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fortificações brasileiras

A Região da Cisplatina







World Heritage of Portuguese Origin




Volume 6, Chapter 1 -- Discoveries, Navigations, and Conquests of the Portuguese in India, from 1505 to 1539, both inclusive, resumed from Book I. of this Part: *section index*

Volume 6, Chapter 1, Section 2 -- Voyage of Don Francisco de Almeyda from Lisbon to India, in quality of Viceroy, with an account of some of his transactions on the Eastern coast of Africa, and Malabar.

On the 25th of March 1505, Don Francisco de Almeyda sailed from Lisbon with a fleet of twenty-two ships, carrying 1500 soldiers, being bound for India, of which he was appointed viceroy. Eleven of these ships were to return with merchandize to Portugal, and the other eleven were to remain in India. On the 2d of July the fleet met with a terrible storm, by which it was separated. In one of the ships commanded by Diego Correa, the sails were split to pieces and three men washed overboard, two of whom perished; but the third, named Fernando Lorenzo, called out that he would keep above water till morning, and begged of them to keep an eye upon him, and on the storm abating next morning he was taken on board. Owing to the separation of the fleet by the storm, Almeyda arrived at Quiloa with only eight vessels; and on saluting the port without receiving any answer, he called a council of his officers to deliberate upon his proceedings, as he had orders from the king to erect a fort at this place, which was accordingly resolved upon. He landed therefore with 500 men, accompanied by his son Don Lorenzo, and attacked the town in two places.

Amir Ibrahim fled over to the continent with his wives and riches, having previously hoisted the Portuguese standard, by which device he stopped the pursuit and gained time to escape. The city was taken and plundered, without any loss on the side of the Portuguese, though a great number of the inhabitants were slain. Ibrahim, though the forty-fourth successive sovereign, was an usurper who had murdered the former king, and Almeyda raised Mohammed Ankoni, a relation of the former king and who had espoused the Portuguese interests, to the throne, placing a crown of gold on his head with great pomp and solemnity. On this occasion Mohammed declared that if the former king Alfudail had been alive he would have refused the crown; and he actually appointed the son of Alfudail to be his successor, though he had children of his own. This rare example in an unbeliever may put to shame the inhumanity and barbarism of the Christians, who wade through seas of blood, contemn the most sacred bonds of consanguinity and alliance, spoil provinces, oppress the good, exalt the wicked, convert loyalty to treason, perjury into duty, and religion into a cloak, to work out their accursed purposes, and to bereave of their crowns and sceptres those to whom Providence had been pleased to confide them as most worthy of rule.

Having settled every thing to his mind, and constructed a fort in twenty days, Almeyda left a garrison of 550 men, together with a caravel and brigantine, and sailed on the 8th of August with thirteen sail for Mombaza, which is seated like Quiloa in an island about fourteen leagues in circumference. This city is beautiful and strong, having a large bay before it capable of containing many ships. Before entering the bay, two vessels were sent to sound the bar, which is commanded by a battery of eight cannons, which fired upon these vessels; but a ball from the Portuguese happening to fall among the powder belonging to the enemy, blew it up and did great injury to the natives, so that they were obliged to abandon the work. Two smaller works being likewise abandoned, the fleet entered the bay without farther resistance. Being informed that the king of Mombaza had hired 1500 Kafr archers to assist in defending the place, Almeyda sent him a message demanding submission; but the answer was, that the Moors of Mombaza were not to be frightened by the noise of cannon like those of Quiloa, and he might do his worst.

Enraged at this contemptuous answer, and because several of his men had been wounded while attempting to burn some ships in the port belonging to Cambaya, Almeyda landed his men on the 15th of August and attacked the city. He succeeded in the assault, driving the enemy out at the other side of the town, and their king along with them, whose palace he took possession of, on which he planted a cross. Immediately after gaining possession of the town, he received notice that his ships had succeeded in their attack on those belonging to the Moors of Cambaya, all of which were burnt. In this action the Portuguese lost only five men; while of the Moors 1513 were slain and 1200 made prisoners, of which only 200 were retained and all the rest set free. Having plundered the city of everything worth carrying off or which his ships could contain, Almeyda burnt Mombaza to the ground.

At this place Almeyda was joined by most of the remaining ships, and continuing his voyage for India, he stopped by the way at a bay called Angra de Santa Elena, where he found Juan Homem, who had been separated along with other ships, and had discovered some islands. Sailing from thence in continuation of his voyage, the first place he came to in India was the island of Anchediva,[71] where according to orders from the king he constructed a fort in which he placed a garrison of 80 men, leaving two brigantines to protect the trade. While at this place he was visited by ambassadors from the king or rajah of Onore, a small kingdom of Malabar, who brought presents and a friendly message from their sovereign. Several considerable merchants also waited upon him, assuring him of the goodwill of their prince towards the Portuguese; and several Moors from Cincatora brought him considerable presents. All this however was the effect of fear, as they had heard of his successes at Quiloa and Mombaza. He was informed at this place that the prince Saboga had built a fort at no great distance on the banks of the river Aliga on the borders of Onore, which was garrisoned by 800 men. Meaning to make himself master of this place, he sent his son Don Lorenzo under pretence of a friendly visit to take a view of the fort, which he effected and remained there some days.

Having completed the fort at Anchediva, he sailed to the port of Onore, and being ill received, he determined to shew himself as terrible there as he had done at Quiloa and Mombaza. The inhabitants however amused [[=deceived]] him with excuses and pretended submission, till they had removed their wives, children, and effects to a neighbouring mountain, and then stood upon their defence. On this Almeyda landed most of his forces to attack the town, sending his son Lorenzo with 150 men in boats to set some ships on fire which were in the port. Though the natives defended themselves with much bravery, and discharged prodigious flights of arrows, by one of which Almeyda was wounded, both the town and ships were set on fire; and as the wind blew the smoke in the faces of the Portuguese they were much incommoded for a time; but Don Lorenzo by taking a compass got away from the smoke, and fell in with a body of 1500 of the enemy, whom he immediately attacked. In this engagement Lorenzo had like to have been defeated, his men falling into disorder; but was fortunately succoured by his father, when the enemy fled to the mountain. At this time, Timoja, who was governor of the city and proprietor of some of the ships which were destroyed, waited on Almeyda, making excuses for the conduct of the king; and being a man of graceful manners and appearance, and engaging for his master to become vassal to the king of Portugal, Almeyda was pacified and agreed to a treaty of peace.

Leaving Onore, Almeyda went to Cananor, where he had an interview on shore with the rajah, who was attended by 5000 men well armed. He informed the rajah that he was to reside for some time in India, in consequence of the troubles which had arisen between the Portuguese and the Zamorin of Calicut, and desired permission to build a fort at this place for protecting the Portuguese trade against the Moors. This being granted and the fort begun, he left Lorenzo de Brito in the command with 150 men, and two vessels to cruise along the coast. Going from thence to Cochin, he received intelligence that the Portuguese factor at Coulan and all his men had been killed by the Moors. He sent however his son Don Lorenzo with three ships and three caravels, with orders to endeavour to procure loading for the vessels without taking any notice of what had happened; but in case loading were denied he was to take ample revenge for the murder of the factor and his people. The messenger sent upon this occasion was answered by a flight of arrows, and twenty-four ships belonging to Calicut and other places put themselves in readiness to oppose the Portuguese. After a short resistance Lorenzo burnt them all, only a very small number of the Moors saving themselves by swimming to the shore. Don Lorenzo then went to load at another port, after which he rejoined the viceroy at Cochin.

It had been the intention of Almeyda, according to his orders from the king of Portugal, to crown Triumpara in a solemn manner, with a golden crown richly adorned with jewels, brought on purpose from Lisbon, as a recompence for the gallant fidelity with which he had protected the Portuguese against the Zamorin and their other enemies. But as Triumpara had abdicated in favour of his nephew Nambeadora,[72] Almeyda thought proper to confer the same honour upon him, and he was accordingly crowned with great pomp, as a mark of the friendship of the Portuguese, and a terror to others. From this place Almeyda sent home six ships richly laden for Lisbon.

[Footnote 71: Anchediva or Anjediva is I small island in lat. 14 33' N. near the northern part of the Malabar coast, between Carwar and Meerjee.--E.]
[Footnote 72: This name mast certainly be erroneous. In the former part of the history of the Portuguese transactions in India, Nambea daring is mentioned as brother to the zamorin of Calicut, whereas the prince of Cochin is repeatedly named Naramuhin.--E.]



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