The rank of city (muy noble, muy Leal, y muy valerosa ciudad, " most noble, most loyal, and most valiant city"), a privilege which involved some measure of autonomy.
In 1558 it received a coat of arms and the title of "Muy noble y muy Leal" from the king of Spain - a distinction of great significance in that disturbed period of colonial history.
In 1822 it was raised to the rank of a city, and in 1841, as a reward for its loyalty in revolutionary wars of that province, it was distinguished by the title of Leal e valorosa (loyal and valorous).
Da Silva Mendes Leal (v.-ix.) and J.
King Edward (Duarte) collected a precious library composed of the ancient classics, some translated by his order, as well as medieval poems and histories, and he wrote a moral treatise Leal comselheiro, and hints on horsemanship, or Livro da ensinanra de bem cavalgar toda sella.
Mendes Leal, a king in the heroic style, Gomes de Amorim and Bulhão Pato, belong more or less to the same school.
The Claridades de Sul of Gomes Leal, a militant anti-Christian, at times recall Baudelaire, and flashes of genius run through AntiChristo, which is alive with the instinct of revolt.
From whom, in consequence, it received the title of muy noble, muy Leal y vencedora, " most noble, most loyal and victorious."
The historical bent thus given to the drama was continued by the versatile Mendes Leal, by Gomes da Amorim and by Pinheiro Chagas, who all however succumbed more or less to the atmosphere and machinery of ultra-Romanticism, while the plays of Antonio Ennes deal with questions of the day in a spirit of combative liberalism.