|Addressee(s)||Inês Bárbara Santana Xavier de Pontes|
Anonymous extortion letter, allegedly from Agostinho Peres, servant, Galician, to Inês Bárbara de Santana Xavier de Pontes, a widow gentlewoman.
A young Galician immigrant who had worked as a servant but had recently been fired was arrested for writing extortion letters to rich ladies living in Lisbon, including his former employer.
Mrs. Inês de Santana Pontes.
I've sent you a letter on Tuesday and you ignored it. Well, madam, you must know that on Sunday night, around 2 a.m., some individuals were about to break into your house. As they were unable to do it, they wanted to set fire to it through the yard, the street and the Beco da Barbacena. I felt sorry for you and asked them not to do it, and they soon obliged me to give them six metal coins, but I only have that amount in paper, therefore you must send it to me today, without fail, since, because you didn't accept the letter, they wanted to set fire to the Beco da Barbacena. And then they are planning to kill you, and first they will kill the boy. You won't become poor and nothing bad will happen to you. However, if you don't send me the money, I swear by the Holy Sacrament that both parts will be burnt. And for this money there are 20 and 4 men, and they are all spying, and they have sent [...] another one to deliver it. And the holder is innocent, he's only obeying orders. The 20 and 4 are on the side. If you don't want to send the coins, lend them to me, as I force myself, by my faith, to send them back in three months. And you will know who he is, and you will give me a reward.
I'm your servant.
If you send someone to arrest the holder, you can be sure that, in 8 days, you will have news. And if you send the money, send it sealed in the same letter, sealed, sealed, without fail, without fail. Send it until the deadline, until the deadline.
May God keep your soul.