VII (1784-1833) king of Spain, the eldest son of Charles IV and Queen
Maria Luisa. In 1807, as a result of his plot against his parents and their
prime minister, Godoy, he was banished from Madrid. When Napoleon invaded
Spain in 1808, Charles IV abdicated in favor of his son, but Napoleon brushed
him aside and put his brother, Joseph Bonaparte, on the Spanish throne.
For six years Ferdinand lived in exile on the estate of the French foreign
minister, Talleyrand, at Valençay, where the treaty (1813) was signed
with Napoleon that restored Ferdinand to the throne. He refused to accept
Napoleon’s liberal Constitution of Cadiz (1812) and launched a period of
counter-revolutionary terror. The revolution of 1820 forced Ferdinand to
recognize the 1812 constitution, but three years later with the aid of
the French troops he restored the absolutism. The second terror lasted
until Ferdinand’s death in 1833.
See: Francisco de Goya. Portrait of Ferdinand VII.