Bento de Moura Portugal

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Bento de Moura Portugal (21 March 1702 – 27 January 1766)[1] was a Portuguese aristocrat, a Knight of the Order of Christ, and a scientist best known for his improvements to Thomas Savery's steam engine. He was an early supporter of Newtonian science and became known as the Portuguese Newton.

Life[edit]

Moura Portugal was born in Moimenta da Serra, Portugal.[2] In 1741 he was elected to the Royal Society in London.[3]

In 1742 he demonstrated his improved steam engine, based on that of Thomas Savery, to the Portuguese court in Lisbon. In 1747 he was tried and found guilty of proposições heréticas e escandalosas for the assembly of such "fire machines" [4] by the Inquisition,[5] and spent the rest of his life going gradually insane in Junqueira Prison in Lisbon.

References[edit]

  1. ^ José Joaquim Simões de Paiva e Figueiredo (ed.), Inventos e vários planos de melhoramento para este reino: escriptos nas prisões da junqueira por Bento de Moura Portugal, Coimbra, 1821, accessed on Google Books 2015-12-20
  2. ^ Diccionario Aristocratico, Vol.1, A–E, Lisbon, 1840, accessed at Google Books 2015-12-20, p.320
  3. ^ List of Fellows of the Royal Society 1660 – 2007 A - J, The Royal Society, as "Portuga, Benito de Moura"; accessed 2015-12-20
  4. ^ Processo de Bento de Moura, Arquivo Nacional, accessed 2015-12-20
  5. ^ António Baiño, Episódios dramáticos da inquisião portuguesa, ISBN 5880703460, accessed at Google Books 2015-12-20