Nobreza Civil

Over de status [Atesto do Real Corpo dos Privilegiados de Malta] van de oudouder van de Probandus; Francisco de Paula Lopes dos Santos, het volgende; de post van de kapitein dat hij bij het korps bezette verhief hem tot wat werd genoemd 'nobreza civil’. Dit is te vergelijken met het Nederlandse Patriciaat. Het korps werd voornamelijk samengesteld door mensen die eigendom huurden van de Orde van Malta, die zodanig een paar historische privileges hadden. Een daarvan was dat men deel uitmaakte van dit bijzondere korps in plaats van te dienen aan het front met het leger of bij andere para-militaire eenheden.
Joaquim Pedro Cardo Maldonado, capitão comandante do Real Corpo dos Privilegiados de Malta da Corte, e Termo, Reposteiro da Câmara do Número de El-Rei Nosso Senhor etc.

Atesto que Francisco de Paula Lopes [dos Santos], Alferes do Real Corpo dos Privilegiados de Malta, do meu Comando, assentou Praça e jurou Bandeira no ano de mil setecentos noventa e oito, e tem servido de Ajudante, pela ausência de João Estanislau Monteiro, que como criado de Sua Majestade o acompanhou para o Rio de Janeiro, aonde faleceu, servindo sempre com prontidão, e zelo no Real Serviço. E sendo-me esta pedida lha mandei passar, e vai por mim assinada, e selada com o selo deste Real Corpo. Quartel da minha residência em 9 de Junho de 1823.

Joaquim Pedro Cardo Maldonado

Capitão Comandante Interino
Joaquim Pedro Cardo Maldonado, commanding captain of the Royal Corps of the Privileged of Malta of the Court, and District, curtain of the Chamber of the number of the King our Lord etc.

I certify that Francisco de Paula Lopes [dos Santos], Ensign of the Royal Corps of the Privileged of Malta, under my command, enlisted and swore the flag in the year of seventeen ninety eight, and has served as Aid, for the absence of João Estanislau Monteiro, whom as His Majesty’s servant accompanied him to Rio de Janeiro, where he died, always serving with readiness and zeal in the Royal Service. And since this was required to me I ordered it to be made, and it is signed by myself, and sealed with this Royal Corps’ seal. Headquarters of my residence on 9th June 1823.

Joaquim Pedro Cardo Maldonado

Interim Commanding Captain
About the status [Atesto do Real Corpo dos Privilegiados de Malta] of the Probandus greatgrandfathers grandfather; Francisco de Paula Lopes dos Santos, the following; the post of captain he occupied in the corps elevated him to what was called 'nobreza civil'. This can be compared to the Dutch Patriciaat. The corps was mainly composed of people who rented property from the Order of Malta, which had some historical privileges. One of these was that one was part of this special corps instead of serving at the front with the army or with other para-military units.

Pede a Vossa Majestade 07-08-1823


Diz Francisco de Paula Lopes dos Santos, Alferes da Companhia dos Privilegiados de Malta da Corte, que ele suplicante com grande desvelo e inteligência na ausência dos Ajudantes do mesmo Corpo João Estanislau Monteiro, falecido, e Manuel José Rodrigues Ganhado, cuja existência se ignora, tem servido de Ajudante já no ensino do manejo Militar, já na formatura do Corpo e divisão de guardas, e porque seus serviços deviam ser atendidos, este o motivo por que implora a Vossa Majestade o haja de promover ao posto imediato que lhe compete de Capitão Ajudante do mesmo Corpo de Malta, graça esta que se tem concedido aos que têm montado guarda a Vossa Majestade nos dias mais festivos como foi o de cinco de Junho presente em que o suplicante foi um dos oficiais da Guarda que receberam a Vossa Majestade; e sua Real Família no Paço da Bemposta.

Pede a Vossa Majestade se digne por efeitos da sua Real Grandeza e Beneficência fazer-lhe a graça que suplica.

E Receberá Mercê.

Francisco de Paula Lopes dos Santos


Francisco de Paula Lopes dos Santos, Ensign of the Court’s Company of the Privileged of Malta says that in the absence of the Aids of the same Corps João Estanislau Monteiro, deceased, and Manuel José Rodrigues Ganhado, whose existence is unknown, he has served with great intelligence and zeal as Aid both in the teaching of military management, and in the formation of the Corps and division of guards, and because his services should be attended to, this is why he implores Your Majesty to promote him to the immediate post that he deserves of Captain Aid of the same Corps of Malta, a grace that has been granted to those who have guarded Your Majesty in the festive days like that of the last fifth June in which the supplicant was one of the officers of the Guard who saluted Your Majesty; and His Royal family at the Palace of Bemposta.

He asks Your Majesty, by the effects of his Royal Grandeur and Beneficence, to grant him the grace he requests.

And he shall receive favour.

Francisco de Paula Lopes dos Santos

De adel in Portugal was verdeeld in drie klassen, of meer specifiek in drie soorten, namelijk: Theologische, natuurlijke adel en burgerlijke adel. Burgerlijke adel bestaat echter niet alleen op het gebied van kerk- of militieposten, maar bestrijkt ook andere gebieden zoals: wetenschappen, cademische velden en andere beroepen, zoals bijvoorbeeld in het geval van navigatie. Natuurlijke adel bestaat uit bepaalde erfelijke waardigheid. Deze adel, of anders deze waardigheid, ooit verworven, is het essentieel om deze over te dragen aan uw nakomelingen. Er is een onderscheid tussen erfelijke [natuurlijke] adel en burgerlijke [of politieke] adel. In eerste instantie werd het niet gedefinieerd door geboorte en in tweede instantie bestond het uit personen die door de soeverein waren erkend vanwege hun verdiensten en diensten, maar ze waren zelden in staat om de privileges aan hun kinderen over te dragen. De burgerlijke adel was dus niet eeuwigdurend, maar levenslang.
In Portugal wordt adel echter niet met wapens verkregen zonder enige militiepositie te verwerven, zoals de positie van
kapitein en zovelen andere hogere beroepen die ook tot de adel behoren.
The nobility in Portugal was divided into three classes, or more specifically into three types, namely: Theological, natural nobility and civil nobility. However, civil nobility does not only exist in the field of church or militia posts, but also covers other areas such as: sciences, academic fields and other professions, as for example in the case of navigation.
Natural nobility consists of certain hereditary dignity. This nobility, or else this dignity, once acquired, it is essential to transmit it to your descendants.
There is a distinction between hereditary nobility and civil [or political] nobility. Initially it was not defined by birth and secondarily it consisted of persons recognized by the sovereign for their merits and services, but they were rarely able to pass on the privileges to their children. The bourgeois nobility was therefore not perpetual, but lifelong.
In Portugal, however, nobility is not acquired with arms without acquiring some militia position, such as the position of captain and so many other higher professions that also belong to the nobility.

14 de Setembro de 1823 informe o requerimento


Por Despacho da Junta da Sereníssima Casa do Infantado de 13 de Agosto do corrente ano, Manda Vossa Majestade que eu informe o requerimento de Francisco de Paula Lopes dos Santos, em que pede a Vossa Majestade o posto de Capitão Ajudante dos Privilegiados de Malta da Corte, por ter falecido na Corte do Rio de Janeiro o que exercia este Posto, e achar-se ausente Manuel José Rodrigues Ganhado há mais de 25 anos, que era supra neste Posto. O suplicante achava-se unido ao Corpo dos Privilegiados de Malta que fazia a Guarda do Palácio da Bemposta no dia 5 de Junho do presente ano.

É quanto posso informar a Vossa Majestade que mandará o que for servido. Quartel da minha residência em 14 de Setembro de 1823.

Joaquim Pedro Cardo Maldonado

Capitão Comandante Interino

By dispatch of the Board of the Most Serene House of Infantado dated 13th August of the current year, Your Majesty orders me to inform Francisco de Paula Lopes dos Santos’ request, in which he asks Your Majesty the post of Captain Aid of the Privileged of Malta of the Court, for having passed away at the Court of Rio de Janeiro the one who occupied this post, and Manuel José Rodrigues Ganhado, who was supra in this post being absent for more than 25 years. The supplicant was united to the Corps of the Privileged of Malta that did the Guard of the Palace of Bemposta on 5th June of the present year.

It is as much as I can inform Your Majesty, who will order what he thinks is appropriate. Headquarters of my residence on 14th September 1823.

Joaquim Pedro Cardo Maldonado
Interim Commanding Captain
The request was made by Francisco and addressed to His Majesty King João VI; then, His Majesty dispatched it on 14th September and sent it to Joaquim Pedro Cardo Maldonado so he could analyze the request and let His Majesty know (to inform = add more information) if Francisco was indeed in a position to receive the requested grace.

Francisco’s request was probably sent to the House of Infantado. The reply was surely positive, but the record of his letter patent can not be found where it should be.

“De Militie bevindt zich in dezelfde omstandigheden en vanaf 24 van November 1645 bevestigd; zij genieten van alle privileges van betaalde troepen, zonder uitzondering. [...] Ordonnantieambtenaren behorend tot de Militaire hiërarchie zijn dat ook, en als zodanig werden ze overwogen door Koning D. José I, toen hij in die tijd aan degenen waaraan hij patenten had toegewezen die het gebruik van uniformen die overeenkomen met officieren die gelijk werden betaald graad en patent; en ook als kapiteins, vaandrigs en sergeanten het voorrecht van ridders toekende, ook al waren ze dat niet; (...) samen vaststelde dat de verkiezing van kapiteins Móres, sergeanten Móres en kapiteins plaats vond onder de mensen van de beste adel. Ook de officieren van het Koninklijk Huis vallen onder de militaire hiërarchie, aangezien de dienst van het paleis een soort militie is (...)”. (OLIVEIRA, 1806).

Opgemerkt moet worden dat vanaf het Constitutioneel Handvest van 1826 de burgerlijke adel in Portugal werd afgeschaft en alleen de erfelijke adel zijn eigen constitutionele status behield.

“The Militia is in the same circumstances and confirmed from the 24th of November 1645; they enjoy all the privileges of paid troops, without exception. [...] Ordinance officers belonging to the Military hierarchy are also, and as such they were considered by King D. José I, when at that time he assigned to those to whom he had assigned patents requiring the use of uniforms corresponding to officers who degree and patent were paid equally; and also as captains, ensigns, and sergeants, granted the privilege of knights, even though they were not; (...) jointly determined that the election of captains Móres, sergeants Móres and captains took place among the people of the best nobility. The officers of the Royal House also fall under the military hierarchy, since the palace service is a kind of militia (...)”. (OLIVEIRA, 1806).

It should be noted that from the Constitutional Charter of 1826, the civil nobility was abolished in Portugal and only the hereditary nobility retained its own constitutional status.

Heraldische regels / Heraldic rules

De vier grootouders van de Probandus Marnix Alexander de Paula Lopes komen allen uit verschillende landen / The four grandparents of the Probandus Marnix Alexander de Paula Lopes all come from different countries:



Heraldiek is ontstaan toen de meeste mensen analfabeet waren, maar gemakkelijk een krachtig, opvallend en eenvoudig ontwerp konden herkennen. Het gebruik van de heraldiek in middeleeuwse oorlogsvoering stelde strijders in staat om de ene ridder van de andere te onderscheiden en zo onderscheid te maken tussen vriend en vijand. Eenvoud was het belangrijkste kenmerk van middeleeuwse heraldiek. In het toernooi was er een meer uitgebreide vorm van heraldisch ontwerp. Toen heraldiek niet langer werd gebruikt en heraldiek een deel van het burgerleven waren geworden, evolueerden ingewikkelde ontwerpen met esoterische betekenis volkomen in strijd met het oorspronkelijke doel van de heraldiek.

Heraldry originated when most people were illiterate but could easily recognize a bold, striking, and simple design. The use of heraldry in medieval warfare enabled combatants to distinguish one knight from another and thus to distinguish between friend and foe. Simplicity was the principal characteristic of medieval heraldry. In the tournament there was a more elaborate form of heraldic design. When heraldry was no longer used on body armour and heraldic devices had become a part of civilian life, intricate designs evolved with esoteric significance utterly at variance with heraldry’s original purpose.


Heraldische beschrijving / Heraldic description

Wapen: In blauw een keper, boven vergezeld van twee toegewende klimmende leeuwen en beneden van een lelie, alles van goud, en een schildzoom van dertig blokken, rood en zilver.

Helmteken: een vlucht van goud en blauw

Dekkleden: blauw, gevoerd van goud
Schildhouders: twee toegewende Leeuwen

Devies: Fortuna Fortes Fovet ~ Het lot begunstigt zij die sterk zijn

A chevron in blue, accompanied above by two facing lions rampant and below by a lily, all gold, and a shield border of 30 blocks, red and silver.

Crest: A flight of gold and blue; torse of blue and gold

Supporters: Two Lions rampant, turned frontwards

Mantling: blue, lined in gold

Motto: FORTUNA FORTES FOVET ~ Destiny favors those who are strong

The coat of arms was designed together with Mr. E.J.C. Boutmy de Katzmann curator Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie [CBG], Mr K. van den Sigtenhorst heraldic draftsman, and the Probandus Marnix Alexander de Paula Lopes.

Due to the Portuguese background, it was decided to use a bordured shield:
The 30 blocks refer to the number 30 as well as those of 3 & 0.
The number 30 refers to people who are open and honest and say what they mean and feel. They are also creative; this refers to the applicant
Marnix Alexander de Paula Lopes.
The number 3 symbolizes self-expression, charisma & spontaneity, creativity & inspiration. The number O symbolizes infinity, eternity and the end and beginning of cycles. It is a number that indicates confidence in the inner wisdom and intuition.

Red is the color of fire and blood [the applicant's ancestors have been tested for the 'purity of their blood' in connection with 'Habilitações do Santo Ofício' by
Luis Lopes dos Santos (Qualifications of the Holy Office) through the Santa da Fe ].

Silver for purity, a clear conscience, good intentions and kindness. These colors were also chosen because they are the colors of the coat of arms of the Order of Malta [
Francisco de Paula Lopes dos Santos was 'Capitão do Corpo de Malta' ~ The post of captain he occupied with the corps raised him to what was called 'nobreza civil'].

The blue shield symbolizes stability for mind and body. It symbolizes confidence, loyalty, self-assurance, intelligence, wisdom, truth and faith.

The two gold lions rampant represent bravery & strength. They are turned towards each other, symbolizing the past and the present.

The chevron symbolizes support and strength.

The French Lily represents the Virgin Mary [
Catholic background of the family] and purity.

Degene die voor het eerst de familienaam DE PAULA LOPES droeg was Joaquim de Paula Lopes die zich in Brazilë had gevestigd. Het familiewapen mag gevoerd worden door alle naamdragende nakomelingen van hem. NB; zie ook The 'de Paula Lopes' name.

The first person to bear the family name DE PAULA LOPES was Joaquim de Paula Lopes who had settled in Brazil. The family coat of arms may be used by all name-bearing descendants of him. NB; see also The 'de Paula Lopes' name.

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Copies of all publications are deposited in The British Library and other International Libraries on request. The Armorial Register Website, is archived twice every year by The British Library UK Web Archive