This article examines a series of wills created by members of the royal family of
Portugal over three generations, from the mid-twelfth to the mid-thirteenth century. Wills
served different functions depending on the political context of their makers: fundamentally
pious documents, expressing hopes for salvation, they also worked to shape the political
future of the realm. Above all, these wills demonstrate certain features of material life
and the deep personal connections enjoyed by members of this large and fractious family.