Recognition of the legitimacy of the “Maritime Exchange”
With the development of maritime trade, maritime exchange or “giving money at risk” was a practice used in Portugal from an early age, with the purpose of securing cargoes and ships.
This could be defined as a literal contract whereby one of the parties took out a loan, giving the ship and/or merchandise as security. In the case of the lost the ship or cargo, the loan provider would lose his right to repayment. If the ship arrived at destination, the borrower would have to repay the same sum with interest.
In 1810, the Permit of 5th May, issued by the then Prince Regent João VI, revoking the Permit of 1757, allowed, for all maritime trade “to give money or other funds at risk” by the interest they understood, without restrictions of amount or duration.
According to the law, this measure was intended “…to promote and advance national trade more and more, giving it the widest and easiest possible extension and removing all the obstacles and impediments”.
Atlas of Fernão Vaz Dourado detail, 1571
Menu cards cover of the ship Santa Maria, 29/11/1960
Colonial Navigation Company, Lisbon – Porto National Lithography
CHAPAS Club Collection