Philip III of Spain

Philip III
Andres López 001.jpg
Portrait by Andrés López Polanco
King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and Sardinia; Duke of Milan
Reign13 September 1598 – 31 March 1621
PredecessorPhilip II and I
SuccessorPhilip IV and III
Born14 April 1578
Madrid, Spain
Died31 March 1621(1621-03-31) (aged 42)
Madrid, Spain
Margaret of Austria
(m. 1599; died 1611)
FatherPhilip II of Spain
MotherAnna of Austria
ReligionRoman Catholicism
SignaturePhilip III's signature
House of Habsburg
Spanish line
Royal Coat of Arms of Spain (1580-1668).svg
Emperor Charles V
(King Charles I)
Philip II of Spain
Maria, Holy Roman Empress
Joan of Spain
Don John (illegitimate)
Margaret of Parma (illegitimate)
Philip II
Children include
Carlos, Prince of Asturias
Isabella of Spain
Catherine, Duchess of Savoy
Philip III of Spain
Maria of Spain
Philip III
Children include
Anne, Queen of France
Philip IV of Spain
Maria Ana, Holy Roman Empress
Infante Carlos
Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand
Philip IV
Children include
Balthasar Charles, Prince of Asturias
Maria Theresa, Queen of France
Margaret, Holy Roman Empress
Philip Prospero, Prince of Asturias
Charles II of Spain
Charles II

Philip III (Spanish: Felipe; 14 April 1578 – 31 March 1621) was King of Spain. He was also, as Philip II, King of Portugal, Naples, Sicily and Sardinia and Duke of Milan from 1598 until his death.

A member of the House of Habsburg, Philip III was born in Madrid to King Philip II of Spain and his fourth wife and niece Anna, the daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II and Maria of Spain. Philip III later married his cousin Margaret of Austria, sister of Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor.

Although also known in Spain as Philip the Pious,[1] Philip's political reputation abroad has been largely negative – an 'undistinguished and insignificant man,' a 'miserable monarch,' whose 'only virtue appeared to reside in a total absence of vice,' to quote historians C. V. Wedgwood, R. Stradling and J. H. Elliott.[2] In particular, Philip's reliance on his corrupt chief minister, the Duke of Lerma, drew much criticism at the time and afterwards. For many, the decline of Spain can be dated to the economic difficulties that set in during the early years of his reign. Nonetheless, as the ruler of the Spanish Empire at its height and as the king who achieved a temporary peace with the Dutch (1609–1621) and brought Spain into the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) through an (initially) extremely successful campaign, Philip's reign remains a critical period in Spanish history.

Early life

After Philip III's older brother Don Carlos died insane, Philip II had concluded that one of the causes of Carlos' condition had been the influence of the warring factions at the Spanish court.[3] He believed that Carlos' education and upbringing had been badly affected by this, resulting in his lunacy and disobedience, and accordingly he set out to pay much greater attention to arrangements for his later sons.[3] Philip II appointed Juan de Zúñiga, then Prince Diego's governor, to continue this role for Philip, and chose García de Loaysa as his tutor.[3] They were joined by Cristóbal de Moura, a close supporter of Philip II. In combination, Philip believed, they would provide a consistent, stable upbringing for Prince Philip, and ensure he avoided the same fate as Carlos.[4] Philip's education was to follow the model for royal princes laid down by Father Juan de Mariana, focusing on the imposition of restraints and encouragement to form the personality of the individual at an early age, aiming to deliver a king who was neither tyrannical nor excessively under the influence of his courtiers.[4]

Philip III of Spain, 1599-1601, The Phoebus Foundation

Prince Philip appears to have been generally liked by his contemporaries: 'dynamic, good-natured and earnest,' suitably pious, having a 'lively body and a peaceful disposition,' albeit with a relatively weak constitution.[5] The comparison with the memory of the disobedient and ultimately insane Carlos was usually a positive one, although some commented that Prince Philip appeared less intelligent and politically competent than his late brother.[5] Indeed, although Philip was educated in Latin, French, Portuguese and astronomy, and appears to have been a competent linguist,[4] recent historians suspect that much of his tutors' focus on Philip's undeniably pleasant, pious and respectful disposition was to avoid reporting that, languages aside, he was not in fact particularly intelligent or academically gifted.[6] Nonetheless, Philip does not appear to have been naive – his correspondence to his daughters shows a distinctive cautious streak in his advice on dealing with court intrigue.[7]

Philip first met the Marquis of Denia – the future Duke of Lerma – then, a gentleman of the King's chamber, in his early teens.[6] Lerma and Philip became close friends, but Lerma was considered unsuitable by the King and Philip's tutors. Lerma was dispatched to Valencia as a Viceroy in 1595, with the aim of removing Philip from his influence;[6] but after Lerma pleaded poor health, he was allowed to return two years later. By now in poor health himself, King Philip II was becoming increasingly concerned over the prince's future, and he attempted to establish de Moura as a future, trusted advisor to his son, reinforcing de Loaysa's position by appointing him archbishop.[8] The prince received a new, conservative Dominican confessor.[8] The following year, Philip II died after a painful illness, leaving the Spanish Empire to his son (and grandnephew), King Philip III.

Other Languages
беларуская: Філіп III Іспанскі
български: Фелипе III
brezhoneg: Felipe III
eesti: Felipe III
한국어: 펠리페 3세
Bahasa Indonesia: Felipe III dari Spanyol
latviešu: Felipe III
македонски: Филип III (Шпанија)
српски / srpski: Филип III од Шпаније
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Felipe III od Španije
Türkçe: III. Felipe
українська: Філіп III Побожний