Pillory of Prado village (Reign of Manuel I)
Photo Cátia Carvalho & Nuno Lima
SOUSA, D. Pedro (?-1555)
Dom Pedro de Sousa, first count of Prado, was the son of Dona Branca de Vilhena and Dom Rui de Sousa (justice of the peace to King John II and negotiator of the Treaty of Tordesilhas). Dom Pedro was gentlemen of Beringel, alcaide of Beja and member of the Counsel during the reigns of King Manuel I and King John III. Despite his status in the kingdom, he pursued a political and military career in Morocco. In June of 1514, King Manuel I made him lifetime captain of Azamor, in a concerted effort with the captain of Safim, the famous Nuno Fernandes de Ataíde. Without any viable explanation, Dom Pedro abandoned the post in 1516 and received from the Crown a lifetime recompense of 200,000 reais.
There are indications that Dom Pedro de Sousa would assume command posts again in Morocco during the first years of governance of King John III, first as captain of Alcácer Ceguer and later as captain of Azamor. In 1525, the king conferred land and the title of count of Prado on Dom Pedro, due to the efforts that the nobleman had expended during the struggles against the Muslims in North Africa and as captain in this region. In this way, Dom Pedro de Sousa became one of the few members of the Portuguese aristocracy whose title depended greatly upon his contribution to the expansionist process.
At the end of the 1520s, the count of Prado would be indicated as the most appropriate figure to assume the post of governor of the State of India by his cousin Dom Francisco of Portugal, tax authority and first count of Vimioso. The proposal would not be implemented, however.
Dom Pedro de Sousa died on March 23, 1555, without having returned overseas.
FREIRE, Anselmo Braancamp Freire, Brasões da Sala de Sintra, vols. I e III, Lisboa, Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda, 1996.
PELÚCIA, Alexandra, Martim Afonso de Sousa e a sua Linhagem ? A Elite Dirigente do Império Português nos Reinados de D. João III e D. Sebastião, Lisboa, UNL-FCSH, 2007, dissertação de doutoramento policopiada.
Author: Alexandra Pelúcia
Translation: Rosa Simas