- Afonso VI of Portugal
Afonso VI (Portuguese, pronounced|ɐˈfõsu; English "Alphonzo" or "Alphonse"), or "Affonso" (Old Portuguese), (
August 21, 1643– September 12, 1683) was the twenty-second (or twenty-third according to some historians) king of Portugaland the Algarves, the second of the House of Braganza, known as "the Victorious" (Portuguese "o Vitorioso").
At the age of three, Afonso suffered an illness that left him paralyzed on the left side of his body, as well as leaving him mentally unstable. His father created him 11th
Duke of Braganza.
After the 1653 death of his eldest brother
Teodósio, Prince of Brazil, Afonso became the heir-apparentto the throne of the kingdom. He received also the crown-princely title 2nd Prince of Brazil.
He succeeded his father (
João IV) in 1656 at the age of thirteen. His mother, ( Luisa of Medina-Sidonia) was named regent in his father's will. His mental instability and paralysis, plus his disinterest in government, left his mother as regent for six years, until 1662. Luisa oversaw military victories over the Spanish at Ameixial ( June 8 1663) and Montes Claros ( June 17 1665), culminating in the final Spanish recognition of Portugal's independence on February 13 1668in the Treaty of Lisbon. Colonial affairs saw the Dutch conquest of Jaffnapatam, Portugal's last colony in Sri Lanka(1658) and the cession of Bombayand Tangierto England( June 23, 1661) as dowry for Afonso's sister, Catherine of Braganzawho had married King Charles II of England. English mediation in 1661 saw the Netherlandsacknowledge Portuguese rule of Brazilin return for uncontested control of Sri Lanka.
In 1662, the
Count of Castelo Melhorsaw an opportunity to gain power at court by befriending the king. He managed to convince the king that his mother was out to steal his throne and exile him from Portugal. As a result, Afonso took control of the throne and his mother was sent to a convent.
He was married to
Marie Françoise of Nemours, the daughter of the Duke of Nemours, in 1666, but this marriage would not last long. Marie Françoise, or Maria Francisca in Portuguese, filled for an annulment in 1667 based on the impotence of the king. The Church granted her the annulment, and she married Afonso's brother, Pedro, Duke of Beja, (future (Peter II)). That same year, Pedro managed to gain enough support to force the king to relinquish control of the government and he became Prince Regent. Afonso was exiled to the island of Terceirain the Azoresfor seven years, returning to mainland Portugal shortly before he died at Sintrain 1683.
His trial is the base for
José Mário Grilo's 1990 film, "The King's Trial" ("O Processo do Rei").
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