Portuguese Monarch. He reigned as King of Portugal from 1578 to 1580. He was the younger brother of King João III and, as a younger son of King Manõel I he was not expected to succeed to the throne. Early in his life, Henrique took Holy Orders to promote Portuguese interests within the Catholic Church, then dominated by Spain. He rose fast through the Church hierarchy, becoming in quick succession Archbishop of Braga, Archbishop of Evora and Grand Inquisitor before receiving the Cardinal's hat. Henrique, more than anyone, endeavored to bring the Jesuit Order to Portugal and employed them in the Colonial empire. He served as regent for his nephew, King Sebastião I after 1557, and then succeeded him as king after the disastrous Battle of Alcácer-Quibir, Morocco, in 1578. Henrique renounced his clerical offices and sought to take a bride for the continuation of the Aviz Dynasty, but Pope Gregory XIII, affiliated with the Habsburgs did not release him from his vows. The Cardinal-King died without having appointed a Council of Regency to choose a successor. The closest dynastic claimant was King Felipe II of Spain who, in November 1580, sent the Duke of Alba to claim Portugal by force. Lisbon soon fell, and Felipe II was elected King of Portugal on condition that the kingdom and it's overseas territories would not become Spanish provinces.
Bio by: Benny Chordt Hansen