Anthroponyms seta CUNHA, D. Lourenço da (?-1633)

Born date unknown, Dom Lourenço da Cunha was the third son of Dom Pedro da Cunha and Dona Maria da Silva, his father?s second wife. Dom Pedro da Cunha was heir to the majorat of Tabua, inherited from his father, Dom Aires da Cunha, Lisbon?s provincial governor and general of Portugal?s galleys and fleet, during the reigns of Dom Joao III, Dom Sebastiao and Dom Henrique. Dona Maria da Silva was the daughter of Rui Pereira da Silva, Chief Alcaide of Silves, and of Dona Isabel da Silva (daughter of Dom Fernando Coutinho, Bishop of Lamego and of the Algarve). Dom Lourenço?s brothers took different routes in life: the firstborn son, Dom Luis da Cunha, joined the troops in the North of Africa, whilst the second born son, Dom Rodrigo da Cunha, became the Archbishop of Braga (1627-1636) and, later on, of Lisbon (1636 ? 1643). It is not known when Dom Lourenço da Cunha married Dona Isabel de Aragao, daughter of Fradique Carneiro and Dona Mecia Pais. From this matrimony were born several children, but the focus goes to Dom Antonio Alvares da Cunha (1626 ? 1690) who later became the 17th lord of Tabua.

Dom Lourenço went to India in 1594, where he fought against Malabar?s privateer Cunhale in the 1590s and against the Dutch during the 1610s. It is not certain when he occupied the position of donatory captain of Malacca, but in 1629, he occupied that same position in Goa, at the time of Dom Frei Luis de Brito e Meneses? succession. As Dom Frei Luis de Brito e Meneses died and as his appointed successor was the late bishop of Cochin, there was the need for a second nomination for the position of governor. Dom Lourenço was appointed, along with Nuno Alvares Botelho and Gonçalo Pinto da Fonseca, in a tripartite administration where he was responsible for the political aspects. From his brief two months in office (August to October 1629), there is no record of any decision made by him, even because it is known that the Senate and the people of Goa entrusted Nuno Alvares Botelho with exceptional powers. He probably only participated, as well as Gonçalo Pinto da Fonseca, in the official handing over of the government to Dom Miguel de Noronha, 4th Earl of Linhares, on 21 October 1629. Dom Lourenço da Cunha died in 1633.

SOUSA, Manuel de Faria e, Ásia Portuguesa, volume VI, tradução de Maria Vitória Garcia Santos Ferreira, vol. VI, 4º Parte, cap. VI-VII, Porto, Livraria Civilização, 1947. ZÚQUETE, Afonso, Tratado de Todos os Vice-Reis e Governadores da Índia, Lisboa, Editorial Enciclopédia, 1962.

Author: Nuno Vila-Santa
Translated by: Marília Pavão

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