Oliveyra, Francisco Xavier De

Oliveyra, Francisco Xavier de a Portuguese nobleman, noted as an ecclesiastical writer, was born in Lisbon in the beginning of the 18th century, and began his studies under the celebrated father Pinto. For almost forty years he was a slave to the prejudices of popery; but extensive reading, joined to his observations in Protestant countries, illuminated his mind, and dispelled by degrees the clouds with which superstition had obscured his intellect. When he had determined to change his religion he quit his patrimonial estates, and, relinquishing all honors, sought refuge first in Holland, and afterwards in England, where he spent the remainder of his life in retirement. He employed his time in literary labors. He published, Memoirs of his Travels: — Familiar Letters: — A Pathetic Discourse to his Countrymen on the Earthquake at Lisbon in 1756:The Chevalier d'Oliveyra burned in Effigy as a Heretic, why and wherefore'? etc.; and he left besides a great number of MSS., including Oliveyriana, or Memoirs. Historical and Literary (27 vols. 4to). When the overthrow of Lisbon occurred, he distinguished himself by a judicious and effective address to his former fellow-citizens. It was reprinted several times, and a second part added, and the whole translated into English. He died at Hackney Oct. 18, 1783.

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