Portuguese in South-East Africa, 1600-1700

By Eric Axelson | Go to book overview

10
THE 1677 SETTLEMENT SCHEME

In March, 1671, D. Pedro, the Regent, decided to withdraw the trading monopoly from the captains of Moçambique, and leave the commerce of that island and the Rivers free to all Portuguese subjects on payment of customs duties. This was to come into effect with the appointment of the next captain; if no fidalgo wished to buy the captaincy in such circumstances, the Viceroy was to appoint a soldier of satisfaction as captain--the defence of Moçambique was to be assured, for it was the corner-stone of the Conquest.1 The Regent followed up this decision, though only a year later, with an alvarά giving all his vassals resident in Portugal, the Atlantic islands, Brasil and other conquests, permission to send vessels to the coast of Africa between the Cape of Good Hope and Guardafui, there freely to trade at all ports in all goods without impediment.2 The Prince's principal reason for this concession was to assist in the settling of the Rivers by Portuguese subjects.3

The new Viceroy, Mendonça Furtado e Albuquerque, lost the monsoon on his way to India, and was forced to put back to Moçambique. While there he appreciated that the fortress was the most important in Portuguese India; and he was persuaded that the monopoly of the Rivers should be continued, though he decided it should be run for the benefit of the royal treasury.4 The Conselho Ultramarino, when it eventually deliberated this matter again, regretted that even part of a declared policy should be reversed in so short a time, but thought the Viceroy should be allowed to exercise his discretion if he really considered this the best plan for the Rivers. Though this would mean the substitution of one monopoly by another, the residents of the region would benefit, because they would be able to buy goods at fair prices, and not be subject to the only too often tyrannical and exorbitant demands of governors.5 The

____________________
1
Pr. to LuEDs de Mendonça Furtado, V., 21/3/1671, AHEI 44, LM 36, fol. 209, AHU Cod. 208, fol. 343v.-4, RSEA IV, pp. 346-7.
2
Pr. to V. 8/3/1672, AHEI 45, LM 37, fol. 192, AHU Cod. 208, fol. 349; Pr., alvarά, 9/3/1672, AHEI 45, fol. 194-v., and dated 13/2/1672, RSEA IV, pp. 349-50; Pr. to V. 11/3/1672, Cod. 208, fol. 349v.
3
Anon., parecer, n.d., RSEA IV, p. 355.
4
V. to Pr., 5/2/1671, AHEI 44, fol. 106-v.; Conselho Ultramarino, consulta, 3/10/ 1671, AHU Cod. 212, fol. 9v. On the fortress and its defence see V. to Pr., 3/10/1671, AHEI 44, fol. 319; 13/10/1671, ibid. fol. 401; Conselho Ultramarino, consulta, 5/9/ 1672, AHU Cod. 212, fol. 17v.- 18, CM; Pr. to V., 5/1/1673, AHEI 47, LM 38B, fol. 308; Pr. to V., 8/3/1672, AHEI 45, LM 37, fol. 10, 11/3/1672, ibid. fol. 70.
5
Only the last governor, João de Sousa Freire, had been an exception. The "afflicted and disconsolate people of Moçambique" took the remarkable step of petitioning for him to be extended in office ( João Bautista Mazino and about 30 others, 8/6/1671, AHU CM; Conselho Ultramarino, consulta, 10/2/ 1673, AHU CM).

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Portuguese in South-East Africa, 1600-1700
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Contents ix
  • Abbreviations x
  • 1 - SOUTH-EAST AFRICA AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY 1
  • 2 - THE SIEGES OF MOÇAMBIQUE 15
  • 3 - ESTÊVÃO DE ATAÍDE 30
  • 4 - DIOGO SIMõES MADEIRA 40
  • 5 - NUNO ÁLVARES PEREIRA 55
  • 6 - THE REVOLT OF MOMBASA 78
  • 7 - THE 1635 SETTLEMENT SCHEME 97
  • 8 - SOUTH-EAST AFRICA, 1637-1651 115
  • 9 - SOUTH-EAST AFRICA, 1652-1671 129
  • 10 - THE 1677 SETTLEMENT SCHEME 144
  • 11 - THE FALL OF MOMBASA 155
  • 12 - SOUTH-EAST AFRICA, 1681-1700 176
  • 13 - SOUTH-EAST AFRICA AT THE CLOSE OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY 188
  • Appendix - SHIPWRECKS ON THE SOUTH AFRICAN COAST 196
  • GLOSSARY 209
  • Bibliography 211
  • Index 217
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