Portuguese in South-East Africa, 1600-1700

By Eric Axelson | Go to book overview

12
SOUTH-EAST AFRICA, 1681-1700

In 1680, after the latest information about south-east Africa had been examined in Lisbon, the Regent reiterated that the commerce of Moçambique and the Rivers was to be free to all Portuguese subjects, whether of Portugal, India or any other dominion and conquest. Now the monopoly of the Rivers, previously held by the captains of Moçambique and more recently by the royal treasury, was to be abolished; the Junta was to be closed down and its accounts settled, any surplus being devoted to the welfare of Moçambique and the Rivers; and custom- houses were to be established in Moçambique and such other places as the Governor of India, António Paes de Sande, thought fit.1

The Junta was horrified at the idea of being closed down. The Governor convened a committee of his Conselho do Estado; the members supported the Junta and he suspended putting the royal alvarά into effect. To the Regent he represented that throwing open the commerce of the Rivers would do irreparable harm.2 But meanwhile the Regent had sent Francisco de Távora, Conde de Alvor, to India as Viceroy, with orders to investigate disorders in the accounts of the Junta and to confirm the opening of the Rivers to general commerce.3

Alvor called at Moçambique, where he left six members of the Order of S. João de Deus which was now to be responsible for the hospital; from Goa he ordered essential medicines and stores to be sent to it.4 He convened a new committee of the Council of State which, under his direction, agreed that the alvarά should be complied with, apart from one clause granting preferential treatment to the Junta in the disposal of its

____________________
1
Principe, alvarά, 24/3/ 1680, AHEI 1499, Ordens Regias 3, fol. 356v.-7v., RSEA IV, pp. 394-5; Principe, to Paes de Sande, Governor, 24/3/ 1680, ibid. fol. 356, p. 393.
2
Junta to Pr., 27/9/ 1680, Goa, AHEI 51, LM 45, fol. 70-10, AHEI 54, LM 47, fol. 111-3v., AHEI 1499, fol. 359v.-63v.; Sande, portarias, 5/10/ 1680, 17/11/ 1680, AHEI 51, fol. 11, 13; Sande to Pr., 23/1/ 1681, ibid. 53; Sande to Pr., 24/10/ 1681, AHEI 54, fol. 109-10, AHEI 1499, fol. 358-9v.; V. Távora to Pr., 11/11/ 1681, RSEA IV, p. 406.
3
Pr. to V., 20/2/ 1681, AHEI 53, LM 46B, fol. 156, RSEA IV, p. 339; and 24/3/ 1680, AHEI 52, LM 46A, fol. 424, the V. was to maintain friendship with Monomotapa ( Pr. To V., 21/2/ 1681, AHEI 52, fol. 79, RSEA IV, p. 400).
4
Pr. to V., 22/3/ 1681, AHEI 52, fol. 85, RSEA IV, pp. 402-3, granted the hospital 3,500 crusados a year increasable at the V.'s discretion. V. to Pr., ?/10/ 1681, AHEI 53, fol.8-9v.; 25/1/ 1682, AHEI 52, fol. 86; 25/1/ 1682, ibid. fol 94; fol. 95-v.,agreement of Fazenda, 26/11/1681 to send Medical supplies; fol. 96-8v., list of supplies. Conselho Ultramarino. Conlta, 7/11/ 1682, AHU Cod. 212, fol, 128-v.; the Regent ordered anothere doctor to go to the hospital to replace one who had died. Later there was some criticism of the Order's financial administration ( V. to Rei, 24/1/ 1690, AHEI 62, LM 54, fol. 182, Manoel dos Santos Pinto (castellan of Moçambique), Extract, fol. 183).

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