THE PALÁCIO DOS TELES DE MELO
Standing at the juncture of the Calçada do Cascão and the Rua dos Remédios, in Alfama, the old Palácio dos Teles de Melo was built at the beginning of the 18th Century, perhaps even in 1701. Part of the site was at that time occupied by two houses dating back to at least 1563, which had belonged first to Francisco Nunes and later to Jerónimo Garcês, Lourenço Garcês Palha, Pedro Sanches Farinha and to Luís Correia da Paz, a representative of the “Junta de Comércio” (Commercial Commission). On the other part of the site, adjoining these two houses, were a number of small houses which Leão da Silva Machado e Morais had sold to Luís Correia da Paz in 1699.
The Palácio dos Teles de Melo, standing at the «Portas da Cruz» (a gate in the medieval city walls), was built in 1701 by the aforementioned Luís Correia da Paz, with great pomp and arrogance, and after his death in 1712, it was passed down through a line of direct descendents: to his son, Pedro Teles de Melo e Ataíde, Secretary of War for King D. João V, grandson Francisco Xavier Teles de Melo, great-grandson Pedro Teles de Melo (both also Secretaries of War), great, great-grandson Francisco Xavier Teles de Melo, and great, great, great-grandson Pedro João Teles de Melo. It was inherited in around 1867 by D. Ana Leonor, daughter of Pedro João Teles de Melo, who, through her marriage to João Pedro de Lobo Castro Pimentel, was to become the Viscountess of Erval. In 1873 it was put up for auction and bought for 6,700$000 réis by José António Veloso, being sold again in 1888 to José Maria do Espirito Santo Silva for the sum of 15.000$000 réis. In 1901 it was passed on to D. Maria Justina do Espirito Santo Silva, wife of Dr. Custódio Moniz Galvão, and thence to their son, Dr. Custódio José de Moniz Galvão, who died some years ago. It currently belongs to his daughter D. Maria Cristina Moniz Galvão.
The palace was restored after the earthquake, and has benefited from internal modifications at the end of the last century.
One of its illustrious tenants was D. Teresa de Oliveira e Sousa, of the Counts of Rio Maior family, who established a college there in 1868, which lasted until the end of the century. There has been an evangelical church in a small part of the building since 1880. The old palace now houses dozens of families and the ground floor is occupied by a variety of commercial establishments.
The old Teles de Melo Palace is an enormous house. Its four facades, from the Rua dos Remédios to the Calçada do Cascão, are all of noble aspect. This alone would explain its inclusion in the «Inventory of Lisbon», notwithstanding its historic past.
THE PARISH OF SANTA ENGRÁCIA
The boundary line of this Parish commences at the end of the Calçada do Forte, running along the Rua do Caiz do Carvão, Bica do Sapato unto the crossroad that arises before the street reaches the Cruz da Pedra Arch. It then follows the Southern side of this road, and the Western side of the whole of the road running next to the wall of the Quinta that once belonged to the Jesuits, and that now belongs to Joseph Leyte. It runs along the Southern side of the path arising there, to the road below the N Snr.ª da Penha de França olive grove until the Cruz dos Quatro Caminhos. From there, proceeding along the Northern side of the other road, which passes the Quinta do Madr. ª, and turns along the straight street of Valle de S. António to the Cross. From there it rises along the southern side of the street named Orta da Cera, and close to that of Villa Gallega to the Travessa do Marquez do Lavradio, where the boundary is on the eastern side.
In the Campo de S. Clara next to the Fundição de Sima (Upper Foundry), it continues between the walls and along the street that runs from next to the Portas da Cruz to the Calçada do Forte do Paraizo, where the boundary line ends, with the Campo de S. Clara, Rua do Mirante, Rua dos Barbadinhos, Rua de N. Sª das Dores, Travessa das Freiras, Quinta do Judeu, and the whole of the Valle Escuro also belonging to this Parish.
Of especial note: The Main Facade overlooking the square at the beginning of the Calçada do Cascão, featuring seven windows on the upper floor, with Manueline carved bars and projecting cornice, and the same number of windows with parapets on the first floor; impressive doorway, no.3, with dressed stone moulding triple fascia at the end of the cornice (from the end of the 18th Century until the mid 19th Century, this doorway this was the entrance to the house chapel, which was lines with carving, with a second doorway being created to give access to the palace. This doorway still exists, at no. 5). The establishment at door no. 1 is a grocer’s shop and no. 7 is a warehouse.
Side Facade, overlooking the south side of the small square, with windows like those in the main facade and two warehouse doors (the old Mascato grocer’s and inn from the end of the last century and start of this one. (means in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries);
East Facade, overlooking the Calçada do Cascão, with six windows similar to those of the windows existing at the piano nobile and another six of the wide sill windows, and a door providing access for the tenants at number 15.
South facade, overlooking the Rua dos Remédios, with five windows with ornamental Manueline bars at the piano nobile and various wide sill windows, with no symmetry; imposing doorway, in no. 201 in the main facade (now a shop) and which formerly gave access to the palace. On the ground floor, various establishments and a door providing access for the tenants at number 195.
At the time of its construction (1701), the Teles de Melo Palace straddled the old Fernandine city walls, being partly inside and partly outside of them. On the palace wall on the Calçada do Cascão, which forms a corner with the Rua dos Remédios, is inset an eleven line Latin inscription in pink marble with moulding. From 1656, this inscription decorated the gate known as the Portas or Porta da Cruz in the said Fernandine wall, which stood at the start of the Rua dos Remédios, until it was demolished in 1755.
The inscription translates as follows: Memory dedicated to Eternity.
“King D. João IV of Portugal, with the approval of parliament, has publicly devoted his person and his kingdom to the Immaculate Conception of Mary via tributes from an annual census, and has sworn his person to the perpetual defence of the Mother of God, who has been elected patron saint of the Realm and is free from the stain of original sin. In order that this most pious Portuguese sentiment should be preserved, he has ordered that this memory be registered in living stone in the year of Our Lord 1646, the sixth year of his reign”. (The inscription was only affixed in 1656).
The Porta da Cruz
If he continues on his way, the traveller comes to the Paraíso chapel, later the Jesuit College and today the Naval Hospital. Of this chapel, the poet of the report quoted above, said:
Outside of the Porta da Cruz,
Almost a stone’s throw away,
Of the Virgin of paradise
A most devoted church.
He would then arrive at the above-mentioned City Gates, the Portas da Cruz, which were so busy since in the time of Frei Nicolau de Oliveira over nine hundred beasts per day passed through them loaded with provisions, not to mention passengers.
Here we stand with the wayfarer, at the Portas da Cruz, that is to say, on the eastern side of the street running from the Portas da Cruz (! Nowadays the Rua dos Remédios !) at the top of the Calçada do Forte and the Calçada Museu de Artelharia.
To our right stands a noble and lofty palace, with mezzanine and towering first floor, enormous doorways and an air of unmistakeable grandeur. It is the old residence of the Teles de Melo, Secretaries of the War Council, a residence built after 1650, since it does not figure in the Tinoco plan.
By royal decree on 12 May 1746, King D. João V granted Pedro Teles de Melo de Ataíde, Gentleman of the Royal Household and Knight of the Order of Christ, the position of Secretary of War which had fallen vacant on the death of the last incumbent, João Pereira da Cunha Ferraz.
It was, like a work of art, the most perfect of the gateways in the city’s fortifications, according to the testimony of Frei Apolinário da Conceição.
Inside was a glazed niche with the image of Christ Crucified. Outside, there were two columns joined by an architrave on which was engraved a eulogy to the Conception of Our Lady.
Above, there was another niche, also glazed, with the image of Our Lady. Both this and the other niche were illuminated every night thanks to the devotion of the citizens living nearby.
To the left of the gateway, on a plaque inset into the masonry, was the following inscription, which is today preserved in the palace wall:
MARIAE IOANN. IIII PORTVGALL. REX
VNA CVM GENERAL. COMITIIS SE ET REGNA SVA SVB ANNVO CENSV TRIBVTARIA PVBLI
CE UOVIT ATQ DEIPAREM IN IMPERII TVTE
LAREM ELECTAM A LABE ORIGIN. PRAESERVATAM
PERPETVO DEFENSVRVM JVRAM. FIRMAVIT.
UIVERET VT PIETAS LVSITAN.
HOC UITO LAPIDE MEMORIALE PERENNE EXARARI IVSSIT
ANN. CHRISTI.1646.IMPER. SVI. 6.
“Memory dedicated to Eternity. King D. João IV of Portugal, with the approval of parliament, has publicly devoted His person and his Kingdom to the Immaculate Conception of Mary via tributes from an annual census, and has sworn his person to the perpetual defence of the Mother of God, who has been elected patron saint of the Realm and is free from the stain of original sin.
In order that this most pious Portuguese sentiment should be preserved, he has ordered that this memory be registered in living stone in the year of Our Lord 1646, the sixth year of his reign”.
Since King D. João IV had taken Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception as patron saint of the Realm, as sworn in Parliament in 1646, and celebrated in a feast at the University of Coimbra, António de Sousa de Macedo and his friend Brother António das Chagas, Emeritus Professor of the Theology Faculty, thought that it would be a beautiful gesture to commemorate the fact in marble inscriptions over all of the city gates of Lisbon, and of all of the cities in the Realm! Macedo put forward the proposal to the King, who gave his approval and immediately ordered the inscription to be composed, honouring Macedo by stating that only he was to be entrusted with this task.
It was in fact, as the plaque states, on 25 March 1646 that the Sovereign declared Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception to be the Patron Saint of the Kingdom.
However, I believe that the municipal devotion to the Conception of Mary is of longer standing. Already, in the reign of Kings Filipe I and II, there was the idea to place epigraphic commemorations of this Mystery over the City Gates. There is a Royal Charter of 28 March 1618, in which D. Filipe II addresses the aldermen of Lisbon thus:
«Aldermen, etc. I have received your letter, in which you inform me that, moved by your devotion to the Mystery of the Conception of the Virgin Mary, Our Lady, and desirous that this be increased among the people, you wish to affix stone inscriptions to the main City Gates, in which it shall be affirmed that she was born without the stain of original sin. I greatly applaud the piety that has moved you, and grant my permission for this action, and charge you to so do without delay.
The Portas da Cruz was not the most the most busy of the gates in old Lisbon, although great crowds did pass through there, as already mentioned; however, it was certainly one of the most noteworthy: as a primitive opening in the city wall with which King D. Fernando defended Lisbon, from 1373 to 1375.
It was well-preserved and exquisitely decorated, standing as it did so hard by important buildings such as Santa Engrácia, the Foundry, Paraíso, etc., and as the military defence for a complex of teeming streets.
And then, when it was four hundred years old, the fatal hour came for this gate, and it was demolished in 1775 when the wall was knocked down to create a new thoroughfare (nowadays called the Museu de Artilharia ), so as to make way for the equestrian statue of King D. José that was cast in the workshops at the top of the hill.
«The gate in D. Fernando’s city wall which existed on this site was called Porta da Cruz, with the place giving its name to the gate.
«However, it seems that the Porta da Cruz, and hence the stretch of wall it passed through, pre-dated the construction of the Fernandine city walls. A document from 1269 refers to it thus: casas inter muros da porta ilius loci qui vocatur crux, scillicet super ipsis muris.
«Possibly, therefore, when the new city walls were being built, the existing stretch of wall containing the aforementioned gate could have been seen as a point that had to be maintained, consequently being incorporated in D. Fernando’s wall».
CALÇADA DO CASCÃO
The Calçada do Cascão is in the parish of Monte Pedral, formerly called the parish of Santa Engrácia. This passage was the cross street running from the Porta da Cruz to the Campo de Sta Clara in 1565 and was also called the Rua de Álvaro do Avelar, which is the name we shall give it in 1598, although the name must certainly have been usufruia muistos for years before. It was demolished in the last decade of the last century (1897?) and opened up in the Fernandine wall, to the south of the S. Vicente convent. It was supported by the house at no. 107 in the Campo de Santa Clara.
Álvaro do Avelar was a knight of the Royal Household, sanitary inspector and one of the major landowners in the street. On 18 April 1521 he was elected to the Town Council and made the following declaration to the aldermen and guild representatives at the Town Hall:«that he had acquired a plot of land from Vasco Piz, treasurer of the said Council» that was «above the porta da cruz by the S. Vicente side gate» and that it adjoined another plot that he leased from the Council. It should be pointed out here that the Postigo de S. Vicente was also called the Postigio do Coval de El-Rei, Postigo do Arcebispo, Arco de Baixo and finally the Arco Pequeno.
However, Álvaro do Avelar was more than simply a major landowner on the site, he was also involved in making improvements in the street under consideration, as can be seen from the following transcription from a document dated 1539 from the following document no. 28 of Santa Engrácia Parish:
«Let it be known by this contract for a new lease that (on 19 September 1539), Alvaro de Avelar was present (at the Town Council), and he stated that he has a number of houses with a kitchen garden outside of the Portas da Cruz, leased from the city, and that in the past, when Fernão Lopez Correa and Simão de Guoios were aldermen and Antao da Mota was the Crown Judge, he had made a petition to the city requesting a portion of the passageway running along the length of his houses and kitchen garden against the Postigo do Covalo del Rey, on the outside against the countryside, and had been told by the said aldermen that he would be granted the said passageway at his own cost and upkeep, they having made the grant such that the said passageway should be kept in good condition, and that he had done as the aldermen had requested and kept it so until now, and that he has used it for the good of the licence granted him following that petition, and that he had therefore added more land to the said access road, etc»
This document also reveals that a number of houses had already been built on the lands owned by Álvaro do Avelar in 1521. On his death, these houses (which were manor houses) passed to his daughter, Inês Ferreira, along with another four houses in the street, and her position as lessee was formalised at the Town Council on 4 December 1542. Inês Ferreira and her sister Violante de Aguiar continued to live in the manor houses, where we find them in 1565, in which year the annexes housed fisherman Francisco Pires, weaver Isabel Cardosa and two widows: Maria Nunes and Catarina Gonçalves.
Inês Ferreira, who remained single throughout her life, must have died at the end of the century, leaving the house to her sister, who had meanwhile married João de Cascão, a merchant. It goes without saying that the access road was named after this gentleman; it was known as the Rua de João de Cascão in 1625, became the Travessa de João de Cascão from 1631 until the latter part of the 19th Century, and is now the Calçada de João de Cascão.
Ownership of all these houses passed to João de Cascão’s only son, Nicolau de Cascão, and on Nicolau’s death, to his only son, Álvaro Cascão, who, like his grandfather before him, and doubtless his father too, was a merchant. Álvaro Cascão married D. Maria Madalena Brandoa, and had at least one daughter with her, who was baptised with the name of Juliana on 13 July 1626.
When Álvaro de Cascão died, his widow seems to have still been of marriageable age, and she re-married on 20 October 1646, her husband being Dr António Sodré. Here we lose the thread for a while, it only being known that shortly after 1680 the manor houses in the Rua de João de Cascão belonged to one Luís Sodré Ferreira, who owed a sum of money to Dr. Diogo Carvalho Cerqueira, and who was thereby compelled to put the houses on the market in order to repay his debt._
The houses were put up for auction on 15 July 1684, and bought by Luís Correia da Paz, who later bestowed them on his brother, Captain Leonardo Roiz Correia, or Leonardo Correia da Paz, whose wife, D. Inês Antónia da Pádua, came to own them in 1692. In that year, they were inhabited by the crown court judge Valentim Gregório de Resende. The endowment had been made «through the great love and close ties that had always endured between them (the two brothers) and the desire to see his situation greatly improved, and to have (Captain Leonardo) many children ».
Subsequently, we are unclear why, the houses reverted back to Luís Correia da Paz, who signed the lease from the Senate on 14 September 1695. Leonardo Correia da Paz only died on 23 March 1711, probably in these very houses, leaving as heirs his wife and his son, Manuel Correia da Paz. The latter also died in the houses «on the Travessa do Cascão» on 29 November 1754, and was buried, like his father, in the chapel of Nossa Senhora do Pilar, in S. Vicente Church.
The following description of the houses comes from the 1620’s:
«They consist of a large reception hall on the ground floor, with livery yard, hay loft, servants’ quarters and coach house and above, on the first floor, there are five houses, both large and small and on the second floor there are seven and an oratory. All are new, painted and tiled, with angelim-wood doors and windows with iron railings… and they have a kitchen garden with its own well. Also belonging to these houses are a coach house and two dwellings situated at the rear, and other dependencies…».
From then on, these houses remained in the possession of the descendents of Luís Correia da Paz, until a title deed signed on 4 December 1895 cut the final ties between the building and that family:
Francisco Maria Teles de Melo Malheiros sold the lease to the property with annual ground rent of 32$500 réis to Henrique Schalck, who had set up a stud and button factory in the houses, for the sum of 650$000 réis.
And from all this, the reader is left with some idea of the history of the houses built by Álvaro de Avelar and inhabited by João de Cascão, both of whom gave their names to the street under consideration. The houses are the last houses on the left as you go up the Rua do Paraíso, numbers 37 and 39,and they are still occupied by the Schalck Factory, with the main entrance being at no. 39.
The palácio dos Teles de Melo
Have you ever been along the Calçada do Cascão or Rua dos Remédios and Rua do Paraíso and noticed a large building on the corner of the former two thoroughfares? Well, this building is the old palace of members of the Teles de Melo family, Secretaries of the War Council. It was built there, next to the old city gate of Porta da Cruz, at the turn of the 17th Century. It, too, has a history, as we shall see.
In 1505, part of the ground later taken up by the palace was leased by the Town Council to Francisco Nunes, squire of the Royal Household of King D. Manuel I. At that time, this land was a «dunghill whereon was cast a great deal of foul matter» and it made for an insalubrious neighbourhood for the houses Francisco Nunes owned there, which was the main reason for his leasing it. In 1563 «two-storey houses with their ground-floor rooms below, and a kitchen garden to the side» had already been built on the former dunghill, said houses belonging to Jerónimo Garcês.
They were «outside of the Porta da Cruz city gate, on the left hand, with the first houses in that row going out through the said gate ».
According to the review made of the city walls and their adjoining houses in 1625 for the defence of the city, the houses at that time belonged to Lourenço Garcês Palha, who was at risk of having the doors and windows of his houses blocked off in accordance with the review recommendations, which also proposed demolishing «the wooden balcony overlooking the kitchen garden» and knocking down the «low houses adjoining his, on the farrier’s side, so as to leave a passageway from the kitchen garden to the market place of the Porta da Cruz».
Lourenço Garcês Palha was still living in the same houses in 1636 possibly with his son, António Garcês, who on 19 December 1629 had married D. Maria da Silva, daughter of D. Luís de Meneses and D. Antónia de Almeida, who had been born in Torres Vedras, and who was a recluse in the monastery Santos-o-Novo monastery. In the second half of the 17th Century, we find the owner/resident of the houses to be one Pedro Sanches de Farinha, married to D. Luísa de Baena. Here were born their sons André, baptized on 18 June 1659, and Guiomar, baptized on 25 May 1661, and here, in the private oratory, their daughter, D. Maria Francisca de Almada, married Luís Sanches de Baena on 18 December 1664.
And now, while the Sanches Farinhas enjoy their houses at the Portas da Cruz, (and they were to enjoy them for some time) we go back in time to the second decade of the 16th Century.
In 1519, next to the dunghill we have seen let to Francisco Nunes, we find eight small houses have been built running along the Fernandine wall in the direction of the Postigo do Arcebispo, some single-storey and others with upper storeys, all leased from the Town Council, it is not known for how long. Their boundaries were as follows: from the north side, they run along the street from the Porta da Cruz to the Postigo do Coval de El-Rei (Calçada do Cascão), «and behind to the Southwest e bordering the kitchen gardens which had belonged to Francisco Nunes (and subsequently, as we have seen, to the Sanches Farinhas) and at the top to the north-west bordering the houses of Vasco Piz, treasurer of the said city, and which had belonged to João do Rego (and subsequently, as already explained, to Álvaro do Avelar)».
These dwellings belonged in 1519 to one Estevão Gonçalves, who, on 6 December requested permission from the Town Council to sub-let to Lourenço Anes, a carpenter, and Bento Gonçalves, a worker. The Council gave its permission and the respective contracts were duly signed.
It is of no interest here to go into the names of the sub-letters, nor the tenants. Suffice it to know that that on 29 September 1699, at the Porta da Cruz, in the chambers of Luís Correia da Paz, a deputy of the General Commerical Commission, and already known to us, a deed was drawn up whereby Dr. Leão da Silva Machado e Morais, a professed knight in the Order of Christ, and his wife D. Helena de Macedo Pereira, who lived in the Rua da Barroca, sold the direct rights over the eight dwellings in question to the said Luís Correia da Paz. Hence, the whole of the left-hand side of the Calçada do Cascão as you went up came to be owned by the wealthy deputy of the General Commercial Commission, since he already owned the house built by Álvaro do Avelar, which to the south adjoined the last of the eight small houses. Two of those small houses are still there, squeezed between the palace of the Secretaries of War and the Schalck factory.
And these already belonged to the manor houses owned by the Sanches Farinhas, as can be seen from the fact that the above-mentioned deed mentions that the buyer lived at the Portas da Cruz.
From then on, great building work was underway. Luís Correia da Paz wished his home to reflect his fortune and his high standing in the Capital’s commerce; he wanted a residence to outshine all others around it, and so he built the grand palace where the manor houses belonging to the Sanches Farinhas and six of the eight houses acquired from Dr. Leão da Silva Machado e Morais stood.
We also have a description of the interior of the palace from that time:
«…a property of Manor Houses in this city, at the Portas da Cruz, with two doors and apartments above, consisting of various ground floor entrance halls, stables, coach house, haylofts and servants quarters, with two entrance doors, one being onto the right hand road within the said Portas da Cruz (nowadays the Rua dos Remédios) and the other onto the square before the Paraizo church, and the upper storeys are as follows: on the first floor an entrance hall and two rooms to one side, with windows overlooking the said Streets and at right angles to the said Portas da Cruz, and in the other part there are four rooms and two offices and above these rooms there are another ten with two offices, and a number of passages between and above these are other servants rooms and water closets and on the part by the said Portas da Cruz, and over them, there is a passage and an oratory with a room above and an open terrace and with a garden below…».
The description is completed with the following information:
«…and these apartments belong to the couple by means of the purchase made (by Luís Correia da Paz) from Pedro Sanches de Farinha and the signed deed of title, and they were subsequently amplified and rebuilt, creating stonework windows and portals, paintings and doors panelled in Angelim wood and a great deal of other work to enlarge the building to create the apartments as they now stand…».
Luís Correia da Paz was married twice, firstly to D. Inês da Gama, with whom he had at least one son, baptised with the name of José on 4 November 1682 (3); and then to D. Josefa Teresa da Silva e Melo, with whom he had four sons: Pedro, baptised on 8 September 1693, Maior, baptised on 23 February 1695, Caetano, baptised on 14 December 1697 and Carlos, baptised on 24 April 1699.
Luís Correia da Paz died in his palace on 22 May 1712, with his brother-in-law Brother Carlos, an Augustinian friar, being named as his executor. His widow died on 28 November 1749, and was buried the following day in the church of Penha de França Convent with her executors being the Marquis of Marialva and her eldest son, Pedro Teles de Melo de Ataíde, who had inherited the palace on his father’s death.
Pedro Teles de Melo de Ataíde, gentleman of the Royal Household and Knight of the Order of Christ, had been made Secretary of War by King D. João V by a Royal despatch of 12 May 1746, when the post became vacant on the death of the previous secretary, João Pereira da Cunha Ferraz. He married D. Isabel Catarina Caetana de Meneses e Faro, daughter of D. Manuel Teles de Meneses and D. Ana Helena de Castro da Silveira in the parish of Santa Engrácia on 26 October 1713. The following children were born of this marriage in the palace on the Travessa do Cascão:
Ana, baptised on 8 December 1721, Francisco, baptised on 19 March 1723, and Carlos, who underwent an emergency baptism shortly after being born, on 27 January 1735.
The Secretary of War Pedro Teles de Melo de Ataíde died in the earthquake of 1 November 1755, crushed in the collapse of the church of the Penha de França convent, where he was attending mass. His position and the ownership of the palace both went to his son, Francisco Xavier Teles de Melo, who also succeeded to his uncle Brás Teles de Meneses Faro e Albuquerque as lord of the Casa dos Bicos.
At the time of his father’s death, Francisco Xavier Teles de Melo was already married to D. Rita da Graça de Lencastre, daughter of D. Rodrigo de Lencastre and D. Isabel de Castro, the marriage having been celebrated the previous year in the parish of Encarnação (2). We suppose that the couple did not live in the palace during the early years of their marriage, since there are no records of the births of their children in the parish records. Francisco Xavier Teles de Melo died in his palace on 3 June 1802, as did his wife on 4 October 1809 and their two daughters, Ana, on 7 May 1764, and Maria do Carmo, on 8 October 1825.
The third Secretary of War in the Teles de Melo family was Pedro Teles de Melo, son of Francisco, who married D. Maria da Graça de Sousa de Macedo, daughter of the first Viscount of Mesquitela, in the parish of Santa Catarina, and with whom he had the following children, all born in the palace:
Francisco, born on 20 November 1782 and baptised on 12th of the following December in the palace chapel (Madre de Deus chapel); the godparents were his father and Our Lady of Arrábida.
Maria Joana, born on 26 November, and baptised in the same chapel (as were all Pedro Teles de Melo’ subsequent children) on 3 December of the same year; the godparents were the Royal Armourer D. José Francisco da Costa and Our Lady, Mother of God
Rita, born on 28 November and baptised on 1st of the following December; the godfather was the Bishop of Leiria, D. Lourenço de Lencastre;
Luís, born on 11 December 1785 and baptised on 14 of that month; the godfather was Manuel Xavier de Sousa Macedo. (1) Luís died a bachelor, in the palace, on 10 March 1812- Death Register book VII, page 11-v- Stª Engrácia.
Maria Isabel, born on 22 June 1787 and baptised on 27th; the godfather was Pedro Maria Xavier de Ataíde;
Maria José, who was baptised on 6 July 1789; the godfather was Manuel Teles de Melo. (2) Maria also died in the palace, unmarried, on 10 December 1805. She was buried in the Madre de Deus convent – Death Register book VI, page 211-Idem. Manuel Teles de Melo, her godfather, was a secular priest, and he also died in the palace, on 16 November 1813-Book.VII. page 25.
José Maria, born on 15 and baptised on 18 May 1791; the godfather was the Prior of Tábua, José Joaquim Xavier Teles de Melo. (3) He died unmarried, in the palace, on 15 July 1810- Book VI, page 277.
Maria, born on 24 and baptised on 26 September 1792; the godfather was Comendador D. Frei Veríssimo de Lencastre. She died at just over one year of age, on 21 January 1794 and was buried in the Madre de Deus convent – Death Register book VI, page 70.
And another Maria, baptised on 20 June 1795; godfather the Viscount of Mesquitela, D. Luís da Costa de Sousa e Macedo. She died in the palace on 24 January 1802 and was likewise buried in the Madre de Deus convent.
We do not know when Pedro Teles de Melo died, but it is known that he survived his wife, who died in the palace on 23 June 1814. The house was inherited by his eldest son, Francisco Xavier Teles de Melo, who, on 27 November 1813, married the daughter of João Paulino Leite Pacheco Malheiros and Maria Benedita Dantas da Cunha de Almeida. The wedding took place in the parish of Pena, in the oratory of the houses belonging to the bride’s parents. We know that D. Francisco Xavier Teles de Melo was living in the palace in August 1819. We know that he was succeeded by his son, Pedro João Teles de Melo de Antas da Cunha Leite Pacheco Malheiros de Albuquerque Brito Freire de Faro e Meneses, who, in 1847, married D. Maria Carlota de Cabedo de Vasconcelos Sardinha do Couto, daughter of Jorge de Cabedo de Vasconcelos Sardinha da Cunha de Castelo Branco do Couto, the first Baron of Zambujal.
It was this Pedro João Teles de Melo who abandoned the palace – in May 1866, shortly before his death, he was living in the Calçada de Santa Ana. When Pedro João Teles de Melo died, the houses that had been built by Álvaro do Avelar and the Casas dos Bicos were inherited by his son, Francisco Maria Teles de Melo (and sold shortly afterwards), and the palace at the Portas da Cruz was inherited by his daughter, D. Ana Leonor Teles de Melo. This lady was married to João Pedro Maria Lobo de Castro Pimentel Peixoto Padilha who was later made Viscount of Ervedal by a decree of 19 July and a charter of 12 August 1870.
However, the palace only belonged to the Viscounts of Erval for a short time; first they lost a suit brought against them by Luís Teles de Melo, and then the palace had to be pawned several times in order to pay debts, until, finally, it was auctioned in compliance with a judgement made on 1 August 1873, and bought by José António Veloso, who lived in the Rua do Arco do Marquês do Alegrete, nº 39, for the sum of 6700$00 réis. Thus the properties parcelled out from Luís Correia da Paz’s fortune slipped out of the hands of the Teles de Melo family.
Nor did José António Veloso own the palace for very long, having sold it as soon as a buyer turned up offering 15 000$00 réis, more than double the price he had paid for it. José Veloso doubtless rubbed his hands in glee and convinced himself it was the best deal of his life. The new buyer was José Maria do Espirito Santo Silva, married to D. Maria da Conceição Silva, who signed the respective title deed on 29 November 1888. Since 3 March 1901, the palace has been registered in the name of D. Maria Justina do Espírito Santo Silva, wife of Sr Custódio José Moniz Galvão.
On 16 April 1762, a servant of the Teles de Melo family and a widow of many years called Maria Teresa, died here aged over 122.
Following the death of Pedro João Teles de Melo, the first thought of his daughter D. Ana Leonor Teles de Melo and her husband, the future Viscountess and Viscount of Erval, was to make some profit from the palace, to rent it, which they did in 1868. The lease was for a period of three years, and the tenant was D. Teresa de Saldanha Oliveira e Sousa, of the house of the Counts of Rio Maior, who, in her role as President of the Association for the Protection of Poor Children, installed a college there.
Some time later, we find the second floor occupied by one of the most active evangelical workers in Lisbon, minister Manuel dos Santos Carvalho, later pastor of the evangelical church he founded on 31 March 1880 in his residence on the Calçada do Cascão. The entrance was then via no. 5, and nowadays, following the major work that the palace underwent at the end of the last century, it is via door no.15.
For many years, until the end of the last century, the ground floor at no. 9 housed the Mascato Inn, which provided accommodation for the washerwomen, their mules and carts, who entered the city through the Cruz da Pedra. It was a bustling inn, whose fame is second only to the Camilos Inn.
Nowadays the washerwomen no longer enter the city there. However, if they did, that is, if in the neighbourhoods of Sacavém and Olivais there were still washerwomen, they would most surely come by bus or coach, and instead of the inn, the old Palácio dos Teles de Melo would house the Mascato garage.
In around 1800 or so, there was a republican centre on the ground floor of no. 15.
From 1767, the resident on the Calçada do Cascão was Crown Judge Manuel Pereira da Silva, married to D. Brites Maria Ana Rita Francisca Almeida e Meneses. It was here that the following children were born to them:
Maria, baptised on 22 December 1767 with Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, Count of Oeiras as her godfather;
Ana, baptised on 8 December 1768 with Francisco Xavier de Mendonça Furtado as her godfather;
Bernarda, baptised on 1 de Janeiro de 1770 with the same Mendonça Furtado as her godfather;
Rodrigo, baptised on 19 January 1772, also with Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, now the Marquis of Pombal, as his godfather; and José, baptised on 4 November 1773 with the same Marquis as his godfather.
All of the baptisms mentioned were carried out in the oratory of the Crown Judge’s residence and this circumstance leads us to believe that he lived in Álvaro do Avelar’s manor houses, which at that time belonged to the Teles de Melo family. There do not seem to be any other houses in the vicinity which could have had an oratory. Crown Judge Manuel Pereira da Silva died in the same houses on 19 February 1778.
Other inhabitants of the Calçada:
1801-Monsenhor José de Almeida, who died in that year on 6 November;
1809-D. Teresa Xavier de Lencastre, widow of Luís Correia de Lacerda, who died on 26 March of the said year;
and 1818-Colonel Francisco José Marçal de Brito and his wife D. Ana Maria de Brito.
The button factory
Let us return to the Button factory which was set up in the houses that had belonged to Álvaro do Avelar.
We have been unable to discover the precise date when it was founded, but it is reasonable to suppose that this was before 1854, since on 12 July of that year Henrique Schalck, bid for and bought the use of the building from which the factory still operates, which would seem to imply that he had a special interest in acquiring the building. However, we know that the factory’s first headquarters were elsewhere, on the ground floor Secretary of War’s Palace, at no. 9, which subsequently housed the aforementioned Mascato Inn
(1) Sr Carlos Augusto da Silveira, a former employee of the factory, informs us that in 1900 the chapel of the house, which was quite spacious, could still be seen. Also at around that time, according to the same source, there was a strip of land to the north of the building used by the inhabitants for their dances during the Saints’ Feast Days in June. This land was later built over when the factory was extended.
Shortly after being formed, the factory moved from this house to the top of the street where it is found today. This move would have taken place in1854, or later, probably not before since it is known in 1853 it was not a factory that operated from that address – we shall look at what did shortly.
Henrique Schalck, a German, was married to D. Virginia Schalck and lived on Rua de Santa Apolónia, apparently in the palace belonging to Braço de Prata, where we find him in 1860, when he leased from the Town Council some land at the Upper Foundry (2), i.e. close to or adjoining the Factory. In 1874 he lived at no. 51, Rua do Sacramento, and in 1887 he had already died.
The factory then came into the possession of the company H. Schalck Sucrs. which had its offices in the Rua da Madalena no. 17, until it became the sole property of Vitor Schalck, son of the founder, who had meanwhile, via a title deed of 6 December1895, bought the leasehold at an annual lease of 32$000 réis from Francisco Maria Teles de Melo Malheiros, a descendent of Luís Correia de Paz. Thus he became the owner of the building with no extra charges.
It was in the time of Vitor Schalck that the factory was largely destroyed by a fire, as can be seen in the newspapers for 27 October 1911. The fire began on the second floor, right over the machine room and the acid tank, and was noticed by Francisco Ferreira, who, at a quarter past one in the morning, decided to take the air at the window of his house, which was in the neighbouring Travessa do Zagalo, on the 2nd floor of no. 13.
After being re-built, the factory was sold on 10 November 1917 by Henrique Schalck and his wife D. Estefânia Dalhunty Schalck, who then lived in the Rua Pinheiro Chagas, to Companhia Previdente.
In the first half of the last century, there was a small theatre in the Calçada do Cascão, already mentioned in the first volume of this work. It was there that an amateur actor gave his first performance in the comedy “Depois da meia noite…”. This actor was a comb craftsman, employed in a workshop in the Rua Nova do Almada (almost all of the comb-makers’ workshops and shops were in this street), and he was later to become the great actor, António Pedro.
This tiny theatre where this great artist made his debut was in the houses where the above-mentioned factory was later installed.
Should there not be a plaque to commemorate the fact?
Thirty or forty years ago, the Calçada do Cascão was known in the neighbourhood as the “Calçada dos Botões” (Button Street).
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE RE. THE TELES DE MELO PALACE IN THE CALÇADA DO CASCÃO
Looking at the history of a house in Lisbon for the first time implies consulting the main sources available, namely those of a general character, in other words, those covering the entire city, or large areas of the city.
Júlio de Castilho § A Ribeira de Lisboa § O Bairro Alto
Luís Pastor de Macedo § Lisboa de Lés a Lés § Inventário de Lisboa
Luiz da Costa Barbuda § Relatório publicado por Fernando Portugal e Alfredo de Matos em obra intitulada “Lisboa 1758”
Francisco Santana § Lisboa na 2ª. Metade do Século XVIII