Philip III of Spain (1578 – 1621) was both King of Spain and Portugal* whose reign dated from 1598 to 1621.
* Have a look at my blog on October 03, 2015 regarding the Iberian Union and why the King of Spain was also the King of Portugal at the time.
As a member of the House of Habsburg, Philip III was born in Madrid to King Philip II of Spain and his fourth Wife.
Later in life, Philip III married his cousin, Margaret of Austria, Sister of Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor.
Know in Spain as “Philip the Pious”, Philip III had a fairly negative reputation, especially abroad. In particular, Philip’s reliance on his corrupt chief minister, the Duke of Lerma, drew heavy criticism of his leadership. For many, the decline of Spain can also be dated to the economic difficulties that set in during the early years of his reign, thus he was not too popular.
Nevertheless, Philip III’s reign was significant as he was the ruler of the Spanish Empire at its height and he was also the king who achieved some temporary peace with the Dutch between 1609-1621.
Last and not to be forgotten, Philip III was also the king who brought Spain into the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648).
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