FONSECA, Gaspar Borges
A merchant and a married man living in Macao in the first half of the 17th century, he supported the formalisation of Macao-Manila travel in 1621, when he was about 33 years old. In the issue of the government of Bishopric of China, he supported the Society of Jesus, which opposed to Friar António do Rosário, having granted certificates in favour of the Jesuits on November 22nd, 1622 and January 26th, 1623.
He belonged to the circle of the Elected and Associates in the decade of the 1630s. In 1634, he was Clerk in Santa Casa da Misericórdia. Keeping close to the Viceroy Count of Linhares, he was Foreman in the voyage to Manila in 1636, and for this reason had to face the opposition of seventy co-citizens. He was among the merchants that were part of the elite of power, wealth and knowledge of the city, after having belonged to the economic and power elite of the 1620s. He was a member of the Leal Senado (Loyal Senate) and served as Alderman in 1636 and 1646.
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.
On November 12th, 1640, in the general recruitment of ship captains, he was chosen along with Jorge Bastião to command ships to Makassar, Japara, Sion, Cambodia, Conchinchina and Tonkin. The group of merchants that elected them was formed by Salvador Coelho Mourão, Jerónimo Rodriguez Cavalinho, Diogo Cardozo, Manuel Ferreira Beltrão and Pêro de Figueredo Castelbranco. By its turn, the Loyal Senate chose Diogo Vaz Bávaro and Gaspar Correa Coelho.
On the occasion of the acclamation of D. João IV, he only signed the third Term of June 20th1642.
He was among the merchants that supported the maintenance of Macao?s partial autonomy in relation to the Portuguese central government. In this way, he participated in the election of associate Procurators of the people in 1643.
Between 1645 and 1646, he participated in the debate on sending an Embassy to Japan, which he was in favour of.
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