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John Coustos was born in 1703 in Berne, Switzerland. In 1743, Coustos became the Founding Worshipful Master of a Masonic Lodge in Lisbon, and shortly thereafter, was seized by the Spanish Inquisition. He was tortured nine times, yet still refused to disclose the secrets of the craft. Three fellow lodge members were hanged while Coustos was sentenced to four years imprisonment. One year into his sentence, King George II, demanded Coustos release. Upon his return, he wrote an account of his capture entitled The Sufferings of John Coustos which was posthumously published in 1756. Brother John Coustos died in 1746.