António Pinto da França
Annual Report 2006
English in Portugal
Luísa Meredith Read was born in England in 1816. Following the death of her father, she, her two siblings and her mother were looked after by her uncle William Harting Read, a successful businessman who lived in the Azores and served as British Consul there. In time, he would marry her mother.
The Azores supported the Liberal cause in the war between D. Miguel and D. Pedro. This took the left-wing politician António Bernardo de Costa Cabral to the islands in 1833. Invited to the Read's Quinta, he met and fell in love with Luísa and they married a few months later. In 1838, following the nationalisation of the assets of religious orders, Costa Cabral purchased part of the Convento de Cristo in Tomar (illustrated), which Luísa surrounded with vineyards. He was very friendly with Queen D. Maria II and it was when he invited her stay with him in Tomar that she announced that he was to become Marquis of Tomar. However, despite this honour, difficulties were to follow, with short periods of exile for the couple.
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