History - OnThisDay - 7 June 1502 - King John III of Portugal, a king with lots of diplomatic ties around the world

On 7 June 1502, a royal birth took place at the Alcáçova Palace in Lisbon,
Portugal. Then the future King John III of Portugal (João III in Portuguese)
was born.

King John III of Portugal -
own picture taken in 2017 at the Jerónimos Monastery in Belém, Lisbon.


John III was the eldest son of Koing Manuel I of Portugal and his second
wife Maria of Aragon.

He was a member of the noble House of Aviz.


John III was educated by notable scholars of the time including the
astrologer Tomás de Torres, Diogo de Ortiz, Bishop of Viseu and
Luis Teixeira Lobo, one of the first Portuguese Renaissance humanists.

King João III of Portugal: Source picture Wikipedia

Love and marriage

At the age of 16, John III was chosen to marry his first cousin the 20-year-
old Eleanor of Austria, the eldest daughter of Philip the Handsome of
Austria-Burgundy and Queen Joanna of Castile. However this plan didn't
work. Instead Eleanor married John's widowed father Manuel and John
became melancholic.

John II married Catherine of Austria, the sister of emperor Charles V and
of his first fiancée. This royal couple would have nine children but most of
them died young.

King João III - Source picture: Wikipedia


On 19 December 1521, John III was crowned king in the Church of
São Domingos in Lisbon.

The first years of John's reign explorations in the Far east continued, and
the Portuguese reached China and Japan (1543).

The reign of John III was marked by active diplomacy. First of all there were
close ties with spain. He married Catherine of Austria, John's sister Isabella of
Portugal married Charles V.

John strengthened relations with the papal states by introducing the Inquisition
in Portugal. This took place in 1536. The first Grand Inquisitor was
Cardinal Henry, John's brother.

With England, John made commercial relations, just as countries of the
Baltic regions and Flanders. Portugal was the first European country which
made contact with Japan and China.

He also "made trade" with Africa inter alia with Mozambique.

John III supported the humanist cause in literature and in sciences as well.
The monarch awarded many scholarships to universities abroad.


King John III of Portugal died on 11 June 1557 at the age of 55
at the Ribeira Palace in Lisbon, Portugal.

He died of apoplexy and he was buried at the Jerónimos Monastery
in Belém.

In this magnificent place there are many beautiful portraits of the 
Kings and Queens of Portugal. That's where I had the chance to take
the first picture of this blog post. 

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