so then her death took place in the jurisdiction of Larrabezua.