F. Stanley Weston
The Fort of Santa Cruz, like most others in the Azores, was originally built for protection against Moorish pirates. It was started in the year 1567, and a 2 per cent tax was placed on imports and exports and on harbour dues for financing the work. Some gunners and cannon were sent to the island to man the Fort but construction went slowly owing to the lack of funds, and in 1572 an additional tax on meat, olive oil, wine and salt was decreed to speed up its completion.
In 1580 the Spaniards occupied Portugal; but the Azores remained loyal to Dom António, Prior de Crato, and it was only after some difficulty (particularly in Terceira where the inhabitants brought down semi-wild bulls against the invaders who were forced to retire before returning with a stronger force) that the Spanish subdued the Islands.
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