On this day in 1833 Ferdinand VII of Spain (b. 1784) died.
Ferdinand VII (Spanish: Fernando VII de Borbón; 14 October 1784 – 29 September 1833) was twice King of Spain: in 1808 and again from 1813 to his death.
He was known to his supporters as “the Desired” (el Deseado) and to his detractors as the “Felon King” (el Rey Felón).
After being overthrown by Napoleon in 1808 he linked his monarchy to counter-revolution and reactionary policies that produced a deep rift in Spain between his forces on the right and liberals on the left.
He re-established the absolutist monarchy and rejected the liberal constitution of 1812. He suppressed the liberal press 1814-33 and jailed many of its editors and writers. Spain plunged into civil war on his death. His reputation among historians is very low. Historian Stanley Payne says:
“He proved in many ways the basest king in Spanish history. Cowardly, selfish, grasping, suspicious, and vengeful, [he] seemed almost incapable of any perception of the commonweal. He thought only in terms of his power and security and was unmoved by the enormous sacrifices of Spanish people to retain their independence and preserve his throne.”