Dr. L.M.E. Shaw
In 1660 an eighteen-year old girl called Margaret Throckmorton was taken prisoner by the Lisbon Inquisition (Margarida Troquemorton in Inquisition Process No. 7522). Unlike other Inquisition processes, which are minutely documented, Margaret's process is incomplete. In itself, that is so curious that the process has been commented on elsewhere1. However, the true significance of Margaret's case has only become apparent with access to the archives of the Condes da Ponte2. At the time, the case was of great importance to Portugal as a nation and came to be known as the 'affair of the consul'. In order to understand its importance, it is necessary to appreciate the extent of Portugal's need for a treaty with Great Britain in 1659/1660.
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