Private letter from Beatriz Camela to Maria Gorjoa, a withcdoctor
Brites asks Maria Gorjoa a favour.
The defendant is Maria Gorjoa, also known as “a Cutilante”. She lives in Peniche, her hometown and was married to Pedro Rodrigues. She was arrested in 1646 under the accusation of witchcraft. She had, allegedly, predicted several thefts, including the theft of silver and gold to a nobleman. She was also accused of healing people with homemade remedies. In December 1647 she was sentenced to a two years exile in Castro Marim and to spiritual penances, a sentence she failed to obey. She went back to Peniche and continued to do witchcraft, until she was arrested again and sent to Limoeiro. In 1651, Maria Gorjoa was again sentenced to exile, this time to Angola or Brazil and for twice as long.
Madam Maria Gorjoa,
It doesn’t surprise me you being suspicious about the two men I sent to talk to you about a theft I suffered on the night of the Midnight Mass, since you don’t know neither of us. But I give you my word, and I’m sure I’m giving it to a good woman, as I need no one to intervene on my behalf. And this is because I’m very well known in this land and I didn’t want to bother madam Maria da Maia, even though I’m very obedient and a friend. However, I believe there is no better thing than what I intend to pay with my own money. And, in case you want to do this for me, and if you dare to do as the holder of the letter will tell you to, everything you wish will be done. And, in case you wish to come to this land, I’ll be very pleased and you will find shelter with a maiden, a servant and a clergyman. What I tell you is not a lie, but the truth, which is what you’ll get from me in case you wish to come with previous warning. And you can handle any issue with the holder of the letter, now or in any other occasion in which I serve you. May God keep you.
Today, 3 day of March, 1651.
Your servant, Brites Camila