Minas, António Luís de Sousa, Marquis of

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Personalities >> Minas, António Luís de Sousa, Marquis of

Minas, António Luís de Sousa, Marquis of

Portuguese General (1665-1707)

Governor-General of Brazil (1684-1687)

born 6 April 1644, Portugal

died 25 December 1721, Portugal


António Luís was the son of Dom Francisco, first Marquis das Minas, and his second wife Dona Eufrásia Filipa de Lima.

In 1659, Portuguese Restoration War (1640-68), António Luís, then only 14 years old, accompanied his father in a campaign and was present at the Battle of the Lines of Elvas.

In 1660, António Luís took part in the campaign in Northern Minho.

In 1663, António Luís became mestre-de-campo of a regiment of infantry.

On 26 November 1665, after the capture of Guardia, António Luís was appointed general.

In 1666, António Luís routed the Spaniards at Valença.

In 1669, after the Treaty of Lisbon, António Luís was appointed military governor of Minho.

In 1674, at the death of his father, António Luís inherited the title of Marquis das Minas.

From 1684 to 1687, the Marquis das Minas assumed the charge of governor-general of Brazil.

In 1687, on his return to Portugal, the Marquis das Minas was appointed counsellor of war.

When the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13) broke out, the Marquis das Minas was sent to the frontier to prepare the Portuguese Army for the coming conflict with France and Spain.

In 1704, the Franco-Spanish coalition launched three converging attacks against Portugal: the Duke of Berwick captured Salvaterra, Segura and Beira; Tilly invaded Alentejo and captured Portalegre; and Villadarias captured Castelo de Vide. However, the offensive of the Allies against Barcelona and the Marquis of Minas’ victory in the Battle of Monsanto put a stop to the invasion.

In 1705, an Anglo-Portuguese army under the joint commands of the Earl of Galway and the Marquis of Minas. On 22 May, they captured Albuquerque but they were stopped in front of Badajoz.

In April 1706, the French Maréchal de Tessé laid siege to Barcelona but was forced to raise the siege. The border with Portugal was now unprotected and the Marquis de Minas marched on Madrid with his army. He was momentarily stopped in front of Alcántara, but the place capitulated after five days. The army of the Duke of Berwick was in the vicinity, but was not strong enough to risk a battle. On 28 June, the Portuguese army entered Madrid and Archduke Charles was acclaimed King of Spain.

In 1707, the Allies were very isolated in Madrid. The population was hostile and the Duke of Berwick was cutting off communications with Portugal and Aragon. The decision was made to abandon Madrid and to join the allied troops in Valencia. However, the Duke of Berwick was waiting for the allied army and, on 25 April, he inflicted a crushing defeat to the Allies in the Battle of Almansa. Minas was replaced as commander of the Portuguese troops in Spain by his nephew Pedro Manuel de Ataíde.

On Minas’ return to Portugal, he was appointed chief equerry to the queen, a function he kept for the rest of his life.

The Marquis de Minas died on 25 December 1721 in Portugal.