Abstract : As a consequence of the Peninsular War, particularly the first French Invasion to Portugal in 1807, the Portuguese government decided the removal of the court from Lisbon to Brazil . This event together with the lasting Anglo-American conflict which led to de Anglo-American War of 1812 and to the persistent threat of the Azores sea-shores by privateering of both parties, caused an enormous pressure in the archipelago. The liberation wars in the Spanish colonies of South America , especially after 1816, also submitted the Azores to the dangers which resulted from the constant cruising of privateers fighting on behalf of the «insurgents».
Under these circumstances, the archipelago saw its strategic importance increased far above its real value either in what concerns the economy or the geographic size of the islands.
Thomas Parkin probably arrived at Fayal in 1793 and settled there until 1824 when he died.
Soon after he was appointed British consul for Fayal but he concentrated his activities in trade and other business connected with shipping.
The huge amount of ships crossing the Atlantic routes along the first quarter of the nineteenth century calling Fayal island, turned its harbour into a busy seaport, and Thomas Parkin availed himself of every opportunity to make business regardless of its consistency with the law.
Smuggler and troublemaker. Forgery and accomplice with corrupted local authorities, all these accusations enable us to consider Thomas Parkin as a symbol of a greedy society living in the edge of a quasi war situation.
His itinerary along these years also allows the identification of a particular context of the history of the Atlantic in which the Azores played a very important role.