Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Catherine of Braganza
CATHERINE of Braganza (1638–1705), queen consort of Charles II, was born on 15-25 Nov. 1638, at the palace of Villa Viçosa, situated in the Portuguese province of Alemtejo. Her father John, duke of Braganza, who became king of Portugal in 1640, was at the time of her birth the most powerful of the nobility of Portugal. Her mother, Louisa de Gusman, daughter of the Duke of Medina Sidonia, the great Spanish noble, possessed a vigorous understanding that gave her great influence over the sluggish temper of her husband. Catherine was her parents' third child, and was born on St. Catherine's day. She was eighteen when, in 1656, her father died. One of his last acts was to grant her certain estates, including the island of Madeira, the city of Lamego, and the town of Moura, for the maintenance of her court (Sousa, Historia Genealogica da Casa Real Portugueza, vii. 283, and Provas, num. 36). Her younger brother Alfonso now became king under the regency of Queen Louisa.
From an early age Catherine was looked upon as a useful instrument for the establishment of friendly relations between her country and England. Not content with the commercial treaty of 1642, King John proposed in 1645 that his daughter should become the wife of Charles, prince of Wales (Quadro Elementar, xvii. 54; cf. Charles I's Works, i. 247, ed. 1649), but the proposal came to nothing, although in 1646 and in 1647 (Quadro Elementar, xviii. 56, 57) some notion of an English marriage still seems to have been entertained in Portugal. In 1654 Cromwell renewed the treaty of 1642, and in 1659 the professed abandonment of Portugal by France at the treaty of the Pyrenees made English support more necessary than ever.
The unsettled condition of the English government left little to be hoped for. Yet in April 1660, Dom Francisco de Mello, the Portuguese ambassador, succeeded in negotiating a new alliance with the council of state (ib. xvii. 118). As soon as the Restoration seemed probable, he sounded Monck as to the prospects of renewing the old project of marrying the restored king to the infanta (ib. xvii. 221; Eachard, History of England, p. 81; Kennet, Register and Chronicle, p. 394). Charles's return in May was immediatelv followed by a formal proposal of the alliance. The terms offered were very tempting: Tangiers, to command the mouth of the Mediterranean; Bombay, with full trading privileges in the Indies; religious and commercial freedom for English subjects in Portugal, and the vast portion of two millions of crusados (about 300,000l.) Protection from Spain and Holland, full yet defined liberty of catholic worship for the infanta, were trifling concessions for such great advantages. In a secret council at Clarendon's house, Charles expressed his willingness to proceed with the matter, and in the autumn Mello, confident of a successful conclusion, returned to Portugal to get further instructions. There the alliance was hailed with rapture. 'A good peace with England was regarded as the only thing under heaven to keep Portugal from despair and ruin' (Maynard to Nicholas, in Lister's Life of Clarendon, vol. iii., Appendix, No. lviii.) In February Mello was sent back to England, charged with full powers to negotiate, and rewarded with the title of Conde da Ponte for his past services. But on reaching London he found circumstances had changed. Spanish and Dutch influence had been strongly exercised to thwart the match. The Earl of Bristol exerted his utmost energies to find another alliance acceptable to Spain as well as to Charles. The Spanish ambassador declared that the infanta, besides being no beauty, I was incapable of bearing children (Quadro Elementar, xvii. 152; cf. Kennet, p. 698, for the similar report of the English merchants at Lisbon). He offered an equal portion to any other princess approved of by Spain that Charles might choose, and protestants were amused by the energy with which the envoy of the catholic king urged the importance of a protestant monarch wedding a protestant bride (D'Ablancourt, Mémoires, p. 73 sq.)
At last the adoption of the marriage scheme by the French court saved the government of Lisbon from despair. In November 1660 Henrietta Maria had come to London to win her son over to the French party. In March 1661 Louis sent to England M. de Bastide on a secret mission to press for the conclusion of the treaty. Finally, on 8 May Charles and Clarendon announced to parliament that the marriage negotiations had been completed. The news was favourably received both within and without parliament (Calendar of State Papers, Dom. 1660-1, pp. 586, 595); and on 13 May an address of congratulation was presented from both houses (Lords' Journals, xi. 241 α, 243 b, 253). On 23 June the marriage treaty was signed (it is given in La Clede, Histoire de Portugal, ii. 711).
The news of Catherine's betrothal spread the wildest joy in Portugal. The English merchants rejoiced at the establishment of the 'most beneficiallest trade that ever our nation was engaged in' (Maynard to Nicholas, in Lister, App. No. lviii.) The Portuguese traders were gratified at the protection of their property from the Dutch navy. The projected invasion from Spain was no longer feared. In July Francisco de Mello arrived again in Lisbon, bearing graceful letters from Charles to Catherine and her mother (Miss Strickland gives translations of these, Queens of England, v. 495). The Earl of Sandwich, commander of the fleet, was appointed extraordinary ambassador to Portugal, and at once set sail for Lisbon. But nearly a year elapsed before the queen could be brought back. The Algerine pirates had to be chastised, Tangiers occupied and garrisoned, and the queen's portion shipped. Sandwich appeared in the Tagus in the spring of 1662, and a new dispute arose then as to the method of payment of the portion (Sandwich to Clarendon, in Lister, iii. App. No. xciv.)
On 13-23 April the magnificent festivities that accompanied the infanta's departure began. The difficulty of obtaining the necessary dispensations from a pope who had refused to recognise the independence of Portugal rendered it politic to omit the ceremony of a proxy marriage (Lister, iii. App. No. ccxxxviii.; Eachard, p. 801, is wrong), though Catherine had long been styled in Lisbon the queen of England. Off the Isle of Wight the Duke of York boarded the Royal Charles and was received with great state by Catherine in her cabin, dressed in the English style (Letters of Philip, second Earl of Chesterfield, p. 21).
On 13 May the fleet reached Portsmouth. Charles was still detained in London by the need of proroguing parliament, if not by the charms of Mrs. Palmer (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1661-2, p. 370). On the third day after her landing Catherine fell sick of a cold and slight fever, so that when Charles arrived at Portsmouth in the afternoon of 20 May he found her still confined to her bed. She absolutely insisted on a catholic ceremony, and only after seeing her did Charles consent to this step (Clarendon State Papers, Appendix xx.; cf. Clarke, Life of James II, i. 394). Accordingly, on 21 May, a catholic wedding service was performed with the utmost secresy in Catherine's bedchamber, while later in the day a mutilated public ceremony, after the rites of the church of England, was performed by Sheldon, bishop of London, in the presence chamber of the royal palace (Quadro Elementar, xvii. 258; Memoirs of Lady Fanshawe, pp. 142-5).
Catherine had received an education which wholly incapacitated her for her position. Not only had she been left in entire ignorance of all affairs of state, but her general education had been so limited that she was even unable to speak French (Kennet, p. 534, speaks, however, of her English studies). For a long time Spanish was the only means of communication between her and her husband. She had hardly left the royal palace ten times in her life, and though amiable, dignified, and in a quiet way attractive, the only positive trait that observers could find in her was a simple and childish piety that consumed her time in the routine performance of her religious duties, and sought by pilgrimages to favourite saints to express her thanks to heaven for her advancement to be queen of England (Maynard to Nicholas, 19-29 July, in Lister, iii. App. No. lxxv.) Pepys thought her 'a greater bigot than even the queen-mother.' The gaieties and amusements of fashionable life had, however, a strong hold on her. She was passionately addicted to dancing, though her figure prevented her from ever excelling in that accomplishment; and was equally attached to the more exciting pleasures of the masquerade, to cards and to games of chance. A famous stroke of luck, by which she won over a thousand to one at a game of faro, was unprecedented until the days of Horace Walpole, and she scandalised Pepys by playing cards on Sunday (Diary, 17 Feb. 1667). Her retired life had resulted in a certain want of tact in small points that soon gave occasion for gossip. It was complained that she had dealt illiberally with the crew of the Royal Charles (Pepy's, 24 May 1662). Her adhesion to Portuguese fashions and dresses excited both odium and ridicule at court (see Clarendon, Life, but cf. Quadra Elementar, xvii. 259-60). As her character developed in a very unfavourable environment, she became, when circumstances allowed, proud and exacting. On occasion she gave so much trouble to her attendants that Evelyn moralised on the slavery of courtiers (Diary, 17 June 1683; cf. Hatton Correspondence, i. 64, Camden Society). The financial difficulties in which she was often involved in her early married life engendered in her extreme parsimony. She schooled herself to play her difficult part, not without success, and to discipline a temper naturally warm and impatient. In a court abandoned and licentious to the last degree no one ventured to hint that her conduct was not in all respects correct.
In person Catherine was of low stature, 'somewhat taller than his majesty's mother' (Maynard to Nicholas, Lister, iii. App. No. lxx.) 'Her face,' Charles told Clarendon, after he had first seen her, 'was not so exact as to be called a beauty, though her eyes were excellent good, and there was nothing in her face that in the least degree can disgust one' (Lansdowne MS. 1236, f. 124, partly printed in Strickland). Lord Chesterfield, her chamberlain, speaks of her appearance in a very similar strain (Chesterfield's Letters, p. 123). Her long and luxuriant hair was her chief adornment, even when twisted into extraordinary shapes by her Portuguese hairdresser. Her teeth 'wronged her mouth by sticking a little too far out' (Evelyn, ii. 190, ed. 1827). Her voice was low and agreeable. 'If I have any skill in physiognomy,' her husband said, 'she must be as good a woman as ever was born,' and Pepys admitted that, 'though not overcharming, she had a good modest and innocent look that was pleasing' (Diary, 7 Sept. 1662, cf. 31 May).
The first few weeks after the marriage nearly everything looked promising (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1661-2, p. 393), though discerning observers already anticipated difficulties (Chesterfield's Letters, p. 123). Charles was attracted by the simplicity and childishness of his wife, and prophesied eternal love and constancy. He amused himself with teaching her English, and laughed at her mistakes. On 27 May Charles and Catherine left Portsmouth, and on 29 May celebrated at Hampton Court the 'star-crown'd anniversary' of the former's birth and restoration (Exact Relation). There they remained for the early summer, and on 23 Aug. 'the most magnificent triumph ever seen on the Thames' accompanied their solemn entry to Whitehall, and ended the long and not very hearty festivities that had attended the union.
The troubles of life had already begun. 'The lady,' as Mrs. Palmer was called, had received the intelligence of Charles's marriage with a very ill grace. To soothe her violence Charles acknowledged her son, made her unwilling husband Earl of Castlemaine, and promised that she should be a lady of his wife's bedchamber; but Catherine instantly struck out her name from the list of her household. Yet within a few weeks Charles brought the lady to court, and publicly presented her to Catherine. At first the queen received her graciously, 'but the instant she knew who she was she was no sooner set in her chair but her colour changed, and tears gushed out of her eyes and her nose bled, and she fainted' (Clarendon, Continuation of his Life; cf. Clarendon to Ormonde, 17 July, in Lister, vol. iii. App. No. ciii. This plainly refers to the first interview, wrongly dated in the Continuation, as 'within a day or two of the queen's arrival at Hampton Court'). The queen was removed to another room, and the court broke up in confusion. A painful struggle ensued. Charles 'sought ease and refreshment in jolly company,' who held up to him the example of his grandfather, Henry IV. He applied to Clarendon to bring the queen to a sense of the helplessness of her position. The chancellor's first advances were met by 'so much passion and such a torrent of tears that there was nothing left for him to do but to retire.' Next day he found the queen more composed to receive his stiff and ungenial lecture, but when he 'insinuated what would be acceptable with reference to the lady, it raised all the rage and fury of yesterday, with fewer tears, the fire appearing in her eyes where the water was.' Catherine fiercely protested that she would rather go back to Portugal than yield so unworthily. The struggle continued for days. The dismissal of nearly all her Portuguese household, to whose impolitic prudery the courtiers attributed Catherine's determination, left her without friends or confidants. But Catherine's active remonstrances were ultimately exchanged for a passive resistance that was the prelude to a practical surrender. Lady Castlemaine took up her quarters at Hampton Court. The queen saw 'a universal mirth in all company but in hers, and in all places but her chamber.' At last she openly condoned the scandal. Clarendon, who had done his best to bring about this result, was mean enough to pretend that this unworthy concession damaged the queen both in public opinion and with her husband (the above account is taken entirely from Clarendon, Continuation of his Life, p. 1085-92, 4to edit. 1843). Henceforth Catherine received with kindness and forbearance the long series of her husband's mistresses (see e.g. Pepys, 24 Oct. and 23 Dec. 1662). She even showed kindnesses to her husband's bastards, befriended James Crofts, the future duke of Monmouth, though fiercely resisting his recognition, and, in after years, she gave a pension to the Duke of Grafton. Such command did she gain over herself that she never entered her own dressing-room without warning, lest she should surprise Charles toying with her maids (Pepys, 8 Feb. 1664). But sometimes her hot southern nature flamed up despite all her schooling (ib. 6 July 1663; cf. Reresby, Memoirs, p. 104).
In return for this complaisance, Charles treated his wife generally with kindness, sometimes with affection (e.g. Pepys, 7 Sept. 1662). Yet courtiers contrasted the gorgeous furniture of the apartments of favourite mistresses with the simple decorations of the queen's private rooms; though the simplicity of her tastes may have partly accounted for the difference, and she certainly possessed some costly furniture and decorations (e.g. Evelyn, 17 April 1673; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1665-6, p. 139; and see Pepys, 24 June 1664 and 9 June 1662). When at great court festivities the Duchesses of Cleveland and Portsmouth were rustling in rich silks and blazing with jewels, Catherine was simply dressed and without diamonds. Goodman the actor kept her waiting for the play till I 'his duchess' arrived. Aspirants for place and promotion neglected the wife for the powerful mistress. After the queen-mother's death, Catherine, whose circumstances then became much easier, often abandoned court altogether for her dower-mansion of Somerset House. Her ignorance or indifference to political matters made her the more careless of her absolute want of all political influence.
Catherine was suspected of exercising influence on state affairs in the interests of the catholic religion. In October 1662 she sent her confidential servant, Richard Bellings [q. v.], himself a very strong catholic, to Rome, with letters to the pope and the leading cardinals (see drafts of the letters in Add, MS. 22548, ff. 23-70; Menezes, Portugal Restaurado, iv. 196). They chiefly related to the condition of Portugal, which had thus far been refused recognition as a kingdom by popes devoted to the Spanish interest. Subsequent correspondence of the same kind, though exciting odium, was generally of little importance, and often, as in 1674 to 1682, of a merely formal and complimentary character (Rawlinson MS. A. 483). It was also complained that her chapel became the resort of English catholics, and in 1667 an order of council forbade their flocking there (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1667, p. 457). The present of a richly bound Portuguese New Testament from the English chaplain at Goa was the only attempt recorded that could be even suspected as aiming at her conversion (it is still preserved in the Bodleian, MS. Tanner, lxxxiii.)
Catherine followed the history of her country with the keenest interest. Her mother's death, though long kept from her, affected her profoundly (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1665-6, p. 342; cf. Hatton Correspondence, i. 49). Generally averse to letterwriting, she yet kept up a very considerable correspondence with her brother Peter (in Egerton MS. 1534 are eighty unedited letters of hers to him in Portuguese holograph). On one occasion her patriotic instincts led her to insult, very unnecessarily, the Spanish ambassador. When on what was thought to be her deathbed, her most earnest requests to her husband were to suffer her body to be buried in her beloved fatherland, and never to desert that alliance on which its independence mainly rested.
Catherine played a very small part in the intellectual life of her age. She encouraged Italian music in this country. Her chapel music, painfully bad when she first came over, was gradually improved. The first Italian opera performed in England was acted in her presence. She was fond of masques, and plays were constantly performed before her (Cal. State Papers, Dom., 1666-7, p. 305). She set to Lely for her portrait, still at Hampton Court. She set a patriotic example of largely wearing English fabrics (ib. 1665-6, p. 31). Her devotion to tea, introduced into England by her countrymen, did much to make that beverage popular (see Waller's poem in Works, p. 221, ed. 1729). She is celebrated in the annals of fashion as introducing from Portugal the large green fans with which ladies shaded their faces before the introduction of parasols.
Her council and household had often to contend with the most pressing financial difficulties. On one occasion she complained to parliament that, of 40,000l. of her allowance, she had only received 4,000l. In 1663 lack of funds postponed a visit to Tunbridge Wells from May to July; and when the physician recommended the waters of Bourbon, she could only get enough money to go to Bath, though its stifling air was soon found to disagree with her (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1663-4, p. 234). A state visit to Bristol and a progress through the West Midlands followed this; and gossips noticed that, with the spread of a rumour that the queen was pregnant, Castlemaine fell out of favour, and Charles became more attentive to his wife (Pepys, 7 June 1663). Soon, however, after Catherine's return to London, she was prostrated by so severe a 'spotted fever accompanied by sore throat' that her life was despaired of (15 Oct.) Charles was much moved; he spent the greater part of the day in tears ly her bedside; and his affection,it was thought, did more to restore Catherine than the cordials and elixirs of her physicians. In March 1664 she was well enough to accompany Charles to the opening of parliament. In 1665 she was driven by the plague to Salisbury, and thence to Oxford to meet the parliament in October. Here she remained several months, lodged in Merton College. In February 1666 she miscarried; 'the evidence of fecundity must allay the trouble of the loss' (Cal. State Papers, Dom. Feb. 5; cf. Hatton Correspondence, i. 48). Clarendon's fall in 1667 deprived Catherine of an austere though real friend. His successors were ready to make political capital out of schemes to conciliate popular and court support by projects for her repudiation or divorce. Rumour spread that she was going to retire to a nunnery, and to be divorced on the plea of a vow of chastity, a pre-contract, or some similar excuse (Pepys, 7 Sept. 1667; cf. Eachard, p. 842). Some divines recommended polygamy as the better way of getting a direct heir to the throne (Burnet, Own Times, Oxford edition, i. 480). Southwell, the English ambassador at Lisbon, was covered with confusion by the Queen of Portugal asking him whether the report had any foundation (Southwell to Arlington, 2-12 Dec. 1667). One wild rumour said that Buckingham had asked Charles for leave to steal her away and send her to some colony, and then ground a divorce on the plea of wilful desertion. Many found in Miss Stewart a new Anne Boleyn. Twice again (in 1668 and in 1669) there were hopes of her bearing children, but again they were doomed to disappointment. As a result of this, perhaps, divorce schemes were renewed. Charles's interest in Lord Ross's marriage bill (1670) was regarded as not wholly disinterested. An absurd story went round that the pope had agreed to the divorce (Eachard, p. 875). Yet about the same time Charles went with Catherine to Dover to meet the Duchess of Orleans and sign the famous treaty, of which, however, it is not known that she was cognisant. One result of the expedition was that Louise de Quérouaille was added to the number of her maids of honour. In 1671 Catherine accompanied Charles on a progress to the eastern counties. At Audley End she got involved in an extraordinary frolic, when she and some of her ladies went disguised as countrywomen to Saffron Walden fair and were found out and mobbed. Afterwards she and Charles were magnificently entertained at Norwich by Lord Henry Howard (Dawson Turner, Narrative of Kino Charles's Visit to Norwich).
The development of anti-catholic feeling now became troublesome to Catherine. On 5 Feb. 1673 a committee of the lords was appointed to draw up a bill 'that no Romish priest do attend her majesty but such as are subjects of the king of Portugal' (Lords' Journals, xii. 627 b; cf. 618 b). The popish plot panic involved her in more serious dangers. Soon after the murder of Sir Edmundbury Godfrey (12 Oct. 1678) the informer Bedloe attributed the deed to her popish servants. On 8 Nov. 1678 Somerset House was searched for papists connected with the plot (ib. xiii. 48 α), and Titus Oates soon outstripped Bedloe by accusing the queen herself of a design to poison the king. He deposed before the council that he had accompanied some jesuits one day in August to Somerset House, and heard through a door left ajar the queen protesting that she would no longer suffer indignities to her bed, and was content with procuring the death of her husband and the propagation of the catholic faith (North, Examen of the Plot, pp. 182-3; cf. Eachard, p. 955). Cross-examination and subsequent investigation showed clearly his entire ignorance of the internal arrangements of Somerset House and the impossibility of his having heard any such conversation. But Bedloe produced corroborative testimony of an interview he pretended to have witnessed between Catherine and some French priests in the gallery of her chapel at Somerset House, which he impudently asserted he had forgotten to mention when he gave in his depositions as to the murder of Godfrey. Wakeman, her physician, was to prepare the poison, Catherine was to deliver it herself; her last scruples had been overcome by the French jesuits.
On 28 Nov. Bedloe made his depositions at the bar of the House of Commons. Oates followed, and solemnly accused Catherine of high treason (see Grey's Debates, vi. 287-300). Next day they repeated their statements to the House of Lords (Lords' Journals, xiii. 388 α). On 12 Nov. the commons addressed the king begging him to tender oaths of supremacy to all the queen's English servants (Commons' Journals, ix. 539 b; cf. 548); and on 28 Nov. passed another address for the removal of Catherine, her family, and all papists from Whitehall (ib. ix. 549 b); which was, despite Shaftesbury's opposition, negatived by the Lords (Lords' Journals, xiii. 392 b). For some time Catherine was in imminent danger. Next year fresh depositions, among others from Monmouth's cook, were handed in against her, and on 24 June the council voted that she had better stand her trial. In these distresses her chief adviser was the exiled Count of Castelmelhor, and Dom Pedro, her brother, though not very speedily, despatched a special envoy to interpose in her behalf. But such foreign support would have availed her little against popular feeling. More important was Charles's steady adhesion to her. He said publicly to Burnet that he thought it would be a horrid thing to abandon her, and declared that, though men thought he had a mind to a new wife, he would not see an innocent woman wronged. He issued a public proclamation that he had never been married to any woman besides Catherine. In return for such acts of favour Catherine clung to the king with more affection than ever, declared she was only in safety where he was (Letters of H. Prideaux; p. 82, Camden Soc.), and went so far as to include the Duchess of Portsmouth in the nine popish ladies of her household that had been exempted from the test enforced on the rest. The acquittal of Sir George Wakeman and some jesuit priests on the charge of uniting with the queen to poison the king was a first check on the informers. 'The queen is now a mistress,' wrote Lady Sunderland, 'the passion her spouse has for her is so great.' At a dinner at Chiffinch's 'the queen drank a little wine to pledge the king's health and prosperity to his affairs, having drunk no wine this many years.' In August Bedloe died, protesting with his last breath that the queen was ignorant of any design against the king, and had only given money to help the introduction of catholicism. Yet on 17 Nov., after the failure of the Exclusion Bill, Shaftesbury moved in the House of Lords, 'as the sole remaining chance of liberty, security, and religion, a bill of divorce which by separating the king from Catherine might enable him to marry a protestant consort, and thus to leave the crown to his legitimate issue.' A warm debate ensued, but Shaftesbury gained so little support that, after several adjournments, he refused to persevere with his motion. Charles himself was very active against the bill, and it is recorded that 'on leaving the House of Lords he went straight to the queen, and to give a proof of his extraordinary affection for her he seated himself after dinner in her apartment, and slept there a long time, which he had been in the habit of doing only in the Duchess of Portsmouth's chamber' (Barillon's despatches in Christie's Life of Shaftesbury, ii. 378; cf. 380). Catherine, who had suffered from illness during the autumn, attended early in the winter the trial of Lord Stafford (30 Nov.-7 Dec.), during which the old accusations against her were freely bandied about, and may have had some share in his conviction. Next year Fitzharris's information also involved the queen. He declared that Dom Francisco de Mello had informed him that she was involved in a design for poisoning Charles. In March 1681 Catherine accompanied her husband to Oxford and was present during the turbulent scenes that resulted in the dissolution of the last parliament of Charles's reign. This brought her troubles to an end. Fitzharris was condemned to death, and just before his execution declared to the council that he had been persuaded to invent the stories involving the queen by the whig sheriffs of London, Cornish and Bethel, and Treby the recorder. The queen's good domestic fortune outlived—though not for long—her troubles. Catherine shared in Charles's renewed popularity, and with some magnanimity interceded for Monmouth's pardon, an office which seems to have led to some coolness between her and the Duke of York, with whom she had already been for trifling causes slightly at variance (Strickland, p. 667). Before long, however, the Duchess of Portsmouth returned to court, and the queen's absence from that scene of 'luxury, dissoluteness, and forgetfulness of God' which Evelyn so vividly pictured on the last Sunday of Charles's life indicates that her old difficulties had in nowise abated (1 Feb. 1680). On Charles's sudden illness Catherine, who may have known something of his religious position, without being, as her Portuguese panegyrists say, the chief cause of his conversion, displayed the greatest anxiety for his reconciliation with the catholic church before his death. She earnestly besought the Duchess of York to exhort the duke to take advantage of the king's 'good moments' with that object (Campana De Cavelli, tom. 2, doc. cccciii). It was in her chamber, though she herself was senseless in the physician's hands, that James and Barillon made the final arrangements for the king's reconciliation, and one of her priests assisted Huddleston in the administration of the last rites to him. Her grief at his death was extreme. She received her visits of condolence in a bed of mourning in a darkened room hung with black, faintly illuminated by burning tapers (Evelyn, 5 Feb.) Two months afterwards she left Whitehall for Somerset House, and there, or at her suburban residence at Hammersmith, where she had privately established a convent of nuns, she spent the first years of her widowhood. She lived in great privacy, amusing herself by cards and concerts. Her chamberlain Feversham governed her household, and her intimacy with him groundlessly excited scandalous gossip. She seems to have been on fair terms with the new king and queen. She interceded, however, in vain for Monmouth, who had addressed piteous supplications to her for help (Roberts, Life of Monmouth, ii. 112, 119; cf. Camden Miscellany, viii.) She was present at the birth of the Prince of Wales on 10 June 1688 (see her own account in a letter to her brother King Pedro in Egerton MS. 1534, f. 10), stood godmother for him, and gave evidence before the council that he was truly the son of Mary of Modena.
Catherine proposed to return to Portugal, and ships were prepared for her departure. She delayed, however, in England to carry on a tedious and rather vexatious lawsuit against Lord Clarendon, her former chamberlain, for some large sums asserted to have been lost by his negligence or peculation. Most people, shared King James's opinion, that she was a hard woman to deal with, and she seems to have become both greedy and litigious (full details of the suit in the State Letters and Diary of Henry, Earl of Clarendon, especially in the Diary, pp. 18. 23-5, 29, 41, 79).
The revolution found Catherine still in England. She received an early visit from the Prince of Orange, who did her a little service by releasing Feversham from custody (Eachard, p. 1136). But, despite her friendly relations with the new government, she was involved in the general attack on all catholics. In July 1689 a bill passed the commons limiting the number of her popish servants to eighteen, but it failed to get through the House of Lords. William himself requested her to leave Somerset House for a less public place of residence, on the ground that 'there were great meetings and caballings against his government carried on there' (Clarendon's Diary, p. 244; cf. Hatton Correspondence, ii. 150). She replied by appealing to her treaty rights, and William did not press his point; but in his absence more unpleasantness broke out between Queen Mary and Catherine on the ground that a prayer for William's success in Ireland was omitted from the service in the Savoy Chapel, which was under Catherine's jurisdiction and used by the protestants of her household. This renewed Catherine's desire to leave England; but difficulties about the escort put the voyage off till the end of March 1692. She proceeded on her journey with great privacy; refused to visit Versailles and Louis XIV; showed more state when she entered Spain; but was detained on the way by an attack of erysipelas, and did not enter Lisbon until 20 Jan. 1693, where she was received with great demonstrations of delight by the court and people (Sousa, iv. 327-329). She resided first at the royal quinta of Alcantara, and subsequently at Santa Martha and Belem; but she finally settled in the new palace of Bemposta, which she had built close to Lisbon. There she lived a very quiet life. Her household was reduced to that of a private family, though on days of ceremony it was still thronged by the nobility of Portugal (Account of the Court of Portugal, pp. 125-7, London, 1700). In 1703 the Methuen treaty completed the alliance with England, of which she was the advocate. In 1704 she had another attack of erysipelas. On her recovery she was appointed regent to her brother Pedro, whose health had become very bad. This was in 1704, and in 1705 the appointment was renewed. Her administration seems to have been successful, and several victories were gained over the Spaniards (Sousa, Provαs, 42; Burnet, Own Times, v. 163, ed. 1833). While still acting as regent she died on 3l Dec. 1705 of a sudden attack of colic. The magnificence of her funeral at Belem, the suspension of the tribunals, and the general mourning, attested the respect in which she was held. Her great wealth, the fruit of long years of economy, she left to King Pedro, but charged with many pious legacies (Sousa, Provαs, 43).[The biography of Catherine in Miss Strickland's Lives of the Queens of England, v. 478-703, ed. 1854, though not always very critical, frequently discursive and weak on its political side, has collected the greater part of the materials available; Jesse's Life in the Memoirs of the Court of England during the Reigns of the Stuart Kings is short and superficial; more important is the memoir in A. C. de Sousa's Historia Genealogica da Casa Real Portugueza (Lisboa, 1735-49), tom, vii., with the original documents in the Provas, tem. iv. num. 36-43; from this come most of the facts of her early and later life. P. de Azevedo de Tojal's curious epic poem, Carlos reduzido, Inglaterra illustrada (Lisboa, 1716), combines with much high-flown poetic rhapsody a matter-of-fact biography. The marriage negotiations and the whole of Catherine's subsequent relations to Portugalare best studied in the valuable calendar of original documents on the dealings between England and Portugal in vols. xvii. and xviii. of Quadro Elementar das relaçδes politicas e diplomaticas de Portugal com as diversas potencias do mundo, by Barros e Sousa Visconde de Santarem and Rebello da Silva. A general view of Portuguese history during her life can be found in Schäfer's Geschichte von Portugal, tom. iv. and v.(Heerenand Vkert's series), and La Clède's Histoire de Portugal, tom. ii. Ranke's History of England, iii. 343-7 and 380-5 (the Oxford translation), summarises shortly the political bearing of the marriage; Clarendon's Continuation of his Life, the Appendix to the Clarendon State Papers (vol. iii.); Lister's Life of Clarendon, and especially the documents in vol. iii.; L. de Menezes, conde da Ericeira's Historia de Portugal Restaurado and the MS. Relação da Embaixada de Francisco de Mello, conde da Ponte, in Inglaterra (MS. Add. 15202) are all valuable. The festivities at Lisbon and London and the queen's voyage are specially described in the Relacion de las Fiestas á Lisboa; the Programma das formalidadas in Quadro Elementar, xvii. 236-56; Ordens para a Recepção da D. Catherina, MS. Cott. Vesp. c. xiv. no. 29; Mello's Relação da forma com que se publicou em Inglaterra o casamento da S. D. Catherina (Lisbon, 1761); the Exact Relation of the Landing of Her Majesty (London, 1662); Sandwich's Diary in Kennet, and the curious doggerel called Iter Lusitanicum, or the Portugal Voyage, by a Cosmopolite. Of the flood of gratulatory poetry, the Domiduca Oxoniensis and the Epithalamia of the rival university may be mentioned. Other general authorities, such as Pepys, Evelyn, Hamilton, Reresby, the Calendars of State Papers, Browne's Miscellanea Aulica, Ives, the Sidney Papers, the Hatton Correspondence, the second Lord Chesterfield's Letters, Singer's Correspondence and Diary of the Second Lord Clarendon, the Lords' and Commons' Journals, Gray's Debates, North's Examen, and Christie's Life of Shaftesbury, have in most instances been quoted in the text, besides other less important authorities. Some letters of Catherine are in Strickland, others in Rawlinson MS. A. 268 and 483, Add. MS. 22548, and in Egerton MS. 1534.)