João V of Portugal (1689–1750)

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João V of Portugal (1689–1750)

João V, born on October 22, 1689, was king of Portugal from 1706 to 1750. The grandson of João IV, João V, also known as John the Magnanimous, was "neither feared nor owed," thanks to gold and diamond discoveries in Brazil. At the time largely untapped, this great wealth enabled him to build massive royal works, such as the palatial monastery at Mafra (1717–1735) and the Lisbon Aqueduct of Free Waters (1732–1748); to support cultural establishments such as the Royal Academy of History (1720); and to indulge in extended patronage of the Church. It also afforded him freedom from the Cortes, without whose intervention he ruled with increasing absolutism. João experienced recurring bouts of illness (possibly epilepsy) that worsened after 1742, and the queen, Maria Ana of Austria, assumed the regency until his death on July 31, 1750. He was succeeded by his son José I.

See alsoJoão IV of Portugal; José I of Portugal.


Almeida, Manuel Lopes de. "Portugal na Época de D. João V: Esboço de interpretação político-Cultural da primeira metade do século XVIII." In International Colloquium on Luso-Brazilian Studies. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 1953.

Boxer, Charles R. The Golden Age of Brazil, 1695–1750: Growing Pains of a Colonial Society. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1962. 2nd edition, New York: St. Martin's, 1995.

Francis, Alan David. Portugal, 1715–1808. London: Tamesis Books, 1985.

Livermore, H. V. A New History of Portugal, 2nd edition. Cambridge, U.K., and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1976.

                                     Catherine Lugar