José António Freire Sobral

José António Freire Sobral

José António Freire Sobral (Sobral de Monte Agraço, São Quintino, June 10, 1840 – Lisbon, April 19, 1905), was a rich farmer and a large exporter of coffee, cocoa and woods who made his fortune in São Tomé Island. He was the owner of the Roças Saudade and Santa Maria in the village of Trindade and was a Vocal of the Council of the Province of São Tomé e Príncipe and Regedor of the village of Trindade. He was made Commander of the Order of Agricultural Merit of Portugal.

He was the son of António Freire, an agricultural employee, and wife Joana Maria, both born in Sobral de Monte Agraço, São Quintino, from where he took his surname.

He married Mariana Emília de Sousa, without issue. He had however, before his marriage, eight natural children from three different mothers, and was the Godfather of his grandson José de Almada Negreiros. By Leopoldina Amélia de Azevedo, born in Benguela, he had five children. She lived in São Tomé Island, where she had four of their children. Since he refused to marry her she ran off back to Benguela, where she died of childbirth of her fifth child. She was a natural daughter of Manuel de Azevedo Pereira, born in Santarém, who lived in Benguela, where he had natural daughters by Luzia, an African woman born there. Their oldest natural child was daughter Elvira Freire Sobral (São Tomé Island, Mé-Zóchi District, Trindade, Roça Saudade, [Baptised in São Tomé Island, Mé-Zóchi District, Trindade, Roça Saudade, on June 23, 1874] – São Tomé Island, December 29, 1896), who was recognized and raised by her father, married in São Tomé Island, Água Grande District, City of São Tomé, at the Parrish of Conceição, on April 30, 1892 António Lobo de Almada Negreiros and died at childbirth of and with her daughter. She studied in Coimbra, at the Colégio das Religiosas Ursulinas, where "she won the fame of a skilled drawer". Her half-brother Joaquim Freire Sobral was also an artist and a painter. They had, beside a daughter, two sons António (b. 1895) and José Sobral de Almada Negreiros.


* "Fotobiografias do Século XX", Photobiography of Almada Negreiros, Círculo de Leitores.

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