Biography of King of Portugal Alfonso VI (1643-1683)

King of Portugal Lisbon-born August 21, 1643 and died September 12, 1683 in Sintra. It was an incapable monarch who left the Government in the hands of ambitious valid and that ended up being dismissed.

Second son of the King Juan IV and of Doña Luisa de Guzmán, on the death of his brother, Prince Theodosius (1653) was sworn heir to the Portuguese Crown, which received their father's death in 1656, assuming the Regency his mother, the Queen. It seems that to 1658 suffered a palsy that paralyzed the right side of his body. failing physics, attached to a poor education (according to the testimonies of some of his contemporaries, the King attended indecent places and "undesirables" companies) and a zero Government skills, made that the Governing Council were making his appeal to the Queen to continue dealing with the Government until the coming of age of the King, as only way to avoid that Portugal would fall into the hands of the Spaniards.

Away from the bad influences of the King, was imprisoned his main private, the Genoese Antonio Conti, time that the young and ambitious count of Castelo Melhor took advantage to win the favour of the monarch, he/she used for his own personal profit. In 1662 this convinced the King to he/she tongues to the Queen of the Regency and took himself power, moving the Queen of Lisbon. Then began the Government of the so-called "triumvirate", composed by the count of Castelo Melhor, by the count of Atouguia, and by the Bishop of Porto, Sebastián César de Meneses. The first of these soon took over the prerogatives of the Prime Minister, assisted by the active bureaucrat Antonio de Sousa de Macedo.

Meanwhile, Felipe IV of Spain had pacified Catalonia and it had launched with all his strength to the conquest of Portugal. In 1657 Olivenza was conquered by don Juan José of Austria in 1663 fell Evora, and that same year the Portuguese, led by the count of Vila Flor and Schomberg defeated the Spanish at the battle of Ameixial (June 8); the Portuguese victory at Montes Claros (June 12, 1665) put an end to the war. In the peace talks, which began in 1668, the count of Castelo Melhor negotiated so that Galicia left for Portugal, but the Court events precipitated his influence.

The count of Castelo Melhor. negotiated the marriage of Alfonso VI of Portugal in France with María Francisca Isabel de Saboya, daughter of the Duke of Nemours, while he/she visited an alliance with France. The marriage contract was signed January 24, 1666 in Paris and the marriage by proxy took place in la Rochelle on July 27, still the King represented by the Marquis of Sande; the religious ceremony took place in Lisbon on 2 August. From the beginning the Queen was a loyal agent of the interests of Luis XIV and soon got the right to attend the Councils of State. A Palace event gave the Queen an opportunity to protest against the Government of the count of Castelo Melhor and soon the infante don Pedro, brother of the King, and whose understanding the sovereign was a fact, began to unite a party formed by the contrary to the valid. In September 1667 don Pedro launched a series of accusations against the Earl and the King, under pressure from the Council of State, had to access away from Lisbon and handed over the Government to the count of Vale de Reis, who was shortly thereafter replaced by a Board chaired by the Duke of Cadaval.

All indications are that Alfonso VI never consummated his marriage with María Francisca Isabel of Savoy, or at least that's what he/she claimed when requested its annulment in 1667. Meanwhile the King was forced to give in to all the demands that were made him, among them, declaring that indeed never had carnal treatment with the Queen and the renunciation of the governorate. In the courts of the 1 January 1668 Alfonso VI was deposed and surrendered the Regency to the Prince don Pedro. The deposed King was confined in the Palace under a close watch, but fear that the presence of the prisoner awakens intrigues did don Pedro ordered his transfer to the island of Terceira, where he/she stayed between 1669 and 1674. But in 1673 was discovered a conspiracy in Lisbon that became that Regent would transfer to his brother to the continent and it was confined in the castle of Sintra. the conspirators planned the release of Alfonso and his transfer to Spain, where he/she married the widowed Queen of Spain, Mariana of Austria, mother of Carlos II, and would be supported for the conquest of Portugal. Alfonso was born August 24, 1674 to Sintra and remained there for nine years in which only was allowed to hear mass for an opening practised in the choir of the Church of the Palace, so that the people could not see it. He/She was buried with great solemnity at the Jerónimos Church and was succeeded by his brother Pedro II.

Bibliography

BIRMINGHAM, D. history of Portugal. Cambridge, 1995.

MEDINA, j. (dir.) History of Portugal: two pre-historical tempos aos nossos days. Madrid, 1996.

PAINE, S. brief history of Portugal. Madrid, 1987.

VIANA, H. Luso history chapters. Lisbon, 1968.