Maria I of Portugal

Mary I (complete: Maria Francisca Isabel Josefa Antónia Gertrudes Rita Joana de Bragança ) ( born December 17, 1734 Lisbon, † March 20, 1816 in Rio de Janeiro) was Queen of Portugal from the House of Braganza and 1815-1816 and queen of Brazil. She was the first woman on the Portuguese throne.


Mary I, called " the Pious " (Portuguese: a Piedosa ), was the eldest daughter of Joseph I of Portugal and his wife Maria Anna Victoria of Spain and led up to their accession to the throne the title of Princess of Brazil. As her father had no sons, she was heir to the throne. Since the female succession at this time in Portugal but was very uncommon yet, Joseph married his daughter with his brother Peter III. , Who would have been appointed as the next while clinging to the male line of succession. And so it was that the 26- year-old Maria in 1760 married her own, 43 -year-old uncle.

When her father died in 1777, Mary ascended to the Portuguese throne. Formally, she ruled together with her husband ( so I was not about Prince Consort he, as in today's modern monarchies usual) as an equal King. De facto had Peter III. However, little interest in the government and therefore left his wife this largely alone.

During her father's reign had its efficient chief minister, Sebastião José de Carvalho e Mello, Marques de Pombal, largely conducted the business of government. Pombal Portugal tried by a series of reforms to make it a modern state. From the old clerical UK he formed as a enlightened absolutist state. However, these reforms brought him quickly in contrast to the Catholic Church, which he also fought consistently ( eg prohibition of the influential Jesuit order in Portugal and Brazil, 1759). Maria, however, was very pious, the anti-clerical policy Pombal her therefore was a horror. Once they had ascended the throne, she dismissed therefore Pombal just eight days after the death of her father. By the end of his life Pombal was from then on under house arrest.

She made a series of anti-clerical reforms of Margrave reversed, dismissed the political prisoners, but continued his foreign and economic policy. The renewal of the infrastructure of the country was continued dismantled the existing deficit in foreign trade with England and at the same time reduced the dependence of England by a diversification of trade and an alliance with Russia.

After her husband's death in 1786 the Queen fell increasingly into an exaggerated piety and eventually became insane. 1792 she was incapacitated. The regency took over her son, the future King John VI. Together with this, and virtually the entire Portuguese court (about 15,000 people) in 1807 she had to flee from Napoleon's troops in a rushed, chaotic action in Brazil. In the midst of a fit of madness she was carried by her grandson Dom Miguel to the coach that was to take them to the port. In the carriage she then spoke in a fit of earlier Majesty the famous phrase: " Not so fast, otherwise people still believe we flee! " ( " Não Vao Vao tão depressa Eles pensar que estamos a fugir! " )

1815, the colonial status was abolished in Brazil and made ​​the country his own kingdom, the Kingdom of Portugal joined by personal union. A year before her death, and lost already in complete mental derangement, Mary received so also the title of Queen of Brazil. Maria died in 1816 in Rio de Janeiro.


With her husband Peter III. had the following children:

  • Joseph Franz Xaver von Paola Dominik Anthony Augustin Anastasius (* August 21, 1761, † September 11, 1788 ) ∞ 1777 Maria Francisca Benedita of Portugal, his aunt
  • Johann Joseph ( born September 26, 1763October 10, 1763 )
  • John VI. (* May 13, 1767, † March 10, 1826 )
  • Maria Anna Josepha Victoria Frances Xavier Paola Antonia Johanna Gabriela Dominika (* December 15, 1768, † November 2, 1788 ) ∞ 1785 Prince Gabriel of Spain, a younger son of King Charles III.
  • Maria Clementina Frances Xavier Paola Anna Josepha Antonia Dominika Feliciana Johanna Michaela Julia (* June 9, 1774, † June 27, 1776 )
  • Maria Elisabeth (* December 22, 1776; † January 14, 1777 )