The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from Wenceslaus Hollar’s maps:

Open location in Google Maps: 32.760707, -16.959472

2 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Madeira (Portuguese: [mɐˈðejɾɐ] or [mɐˈðɐjɾɐ]) is a Portuguese archipelago that lies between 32°22.3′N 16°16.5′W and 33°7.8′N 17°16.65′W, just under 400 km north of Tenerife, Canary Islands, in the north Atlantic Ocean.

Madeira was discovered by Portuguese sailors in the service of Infante D. Henrique (Henry the Navigator) in 1419, and settled after 1420. The archipelago is considered to be the first territorial discovery of the exploratory period of the Portuguese Age of Discovery.

Sugarcane production was the primary engine of the island's economy, increasing the demand for labour. Slaves were used during portions of the island's history to cultivate sugar cane, and the proportion of imported slaves reached 10% of the total population of Madeira by the 16th century.

In 1617, Algerian pirates, having long enslaved Christians along the Mediterranean coasts, captured 1,200 men and women in Porto Santo.…

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Last year, as I was being prepped for an operation, my anesthesiologist told me he was Portuguese from Madeira. Further, he said Madeira almost became a British colony, but Portugal changed its mind before the Queen's dowry was finalized. I asked if that was Catherine of Braganza, and he agreed it was.

I found a sort-of confirmation of this:
"CATHERINE of Braganza (1638–1705), ... was born on 15-25 Nov. 1638, at the palace of Villa Viçosa, ... Her father John, duke of Braganza, became king of Portugal in 1640, ... Her mother, Louisa de Gusman, daughter of the Duke of Medina Sidonia, ... Catherine was her parents' third child, and was born on St. Catherine's day.

"She was 18 when, in 1656, her father died. One of his last acts was to grant her ... the island of Madeira, the city of Lamego, and the town of Moura, for the maintenance of her court (Sousa, Historia Genealogica da Casa Real Portugueza, vii. 283, and Provas, num. 36)."

A well-researched biography of Catherine at…

Instead of giving Madeira to England, they granted access to all Portuguese ports, so English merchants like Thomas Warren of St. Olave's parish; brother of Sir William Warren, traded with Tangier and Madera in the 1660's. [L&M]

Henry the Navigator had introduced sugarcane to Madeira, and "sweet salt" (as sugar was known) into Europe, where it became a popular spice. These plants, and the associated technology, fueled Portuguese industry.

By 1480 Antwerp had 70 ships engaged in the Madeira sugar trade, with the refining and distribution concentrated in Antwerp.

After the 17th century, as Portuguese sugar production shifted to Brazil, São Tomé and Príncipe and elsewhere, Madeira's most important commodity product became its wine.

Madeira is a fortified wine; varieties may be sweet or dry. Its history dates to the Age of Exploration when Madeira was a port of call for ships heading to the New World or East Indies. To prevent the wine from spoiling, neutral grape spirits were added. However, Madeira wine producers discovered, when an unsold shipment of wine returned to the islands after a round trip, the wine's flavor was transformed by exposure to heat and movement.…

American colonists indulged in Madeira wine starting in the 1640s; by the mid-18th century, British North America accounted for a quarter of the island’s exports. ... colonists preferred the taste of Madeira that had aged in the belly of merchant ships, so it was one of the few wines to benefit from transatlantic travel.…

You could say Madeira fueled the American Revolution.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.



  • Oct