59. A letter with news from Lisbon

Biblioteca Roncioniana, Prato: Carteggio del Vernaccia
section B, document 622, archival unit 152

On 1 December 1640 the Portuguese rebelled against the King of Spain and proclaimed king the Duke of Braganza, as João IV, a decision that was ratified by the Cortes in 1641. He was thus engaged in the long war of independence from Spain, which continued under his successor, and succeeded in regaining most of the old Portuguese possessions and expelling the Dutch from Brazil and Angola. The letter includes a copy of the public announcement regarding the discovery of a conspiracy planned by a group of nobles, including the Marquis of Vila Real and the Duke of Caminha. The plan was to light fires in various areas of Lisbon and the royal palace, and while the people would be busy putting them out, the garrison of nobles would go into the royal palace to kill the king’s family.

(Matteo Calcagni)