Counts of Rio Grande

Francisco Barreto de Menezes (1616-1688), Master General, Commander in the Order of Christ, Chief Commander of an army of about two and a half thousand men, that obtained the memorable victories, against the Dutch, in the Battles of the Guararapes, in 1648 and 1649, definitively expelling the Dutch invaders, from Brazil, in the year 1654, reason why he received the nickname of “Restaurador of Pernambuco” (Restorer of). He was Governor of Pernambuco (1654-1657) and General-Governor of Brazil (1657-1663). Returned to Portugal, he was appointed member of the Council of War and President of the Board of Commerce, It was restored in him, by King Mercy, the Lordship of Morgado da Quarteira (of which his Father had already been Lord). It was conferred to him the Mercy of the title of Count of Rio Grande, by order and Royal License of July 14, 1678, which will be verified in his daughter and heiress


1ª Batalha dos Guararapes

The name “Rio Grande” refers to the place where one of the most remarkable episodes of the war against the Dutch took place, in Pernambuco (Brazil).. He was born in Peru in 1616 and died in Lisbon on January 21, 1688.. Natural son of Francisco Barreto, Governor of Callao (Peru), 8th Lord of Morgado (Majorat) da Quarteira (Algarve). He married twice: the first on July 13, 1665, with D. Maria Francisca de Sá, with who had D. Antonia Maria Francisca Barreto de Sá (1735-1759), Lady and Heiress of the House of her Father, Countess of Rio Grande, etc. She married in 1684 to

Lopo Furtado de Mendóça (1661-1730), Count of Rio Grande jure uxoris (Royal Licence on March, 5, 1689) and 12º Lord of Morgado da Quarteira (Majorat of) by his marriage, Commander of Loulé (on the Order of Christ), Captain of the King Guard, Army Field Master of the battalions of Algarve, Setúbal, and Almada, Admiral of the Royal Navy (1702), General of Battle at Alentejo Province, member of the War Council, General Commander of the fleet sent, in 1717, sent by the Portuguese King D. João V (at the instance of Pope Clement XI in the aid of Christendom) with two ships of the Order of Malta and a Venetian frigate, that defeated the Ottoman fleet at the famous Battle of Cape Matapan, on the coast of Mani Peninsula, Greece.

The Pope, in gratitude for the deeds of the Count of Rio Grande, granted him a bull with many expressions of honor and gratitude for the service done in the name of the Church. King D. João V gave him, among others, the mercy of the Commander of Borba in the Order of Aviz. He died in Lisbon on November 20, 1730. In addition to his professed daughters, he had a son: José António Barreto Furtado de Mendóça e Menezes, Capitão de Cavalos (cavalry captain, commanding reserved to a noble) of the Alentejo Province, born in 1688 and deceased single on August 2, 1707.

On July 9, 1799, the Count of Vale de Reis – Dom Agostinho Domingos de Mendóça Rolim de Moura Barreto, has the mercy of the title of Marquis de Loulé, adding to his name the family name Barreto, as Heir of the whole House of Barretos – Lordships of Morgado da (Majorat of) Quarteira (he had inherited after the death of the last single daughter of the Counts of Rio Grande), becoming the 13º Lord of Morgado (Majorat) da Quarteira.

His fourth grandson and successor were the Most Serene Dom Alberto (1923-2003), 5th. Duke de Loulé and 3rd Count of Rio Grande, etc., who, in 1997, transmitted to his son Dom Filipe, all rights to the title of Count of Rio Grande and its Representation.