KING CARLOS I OF PORTUGAL ORIGINAL SIGNED DOCUMENT 1894
This document signed by King Carlos I of Portugal, awarded to one James Jackson a representative of the British crown, the rank of Commander of the Military Order of the Knights of Jesus Christ, which was a high Portuguese honour.
The letter begins, after the salutation, 'I the King of Portugal and the Algarves' and is dated May 4th 1894.
The document is in very good and clean condition, and bears a paper seal with the Royal arms of Portugal to the rear.
The Military Order of Christ (Ordem Militar de Cristo) previously the Royal Order of the Knights of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Real Ordem dos Cavaleiros de Nosso Senhor Jesus Cristo) was founded in 1319. In 1789 the Portuguese Order lost its religious character, being secularised by Queen Mary. Since 1789, the members consisted (besides the Grand Master and Great Commander) of six Knights of the Grand Cross, four hundred and fifty Commanders, and an unlimited number of Knights. Foreigners were exempt from the rules, but, at the same time, were excluded from the participation in the revenues of the Order. Only Catholics of noble descent could be admitted to the Order
Carlos I (28 September 1863 – 1 February 1908) was born in Lisbon, the son of King Luís and Queen Maria Pia of Savoy, daughter of Victor Emmanuel II, King of Italy. He became King on 19 October 1889 and was the first Portuguese King to die a violent death since Sebastian of Portugal in 1578.
On 1 February 1908 the royal family returned from the palace of Vila Viçosa to Lisbon. On their way to the royal palace, the open carriage with Carlos I and his family passed through the Terreiro do Paço fronting on the river. While crossing the square, shots were fired from the crowd by two republican activists: Alfredo Costa and Manuel Buiça.
Buiça, a former army sergeant and sharpshooter, fired five shots from a rifle hidden under his long overcoat. The king died immediately, his heir, Luís Filipe, was mortally wounded, and Prince Manuel was hit in the arm. The Queen alone escaped injury. The two assassins were killed on the spot by police and bodyguards; an innocent bystander was also killed in the confusion. The royal carriage turned into the nearby Navy Arsenal, where, about twenty minutes later, the Prince Royal Luis Filipe died. Several days later, the younger son, Prince Manuel, was proclaimed King of Portugal; he was the last of the Braganza-Saxe-Coburg and Gotha dynasty and was destined also to be the last King of Portugal.