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John Coustos was born in 1703 in Berne, Switzerland and soon after became a naturalized citizen of England. After moving to Lisbon, Coustos became Worshipful Master and founding member of a Masonic Lodge in 1743. Shortly thereafter, Coustos and several others from the new lodge were seized by the Spanish Inquisition. Over the following two months, Coustos would be tortured nine times by the Inquisition. Three of his fellow founding lodge members were hanged later that year while Coustos was sentenced to four years imprisonment. One year into his sentence, the British minister at Lisbon, Mr. Compton, under instruction from King George II, demanded Coustos' release. After returning to England, Coustos wrote an account of his capture entitled The Sufferings of John Coustos which was posthumously published in 1756. Brother John Coustos was called from labor in 1746.
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