1841 - 1912
John Burden was the 3rd generation of Madeira Blandy’s. He lived and worked in Funchal and was famous for his skills in developing the coal bunkering business along with the Madeira Wine Lodges in Funchal.
He bought the Palheiro Estate at public auction in 1885 and was roundly criticized by friends and family alike for having purchased “a white elephant”. The property was remote from Funchal and already by then in a state of disrepair.
Blandy wasted no time in improving the grounds. He added new outhouses, including a turbine-driven sawmill and rebuilt the reservoir on top of the estate. He initiated the farming of cereal crops and commenced forestry. He and his wife Margarette Faber also continued to develop the gardens.
Until the construction of roads and the advent of vehicular transport, the men of the family would travel in to Funchal on business in the morning by ‘carro de cesto’ (basket sledge) and return in the evening on horseback. The women and children, however, usually stayed at home during the day except when visiting neighbours either by hammock, palanquin or on horseback.