R. G. Jayne
British Community and Family History
The Colston family were already established in Portugal by the end of the 16th Century. When they first came there cannot be determined, but Thomas was trading as a cloth merchant and had married an English wife when, round about 1600, his cousin William, a boy of 13, was sent out to learn the language. For some reason Thomas did not take him into his own business, but apprenticed him to another English cloth merchant, called William Dunn.
Like many others he came into contact with the English Jesuits at São Roque and became a Catholic. As was usual in such cases he had to appear before the Inquisition and give an account of his previous life. In the report of his examination he says that he had been born in the city of Galway of English Protestant parents who had moved there from Bristol. The Colstons still kept up a close connection with that city, and William mentions that he had paid several visits to it.
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