Portrait of Joseph I (1714-1777), King of Portugal and the Algarves (1750-1777)
Joseph I (Portuguese: José I; 6 June 1714 – 24 February 1777), "The Reformer" (Portuguese: "o Reformador"), was the King of Portugal and the Algarves 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. Joseph was the third child of King John V of Portugal and his wife Maria Anna of Austria. Joseph had an older brother Pedro, an older sister Barbara and three younger brothers. At the death of his elder brother, who died at the age of two in 1714, Joseph became Prince of Brazil as the heir apparent of the king, and Duke of Braganza. On 19 January 1729, Joseph married the Spanish Infanta Mariana Victoria of Spain, daughter of Philip V of Spain and Elisabeth Farnese, and his elder sister Barbara of Portugal married the future Ferdinand VI of Spain. Mariana Victoria loved music and hunting, just like her husband, but she was also a serious woman who disapproved of the king's love affairs and did not hesitate to expose them to acquaintances. Joseph succeeded to the Portuguese throne in 1750, when he was 36 years old and almost immediately placed effective power in the hands of Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, better known today as the Marquess of Pombal. Indeed, the history of Joseph's reign is really that of Pombal himself. King Joseph also declared his eldest daughter Maria Francisca as the official heiress of the throne and proclaimed her Princess of Brazil. By this time, the king did not believe he would ever father a son by his queen. One of the most difficult situations faced by the king was the Franco-Spanish invasion of Portugal, in the end of the Seven Years' War (5 May-24 November 1762). France and Spain sent an ultimatum in order to force Portugal to abandon its alliance with Great Britain and close her ports to British ships. D. José I refused to submit and asked for British help since both the country and the army were in a very poor condition, mainly because of the great 1755 Lisbon earthquake. England sent a force of 7,104 men led by Loudon and Burgoyne, and also an exceptional military leader, the count of Lippe, which reformed the Portuguese army and led the allied army of 14-15, 000 men in a victorious war. The Bourbon invaders first led by Sarria and then by Aranda were thrice defeated by a combination of popular uprising, scorched earth strategy/famine and encircling movements by the regular Anglo-Portuguese troops, which like the militia, skilfully used the mountainous terrain at their advantage. The Spanish and French troops suffered staggering losses when they were driven out from Portugal and chased into Spain.
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