Monday, 6 November 2006

Gerard de Visme Bookplate

Gerard de Visme (1725?-1797)

A prominent member of the British Factory in Lisbon who made a vast fortune with the contract of diamonds commerce with Brazil.
His family of French Huguenot extraction had fled to England during the religious persecutions in France.
He lived in a sumptuous Quinta at Benfica, in the then outskirts of Lisbon, painted by Noel and from which J. Wells made an engraving in 1794.

In 1790, he acquired the Monserrate estate, near Sintra, and built a neo-gothic palace at the site of an old chapel which he ordered to be moved to another location.
Monserrate was to become famous through William Beckford who hired the estate in 1794 and lived there till 1796. After decades of decadence it was acquired by Sir Francis Cook who built the present mansion and beautiful park and gardens, (see,
After having left Portugal around 1794, Gerard de Visme lived England at Wimbledon Lodge.
His daughter Emily De Visme (?-1883) married General Sir Henry Murray (1784-1860), the son of the 2nd Earl of Mansfield.

Bibl.: Lima, Henrique de Campos Ferreira, Os ex-libris de Gerard de Visme fundador da quinta e palácio de Monserrate em Cintra, Sep. da «Revista de Exlibris Portugueses». [S.l. : s.n.], 1922, (Porto, Typ. da Empr. Literaria e Typographica)

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