Conde de Carvalhal
The Count created the Palheiro estate in about 1801 and built the Casa Velha and Chapel a few years later. He used the Casa Velha, which was smaller in those days, as a country retreat and hunting lodge.
He was believed to be a friend of the King of Portugal Dom João VI, who went to Brazil with his court during the Peninsular wars. This could explain how he became a very considerable land owner in Madeira, and was able to import specimen trees in sailing ships from many parts of the world, - trees seen round Casa Velha today.
During the Miguelite wars he had to leave Madeira since his sympathies were strongly on the liberal side and the island was occupied by the Miguelite troops.
He boarded the English corvette "Alligator" on 22 August 1828, took refuge in England and only returned in 1834.
He lived in Funchal and his dwelling house with his coat of arms was the Palacio de São Pedro - now the natural history museum. He became civil governor of Funchal in 1835 and died unmarried on the 11th November 1837. The title of Count then passed to his nephew , but that`s another story.
The Elucidário Madeirense tells us that despite his great wealth, he lived without luxury or ostentation and did much to alleviate hardship amongst the peasant farmers and poorer people during the economic crises of the time.
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