Maria I of Portugal
Maria I Queen of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves Reign 24 February 1777 – 20 March 1816 Predecessor Joseph I Successor John VI Duchess of Braganza Reign 31 July 1750— 24 February 1777 Predecessor Joseph I Successor Joseph II Spouse Peter III Full name Maria Francisca Isabel Josefa Antónia Gertrudes Rita Joana House House of Braganza Father Joseph I of Portugal Mother Mariana Victoria of Spain Born December 17, 1734
Ribeira Palace, Lisbon, Portugal
Died March 20, 1816(aged 81)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Maria I (December 17, 1734 – March 20, 1816) was Queen regnant of Portugal and the Algarves from 1777 until her death. Known as Maria the Pious (in Portugal), or Maria the Mad (in Brazil), she was the first undisputed Queen regnant of Portugal. She was the eldest of the four daughters of Joseph I of Portugal and Mariana Victoria of Spain.
Born at the now destroyed Ribeira Palace in Lisbon, her full name was Maria Francisca Isabel Josefa Antónia Gertrudes Rita Joana. On the day of her birth, her grandfather, King John V of Portugal, created her the Princess of Beira. One of four children, she was the eldest of 4 daughters.
Maria would grow up in a time when her father's government and country was governed completely by the famous Marquis of Pombal. Her father would often retire to the Queluz National Palace which was later given to Maria and her husband. The Marquess took control of the government after the terrible 1755 Lisbon earthquake of November 1, 1755, in which around 100,000 people lost their lives; the palace of her birth was also destroyed in the disaster.
After the earthquake, her father was often uncomfortable at the thought of staying in enclosed spaces and later had claustrophobia. The king later had a palace built in Ajuda, away from the city centre. This palace became known as Real Barraca de Ajuda (Royal Hut of Ajuda) because it was made of wood. The family would spend much time at the large palace and it was the birthplace of Maria's first child. In 1794 the palace burned to the ground and Ajuda National Palace was built in its place.
Marriage and Descendants
Infanta Maria married her uncle, Infante Peter of Portugal (July 5, 1717-May 25, 1786) on June 6, 1760 when the bride was 25 and the groom was 42. Despite the age gap, the couple had a happy marriage. Peter automatically became co-monarch (as Peter III of Portugal) when Maria ascended the throne, as a child had already been born from their marriage. The couple had six children:
- Infante José Francisco Xavier de Paula Domingos António Agostinho Anastácio of Portugal (August 20, 1761-September 11, 1788), Prince of Beira (1761–1777) and Prince of Brazil (1777–1788). Married his aunt Infanta Benedita of Portugal, Infanta of Portugal, but had no children.
- Infante João Francisco of Portugal (September 16, 1763 - October 10, 1763).
- Infanta Maria Isabel of Portugal (December 23, 1766 - January 14, 1777).
- Infante João Maria José Francisco Xavier de Paula Luís António Domingos Rafael of Portugal (May 13, 1767 - March 26, 1826), Prince of Brazil from 1788 until he succeeded Maria as the 27th (or 28th according to some historians) King of Portugal.
- Infanta Mariana Vitória Josefa Francisca Xavier de Paula Antonieta Joana Domingas Gabriela de Bragança of Portugal (December 15, 1768 - November 2, 1788). Married Gabriel, infant of Spain, son of Charles III.
- Infanta Maria Clementina Francisca Xavier de Paula Ana Josefa Antónia Domingas Feliciana Joana Michaela Julia of Portugal (June 9, 1774 - June 27, 1776).
Royal styles of
Maria I of Portugal
Reference style Her Most Faithful Majesty Spoken style Your Most Faithful Majesty Alternative style Sire
In 1777, she became the first undisputed Queen regnant of Portugal, and the Algarves, and the 26th (or 27th according to some historians) Portuguese monarch. Her husband became her co-ruler as Peter III. Despite the couple being co-rulers, the power was always to remain with Maria who was a good ruler prior to her madness.
Her first act as queen was to dismiss the popular prime minister, the Marquis of Pombal, who had broken the power of the reactionary aristocracy via the Tavora affair, partially because of Pombal's Enlightenment, anti-Jesuit policies. Noteworthy events of this period were Portugal's membership of the League of Armed Neutrality (July 1782) and the 1781 cession of Delagoa Bay from Austria to Portugal.
Queen Maria suffered from religious mania and melancholia. This acute mental illness (perhaps due to porphyria, which also may have tainted George III of the United Kingdom) made her incapable of handling state affairs after 1792.
Her madness was first officially noticed in 1786 when Maria had to be carried back to her apartments in a state of delirium. The queen's mental state became increasingly worse. The year of 1786 saw her husband lose his life in May. Maria was devastated and forbade any court entertainments and according to a contemporary, the state festivities resembled religious ceremonies. Her state worsened after the death of her eldest son, aged 27, from smallpox, and of her confessor, in 1791. After the end of 1791, her mental state seemed to be turning to even worse. In February 1792, she was deemed as mentally insane and was treated by Francis Willis, the same physician who attended George III of the United Kingdom. Willis wanted to take her to England, but that was refused by the Portuguese court. The young prince John took over the government in her name, even though he only took the title of Prince Regent in 1799. When the Real Barraca de Ajuda burnt down in 1794, the court was forced to move to Queluz where the ill queen would lie in her apartments all day and visitors would complain of terrible screams that would echo throughout the palace.
In 1801 the Spanish dictator Manuel de Godoy invaded Portugal with backing from Napoleon, but was forced to abandon the campaign in the same year. However the Treaty of Badajoz on June 6, 1801 forced Portugal to cede Olivenza and part of Guyana to Spain.
The refusal of the Portuguese government to join the Continental Blockade of Britain culminated in the 1807 Franco-Spanish invasion led by General Junot. The General was appointed governor of Portugal pending Napoleon's decision on its ultimate fate.
At the urging of the British government, on 29 November 1807, the entire Braganza dynasty decided to flee to Brazil to establish a Cortes-in-exile, in the Kingdom of Brazil. Along with the Royal Family, she was transported aboard the nau Príncipe Real; during her move from the Royal palace to the docks she was heard screaming throughout the trip, in the middle of the crowd and in the carriage. The Queen's dementia was so great that she feared that she was going to be tortured and/or robbed, during her movement by her loyal servants.
In January 1808, Prince John and his court arrived in Salvador, where he signed a commercial regulation that opened commerce between Brazil and friendly nations, which in this case represented England. This important law broke the colonial pact that, until then, only allowed Brazil to maintain direct commercial relations with Portugal.
On August 1, 1808, the British General Arthur Wellesley (later Duke of Wellington) landed a British army in Lisbon and thus initiated the Peninsular War. Wellesley's initial victory over Junot at Vimeiro (August 21, 1808) was wiped out by his superiors in the Convention of Cintra (August 30, 1808). Nevertheless, Wellesley (now Lord Wellington) returned to Portugal on April 22, 1809 to recommence the campaign. Portuguese forces under British command distinguished themselves in the defence of the lines of Torres Vedras (1809–1810) and in the subsequent invasion of Spain and France.
In 1815, the regency government elevated Brazil to the status of a kingdom, and Maria I was proclaimed the Queen of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves. When Napoleon was finally defeated in 1815, Maria and her family remained in Brazil.
Incapacitated, she lived in Brazil nine years, always in a unhappy state; the Queen died at a Carmelite convent in Rio de Janeiro on 1816 at the age of 81 (the Prince Regent succeeded her as King John VI of Portugal and Brazil). Her body was returned to Lisbon, and interned in a mausoleum in the Church of Estrela (Portuguese: Igreja da Estrela), that she had helped found.
Later, a marble statue of the Queen was erected in National Library in Lisbon, by the students of Joaquim Machado de Castro, who directed the project.
- Cheke, Marcus (1969) . Carlota Joaquina, Queen of Portugal. London, England: Sidgewick & Jackson. http://books.google.ca/books?id=cPrxpypP7XYC&pg=PA203&dq=exile+miguel+portugal&hl=en&ei=ATKVTJvAC9DeOIWw7KMK&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCYQ6AEwADgK#v=onepage&q=miguel&f=false.
Titles and styles
- 17 December 1734 - 31 July 1750 Her Royal Highness the Princess of Beira, Duchess of Barcelos
- 31 July 1750 - 24 February 1777 Her Royal Highness the Princess of Brazil, Duchess of Braganza
- 24 February 1777 - December 1815 Her Most Faithful Majesty the Queen of Portugal and the Algarves
- December 1815 - 20 March 1816 Her Most Faithful Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves
Maria I of PortugalCadet branch of the House of AvizBorn: 17 December 1734 Died: 20 March 1816
- Note; Maria would have two formal styles; from her accession till 1815 the style was By the Grace of God, Maria I, Queen of Portugal and the Algarves, of either side of the sea in Africa, Lord of Guinea and of Conquest, Navigation and Commerce of Ethiopia, Arabia, Persia and India, etc; at the creation of the "Kingdom of Brazil", the style changed to By the Grace of God, Maria I, Queen of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves, of either side of the sea in Africa, Lord of Guinea and of Conquest, Navigation and Commerce of Ethiopia, Arabia, Persia and India, etc.
Regnal titles Preceded by
Queen of Portugal and the Algarves
1777 – 1816
with Peter III (1777 – 1786)
Royal titles Preceded by
Infanta Barbara of Portugal
Princess of Beira
VacantTitle next held byInfanta Maria of Portugal Preceded by
Infanta Mariana Victoria of Spain
Princess of Brazil
VacantTitle next held byInfanta Benedita of Portugal The generations indicate descent form Afonso I, and continues through the House of Aviz, the House of Bourbon through Isabella of Portugal, and the House of Braganza through Infanta Catherine, Duchess of Braganza. 1st Generation 2nd Generation 3rd GenerationLeonor, Queen of Denmark • Infanta Maria 4th Generation 5th GenerationConstance, Queen of Castile and León • Maria, Lady of Menezes and Orduña • Isabel, Lady of Penela • Infanta Constança • Beatriz, Lady of Lemos 6th GenerationMaria, Queen of Castile and León • Infanta Isabel • Leonor, Queen of Aragon 7th GenerationMaria, Marchioness of Tortosa • Beatriz, Countess of Alburquerque 8th GenerationBeatriz I • Infanta Branca • Isabel, Duchess of Burgundy • Infanta Branca 9th Generation 10th GenerationLeonor, Queen of Portugal and the Algarve • Isabel, Duchess of Braganza • Infanta Catarina • Saint Joana, Princess of Portugal 11th Generation 12th Generation 13th GenerationIsabella Clara Eugenia, Co-Sovereign of the Habsburg Netherlands* • Catherine Michelle, Duchess of Savoy* • Infanta Maria* 14th GenerationAnna, Queen of France* • Infanta Maria* Maria Anna, Holy Roman Empress* • Infanta Margarita Francisca* 15th Generation 16th Generation 17th Generation 18th Generation 19th GenerationInfanta Maria Isabel • Mariana Vitória, Infanta of Spain • Infanta Maria Clementina 20th Generation 21st GenerationMaria II • Januária Maria, Princess Imperial of Brazil** • Infanta Paula Mariana** • Infanta Francisca** • Infanta Maria Amélia** • Maria das Neves, Duchess of San Jaime • Maria Teresa, Archduchess of Austria • Maria Josepha, Duchess in Bavaria • Adelgundes, Duchess of Guimarães • Maria Ana, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg • Maria Antónia, Duchess of Parma 22nd GenerationInfanta Maria*** • Maria Ana, Crown Princess of Saxony*** • Antónia, Princess of Hohenzollern*** • Isabel, Princess Imperial of Brazil** • Infanta Maria da Glória*** • Leopoldina, Princess Ludwig August of Saxe-Coburg-Kohary** • Maria Teresa, Princess Karl Ludwig of Thurn und Taxis • Isabel Maria, Princess of Thurn und Taxis • Infanta Maria Benedita • Infanta Mafalda • Maria Anna, Hereditary Princess of Thurn und Taxis • Infanta Filippa Maria • Maria Antónia, Mrs. Chanler • Maria Adelaide, Mrs. van Uden 23rd Generationnone 24th GenerationInfanta Maria Ana*** • Infanta Maria Francisca *also an infanta of Spain, **also an imperial princess of Brazil, ***also a princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duchess in Saxony
- held the title in her own right
Monarchs of Portugal Afonsine Dynasty House of Aviz House of Aviz-Beja Philippine Dynasty House of Braganza House of Braganza-Coburg
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