|Author(s)||Maria da Fonseca|
Extorsion letter from Maria da Fonseca to her husband, Pascoal Coutinho.
Pascoal Coutinho was accused of bigamy, having married Maria da Fonseca and then Domingas da Silva. He and his first wife went to Rio de Janeiro, from where she escaped with some soldiers to Angola and then to Portugal. Pascoal Coutinho married again, alleging that he thought his first wife was dead. He was condemned to 5 years in the galleys.
Mr. Pascoal Coutinho.
I've heard that, despite being married to me, you pretended I was dead in order to marry another woman, a thing I had never expected from you. But these are the ways of the world. And you also took all my assets and left me with no home, two causes that were enough to report on you to the church. However, considering you are my husband by name, I won't denounce you, and I haven't told anything to the vicar, because I'm sure you'll remember me by sending me someting for my maintenance. Because every honest woman with her husband away suffers from these kind of need.
I hope you will help me as an honest man. And if you don't do as I say, I'll arrange things on my own, and I warn you that it will be cheaper to do what I say than to try the strictness of the Saint Inquisition.
And as I trust you'll do everything, I hope God keeps you as it is my wish.
1st may 1661, AD, Maria da Fonseca.
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