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António José da Silva produced his first play or opera in 1733, and the next year he married his cousin, D. Leonor Maria de Carvalho, whose parents had been burnt by the Inquisition, while she herself had gone through an auto-da-fé in Spain and been exiled on account of her religion. They had their first daughter in 1734, but the years of their happiness and of Silva’s dramatic career were few, for on October 5, 1737 husband and wife were both imprisoned on the charge of “judaizing”. A slave of theirs had denounced them to the Holy Office, and though the details of the accusation against them were trivial and even contradictory, António was condemned to death. On October 18 he was beheaded and his body burnt in an auto-da-fé; that same day one of his popular operettas was given at a Lisbon theatre.