Queen Maria I Francisca de Bragança

Queen Maria I Francisca de Bragança

Female 1734 - 1816  (81 years)    Has more than 250 ancestors and more than 250 descendants in this family tree.

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  • Name Maria I Francisca de Bragança 
    Prefix Queen 
    Relationshipwith Francis Fox
    Born 17 Dec 1734  Lisbon Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died 20 Mar 1816  Río de Janeiro, Brasil Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I6248  Geneagraphie
    Last Modified 29 Aug 2000 

    Father Jose I Emanuel de Bragança,   b. 6 Jun 1714, Lisbon Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Feb 1777, Lisbon Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years) 
    Mother Maria Ana Vitoria de Bourbon,   b. 31 Mar 1718, Madrid, España Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Jan 1781, Lisbon Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years) 
    Married 19 Jan 1729  Elvas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Siblings 1 sibling 
    Family ID F2797  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family King Pedro III de Bragança,   b. 5 Jul 1717, Lisbon Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Mar 1786, Lisbon Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years) 
    Married 6 Jun 1760  Lisbon Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Jose Francisco Xavier de Bragança,   b. 20 Aug 1761, Lisbon Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Sep 1788, Lisbon Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 27 years)
     2. João de Bragança, VI,   b. 13 May 1767, Lisbon Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Mar 1826, Lisbon Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 58 years)
     3. Maria Ana Vitoria de Bragança,   b. 15 Dec 1768, Queluz Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Nov 1788, Escurial Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 19 years)
    Last Modified 29 Aug 2000 
    Family ID F2798  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map Click to display
    Link to Google MapsDied - 20 Mar 1816 - Río de Janeiro, Brasil Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    6248.jpg
    6248.jpg

  • Notes 
    • Many of Maria's relatives suffered from religious mania and melancholy.
      Maria was married to her uncle Pedro. Despite the age difference their marriage was quite happy. The couple was very pious and visited several masses every day. Pedro had inherited the palace of Queluz, but he had it torn down and started constructing a pink miniature Versailles, which wasn't completed until 1794. There the couple lived and brought up their children. Only three of the seven children survived their early years.
      After her father died Maria dismissed Pombal, amnestied his political prisoners, including the surviving Távoras1, and recalled all exiles except the Jesuits. Her rule soon calmed the discontent among the nobility, but her conscience was sorely tried by the difficult decision to undo things that were done in her father's name. Once in 1780, Maria scratched out her signature exclaiming that she was "condemned to very hell". She was carried off to her apartments in a state of delirium. Pedro III chiefly concerned himself with prayers and masses. A contemporary noted that Pedro talked much about goodness and justice, but that he had no knowledge of mankind or business and that he was easily governed by those immediately about him, especially if they belonged to the church. Maria and Pedro were deeply devoted to each other and Maria suffered intense grief at his death in March 1786. Royal festivities were banned, and state receptions resembled religious ceremonies. Two years later her eldest son, Joseph, died of smallpox. Maria's only surviving daughter Mariana died two months later. In the same year Maria's confessor and chief minister both died too. Maria had always shown a tendency toward religious mania. When her loved ones died one after another, she retreated into uncontrollable grief and melancholy. She was afflicted by stomach pains, depression, fever and insomnia. The fits of melancholy and recurring nightmares increased. Reports of the revolution in France further disturbed her. Around 1790 she sank into a state of permanent melancholia. The English author William Beckford visited the pink palace and reported: "Queen Maria, fancying herself damned for all eternity, therefore on the strength of its being all over her, eats barley and oyster stew Fridays and Saturdays and indulges in conversations of a rather unchaste nature." In 1792 her ministers concluded that she was mad and turned to her only surviving son, John, with the request to "assume the direction of public affairs". In the meantime, they summoned Dr. Francis Willis, who had treated George III of Great Britain, to come to Portugal in order to treat the queen. At first Maria seemed to show some signs of improvement, but they did not long continue. She soon took a turn for the worse. Willis left Portugal in 1793 without realising any improvement in her condition. Maria ran about the palace corridors pitifully wailing "Ai Jesus!" in a state of delirium and her quarters resounded with her demented cries. Beckford wrote: "The most agonising shrieks - shrieks such as I hardly conceived possible - inflicted on me a sensation of horror such as I had never felt before. The queen, herself, whose apartment was only two doors off from the chambers where we were sitting, uttered those dreadful sounds, "Ai Jesus. Ai Jesus!" did she exclaim again and again in the utterances of agony."
      Napoleon invaded Portugal in 1807 and the royal family fled to Brazil, carrying the royal gold and art treasures with them. The voyage lasted 52 days and the entire court suffered from storms and seasickness. When the ship landed in Bahia, the inhabitants welcomed the Braganças warmly, but Maria was terrified of the natives prancing around her chair. She screamed that she was in hell with devils pursuing her. The royal family settled in a rich planter's estate near Rio the Janero and Queen Maria was confined to an old convent of the Carmelites. There she died after 24 years of insanity.


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