Added: March 21, 2015 – Last updated: April 2, 2016


Author: Darlene Abreu-Ferreira

Title: Women, Crime, and Forgiveness in Early Modern Portugal

Subtitle: -

Place: Farnham

Publisher: Ashgate Publishing

Year: 2015

Pages: 250pp.

ISBN-13: 9781472442314 (hbk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9781472442338 (EPUB) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9781472442321 (PDF) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 16th Century, 17th Century | European History: Portuguese History



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Author: Darlene Abreu-Ferreira, Department of History, University of Winnipeg


  List of Tables (p. vii)
  Abbreviations (p. ix)
  Acknowledgements (p. xi)
  1 Introduction (p. 1)
  2 Querelas and Perdões de Parte for Physical Injuries and Homicide (p. 45)
  3 Querelas and Perdões de Parte for Sexual Crimes (p. 101)
  4 Conclusion (p. 173)
  Appendix 1: List of prices (in réis) for royal pardons (Regimento dos Perdões), 18 June 1517, Lisbon (p. 183)
  Appendix 2: Victims's pardon (perdão de parte) from Manuel Gomes and Graça Geraldes, widow, from Barcelos, to João Louren&ccedilö;o and more associates, 12 January 1650, Monção (p. 187)
  Appendiex 3: Victim's pardon (perdão de parte) from Isabel Dias to Francisco Dias, 19 October 1579, Lisbon (p. 189)
  Appendix 4: Criminal denunciation (querela) filed by Ana Gomes, prisoner, against Tomé Rodrigues, jail guard, 18 September 1629, Ponta Delgada (p. 191)
  Appendix 5: Victim's pardon (perdão de parte) from Melchior Barbosa, painter, to Martinho da Cunha and others, 22 April 1577, Porto (p. 193)
  Appendix 6: Criminal denunciation (querela) filed by the alcaide António Pereira against Manuel Mendes, nickname o rameligua, and Maria Guerra, nicknamed a bisquainha, 12 August 1630, Ponta Delgada (p. 195)
  Appendix 7: Royal pardon (perdão régio) granted to Pedro Gonçalves fro taking the honour and virginity of Ana Gonçalves, 20 January 1610, Lisbon (p. 197)
  Bibliography (p. 199)
  Index (p. 227)


»Looking at the experiences of women in early modern Portugal in the context of crime and forgiveness, this study demonstrates the extent to which judicial and quasi-judicial records can be used to examine the implications of crime in women’s lives, whether as victims or culprits.
The foundational basis for this study is two sets of manuscript sources that highlight two distinct yet connected experiences of women as participants in the criminal process. One consists of a collection of archival documents from the first half of the seventeenth century, a corpus called 'querelas,' in which formal accusations of criminal acts were registered. This is a rich source of information not only about the types of crimes reported, but also the process that plaintiffs had to follow to deal with their cases.
The second primary source consists of a sampling of documents known as the ‘perdão de parte.’ The term refers to the victim’s pardon, unique to the Iberian Peninsula, which allowed individuals implicated in serious conflicts to have a voice in the judicial process. By looking at a sample of these pardons, found in notary collections from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Abreu-Ferreira is able to show the extent to which women exercised their agency in a legal process that was otherwise male-dominated.« (Source: Ashgate)


Avila, Elaine. Portuguese American Journal (December 10, 2015). – Full Text: Portuguese American Journal (Free Access)

Sá, Isabel dos Guimarães. e-journal of Portuguese History 13(2) (December 2015): 113-114. – Full Text: Brown University (Free Access), SciELO Portugal (Free Access)

Wikipedia: History of Europe: History of Portugal