In early 19th century the street was a track, linking Porto to the road to Braga. After the uprising of May 18th, 1828, the street was named after it, as Rua 18 de Maio (18th of May Street). But in 1835 the city representatives decided to call it Martyrs of Liberty, in memory of those 12 men condemned, hanged and decapitated by the absolutist government.
The execution of 12 opponents to Dom Miguel was performed in two distinct moments. The first one took place on May 7th, 1829. Among the condemned were the following names: Bernardo Francisco Pinheiro, Clemente da Silva Melo Soares e Freitas, Francisco Manuel Gravito da Veiga Lima, Francisco Silvério de Carvalho, Joaquim Manuel da Fonseca Lobo, José António de Oliveira da Silva Barros, José Maria Martiniano da Fonseca, Manuel Luís Nogueira, Vitorino Teles de Medeiros, António Bernardo de Brito e Cunha. The second execution moment took place a few months later, on October 9th, 1829, involving the following prisoners: Clemente de Morais Sarmento and João Ferreira da Silva Júnior.