Philip II of Portugal (April
14, 1578 – March 31, 1621) was the king of Spain and
Portugal and Algarves from 1598 until his death. His chief
minister was the Duke of Lerma. Philip III married
Margaret, sister of Ferdinand II.
Born at Madrid, the son of Philip II of Spain and his
fourth wife, Anne, daughter of the emperor Maximilian II.
He inherited the beliefs of his father, but no share of
his industry. The old king had sorrowfully confessed that
God had not given him a son capable of governing his vast
dominions, and had foreseen that Philip III would be led
by his servants. This calculation was exactly fulfilled.
The new king put the direction of his government entirely
into the hands of his favourite, the duke of Lerma,
Francisco Goméz de Sandoval y Rojas, and when he fell
under the influence of Lerma's son, Cristóbal de Sandoval,
the duke of Uceda in 1618, he trusted himself and his
states to the new favourite. The king's own life was
passed amid court festivities, on which enormous sums of
money were wasted, or in the practice of childish piety.
It was said that he was so virtuous as hardly to have
committed a venial sin. He cannot be justly blamed for
having been born to rule a despotic monarchy, without even
the capacity which would have qualified him to manage a
He died at Madrid on March 31, 1621. The story told in the
memoirs of the French ambassador Bassompierre, that he was
killed by the heat of a brasero (a pan of hot charcoal),
because the proper official to take it away was not at
hand, is a humorous exaggeration of the formal etiquette
of the court.