Dom Sebastiao Jose De Carvalho E Mcllo Pombal, marquis of, a Portuguese statesman, born in Lisbon, May 13, 1699, died at Pombal, May 5, 1782. He studied law at Coimbra, served for a time in the army, went to court, and in 1739 became envoy extraordinary to London. Thence he was sent in 1745 to Vienna, where he successfully mediated between the Austrian government and Pope Benedict XIV., and married the countess of Daun, whose influence secured for him in 1750 the appointment by King Joseph as minister of foreign affairs. He soon gained such complete ascendancy over Joseph as enabled him to effect, in spite of the nobility, a series of important reforms in the colonial affairs and in the internal administration. After the earthquake of November, 1755, he passed 14 days and nights in his carriage amid the ruins of Lisbon, for the relief of distress and the protection of the lives and property of the citizens against the banditti. He afterward directed the rebuilding of the city. In 1756 he became first minister. In 1758 a band of assassins attacked the king near Lisbon, and shortly afterward, at the instigation of Carvalho, the duke of Aveiro, the marquis of Tavora with his wife and two sons, and the count of Atougia, were arrested and executed as principals in the conspiracy, and several of their accomplices were thrown into prison.
The Jesuits, who were suspected of implication in the plot, were banished from the kingdom by a royal decree of Sept. 3, 1759, many of their number having already been imprisoned and put to death. In the same year Carvalho was created count d'Oeiras, and in 1770 marquis of Pombal. On the death of Joseph in 1777, he was dismissed through the intrigues of the remaining friends of the Jesuitical party and of the nobility, and banished to a distance of 60 m. from the court. In spite of many abuses of power, Pombal is still called by his countrymen "the great marquis," and it has been well remarked that "never had so small a kingdom so great a minister".