By Jeannine Kerwin

Biographies and Portraits

Catherine of Braganza (also referred to by Wheatley as Katherine of Braganza) was the queen consort to King Charles II. Detailed web biographies are located at the following websites: 1911 Encyclopedia, BBC, Queens’ Royal Surrey Regiment and Wikipedia. Perhaps her most famous portrait is the one by Dirk Stoop, which is believed to be the portrait that Charles II saw of a very young Catherine prior to their marriage. Catherine is displayed here at a youthful age most likely around the time that Sam first saw her. The beautiful Jacob Huysman portrait depicts Catherine as Saint Catherine of Alexandria, presenting her image as a faithful servant of God whose devotion to her Catholic religion was unwavering. The National Portrait Gallery includes a collection of other portraits of Catherine over her lifetime.

Queen Catherine in the Diary

Throughout the Diary, Queen Catherine is someone that Sam hears of, perhaps sees from afar on occasion, but doesn’t directly interact with. Regardless of his distance from Catherine, his observations and reports of the Court gossip surrounding the Queen and the Court of Charles II have provided priceless insight into her life, and the world in which she lived. Sam first writes of Catherine’s contemplated arrival when he hears privately from Lord Sandwich that he has been made an Embassador by King Charles II in order to bring the Queen over from Portugal. Sam records assorted details of her life ranging from her 17 October 1661 pre-arrival dietary change in status afforded to her in her homeland, “now that the Infanta is become our Queen, she is come to have a whole hen or goose to her table, which is not ordinary” ; excitement over her arrival “At night, all the bells of the town rung, and bonfires made for the joy of the Queen’s arrival, who came and landed at Portsmouth last night”; the horribly upsetting Bedchamber Incident and his first actual sight of Catherine when Mr. Pierce

took me into Somersett House and there carried me into the Queen-Mother’s presence-chamber, where she was with our own Queen sitting on her left hand (whom I did never see before); and though she be not very charming, yet she hath a good, modest, and innocent look, which is pleasing…The King and Queen were very merry; and he would have made the Queen-Mother believe that his Queen was with child, and said that she said so. And the young Queen answered, “You lye;” which was the first English word that I ever heard her say which made the King good sport; and he would have taught her to say in English, “Confess and be hanged.” The company being gone I walked home with great content as I can be in for seeing the greatest rarity…

Sam also writes, with mixed feelings, of the neglect that Catherine felt living with a Libertine husband whose ongoing involvement with his mistress Lady Castlemaine and desire for the lovely Frances Stuart, were a sad and constant struggle for Catherine.

Sam expresses the Court’s hopes for Catherine to fulfill her role and bring forth a royal heir on both 9 Oct 1662 and again on 7 June 1663 when he shares the gossip that “Mrs. Turner, who is often at Court, do tell me to-day that for certain the Queen hath much changed her humour, and is become very pleasant and sociable as any; and they say is with child, or believed to be so.” After these fruitless attempts to carry a child, Sam notes the Queens’ visit to Tunbridge to take the waters. Sam details the weeks of harrowing illness that the Queen endured in October 1663, which nearly killed her. His writing records the early years of a marriage marred with a husband’s infidelity and neglect and a young Queen’s hopes at fulfilling her role in spite of the Court around her.

Outside of the Diary

Sam’s Diary offers rich insights into the life of this very devout, sadly neglected, yet dignified woman, and offers substance to the words of Lillias Campbell Davidson, Queen Catherine’s biographer who explains in the preface to Catherine’s biography that:

The court of the second Charles of England fluttered with dazzling and frivolous beauties. They obscured the softer light of other women who boasted only such trite and gentle virtues as womanliness, the fear of God, modesty, honesty and truth. Queen Catherine’s contemporaries detested her for her creed and her piety, for her uselessness as a political tool, for her bitter misfortune of childlessness, for the stumbling block that she innocently formed to their greed and ambition. They have left her portrait to posterity painted in malignant colours. They drew her hideous, repulsive fool, too dull to be wicked, to narrow and prudish to have a heart. It is time that the blots should be sponged from the picture. Catherine lived in her husband’s court as Lot lived in Sodom. She did justly, and loved mercy, and walked humbly with her God in the midst of a seething corruption and iniquity only equaled, perhaps, in the history of Imperial Rome. She loved righteousness and her fellows, and, above all, the one man who won her heart on the day of her marriage, and kept it till the grave shut over her. She was one of the best and purest women who ever shared the throne of England. She had equal qualities of head and heart, and both were beyond the average. It has been a pleasant and wholesome labor to trace her blameless life, and to unfold the wrappings that have long hidden the character refined and ennobled by much unnecessary suffering.

Surprisingly, and somewhat sad are the two places that Sam’s life and that of the Queens’ overlapped long after he ceased to write in his Diary. First, both Sam and Queen Catherine became targets of the Popish Plots, although the charges were unrelated to each other. Luckily for both, after each experienced a frightening set-up and horrifying scrutiny, they each emerged innocent of any of the false charges filed against them. By far, the most touching link between the two will take place as both have moved on in years and have poignantly felt the bittersweet lessons that life and maturity have afforded them . Upon her return to Lisbon many years after the death of her husband, Catherine’s biographer Lillias Campbell Davidson (p 481), tells us that:

Those who had esteemed her and loved her in the country she had left, did not now forget her. In 1700 Pepys wrote to his nephew in Portugal to wait on Lady Tuke, and if the honour of kissing the hand of the Queen-Dowager were offered him, to be sure to present to that royal lady, whom Pepys held in great honour, his profoundest duty.

Perhaps the greatest honour that Sam afforded Catherine was to present her to history, in her humanness, within the pages of his Diary. For more comments and interesting discussion about Queen Catherine please refer to the annotations below (where some of the links set forth herein have been drawn from).

Further Resources

Biographies and related non-fiction about Catherine are listed below. These books tend to be rare and may be available through your local library (with the help of the research department) or are sometimes available through the used book search.

  • Lives of the Queens of England from the Norman Conquest, (volume numbers vary depending upon edition) by Agnes Strickland
  • Catherine of Braganza, Princess of Portugal, Wife of Charles II by Manual Andrade Sousa
  • Catherine of Braganza by Janet Mackay
  • Catherine of Braganza, Infanta of Portugal and Queen Consort of England by Lillias Campbell Davidson
  • Catherine of Braganza by Hebe Elsna
  • Catarina de Braganca by Augusto Casimiro (Portuguese)
  • D. Catarina de Braganca, rainha de Inglaterra by Virginia Rau (Portuguese)
  • Richer Than Spices by Gertrude Z. Thomas (related to her dowry)
  • King’s Wife by Robert Gray (this may be available on Amazon, and also features a section on Charles II’s mother, Queen Henrietta Marie)

Additional Background

1893 text

Katherine of Braganza, daughter of John IV. of Portugal, born 1638, married to Charles II., May 21st, 1662. After the death of the king she lived for some time at Somerset House, and then returned to Portugal, of which country she became Regent in 1704 on the retirement of her brother Don Pedro. She died December 31st, 1705.

This text comes from a footnote on a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.

28 Annotations

Emilio  •  Link

Wife of Charles II, daughter of the man who regained control of Portugal after 50 years of Spanish rule, and the "Queen" that the New York borough is named for--she was in the middle of quite a few interesting events. She herself, however, lived much of here early life in a convent, and was only out a handful of times before her marriage.

This site has lots of details about her: .

Pedro.  •  Link

Catherine before Charles.
Looking in the Portuguese language for info about Catarina de Braganca (at pesent anyway)that there has been no mention of an arrangement before 1660.
However it appears that, even before the age of 8, there were negotiations for a marriage to D.Joao of Austria the natural son of Filipe IV of Spain.
Later ideas about a marriage with the Duque de Beaufort, grandson of Henrique IV.
Also a proposal by Cardinal Mazarin of marriage to Luis XIV of France. All of course fell through.
(Appologies if something is lost in translation)

Pedro.  •  Link

(Jeannine)Books On Catherine

Unfortunately Jeannine is completely right in her comments above. As Catarina spent a number of years in England, Portuguese writers would not have known much about her time here. However, some of the books have references to sources used, and they may be useful in disregarding some of the fiction.

Emilio mentions in this first annotation the New York connection, and others have told of the controversy of the revival of the statue in Queens.

This led me to Portuguese site for information with a Portuguese angle. It appears that the author of the biography Manual Souza, mentioned by Jeannine, was associated with the

Pauline  •  Link

from L&M Companion
Catherine of Braganza (1638-1705). Daughter of Juan IV, King of Portugal 1640-56, and from 1662, wife of Charles II. Unequipped by nature or upbringing to play any part in public affairs, she remained to the end a very private person. She had to suffer exile and the neglect and infidelities of her husband. In the end Charles came to respect her and stoutly defended her against the attacks made on her during the Popish Plot. She amused herself with cards and music, and consoled herself with her religion.

She took over Somerset House when Henrietta-Maria left Elgland in 1665 and as a widow lived both there and at the nunnery she had founded at Hammersmith. She left England in 1692 to spend her last years in Portugal, where she acted as Regent to her brother Pedro in 1704-5.

Jeannine  •  Link

Thanks to Pedro for the poems and the commentary about the controversy, which still exists today. I've read several articles or book excerpts that basically rip Catherine apart. A section on Edward Montague in "The Way of the Montagues" by Bernard Falk was EXTREMELY mean spirited and "The King's Wife" by Robert Gray was also quite negative, while "Royal Survivor" by Stephen Coote practically made her invisible.

On the flip side, Antonia Fraser's "King Charles II", Derek Wilson's "All the King's Women", Manual Sousa's "Catherine of Braganza..." ( a biography)along with Agnes Strickland's "Lives of Queens" (another biography)presented a more factual, kinder and dignified picture.

What is true in all writing about her (good or bad)is that Catherine was pious, unquestionable faithful (which can not be said about ANY of his mistresses), simple in nature and totally unprepared for the morally depraved husband and court that he surrounded himself with and forced her to live with. She was basically imprisioned, ridiculed, neglected and alone.

Also of interesting character note is that she was the ONLY person in Charles's life that NEVER betrayed him or carried a hidden agenda in her dealings with him(like his friends, mistresses or even his beloved sister Henrietta who had conflciting ties with Louis XIV). Even after years of neglect when she did have the chance to return to Portugal (during the Popish polts) she stood behind him,risking her own life in doing so, which was to HIS benefit politically, while Nell and Louise (his mistresses) openly betrayed him (and were of course forgiven).

The only light hearted and uplifting book is by Count de Gramont who actually lived during this time. His "Memoirs of the Courts of Europe --Court of Charles II" recorded the soap opera antics around him and painted a pathetically comical picture of Charles and his court, which although it would have been wonderful reality TV today, must have been awful for any person with even the slightest intelligence and/ or moral character to survive. After reading this it made the thought of moving into a exile (ie. Catherine's solo move to Somerset from about 1671-1678 about 10 years into her marriage) look pretty appealing.

Pedro.  •  Link

On July 2nd 1661, Charles sends letter to Catarina.

"London, 2d of July, 1661. MY LADY AND WIFE,"

"Already the ambassador has set off for Lisbon; for me the signing of
the marriage has been great happiness; and there is about to be
dispatched at this time, after him, one of my servants, charged with
what would appear necessary, whereby may be declared on my part the
inexpressible joy of this felicitous conclusion, which, when received,
will hasten the coming of your majesty."

"I am going to make a short progress into some of my provinces. In the
mean time, while I am going further from my most sovereign good, yet
I do not complain as to whither I go; seeking in vain tranquility in
my restlessness, looking to see the beloved person of your majesty in
these realms already your own; and that with the same anxiety with
which, after my long banishment, I desired to see myself within them,
and my subjects desiring also to behold me among them. The presence
of your serenity is only wanting to unite us, under the protection of
God, in the health and content I desire.

"The very faithful husband of her majesty, whose hand he kisses.

The letter was addressed

"To the QUEEN OF GREAT BRITAIN, my wife and lady, whom God preserve."
"London, 2d of July, 1661. MY LADY AND WIFE,"

History of Charles II by Jacob Abbott

Jeannine  •  Link

Biographies on Catherine

I was able to locate 3 of the actual "Biographies" on Catherine, which are rare and out of print, but only 2 are worth the read.

The first, by Lillias Campbell Davidson, called "Catherine of Braganca, infanta of Portugal & queen consort of England" is referenced in almost all other books and biographies about her since it came out in 1908. It is very thorough (500+ pages), kind hearted yet factual in it's approach to both Catherine and Charles and includes about 80 or so of her letters back and forth to her brother Pedro, and her last will and testament, which give a feel for her "voice" --something which all of the other books about her seem to lack. The dedication itself is lovely and reads "To the people of Portugal who gave their princess throughout her life love, loyalty, devotion and by who in her death she is not forgotten". An interesting quote from one of her letters to Pedro (page 467)starts out "Supposing God is everywhere, yet He is as much forgoten here as if that were not so"...which sums up most of her life experience in England.

The second by Janet Mackay is "Catherine of Braganza" published in 1937. Not as long as the other biography but factual and not open to too much "poetic license" or biased interpretation. It covers a lot of key points that other authors (historical fiction) have obviously drawn on in their writings about Catherine.

The third by Hebe Elsna, "Catherine of Bragana" seemed more like a historical fiction as there was more interpretation of character, etc. On this I'd pass.

Finally as mentioned above in an earlier note, the books by Manual Sousa "Catherine of Braganza: Princess of Portugal Wife of Charles II" and the Agnes Strickland series "Lives of the Queens of England from the Norman Conquest" (volume numbers vary) are worth searching for too.

In the US these and other books about Catherine, (some in Portugese, which I can't read myself), are available through the Library of Congress Online Catalog at
If you do a keyword search on her name, it will pull up listing of the biographies and the fiction. From there I took the listing to my local town library and had the reference librarian do her magic thing ~~ she was able to take the information and find all 3 books I was interested in through a local search tool. The 3 books were all in different local university libraries. They then send for them. A little work, but worth the effort AND FREE!

In the UK the British Library at has a service where you can search and then either have the book sent to your local library or the London reference room (depends on the book). If you are interested, they have a department called articles direct that will actually copy a book and send it to you for a fee--please note, the copying costs won't kill you, but the copyright costs, assessed per chapter, possibly could --so get a quote before hand if you go this option.

Happy reading!

Pedro Ornelas  •  Link

Here's a web page (in Portuguese) on Catarina de Bragan

Pedro  •  Link

The Marriage Treaty.

Below is information (from Virginia Rau's biography), that I do not think we have had access to before.

1. England had wanted to take charge of Tangier before the marriage took place. Freedom of Religion would be granted to those Portuguese that stayed on.

2. The handover of Bombay would not only be a commercial advantage, but would allow the English a base from which to defend the Portuguese traders.

3. Portugal ceded all the fortresses and markets that England could recuperate from the Dutch and that had belonged to Portugal. Except that of the Port of Mascate (Now the capital of Oman, and the Portuguese had seized it in the early 1500

Jeannine  •  Link

Background on the Queen

Jeannine  •  Link

Catherine's marriage to Charles was critical to the independence of Portugal so as Donna Luisa negotiated this deal she promised Charles a large sum of money. When Sandwich arrived to collect the sums Donna Luisa admitted to him that most of the money was gone. Although she had the money to begin with, she had spent most of it when the Spanish army began invading Portugal. She was only able to pay half of the sum. At this time she was taking a huge chance that Sandwich would accept the offer (and Sandwich was taking a huge career chance by accepting the offer), but accept he did, and Portugal owed him immensely for this decision. When Catherine entered the ship Donna Luisa filled it with teas, spices, her jewelery, or anything she could find to fill the void of the money owed. She was desperate to have this marriage consummated. The small sum of gold that Catherine had for Sandwich was all that she had to give. Also, this can

Jeannine  •  Link

Catherine's family.

Pepys says on May 24, 1662

Jeannine  •  Link

Notes on the wedding of Charles and Catherine.
Charles and Catherine actually got married twice but Pepys wouldn

Jeannine  •  Link

Letters from Catherine's Mother Luisa.
In the Portuguese book, "Dona Catarina de Braganca" (currently being translated by Pedro) the author Augusto Casimiro expands upon the work of her previous biographers, providing insights not only into the life of Catherine, but also Portuguese-English political climate, the Portuguese culture and her family relations. Casimiro's biography includes family letters, currently housed in the Ajuda Palace in Lisbon. The following letters by Queen Regent Luisa to Catherine and her son-in-law King Charles II (written in her distinct version of old world Spanish and as translated by Dirk) touch on the private side of Catherine's departure to England and the private sadness behind the highly formal and stoic departure of Catherine from her family and reveal a side of her mother Luisa not publicly seen. In addition, the letter to Charles perhaps touches on a world-wise mother's instinct to protect her sheltered daughter from heartache, and has an almost haunting foreboding of the difficulties to come, as Charles, with his appetite for women always looked to the physical as opposed to the soul.

dirk  •  Link

The first letter is dated the 24th April, after Luisa has said her goodbye to her daughter. She watches from the Palace windows where she can see the Tejo river and the fleet. The fleet was held up for a day, and she must have given her brothers permission to go over and see Catarina again. In the evening they arranged a great party on the river in her tribute.

My Catarina and all I have,

Such is my misfortune that I even had to watch you enter that ship in which you left me, from these windows that ever since I have looked through so often.

Praise be to God if it be His will that I miss so much so badly, and do not even find it in me to ask Him for patience... So necessary for me since what I have to do is so contrary to my nature.

And be assured, my daughter, that I miss you so much that, were I not confined to this prison, it seems I myself would follow you, but [?] I act with care and stay away from extremes, as you well know. I ask you, for all my love, that you try to find pleasure as well you can, and see if you have need of anything, or of something which they advise you may be missing in your Kingdom - so that I can gladly send it to you.

Your brothers are very sad and Pedro has been weeping a lot overhere. They asked for my permission to go and see you, and I gave it with much envy and in the knowledge that such a consolation was not for me to expect.

I hope all will assist you well and I entrust them with this charge, [?] in memory of my Catarina, whom God may protect as He see fit.

You Mother who loves you so much,

The Queen

Note: I inserted "[?]" at some places in the translation of this letter - and the two to follow - where the meaning of the original Spanish was not unambiguously clear or where marginally different interpretations of the original could lead to slight differences in translation. These minor difficulties arise mainly from "odd" informal use of the language and almost total lack of punctuation, and are generally not important for the understanding of the contents.

(Feel free to mail me for the original text in "old" Spanish...)

dirk  •  Link

The second letter is dated 25th April.

My Catarina, light of my eyes,

I am better at feeling sadness than at telling you about it. I do not know whether this is because I am trying not to show my sadness to others, but I have to tell you that I love you and that my worst torture is the loneliness that remained when you left, which is only broken by moments of profound resignation [?].

And I have done what you told me and always sleep in a hood. And I have been told that you have everything you need, but you know that I care very much, so let me know when there is anything you have need of, so that I may send it off without delay, for I do not know what this might be, and do let me know if there is anything that you like - for everything is yours, child of my soul.

You know of my many duties, and I have been busy at night with so many letters that I have not been able to reply to yours. Nor can I tell you how much I regret the impertinencies they will impose on you. You will just have to answer that "the application of justice is not in my hand", and "that I cannot reply without consulting the ministers."

God guard you, my child, and give you His blessing, for I go now and ask for it, and I am grateful that the convent [?] has been so considerate as to exempt me from all other exercises to allow me to do this. I want you to know that I have had the Bishop of Targa send you his blessing through the window.

Your mother who adores you,

The Queen

dirk  •  Link

The date of the third letter is not clear, but may be 25th so as to depart with the fleet.

My Lord and son,

At last Your Majesty has taken away my heart, and this with such gentleness, that I will freely tell Your Majesty of the sorrow in which I find myself now that my daughter has left. And I hope that she will be onto Your Majesty a fair companion, and better, if you look deep into her soul, rather than at her person, where you will find that among other virtues, she has brightness, seriousness, and judgment without artificiality, capable of pleasing such a generous soul as Your Majesty's. And time will show that Your Majesty has not only gained a wife to be, but also a mother.

That God lead her into your arms [or: into your sight], Your Majesty, and that he may bring me the good news I need to dry my tears. And that it may please Your Majesty that I now have two children, and that I have the same love for both, and offer not part but all of it to Your Majesty.

God guard Your Majesty for as many years as He see fit.

This mother who loves you very much.

Luisa, The Queen

The dates given for these three letters are of course according to the continental, Gregorian calendar. For the British equivalent, substract 10 days.

Pedro  •  Link

Poems, Catarina and tea.

In a previous entry, in the above list, I had found two poems showing the view of Catarina, against and for

Ruben  •  Link

the first adress cited by Pedro for a portrait last year is not available whitout registering. (something I refrain from doing)
David cites the NPG were we can see small reproductions.
You can see a better reproduction of the most known portrait at:
But the sweetest is the one Pedro posted last October: a young princess full of life.

dirk  •  Link

Dancing, balls & Queen Catherine

"Sinais de controvérsia: D. Catarina de Bragança em dois poemas seiscentistas ingleses", by the Portuguese author Maria da Conceição Emiliano Castel-Branco, discusses “The Queen’s Ball”, a satirical poem from 1670, by Andrew Marvell (?):

"The court of Charles II was a cosmopolitan affair, full of life, overly mundane, very different from the more reserved, to some extent antiquated and clerical court that Catarina had left behind. Theatre, music, dance were the preferred forms of entertainment. In an attempt to conform with the King and his subjects, who loved these activities, the Queen even went so far as to take dancing lessons, organized balls and even danced herself. All this led to a lot of criticism from the puritans, who blamed D. Catarina not only for being a papist (as they called catholics in England at the time) but even worse: a frivolous papist.

The base of this poem is the ever present duality between appearance and reality: [...] the Queen is referred to in superlatives (“great Queen”; “Fairy Queen”) thus apparently expressing sympathy and approval; but this approach is replaced further on by less favourable references to the Queen, using strong vocabulary, biting and cruel (“Reform [...] the errors of your youth”; “pug”; “puppet Queen”). The poet notes also that she had to dance in order to be noticed (“You must dance, and dance damnably to be seen”), but she is then criticized further for dancing like a gnome, a shame to humanity (“Ill natur’d little goblin, and design’d/ For nothing but to dance and vex mankind”) and an outright dissapointment (“You can the most aspiring thoughts pull down,/For who would have his wife to have his crown?”)."

The poem:

"The Queen’s Ball"

Reform, great Queen, the errors of your youth,
And hear a thing you never heard, call’d truth:
Poor private balls content the Fairy Queen;
You must dance, and dance damnably, to be seen.
Ill-natur’d little goblin, and design’d
For nothing but to dance and vex mankind,
What wiser thing could our great Monarch do
Than root ambition out by showing you?
You can the most aspiring thoughts pull down,
For who would have his wife to have his crown?
With a white vizard you may cheat our eyes;
You know a black one would be no disguise.
See in her mouth a sparkling diamond shine!
The first good thing that e’er came from that mine.
Heav’n some great curse upon that hand dispense,
That for th’increase of mischief sent her hence!
How gracefully she moves and strives to lug
A weight of riches that might sink the pug!
Such fruits ne’er loaded so deform’d a tree:
Her jewels may be match’d, but never she.
If bold Actæon in the waves had seen
In fair Diana’s room our puppet Queen,
He would have fled and in his full career,
For greater haste, have wish’d himself a deer,
Preferr’d the bellies of his dogs to hers,
And thought’em the more cleanly sepulchres.
What stupid madman would not choose to have
The settl’d rest and silence of a grave
Rather than such a hell, which always burns,
And from whom Nature forbids all returns?
Ormonde looks paler now than when he rid:
Your visit frights him more than Tyburn did.
Fear of your coming does not only make
Worcester’s wise Marquis but his house to shake.
What will be next unless you mean to go
And dance among your fellow-fiends below?
There, as upon the Stygian Lake you float,
You may o’erset and sink the laden boat,
While we the funeral rites devoutly pay,
And dance for joy that you’re danced away.

[The translation from Portuguese is my own.]

Emre  •  Link

I think one would do well to remember the relative positions of Henriette Marie (q. of Charles I) and Catherine. One spent 10 years building up enmity at Court, in Parliament and in the country; the other spent 10 years building up goodwill. It is interesting to note that during the second Test Act that the Queen's household was exempted; moreover, this was not from respect for her as a foreign princess. I do not have access to parliamentary records now, but it would be well to look into them again. They read like a vindication of her behaviour. She might have been unsuited to life at the Restoration Court, but her very "unsuitedness" what saved her (in the late 1670s and early 1680s) and her husband a great deal of grief. Can anyone imagine the situation in England in 1680 if Henriette Marie had been queen?!

Dave  •  Link

Can Catherine be connected to the Azores? I have traced the Freitas Family (very common name)back to 1700 in the Azores (San Jorge). Then it stops abruptly. My suspicion is that her return to Portugal is related to the immigration of the Freitas name to the Azores, perhaps from the Low Countries or from England. (Much like the Duchess of Burgundy in the 15th C.) So far I have found little factual support for this thesis.

Joseph  •  Link

Emre you raised a very interesting point. Can you give any more details about the parliamentary records?

Bill  •  Link

The manners of this princess, especially at her first appearance at court, retained a strong tincture of the convent; and were but ill formed to please, much less to reclaim, the polite and dissolute Charles. She at first rejected the English dress, and the attendance of English ladies; and chose to appear in the formal habit of her own country, and be attended by her duegnas, whose persons were the scorn and the jest of every courtier. She, for some time, carried herself towards the royal mistress with all the disdain which she thought became her dignity and virtue: but when she saw that the king was resolved to retain her, she suddenly fell into the other extreme, and treated her with such excessive affability and condescension, as lost the little esteem he had for her. The first years of her marriage were rendered unhappy by almost every passion that could disturb a female mind. At length, every spark of conjugal affection seemed to be extinguished, and she sunk into all the tranquillity of indifference.
---A Biographical History of England. J. Granger, 1779.

Bill  •  Link

CATHERINE of Braganza (1638-1705), queen of Charles II; born at Villa Vicosa; her father king of Portugal in 1640; her education utterly neglected; marriage with Charles, prince of Wales, proposed for her by her father, 1645; renewed proposals made by the Portuguese for her marriage with Charles II, May 1660; proposals opposed by the Spanish party, on the ground of her probable barrenness; the match determined upon by Charles II, acting under French influence, November 1660-March 1661; formal intimation of the match well received in England and enthusiastically in Portugal; marriage treaty signed, 23 June 1661; Catherine sailing for England, 28 April 1662, and reaching Portsmouth, 13 May; privately married, 21 May; arrived at Hampton Court, 29 May; compelled by Charles to receive at court his mistress, Lady Castlemaine, July; arrived at Whitehall, 23 Aug.; submissively accepted Charles IIs infidelities; showed kindness to his illegitimate children, and lived mostly at Somerset House, and not at court, being often in great poverty through non-payment of her allowances; tried to obtain from the pope recognition of Portuguese independence, 1662; seriously ill, October 1663; kept court in Oxford during the plague of London, 1665-6; proposals rumoured for dissolution of her marriage on account of her childlessness, 1667-70; complaints made of the concourse of English people to her chapel services, 1667; went a progress in the eastern counties, 1671; assailed by the whigs as privy to the 'popish plot,' 1678-680, but protected by Charles; attended the Oxford parliament, 1681; again abandoned by Charles for the Duchess of Portsmouth; instrumental in securing Charles II's deathbed profession of Romanism, February 1685; afterwards lived in retirement at Somerset House and Hammersmith; vainly begged James II to spare Monmouth; present at the birth of the Prince of Wales, 10 June 1688; gave evidence as to his legitimacy before the council; tried to recover damages from Henry, earl of Clarendon, her late chamberlain, for negligence in money matters; visited by William of Orange, but soon quarrelled with both William and Mary; travelled through France and Spain, reaching Lisbon, January 1693; resided near Lisbon; regent for her brother Pedro, 1704-5; favoured Italian music; unpopular in consequence of her ignorance of affairs, her haughtiness to her household, and her parsimony.
---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.

Bill  •  Link

Catharine of Portugal, was daughter of John IV. and wife of Charles II. of England whom she married 1661. She was treated with unkindness by the licentious Charles, and after his death she returned to Portugal, where she was made regent during the imbecile state of her brother Peter. She conquered the Spaniards, and died 1705. Age 67.
---Universal biography. J. Lemprière, 1810.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.