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Supplying Timber for his Majesty’s Fleets: Forest Resources and Maritime Struggle in Portugal (1621–1634)

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Abstract

It is noteworthy that there were various trade routes by which timber was imported from Northern Europe to Portugal. This chapter however focuses on the forests in Portugal belonging to the Crown and some others located in Portugal that were exploited for the King, although they were owned privately. This does not mean that there were no other territories and forests within Portugal devoted to this purpose, as indeed they were. For that reason, this contribution is restricted to both ships used in the King’s fleets and the Carreira da India. The maritime and military conflicts of the Spanish Monarchy led to the development of an intensive and spectacular shipbuilding industry, and Portuguese forests did not have the capacity to effectively supply the entire demand of timber for shipbuilding.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    For heritage we mean the Spanish Monarchy, including overseas territories.

  2. 2.

    First viceroy of the Portuguese Indian State.

  3. 3.

    Arquivo Histórico Ultramarino (hereafter AHU), Conselho Ultramarino (hereafter CU), Reino, box 3 folder 91, September 271,622.

  4. 4.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 4, folder 6, January 121,623. Written probably from Lisbon.

  5. 5.

    Biblioteca e Arquivo Histórico de Ministério de Obras Públicas (hereafter BAHMOP), Montaria-Mor do reino (hereafter MMR), nucleo 9, March 1622.

  6. 6.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 3, folder 77, August 1622.

  7. 7.

    BAHMOP, MMR, nucleo 9, August 1622.

  8. 8.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 4, folder 21.

  9. 9.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 4, folder 51.

  10. 10.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 3, folder 63.

  11. 11.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 4, folder 69. December 1623.

  12. 12.

    BAHMOP, MMR, nucleo 9, November 1622.

  13. 13.

    BAHMOP, MMR, nucleo 9, December 1622.

  14. 14.

    BAHMOP, MMR, nucleo 9, January 1623.

  15. 15.

    BAHMOP, MMR, nucleo 9, January 1623.

  16. 16.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 4a, folder 12, February 1624.

  17. 17.

    BAHMOB, MMR, nucleo 9, October 1623.

  18. 18.

    The following lines are based on AH, CU, Reino, box 4a, folder 12.

  19. 19.

    BA, Ms. 51-VI-28, f. 57r-v.

  20. 20.

    This document stated the purveyor of the King’s warehouse had the task of watching personally the gauges (bitolas ) for the 3-decks being constructed, as the timbers would be cut according to them, February 131,623.

  21. 21.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 4a, folder 10, BAHMOP, MMR, nucleo 9, January 1624.

  22. 22.

    The accepted agreement was delivered from Madrid in December 1623, AHU, CU, Reino, box 4a, folder 68.

  23. 23.

    Biblioteca de Ajuda (hereafter BA), Manuscripts (hereafter Ms.), 51-VI-28, f. 61v.

  24. 24.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 4a, folder 27.

  25. 25.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 4a, folder 28. May 1624.

  26. 26.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 4a folder 29; box 5 folders 1 and 8.

  27. 27.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 5, folder 13.

    . BA, Ms. 51-VI-28, f. 78v.

  28. 28.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 5, folder 11. February 1625, letter of Baltesar Gonçalves shipwright delivered from Lisbon to Porto.

  29. 29.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 5, folder 13.

  30. 30.

    BNE, Ms. 2.846, f. 185r.

  31. 31.

    BAHMOP, MMR, nucleo 9, August 1624.

  32. 32.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 5, folder 22. April 1625.

  33. 33.

    BAHMOP, MMR, nucleo 9, December 1624.

  34. 34.

    Biblioteca Nacional de España (hereafter BNE), Manuscritos (hereafter Ms.), 2.845, f. 27r-v.

  35. 35.

    This issue is constantly emphasized in the archival sources, BNE, Ms. 2.845, ff. 145r-146r.

  36. 36.

    BNE, Ms. 2.846, f. 180r, February 1625.

  37. 37.

    BNE, Ms. 2.846, f. 183r.

  38. 38.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 4a, folder 27. May 1624, Portuguese Treasury Council.

  39. 39.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 5, folder 33. June 5, 1625.

  40. 40.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 5, folder 43.

  41. 41.

    Archivo General de Simancas (hereafter AGS), Secretarías Provinciales (hereafter SSP), libro (hereafter lib.), 1.520, f. 122v or 123v, November 1626.

  42. 42.

    AGS, SSP, lib. 1.520, f. 6r, Barbastro January 311,626. This year the King would deliver 200.000 cruzados to outfit the fleet based in Lisbon.

  43. 43.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 5a, folder 1,

  44. 44.

    BAHMOP, MMR 9, January 1626.

  45. 45.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 5a, folders 4, 6.

  46. 46.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 5a, folder 6. The trees were felled in February’s waning moon.

  47. 47.

    AGS, SSP, lib. 1.520, f. 27r, March 131,626, Monzón.

  48. 48.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 5a, folder 8.

  49. 49.

    AGS, SSP, lib. 1.520, f. 53v. In April Vasco Fernandes Cesar reported the construction state of both ships.

  50. 50.

    AGS, SSP, lib. 1.520, f. 83v, July 1626.

  51. 51.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 4a, folder 27, May 291,624.

  52. 52.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 5a, folder 14, May 1626.

  53. 53.

    BAHMOP, MMR, nucleo 9, January 1627.

  54. 54.

    AGS, Guerra y Marina (hereafter GYM), legajo (hereafter leg.) 173, doc. 76.

  55. 55.

    AGS, SSP, lib. 1.521, f. 6r, July 1628, order of Philip IV.

  56. 56.

    BAHMOP, MMR, nucleo 9, October and November 1628.

  57. 57.

    BAHMOP, MMR, nucleo 9, Lisbon 1629.

  58. 58.

    AGS, SSP, lib. 1.521, f. 6r, letter of Philip IV, Madrid 28 July 1628; f. 9v, October 1628.

  59. 59.

    AGS, SSP, lib. 1.521, f. 21r-v.

  60. 60.

    AGS, SSP, lib. 1.521, f. 21r, letter of Philip IV, June 11,630.

  61. 61.

    In 1633, Bartolomeu Alvares, master carpenter of Lisbon shipyards, constructed the carrack Nossa Senhora da Oliveira that sailed to India in the next year. Perhaps it was the ship aforementioned. In 1634, he was constructing the carrack Santa Catherina. AHU, CU, Reino, box 6, folder 34.

  62. 62.

    BAHMOP, MMR, nucleo 9, November 1634.

  63. 63.

    AGS, SSP, lib. 1.521, ff. 7r-8r, 19v, 20v. Madrid, August 1628.

  64. 64.

    AGS, SSP, lib. 1.521, f. 63r.

  65. 65.

    Gil Fernandes da Fonseca acquired one galleon according to the King’s orders to sail to Bahia.

  66. 66.

    AGS, SSP, lib. 1.521, ff. 124r-127r, Lisbon June 61,630, instruction issued by Marquis of Castel-Rodrigo.

  67. 67.

    AGS, SSP, lib. 1.477, f. 1r.

  68. 68.

    AGS, SSP, lib. 1.477, ff. 8r-12v, Madrid, June 1631.

  69. 69.

    AGS, SSP, lib. 1.477, ff. 15v-17v.

  70. 70.

    AGS, SSP, lib. 1.477, f. 31v.

  71. 71.

    AGS, SSP, lib. 1.477 ff. 22r-29r, deliveries of the Committee based in Lisbon, July 12, 21, and 31. Some days afterwards Domingo Gil replaced Rui Correa, Ibídem, ff. 35v-36r.

  72. 72.

    AGS, SSP, lib. 1.477, ff. 44v-45r.

  73. 73.

    AGS, SSP, lib. 1.521, ff. 25r-26r.

  74. 74.

    AGS, SSP, lib. 1.521, f. 40r.

  75. 75.

    AGS, SSP, lib. 1.526, f. 1r, Madrid, December 51,631.

  76. 76.

    AGS, SSP, lib. 1.526, f. 2r, February 181,632.

  77. 77.

    AGS, SSP, lib. 1.526, ff. 7v-8r, August 291,632.

  78. 78.

    BA, Ms. 51-VI-28, f. 78v.

  79. 79.

    BA, Ms. 51-II-25, ff. 172r-173v.

  80. 80.

    For instance, AGS, SSP, lib. 1.520, f. 125r-v, Order of Philip IV, November 61,626 attached to Leiria’s pinewood ordinance.

  81. 81.

    For instance, in 1624 the Portuguese Government ordered the monteiro-mor to gather information about anyone known for cutting and burning trees without permission. BAHMOP, MMR, 8.

  82. 82.

    AGS, SSP, lib. 1.520, f. 124r, November 61,626, Madrid.

  83. 83.

    Many examples can be seen in BAHMOP, MMR, nucleo 9, or AHU, CU, Reino, box 5, folder 8, January 1625.

  84. 84.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 5A, folder 20, Almeirim, June 181,626.

  85. 85.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 5a, folder 35.

  86. 86.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 6, folder 33, April 1634.

  87. 87.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 5a, folder 28.

  88. 88.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 6, folder 17.

  89. 89.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 6, folder 35, September 1634.

  90. 90.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 7, folder 32, January 1635.

  91. 91.

    On August 101,628, the Marquis of Castel-Rodrigo was permitted to sell these properties belonging to the Crown to sustain the military conflict in India . AGS, SSP, lib. 1.521, ff. 6v-7r, 11r-v; BA, Ms. 51-X-3, ff. 27r-29r.

  92. 92.

    BA, Ms. 51-X-3, f. 27v.

  93. 93.

    BA, Ms. 51-X-3, ff. 27v-29r. It was repeated again in July 1632, f. 30r-v.

  94. 94.

    BA, Ms. 51-X-3, ff. 23v-24r, July 111,632.

  95. 95.

    See below for further information about this process.

  96. 96.

    BA, Ms. 51-VI-3, ff. 297r-300r, May 1634.

  97. 97.

    BA, Ms. 51-VI-28, f. 62r-v.

  98. 98.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 5 folder 31.

  99. 99.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 5a, folder 10. The masters were Cristóvão de Almeida o’Velho, Pedro Ruiz, João Domingues, Cristóvão Dalela, Pêro Fernandes Cascão, Fernão Martins, Pêro do Ruis Machado, António Machado, March 291,626.

  100. 100.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 5a, folder 21.

  101. 101.

    AHU, CU, Reino, box 7, folder 4, January 1635.

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Trápaga Monchet, K. (2022). Supplying Timber for his Majesty’s Fleets: Forest Resources and Maritime Struggle in Portugal (1621–1634). In: Crespo Solana, A., Castro, F., Nayling, N. (eds) Heritage and the Sea . Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-86460-6_9

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