King D. Sebastiao I 'The Desired' (1554-1578)
Sebastião I, King of Portugal and the Algarves, Lord of Guinea, Lord of the Conquest, Navigation and Commerce of Ethiopia, Arabia, Persia and India. (20 January 1554 - Ksar-el-Kabir, 4 August 1578)
Reign: 1557 - 1578, from 1557 to 1568 under the regency of his paternal grandmother Queen Catherine and later under the regency of his paternal uncle, Prince Henrique.
Predecessor: King João III of Portugal and the Algarves
Succeeded by: King Henrique I of Portugal and the Algarves
Parents: Prince João of Portugal and Princess Juana of Spain
Sebastian I, King of Portugal "the Desired" (in Portuguese, Sebastião I, pronounced [sɨbɐʃˈtiɐ̃ũ], o Desejado; born in Lisbon, January 20, 1554; presumed to have died at Alcazarquivir, August 4, 1578) was the sixteenth king of Portugal and the Algarves. He was the son of Prince John of Portugal and his wife, Joan of Spain. His paternal grandparents were John III of Portugal and Catherine of Habsburg; his maternal grandparents were the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and Isabella of Portugal. He only had four great-grandparents (instead of the normal eight).
Sebastian was born shortly after 8 in the morning of Saint Sebastian's Day 1554 and he took his name from that fact. Shortly after his birth a doctor, Fernando Abarca Maldonado, who had come to Portugal in the entourage of his mother and who probably had helped deliver him, cast his horoscope. Among other things, Maldonado predicted that Sebastian would be very attracted to women, marry and have many children, all of which proved to be utterly and completely wrong. He became heir to the throne on the death of his father in 1554, two weeks before his own birth, and succeeded to the throne three years later after the death of King John III, his paternal grandfather. Since Sebastian was still a child, the regency was handled first by his paternal grandmother, Catherine of Habsburg, and then by his great uncle, Cardinal Henry of Evora. This period saw continued Portuguese colonial expansion in Angola, Mozambique, and Malacca, as well as the annexation of Macau (in 1557).
Sebastian was a bright and lively boy. Reports say he was fearless due to having "so much strength". Tall, slim, and blond, he was brought up by his grandmother, Catherine, a domineering woman who exercised firm control over her weaker-willed grandson. Later in life, however, he became obstinate and impulsive.
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King Sebastian died tragically in the battle of the 3 Kings:
The Battle of Alcácer Quibir (variant spellings are legion: Alcácer-Quivir, Al Quasr al-kibr, Alcazarquivir, Alcassar and so on, meaning grand palace in Arabic), also known as Battle of Three Kings, was a major battle fought in northern Morocco, near the town of Ksar-el-Kebir between Tangier and Fez, on 4 August1578. The combatants were the army of Abu Abdallah Mohammed II Saadi, of the Saadi dynasty, with his ally the KingSebastian of Portugal, and a large Moroccan army nominally under the new Sultan of Morocco (and uncle of Abu Abdallah Mohammed II Saadi) Abd Al-Malik of the Saadi dynasty. The militantly Christian king had planned a crusade after Abu Abdallah Mohammed II Saadi asked king Sebastian to help him recover his throne, which his uncle Abd Al-Malik had taken from him. In the event his defeat led to the disappearance of Portugal as an independent nation for 60 years.
D. Sebastião, known in Portugal as the Desired, was the son of the Infante Dom John, son of John III of Portugal, and Joanna, daughter of the Emperor Charles V. His father died before he was born, and he became King at the age of three after the death of his grandfather in 1557. He was educated almost entirely by Jesuits, by his guardian and tutor Aleixo de Meneses and by Catarina of Spain, sister of Charles V. Some, judging him after his defeat, alleged that under these influences his youthful idealism soon mutated into religious fanaticism, although he never joined the Holy League. The Cortes asked him several times to go there and stop the turmoil of the advancing Turkish military presence, because the Ottomans would be a threat to the security of the Portuguese coasts and to the commerce with Guinea, Brazil and the Atlantic Islands. But it was only when Abu Abdallah Mohammed II Saadi went to Portugal and asked for Sebastians's help in recovering his throne from his uncle that Sebastian decided to mount a military effort.
D. Sebastião felt driven to revive lost glories by intervening in North Africa, influenced by the events such as the defense of Mazagan in 1562 from a Moorish siege. Accordingly, in 1568, the kingdom began to prepare for intervention in Morocco. This policy was not only supported by the mercantile bourgeoisie as it would benefit commerce in this area (primarily, gold, cattle, wheat and sugar), but also by the nobility.
Read the entire wikipedia article here.
This was posted by Moura in the worldreference.com forums:
The story of D.Sebastião is a very tragic one.
It started badly, as the posthumous son of Prince D.João, and ended worse, with the official version of the king's death in Morocco at the battle of Alcácer Quibir or the thrtee kings battle.
All his life was twisted around his evil uncle Felipe II who had in his grand-mother Queen Catherine of Portugal (D.Sebastião's grand-mother) a good allie.
Being in line to the portuguese throne, Felipe did all he could to prevent D.Sebastião's projects of marriage, first with a daughter of Henri II of France, then with a daughter of the Emperor, and finally with his own daughter Catalina Micaela, whose hand he promised to D.Sebastião when he would return from Morocco.
Before the departure, Felipe and D.Sebastião had a meeting in Spain, where the nephew asked the uncle for military support on the crusade against the moors.
Felipe stalled the reply and eventually declined, compromising his nephew's aspirations to develop christianity and portuguese influence in northern Africa.
What happened to D.Sebastião during the battle, nobody knows exactly.
Some say he was seen charging against a huge number of moors, completely alone, others claim he might have retreat and, realizing the enormous defeat, the number of portuguese that were killed or made prisonners, he hid his identity and escaped to Italy.
Italy being controlled by Spain, he was recognized and arrested at Felipe’s orders.
Naturally Felipe II, at the time already the king of Portugal, never admitted having arrested D.Sebastião.
There were always stories that he was arrested in Italy, in Venice, Florence or Naples where eventually he might have got married and have children.
During Felipe’s reign several impostors claimed to be D.Sebastião, but they were all arrested and sentenced to death.
Historian Maria Luísa Martins da Cunha has recently published the 3rd volume of “Grandes Enigmas da História de Portugal”, where she defends and tries to proove that theory, based on the fact that several people recognized the king leaving the battle field alive and not arrested, and that a medal with the king’s name was found in Limoges where there is a tradition that a Portuguese king is buried.
Which daughter of Henri II of France might Sebastian have married?
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