Carlos Eugénio Correia da Silva, Count of Paço de Arcos

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Carlos Eugénio Correia da Silva, Count of Paço de Arcos

Carlos Eugénio Correia da Silva, 1st Viscount and 1st Count of Paço de Arcos[1] (December 17, 1834 – November 5, 1905), was a Portuguese statesman.

Origins[edit]

The Count of Paço d'Arcos was born in the parish (freguesia) of the same name near Lisbon on the December 17, 1834. His father was a high ranking Crown servant (Pagador-Geral da Marinha) that had allied himself with the liberal cause during the Portuguese Civil War. His mother came from a wealthy landed family, the Corrêa de Almeida (Counts of São Januário), that owned much of the land in the parish,[2] with the notable exception of the Palace of the Arches (Palácio dos Arcos)[3] that had belonged to the Counts of Alcáçovas for centuries.

He married on September 6, 1876 Emília Angélica de Castro Monteiro (b. Maia, Pedrouços, October 3, 1848), maternal granddaughter of the Viscounts and Counts of Castro, and had issue. The titles of Viscount and Count of Paço d'Arcos are held by the Correia da Silva family of Portugal.

Naval career[edit]

He excelled in school from an early age, having attended the School for Nobles (Real Colégio dos Nobres) and later enrolled in the Portuguese Naval Academy (Escola Naval) at the age of 14, for which royal permission was needed. At 18 the young ensign had his first experience under fire having been given his first command of the schooner Venus whose mission was to apprehend the pirate Apack in the South China Sea. As a young second lieutenant he was appointed Knight of the Military Order of the Tower and Sword (Ordem Militar da Torre e Espada), Portugal's highest decoration awarded for bravery in combat, for his heroics in pursuing and capturing the Spanish slave ship Virgen del Refugio off the coast of Portuguese Guinea in 1864. As a 27 year old second lieutenant in 1862 the Count of Paço d'Arcos also commanded the schooner Napier in pursuit of the US confederate pirate ship CSS Alabama in the mid Atlantic near the Azores.

He held many other commands, including the brig Pedro Nunes as first lieutenant, which had been King Luis I's personal command before accession to the throne. His appointment was a personal decision of the King with whom he shared a passion for the sea and later a close friendship. Usually such a prestigious command was held by someone of much higher rank and his appointment was proof of the King's confidence in his abilities as a leader of men.[4] He later commanded the gunboat Zarco and the corvettes Sagres and Estefânia, eventually rising to the top of his career as a naval officer in the Portuguese Royal Navy, having achieved the rank of Vice-Admiral (1895) and Major-General of the Armada (the highest rank of the Portuguese Royal Navy) before his retirement one year prior to his death in 1905.

Colonial and diplomatic career[edit]

The 1stCount of Paço d'Arcos had a notable colonial career throughout the Portuguese Empire, having reached its pinnacle as Governor-General of Portuguese India (1881).[5] He was also Governor of Macao (1876–1879) and Mozambique (1880), as well as Portugal's first Ambassador to Brazil (1891–1893) after the former colony abolished the monarchy and sent Emperor Pedro II of Brazil of the House of Bragança into exile. This prestigious diplomatic post was fraught with difficulties as he represented to the new Brazilian republican government the reigning Portuguese House of Bragança which their ousted Emperor belonged to.[6] In his diplomatic career he was also Minister Plenipotentiary to China, Japan and the Kingdom of Siam.

Civil Governor of Lisbon[edit]

As Governor of Lisbon in 1890 the Count of Paço d'Arcos was responsible for ordering the bloody police crackdown after days of rioting followed the issuing of the British Ultimatum regarding Portuguese colonies in Africa. The republican underground in Portugal seized the opportunity of the humiliating British Ultimatum to blame the monarchy and the King for Portugal's loss of prestige. After news of the Ultimatum and Portugal's concessions in Africa (present day Zimbabwe) reached the Portuguese people, Lisbon was thrown into a state of turmoil following massive rioting which threatened to bring down the regime. This was perhaps the first sign of the what was to come when 18 years later King Carlos I and the Prince Royal Luis Fílipe were assassinated by members of the jacobin Carbonária in downtown Lisbon on February 1, 1908, eventually leading to the republican revolution of October 5, 1910. The Count of Paço d'Arcos, in his role as Governor and commander of the police in Lisbon, fulfilled his duty without hesitation, ordering the police to use force, which led to his vilification by the republican press of the time.[7]

Promotion to "Grande do Reino"[edit]

Because of his service to the Crown, the Viscount of Paço d'Arcos was promoted in the Portuguese nobility to a Grandee of Portugal (Grande do Reino)[8] when King Carlos I elevated his title to a Countship (Earl in Britain). His only son Henrique was, like his father, a distinguished naval officer and colonial ruler.[9] Because of his beliefs and because of the republican revolution implanted by force of arms in 1910, he never claimed officially (encartar) the title of Count of Paço d'Arcos which nonetheless passed on to his eldest surviving son – also named Henrique.

Other achievements and distinctions[edit]

The Count of Paço d'Arcos was also a member of His Most Faithful Majesty's Council (Conselho de Sua Majestade Fidelíssima), the Chamber of Deputies (Câmara dos Deputados) and a Peer of the Realm (Par do Reino) as well as Aide-de-Camp to the King (Ajudante de Campo d'el rei).

Other distinctions held:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Titles of nobility bestowed respectively by decrees of King Luís I of Portugal on January 23, 1874, and King Carlos I of Portugal on October 13, 1890
  2. ^ Including the Quinta da Terrugem[1]. With the Napoleonic invasions of Portugal, most of their wealth was lost to the invading French troops. "Missão Diplomática do Conde Paço d'Arcos no Brasil – 1974", preface pp. XXII-XXIV
  3. ^ This beautiful palace dates from the end of the 15th century and today belongs to the municipality of Oeiras, where Paço d'Arcos is located. Legend has it the parish of Paço d'Arcos was named after this palace where King Manuel I watched Vasco da Gama's caravels depart for India.[2]
  4. ^ "Missão Diplomática do Conde Paço d'Arcos no Brasil – 1974", preface pp. XXIV-XXX
  5. ^ "Vice-Reis e Governadores da Índia Portuguesa – 1999", pp. 318–319
  6. ^ "Missão Diplomática do Conde Paço d'Arcos no Brasil – 1974"
  7. ^ This is clearly seen in the accusations of Basilio Teles in his "Do Ultimatum ao 31 de Janeiro (1905)". This schoolteacher was a member of the Portuguese Republican Party and allegedly also of the Carbonária, having been exiled for his involvement in the uprising of Porto in 1891. He accused the Count of Paço d'Arcos of being an homme à poigne of the Crown and of being a sabreur.
  8. ^ Similar to the Grandees of Spain. In Portuguese nobility, all titles of Count and above (Marquis and Duke) are considered Grandes do Reino. Some lower titles (namely Baron and Viscount) can also be elevated by the King to Grandeza, although this was a rare occurrence. The "Grandes do Reino" represent the upper strata within the nobility, second only to the Royal Family, and enjoyed special privileges not afforded to the other nobles.
  9. ^ He was a Captain (Capitão de Mar e Guerra) in the Portuguese Navy, Minister of the Colonies (Ministro do Ultramar) and, like his father, Governor of Macao but, unlike his father, also a republican. In keeping with his family's tradition of bravery, Henrique was awarded the prestigious Distinguished Service Order by King George V of Great Britain for his decisive action in saving British warships from being torpedoed by German U-boats off the coast of Cape Verde during World War I.

Sources[edit]

  • O Portal da História http://www.arqnet.pt/portal/portugal/liberalismo/lib1890.html
  • Missão Diplomática do Conde Paço d'Arcos no Brasil – 1974
  • Anuário da Nobreza de Portugal – 1964
  • Vice-Reis e Governadores da Índia Portuguesa – 1999. ISBN 972-97829-2-X
  • Nobreza de Portugal e Brasil – vol. 3 1989
  • Resenha das Famílias Titulares e Grandes de Portugal – 1991
  • Tratado de Todos os Vice-Reis e Governadores da Índia – 1962
  • A Descendência Portuguesa de El-Rei D. João II – vol.3 1993
  • Portugal's Largest Genealogy Portal http://www.geneall.net