Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Saturday, 2 July 2022

The death of King Manuel II in 1932

Today is the ninetieth anniversary of the sudden and unexpected death at his home Fulwell Park at Twickenham of the exiled King Manuel II of Portugal. He was only 42. 

Following the 1910 revolution in Portugal he lived in England, establishing himself at Twickenham where his mother Queen Amelie had been born when the Orleanist branch of the French Royal house lived there.

Manoel II, King of Portugal (Nov 1909).png

King Manuel II
A photograph from c.1909
The King is wearing the riband and star of the Order of the Garter, the star of the Three Orders - of Christ, Santiago and Aviz - the collar and star of the Order of the Tower and the Sword and the star of the GCVO.
The British Orfers would indicate the photograph was taken during or just after his State Visit to Windsor in 1909.

Image: Wikipedia 

Wikipedia has a biography of the King at Manuel II of Portugal

During his exile in England he was a patron of hospitals - an interest of his mother as Queen Consort - and with the Red Cross during the Great War. At Fulwell, which he bought soon after his marriage in 1913, he and his own Queen Augusta Victoria were well known and esteemed residents of Twickenham and worshippers at and benefactors of the local Catholic parish church of St James. There is information about the church and its Manueline connection in the Wikipedia article at Church of St James, Twickenham

There are two videos from local historians of the area on YouTube about the King’s life at Fulwell which can be seen at The King of Fulwell and at The Last King of Portugal - in Twickenham

These years are also covered in a mixture of English and Portuguese which include reminiscences of the King and pictures of his gifts to the church. These can be seen at ULTIMO REI DE PORTUGAL D MANUEL II  1.PARTE and at D. Manuel II, O Exílio

I recall reading once in a letter to the Daily Telegraph of how the King and Queen aldo visited the local cinema and, sitting at the front, availed themselves of tea served on tray during the interval.

Amidst this genteel and sedate exile the King also commenced a significant study of the history of Portuguese literature.

Following his death he received a state funeral in Westminster Cathedral and his body was returned to Lisbon. His mother Queen Amelie died in 1951, and his widow, who remarried in 1939 into the Swedish-German Douglas family, and thereby becoming, Countess Douglas, died in 1966.

Fulwell Park, a not very prepossessing house, was sold soon after the King’s death and the house demolished. The housing built on the site has several road names that recall the Portuguese Royal connection of the neighbourhood - Manoel Road, Augusta Road, Lisbon Avenue and Portugal Gardens. Queen Augusta returned to Germany and built herself a house which she named Twickenham and furnished it with the contents of Fulwell Park.

No comments: