This project is a diplomatic transcription and English translation of a passage from an 18-century manuscript that chronicles a remarkable Portuguese embassy to China (Macau). The embassy embarked from Lisbon in February 1752, sailing in a luxuriously outfitted ship (Nossa Senhora da Conceição e Lusitânia Grande), in convoy with a warship (Nossa Senhora das Brotas). The English translation is important because it makes the account accessible to scholars who lack familiarity with Portuguese.This voyage to China is remarkable in light of the long history of maritime loss by the Portuguese. Although the normal projected loss of life on this route was 20%, this journey was made without one death. Some of the most fascinating aspects of the journey include the following: a) how the intrepid crew of the Nossa Senhora (most of whom were novices) and the passengers dealt with bad weather at sea; b) the religious rites conducted during the voyage by Jesuit priests en route to the Far East missions, which the passengers firmly believed mitigated the dangers and were thus responsible for their safe journey; c) the intriguing political maneuvering between the Portuguese and Chinese in Macau; and d) the meticulous descriptions of the different cultures, peoples and places encountered on the journey.



College and Department

Humanities; Spanish and Portuguese



Date Submitted


Document Type





Portugal, China, Sino-Luso relations, Early-modern Portuguese history, nautical history, Portuguese colonies in Asia, Asia, Diogo Baduem da Serra, Portuguese embassies, Asian-maritime history, Macau, Francisco Xavier de Assis Pacheco e Sampaio, Indonesia, Java, Banten, Sumatra, Strait of Sunda, Strait of Banka, Eighteenth-century navigation, Nossa Senhora da Conceição e Lusitânia Grande, Nossa Senhora das Brotas, King Joseph I of Portugal