Home Governo de Portugal DGPC Home UNESCO
Versão Portuguesa

Others

Tower Governors 

The position of Governor of the Tower of Belém was a very auspicious one and became one of the most important honorary offices in the Portuguese armed forces, even though it was of no practical significance in military terms.
1517
- Gaspar de Paiva was the first Governor of the Tower of Belém. An influential figure at the court of Manuel I, he was a cousin of the explorer Magellan. His brother, Bartolomeu de Paiva, was a servant to João III, Purveyor of Works of the Kingdom and of the work on the Tower of Belém. Gaspar de Paiva served in India under Afonso de Albuquerque and rose to the position of Alcalde of Goa.
1538 - Manuel de Sampaio, artillery captain.
1592 - Diego de Pareja, captain in the army of Philip II.
1640 - António de Saldanha, a military officer in India in 1620, who was later ennobled; he was also a war counsel to João IV and Governor General of the Azores.
1674 - Sancho Manuel de Vilhena, 1st Count of Vila Flor (ca. 1608-1677). Son of a captain-major of the India fleet, he originally fought on the side of the Spanish army. Imprisoned under João IV, he became an ally of the king and was eventually to become General-in-Chief of the Portuguese Army, a post he received in recognition of his decisive contribution in the War of Restoration.
1681 - Luís Manuel de Távora (1646 - 1706), 4th Count of Atalaia, war counsel.
1701 - Gomes Freire de Andrade became Governor during the Count of Atalaia's inability to exercise the office; he was commander of one of the three military barracks of the city of Lisbon.
1707 - Pedro Manuel de Ataíde (1665 - 1722), 5th Count of Atalaia, Lieutenant-General of the Minho Cavalry and mestre-de-camp of Beira.
1738 - João Manuel de Noronha, 1st Marquis of Tancos (1679-1761). Battle General and mestre-de-camp, captain-general of Angola, Governor of Arms of the Province of Alentejo and war counsel.
1761 - Duarte da Câmara, Count of Aveiras, general mestre-de-camp of the armies, member of the war council and courtier.
1775 - Pedro José de Noronha Camões de Albuquerque Moniz e Sousa (1716 - 1788), 3rd Marquis of Ângeja and 4th Count of Vila Verde, Lieutenant-General of the Army.
1788 - Duarte Rodrigo da Câmara, 2nd Marquis of Tancos († 1793). He was a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber to Dom Francisco (brother of João V) and José I and Queen Maria I; overseer of the Royal House, general and governor of the arms of the court and province of Estremadura.
1799 - João Carlos de Bragança de Sousa Ligne Tavares Mascarenhas da Silva, 2nd Duke of Lafões (1719-1806). The second son of the Infante Miguel and grandson of Pedro II. A very enlightened man, together with his mentor the Abbot Correia da Serra, he founded the Lisbon Royal Academy of Science in 1779 and was its first president.
1800 - Duarte Manuel de Menezes e Noronha, 4th Marquis of Tancos (1775-1833). Commander of the Order of Christ and the Order of the Tower and Sword, field marshal, inspector and first member of the Public Health Council. Minister and Secretary of State in the government of Prince Miguel and lieutenant-general of the Absolutist army.
1803 - Francisco de Melo da Cunha Mendonça e Meneses, 1stMarquis of Olhão (1741-1821). President of the Senate of Lisbon Council, Governor and captain-general of the Algarve. Fought the French troops led by Junot in 1807. From 1808 to 1820 he held the positions of Governor of the Kingdom and war counsel.
1810 - António Soares de Noronha († 1814), Lieutenant-General.
1814 - Francisco de Melo da Cunha Mendonça e Menezes (1761 - 1821), 1st Marquis of Olhão and 1st Count of Castro Marim, war counsel, Chief Forester and Governor of the Kingdom.
1823 - António de Lemos Pereira de Lacerda, 1st Viscount of Juromenha (1761-1828). Commander of the Orders of Avis and the Tower and Sword; decorated for his achievements in the Catalonia and Rossilhão war campaigns and for his campaign in the Peninsular War. Military Secretary to João VI up until the revolution of 1820.
1824 - José de Vasconcelos e Sá (1775 - 1842), Baron of Albufeira, Brigadier and Field Marshal, Lieutenant to the Infante Miguel; replaced António, Viscount of Juromenha when the latter was stripped of the office.
1825 - António de Lacerda, Viscount of Juromenha, who returned to the position after the imprisonment of the Baron of Albufeira (1824 to 1826); he served until his death on 9 August 1828.
1828 - Francisco Paula Leite de Sousa (1747 - 1833), Viscount of Veiros, Lieutenant-General and war advisor.
1834 - António José de Sousa Manuel de Meneses Severim de Noronha, Duke of Terceira (1792-1860). Noble page to Maria I and Gentleman of the Privy Chamber to João VI, Chief Cupbearer, Chief Equerry (Master of the Horse), State Counsel, Minister of State and Minister Plenipotentiary, Army Marshall and President of the Supreme Council of Military Justice. He was part of the Anglo-Portuguese forces that defeated Spain during the Napoleonic wars. Aide-de-camp to the Infante Miguel in 1823, he later switched to the liberal side of Pedro IV. After the proclamation of Miguel he emigrated to England. He returned to govern Terceira island (Azores), where he gathered troops which landed at Mindelo in 1832 and was victorious in the Civil War. Commander-in-Chief of the Army in the 1st Liberal government.


Tower Prisoners

The Tower began to be used as a political prison in the Philippine period (1580-1640). The roughly one hundred identified prisoners include some very prominent and influential figures.
The first known prisoner was Pedro da Cunha, in 1589.
1638 - Francisco Manuel de Melo (1608-1666), a writer, nobleman of the Royal House and Knight of the Order of Christ. He was imprisoned when his loyalty to Philip III of Spain (II of Portugal) was questioned.
1641 - Francisco de Castro († 1643), Chief Inquisitor and grandson of the Viceroy of India, Dom João de Castro. He was imprisoned for collaborating with the Spanish. He was later to be freed and have his titles, positions and dignities returned.
1641 - Sebastião de Matos Noronha (1586-1641), Archbishop of Braga. Imprisoned for conspiring with the Spanish. He died the same year, probably in the Tower, although he himself celebrated the wedding of João IV and Dona Luísa de Gusmão.
1758 - João de Almeida e Portugal (1726-1802), Marquis of Alorna, married to the 3rd Marquess of Távora. Imprisoned from 1758 to 1777 for alleged involvement in regicide. Found innocent and freed at the end of the reign of King José.
1803 and 1815 - Gomes Freire de Andrade (1757-1817), grandson of a Governor of the Tower, was incarcerated here twice. A Field Marshall, Freemason Grand Master and a great military figure who fought in Portugal and abroad, he was executed for political reasons in 1817 in the Fort of São Julião da Barra.

rss