The Marquis of Pombal was a man of many contradictions. He has rightly been referred to as a dictator, being enabled to be so in part by the weakness of King José I, and he was at times extremely vindictive, as most dictators are. On the other hand, he undertook a range of actions that, arguably, did much to improve the economy and life of Portugal. His relations with the British traders were complex: he resented their commercial power and the lack of a competing Portuguese commercial sector but, at the same time, he was happy to work with individual Englishmen when it suited his purposes, and even became friends with some of them. The article considers Pombal’s time in London as Portuguese ambassador; his dealings with the British Factory members in Lisbon prior to and immediately after the 1755 earthquake; his efforts to reform the port wine industry; and, finally, his relationships with two English businessmen.
The article can be downloaded here
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