As in many other cases, reality complicated the life of the entail of Esporão. The designated heir dies shortly before Teresa. He leaves a son born out of wedlock, Álvaro, whose legitimacy to inherit is contested. Álvaro succeeds in proving his rights before the royal court and is confirmed in possession of the entail in 1535. Well inserted in the municipal oligarchy of Évora and in the circle of the families of the local administration that were getting closer to the royal court, he also benefited from the wealth that came to him from his great-aunt (BASTOS SERRA, biographies 44 and 69).
The fact that he had only female descendants would bring new vicissitudes to the entail, which prove both its fragility and the plasticity that avoided disintegration. The eldest of his three daughters inherits the entail and marries Álvaro Mendes de Vasconcelos, knight of the House of the Count of Guimarães, later nobleman of the royal house, owner of great wealth (FREIRE, 1996, vol. I, pp. 383-386). The latter, in 1489, taking advantage of the absence of clauses on the bearing of surnames in the original entail, imposed his own on future administrators, using the mechanism of reinforcing the assets with the part of the inheritance he could dispose of (terça). The obligation of annexation of the terça was often consigned in the foundation, and it often allowed the addition of conditions, as is the case here. It can therefore be considered a true refoundation (ROSA, 1995, p. 193, 204). Álvaro was taking into account the forthcoming succession of his son, João Mendes de Vasconcelos, who thus came to inaugurate four generations of male descendants of the Vasconcelos as administrators.
The family’s path was marked by social ascension, through João Mendes de Vasconcelos’ full integration into the royal court. With his second wife, Briolanja de Melo, he had a sumptuous chapel built in Évora cathedral in 1528, reinforcing the existing suffrages and creating new ones. It was there that they were later to be buried, in 1541. The architectural details, the altarpiece, the ornaments and the sacred vessels of the chapel are carefully described in the document of institution and contract with the cathedral’s chapterhouse, which is reinforced by a royal letter authorising the requests of the founding couple (ROSA, 1995, 224-226).