Thomas Pereira
Thomas Pereira or Tomás Pereira (November 1, 1645–1708), also known as Tomé Pereira, was a Portuguese
Portuguese people
The Portuguese are a nation and ethnic group native to the country of Portugal, in the west of the Iberian peninsula of south-west Europe. Their language is Portuguese, and Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion....

 Jesuit and musician who worked as a missionary in Qing China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...


Pereira was born in Vila Nova de Famalicão
Vila Nova de Famalicão
Vila Nova de Famalicão is a municipality in the district of Braga, in the north of Portugal. It is composed of 49 parishes.The municipality has a population of 131,690 inhabitants and a total area of 201.7....

. He arrived in China in 1672 and first stayed in Macau
Macau , also spelled Macao , is, along with Hong Kong, one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China...

, where he was enrolled in the University College of St. Paul. Pereira was later sent to Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

 to work in the court of the Kangxi emperor, where he stayed during most of his career. In 1689, the Kangxi emperor sent Pereira and his colleague Jean-François Gerbillon
Jean-François Gerbillon
Jean-François Gerbillon was a French missionary, who worked in China.He entered the Society of Jesus, 5 Oct, 1670, and after completing the usual course of study taught grammar and humanities for seven years...

 to interpret at the negotiations between Qing China and Russia in Nerchinsk
Nerchinsk is a town and the administrative center of Nerchinsky District of Zabaykalsky Krai, Russia, located east of Lake Baikal, east of Chita, and about west of the Chinese border on the left bank of the Nercha River, above its confluence with the Shilka River, which flows into the Amur...

, which eventually resulted in the Treaty of Nerchinsk
Treaty of Nerchinsk
The Treaty of Nerchinsk of 1689 was the first treaty between Russia and China. The Russians gave up the area north of the Amur River as far as the Stanovoy Mountains and kept the area between the Argun River and Lake Baikal. This border along the Argun River and Stanovoy Mountains lasted until...


Between 1688 and 1694, Pereira and Antoine Thomas
Antoine Thomas
Antoine Thomas was a Belgian Jesuit priest, missionary and astronomer in China.- Early life :Born in Namur in 1644, he joined the Society of Jesus in 1660 and first taught in the schools of Armentières, Huy and Tournai...

 were unofficial directors of the imperial observatory in Beijing as the actual director was not in China at the time.

Further reading

  • Joseph Schobert Sebes, The Treaty of Nerchinsk (Nipchu) 1689. A Case Study of the Initial Period of Sino-Russian Diplomatic Relations Based on the Unpublished Diary of Father Thomas Pereyra of the Society of Jesus. (1957-8)
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