MARRIAGE OF CHARLES II AND CATHERINE OF BRAGANZA
BOWER, George: England, 1662?, Iron, 53 mm
Catherine of Braganza (1638-1705), was the daughter of John IV of Portugal. In order to effect an alliance between Portugal and England, negotiations were pursued for Charles II of England to marry Catherine soon after the Restoration. Catherine married Charles in 1662, becoming his queen consort, in spite of Spanish and Dutch opposition. As part of the dowry England secured Tangier and Bombay, valuable trading privileges, religious and commercial freedom in Portugal and two million Portuguese crowns, in return for military and naval support to be given to Portugal against Spain and the liberty of worship for Catherine. Catherine tolerated Charles' many mistresses and was kind to his bastard children. Charles, in turn, generally treated her well, although she always played a secondary role at court. As a Roman Catholic, Catherine was attacked by the inventors of the Popish Plot. Titus Oates accused her of a design to poison the king and brought a charge of high treason against her. She was saved from trial through the intervention of her husband. After Charles' death in 1685, Catherine maintained good relations with William and Mary but her practice of her religion forced her to leave England for Portugal. Nevertheless she still fostered the alliance between Portugal and England. During the illness of her brother Pedro II, she was appointed regent of Portugal. In her will she left her considerable wealth to King Pedro.
LINK to Popish Plot (from history learning site)