João Carlos de Saldanha Oliveira e Daun, 1st Duke of Saldanha

His Excellency
The Duke of Saldanha
President of the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves
In office
19 May 1870  29 August 1870
Monarch Luís I
Preceded by Duke of Loulé
Succeeded by Marquis of Sá da Bandeira
In office
1 May 1851  6 June 1856
Monarch Maria II and Fernando II
Preceded by Duke of Terceira
Succeeded by Duke of Loulé
In office
6 October 1846  18 June 1849
Monarch Maria II and Fernando II
Preceded by Duke of Palmela
Succeeded by Marquess of Tomar
In office
27 May 1835  18 November 1835
Monarch Maria II
Preceded by Count of Linhares
Succeeded by José Jorge Loureiro
1st President of the Province of
São Pedro do Rio Grande do Sul
In office
22 February 1822  29 August 1822
Monarch João VI
Succeeded by Viscount of São Gabriel
6th Captain-General of
São Pedro do Rio Grande do Sul
In office
20 August 1821  22 February 1822
Monarch João VI
Preceded by Antônio Rodrigues da Costa
Personal details
Born 17 November 1790
Lisbon, Kingdom of Portugal
Died 20 November 1876(1876-11-20) (aged 86)
London, United Kingdom
Spouse(s) Teresa Luísa de Mendonça e Almada
Maria Leonor Ernestina Daun
Religion Roman Catholic

Dom João Carlos Gregório Domingos Vicente Francisco de Saldanha Oliveira e Daun, 1st Duke of Saldanha, GCSMOM GCC GCTS GSJS GCICVV FC (17 November 1790 – 20 November 1876; Portuguese pronunciation: [saɫˈdɐɲɐ]) was a Portuguese marshal and statesman.

Early Life and Schooling

Saldanha was born on 17 November 1790, in Arinhaga. He was a grandson of Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, 1st Marquis of Pombal, the Secretary of the State of the Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves to King Joseph I of Portugal.[1]

Saldanha studied at Coimbra, served against the French, and was made a prisoner in 1810. On his release he went to Brazil, where he was employed in the military and diplomatic services. He returned to Portugal after the declaration of the independence of Brazil.[1]

Liberal Wars

The Duke of Saldanha, as he is commonly known, was one of the most dominating personalities of war and politics in Portugal, from the revolution of 1820 to his death in 1876. During that period he led no less than seven coups d'état. He played an important part in the struggle between brothers Pedro IV of Portugal (I of Brazil) and Miguel of Portugal during the Liberal Wars.

Saldanha became Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1825 and was governor of Porto in 1826–27. He joined Dom Pedro against the usurper Dom Miguel, with whom he concluded the Concession of Evoramonte. In 1835 he was made Minister of War and President of the Council but resigned the same year. After the revolution of 1836, which he had instigated he went into exile until recalled in 1846.[1]

Duke of Saldanha, ca. 1870

Later life

After his return from exile in 1846 Saldanha was made Duke of Saldanha,[2] and formed a Ministry which fell in 1849.[1] In 1851 he organized a new revolt and became chief Minister as the leader of a coalition party formed of Septembrists and dissatisfied Chartists. He remained in power until the accession of Pedro II. in 1856. and was subsequently Minister to Rome (1862–64 and 1866–69). He became Prime Minister once more for a few months in 1870 (May–August), and was sent in 1871 to London as Ambassador, where he died.[1]


Terence Hughes wrote a character sketch of Saldanha in 1846:

The Marshal Duke de Saldanha ... is a very noble-looking old soldier, whose appearance, manners, and accomplishments would do honour to any noblesse in Europe. His hair, moustache, and whiskers, which he wears rather full, are as white as snow and contrast extremely well with the soldiery brown of his complexion. His nose is a little blunt, but his mouth is benevolent, his eyes bright and expressive, and his forehead expansive. He is about the middle height, and has an easy and gentlemanly figure—remarkably upright for a man who must be at least sixty-two years of age.

The Duke is equally distinguished in arms and diplomacy, having served during the entire Peninsular War, and subsequently took an active part in the war against Dom Miguel. He is by far the ablest general in Portugal, and about the eminence of his strategic talents there is no dispute whatever.

... He is said to be descended from the famous Bernardo del Carpio, whose father was the Conde de Saldana. ....

Terence Hughes.[3]


Saldanha was an accomplished linguist (he spoke English, French, and German with perfect fluency) and a general scholar. He wrote On the Connexion between true Sciences and Revealed Religion which was published in Berlin.[4]


Saldanha had a son who died in Berlin in 1845.[5]



Hughes, Terence McMahon (1847), An Overland Journey To Lisbon At The Close Of 1846; with a Picture of the actual State of Spain and Portugal (In two volumes), II, London: Henry Colburn, pp. 436–438 


Further reading

Political offices
Preceded by
Duke of Loulé
President of the Council of Ministers
of the Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves

Succeeded by
Marquis of Sá da Bandeira
Preceded by
Duke of Terceira
President of the Council of Ministers
of the Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves

Succeeded by
Duke of Loulé
Preceded by
Duke of Palmela
President of the Council of Ministers
of the Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves

Succeeded by
Count of Tomar
Preceded by
Count of Linhares
President of the Council of Ministers
of the Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves

Succeeded by
José Jorge Loureiro
Preceded by
Himself as captain-general
President of Rio Grande do Sul
Succeeded by
Viscount of São Gabriel
Preceded by
Antônio Rodrigues da Costa
Captain-General of Rio Grande do Sul
Succeeded by
Himself as provincial president
Portuguese nobility
New title Duke of Saldanha
Succeeded by
João Carlos Saldanha de Oliveira Daun
Marquis of Saldanha
Count of Saldanha
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