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Suppression of the religious orders, the Count of Tojal and the first investment period

1834–1899

The liberal constitutional regime came to power and immediate changes followed. Male religious orders were suppressed on May 30, 1834, and the state confiscated their property. Tojal estate, comprising Quinta da Abelheira, was bought by public auction by João Gualberto de Oliveira. The Count of Tojal’s investments and improvements in the property ushered Abelheira into a new era. The old method of producing paper was put aside, and writing and printing paper of much better quality started to be produced. The Abelheira paper mill became one of the main suppliers of stamp-impressed paper in the kingdom. At the Count’s death, in 1852, the mill was taken over by William Smith, his brother-in-law, who continued to make improvements. The Abelheira Paper Mill was at the time the only paper mill in the district of Lisbon, employing over 100 workers.