Portuguese merchant, he married and established himself in Macao in the first half of the 17th century.
In the inhabitants? list of 1625 (?Lista De La gente Efetiua que Ay Em esta Ciudade Assy, Vizinos Como estrauagantes forasteros E gente De lla tierra?) referring to Macao, we find four men with his name, one named Francisco Carvalho Aranha and another Francisco Carvalho Contreras.
In case that Francisco Carvalho is Francisco Carvalho Aranha, he lived in the parish of Santo António. He belonged to the circle of Commodores and Administrators for the journey to Japan. He supported the formalisation of the Macau-Manila travel in 1621, when he was 41 years old. In 1627, he was Clerk in Santa Casa da Misericórdia.
Having lived about 25 years in Macao, he was in the elite of economy and power in the 1620s, joining the elite of economy and power in the 1630s and 1640s, and which reaffirmed the partial autonomy of Macao toward the central government. He was also a member of the circle of the Elected and the Associates in the last two mentioned decades.
Being a member of the Loyal Senate twice, in 1631 as Procurator and in 1635 as Alderman, he belonged to the elite of power, wealth and knowledge of Macao. He participated in the debate of 1631-1637 on the new type of election for travel Administrator to Japan, which was imposed by the Viceroy Count of Linhares upon suggestion of the Chief Judge Sebastião Soares Pais.
In 1641, he was among the twenty oldest and most prominent citizens of Macao.
He signed the Term of May 31st, 1642 on the occasion of the acclamation of D. João IV in Macao. He stood out in the contradictions in which the Governor of the Bishopric of China, Friar António de Cristo, opposed to the Commissaries of the Holy Office, Father Gaspar Luis and Father Gaspar do Amaral. Upon suggestion of António Fialho Ferreira in 1643, he was awarded the Habit of the Order of Christ.
In 1645, he was considered one of the six greatest authorities in what concerned Japan, and participated in the debate of 1645-1646 on sending an Embassy to Japan.
Bibliography: PENALVA, Elsa, Lutas pelo Poder em Macau (c.1590-c.1660), Universidade de Lisboa, 2005 (dissertação de doutoramento policopiada).
Author: Elsa Penalva
Translated by: Ana Pereira