The records of the royal chancery, especially those pertaining to the reigns of Joao II and Manuel I, are a relatively untapped source of information on the nobility, overlooked because many historians working in the so-called "Vasco da Gama era" have favoured documents of the burgeoning empire over those of the realm.
(16) At the time, the town of Moura had been under the control of Portugal's most powerful magnate, the Infanta Dona Beatriz who was closely connected to many political elites in Portugal and also the mother of Joao II's consort Leonor, as well as the Duchess of Braganca, the Duke of Viseu and the future Manuel I. But more importantly, the Infanta Dona Beatriz was also connected by blood ties to Isabel I of Castile.
His sister, Justa Rodrigues Pereira had also served as wet nurse to their youngest son, the future Manuel I. (19) Rui Pereira probably entered the household of the third Duke of Braganca when he married his second wife, the Duchess Dona Isabel.
The succession of Manuel I had a profound impact on both domestic and foreign policy.
The reign of Manuel I (1495-1521) was an era of dynamic change in terms of administration and governance.
(9) But although the scope for autonomous action by the conselho real declined under the strong leadership of both Joao II (1481-95) and Manuel I, it appears that royal councillors continued to provide their stated service of providing counsel and offering advice to their sovereign kings well into the sixteenth century.
The consequent clash between the traditional prerogative of the nobility and the advent of civic humanism spurred intellectual debate over whether kings should take counsel from "councilors born" or "councilors learned." The writings of thinkers such as Sir John Fortescue and Claude de Seyssel, who took up these issues elsewhere in Europe, were echoed in Portugal with the vehemently quarreling treatises of Antonio de Beja and Antonio Pereira Marramaque that emerged in the years immediately following the death of Manuel I. (11) The enduring preoccupation with "counsel" in the political culture of sixteenth century Europe precludes the possibility that the royal council had ceased to operate as a functional body in the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
During the early years of his reign, there is evidence that Manuel I also used the council as a mechanism to lend legitimacy to his political actions.