SILVA, António Teles da
17th governor-general of Brazil.
António Teles da Silva participated in the recapture of Bahia in 1625 and was commodore of the ships of India.
On the occasion of his appointment as governor of Brazil, he was tasked with keeping the peace with the Dutch.
During his rule, which lasted from 1642 to 1647, the Dutch governor Maurice Nassau left for the Netherlands, and the abuses that victimized the population led to the Pernambucan conspiracy, a movement presided by João Fernandes Vieira.
The revolt broke out with the undeclared support of the Governor, who always spoke of the conspirators to the Dutch authorities as being a set of adventurers, acting of their own accord. The conflict took the shape of a constant guerrilla war fought against the well-organized Dutch army.
In 1646, the general Sigismund Vanescoph arrived in Brazil with the purpose of recapturing the city of São Salvador. When the King heard the news, he decided to send an armada led by the Count of Vila Pouca with a view to force the enemy out of Baía-de-Todos-os-Santos.
Though seemingly neutral, the Governor always gave his support to the mutineers of Pernambuco. The Netherlands resented this and the King decided to have Teles da Silva replaced by the Count of Vila Pouca in order to hold back the Dutch?s anger and keep the relations between the two states on friendly terms.
António Teles da Silva joined the Order of Malta but took no solemn vows.
He died a bachelor in 1650, in a shipwreck near Buarcos. As he died childless, his brother Fernão Teles de Meneses, the 1st Count of Vila Maior, became his heir.
CAMPO BELO, Conde de, Governadores Gerais e Vice-Reis do Brasil, Lisboa, Agência Geral das Colónias, 1935. Nova história da expansão portuguesa, dir. Joel Serrão e A. H. Oliveira Marques, vol. VII, O império Luso- Brasileiro: 1620-1750, coord. de Fréderic Mauro, Lisboa, Estampa, 1991. VARNHAGEN, Francisco Adolfo de, História Geral do Brasil: antes da sua separação e independência de Portugal, São Paulo, Ed. Melhoramentos, 4ªed., 1948.
Author: Rita Domingues
Translated by: Leonor Sampaio da Silva