Count of Portalegre (in Portuguese Conde de Portalegre) was a Portuguese title of nobility created by royal decree dated from February 6, 1498, by King Manuel I of Portugal, and granted to Diogo da Silva.
Dom Diogo da Silva was son of Rui Gomes da Silva, Alcaide (Mayor) of Campo Maior, and of his wife Isabel de Menezes (natural daughter of Pedro de Menezes, 1st Count of Vila Real).
The 3rd Cound of Portalegre, Álvaro da Silva, was succeeded by his granddaughter, Filipa da Silva, thanks to a special royal permission allowing to overcome the Lei Mental (Mental Law) which stands that females could not inherited their father's titles and estates.
Filipa married the Spanish ambassador, Juan de Silva, Count of Salinas (in Spain), very influential during the reign of Sebastian I of Portugal. Together with the King, he participated in the Battle of Alcacer Quibir, where he felt prisoner of the moors. During the transition reign of Henry I of Portugal, he did a remarkable job supporting Philip II of Spain claims to the throne of Portugal.
The Habsburgs rewarded this House's fidelity with new honors and titles (Marquis of Gouveia, granted by a royal decree of King Philip III of Portugal, also known as Philip IV of Spain, dated from January 20, 1625).
When the 2nd Marquis of Gouveia died without issue, this House was inherited by the Count of Santa Cruz.