Maria I of Portugal

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Maria I Francisca, (English: Mary I), the Piteous (Port. a Piedosa) - (Lisbon December 17 1734Rio de Janeiro March 20 1816) was the daughter of King José I of Portugal, the eldest of four daughters. Her mother Marianne Victoria of Borbón was daughter of Philip V of Spain and Elizabeth Farnese.

She married her father's younger brother, Pedro, in 1760 and later became the first Queen of Portugal, and the 26th (or 27th according to some historians) Portuguese monarch. She was also Duchess of Bragança and Princess of Beira.

Her first act as queen was to dismiss the unpopular prime-minister, the Marquis of Pombal, following the brutal treatment given to the Távoras in the Tavora affair. 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. 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.

Queen Maria suffered from religious mania and melancholia. It made her incapable of handling state affairs after 1799 and so her son Prince John became regent. The refusal of his government to join the Continental Blockade of Britain culminated in the 1807 Franco-Spanish invasion led by Marshal Junot. The Braganza dynasty fled to Brazil on November 13, 1807, and Junot was appointed governor of the kingdom pending Napoleon's decision on its ultimate fate. On August 1, 1808, the British General Arthur Wellesley (later Duke of Wellington) landed a British army in Lisbon and thus commenced 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. When Napoleon was finally defeated in 1815, Maria and her family were still in Brazil. The aged Queen died at Rio de Janeiro in 1816 and the Prince Regent succeeded her as King John VI of Portugal and Brazil.

Children

From her marriage to her uncle Pedro, Maria had six children:

  • José (1761-1788), Prince de Beira. Married his aunt Maria Francisca, Infanta of Portugal, but had no issue.
  • João Francisco (September-October 1763)
  • João VI
  • Maria Ana (1768-1788). Married Gabriel, Infante of Spain (son of Charles III) and had issue.
  • Maria Clemantina (1774-1776).
  • Maria Isabel (December 1776-January 1777).


Preceded by:
Joseph
Queen of Portugal
Succeeded by:
John VI

Template:End boxde:Maria I. (Portugal) et:Maria I Bragança es:Maria I de Portugal pt:Maria I de Portugal

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