Diplomatic and General History
Bristow was a successful businessman in Lisbon, largely as a result of his involvement with gold smuggling and his friendship with the Marquis of Pombal. Pombal then devised a plan to concentrate the European distribution of Brazilian diamonds in a Christian monopoly, specifically to oppose the Jewish dominance of the diamond trade in northern Europe. By February 1753, the king had agreed to grant to John Bristow for six years the European monopoly to sell Brazilian diamonds. Bristow’s partner in this contract was the Dutchman, Herman Joseph Braamcamp. The earthquake brought disaster for Bristow because he had lent large sums of money to people in Lisbon, who were unable or unwilling to repay as a result of the damage caused. He was buried in the British cemetery, with his tomb paid for by an anonymous benefactor.
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