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António Leandro da Câmara Carvalhal Esmeraldo Atougia Bettencourt de Machado was better known as the 2nd Count do Carvalhal da Lombada.

He was born on 6 October 1831 and died 4 February 1888.

In 1854 he married Dona Matilde Montufar Infante, daughter of the Marchioness de Selva Alegre of Spain. They had two daughters, Dona Maria and Dona Teresa da Câmara.

In 1858, he ordered the construction of a small house to the north of the property for his French mistress. It was known as the Casa da Francesa (House of the French Lady).

The 2nd Count was very different in character to that of his uncle.

By all accounts he was extremely agreeable, charming and a typical aristocrat. However, little time was spent in Madeira.

Instead he led an extravagant life in European capitals such as Paris, Madrid and Lisbon and travelled extensively. It was said that he outshone the King of Portugal in his magnificence; he owned a large yacht, kept a racing stable near Paris and maintained a retinue of followers that would put the entourage of a modern monarch to shame!

He attended splendid parties, royal balls, race meetings, sporting events and the opera. One story relates that he once hired the entire Paris Opera for one night for his friends.

Many lavish parties and soirees were given at Palheiro, some reputedly of a scandalous nature. On one occasion it's believed, women were invited wearing as their costume only jewellery and high-heeled shoes.

He received Prince Luís (later Dom Luís of Portugal) whom he greatly admired at Palheiro and once again at Palácio de São Pedro, his town house, when he visited the island together with Archduchess Carlota.

The 2nd Count of Carvalhal was an indefatigable bon vivant, a womanizer and enthusiastic gambler and despite his sizeable income, his lifestyle ultimately outpaced his funds.

Spiraling expenditure and increasing debt meant that inevitably he was forced to sell. The fast pace of life also caught up with him and the 2nd Count died after prolonged ill health at the age of 56 in his Palácio de São Pedro town house.


To learn more about the history of the Palheiro Estate choose a link below:

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