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The Baron of Lucena ( Henrique Pereira de Lucena)

Date Born.:

Judge, Supreme court judge, Politician

Law and social sicences

The Baron of Lucena ( Henrique Pereira de Lucena)

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Last update: 27/09/2013

By: Lúcia Gaspar - Librarian of the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco

Henrique Pereira de Lucena, the Baron of Lucena, was born on 27May1835, on lands of the sugarcane FortalezaandBoa Esperançaplantations, in the former municipality of Limoeiro, today the city of BomJardim.

His father, Colonel Henrique Pereira de Lucena, was one of the heroes of the PraieiraRevolt.

He studied humanities at the Pedro II College in Rio de Janeiro, from 1846 to 1853, performingbrilliantlyand receiving a bachelor’s degree in Literature.

He graduated in Law and Social Sciences in 1858 from the Recife Faculty of Law.

He began his career as a police chief in Recife. For fifty years he lived and progressed as a man of the public, acting in important administrative and political functions: President of the Provinces of Pernambuco, Bahia, Rio Grande do Norte and Rio Grande do Sul, Minister of State, judge, Supreme Court judge and elected representative for more than one term, having the honour of being Speaker of the House ofRepresentatives which discussed, voted and approved the Lei Áurea (the abolition of slaverylaw) of May 13, 1888.

During his government in Pernambuco, in the period from 5November 1872 to 10May 1875, hisadministration performed excellently, comparableto that of the Countof Boa Vista.

Among his public works,worth mentioning are: the reform of the Olinda Lighthouse and of the Campo das Princesas(Field of the Princesses), now the Praça da República (Republic Square), where the Government Palace stands; the construction of the São JoséMarket; completion of the works on the Santa IsabelTheatre, which had been destroyed by fire in 1869; the construction and maintenance of roads within the state, construction of dams, bridges, paving and widening of streets, and the laying of the cornerstone of the Tamarineira Mental Hospital, still operating today.

Concerned with communication services, he installed a submarine telegraph system between Recife and Europe, Rio de Janeiro, Bahia and Pará.

He established the Normal School to expand education for women, an educational establishment that would compete with the prestigious Gymnasium Pernambucano.

He hired several European engineers and geologists to carry out detailed studies of mineralogy and geology within the State and in the area of the Portof Recife, seeking its improvement.

He outlined a policy of encouragement and support for the modernisation of the sugar industryin Pernambuco.

As a judge, he created the District of Vila Bela, todaySerra Talhada, and was concerned with the judicial organisation of Pernambuco.

Lucena faced several problems and made many political enemies. After leaving the administration of Pernambuco, he was president of the provinces of Bahia and Rio Grande do Sul.

Invited by the then-President Deodoro da Fonseca, he joined his ministry until the president handed over power to Vice President FlorianoPeixoto.

Lucena thought about occupying a seat on the Supreme Court, to which he had been appointed by Deodoro, but FlorianoPeixotocompulsorilyretired him, virtually ending his political career.

He retired to a private life, but for some time still exerted great influence in Pernambuco and national politics, and later went intopolitical ostracism.

In 1910, he supported Dantas Barreto against Rosa e Silva, but despite the victory of the former, Lucena was already very old and sickand no longer able to act politically.

He died on 10December 1913, in Rio de Janeiro.

Recife, 24 august 2004
(updated on 21 august 2009).
Translated by Peter Leamy, February 2012.

sources consulted

GUERRA, Flávio. Lucena: um estadista de Pernambuco. Recife: Arquivo Público Estadual. Imprensa Oficial, 1958.

PERNAMBUCO imortal: personagens: Brasil 500 anos, as mudanças do século XX, n.11. Recife: Jornal do Commercio, 2002.


how to quote this text

Source: GASPAR, Lúcia. Barão de Lucena (Henrique Pereira de Lucena). Pesquisa Escolar Online, Joaquim Nabuco Foudation, Recife. Available at:  <>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009