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[Port Wine]

Novas instrucçoens da Feitoria Ingleza, a respeito dos vinhos do Douro.  Setembro de 1754.  A todos os Commissarios.  Senhores.   Followed by: Resposta dos Commissarios Veteranos ás novas instrucçoens da Feitoria (f. 1 verso). 


(Porto), n.pr (1754).


Folio.  (2) ff.  Boards.  

“As England became a world power the Factories in Portugal diminished in importance.   Hitherto the Factories had had a powerful lobby in Parliament and the city of London, and the ministers at Whitehall had been inclined to be more sympathetic to their grievances than H.M. ministers abroad . . .   The delayed crisis of the Douro at last began to make itself felt . . .” (A.D. Francis, The wine trade, pp. 202-2).   “It was in September 1754 that the Oporto Factory addressed a letter . . to the Douro commissaries . .   The Factory told the commissaries that the port-wines, which had been held in such esteem in England, had so lost their credit that other wines and indeed any other kind of liquor was preferred to them, and that in spite of the increase of population in England the demand for port-wine was falling off and many people were saying that it was injurious to health . . .   The commissaries replied . . laying the whole blame on the Factory (who) had insisted more and more on accepting nothing but rare and full wines and had rejected good natural wines . . .   The Oporto merchants from whom they bought them cared nothing for the reputation of the trade but only for their profits . . .” (ibid, pp. 203-05).   The grievances of the Douro wine-growers influenced Pombal to establish the Companhia Geral da Agricultura dos Vinhos do Alto Douro in 1756, enabling the company to control the wine on the Upper Douro, in transit and in Oporto (ibid, p. 209).   The British were incensed at being reduced to mere middlemen whose only function was to buy the wine the company chose to allow them and to ship it, but Pombal was deaf to their complaints (ibid, p. 212).

The English translation was reprinted in The Wine Question; or, Observations on the Pamphlets of Mr. James Warre and Mr. Fleetwood Williams, respecting the General Company for the Agriculture of the Vineyards on the  Upper Douro, Known in England under the name of the Royal Oporto Wine Company (London 1824) pp. 67-81.   André Simon, Bibliotheca Vinaria, p. 114.   Not in Innocêncio.


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