would often provoke suspicion on the part of the ecclesiastical authorities. Yet intense manifestations of piety and devotion flourished in both the observant and discalced monasteries and in the beaterios, a piety that would profoundly mark female religiosity (and general religious practice) in Spain during the modern age.
The regular clergy in Portugal, like the seculars, was very similar to that in Spain, notwithstanding some important differences. Detailed enumerations reveal that the number of Portuguese religious houses rose from 477 in 1739 to 493 in 1765. By the latter period there was a total of 42,200 regulars (30,772 male religious and 11,428 female). In any case it is certain that the reforms introduced by Pombal's government in the mid-eighteenth century had a strong positive impact on the organization of the Portuguese regular clergy - especially by comparison with the more tentative contemporary efforts carried out in Spain. The reforming efforts in Portugal culminated with two royal decrees issued in 1782 and 1788, one forbidding the establishment of new orders, and the other requiring the authority of the sovereign for admission to a religious order.
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