Luís I of Portugal

Dom Luís I (31 October 1838, in Lisbon – 19 October 1889, in Cascais), known as The Popular (Portuguese: O Popular) was a member of the ruling House of Braganza,[1] and King of Portugal from 1861 to 1889. The second son of Queen Maria II and her consort, King Ferdinand, he acceded to the throne upon the death of his elder brother King Pedro V.

Luís I
D. Luís I de Portugal, fotografado por Augusto Bobone.png
Photograph by Augusto Bobone c. 1880s
King of Portugal
Reign11 November 1861 –
19 October 1889
Acclamation22 December 1861
PredecessorPedro V
SuccessorCarlos I
Prime Ministers
Born(1838-10-31)31 October 1838
Necessidades Palace, Lisbon, Portugal
Died19 October 1889(1889-10-19) (aged 50)
Citadel Palace, Cascais, Portugal
(m. 1862)
Luís Filipe Maria Fernando Pedro de Alcântara António Miguel Rafael Gabriel Gonzaga Xavier Francisco de Assis João Augusto Júlio Valfando
FatherFerdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
MotherMaria II of Portugal
ReligionRoman Catholicism


Luís I and Maria Pia of Savoy at a masquerade ball, 1865.

Luís was a cultured man who wrote vernacular poetry, but had no distinguishing gifts in the political field into which he was thrust by the deaths of his brothers Pedro V and Fernando in 1861. Luís's domestic reign was a series of transitional governments called Rotativism formed at various times by the Progressistas (Liberals) and the Regeneradores (Conservatives), the party generally favoured by King Luís, who secured their long term in office after 1881. Despite a flirtation with the Spanish succession prior to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, Luís's reign was otherwise one of domestic stagnation as Portugal fell ever further behind the nations of western Europe in terms of public education, political stability, technological progress and economic prosperity. In colonial affairs, Delagoa Bay was confirmed as a Portuguese possession in 1875, whilst Belgian activities in the Congo and the 1890 British Ultimatum prevented the Portuguese from colonizing modern-day Botswana in order to establish a link between Portuguese Angola and Portuguese Mozambique at the peak of the Scramble for Africa.[citation needed]

Personal interestsEdit

Luís was also very keen with literature, not only with books in Portuguese but also in English. He was the first to bring fully translated Shakespearean works to Portugal, such as The Merchant of Venice, Richard III and Othello, the Moor of Venice. His best-known work in Portugal was his translation of Hamlet.

Marriages and descendantsEdit

Photograph of Luís I, c. 1869

In June 1862, Luís asked Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria (1845–1927), a daughter of Archduke Albert, Duke of Teschen and Princess Hildegard of Bavaria, to marry him in a letter sent to her father. It was urgent for him to get married as his older brother, King Pedro V, had died in November 1861, without issue and two of his younger brothers, João and Fernando, followed him shortly after, which left the Braganza dynasty almost without heirs. Luís had already selected a number of brides including Princess Marie of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (1845-1912), sister of his late sister-in-law Stephanie, Duchess Sophie Charlotte in Bavaria (1847-1897), Princess Maria Pia of Savoy (1847-1911) and also considered some Austrian archduchesses, Maria Theresa being one of them, but didn't know which one to choose. So he sent letters to his cousin, Queen Victoria, and his great-uncle, King Leopold I of Belgium, to ask for their advice. Both agreed that the best choice was Maria Theresa. Thus, King Luís sent his letter. However, his wish was not fulfilled as her father, Archduke Albert, thought she was too young at the time (she was one month away from turning 17) and needed to finish her education. Two weeks after, Luís asked for the hand of Princess Maria Pia of Savoy and, this time, was accepted, even though Maria Pia, born in 1847, was even younger than Maria Theresa.[2]

Portuguese coin minted during Luís I reign, c. 1879

Luís married Maria Pia, the daughter of Victor Emmanuel II of Italy and Maria Adelaide of Austria, on 6 October 1862. They both had a deep love at first, but Luis's countless mistresses led Maria Pia to depression. Together they had two sons who survived childhood, and a stillborn son in 1866.

The King also fathered one illegitimate son, also named Carlos, who was born in 1874 in Lisbon.


He received the following orders:[3]



  1. ^ a b "While remaining patrilineal dynasts of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha according to pp. 88, 116 of the 1944 Almanach de Gotha, Title 1, Chapter 1, Article 5 of the 1838 Portuguese constitution declared, with respect to Ferdinand II of Portugal's issue by his first wife, that 'the Most Serene House of Braganza is the reigning house of Portugal and continues through the Person of the Lady Queen Maria II'. Thus their mutual descendants constitute the Coburg line of the House of Braganza"
  2. ^ Lopes, Maria Antónia, Rainhas Que o Povo Amou - Estefânia de Hohenzollern e Maria Pia de Sabóia, pág 121, Temas e Debates, 2013
  3. ^ Albano da Silveira Pinto (1883). "Serenissima Casa de Bragança". Resenha das Familias Titulares e Grandes des Portugal (in Portuguese). Lisbon. p. xiv.
  4. ^ "A Szent István Rend tagjai" Archived 22 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Staatshandbuch für das Großherzogtum Baden (1888), "Großherzogliche Orden", pp. 62, 74
  6. ^ Hof- und Staatshandbuch des Königreichs Bayern: 1877. Landesamt. 1877. p. 8.
  7. ^ Ferdinand Veldekens (1858). Le livre d'or de l'ordre de Léopold et de la croix de fer. lelong. p. 207.
  8. ^ Jørgen Pedersen (2009). Riddere af Elefantordenen, 1559–2009 (in Danish). Syddansk Universitetsforlag. p. 272. ISBN 978-87-7674-434-2.
  9. ^ Staatshandbücher für das Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha (1884), "Herzogliche Sachsen-Ernestinischer Hausorden" p. 29
  10. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreich Hannover (1865), "Königliche Orden und Ehrenzeichen" p. 38, 73
  11. ^ King Kalakaua's Tour Round the World (Honolulu, 1881) p. 74
  12. ^ Staatshandbuch für das Großherzogtum Hessen und bei Rhein (1879), "Großherzogliche Orden und Ehrenzeichen ", p. 12
  13. ^ 刑部芳則 (2017). 明治時代の勲章外交儀礼 (PDF) (in Japanese). 明治聖徳記念学会紀要. p. 143.
  14. ^ "Seccion IV: Ordenes del Imperio", Almanaque imperial para el año 1866 (in Spanish), 1866, pp. 214–236, 242–243, retrieved 29 April 2020
  15. ^ "Schwarzer Adler-orden", Königlich Preussische Ordensliste (in German), vol. 1, Berlin, 1877, p. 10
  16. ^ Cibrario, Luigi (1869). Notizia storica del nobilissimo ordine supremo della santissima Annunziata. Sunto degli statuti, catalogo dei cavalieri (in Italian). Eredi Botta. p. 115. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  17. ^ Staatshandbuch für das Großherzogtum Sachsen / Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach (1859), "Großherzogliche Hausorden" p. 13
  18. ^ Staatshandbuch für den Freistaat Sachsen (1867) (in German), "Königliche Ritter-Orden", p. 4
  19. ^ "Caballeros de la insigne orden del Toison de Oro", Guóa Oficial de España (in Spanish), 1875, p. 102, retrieved 4 March 2019
  20. ^ "Caballeros Grandes Cruces de la Orden del Mérito Naval", Guóa Oficial de España (in Spanish), 1887, p. 579, retrieved 26 April 2020
  21. ^ Sveriges statskalender (in Swedish), 1881, p. 377, retrieved 2019-02-20 – via
  22. ^ Norges statskalender (in Norwegian), 1886, p. 234, retrieved 2019-02-20 – via
  23. ^ Shaw, Wm. A. (1906) The Knights of England, I, London, p. 62
  24. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreich Württemberg (1866), "Königliche Orden" p. 31
Luís I of Portugal
Cadet branch of the House of Aviz
Born: 31 October 1838 Died: 19 October 1889
Regnal titles
Preceded by King of Portugal
Succeeded by
Portuguese royalty
Preceded by Duke of Porto
Succeeded by