Maria I of Portugal

Last updated
Maria I
Maria I, Queen of Portugal - Giuseppe Troni, atribuido (Turim, 1739-Lisboa, 1810) - Google Cultural Institute.jpg
Portrait attributed to Giuseppe Troni, 1783
Queen of Portugal
Reign24 February 1777 – 20 March 1816
Acclamation13 May 1777
Predecessor Joseph I
Co-monarch Peter III
Successor John VI
Regent John, Prince Regent (1792–1816)
Queen of Brazil
Reign16 December 1815 – 20 March 1816
Successor John VI
Regent John, Prince Regent
Born(1734-12-17)17 December 1734
Ribeira Palace, Lisbon, Kingdom of Portugal
Died20 March 1816(1816-03-20) (aged 81)
Carmo Convent, Rio de Janeiro, Kingdom of Brazil
Burial
Spouse
Pedro III of Portugal
(m. 1760;died 1786)
Issue
see details...
Joseph, Prince of Brazil
John VI
Infanta Maria Ana Vitória
Full name
Portuguese: Maria Francisca Isabel Josefa Antónia Gertrudes Rita Joana
House Braganza
Father Joseph I
Mother Mariana Victoria of Spain
Religion Roman Catholicism
Signature Assinatura D. Maria Primeira.svg

Dona Maria I (English: Mary I; 17 December 1734 – 20 March 1816) was Queen of Portugal from 1777 until her death. Known as Maria the Pious in Portugal and Maria the Mad in Brazil, she was the first undisputed queen regnant of Portugal and the first monarch of Brazil. With Napoleon's European conquests, her court, then under the direction of her son João, the Prince Regent, moved to Brazil, then a Portuguese colony. Later on, Brazil would be elevated from the rank of a colony to that of a kingdom, with the consequential formation of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves.

A queen regnant is a female monarch, equivalent in rank to a king, who reigns in her own right, as opposed to a queen consort, who is the wife of a reigning king, or a queen regent, who is the guardian of a child monarch and reigns temporarily in the child's stead. An empress regnant is a female monarch who reigns in her own right over an empire.

Napoleon 18th/19th-century French monarch, military and political leader

Napoléon Bonaparte was a French statesman and military leader of Italian descent who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was Emperor of the French as Napoleon I from 1804 until 1814 and again briefly in 1815 during the Hundred Days. Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, building a large empire that ruled over much of continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. He is considered one of the greatest commanders in history, and his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleon's political and cultural legacy has endured as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in human history.

John VI of Portugal King of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves, emperor of Brazil

John VI, nicknamed "the Clement", was King of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves from 1816 to 1825. Although the United Kingdom over which he ruled ceased to exist de facto beginning in 1822, he remained its monarch de jure between 1822 and 1825. After the recognition of the independence of Brazil under the Treaty of Rio de Janeiro of 1825, he continued as King of Portugal until his death in 1826. Under the same treaty, he also became titular Emperor of Brazil for life, while his son, Pedro I of Brazil, was both de facto and de jure the monarch of the newly-independent country.

Contents

Early life

D. Maria Francisca, Princess of Beira, Duchess of Barcelos; Pavona; 1739. Retrato da Infanta D. Maria Francisca Isabel Josefa.jpg
D. Maria Francisca, Princess of Beira, Duchess of Barcelos ; Pavona; 1739.

Maria was born at the Ribeira Palace in Lisbon and baptized Maria Francisca Isabel Josefa Antónia Gertrudes Rita Joana. On the day of her birth, her grandfather, King John V of Portugal, appointed her the Princess of Beira.

Ribeira Palace building in Lisbon, Lisbon District, Portugal

Ribeira Palace was the main residence of the Kings of Portugal, in Lisbon, for around 250 years. Its construction was ordered by King Manuel I of Portugal when he found the Royal Alcáçova of São Jorge unsuitable. The palace complex underwent numerous reconstructions and reconfigurations from the original Manueline design, ending with its final Mannerist and Baroque form.

Lisbon Capital city in Lisbon Metropolitan Area, Portugal

Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal, with an estimated population of 505,526 within its administrative limits in an area of 100.05 km2. Its urban area extends beyond the city's administrative limits with a population of around 2.8 million people, being the 11th-most populous urban area in the European Union. About 3 million people live in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, including the Portuguese Riviera,. It is mainland Europe's westernmost capital city and the only one along the Atlantic coast. Lisbon lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the River Tagus. The westernmost areas of its metro area form the westernmost point of Continental Europe, which is known as Cabo da Roca, located in the Sintra Mountains.

John V of Portugal Portuguese king

Dom John V, known as the Magnanimous and the Portuguese Sun King, was a monarch of the House of Braganza who ruled as King of Portugal during the first half of the 18th century. John V's reign saw the rise of the prestige of Portugal and its monarchy, which had been in decline among European courts, to a new level of prosperity and wealth.

When her father succeeded to the throne in 1750 as Joseph I, Maria, at age 16 and as his eldest child, became his heir presumptive and was given the traditional titles of Princess of Brazil and Duchess of Braganza.

Joseph I of Portugal King of Portugal

Joseph I, "The Reformer", was the King of Portugal from 31 July 1750 until his death. Among other activities, Joseph was devoted to hunting and the opera. Indeed, he assembled one of the greatest collections of operatic scores in Europe.

An heir presumptive is the person entitled to inherit a throne, peerage, or other hereditary honour, but whose position can be displaced by the birth of an heir apparent or of a new heir presumptive with a better claim to the position in question. The position is however subject to law and/or conventions that may alter who is entitled to be heir presumptive.

Princess of Brazil Wikimedia list article

This is a list of Princesses of Brazil, from 1645 to 1815, both by marriage and birth. The title was preceded by the titles Princess of Portugal and succeed by Princess Royal of Portugal.

Influence of the Marquis of Pombal

Maria grew up in a time when her father's government was dominated completely by the first Marquis of Pombal. Her father would often retire to the Palace of Queluz which was later given to Maria and her husband.

The Marquis took control of the government after the terrible 1755 Lisbon earthquake of 1 November 1755, in which around 100,000 people lost their lives. (The palace of her birth was also destroyed in the disaster.)

1755 Lisbon earthquake earthquake

The 1755 Lisbon earthquake, also known as the Great Lisbon earthquake, occurred in the Kingdom of Portugal on the morning of Saturday, 1 November, Feast of All Saints, at around 09:40 local time. In combination with subsequent fires and a tsunami, the earthquake almost totally destroyed Lisbon and adjoining areas. Seismologists today estimate the Lisbon earthquake had a magnitude in the range 8.5–9.0 on the moment magnitude scale, with its epicentre in the Atlantic Ocean about 200 km (120 mi) west-southwest of Cape St. Vincent. Chronologically it was the third known large scale earthquake to hit the city. Estimates place the death toll in Lisbon alone between 10,000 and 100,000 people, making it one of the deadliest earthquakes in history.

After the earthquake, Maria's father was often uncomfortable at the thought of staying in enclosed spaces, and later suffered from claustrophobia. The king had a palace built in Ajuda, away from the city centre. This palace became known as Real Barraca de Ajuda (Royal Hut at Ajuda) because it was made of wood. The family spent 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 the Palace of Ajuda was built in its place.

Claustrophobia phobia

Claustrophobia is the fear of being in a small space or room and unable to escape or get out. It can be triggered by many situations or stimuli, including elevators crowded to capacity, windowless rooms, hotel rooms with closed doors and sealed windows, small cars and even tight-necked clothing. It is typically classified as an anxiety disorder, which often results in panic attacks. The onset of claustrophobia has been attributed to many factors, including a reduction in the size of the amygdala, classical conditioning, or a genetic predisposition to fear small spaces.

In 1760 Maria married her uncle Pedro, younger brother of her father Jose I. They had six children, of whom the eldest surviving son succeeded Maria as João VI on her death in 1816.

Reign

Maria Francisca Isabel, Princess of Brazil; Vieira Lusitano, 1753. Maria I, Vieira.jpg
Maria Francisca Isabel, Princess of Brazil; Vieira Lusitano, 1753.

In 1777, Maria became the first undisputed queen regnant of Portugal. With Maria's accession, her husband became king as Peter III. Despite Peter's status as king and the nominal joint reign, the actual regal authority was vested solely in Maria,[ citation needed ] as she was the lineal heir of the crown. Also, as Peter's kingship was iure uxoris only, his reign would cease in the event of Maria's death, and the crown would pass to Maria's descendants. However, Peter predeceased his wife. Maria is considered as having been a good ruler in the period prior to her madness.

Her first act as queen was to dismiss the popular Secretary of State of the kingdom, the Marquess of Pombal, who had broken the power of the reactionary aristocracy via the Távora affair, partially because of Pombal's Enlightenment, anti-Jesuit policies.

Noteworthy events of this period include Portugal's membership in 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) made her incapable of handling state affairs after 1792. [1]

Mental deterioration

Effigy of Maria I and Peter III, 1785 4 escudos en or a l'effigie de Marie I et Pierre III, 1785.jpg
Effigy of Maria I and Peter III, 1785

Maria's madness was first officially noticed in 1786, when Maria had to be carried back to her apartments in a state of delirium. Afterward, the queen's mental state became increasingly worse. In May 1786, her husband died; Maria was devastated and forbade any court entertainments.

According to a contemporary,[ who? ] state festivities began to resemble religious ceremonies. Her condition worsened after the death of her eldest son (and heir-apparent), aged 27, from smallpox, and of her confessor, in 1791.

In February 1792, she was deemed mentally insane and was treated by Francis Willis, the same physician who attended King George III of Great Britain. Willis wanted to take her to England, but the plan was refused by the Portuguese court. Maria's second son (eldest surviving) and new heir-apparent, John, took over the government in her name, even though he only took the title of Prince Regent in 1799. [1]

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. Visitors would complain of terrible screams that would echo throughout the palace.

Napoleonic Wars

Portrait of the Queen Dona Maria I with a Crown, Giuseppe Troni, 1783. Maria I (stockholm gripsholms slott).jpg
Portrait of the Queen Dona Maria I with a Crown, Giuseppe Troni, 1783.

In 1801 Spanish Prime Minister Manuel de Godoy sent an army to invade Portugal with backing from Napoleon, resulting in the War of the Oranges. Though the Spanish ended their invasion, the Treaty of Badajoz on 6 June 1801 forced Portugal to cede Olivença and other border towns to Spain. (This cession is not recognized by the present Portuguese government, and the country officially considers those territories still to be Portuguese possessions.) On September 29, 1801 John VI signed the Treaty of Madrid (1801), ceding half of Portuguese Guyana to France, which became French Guiana.

The refusal of the Portuguese government to join the French-sponsored Continental Blockade against Britain culminated in the late 1807 Franco-Spanish invasion of Portugal led by General Junot.

The ultimate Napoleonic plan for Portugal was to split it into three sections. The northern parts of Portugal, from the Douro to the Minho, would become the Kingdom of Northern Lusitania, and its throne was promised to King Louis II of Etruria. The Alentejo Province and Kingdom of the Algarve would be merged to form the Principality of the Algarves, of which Spanish Prime Minister Manuel de Godoy would be sovereign. The remaining portion of Portugal would have been directly ruled by France.

Transfer to Brazil

At the urging of the British government, the entire Braganza Dynasty decided to flee on 29 November 1807 to establish a government in exile in the Portuguese Viceroyalty of Brazil.

Along with the royal family, Maria was transported aboard the carrack 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 or robbed during her movement by her servants.

Dona Maria I, Queen of Portugal; Jose Leandro de Carvalho, 1808. D.Mara.II - A Pia.png
Dona Maria I, Queen of Portugal; José Leandro de Carvalho, 1808.

In January 1808 Prince Regent João and his court arrived in Salvador da Bahia. Under pressure by local aristocracy and the British, the prince regent signed a commercial regulation after his arrival that opened commerce between Brazil and friendly nations, which in this case represented the interests of Great Britain above all. This law broke an important colonial pact that had previously allowed Brazil to maintain direct commercial relations only with Portugal.

On 1 August 1808 British General Arthur Wellesley (later Duke of Wellington) landed a British army in Lisbon to initiate the Peninsular War. The impact of Wellesley's initial victory over Junot at the Battle of Vimeiro (21 August 1808) was wiped out by his superiors in the Convention of Cintra (30 August 1808), which allowed the defeated French troops to evacuate peacefully from Portugal.

Wellesley (now as Lord Wellington) returned to Portugal on 22 April 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 government of the Prince Regent João 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.

Death and legacy

Tomb of Maria I at Estrela Basilica in Lisbon, Portugal Tomb of Maria I - Basilica da Estrela - Lisbon.JPG
Tomb of Maria I at Estrela Basilica in Lisbon, Portugal

Maria lived in Brazil for a total of eight years, always in a state of incapacitation. In 1816, she died at the Carmo Convent in Rio de Janeiro at the age of 81. After her death, Prince Regent João was acclaimed the king of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves and his mother's body was returned to Lisbon to be interned in a mausoleum in the Estrela Basilica (Portuguese : Basilica da Estrela), which she had helped found.

Maria is a greatly admired figure in both Brazil and Portugal due to the tremendous changes and events that took place during her reign. In Portugal, she is celebrated as a strong female figure. Her legacy shines at Portugal's Queluz Palace, a baroque-roccoco masterpiece that she helped conceive. A large statue of her stands in front of the palace, and a pousada near the palace is named in her honour. A large marble statue of the queen was erected at the Portuguese National Library in Lisbon by the students of Joaquim Machado de Castro.

In Brazil, she is admired as a key figure in the eventual independence of Brazil. It was during her reign, albeit through the government of her son's regency, that many of the national institutions and organizations in Brazil were created. These institutions were the precursors to their modern-day equivalents and granted large degree of power to the Brazilian colonials. While she is often called A Louca (the Mad) in Brazil, Brazilian and Portuguese historians hold her in high esteem.

Marriage and issue

Maria married her uncle, Infante Pedro of Portugal on 6 June 1760. At the time of their marriage, Maria was 25 and Pedro was 42. Despite the age gap, the couple had a happy marriage. Peter automatically became co-monarch (as Pedro III of Portugal) when Maria ascended the throne, as a child had already been born from their marriage. The couple had six children and a stillborn baby.

NameBirthDeathNotes
José, Prince of Brazil 20 August 176111 September 1788José Francisco Xavier de Paula Domingos António Agostinho Anastácio married Infanta Benedita of Portugal and had no issue. His death led to his younger brother becoming heir-apparent and later king.
João de Bragança20 October 176220 October 1762João was a still born baby, born at the Ajuda National Palace.
João Francisco de Bragança16 September 176310 October 1763João Francisco de Paula Domingos António Carlos Cipriano was born at the Ajuda National Palace.
João VI 13 May 176710 March 1826João Maria José Francisco Xavier de Paula Luís António Domingos Rafael married Carlota Joaquina of Spain and had issue. He was King of Portugal and Titular Emperor of Brazil.
Mariana Victoria de Bragança 15 December 17682 November 1788Maria Ana Vitória Josefa Francisca Xavier de Paula Antonieta Joana Domingas Gabriela married Infante Gabriel of Spain and had issue.
Maria Clementina de Bragança9 June 177427 June 1776Maria Clementina Francisca Xavier de Paula Ana Josefa Antónia Domingas Feliciana Joana Michaela Julia de Bragança was born at the Queluz National Palace.
Maria Isabel de Bragança12 December 177614 January 1777Maria Isabel was born at the Queluz National Palace.

Ancestry

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 History of Portugal: Pamphlet Collection. CUP Archive, 1937. Accessed September 2012.
  2. Genealogie ascendante jusqu'au quatrieme degre inclusivement de tous les Rois et Princes de maisons souveraines de l'Europe actuellement vivans [Genealogy up to the fourth degree inclusive of all the Kings and Princes of sovereign houses of Europe currently living] (in French). Bourdeaux: Frederic Guillaume Birnstiel. 1768. p. 14.

Bibliography

Maria I of Portugal
Cadet branch of the House of Aviz
Born: 17 December 1734 Died: 20 March 1816
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Joseph I
Queen of Portugal
1777–1816
with Peter III (1777–1786)
Succeeded by
John VI
Portuguese royalty
Preceded by
Maria Barbara
Princess of Beira
Duchess of Barcelos

1734–1750
Succeeded by
Joseph
Preceded by
Joseph
Princess of Brazil
Duchess of Braganza

1750–1777