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John IV of Portugal

John IV (Portuguese João) (1603-1656), the Fortunate, king of Portugal, was born at Villaviciosa in March 1603.

He succeeded his father, Teodosio II, as Duke of Braganza in 1630, and married Luisa de Guzman, eldest daughter of the duke of Medina Sidonia, in 1633. By the unanimous voice of the people he was raised to the throne of Portugal (of which he was held to be the legitimate heir) during the revolution effected on December 1, 1640 against the Spanish king, Philip IV.

His accession led to a protracted war with Spain, which only ended with the recognition of Portuguese independence in a subsequent reign (1668). Portugal signed alliances with France (June 1 1641) and Sweden (Aug 1641) but by necessity her only contribution in the Thirty Years War were in the field against Spain and against Dutch encroachments on the Portuguese colonial empire. In Iberia, a Spanish invasion was defeated at Montijo (1650). Abroad, the Dutch took Malacca (Jan 1641) and the Sultan of Oman captured Muscat (1648). However by 1654 most of Brazil was back in Portuguese hands and had effectiveley ceased to be a vable Dutch colony. This was countered by the loss of Sri Lanka to the Dutch who took Colombo in 1656.

King John IV died on November 6, 1656, and was succeeded by his son Afonso VI.

Preceded by:
D. Felipe III
(also ruled Spain
as Philip IV of Spain
List of Portuguese monarchs Succeeded by:
D. Afonso VI

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.