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Old 02-02-2008, 10:57 AM
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King D. Joao III 'The Pious' and Queen D.ª Catarina

João III, King of Portugal and the Algarves, Lord of Guinea, Lord of the Conquest, Navigation and Commerce of Ethiopia, Arabia, Persia and India.(Lisbon, 7 June 1502 - Lisbon, 11 June 1557); married in Tordesilhas, 5 or 10 February 1525 Catherine of Austria (?, 14 January 1507 - Lisbon, 12 February 1578)

Reign: 1521 - 1557

Predecessor: King Manuel I of Portugal and the Algarves

Succeeded by: King Sebastião of Portugal and the Algarves

Children: Prince Alfonso of Portugal, Queen Maria of Spain, Princess Isabel, Princess Beatriz, Prince Manuel, Prince Felipe, Prince Diniz, Prince João and Prince Antonio of Portugal

Parents João III: King Manuel I of Portugal and Princess Maria of Aragon

Parents Catarina: Philip of Bourgondy & Austria and King of Spain and Princess Joanna ('The Mad') of Castille & Aragon

Siblings João III: Prince Miguel da Paz; Queen Isabel of Spain, Holy Roman Empress; Duchess Beatrice of Savoy, Prince Luis, Duke of Beja; Prince Fernando Duke of Trancoso; Prince Alfonso, Princess Maria, King Henrique I, Prince Duarte, Duke of Guimaraes; Prince Antonio, Prince Carlos and Princess Maria of Portugal

Siblings Catarina: Queen Eleonor of France, Queen-widow of Portugal; King Charles I/V of Spain, Holy Roman Emperor, Queen Elisabeth of Denmark, Archduke Ferdinand I of Austria, Holy Roman Emperor and Queen Mary of Hungary and Bohemia
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:08 PM
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John III (Portuguese: João III, pronounced [ʒuˈɐ̃ũ]) (June 7, 1502–June 11, 1557), nicknamed o Piedoso ("the Pious"), was the fifteenth King of Portugal and the Algarves.
Born in Lisbon, he was the son of King Manuel I and his queen consort, Maria of Aragon (the third daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain). John succeeded his father in 1521, at the age of nineteen. He ascended to the throne while the Portuguese Empire was at the height of its mercantile and colonial power, and its capital, Lisbon, occupied a position of global commercial importance. During his rule, Portuguese possessions were extended in Asia and in the New World through the Portuguese colonization of Brazil. John III's policy of reinforcing Portugal's bases in India (such as Goa) secured Portugal's monopoly over the spice trade of cloves from the Moluccas and nutmeg from the Banda Islands, as a result of which John III has been called the "Grocer King".
During his reign, the Portuguese became the first Europeans to make contact with both China, under the Ming Dynasty, and Japan, during the Muromachi period. He abandoned Muslim territories in North Africa in favor of trade with India and investment in Brazil. In Europe, he improved relations with the Baltic region and the Rhineland, hoping that this would bolster Portuguese trade.
John was responsible for the evangelization of the Far East and Brazil, in part through the introduction of Jesuit missions there. Both the Jesuits and the Portuguese Inquisition, introduced in 1536, were to become key institutions in Portugal and its Empire. The Jesuits were particularly important for mediating Portuguese relations with native peoples and the Inquisition served to spare Portugal the civil upheavals of religious warfare of the sort that occurred in France and elsewhere in Europe during the 16th century. In the final years of John's reign, Portugal's colony of Brazil was just beginning its rapid development as a producer of sugar that compensated for the gradual decline of revenues from Asia, a development that would continue during the reign of his grandson and successor, Sebastian, who became king upon the death of John of apoplexy in 1557.

Prince John, the eldest son of King Manuel, was born on June 6, 1502. The event was marked by a masterpiece of Portuguese theater, Gil Vicente's Visitation Play, or: the Monologue of the Cowherd (Auto da Visitação ou Monólgo do Vaqueiro) presented in the Queen's chamber.
The young prince was sworn heir to the throne in 1503 and was educated by notables of the time, including the astrologer Tomás de Torres and Diogo de Ortiz, Bishop of Viseu. One of his teachers was Luís Teixeira, a humanist educated in Italy. John's chronicler said that "Dom João III faced problems easily, complementing his lack of culture with a practice formation that he always showed during his reign" (António de Castilho, Elogio d'el-rei D. João de Portugal, terceiro, do nome). In 1514, he was given his own house, and a few years later began to help his father in administrative duties. At sixteen he was chosen to marry his first cousin, the 20-year-old Eleanor of Habsburg, eldest daughter of Philip the Handsome of Austria-Burgundy and queen Joanna of Castile, but instead she married his widowed father King Manuel I. John took deep offence at this: his chroniclers say he became melancholy and was never quite the same. Some historians also claim this was one of the main reasons that John later became fervently religious.

On December 19, 1521, at the age of 19, he was crowned king in the Church of Saint Dominique in Lisbon, beginning a thirty-six-year reign characterized by intense activity in internal and overseas politics, especially in relations with other major European states.
The marriage of John's sister, Infanta Isabella of Portugal, to Charles V enabled the Portuguese king to forge a stronger alliance with Spain and the Holy Roman Empire. To strengthen his ties with Austria, he married his maternal first cousin Catherine of Habsburg, younger sister of Charles V and his erstwhile fiancée Eleanor, in the town of Crato. John had nine children from that marriage, but most of them died young. By the time of John's death, only his grandson, Sebastian, was alive to inherit the crown.
John III continued to centralize the absolutist politics of his ancestors. He called for the Cortes only three times and at great intervals: 1525 in Torres Novas, 1535 in Évora and 1544 in Almeirim. He also tried to restructure administrative and judicial life in his realm.

Read the entire wikipedia article here.
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:10 PM
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Catherine of Habsburg, also called Catherine of Austria, Catherine of Burgundy or Catherine of Castile (14 January 1507– 12 February 1578) was Queen consort of Portugal.
An Infanta of Castile, Archduchess of Austria, and princess of Burgundy, she was the posthumous daughter of Philip of Habsburg by Joanna of Castile. She remained with her disturbed mother until the arrival in Spain of her eldest siblings (Eleanor and Charles) brought about the creation of her own household within the castle their mother was virtually imprisoned in.
She was a younger sister of Eleanor of Habsburg, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, Isabella of Habsburg, Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor and Mary of Habsburg.

Read the entire wikipedia article here.
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