Fernando VII

Fernando VII

b. 14 Oct 1784, San Lorenzo (now San Lorenzo de El Escorial)
d. 29 Sep 1833, Madrid

Title: Por la gracia de Dios, Rey de Castilla, de León, de Aragón, de las dos Sicilias, de Jerusalén, de Navarra, de Granada, de Toledo, de Valencia, de Galicia, de Mallorca, de Menorca, de Sevilla, de Cerdeña, de Córdoba, de Córcega, de Murcia, de Jaén, del Algarve, de Algeciras, de Gibraltar, de las Islas Canarias, de las Indias Orientales y Occidentales, de las Islas y Tierrafirme del Continente Oceánico, Archiduque de Austria, Duque de Borgoña, de Brabante y de Milán, Conde de Abspurg, de Flandes, del Tirol y de Barcelona, Señor de Vizcaya y de Molina, etc. (By the Grace of God, King of Castile, of Leon, of Aragon, of the Two Sicilies, of Jerusalem, of Navarre, of Granada, of Toledo, of Valencia, of Galicia, of Mallorca, of Minorca, of Seville, of Sardinia, of Cordoba, of Corsica, of Murcia, of Jaen, of the Algarve, of Algeciras, of Gibraltar, of the Canary Islands, of the East and West Indies, of the Islands and Mainland of the Ocean Continent, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy, of Brabant and Milan, Count of Habsburg, of Flanders, of Tyrol, and of Barcelona, Lord of Vizcaya and of Molina, etc.)
Term: 19 Mar 1808 - 6 May 1808
Chronology: 19 Mar 1808, succeeded to the throne and proclaimed king at Aranjuez, near Madrid, in accordance with the letter of abdication of his father, Carlos IV (dated 19 Mar 1808, Aranjuez) [1], who shortly thereafter retracted the abdication and continued to assert his continuance in office until being compelled to sign final abdication of 5 May 1808 [2]
6 May 1808, signed the letter of abdication in favor of his father, Carlos IV (dated 6 May 1808, Bayonne) [3]
Term: 11 Aug 1808 - 9 Mar 1820
11 Aug 1808, Consejo de Castilla (Council of Castile) passed an act declaring abdication of Fernando VII null and void [4]
24 Aug 1808, proclaimed king in absentia in Madrid [5]
11 Dec 1813, a treaty of peace between Napoléon I and Fernando VII signed at Valençay, France, providing in Art. 3 for restoration and international recognition of Fernando VII as monarch (Council of Regency, governing Spain in absence of the king, refused to observe the treaty unless the king accepts the Constitution) [6]
24 Mar 1814, resumed the exercise of royal authority upon entering the territory controlled by the Spanish national government (crossed technical border between France and Spain on 22 Mar 1814 and remained in the French-occupied area until 24 Mar 1814) [7]
Title: Por la gracia de Dios y la Constitución de la Monarquía Española, Rey de las Españas (By the Grace of God and Constitution of the Spanish Monarchy, King of the Spains)
Term: 9 Mar 1820 - 1 Oct 1823
9 Mar 1820, sworn in as constitutional monarch, meeting of the Junta provisional de Gobierno (Provisional Junta of Government), Palacio Real, Madrid [8]
9 Jul 1820, sworn in as constitutional monarch, session of the Cortes, Madrid [9]
Title: Por la gracia de Dios, Rey de Castilla, de León, de Aragón, de las dos Sicilias, de Jerusalén, de Navarra, de Granada, de Toledo, de Valencia, de Galicia, de Mallorca, de Menorca, de Sevilla, de Cerdeña, de Córdoba, de Córcega, de Murcia, de Jaén, del Algarve, de Algeciras, de Gibraltar, de las Islas Canarias, de las Indias Orientales y Occidentales, de las Islas y Tierrafirme del Continente Oceánico, Archiduque de Austria, Duque de Borgoña, de Brabante y de Milán, Conde de Abspurg, de Flandes, del Tirol y de Barcelona, Señor de Vizcaya y de Molina, etc. (By the Grace of God, King of Castile, of Leon, of Aragon, of the Two Sicilies, of Jerusalem, of Navarre, of Granada, of Toledo, of Valencia, of Galicia, of Mallorca, of Minorca, of Seville, of Sardinia, of Cordoba, of Corsica, of Murcia, of Jaen, of the Algarve, of Algeciras, of Gibraltar, of the Canary Islands, of the East and West Indies, of the Islands and Mainland of the Ocean Continent, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy, of Brabant and Milan, Count of Habsburg, of Flanders, of Tyrol, and of Barcelona, Lord of Vizcaya and of Molina, etc.)
Term: 1 Oct 1823 - 29 Sep 1833
1 Oct 1823, issued a manifest proclaiming the restoration of royal authority and revocation of all constituional provisions as enacted by the monarch under duress [10]
29 Sep 1833, died
Names/titles: Baptised (14 Oct 1784): Fernando María Francisco de Paula Domingo Vicente Ferrer Antonio José Joaquín Pascual Diego Juan Nepomuceno Genaro Francisco Francisco Javier Rafael Miguel Gabriel Calixto Cayetano Fausto Luis Ramón Gregorio Lorenzo Jerónimo de Borbón y de Borbón-Parma; Príncipe de Asturias (Prince of Asturias) [from 14 Dec 1788]
Other offices: Rey de Navarra (King of Navarre) as Fernando III [19 Mar 1808 - 6 May 1808, 11 Aug 1808 - 29 Sep 1833];
did not respond to the offers to accept the following offices:
in Cundinamarca (Colombia): Por la gracia de Dios y por la voluntad y consentimiento del pueblo, legítima y constitucionalmente representado, Rey de los cundinamarqueses, etc. (By the Grace of God and by the Consent of the legitimately and constitutionally represented People, King of the Cundinamarquese) [4 Apr 1811 - 19 Jul 1813];
in Mexico: Emperador de México (Emperor of Mexico) [invited to accept the title in Art. 3 of the Treaty of Cordova signed on 24 Aug 1821; the treaty was declared to be null and void by the Cortes on 13 Feb 1822]
Biography:
Eldest son of King Carlos IV and María Luisa Teresa de Parma; was privately tutored, principally by Juan de Escoiquiz; excluded from active participation in the court politics dominated by the Queen's favourite, Manuel de Godoy y Álvarez de Faria; took part in an unsuccessful conspiracy of liberals (1807); arrested by Carlos IV in person, but then pardoned (decree of 5 Nov 1807); quickly made use of coerced and later retracted abdication of his father, gaining recognition as king (19 Mar 1808) in Aranjuez; entered Madrid (24 Mar 1808) occupied by the French troops (since 23 Mar 1808) under Joachim Murat, grand-duc de Berg et de Clèves; left the capital (10 Apr 1808) [11] to meet with Napoléon Ier seen as ultimate arbiter in the quarrel between Fernando and Carlos IV, who communicated his retraction of the abdication to Murat (received 29 Mar 1808); crossed Spanish border (20 Apr 1808) and was taken into custody by the French guards; met Napoléon and Carlos IV at Bayonne, France; was forced to return the crown to Carlos IV (abdication dated 6 May 1808); left Bayonne (10 May 1808); ratified, at a way-stop at Bordeaux (12 May 1808), a treaty under which he consented to his father's abdication in favour of Napoléon; arrived at Valençay, France (18 May 1808), where lived until 1814; his abdication presumed to have been signed under duress was declared null and void by the Council of Castile (11 Aug 1808); resistance against French invasion was carried out in the name of the king, culminating in appointment of regencies [12] and promulgation of the Constitution of Cádiz (12 Mar 1812); signed the Treaty of Valençay (11 Dec 1813), restoring him to the throne of Spain; determined to repudiate the constitutional monarchy, returned to Spain (1814); decreed the abolition of the Constitution of 1812 as promulgated without his consent and in his absence (decree dated 4 May 1814, made public and implemented 11 May 1814); ordered the arrests of leaders of liberal government in Madrid (night of 10/11 May 1814) and dissolution of the Cortes; completed the restoration with entrance into Madrid (13 May 1814); established tyrannical regime, persecuting the liberals; in view of a series of liberal revolts, consented to acceptance of the Constitution (decree of 7 Mar 1820) and convoked the Cortes (22 Mar 1820); during the period known as Trienio Liberal (Three Liberal Years, 1820-1823), governed as constitutional monarch; suppressed the inquisition and dissolved the conservative Camarilla, a group of influential courtiers; increasingly at odds with liberal governments, obtained a leave of absence from the Cortes (13 Mar 1823) on the pretext of poor health; left Madrid with the court (20 Mar 1823) and moved to Seville (arrived 10 Apr 1823); empowered by the Congress of Verona, France invaded Spain (7 Apr 1823) to restore the absolutism of the Borbon dynasty; the king implicitly attempted to hinder the measures for defence against the invading troops; refused to leave Seville, and did so only after he had been declared "morally incapacitated" (11 Jun 1823); left Seville for San Fernando (Isla de León), an island near Cádiz, where arrived on 15 Jun 1823; after the defeat of the Constitutionalists and the siege of Cádiz, was permitted to return to mainland; arrived at Puerto de Santa María (1 Oct 1823) and immediately repudiated the Constitution; embarked on restoration of absolutist regime, purging the liberals and practicing "ministerial despotism" (Década Ominosa, 1823-1833); restored succession of females to the Spanish throne; being gravely ill, authorized his spouse, María Cristina, to make executive decisions (6 Oct 1832 - 4 Jan 1833); enacted the Pragmática Sanción (Pragmatic Sanction) to secure the succession of his daughter, Isabel II; during the reign of Fernando VII, Spain lost almost all American colonies, except for Cuba and Puerto Rico (and later, Santo Domingo recovered briefly).
Biographical sources: "Antecedentes y comienzos del reinado de Fernando VII", by Manuel Izquierdo Hernández (Madrid: Cultura Hispánica, 1963); Gaceta extraordinaria de Madrid, del domingo 29 de Setiembre de 1833. Núm. 119 (obituary).

[1] Gazeta de Madrid, del viernes 25 de Marzo de 1808. Núm. 25. PP. 297-298.
[2] Terrified by the news of arrest of his favourite, Godoy, and acts of violence in the course of popular revolt, Carlos IV signed his letter of abdication at Aranjuez, 19 Mar 1808. Encouraged by support of Murat, who opposed the accession of Fernando VII, Carlos IV sent a letter (dated 21 Mar 1808, Aranjuez) to the commander-in-chief of the French troops, informing him of his retraction of the abdication.
[3] Gazeta de Madrid, del viernes 13 de mayo de 1808. Núm. 46. PP. 458-459. Although logically preceding the abdication of Carlos IV in favour of Napoléon (dated 5 May 1808), the abdication of Fernando VII bears the date of 6 May 1808.
[4] Gazeta de Madrid, del viernes, 19 de Agosto de 1808. Núm. 115. P. 1041.
[5] Gazeta de Madrid, del martes, 6 de Setiembre de 1808. Núm. 120. PP. 1119-1125.
[6] "Antecedentes y comienzos...", op. cit. PP. 666-668.
[7] Gazeta de Madrid, del viernes 25 de Marzo de 1808. Núm. 25. PP. 297-298.
[8] Gaceta extraordinaria de Madrid, del jueves 9 de Marzo de 1820. Núm. 34. P. 251.
[9] Diario de las sesiones de Cortes: legislatura de 1820: Esta legislatura dió principio en 26 de Junio de 1820 y terminó en 9 de Noviembre del mismo año (Madrid: Imprenta de J.A. García, 1871-1873). Tomo I. Número 5. P. 16.
[10] Gaceta de Madrid, martes 7 de Octubre de 1823. Núm. 93. P. 343.
[11] Represented in Madrid (10 Apr 1808 - 4 May 1808) by his uncle, Antonio Pascual de Borbón (in full: Antonio Pascual Francisco Javier Juan Nepomuceno Aniello Raimundo Sylvestre de Borbón y Sajonia), as Presidente de la Junta superior de gobierno (appointed 9 Apr 1808; enters the office upon Fernando's departure 10 Apr 1810, leaves Madrid 4 May 1808); immediately upon the leave of Antonio Pascual, Murat informed the Junta that he assumes the presidency of this body and was approved in the office by the Junta (4 May 1808); he was appointed Lugarteniente General del Reino with the right to preside at the meetings of the Junta by the decree of Carlos IV (dated 4 May 1808, Bayonne; received by Murat in Madrid 7 May 1808) and exercised his duties until 17 Jun 1808, when he also left for Bayonne.
[12] Provisional bodies set up in Spain during the war of independence (Junta Central Suprema Gubernativa, Consejo de Regencia, Regencia provisional del Reino, and Regencia del Reino) governed in the name of Fernando VII (promulgation of laws under formula: "Don Fernando VII, por la gracia de Dios y por la Constitución de la monarquía Española, Rey de las Españas y en su ausencia y cautividad la Regencia del Reino, nombrada por las Cortes generales y extraordinarias" in 1813-1814). However, the Regencia del Reino refused to transfer executive authority to the king unless he took an oath to maintain the Constitution of 1812, a provision which was never implemented until 10 May 1814, when the Regencia was dissolved by force.
Last updated on: 26 Jun 2009 04:11:25