Ferdinand VI,b. 1712 or 1713, d. 1759, king of Spain (1746–59), son of Philip V by his first queen, Marie Louise of Savoy. When Ferdinand succeeded his father, his stepmother, Elizabeth FarneseElizabeth Farnese
, 1692–1766, queen of Spain, second consort of Philip V; niece of Antonio Farnese, duke of Parma. Soon after her marriage (1714), arranged by Cardinal Alberoni and the princesse des Ursins, she gained a strong influence over her weak husband and for some
..... Click the link for more information. , lost her power at court and went into retirement. Ferdinand's chief ministers were José de Carvajal y Lancaster, who was pro-British, and EnsenadaEnsenada, Zenón de Somodevilla, marqués de la
, 1702–81, Spanish statesman. He was created (1736) marquis for his part in the expedition to Naples that placed King Philip V's son, Carlos (later Charles III of Spain), on the Neapolitan throne.
..... Click the link for more information. , who had for many years directed the affairs of Spain and strongly favored France. In the years preceding the Seven Years War (1756–63), both France and England sought a Spanish alliance. Carvajal died in 1754, and Ferdinand, desiring Spain to remain at peace, dismissed Ensenada, fearing that he might trap Spain in a French alliance. Richard Wall, an Irishman, succeeded Carvajal, and with his help Ferdinand kept Spain out of the war during his lifetime. In 1758, Ferdinand's queen, Maria Barbara de Braganza, died. Ferdinand did not recover from his grief and died soon afterward. He was succeeded by his half-brother, Charles III.