Alhough he was better known as Viscount of Vila Moura, his full name was Bento de Oliveira Cardoso e Castro Guedes de Carvalho Lobo, born in the manor Casa da Eira in Vila Moura, Parish of Grilo in the county of Baião, where he lived until he was eight years old.
His family was part of the Douro aristocracy, his parents being Alexandre Vicente Rodrigues Cardoso and Maria Cândida de Oliveira e Castro, large landowners, with his mother owning Casa da Eira and the house in Porto Manso. It did therefore not come as a surprise that he received the title 1st Viscount of Vila Moura by decree of King D. Carlos in 1900, the year in which he concluded his Law degree at the University of Coimbra.
Six years after finishing the studies, the Viscount of Vila Moura started publishing his written works and collaborating with magazines such as “IlustraçãoModerna” and “A Águia”. His writer friends also dedicated several works to him: in the book “Sempre” Teixeira de Pascoaes dedicated the poem “A MinhaAldeia” to him, José Leite de Vasconcelos dedicated his book “A Barba em Portugal” to him, João Ameal dedicated the dialogue “Crueldade” from his book “EmVoz Alta e EmVozBaixa” and his friend and poet Mário Beirão dedicated the books “Oiro e Cinza” and “A Noite Humana”, as well as the poems “Maria Peregrina” and “Ancede”, part of the book “O Último Lusíada”, to him.
The name Viscount of Vila Moura did not only leave a mark due to the texts he published under his name or those dedicated to him, but also due to the political activity as a militant of the party PartidoRegenerador”, “being elected deputy by the circle “Porto Oriental” during the elections of 1908. (…) His interventions were mainly focused on the area of telecommunications, notably the rail tracks and its operation, issues concerning winemaking in the Douro and in terms of public education and health” ([Gonçalves], 2014, p. 7).
The Viscount of Via Moura came to exchange letters with Fernando Pessoa, fostering a great admiration for Camilo Castelo Branco, about whom he wrote a few books, such as “Fanny Owen e Camilo” and “As Cinzas de Camilo”. This author made reference to a few characters from Baião in his books “Calvário de um violento” and “O Imaginário”. It was in the house in Porto Mansor that the Viscount of Vila Moura passed away on the 3rd of September 1935.