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Work and identity in early modern Portugal: what did gender have to do with it? (1).

The first entry made by the scrivener for the town of Braga in northern Portugal, on Saturday, 5 February 1569, refers to a petition before the municipal council from Ilena Piriz. (2) She was noted as a widow who had been wife of Gaspar Diaz, locksmith, resident of Porta Nova--that is, he had been a resident of Porta Nova; her address at the time of this petition was presumably the same as that of her late husband's, but this was not clarified in the record. What the scrivener noted instead was that Piriz told officials that she was a widow, old, and in poor health, and therefore could not maintain her shop. Consequently, Ilena Piriz sought a release from her trade obligations and from taxation as a vinhateira or wine dealer. The town gave her permission to relinquish the said mester or trade, with warnings of penalties if she did not adhere to the conditions of this release. Her son-in-law, Migel Piriz, signed the agreement on her behalf. (3)

These few lines are all that we have on Ilena Piriz, yet it is substantially more than was often recorded about many other women of a similar socio-economic standing. In this particular entry we are told the woman's name and her trade, though the latter information was noted almost as an aside. Possibly Ilena Piriz was responsible for this irreverence to her occupation. Given that she wanted to forgo her trade obligations, it was in her best interest to present herself as a frail, old widow, rather than as a vigorous and competent wine dealer. How much of this was a projection by the record keeper is difficult to tell, but it is noteworthy that, first and foremost, Ilena Piriz was identified as the widow of [the late] Gaspar Diaz, with the latter's occupation and address taking precedence. This, in fact, was more typical of the way in which the common folk of early modern Europe were noted in official documents.

Municipal council records for 16th and 17th-century Portugal reveal a trend that is similar to what has been found in most of western Europe: men were usually identified by their full name and profession or economic occupation, whereas women were most often associated with their marital status or family connections. Seldom was a woman's name linked with an official title related to her trade or vocation. What did it mean to label a female taxpayer as the wife of...? Historians of early modern women are well acquainted with archival records that glaze over women's contributions, and this practice has been documented extensively for many parts of Europe, (4) including Spain (5) and Portugal. (6) The latter, however, is less familiar to the English-speaking scholarly community, a circumstance that the present paper attempts to rectify.

The problems with label identifications found in archival sources have been researched elsewhere. (7) Historians now generally agree that neither men nor women were exclusively engaged in the occupation noted in the official record. There is also some consensus that early modern women were productive members of society despite the absence of work labels associated with women in many records. Part of this debate has revolved around the necessity to be more inclusive or to broaden our definitions of productive work. The call has been made to not only include women's reproductive as well as productive activities in this definition, but that our views of women's productivity must be broadened to encompass the countless tasks performed by women in caring for their families. (8) The present essay pushes this debate further by contending that we need to view the term wife or widow (and perhaps that of daughter, sister, and mother as well) as a primarily economic label. (9)

Using the Portuguese example, we will revisit the now-cliched female designation, the wife of, and reassess its possibly loaded meanings. The multiple connotations affiliated with this term need to be explored, a task that we shall attempt to accomplish through the evaluation of several collections of municipal records from a number of towns in early modern Portugal. The geographical focus here will be on towns north of Lisbon, including Coimbra, Aveiro, Porto, Viana do Castelo, Caminha, Braga, and Ponte de Lima (see map).

Of special interest to the present study is the record kept by municipal governments in the collection of local taxes, and in granting of licences for retail trades and services. The latter, although often incomplete in terms of chronological sequence, and in the amount of detail noted about the individuals involved in the retail licence transaction, are nonetheless especially rich in information about who was doing what. Not every urban dweller had to seek a licence to eke out a living, but anyone wanting to run a business of any sort, from baking bread for the local market to making wine for the neighbourhood pub, had to pay for a licence to do so. These records thus offer some useful insights into the occupations of a significant segment of the urban population.

There are two main reasons for the choice and variety of documents surveyed here. First, for comparison purposes, a number of towns were investigated, but the same type of document was not always available from one town to another. Second, different sorts of records can serve to show the pervasiveness of a cultural trend, or, conversely, to highlight possible contradictions. Such contradictions can add to the richness of our findings, but they can also frustrate our interpretations. What is certain is that such factors as work, gender, family, rank, wealth, and identity were intricately connected, though regional differences, changes over time, and the role of the scrivener must also be taken into account.

Because the types of records found vary a great deal, the present discussion is organized thematically and geographically into four sections, though some overlapping is inevitable. The first section looks at the extent to which municipal records depicted gendered work labels. Our discussion takes us through Braga, Porto, and Aveiro, but time constraints meant that more material was uncovered for Braga. Not only did officials record most references to occupations in the masculine form, but they also identified women more often with their respective marital or family connections. This proclivity was observed especially in the Braga records of retail licences, as well as in Viana do Castelo's tax books, and Caminha's customs registries, all examined in section two. The third section of this paper offers some insight into questions of gender and rank, and how these two social constructs determined official identification practices. Burial records from a charity organization in Aveiro, accounts of retail licences for the middling-sort of trades in Ponte de Lima, and a list of wholesale wine merchants in Porto allow us to compare the role socio-economic status could play in identifying individuals as workers and/or as worthy citizens.

The discussion in the final section encompasses all of these major themes of wealth, gender, and identity in early modem Portugal, best exemplified in a tax roll from 17th-century Coimbra. Precipitated by a scheduled royal visit, this document offers a rare list of all local citizens who were heads of households subject to the toll, female and male, rich and poor, married or not. Official record keepers used a variety of labels to identify the occupation or social position of individuals, but by far the most common classification for a woman was that of widow or wife of. The study concludes with a call for greater regard for these enigmatic terms if we are to more fully understand the multiple roles played by early modem European women and men.

Work and Gender

One of the first observations that can be made from the municipal council record is that women were not part of the official running of the towns in which they lived. Time after time the record shows male names only among those who gathered to discuss and decide on local business matters and general concerns. This is not surprising and is in keeping with similar findings elsewhere in Europe for that period. Likewise, deliberations on religious processions, of which there were many, indicate that it was predominantly the male citizen who was at the forefront of those rituals. (10) For instance, on Monday, 10 May 1535, the municipal government of Braga discussed the proper order to be followed in the procession of the Corpus Christi feast. At the head were the ordinary judges and the confraternity judges who carried the city flag and the flags of Santiago and Saint John, respectively. These officials were then followed by an entourage of people who carried a number of images of saints and angels, and the indivi duals named--43 in all--were men with their occupational titles clearly designated in the masculine form. (11)

Certainly this list was far from exhaustive. A religious procession of this nature and scope would have involved a great deal more input from many more local citizens, but it is significant that only men made the official record. Because most of the trades, crafts, or occupational titles were mentioned in connection to individual names, the argument cannot be made that the masculine gendered form of the occupational title might have encompassed a few women as well. In the Portuguese language, the masculine gendered noun takes precedence over the feminine and is generally accepted as inclusive of both sexes. It is conceivable that the plural noun os hortelaos (male market gardeners) includes some horteloas (female market gardeners), but this was unlikely with this particular record. In fact, the list of titles and trades registered in Porto for the Corpus Christi procession of 1621 strongly suggests that, in this instance at least, the segregation of occupations by sex was clearly observed. Of the 29 occupatio nal groupings noted, only two were written exclusively in the feminine form, padeiras (bakers) and regateiras (regrateresses), (12) with the former registered in the ninth position, and the latter in the eighteenth. Placed at number 13 were the tailors, trouser makers, and tecedeiras and tece1oes, female and male weavers, respectively. (13)

It is difficult to believe that there were only three occupations open to women in 17th-century Porto. Rather, this list suggests that there were very few officially-recognized trades dominated by women that were deemed worthy of an honourific position in religious festivities. It is possible that some women were part of the relatively gender-neutral designation, mercadores e tratantes de vinho (wine merchants and dealers), (14) for example, but no such hint was provided in this record. Interestingly, women were sometimes mentioned in margin notes, from which we learn that tailors were required to organize a dance of four women and four men for religious celebrations. (15)

Undoubtedly women's contributions to the Corpus Christi procession, and all other processions and festivities, and, by extension, to the local socioeconomic entity, were more visible than these documents suggest. For starters, in preparation for upcoming religious festivities, pescadeiras (female fish vendors) had to sweep, clean, and decorate the fish market with scented branches and twigs. Braga's officials made such pronouncements in 1573, 1574, 1580, and 1581, and warned that failure to comply with this order would result in fines of 500 (16) an indication that was not automatic. Nureis, willing participation always Numerous references were also found to padeiras and the pelas or "ball" dances they were required to put together for the procession. (17) Given the great number of reminders to this effect from the town council, it appears that bakers were often delinquent in their duties; occasionally officials had to threaten them with fines of 500 to 2,000 reis, plus a possible jail term. (18) The situatio n was equally volatile in colonial Brazil where female black slaves sold the bread for white bakerwomen. (19)

Municipal governments were concerned with a lot more than procedures for religious celebrations, but this issue alone raises interesting questions about the gendering of occupational titles in the early modern era. In reference to the above-noted pelas, authorities in Braga always noted bakers in the feminine form, with the sole exception of an entry on 10 May 1561, at which time the scrivener wrote that as padeiros or male bakers had to do the pelas. Possibly this was a spelling mistake committed by the record keeper, for later in the same entry the bakers were referred to as elas, the feminine form for they, and the padeira emerged again toward the end of this particular account. (20)

Be that as it may, this finding is a good example of the slippery slope that gendering of occupations can entail. Indeed, in another case, from a meeting on Saturday, 26 February 1569, two separate entries on the licensing of candle makers reveal that the masculine form of an occupational title could be used interchangeably with women and men. The first entry dealt with Bertolameu Gomcallvez, tailor, who sought a licence for the oficio de cerieiro, that is, to make and sell wax or candles. The second entry, entirely apart from the first, registered Lianor Diaz, widow, and Madanela (21) Fernamdez who requested licences for the oficio de cerieiro as well. In the latter case, the term for wax or candle maker remained in the masculine form even though it specifically dealt with two women only. Note also that the scrivener recorded the trade for the male applicant but not for the two female. (22) Similarly, on Saturday, 22 February 1567, Catarina Lopez and two azeiteiros, [male] oil vendors, were sworn in for purp oses of adhering to town regulations. While one of her colleagues, Domingos Concalves, was designated a shoemaker, Lopez was noted as a widow who had been the wife of Bernaldo d Aguiar, ataqueiro. (23)

A possible explanation for the use of the masculine form for wax or candle maker, or oil vendor, even in connection to women, is that that type of work was done predominantly by men in early modern Portugal. A municipal record from another town, Aveiro, from 1580, allows for such an interpretation, though in this case we found the reverse situation. In a list of names under a number of trades, the category of bakers and vendors was written in the feminine form, padeiras e vendeiras, yet one man's name was included under this feminine heading, though the masculine form of vendeiro was written next to his name. (24) To what extent the candle making business and the selling of oil was dominated by men in 16th-century Braga is difficult to gauge. No other reference to licensing azeiteiros was found, (25) and only two more licences for wax making were located in this collection of records, also for 1569, and granted to two men as well. (26)

It is highly unlikely that the town of Braga dealt with the wax and candle making business, or the trade in olive oil, only in two or three occasions in the 16th century. Rather, this gap must be seen as a serious lacuna in the surviving texts, a gulf that will critically limit our analysis. Nor is the situation any better for the following century. The best that is known to exist for Braga for the 17th century is a collection of registries of municipal council decisions covering the period 1645-1704, but for which only 18 partial registries survived. Still, it is worth noting that as was the case with the incomplete set for the previous century, the number of occupations found for the 17th century is much greater in the masculine form, with at least 230 such entries counted, compared to 20 occupational titles mentioned in the feminine form.

The most common occupation for men that showed up in these registries was sapateiro or shoemaker, written solely in the masculine form, with 55 noted, followed by 21 merchants. Indeed, shoemakers were so numerous in Braga that they were one of the few trades for which there was a street name specifically designated for them, Rua dos sapateiros. Women showed up more often as tecedeiras, or weavers, with 13 such designations found. In addition, three licences were granted to Ana Goncalves in 1648 for the office of ataqueiras, (27) one for herself and another for each of her daughters, Margarida and Maria; one licence was granted for the office of midwife to Maria Velosa in 1652; Ana Leitoa received a licence to make wax and candles in 1647, while Marta Ribeiro (noted as the wife of Damasio Francisco, silk spinner) received the same in 1654; and Maria Vaz got a licence in 1700 to set up an estanco or tobacco shop. (28)

Incomplete as these records are, several observations can be made that tell us something about early modern Braga, and Portuguese and even European society in general. It is curious to note, for instance, that the two wax and candle makers noted here were given an occupational title in the feminine form. Was this a predilection of a different record keeper, or was the designation of cerieira more common in the 17th century? The fragments of information available make either hypothesis difficult to situate. The office of cerieiro was also granted to two men, one in 1645 and another in 1647, while in 1700 the official responsible for overlooking the trade was called the juis do oficio dos cereeiros, an indication that the wax and candle-making business was not a feminized trade, or at least not perceived to be so. This is an important distinction, for the same records show a reference to the official responsible for overlooking bakers in 1703 as the juiz do oficio de padeiros. (29) Given the overwhelming presen ce of women in the baking business, the title would have more accurately reflected a certain reality had it referred to padeiras.

That most bakers in early modem Portugal were women is striking when compared to northern Europe, where, as historian Merry Wiesner has noted for Germany, a woman could only become a baker if she married a baker. (30) Regional differences were certainly significant, but there were important similarities, too. For instance, Braga's municipal records show a transition in the local economy over time, a phenomenon that was equally true in many other parts of Europe.

As overseas exploration and colonialism became entrenched, trade in overseas goods intensified and infiltrated local markets in the metropolis. By the 17th and 18th centuries, Portuguese ports were especially engaged in the Brazil trade. Thus, in Braga, a hinterland town but with relative easy access to the Atlantic trade via the Cavado River, 30 retail licences were granted from 1700-1704 for tobacco shops, whereas only four such licences were found for the 17th century, and none for the 16th. (31) With the exception of the case noted earlier, all tobacco licences were awarded to men, and even Maria Vaz mentioned above, a widow from Porta Nova, had her brother-in-law obtain the licence on her behalf. This, in fact, signifies yet another component by which women and men were often treated differently in the records. Not only were references to work identity highly gendered and less frequently noted for women, women were also more likely to have their marital status or other family associations revealed. Archi val documents from Braga, Viana do Castelo, and Caminha bear witness to this phenomenon.

Family and Identity

It was not unusual for male relatives to deal with official transactions in retail licensing on behalf of their women kin, whereas no example has been found for the reverse. In the few recognized trades dominated by women, however, the customary practice was for the woman to appear at town hall and pledge to adhere to municipal regulations governing her trade. Braga's tecedeiras, therefore, show up in the records themselves, though the way in which they were noted was significantly different from the manner in which male weavers were recorded. For example, the first reference found to weavers was in the registry for 1646, at which time Isabel, Cecilia, Francisca Lomba, and Maria Tecedeira received licences as weavers. This was followed by two entries in 1649, Ana de Sousa and Isabel of Esporoes; four entries in 1651, Madalena, unmarried from S. Mamede d'Este, Catarina, daughter of Maria Goncalves, Catarina, daughter of Antonio Fernandes, and Ana Arez of Carvalhal. Four years later, in 1655, Maria Goncalves of Carvalhal, and Helena, daughter of Manuel Comes, got their licences for the office of weaver. Finally, in 1656, Helena, young unmarried woman, daughter of Maria Geraldes of Adaufe, received the licence of weaver. (32)

A comparison of entries of female weavers with those of male weavers suggests that women, regardless of their public persona, were viewed significantly differently from men in early modern Portugal. Some tecedeiras were fully identified by their names and independently of any family affiliations, but others had only their first names noted, while still others had their marital status stated and their respective mothers or fathers named as well. It is possible that for the latter case, the women in question were considered minors and consequently in need of parental approval, but to list a woman by her first name alone says something about the professional regard she was given. This is especially true if compared with the entries of male weavers, all of whom were fully named and with no family ties noted whatsoever. (33) It is as if men existed and operated exclusively from and wholly independent of family ties. We know that that was not so, but the records suggest nonetheless that men were nowhere as reliant on their families as women were. Such is the fiction of archival records.

Overall, women, when named at all, were more likely than men to be reported in official records with their family affiliations. This appears to have been more of a custom, however, rather than the rule of law in early modern Portugal. The practice also seems to have varied according to region, scrivener, and nature of the document in question. Rather than proving a prevalent ideology regarding women's status, the findings tend to be contradictory and often difficult to interpret. This is especially true when the discrepancies are located in a relatively similar collection of documents kept in the same town covering a short period of time. Such was the case with the municipal council records found in Braga for the 16th century.

In addition to making the records as recipients of retail licences, women in Braga were also noted on numerous occasions seeking or renewing prazos or property leases. (34) Only a small number of volumes survived from Braga's municipal council meetings in the 16th century, (35) yet these few texts reveal that women were regularly and directly implicated in prazo transactions. This in itself is significant, for it shows that Portuguese women were routinely involved in publicly-sanctioned arrangements that were both legal and economic. The ways in which these women were recorded, however, leaves much to the imagination of the modern historian. For instance, on Wednesday, 12 September 1565, Brjatjs Daffomseqa, wife of [the late] Bastjao Rojz, renounced her right to the prazo that she and her husband had had to a property belonging to the Hospital and Misericordia, in favour of her daughter, Margarida Daffonseqa, widow of [the late] Joao Brauo, who took on the said prazo for the duration of three generations. (36 ) It is noteworthy that the two women in question were fully named, but it is remarkable as well that they were both identified along with their respective deceased husbands.

Though noteworthy this is not unusual, and it is also not the only way women were demarcated in Braga's documents. Ten days after the above agreement, Ana Pjrez was granted a prazo, (37) as had been Caterina Delaffaja in July of the same year, and Felipa Vaz in 1569, none of whom had her family links or marital status mentioned. Nor was it mentioned for Ffrancisca Ffernandes, though it was noted that she was the orphaned daughter of Domingos Ffernandes, shoemaker. Indeed, the element of inheritance associated with the prazo was often suggested in these records, as in the case of Antonio Sobrjnho and his wife, Isabel Viejra, whose prazo of 27 October 1565 clearly stated that upon the death of either one of them, the surviving spouse would inherit the said prazo, later to be inherited by their son or daughter. On the one hand, Antonio Ffernandes, son-in-law of Manuel Pjres, blacksmith, renewed a prazo that had been given to Ffernandes by his mother-in-law whose name was not provided; on the other hand, Marta Pi riz was noted on her own in 1571 when she renewed her prazo with Simao Goncalvez, hatter, and his wife, who remained nameless. (38)

Since nearly everyone had some family association, and everyone had a marital status of one way or another, it is curious that such designations were not always noted. Most people also had an occupation or even several, but this was infrequently noted for women, whereas men's occupational titles were often provided, even in cases when the men in question were dead. Conversely, the marital and/or family links were seldom mentioned for the men of Braga, while few women were named on their own. Even these few examples beg the question, however, for it is not clear why some women's names appear on their own while many others do not. It is also not clear why, occasionally, the scrivener found it necessary to record the family connections for some men while not so at other times. In addition to the above-mentioned case of Antonio Efernandes, a few other examples were found that show men's family networks as well. For instance, in the list of participants for the Corpus Christi procession of 1535, discussed earlier, Pedro Aries was registered as the son-in-law of Isabel Fernandes, widow, and Jorge Ruiz as the brother-in-law of Bastiao Lopes. (39) Likewise, on Saturday, 30 March 1566, Ffrancisco Goncalves petitioned Braga's town council for a licence to buy some property. He was noted as the son of Marja Goncalves, a widow who sold bread in the market square. Francisco Reis, too, a hatmaker who sought a privilege for his son Antonio, had his petition of 1702 recorded with the specification that Reis was married to Josefa Oliveira. (40)

Other examples of men's family connections being recorded were found in documents in Viana do Castelo and Caminha. In Caminha's customs books for 1527, for instance, Francysquo Nunez, son-in-law of Maria Anes, shows up owing taxes on imported cloth from Anvers. (41) A total of 24 male names were located with references to their family affiliations, including five connected to female relatives. Also noteworthy is the preponderance of the kinship designation of son-in-law, 15 out of 24, possibly because the taxpayers in question, many of whom were mariners or merchants from other neighbouring towns, were most recognizable in Caminha through their in-laws who were local residents. Fewer mothers-in-law were recorded than fathers-in-law, but a number of other women made these customs books. On 20 March 1527, for example, Framcysquo de Fygeyredo paid duties for imported cloth on behalf of Ysabell Carneyro, who lived in Porto and had been the wife of the late Joam Alvarez Asys. Another entry, dated 8 July 1527, show s Vyolante Dyz, mother-in-law of Gaspar Rybeyrroo, who declared some imported goods, as did Maria da Mota. Interestingly, these two did not have to pay import duties because they swore that the goods in question were for personal use only. This was the case of many other entries, including that of Joam Dyz, who declared that the cloth he received was from his son and that it would be for personal use. Yet some women were clearly engaged in the cloth trade for commercial purposes, for on 7 August 1527, Janebra de Barros, resident of Vyanaa, was registered owing 800 reis on import duties, while Maria Fernandez, widowed lady living in Vyvyanaa, owed 340 reis for her imported cargo of textiles. (42)

Many of the entries in the Caminha customs book reveal that someone else paid the import duties on behalf of the actual taxpayer, or was named as the guarantor for the owed amount. This was true regardless of the sex of the taxpayer, although the guarantor was almost invariably a man. Janebra de Barros noted above, for instance, had her tax bill guaranteed by Gilberto Martinz, son of Joam Martynz. In another entry, dated 22 October 1527, her name comes up again, though spelt Janebarra de Barros, at which time she owed another 1,029 reis for more imported cloth, for which she had Bastyom Goncallvez, a resident of Caminha, act as her guarantor.

Most of the women and many of the men who show up in the Caminha records owing import taxes were not residents of Caminha but were instead of nearby Viana do Castelo. In addition to the ones already discussed, Margaryda Martins and Branca Goncallvez, both living in Viana, were noted on 22 October owing 275 and 900 reis, respectively. The fascinating thing about the latter is that she had a woman as a guarantor, though this woman was not named. Instead, the record keeper merely noted that the guarantor for Branca Goncallvez was the wife of Martym Goncallvez, fisher, and that Gomez de Palhares signed on her behalf. Also on that day, Duart'Allvrrees dispatched on behalf of Margaryda Fagumdez, both residents of Viana, several pieces of cloth from northern Europe, for a total of taxes owed of 12,425 reis, one of the largest amounts recorded. (43)

The practice of having a guarantor recorded in municipal tax records does not appear to have been as common in Viana do Castelo as it was in Caminha, (44) but the tendency to attach kinship ties was equally prevalent in the former. As was the case in Caminha, Viana's record keepers were especially prone to designate women as the wife of when referring to female citizens who paid taxes on a variety of merchandise. This is especially evident in the collection of archival documents from 1530 covering the town's expenses and receipts for that year. Although several women were mentioned in the records, almost all remained nameless whereas their husbands were often fully identified by name and occupational title, even though the transactions in question took place with the anonymous women themselves. (45)

Interestingly, Viana's tax records from the second half of the 16th century reveal a wider range of identification patterns, for both women and men. Although some women were still only distinguished as the wife of, most were registered by their full names and merchandise with which they dealt. This is not to say that women were given appropriate occupational titles. That was still the domain of Viana's male citizens. But we do know that Anna da Guarda paid 5,480 reis in taxes in 1573 for iron and other merchandise, although we are not told her family affiliation or marital status. Likewise, Briatiz Fernandez paid 2,800 reis for iron and other merchandise, but in her entry the record keeper added that she was a widowed lady, wife of [the late] Francisco Lopez of Porto. (46) Too often the merchandise was not identified in these texts, but the books show nonetheless that women, like their male counterparts, were predominantly engaged in imports of iron and sugar, as well as sardines and other fish, and fruit.

As was seen in the Caminha records, women in Viana were also sometimes named in an entry for a male taxpayer. For instance, Antonio Gomez was registered in 1573 as son-in-law of da Rodea, a nickname applied to his mother-in-law. Another entry mentioned a taxpayer by his first name only, Balltasar, and then indicated that he was the son of Maria Comez. It is once again possible that these entries reflected the junior status of the taxpayer in question, but it is still unclear why some entries provided more details than others. The informality with which people of the lower echelons were identified perhaps mirrors the ways in which they were regarded. For example, a taxpayer in 1581 Viana do Castelo was noted as the son (his name could not be deciphered) of a widow of the street of Coredio. (47)

Although historians sometimes crave for the precise and infinitely accurate, there is something revealing about a society when one of its members deems it acceptable to record a taxpayer as someone who is the son of a generic widow who lives in front of so-and-so. Nor was this unceremonious way of referring to people restricted to women and children alone. As was the case with the records already reviewed for Caminha, most men in the Viana books were identified by their full names, and sometimes followed by their occupational title. But also in keeping with the Caminha findings, many men were further associated with some member of their kin. Again, the most common family link noted for men was that of son-in-law, followed by that of son, servant, vassal, grandson, brother-in-law, and nephew.

A particularly interesting entry was found involving Antonio Goncalvez, who, the record keeper found it necessary to add, had married Sarra da do Rocha. The way this was written implies that Sarra was the daughter of a man called Rocha, while her own last name was not provided. Names were sometimes not provided for men referred to in the records as well. For instance, in 1573, Amdre Gomez paid 600 reis in taxes for a cargo of fruit, and he was noted as the son of the blind man; Balltasar Dominguez, for his part, was identified as the son of the barber; while Margarida Amtunes was filha do dentudo, that is, daughter of the big-toothed man. Ironically, particularities such as these can help a researcher differentiate between individuals, many of whom had similar names. More problematic are the cases where only the names were provided, or when certain details were not repeated in a second or third entry. For instance, in 1581 Isabel Moreyra of Rua do Cais paid 400 reis in taxes for a cargo of sugar. In the docum ents for 1583, an entry shows Isabel Moreyra, widow, paying 10 reis for merchandise that was not stipulated. (48) There is no way of knowing whether this was the same woman.

Braga's registries of trade licences and property leases, Caminha's customs books, and Viana do Castelo's tax records all reveal a variety of ways in which scriveners kept accounts of the activities of the local citizens. Overall, however, women were more often recorded with a link to their marital status and/or families. Occasionally a male citizen was associated with his kin, but these cases usually involved men who were not long-time residents of the local community. Hence, the motivation for labeling a taxpayer son-in-law differed from what propelled a record keeper to note that a woman was the wife of, though the latter is also far from clear. If a woman's marital status was the principal indicator of her identity, why were so many women's names recorded without it? Generalities are difficult to construct, but some records suggest that the poorer the woman, the less official recognition she had, either in name or in occupation. We have looked at questions of gender, work, and family affiliations; now we will examine the ranking of socio-economic status to determine how women and men of the popular classes were differentiated by record keepers in Aveiro, Ponte de Lima, and Porto.

Gender and Rank

There is little doubt that the ways in which people of early modern Portugal were identified in the records discussed so far reveal something about the status, rank, and social standing of the individual in question. It is worth noting, for example, that the two widowed ladies discussed earlier were identified with their full names and titles. Likewise, a cavalheiro fidalgo noted in the Viana books was fully named, with no references made to his family ties, let alone personal appearance. (49) Because very few members of the upper ranks of society would have appeared in this type of record, such observations must remain tentative, but it is doubtful that too many of them would be listed in an official document as the blind one, for instance. People of the labouring classes were more likely to be referred to by nicknames or other informal labels, yet a certain ranking hierarchy existed among the labouring classes as well, especially along gender lines. A fisherman was more likely to have his name and occupatio nal title noted than a fisherwoman. A man was still a man, while a woman was seen more as an appendage of another adult, particularly a father or husband.

This ranking hierarchy among the poor is especially visible in a record found in Aveiro, a coastal town south of Porto. The document in question deals with receipts and expenses at the town's church-operated charity house, the Misericordia, in the early 17th century. The Misericordia served the community's poor in a number of ways, including in the arrangement of burials. These records reveal some evidence of the extent to which poor people were poorly regarded, for many were not named at all in the death registries but only referred to as "the deceased" or as "a burial," followed by the amount collected/donated for the service provided. But even here some members of the lower echelons of society were more marginalized than others, for, once again, men were more likely to be fully named in the records than women, either as the deceased themselves, or in connection to the dead person in question. Women who were buried under the auspices of the Misericordia were almost always nameless in the books, recorded mos t often as the wife, widow, finance, mother, daughter, grand-daughter, sister, sister-in-law, aunt, niece, or mother-in-law of a man. Sometimes the family connection was really stretched, as in the case of "daughter of the brother-in-law" of a certain man, sister of a man's brother-in-law, or wife of a man's brother-in-law. (50)

Even when a woman was mentioned on her own, without a link to a (male) family member, the entry was still often anonymous, the record merely mentioning the burial of "a poor woman" or of "an old woman." Occasionally, males were referred to as the son or nephew of a patriarch, but this seldom happened. The tendency was to note the man's name, dead or alive. In one case, the record keeper jumped the gun with the entry reading "the burial of Manuel Dias--that is, the wife of Manuel Dias." But men were not immune from having their names buried with them, as in the case of a donation of 10,000 reis for the burial of Goncalo Pereira's brother-in-law. This omission of the name of the deceased is especially surprising given the largesse of the donation, suggesting that this was a burial of a member of a wealthy family. Most donations to the church for burials averaged around 300 or 400 reis, although the church received 20,000 reis for the burial of Andre de Odemira's daughter, 12,000 reis to bury Domingos Roiz, and 4,000 reis for Palos Gomes's wife. (51)

Another fascinating element about the Misericordia records, and one that again speaks loudly about the gender question, is that not only were men more likely to be named in the records--even when they were not the customers--their position/station was also more likely to be mentioned. (52) This was true whether they were buried or not, whereas women were invisible in name and in deed. With the exception of references to their family ties, little can be extracted from these records about women's daily lives. Only a handful of women were connected to their work, including one barber, one unskilled tailor, one bread kneader, a buyer, two millers, and a couple of servants. There was also some mention of salines belonging to women, such as Antoninha's wet-nurse, the servant of Isabel, the [female] baker, and the burial of Maria Joao, maker/seller of wooden shoes. Some entries also included the woman's full name, and others even connected the deceased to a female relative. For example, in June 1640, the Misericordi a buried Manuel, son of Maria Simoes; a son of Maria Lucas, a shepherdess; and Joao Rabelo, brother-in-law of da panasca. (53)

As the records surveyed thus far illustrate, women in early modern Portugal were generally not associated with their work, at least not in the official documents, although some records are more likely to provide identifying information than others. The reasons for discrepancies between records are multi-faceted, but among the most probable must be the lack of standardization practices in record keeping, regional differences, and the nature of the document; add to this notions of gender and class discrimination, and the possibilities are numerous. The Misericordia burial accounts dealt primarily with Aveiro's very poor, and women from that element of society were especially inconsequential to officialdom. Records that dealt with people of the middling-sort, citizens whose output bore some importance for municipal revenues, were more likely to recognize and acknowledge those citizens. Such a custom was uncovered in Ponte de Lima where, unlike the situation in Aveiro, the scrivener registered retail licences for individuals of both sexes generally independently of family ties, with their full names written down. In fact, the scant records that survived for 1581 even show an equal number of women's and men's names obtaining licences to ply their trade, with 28 and 29 noted, respectively. The major difference between women and men was in the time of year their names were found and in the trade in which they were engaged. Women were most visible in the month of April when 18 of them received licences: 10 to sell fish, 7 to sell wine, and 1 to sell bread. Men, for their part, were noted almost evenly from January to October, though more of their names showed up in March and April, and their licences were primarily to sell wine or bread.

Similar findings can be extracted from the records for 1583. Though these are even less complete than the volume for 1581, with the former ending in March, a gendering of occupations is still discernable between the 11 female names and the 13 male: 8 women obtained licences to sell fish, whereas most men received licences to operate a store or to sell wine. Some differences between the sexes are also perceptible in the manner in which the licence seekers were noted. In this type of record most individuals were listed by their full name and nothing else, although a few men's occupational titles were listed while fewer were noted for the women. Hence, in March 1581, Francisco Fernandes, blacksmith, made a pledge to city council on behalf of his wife or female servant to sell bread. Only two cases were found for the 1580s where licences were granted to women who were not named, but a few other examples were found of female licence holders whose identities were noted by a first name only, or by a nickname: Isabel , a Rainha, and Maria, a Meireles. (54) No such inclination was seen with the male names.

More interesting observations can be made with Ponte de Lima's municipal council records for the late 17th century. Whereas the number of women and men seeking licences in the 1580s was nearly equal, in the 1680s men outnumbered women on a scale of more than two to one, with 210 retail licences granted to women compared to 518 to men. The incomplete records for the 16th century must account at least in part for this discrepancy, (55) but another notable difference between the l580s and 1680s is the time of year most women's names were entered in the books. In the 16th century women in Ponte de Lima were found in the retail licence registries primarily in March and April. In the 17th century, only 9 out of 210 licences were granted to women in March and April. The vast majority of women's names were recorded in January and February, while men's names were again spread over the entire year, although a greater number of men received retail licences in October and November. The reasons for this are connected to t he gender division of labour associated with different trades.

By far the most common trade for which Ponte de Lima women received a retail licence was that of baker, closely followed by fish vendor. In the former case women usually received a licence to bake and sell bread in their homes or at the marketplace, whereas most fish was sold at the local market. Men dominated the wine trade and received few licences to do much else. This would explain the preponderance of male names in the autumn months. There is no reason to believe that women were legally barred from selling wine, for some women received such licences, including 8 in October of 1684, 6 in October of 1685, and 6 in November of 1686. Their numbers were minor, however, in comparison to the number of men in the business, with 42 showing up in October of 1684, 32 in October of 1685, and 34 in November of 1686. (56)

Caution must be used in interpreting these figures, however. Just because more men than women received licences to deal in wine does not necessarily mean that men dominated wine sales. It is even doubtful that many of them made their living solely from wine. The records show that many of the licences for selling wine were granted on the grounds that the stipulated wine would be sold either at the home of the licence holder, at the local market, or at someone else's house. Presumably the person in whose house the wine was to be sold did the selling on behalf of the licence holder. Furthermore, most names on these registries did not have an occupational title, but occasionally the record keeper noted that a shoemaker, a boatman, a carpenter, and a number of priests obtained licences to sell wine. Indeed some men of the cloth did a lot more than deal with wine, for on 26 September 1685 the municipal council in Ponte de Lima granted leave for a month to the Reverend Father Francisco de Morais to go to Braganca to get his legitimate daughter. (57)

Caution must also be applied to any conclusions about the range of trades available to residents in 17th century Ponte de Lima. Clearly wine was a thriving business and many townspeople were engaged in its distribution at the local level. Men greatly outnumbered women in obtaining retail licences to deal in wine, while women most commonly obtained licences for baking and for the fish trade, but there is reason to believe that many more trade licences were granted for which no record has survived. This is most apparent in the number of people entered in the existing records renouncing their respective offices, none of whom was noted obtaining a licence for her or his office in the first place. From 1681-1686, a total of 32 women renounced their office of weaver, 11 men that of carpenter, 2 [male] coopers, 4 [male] shoemakers, 2 [male] turners, 5 [male] bricklayers, and 6 [male] tailors. (58) That there were gender lines drawn between occupations in 17th-century Ponte de Lima can hardly be doubted, but record k eepers did not hesitate to refer to women by their occupation in the female-dominated trades, namely bakers and weavers. Although the latter sometimes had their renouncements made by fathers or husbands on their behalf, the women, whether present or absent, were called tecedeiras.

That the wine trade was more associated with men than with women was confirmed with another document from Porto in 1560, this one dealing with municipal taxes on wine. Thirty merchants accounted for two thirds of the wine trade of that year, and of those 30, only one listed was a woman, Leonor Pires, wife of Jorge Campos. It is not clear why she and not her husband was listed, for there is no indication that Pires was a widow. Among the smaller wine dealers, women were once again outnumbered by men in the records. Of the 471 entries found, 55 contained female names, with an additional dozen references to widows or wives of, including the case of "Goncalo Afonso in the absence of her husband his wife." Also noted were Margarida Pires, mother-in-law of G. Fernandes, Maria Andre, daughter of Maria Anes, Maria Goncalves for her grandson, and the nuns of Vila Nova. (59)

As was the case with the tax list from Caminha discussed earlier, the tax list for Porto noted women as guarantors for a number of taxpayers. This information was infrequently provided, yet on 25 occasions a woman's name showed up as guarantor, and this for both female and male taxpayers. One especially interesting, if somewhat confusing, example of this phenomenon involved an entry for Goncalo Alvares, whose guarantor was listed merely as Isabel, his vendor. A certain Isabel Bras was listed on three occasions as a taxpayer for wine, while another entry for the taxpayer Goncalo Fernandes had as his guarantor Goncalo Alvares, son-in-law of Maria Bras. Whether the first Isabel was the same as the second, or whether either one was related to Maria is not clear, but when Goncalo Alvares was listed on another occasion, he was noted again as son-in-law of Maria Bras. (60)

The above details are not very useful for an understanding of the daily routines of the named individuals, or their sense of identity, but there is little doubt that if Goncalo Alvares was more than a son-in-law, then Maria Bras was more than a mother-in-law. One wishes that there were more data on Alvares and Bras, yet, as much as information on people's occupations can help us unravel certain facets of early modem societies, often references to recognizable trades lead to more questions than answers. Such is the case with the final example to be examined here, a tax roll from the city of Coimbra, a document that highlights some of the complexities involved in determining notions of identity in the early modem period.

Wealth, Gender, and Identity

Coimbra's tax roll from 1610--1613 had 1,573 individuals listed by name, of whom 325 were women. An additional 115 female taxpayers were entered in the registry but for whom no names were supplied, compared to only 19 such cases found for men. The majority of men were fully identified by name and trade, 866 in total, or at least with their full name, with an additional 382 shown. (61) What does this tell us about early modem Portuguese society? To begin with, it appears safe to say that men were by in large considered the heads of their respective households. This is not surprising given the general trend in early modern Europe. What is surprising is the relatively high number of women who were seemingly heads of their own households.

A closer look at these figures confirms that the number of women in Coimbra's tax roll for the early 17th century is significant. Indeed, 440 is a good 25% of the overall total of taxpayers mentioned, and this figure raises a number of questions about identity and public image in early modern Portuguese society. There is little doubt that men were more likely to be officially known on their own--that is, without reference to their marital or family ties--and by their economic occupation than was the case with women. Still, official record keepers differentiated among women by the ways in which the latter were recorded. Whether or not this can be seen as a indicator for how women were actually regarded in their communities is not clear. There is nothing in Coimbra's tax roll that explains why 256 women were identified by name, 69 by name and trade, and another 115 left nameless but with a good proportion connected to their work.

Further examination of these numbers reveals more perplexing findings. It is not clear, for instance, why 119 women should have been named in full as well as identified as widows, whereas an additional 13 widows were also identified with their trade. It is difficult to believe that of those 132 widows, only 13 worked for a living. The same is true of the 122 women whose names were provided without any mention of occupation or marital/family connections. Why were such designations deemed unnecessary for these women? In addition to the widows already discussed, a handful of women were linked to their family status in a variety of ways: single woman, woman not married, mother-in-law of such and such, daughter of so-and-so, sister, wife, mother, and niece, for example. But the vast majority of women were identified by their name and/or trade alone.

This finding contradicts what is known for most of northern Europe in the early modern period where women were seldom officially recognized on their own. What is similar with the rest of Europe is the gender-division of trades evident in the Coimbra documents. While many men were identified as tailors, jewelers, booksellers, shoemakers, turners, merchants, barbers, surgeons, carpenters, apothecaries, painters--to name a few--no woman was thus designated. Similarly, the majority of trades associated with Coimbra women were not seen in the male form. For the most part, women were noted as vendors (47), bakers (27), washerwomen (12), shopkeepers (9), tripemongers (6), weavers (5), wetnurses (5), ovenwomen (5), and so forth. There is little doubt that the occupations appropriated by Coimbra men were those that were recognized as more prestigious and more highly-skilled than the jobs women occupied. This, at least, is the picture left to us with this particular tax roll. While many women noted were not given any o ccupational title, it is doubtful that a great number of them would have had a formal trade as exhibited by Coimbra men. It remains to be seen, however, what the wives of the [male] tailors, jewelers, booksellers, shoemakers, turners, merchants--and so forth--did all day long. Only two men were listed as widowers. (62)

One could argue that the same question needs to be asked of the husbands who did not make the tax roll of 1610-1613. Though this question does not apply to widowed women, we are still left wondering about the more than 300 women whose marital status was not recorded. Certainly many of those must have had husbands at one point or another. Only half a dozen were designated as single. Is this a case of a high incidence of absent husbands, perhaps due to the high migration of males to Portugal's overseas colonies? The document in question offers no hints.

There are, of course, several ways in which certain residents of Coimbra remained anonymous in the tax roll. The most obvious is those who were not even mentioned, including minors and other dependents, but there were also cases of individuals who were referred to but whose identity was not fully disclosed. The best example of this phenomenon is, of course, the numerous cases where a man was named whereas his wife, although mentioned, was not identified by name. The entry of Sebastiao Fernandes, shearer, and wife, baker, is a perfect example. Yet, men, too, were not immune from this type of anonymity. Taxpayers were recorded in a variety of ways, including: Simao Fernandes Curado and his son-in-law; Maria Rodrigues, vendor, and her niece; the son-in-law of Baltasar Andre; A Loba and her husband; and Olaia Pinta and her sister, to name a few. (63)

Why were record keepers hesitant about naming certain individuals? Was it a question of class and gender bias? Age? Space constraints in their books? How to explain the significance of the entry for Damiao de Amaral, son-in-law of Antonia Francisca, followed directly by an entry for Antonia Francisca Cavaca? It is not clear whether this was the same woman, but either way, the entries suggest that de Amaral was perhaps not a native of Coimbra, and had to be affiliated with his adopted family. But why the mother-in-law? Was she a widow? Note also that de Amaral's occupation was not recorded. In fact, nearly half of the men listed in the tax roll did not have an occupational title next to their name. Were these Jacks-of-all-trades, and if so, were the women left without an occupation title also Jills-of-all-trades?

One possible explanation for the relatively high number of individuals listed in Coimbra's tax list without proper work identification is that officials did not bother to name that which was considered trivial, menial, low status, or scorned by society in general. Two more examples will suffice to illustrate this point: among the taxpayers noted living on the street of Santa Maria do Paco, there were Violante Francisca, [who worked] in the oven of evil life, no forno da ma vida, and Angela, no dito forno, in the said oven. (64) In other words, these two were prostitutes.

Undoubtedly the class or socio-economic standing of an individual played some role in the way s/he was identified. One way to gauge this factor is to analyze the amounts of taxes paid with the names and/or occupations of the taxpayers listed, amounts that presumably were based on the estimated net worth of the taxpayer. (65) But things were not that simple; they seldom are. Among the taxpayers registered as residents of the Rua do Corpo de Deus and of Rua da Calcada da banda de cima we find Pedro Goncalves, labourer, who paid 20 reis; Joao Rodrigues, 20 reis; Pedro Serrao, merchant, 1,000 reis; Helena Lopes, widow, 1,000 reis; Domingas Fernandes, widow, 40 reis; Pedro Henriques, merchant, 10,000 reis; and Belchior Fernandes Gago, 5,000 reis. (66) What these findings tell us is that merchants came in various sizes, as did widows, though for the latter the basis of their economic status is even less clear. It is also difficult to argue that those who were fully identified, by name and occupation, were the ones who paid the most taxes, or the ones who enjoyed higher status.

Even connecting the sex of the taxpayer with the amount of tax paid is problematic. While many women, either named or not, designated as widows or not, paid under 200 reis, this was also true of many men, including many whose occupation was not stipulated, but also some jewelers, tailors, carpenters, shoemakers, and barbers. It cannot be said that these were all among the lowest trades, for while Afonso da Fonseca, jeweler, paid 80 reis in taxes, Antonio Ferreira, jeweler, paid 2,400. Likewise, Pedro Rodrigues and Manuel Simoes, shoemakers who lived on the same street, paid 40 and 10 reis in taxes respectively, the latter amount being the lowest attributed to any taxpayer. Yet, in the vicinity of Rua dos Sapateiros or shoemakers street the lowest tax amount recorded for a shoemaker was 20 reis, six others paid between 1,000 and 2,500 reis each. (67) The latter were identified as sapateiro e curtidor or shoemaker and tanner, an indication that it was perhaps the tanning business that was most profitable, altho ugh tanners, too, had varying degrees of success: two tanners residing on Rua das Solos, Roque Pires and Antonio Pinto, paid 6,600 and 600 reis respectively.

A list of individuals with identifiable crafts or trades is not very helpful to the historian looking for evidence of personal wealth and socio-economic rank. Clearly not all shoemakers were created equal. Coimbra's tax list provides some hints about the extent to which its residents were assessed for taxation purposes, but there is no way of knowing whether the amounts of taxes registered reflected personal worth accumulated from the stated occupation only, or from an array of other sources. Even Antonio Pereira, noted as a bookseller, shopkeeper, and wine dealer, and who paid 1,000 reis in taxes, could have been engaged in some economic activity other than or in addition to the three reported, not to mention the economic contributions of other members of his household. Still, some constants are visible in these records. Among the most prominent residents in Coimbra in the early 17th century were those listed as mercador or merchant, the majority of whom lived on Praca da banda de cima, and whose tax amounts ranged from 1,300 to 10,000 reis. In fact, this street stands out among all others in the record, for of the 34 taxpayers enumerated, 18 paid 1,000 reis or more, among whom were two women, Maria Goncalves Goncalva, 1,000 reis and Teodora Correia, widow, 2,500 reis. No other occupation title was provided for these two women, but neither was it provided for 13 other residents of the same street, including three more women, and six men whose tax amounts were 1,000 reis or more.

It is noteworthy that what appears to have been among the most profitable, and possibly prestigious, occupation, that of merchant, was associated with men only. The same was true of the lowest ranked identifiable occupation, however, that of trabalhador or labourer, which was noted next to men's names only. Of 38 such designations found, nearly all men registered paid 20 or 40 reis in taxes. The most notable exception was the trabalhador listed along with his wife, in which case the taxes owed were much higher. Thus, Andre Goncalves Saramago, labourer, and his wife, baker, paid 200 reis, while Antonio Fernandes and Manuel Fernandes, labourers, and their respective wives, vendors, were charged 100 reis for each household. If nothing else, this is an indication that a wife's economic contribution was important. Nor was this the only example of husband and wife partnerships recorded. In the list of residents of Rua de Sao Cristovao it was noted that Joao Rodrigues and his wife, ambos vendeiros or both vendors, p aid 500 reis, while on Rua Direita lived another Joao Rodrigues, hortelao, and wife, horteloa, who paid 250 reis in taxes. (68) The latter case is especially interesting because it is the only example found where both the feminine and masculine form of the same occupational title was provided, although surely such arrangements of domestic teamwork were not all that rare. The wonder is not that occasionally a husband and wife unit was noted, but rather that more were not.

Identifications along class and gender, and the status associated with those distinctions, are clearly difficult to distinguish from this type of record. Differences between women and men were numerous, but the differences among women themselves and among men, too, are more difficult to categorize. Living on the same street, Rua da Moeda, Nataria Lamega paid 20 reis, while Andre de Burgos paid 100; the reverse was true of two other neighbours, Antonio de Almeida and Maria Tavares, who paid 20 and 100 reis respectively. Another example of this gender contradiction was found among family members: the widowed daughter of do Arais paid 500 reis, whereas his son paid 300 only. Significantly, a neighbour of theirs, Dona Isabel, widow, paid 200 reis. The title dona suggests that this widow was of a higher station than her neighbours, but her rank was certainly not reflected in the amount of taxes she was charged. In fact, she was not alone among the donas who were assessed to be of modest means. While Dona Filipa pa id 900 and Dona Mecia paid 1,000 reis, Dona Francisca, single, paid 40. (69) And what of Maria Cardosa, of Terreiro de Santa Cruz, and Manuel Comes de Oliveira, of Rua do Almoxarife, for whom no titles or family affiliations were provided, but who each paid 10,000 reis in taxes? (70)

Complications associated with linking amounts of taxes to the station or status an individual enjoyed are manifest in other cases as well. There is no way of knowing, for example, why a Coimbra doctor was taxed 200 reis, whereas a blacksmith paid 2,000. Were doctors poorly enumerated in early 17th-century Coimbra? Not necessarily, for most other doctors noted paid more than 1,000 reis in taxes, including three neighbours who paid 4,000, 7,000, and 13,000 reis each. (71) It is equally puzzling to discover that the licentiates Andre Vaz Cabaco, Andre de Veiga, and Manuel Fernandes paid 200, 150, and 50 reis respectively, while the wife of the licentiate Sebastiao de Quental paid 200, but the wife of the licentiate Antonio Dias de Carvalho paid 1,600 reis. Perhaps then, as now, a university education did not necessarily lead to economic prosperity, though sometimes it helped. The highest amount of taxes was paid by the licentiate Henrique de Arede, prebendary, for a total of 40,000 reis. Further proof that he wa s from a family of means is indicated by the entry of Francisco de Andrade, who paid 8,000 reis. (72) The latter was registered as the son-in-law of the former, an occupation that was likely not his sole vocation, an argument that is equally valid for women who show up in the records merely as the wife of.

The majority of men of early modern Portugal did not make the official record, but the incidence of invisibility was much higher for women. What needs to be stressed is that the lack of official recognition for plying a trade does not negate the work of unnamed individuals involved in a trade, or their economic contributions in other forms. Similar observations have been made by other scholars in reference to other European regions, (73) but one of the best examples of an early modern wife's economic worth was uncovered recently by the historian Elizabeth S. Cohen. In her work on early modern Rome, Cohen found an archival document from 1609 that details a husband's estimation of what his deceased wife was worth to him in monetary terms, as a companion and as a worker in the family shop. Undoubtedly he was the one who was publicly known as a confettiere or candymaker, but the wife of Guglielmo Rossi, Ginevra, was clearly instrumental in the operation of the family business, or at least that is the view the gri eved widower presented to authorities as he tried to get compensation for his loss from those he blamed for his wife's premature death. (74) That such a thing was even envisioned at the time might be seen as proof that women could be perceived as workers as well as wives.

There is little doubt that the wife of the artisan, however neglectful the official document, was engaged in a lot more than wifely duties, or that, at the very least, our notions of wifely duties must be expanded. As Michael Roberts has shown, the ideal in some mid-l6th century circles was for the husband "to trauaile abroad," and for the wife "to tarrie at home," but there had always been problems in reconciling this ideal with the "wayward but necessary improvisations of the working women," (75) into which category most women belonged. It must also be stressed that the majority of early modern European men did not "trauvaile abroad," but rather worked closer to home along with their womenfolk, a situation that was true even in major urban centres. A study of a large East London parish in the 17th century, Stepney, found that despite the significant number of men who worked outside their homes, either in seafaring trades or in the growing manufacturing sector, "the norm seems still to have been domestic emp loyment" for both sexes. (76)

Studies show that the most menial, poorly-paid, and least stable work was done by women in early modern Europe. What has been neglected in these studies is the correlation between those women and their menfolk. Chances are that the washerwoman did not have a judge for a husband or father. Similarly, a merchant of note was not likely to have a wife who sold smelly sardines door-to-door. This is not to underrate the incidence of and critical limitations placed on women from entering prestigious craft guilds or professions, but we need to underscore that 1) similar limitations were imposed on men from the lower echelons, and 2) women had an informal means of working in a trade or profession through their families. There is little doubt that in most cases a woman's public identity was circumscribed, but that did not necessarily mean that her work was inconsequential because of gender expectations. Gender was flexible, malleable, and could be manipulated to meet individual and family needs.


The aim of this paper was to explore the incidence of identifying labels, or lack thereof, particular to early modern women. The evidence examined is fragmentary and often inconclusive. Yet, enough has been uncovered to raise serious questions about the conventional dismissal of such categories as widow and wife of, notably in discussions of occupational titles and economic activities in the early modern era.

A second objective of this study was to highlight the Portuguese example. The experience of Portuguese women has seldom been part of histories of early modem European women, yet appreciation of regional differences and similarities is critical for comparison purposes, and to avoid broad generalities that too often cannot be easily substantiated. While women in some north European regions could not be bakers in their own right, women in Portugal apparently dominated that trade. Unlike women in England, Portuguese women did not take on their husbands' last names. What all this meant to the status of Portuguese women is difficult to tell, especially given the inconsistencies in the ways in which women's activities were recorded.

Could a woman in early modem Portugal be known as a tradeswoman in her own right despite her local scrivener? That some women were recognized as bona fide holders of trades was shown in the documents examined here, and in legislation compiled in the reign of D. Manuel (r.1495-1521). The legislation in question stipulated that, in the absence of proof to the contrary, the carniceiro or [male] butcher, padeira or [female] baker, and taverneira or [female] innkeeper, were to be believed if under oath they testified to debts owed to them in the line of their work, for up to 600 reis. (77) Similarly, two contemporaneous Portuguese works that attempted to outline the major occupations of Lisbon residents in the mid-l6th century arrived at varying conclusions, but neither finding negated women's visibility in the local economy. Both authors showed that the number of recognizable occupations for men was substantially greater than that for women, with 277 for the former and 110 for the latter, yet the number of women holding trades was still significant. Cristovao Rodrigues de Oliveira accounted for 14,389 men engaged in trades, compared to 8,591 women; his contemporary, Joao Brandao, noted 25,537 men and 20,168 women. That the two men used different categories in their observations, and saw different things, is obvious enough; that they failed, or chose not to see certain workers is equally apparent. Rodrigues de Oliveira, for instance, noted 25 midwives whereas Brandao mentioned none, though the latter commented on the "offices" of blind men and widows. (78)

These two last examples epitomize the murkiness besetting a serious examination of the occupation of early modem peoples and the identities they derived from their work. This is especially true of early modern women, who more often than not were alluded to as spouses, though it is interesting to note that neither 16th-century writer discussed above referred to the "office" of wife. Yet, such a designation would have been perfectly justifiable given the pervasiveness of the term wife or widow (that is, wife of a deceased man) in the records. For too long the terms wife and widow have been dismissed, trivialized, and even viewed with contempt. The problem is that historians have focused on the marital status (and the static implications therein) associated with the terms, wife and widow, and ignored the economic, social, and political implications of these occupational titles.

A serious consequence of this is that women's contributions continue to be underestimated in studies that look at economic activities in early modern Europe. Rather than accept women's absence from many documents, or their inclusion as the wife of as proof of their secondary status in the economic sphere, we need to be creative and attempt to give shape and meaning to the world of the wife (or widow, or mother, or sister). Instead of asking the question, the wife of whom?, we need to ask, the wife of what? To what enterprise or family-related operation was the anonymous, silent, or absent woman in the archival record tied to, engaged in, and a key participant?

Answers to these questions will not be readily reached, but, for starters, we can wonder about the numerous references to men and their work. Many of those associated with officially recognized trades (tailor, barrel maker, carpenter, shoemaker, jeweler--to name a few) must have had shops in which they, the licence holders, and their families worked. A number of these tradesmen would have had wives who had their own trade; to what extent these duo-household occupations were kept separate along gender lines is difficult to tell. How much did Coimbra's Sebastiao Fernandes, shearer, noted above, get involved in his wife's baking business, and vice versa? In this case, we are at least told of his wife's occupational title. Had the entry been done in the most typical manner, "Sebastiao Fernandes, shearer, and his wife," we would have been left guessing about her economic input, as we are about her name. What's in a name, and how much did it matter to early modern society, especially at the lower ranks? This is dif ficult to determine, but, among the upper ranks, the English writer Margaret Cavendish, for one, lamented the fact that upon marriage women lost their names and identity with their parental kin group. (79)

Historians are still grappling with questions of identity as these applied to pre-industrial societies. There is much that remains unknown about how most people saw themselves in relation to their families and communities. Did the average married woman--if such a thing can be qualified--see herself first and foremost as a wife and mother, or even solely as such? How did this differ from perceptions of self for the average married man? Merry Wiesner found that wife was once regarded an occupational label in Germany, but that the rise of the bourgeois sense of respectability and gentility in the early modern period forced some women to stay away from their families' shops. (80) It is too early to tell if research in Portuguese archives will reveal similar trends. Ideology, promulgated by the learned few, and predominantly male, writers of the period extolled the virtues of wifehood and motherhood for women, but, in most cases, the gap between ideal and reality was wide. (81)

Women have certainly long been expected to subsume their identities with those of their families, and a recent radio interview reveals the extent to which this expectation continues to permeate in certain sectors. The interview in question dealt with a radio show host telephoning a listener to inform her that she had won a prize. On the air, the prize winner was asked to tell the listeners something about herself, and she immediately replied that her oldest daughter had just gotten engaged, and that her son worked in first aid. (82) Not only did the woman in question identify herself solely through her children, but she also implied that her son was a waged worker, whereas her daughter was occupied with being engaged, presumably to a man.

It is possible that the primary occupation of this radio prize winner was that of mother, and that her daughter was fully engaged in preparations for her upcoming nuptials, but this situation would have been rare in early modern Europe. While some modern critics scorn at the label "just a housewife," the fact remains that such an occupation was a privilege few 16th and 17th-century European women could have enjoyed. The propensity of document keepers to record women as the wife of, therefore, cannot be seen as a true reflection of what women did for a living. Whether or not it is a reliable indicator of how women were viewed, or how they viewed themselves, remains to be seen. Whose voice was recorded when the scrivener sat down to write? As the examples examined in this paper illustrate, there was an arbitrariness to gender and gender identities. It is crucial not to impose modern values of naming and occupational identity on earlier societies, but the dismissive tone with which the wife of has traditionally been viewed cannot be ignored. In fact, I would argue that to view women in early modern Europe primarily as wives and mothers is actually a projection of more modern identity politics, for it is a relatively recent phenomenon that some women have had the luxury to call themselves "stay-at-home moms."


Research for this study was greatly facilitated by a New Scholar's Research Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

(1.) An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference in Cleveland, Ohio, November 2-5, 2000. I am grateful to the participants at that conference for their helpful comments and suggestions.

(2.) Naming practices were far from standardized in early modern Portugal, and this is most apparent in the variety of spellings found for ostensibly the same name. In this paper the spelling has been left as close as possible to the original text as this reflects the spirit of the times.

(3.) Camara Municipal de Braga (C.M.B.), "Acordos e Vreacoes [sic] da Camara de Braga no Senhorio de D. Frei Bartolomeu dos Martires, 1568 [-1569]," Bracara Augusta, Volume XXXVI, Nos. 81-82 (January-December, 1982), 556.

(4.) The literature is too expansive to list here. Suffice to note a few of the best known works: for England, see Alice Clark, Working Life of Women in the Seventeenth. Century (London, 1919); Judith M. Bennett, "Medieval Women, Modern Women: Across the Great Divide," in David Aers, ed., Culture and History, 1350-1600: Essays on English Communities, Identities and Writing (New York, 1992); Carole Shammas, "The World Women Knew: Women Workers in the North of England During the Late Seventeenth Century," in Richard S. Dunn and Mary Maples Dunn, eds, The World of William Penn (Philadelphia, 1986); Mary Prior, "Women and the urban economy: Oxford, 1500-1800," in Mary Prior, ed., Women in English Society, 1500-1800 (London, 1985); for Germany, see Merry E. Wiesner, Working Women in Renaissance Germany (New Brunswick, NJ, 1986); for France, see Regine Pernoud, La femme au temps des cathedrales (Paris, 1982); Cynthia M. Truant, "The Guildswomen of Paris: Gender, Power, and Sociability in the Old Regime," in William Roosen and Kay Rogers, eds, Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Western Society for French History, Volume 15 (Flagstaff, 1988); and for a general view, see Barbara A. Hanawalt, ed., Women and Work in Preindustrial Europe (Bloomington, 1986).

(5.) Among the many studies that deal specifically with women's work in early modern Spain, see Montserrat Carbonell Esteller, "Hecho y Representacion sobre la Desval-orizacion del Trabajo de las Mujeres (siglos XVI-XVIII)," in Virginia Maquieira d'Angelo, ed., Mujeres y hombres en la formacion del Pensamiento Occidental: Actas de las VII Jornadas de Investigacion Interdisciplinaria (Madrid, 1989); Siro Villas Tinoco, "La Mujer y la Organizacion Gremial Malaguena en el Antiguo Regimen." in Ordenamiento Juridico y Realidad Social de las Mujeres, Siglos XVI a XX: Actas de las IV Jornadas de Investigacion Interdisciplinaria (Madrid, 1986); and Pilar Sanchez Vicente, "El Trabajo de las Mujeres en el Medievo Hispanico: Fueros Municipales de Santiago y su Tierra," in Angela Munoz Fernandez y Cristina Segura Graino, eds, El Trabajo de las Mujeres en la Edad Media Hispana (Madrid, 1988).

(6.) Ana Maria Alves, "Onomastica da Lisboa Quinhentista: Subsfdio para um Estudo de Mentalidades na 2a Metade do Seculo XVI," in Comunicacao e Silencio: Textos de Historia, Politica e de Circunstancia (Lisbon, 1990); Maria Helena da Cruz Coelho, Homens, Espacos e Poderes (Seculos XI-XVI) (Lisbon, 1990); for an overview, see A Mulher na Sociedade Portuguesa: Visdo Historica e Perspectivas Actuais. Coloquio, 1985, Actas (Coimbra, 1986).

(7.) For an early study that raised similar questions, see Merry Wiesner Wood, "Paltry Peddlers or Essential Merchants? Women in the Distributive Trades in Early Modern Nuremberg," The Sixteenth Century Journal, XII, No. 2 (1981): 3-13.

(8.) For a review of this debate, see Merry E. Wiesner, Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe, Second Edition (Cambridge, 2000), 102-140.

(9.) Merry Wiesner defines primarily economic activities as those that involved [waged] work and ownership/management of property. See Wiesner, Women and Gender, 103.

(10.) Similar findings were made for France, for example. See, Natalie Zemon Davis, "Women in the Crafts in Sixteenth-Century Lyon," in Hanawalt, Women and Work.

(11.) The trades listed were as follows: market gardener, glover, tailors (10), shearers (2), barbers (3), oil vendors (2), wine vendors (2), merchants (4), shoemakers (8), sandal maker, tanners (2), shopkeeper, lace makers (2), thread makers (2), carpenter, and butcher. C.M.B., "Livros do Registo/Livro das Vereacones [sic]," Boletim do Arquivo Municipal, Volume I (1935-1949), 97-101. All other volumes of this academic journal referred to in this paper have the new name of Bracara Augusta.

(12.) This was the term used by Alice Clark in reference to female pedlars and hawkers who dealt primarily in foodstuffs. See Clark, Working Life, 197, 206-209.

(13.) Luis de Sousa Couto, Origem das Procissoes da Cidade do Porto (Porto, r. 1936 [18201), 22-34, 98-99.

(14.) A female merchant would be mercadora, but tratante could ostensibly be used to signify a female or male dealer.

(15.) Sousa Couto, Origem das Procissoes, 27, note 1.

(16.) C.M.B., "Acordos e Vreacoes [sic]," Volume XL, Nos. 89/90 (1986/87), 707; Vol. XLIII, Nos. 94/95 (1991/1992), 502; Volume XXIV, Nos. 57/58 (1970), 291, 356.

(17.) For 1561, see C.M.B., "Acordos e Vreacoes [sic]," Bracara Augusta, Volume XXV-XXVI, Nos. 59-62 (1971/72), 428, 468-469, and Volume XXVII, No. 64 (1973), 612, 615-616; for 1562, see Volume XXIX, Nos. 67-68 (1975), 391, 379, 396, 423; for 1565/66, see Volume XXX, No. 70 (1976), 687, 710, 722-23, 733, 735, 739, 768, 783, and Volume XXXI, Nos. 71-72 (1977), 456, 468, 470, 474; for 1567, see Volume XXXIII, Nos. 75-76 (1979), 519, 523; for 1569, see Volume XXXVI, Nos. 81-81 (1982), 582, 583, 585, 590; for 1572, see Volume XXXVIII, Nos. 85-86 (1984), 405, 412; for 1573, see Volume XL, Nos. 89-90 (1986/87), 706; for 1580/81, see Volume XXIV, Nos. 57-58 (1970), 290, 294, 356. I am grateful to Prof. Frank Dutra, University of California-Santa Barbara, for his assistance with the definition of pela.

(18.) The first three references deal with preparations for the feast of Corpus Christi, while the last deals with the Festa do Anjo Custodio. C.M.B., "Acordos e Vreacoes [sic]," Volume XXVII, No. 64(1973), 594-595; Volume XXX, No. 70(1976), 722-23; Volume XXXVI, Nos. 81-81 (1982), 583, 590. It is not clear why the severity of the penalty altered, for on 10 May 1561 and on 23 May 1565 it was set at 2,000 reis; on 4 June 1569 it was 500 reis; and on 13 July 1569 the fine was once again 2,000 reis.

(19.) Maria Odila Silva Dias, Power & Everyday Life: The Lives of Working Women in Nineteenth-Century Brazil, Ann Frost, trans. (New Brunswick, NJ, 1995 [1984]), 36-39.

(20.) C.M.B., "Acordos e Vreacoes [sic]," Volume XXVII, No. 64 (1973), 594-595. Baker in the male form [padeiro] was found in only three other entries dealing with a list of tradespeople who were warned to follow town regulations. See Volumes XXV-XXVI, Nos. 59-62 (1971/72), 428; Volume XXIX, Nos. 67-68 (1975), 395, 400-401.

(21.) Madanela was probably a misspelling of Madalena.

(22.) C.M.B., "Acordos e Vreacoes [sic]," Volume XXXVI, Nos. 81-82 (1982), 562.

(23.) C.M.B., "Acordos e Vreacoes [sic]," Volume XXXII, Nos. 73-74 (1978), 468. An ataqueiro was a man who made straps of string or leather used to attach or tie clothing.

(24.) Livro dos Acordos da Camara desta vila de Aveiro do ano de 1580, f.14-f.18v, as transcribed in Francisco Ferreira Neves, O Livro dos Acordos da Camera de Aveiro de 1580. Factos Historicos (Coimbra, 1971), 54-58.

(25.) Some entries were found that involved azeiteiros in town regulations on prices of olive oil. See, for example, C.M.B., "Acordos e Vreacoes [sic]," Volume XXIX, Nos. 67-68 (1975), 404.

(26.) C.M.B., "Acordos e Vreacoes [sic]," Volume XXXVI, Nos. 81-82, (1982), 568-569.

(27.) See note 23, above.

(28.) C.M.B., "Livros do Registo," Volume 1(1935-1949), 15-31, 60-72, 105-119, 155-168.

(29.) C.M.B., "Livros do Registo," Volume I (1935-1949), 163.

(30.) Merry E. Wiesner, "Nuns, Wives, and Mothers: Women and the Reformation in Germany," in Richard M. Golden, ed., Social History of Western Civilization: Readings from the Ancient World to the Seventeenth Century (New York, 1992), 1:260.

(31.) C.M.B., "Livros do Registo," Volume I (1935-1949), 64, 108, 155-168.

(32.) C.M.B., "Livros do Registo," Volume I (1935-1949), 24,31,61,64,67,68,69,70,72.

(33.) Licences for the office of teceldo or male weaver were granted to the following five Braga male citizens: Manuel Lourenco and Antonio Goncalves in 1648; Francisco Lopes in 1649; Domingos Goncalves, of Santa Ovaia, in 1652; and Antonio Ferreira in 1697. C.M.B., "Livros do Registo," Volume I (1935-1949), 29, 60, 66, 118.

(34.) Most prazos or property leases were made for the duration of three generations, equivalent to approximately 99 years. l am grateful to Prof. David Higgs, University of Toronto, for supplying me with this information. See also M.D.D. Newitt, "The Portuguese on the Zambezi: An Historical Interpretation of the Prazo System," Journal of African History, X, 1(1969): 67-85.

(35.) The municipal council records from Braga that survived from the 16th century cover the years 1561, 1562/63, 1565/66, 1566/67, 1568/69, 1571/72, 1573, 1574, and 1580/82.

(36.) C.M.B., "Acordos e Vreacoes [sic]," Volume XXX, No. 70 (1976), 749-750, but see also 736-737 and 742. The cases of Bjatriz Daffomsequa and Margarida Dafonseqa were first discussed on July 4 and 28.

(37.) C.M.B., "Acordos e Vreacoes [sic]," Volume XXX, No. 70 (1976), 757. The same name shows up on 30 June, for a similar prazo, but it is not clear whether this is the same woman. See, Volume XXX, No. 70 (1976), 736.

(38.) For these, and other similar examples, see C.M.B., "Acordos e Vreacoes [sic]," Volume XXX, No. 70 (1976), 736-737,742,762-765; Volume XXXII, Nos. 73-74 (1978), 429-430; Volume XXXV, Nos. 79-80 (1981), 580-581; Volume XXXVI, Nos. 81-82 (1982), 595; Volume XXXVII, Nos. 83-84 (1983), 545; Volume XXXVIII, Nos. 85-86 (1984), 422.

(39.) Also, Manoel Pirez was the brother-in-law of Gregorio Gomez, and Jorge Lopez was the son-in-law of Diogo Soarez. C.M.B., "Documentos," Volume I, (1935-1949), 99-100.

(40.) C.M.B., "Acordos e Vreacoes [sic]," Volume XXXI, Nos. 71-72 (1977), 443; C.M.B., "Livros de Registo," Volume 1(1935-1949), 163.

(41.) Likewise, Rodrigo Eanes, mariner, son-in-law of Afonso do Porto; Afonso Goncallvez, mariner, son of Goncallo Eanes; Afonso Martinz, son-in-law of Diogo de ... ; Symon Lopez, son-in-law of Manuell do Rego; Bastyhom Afonso, son-in-law of Branqu'Eanes; Joam Stevez, New Christian merchant, brother-in-law of Amtoneoo Afonso, good Christian; Joam Afonso, mariner, grandson of Fernam Garcya; Amtom Afonso, merchant, son-in-law of Goncalo Stevez; Hamriqui Gomez, merchant, son of Alvaro Eanes; Amtoneoo Peryz, son-in-law of Joam Alvarez; Joam Martinz, son of Joam Martinz; Diogo da Rocha, son-in-law of Joam d'Azevedo; Gilberto Martinz, son of Joam Martynz; Crystova d'Alpoem, by or for his mother, Maria Paez; Joam Goncallvez, son of Diogo Goncallvez Hormote; Antoneoo Cardooso, son of Don Abade de Palimerys; Framcysco Lopez, mariner, son-in-law of Joanaa Goncallvez; Amtoneoo Peryz, mariner, son-in-law of Afonso Alvarez; Joam Afonso, mariner, son-in-law of Fernam do Porto; Bastyom Goncallvez, son-in-law of Afonso Goncl lvez; Pero Eanes, son-in-law of Gregoreoo Lupez; Diogo da Rocha, son-in-law of Goncallo Pereira; and Pero Eanes Meirynho, son-in-law of Maria Anes Chamoraa. Elisa Castro and Mario Cunha, "0 Livro da Sisa da Alfandega de Caminha do Anode 1527," Caminiana, Volume VIII, No. 13 (December1986), 157, 159, 191, 198, 199, 200, 203, 204, 206, 207, 208, 209, 211, 215; Volume X, No. 16 (December 1988), 186, 188, 196, 197,198, 199, 200, 201, 204, 205.

(42.) Castro and Cunha, "O Livro da Sisa," Volume VIII, 168, 190, 193, 194; Volume X, 186, 187. Despite the varied spelling of their places of residence, these two women lived in the same town, Viana do Castelo.

(43.) Castro and Cunha, "O Livro da Sisa," Volume X, 195-199.

(44.) This is clearly a reflection of a different situation in residency of taxpayers. Whereas Caminha officials dealt with many taxpayers from Viana do Castelo, officials in Viana dealt primarily with local residents.

(45.) Arquivo Municipal de Viana do Castelo (A.M.V.C.), Livro da Receita e Despesa da vyla de Vyana de 1530, No. 6, f.16, f.20, f.20v, f.26v, and f.27, for example.

(46.) A.M.V.C., Livro das Sisas (1573), No. 521, f.150, f.154v. For another example of a widowed lady, which suggests a class distinction from just a widow, see No. 522 (1581), f.149v.

(47.) Similarly, Brecheor had only his first name written down, and was registered as the son of Isabel Mendez, wife of Rodriguo Anes. Simao, son of Caterina Simoa, paid taxes for merchandise in 1581, while the daughter (her name could not be deciphered) of Ffernao Dacouez, paid taxes on iron and rosin. Other taxpayers for that year for imported goods were Francisco, cabin-boy, son of Ana Gomez; Joao, son of Briatiz Mendez; Rodriguo, son of Briatiz Gomez; and Pedro, son of a widow who lived in front of Gaspar Domingo. A.M.V.C., Livro das Sisas (1573), No. 521, f.154, f.156, f.156v; No. 522 (1581), f.151, f.155, f.164v, f.165.

(48.) A.M.V.C., Livro das Sisas (1573), No.521, f.153v, f.156, f.169; No.522(1581) f.155; No. 524 (1583), f.128v.

(49.) A.M.V.C., Livro das Sisas (1573), No. 521, f.161v. A cavalheiro fidalgo was a man of the nobility, a lord, a knight, or a gentleman horseman.

(50.) Arquivo da Santa Casa da Misericordia de Aveiro (A.S.C.M.A.), Livro da receita e despesa desta Santa Cosa da Misericordia, No. 124 (March, 1599-1600); No. 127 (January, 1602-1603); No. 129 (May, 1604-1605). A portion of the receita e despesa collection has been transcribed and summarized by a group of history students and Dr. Amaro Neves, in Aveiro. I am grateful to Dr. Amaro for sharing this work with me, as well as to the students involved in the group project, including: Susana Paula da Conceicao Claro, Maria da Lurdes Coutinho Soares, Maria Joao Ferreiro Rodrigues Pires, Paulo Jorge Miranda Monais, Ana Claudia Ramires, Lurdes Oliveira, Fatima Silva, Natalia Nora, Ana Paula Ferraz, Maria da Luz Sousa da Silva, Jacinta da Graca Ramos Gil, Maria Joao Pinho Gamelas, and Maria Clara Coelho.

(51.) See, for example, A.S.C.M.A., receita e despesa, No. 125 (December and May, 1600-1601); No. 131 (July and June, 1609-1610); No. 132 (March 1610-1611); No. 133 (November, December, January, February, 1611-1612).

(52.) Among the occupation labels linked to men were earthenware workers, carpenters, shoemakers, shearers, coopers, barbers, arbelesters (cross-bow makers), masons, ovenmakers, ropemakers, traders, shopkeepers, tailors, blacksmiths, tenant farmers, gardeners, millers, soapmakers, scribes, town criers, ox-cart drivers, saline workers, basketmakers, merchants, butchers, coppersmiths, torch-bearers, and hospital workers.

(53.) A.S.C.M.A., receita e despesa, No. 126 (August, 1601-1602); No. 132 (February, March, 1610-1611); No. 135 (April, 1613-1614); No. 136 (July, 1614-1615); No. 149 (1629-1630); No. 155 (March, 1638-1639); No. 156 (October, December, April, June, 1639-1640). The reference to the barber involves a woman who was noted as a barbeira, which could mean that she was a barber, or that it was her name or nickname. It is not clear what do panasca means, but it was likely a woman's name or nickname.

(54.) Joao Gomes d'Abreu Lima and Ovidio de Sousa Vieira, "Ponte de Lima nas Vereacoes Antigas," Arquivo do Ponte do Lima, Volume II (1981), 3-20; Volume IV (1983), 5-14. The nickname a Rainha means "the Queen," but the significance of a Meireles is not known.

(55.) The discussion of Ponte de Lima is based on a collection of published archival sources, covering the years 1581, 1583, 1681, 1683, 1684, 1685, and 1686, and the two lone volumes for the 16th are especially meagre. There has yet been no opportunity to visit the actual archives to verify if other volumes of municipal records exist for the early modem period.

(56.) Abreu Lima and Sousa Vieira, "Ponte de Lima," Volume I (1980), 8-31; Volume II (1981), 22-38; Volume IV (1983), 15-36; Volume V (1984), 6-24; Volume VII (1986), 7-32.

(57.) Abreu Lima and Sousa Vieira, "Ponte de Lima," Volume VII (1986), 24.

(58.) Only one example was found of an ovenman, a male fish vendor, and a man seeking a licence for the office of tailor. See Abreu Lima and Sousa Vieira, "Ponte de Lima," Volume I (1980), 12-13; Volume IV (1983), 19.

(59.) Pedro de Brito, "O Comercio Portuense de Vinho no Sec. XVI Atraves do Livro A da Imposicao do Vinho," Boletim Cultural da Camara Municipal do Porto, Vol. 7/8 (1989/90), 164-207.

(60.) Brito, "O Comercio, Portuense," 186.

(61.) Fernando Pinto Loureiro, Documentos para a Historia Economica de Coimbra, Volume I (Coimbra, 1955), 5-51. For an examination and comparison of this tax roll with two others from the city of Coimbra, see Antonio de Oliveira, A Vida Economica e Social de Coimbra de 1537 a 1640 (Coimbra, 1971), Volume I, esp. chapter 3.

(62.) Pinto Loureiro, Documentos, 29, 33.

(63.) Other interesting cases include: Francisco Dias and his son; the daughter of Arais, widow, and the son of the aforementioned; Isabel de Almeida with her son; the oven-woman [who works out of] the oven of Ivo Duarte and her husband Vicente Fernandes; the sister of Maria Rodrigues; Catarina Martins and her daughter; the person who tends the garden of Antonio Leitao; Antonia Carvalha and her husband; the daughters of Lourenco Mendes, deceased; Manuel da Rocha, married to a Bestiga; the cook at Sao Bento; the husband of Maria de Almeida; and Joana Perestrela and her son-in-law. Pinto Loureiro, Documentos, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 19, 20, 22, 24, 30, 34, 36, 41, and 43.

(64.) Pinto Loureiro, Documentos, 9-12.

(65.) I am grateful to Prof. Carla Rahn Phillips, University of Minnesota, for discussing this point with me.

(66.) Pinto Loureiro, Documentos, 6-7.

(67.) There were 70 taxpayers listed for this district, with 20 noted as shoemakers, several of whom paid between 500 and 800 reis each in taxes. There were also 25 people listed without an occupational title, 17 men and 8 women.

(68.) Pinto Loureiro, Documentos, 5-10, 14, 23-29, 33, 36, 45. The definitions provided in the Novo Michael is Portuguese-English dictionary for these terms is highly suggestive. The masculine form, hortelao, is defined as market-gardener; the feminine form, horteloa, is defined as 1) a gardener's wife, and 2) a female gardener. It could be argued that the hortelao might be a gardener's husband, while the horteloa is no more a female gardener than the hortelao is a male gardener. Similarly, The Oxford Dictionary defines oarsman as "a person who uses oars; a rower," whereas an oarswoman is "a female rower." The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, Thumb Index ed., s.v. oarsman, oarswoman.

(69.) For a discussion of the "honourable poor" in early modern Coimbra, see Oliveira, A Vida Economica, 350-351.

(70.) Pinto Loureiro, Documentos, 15, 20, 22, 23, 26, 27, 33, 37, 39.

(71.) The tax amount of 13,000 reis was paid in 1613 by Doctor Manuel Rodrigues Navarro, but, curiously, the tax roll of 1617 shows Francisca Brandoa, wife of Navarro, paying 40 reis only. See Oliveira, A Vida Economica, 358, footnote 4.

(72.) Pinto Loureiro, Documentos, 15, 17, 31, 33, 49.

(73.) See, for example, Marta V. Vicente, "Images and Realities of Work: Women and Guilds in Early Modern Barcelona," in Magdalena S. Sanchez and Alain Saint-Saens, eds, Spanish Women in the Golden Age: Images and Realities (Westport, CT, 1996).

(74.) Elizabeth S. Cohen, "Wives' Work, Women's Worth: An Artisan's View from Early Modern Rome," paper presented at the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, Cleveland, Ohio, November 2-5, 2000. I am indebted to Libby Cohen for kindly allowing me to cite her work in progress.

(75.) Michael Roberts, "Women and work in sixteenth-century English towns," in Penelope J. Corfield and Derek Keene, eds, Work in Towns, 850-1850 (Leicester, 1990), 90-95.

(76.) Michael J. Power, "The East London working community in the seventeenth century," in Corfield and Keene, Work in Towns, 113.

(77.) Ordenacoes do Senhor Rey D. Manuel (Coimbra, 1797), 4:118.

(78.) Cristovao Rodrigues de Oliveira, Sumario em que brevemente se contem algumas cousas (assim eclesiasticas como seculares) que ha na cidade de Lisboa, prefaced by Augusto Vieira da Silva (Lisbon, 1938 [1555?]); Joao Brandao (de Buarcos), Grandeza e Abastanca de Lisboa em 1552, organized by Jose da Felicidade Alves (Lisbon, 1990). For a summary and comparison of these two works, see Jose da Felicidade Alves's edition of Cristovao Rodrigues de Oliveira, Lisboa em 1551--Sumario (Lisbon, 1987), 128-139. Under the "office" of blind men Brandao counted 41, and 1,635 for the "office" of widow.

(79.) Margaret Cavendish, Sociable Letters (1664) (Menston, England, 1969), 183-184.

(80.) Merry E. Wiesner, "Spinning Out Capital: Women's Work in Preindustrial Europe, 1350-1750," in Renate Bridenthal, Susan Mosher Stuard, and Merry E. Wiesner, eds, Becoming Visible: Women in European History, Third Edition (Boston/New York, 1998), 216-217.

(81.) For a Portuguese example, see Joao de Barros, Espetho de Casados, 2nd ed., Tido de Noronha and Antonio Cabral, eds. (Porro, r.1874 [1540]).

(82.) CBC Radio One, "Vinyl Cafe," hosted by Stuart McLean, Sunday, November 19, 2000.
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Author:Abreu-Ferreira, Darlene
Publication:Journal of Social History
Geographic Code:4EUPR
Date:Jun 22, 2002
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