PRETO, João Vaz
Portuguese merchant established in Macao in the first half of the 17th century, he is referred to 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?) as being married and resident in the parish of Sé.
He was among the group of Commodores and Administrators for the travel to Japan, and served as Clerk in Santa Casa da Misericórdia in Macao in 1631, 1632 and 1633. He was also a member of the Leal Senado (Loyal Senate) as Alderman in 1636 and 1641. In addition to these posts, he belonged to the circle of the Elected and of the Associates during the 1630s and 1640s, as well as to the elite of power, wealth and knowledge of Macao. Having lived about 15 years in Macao, he was among the twenty oldest and most prominent citizens of the city in 1641.
In 1642, he signed the Term of May 31st, on the occasion of the acclamation of D. João IV in Macao. In 1642, he also stood out in the controversy that opposed the Governor of the Bishopric of China, Friar Bento de Cristo, to the Society of Jesus. In the same year, he acted in accordance with Governor General D. Sebastião Lopo da Silveira. He participated in the debate on sending an Embassy to Japan between 1645 and 1646, and he was elected as one of the six most experienced and wise men in what concerned Japan.
PENALVA, Elsa, Lutas pelo Poder em Macau (c.1590-c.1660), Universidade de Lisboa, 2005 (dissertação de doutoramento policopiada).
Translated by: Ana Pereira