Volume 2, Chapter 3 -- Voyages of Discovery by the Portuguese along the Western Coast of Africa, during the life, and under the direction, of Don Henry.
*Section 1* -- Commencement of Portuguese Discoveries, from Cape Non to Cape Bojador.
*Section 2* -- Discovery of the Madeira Islands
*Section 3* -- Prosecution of Discovery in Africa, to Cape Branco
*Section 4* -- Continuation of Discovery to Cape de Verd
*Section 5* -- Progress of Discovery from Cape de Verd to the Gambia
*Section 6 -- Discovery and Settlement of the Açores



The knowledge possessed by the ancients respecting India, will be the subject of discussion in a future portion of this work. We have now to contemplate the tedious, yet finally successful, efforts of the Portuguese nation, in its age of energetic heroism, to discover a maritime passage to that long-famed commercial region, some general knowledge of which had been preserved ever since the days of the Persian, Macedonian, and Roman empires. Of all the great events which have occurred in the modern ages, previous to our own times, the voyages and discoveries which were made by the Europeans, in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries of the Christian era, are justly entitled to preference, whether we appreciate the vast improvements which they made in navigation, and, consequently, in commerce,--the astonishing abundance of wealth which they brought into Europe,--the surprising feats of bravery which were performed in their various expeditions and conquests,--the extensive, populous, and valuable territories which were subdued or colonized,--or the extended knowledge, which was suddenly acquired of the greater part of the earth, till then either altogether unknown, or very partially and erroneously described. By these discoveries, we allude to those of the southern and western hemispheres; a new heaven and a new earth were opened up to the astonishment of mankind, who may be said to have been then furnished with wings to fly from one end of the earth to the other, so as to bring the most distant and hitherto utterly unknown nations acquainted with each other. In the ordinary course of human affairs, it has been observed that similar events frequently occur; but the transactions of these times which we now propose to narrate, were as singular in their kind as they were great, surprising, and unexpected; neither can any such ever happen again, unless Providence were to create new and accessible worlds for discovery and conquest, or to replunge the whole of mankind for a long period into the grossest ignorance.

The merit and glory of these wonderful achievements are unquestionably due to the Portuguese nation, and the first and principal share to the sublime genius of their illustrious prince, the Infant DON HENRY, Duke of Viseo and Grand Master of the order of Christ, whose enlarged mind first planned the fitting-out of maritime expeditions for discovery, and by the imitation of whose example all subsequent discoveries have been accomplished. Everything of the kind before his time was isolated or accidental, and every subsequent attempt has been pursued on scientific or known principles, which he invented and established. Although America was discovered by Columbus, in the service of Spain, some years before the Portuguese were able to accomplish their long-sought route to India; and although the discovery of America was performed infinitely quicker than that of southern Africa and the route to India, Columbus having accomplished his design at the very first attempt, and even without any previous knowledge of the countries he went in search of; while the endeavours of the Portuguese occupied a great number of years in almost fruitless attempts, and extremely tedious progression; yet Don Henry first set on foot the navigation of the ocean through unknown seas, and inspired other nations with the idea of making discoveries of distant and unexplored regions; and ultimately, great as were the discoveries of Columbus, they may be said to have been accidentally made in the erroneous attempt to go by a nearer route to the regions of which Don Henry and his successors had long been in search.

These attempts of the Portuguese had been continued for nearly fourscore years before any of their neighbours seem to have entertained the most distant idea of engaging in foreign discoveries, even viewing their endeavours as downright knight-errantry, proceeding from a distempered imagination, as well in the first promoter as in those who continued to prosecute his scheme. In a word, the relation of these discoveries forms one of the most curious portions of modern history, as comprizing a great number of the most extraordinary transactions that ever happened in any period of the world. For this reason they are well worthy of being particularly narrated, that the curious may be made acquainted with every successive step in such important enterprizes, and by what almost insensible degrees such vast undertakings were ultimately accomplished. And as the intercourse of Europeans has operated a great change in the countries to which they penetrated, and upon their original inhabitants, so that both now appear in a very different light from what they did before these expeditions and discoveries; therefore, every circumstance belonging to these transactions deserves the most serious notice.

John I. of Portugal married Philippa, the eldest daughter of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, son to Edward III. of England; by whom he had several sons, of whom Don Henry was the fifth. After serving with great bravery under his father at the capture of Ceuta, he was raised to the dukedom of Viseo, and was sent back with a large reinforcement to preserve the conquest to which his courage had largely contributed. During his continuance in command at Ceuta, he acquired much information, by occasional converse with some Moors, relative to the seas and coasts of Western Africa, which raised and encouraged the project of maritime discoveries; and these became afterwards the favourite and almost exclusive pursuit of his active and enlarged mind. From the Moors he obtained intelligence respecting the Nomadic tribes who border upon and pervade the great desert, and of the nations of the Jaloofs, whose territories are conterminous with the desert on the north, and Guinea to the south. By one ingenious author,[2] he has been supposed instigated to his first attempts at maritime discovery, by the desire of finding a way by sea to those countries from whence the Moors brought ivory and gold dust across the desert. It unfortunately happens that we have no record of the particular voyages themselves, and are therefore reduced to the necessity of giving the relation of this great discovery historically from the best remaining sources of information. The writings of Cada Morto, which will be found in the sequel, form a pleasing exception to this desideratum in the history and progress of early navigation and discovery.

[1] Astley. I. 9. Clarke, I. 140. Purchas, I. 6. Harris, I. 662.
[2] Wealth of Nations, II. 347.


Volume 2, Chapter 3, Section 1 -- Commencement of Portuguese Discoveries, from Cape Non to Cape Bojador.

Three years before the reduction of Ceuta, the Duke of Visco had sent a vessel in 1412 to explore the western coast of Africa, being the first voyage of discovery undertaken by the Portuguese, or by any other nation in modern times. The commander was instructed to endeavour to follow the western coast of Africa, to the southward of Cape Chaunar, called by the Portuguese mariners Cape Nao, Non, or Nam, which, extending itself from the foot of Mount Atlas, had hitherto been the non plus ultra or impassable limit of European navigation, and had accordingly received its ordinary name from a negative term in the Portuguese language, as implying that there was no navigation beyond; and respecting which a proverbial saying was then current, of the following import:

Whoe'er would pass the Cape of Non
Shall turn again; or else be gone.
The success of this earliest voyage, fitted out for the purpose of discovery, is not recorded; but Don Henry continued to send some vessels every year to the same coast, with the same instructions of endeavouring to explore the coast beyond Cape Non. Not daring to trust themselves beyond sight of land, the mariners crept timorously along the coast, and at length reached Cape Bojador, only sixty leagues, or 180 miles, beyond Cape Non. This cape, which stretches boldly out into the ocean, from which circumstance it derives its name,[1] filled the Portuguese mariners with terror and amazement; owing to the shoals by which it is environed for the space of six leagues, being perpetually beaten by a lofty and tremendous surge, which precluded them from all possibility of proceeding beyond it in their ordinary manner of creeping along the coast; and they dared not to stretch out into the open sea in quest of smoother water, lest, losing sight of land altogether, they might wander in the trackless ocean, and be unable to find their way home. It is not impossible that they might contemplate the imaginary terrors of the torrid zone, as handed down from some of the ancients, with all its burning soil and scorching vapours; and they might consider the difficulties of Cape Bojador as a providential bar or omen, to warn and oppose them against proceeding to their inevitable destruction. They accordingly measured back their wary steps along the African coast, and returned to Portugal, where they gave an account of their proceedings to Don Henry, in which, of course, the dangers of the newly discovered cape would not be diminished in their narrative.[2]

Returning from Ceuta, where his presence was no longer necessary, and where he had matured his judgment by intercourse with, various learned men whom his bounty had attracted into Africa, and having enlarged his views by the perusal of every work which tended to illustrate the discoveries which he projected, Don Henry fixed his residence at the romantic town of Sagres, in the neighbourhood of Cape St Vincent, where he devoted his leisure to the study of mathematics, astronomy, cosmography, and the theory of navigation, and even established a school or academy for instructing his countrymen in these sciences, the parents of commerce, and the sure foundations of national prosperity. To assist him in the prosecution of these his favourite studies, he invited, from Majorca, a person named Diego, or James, who was singularly skilful in the management of the instruments then employed for making astronomical observations at sea, and in the construction of nautical charts. Some traces of nautical discoveries along the western coast of Africa still remained in ancient authors; particularly of the reported voyages of Menelaus, Hanno, Eudoxus, and others. From an attentive consideration of these, Don Henry and his scientific coadjutor were encouraged to hope for the accomplishment of important discoveries in that direction; and they were certainly incited in these views by the rooted enmity which had so long rankled among the Christian inhabitants of Spain and Portugal against the Moors, who had formerly expelled their ancestors from the greatest part of the peninsula, and with whom they had waged an incessant war of several centuries in recovering the country from their grasp.

[1] Explained by the celebrated Dr Johnson, as "so named from its progression into the ocean, and the circuit by which it must be doubled." Introduct. to the World Displayed.--Clarke.
[2] Cape Bojador is imagined to have been the Canarea of Ptolemy.--Clarke I. 15


Volume 2, Chapter 3, Section 2 -- Discovery of the Madeira Islands.

After some time usefully employed in acquiring and diffusing a competent knowledge of cosmopographical, nautical, and astronomical science, Don Henry resolved to devote a considerable portion of the revenue which he enjoyed as Grand Master of the Order of Christ, in continuing and extending those projects of nautical discovery which had long occupied his attention. Accordingly, about the year 1418, a new expedition of discovery was fitted out for the express purpose of attempting to surmount the perils of Cape Bojador. In this expedition Juan Gonzales Zarco and Tristan Vaz Texeira, two naval officers of the household of Don Henry, volunteered their services; and, embarking in a vessel called a barcha,[3] steered for the tremendous cape. The Portuguese were hitherto ignorant of the prevailing winds upon the coast of Africa, and the causes by which their influence is varied or increased. Near the land, and between the latitudes of 28° and 10° north, a fresh gale almost always blows from the N.E. Long sand-banks, which extend a great way out to sea, and which are extremely difficult to be distinguished in the mornings and evenings, and the prevailing currents, were powerful obstacles to the enterprise of these navigators. About six leagues off Cape Bojador, a most violent current continually dashes upon the breakers, which presented a most formidable obstacle to the brave but inexperienced mariners. Though their voyage was short, they encountered many dangers; and, before they could reach the cape, they were encountered by a heavy gale from the east, by which the billows of the Atlantic became too heavy to be resisted by their small vessel, and they were driven out to sea. On losing sight of their accustomed head lands, and being forced into the boundless ocean for the first time, the ships company gave themselves up to despair; but, on the abatement of the tempest, they found themselves unexpectedly within view of an island, situated about 100 leagues west from the coast of Africa. With extreme joy they beheld the coast of this island extending about twenty miles in length, to which they gave the name of Puerto Santo, because first discovered upon the feast of All Saints. This is the smaller of the Madeiras, being only about two miles broad; and, as the only roadstead is upon the south-west side, the Portuguese probably anchored upon that side to be under the lee shelter of the island from the remnants of the tempest from which they had happily escaped.

The island of Puerto Santo, or of the Holy Haven, is almost directly west from Cape Cantin; whence it would appear that these Portuguese navigators could hardly have passed much beyond Cape de Geer, when driven off the coast by this fortunate easterly tempest. Had they even advanced as far as Cape Non, they would almost certainly have been driven among the Canaries. It is perfectly obvious that they never even approached Cape Bojador in this voyage; unless we could suppose, after having been driven directly west from that cape, that they shaped a northern course, after the subsidence of the tempest, and fell in with Puerto Santo while on their return to Portugal.

Greatly pleased with the soil and climate of this island, and with the gentle manners of the natives, whom they described as in an intermediate state of civilization, and entirely destitute of any appearance of savage ferocity, Zarco and Vaz immediately returned to Portugal, where they made a report of the incidents of their voyage; and to confirm their opinion of the value of their discovery, they requested permission from Don Henry to return for the purpose of establishing a settlement in Puerto Santo. By this discovery an advanced and favourable station was secured towards the south, whence any discoveries along the coast of Africa might be prosecuted with greater ease and safety, and from whence the dangers of the hitherto formidable cape Bojador might be avoided, by keeping a southerly or S. W. course from Puerto Santo. From these considerations Don Henry granted their request; and, yielding to the adventurous spirit which this accidental discovery had excited, he permitted several persons to join in a new projected voyage, among whom was Bartholomew Perestrello, a nobleman of his household.

Three vessels were soon fitted out,[4] which were placed under the respective commands of Zarco, Vaz, and Perestrello. These commanders had orders to colonize and cultivate the newly discovered island, and were furnished with a considerable assortment of useful seeds and plants for that purpose. They happened likewise to take with them a female rabbit great with young, which littered during the voyage; and which being let loose with her progeny, multiplied so rapidly, that, in two years, they became so numerous as to occasion serious injury to the early attempts at cultivation, and to baffle every hope of rendering Puerto Santo a place of refreshment for the Portuguese navigators; insomuch that a resolution was formed to abandon the newly established settlement. After having landed the different animals and seeds which had been sent out by Don Henry, and seeing them properly distributed, Perestrello returned into Portugal to make a report to the prince, and Zarco and Vaz remained to superintend the infant colony.

Soon after the departure of Perestrello, the attention of Zarco and Vaz was strongly excited by observing certain clouds or vapours at a great distance in the ocean, which continually presented the same aspect, and preserved exactly the same bearing from Puerto Santo, and at length occasioned a conjecture, that the appearance might proceed from land in that quarter. Gonsalvo and Vaz accordingly put to sea and sailed towards the suspected land, and soon discovered that the appearances which had attracted their notice actually proceeded from a considerable island entirely overgrown with wood, to which, on that account, they gave the name of Madeira.[5] After bestowing considerable attention upon the soil and other circumstances of this island, which was utterly destitute of inhabitants, Gonzalvo and Vaz returned to Portugal with the welcome intelligence, and gave so favourable a report of the extent, fertility, and salubrity of Madeira, that Don Henry determined to colonize and cultivate it. Accordingly, with the consent of the king of Portugal, the island of Madeira was bestowed in hereditary property upon Zarco and Vaz; one division named Funchal being given to Zarco, and the other moiety, named Machico, to Vaz.

In the year 1420 Zarco began the plantation of Madeira, and being much impeded in his progress by the immense quantity of thick and tall trees, with which it was then everywhere encumbered, he set the wood on fire to facilitate the clearing of the surface for cultivation. The wood is reported to have continued burning for seven years,[6] and so great was the devastation as to occasion great inconvenience to the colony for many years afterwards, from the want of timber. Don Henry appears to have been a prince of most uncommonly enlarged and liberal views; not only capable of devising the means of making maritime discoveries, which had never been thought of before his time, but of estimating their value when made, and of applying them to purposes the most useful and important for his country. Reflecting upon the reported fertility of the soil, and the excellence of the climate of Madeira, and comparing both with the judicious foresight of a philosopher, politician, and naturalist, in reference to the most valuable productions of similar climates and soils, he wisely conceived, and successfully executed the idea of introducing the cultivation of sugar and wines into this new colony. For these purposes, Portugal would readily supply him with vines; and with people conversant in their management: But he had to procure sugar canes, and persons experienced in their cultivation, and in the process of manufacturing sugar from their juice, from the island of Sicily, into which that article of culture had been introduced by the Arabs.

So great was the success of this new subject of industry in Madeira, that the fifth part of the produce of one district only, little more than nine miles in circumference, which proportion the prince reserved as the patrimony of his military order, amounted, in some years, to 60,000 arobas of twenty-five pounds each; giving the entire acknowledged produce of one district only, of the island at 7,500,000 pounds, or 2350 tons. This, at the modern price of eightpence a-pound, amounts to the enormous sum of L. 250,000 value of merchantable produce, from a district which could not contain above 5760 English acres; or above the value of L. 43 of average yearly value from every acre of that district. This astonishingly valuable produce was in the infancy of the sugar trade, when that bland and wholesome condiment was still an article of luxury, and not as now almost an indispensable necessary, even in the lowest cottages of modern Europe. The sugars of Madeira were long famous; but after the establishment of the sugar plantations in Brazil, and the destructive ravages of a worm which infested the sugar canes of Madeira, that article, of cultivation had to be abandoned, and the principal attention of the islanders was transferred to the grape, which still continues to supply Europe, America, and the East Indies with the justly celebrated Madeira wine.

At the same time with the grant of Madeira to Zarco and Vaz, Perestrello received a donation of the island of Puerto Santo, on condition of colonizing it and bringing it into culture. But so great was the multitude of rabbits, all said to have been produced from one doe transmitted in a pregnant state from Portugal, that cultivation was attended with peculiar difficulties occasioned by their ravages; insomuch, that in one islet only, 3000 are reported to have been killed at one time.

[3] The barcha is a sort of brig with topsails, having all its yards on one long pole without sliding masts, as still used by tartans and settees. The barcha longa is a kind of small galley, with one mast and oars.--Clarke, I. p. 153.
[4] Clarke says in the same year 1418. But this could not well be, as the Discovery of Puerto Santo was made so late as the 1st of November of that year. The truth is, that only very general accounts of these early voyages remain in the Portuguese historians.--E.
[5] Such is the simple and probable account of the discovery of Madeira in Purchas. Clarke has chosen to embellish it with a variety of very extraordinary circumstances, which being utterly unworthy of credit, we do not think necessary to be inserted in this place. See Progress of Maritime Discovery, I. 157.--E.
[6] In the Introduction to the World Displayed, Dr Johnson remarks on this story, that "green wood is not very apt to burn; and the heavy rains which fall in these countries must surely have extinguished the conflagration were it ever so violent." Yet in 1800 Radnor forest presented a conflagration of nearly twenty miles circumference, which continued to spread for a considerable time, in spite of every effort to arrest its progress.--E.


Volume 2, Chapter 3, Section 3 -- Prosecution of Discovery in Africa, to Cape Branco.

Partly diverted from the original object of prosecuting discoveries along the African coast, by the attentions requisite for forming this first establishment of modern colonization, but chiefly owing to the extreme difficulties of the navigation in the infancy of that art, fifteen years were passed from the first discovery of Cape Bojador before that formidable obstacle could be surmounted. In all ages of the world, ignorant and indolent men have represented new and unusual enterprises in scientific pursuits as rash or improper deviations from the established experience and vaunted wisdom of antiquity; and those who promoted them have been held out as dangerous, or even impious innovators. It so fared with Don Henry, who far outstripped the science, or ignorance rather, of his day. At home, the discontented spirits, ignorant of his enlarged views, perhaps envious of the reputation his very limited discoveries had already attained, represented that the tempestuous seas, strong currents, and whirlpools, which they fancied must prevail on the other side of Cape Bajadore, would necessarily destroy every vessel which should attempt to penetrate beyond that absolute limit of human navigation; they alleged that all the country to the south of that cape was utterly unfit for the habitation of mankind, sterile, burnt up, and destitute of soil and water, like the sandy deserts of Lybia; and they pretended to object on principles of patriotism, that the natives of Portugal were improvidently wasted on idle discoveries, which, if at all advisable, would have been undertaken by their former, wise sovereigns; who, contented with the known world, did not, vainly seek for conquests in the torrid zone, which was altogether unfit for the habitation of mankind. They insinuated that the expences which had been lavished upon those fruitless and dangerous maritime expeditions, might lave been much more profitably employed for the improvement of some of the more barren parts of Portugal. Even the probable profits and advantages derivable from the new colonies of Madeira and Puerto Santo, as they were only eventual and contingent, did not satisfy the minds of those discontented detractors from the merits and enlightened views of the prince. But Don Henry despised those vain endeavours to misrepresent and counteract the important enterprise in which he was engaged; and undismayed by the natural difficulties which had hitherto retarded the progress of his mariners, continued his laudable endeavours to extend his discoveries along the coast of Africa. The people, likewise, whom he employed in his service, frequently made predatory invasions on the coast, taking every Moorish vessel which they were able to master, and made many slaves, by the sale of which, the charges attending those maritime expeditions were partly defrayed.

About the year 1433, one Gilianez, a native of Lagos, whom the prince had entrusted with the command of a vessel, returned from an unsuccessful attempt to conquer the invincible obstacles which obstructed the passage round Cape Bojador. He had been driven by stress of weather into one of the Canary islands, and had imprudently seized some of the inoffending natives, whom he brought captives to Sagres. Don Henry was much offended by this conduct of Gilianez, whom he received with much coldness and reserve; insomuch that Gilianez, on purpose to retrieve the princes favour, and to make ample amends for the fault he had committed, made a vow, that if entrusted with a new expedition, he would perish rather than return unsuccessful in the enterprize which the prince had so much at heart. The date of the second expedition of Gilianez, in which he surmounted the terrors and difficulties of Cape Bajador, is variously referred by different authors to the years 1433 and 1434.[7] However this may have been, he succeeded in this herculean labour, as it was then esteemed, and returned with great exultation to Sagres, where he was again received into the favour and confidence of Don Henry. Contrary to the assertions, or suppositions rather, of the discontented opposers of the patriotic and enlightened efforts of Don Henry, Gilianez reported that the sea beyond Cape Bojador was perfectly susceptible of navigation, and that the soil and climate were both excellent.

In the following year Gilianez again sailed for the coast of Africa, accompanied by Alphonzo Gonzales Baldaya,[8] cupbearer to the prince. The weather continued favourable during the voyage, and they were able to penetrate ninety miles to the south of Cape Bojador. On landing to take a view of the country, and in search of inhabitants, they found the former to consist for the most part of an extended desert plain, and they were much disappointed in not being able to meet with any of the inhabitants, though they saw evident traces of them in the sand. To the bay in which they landed they gave the name of Angra dos Ruyvos, or Bay of Gurnets, from the great abundance of fish resembling gurnets which were taken by the seamen.

Gilianez and Baldaya were again ordered in the year 1435 to prosecute their discoveries, with instructions to prolong their voyage, if possible, till they should meet with inhabitants. Having proceeded about forty miles to the southward of the Angra dos Ruyvos, without being able to see a single inhabitant, they adopted an expedient which had been suggested by Don Henry, and for which they were provided with the means. Two horses were landed, and two youths named Hector Homen and Diego Lopez d'Almaida, who had been educated in the household of Don Henry, and were scarcely sixteen years of age, were directed to penetrate into the interior of the country, that they might endeavour to ascertain whether it were inhabited. They were directed to keep close together, and on no account to leave their horses, and if possible to bring back some of the Moors; and lest they should rashly expose themselves to unnecessary danger, they were only allowed each a sword and spear, without any defensive armour. After wandering almost a whole day in the barren sandy desert, they at length descried nineteen Africans, armed with assagays or javelins, whom they ventured to attack, though contrary to their orders. The natives retreated into a cave where they were safe from the farther assaults of the rash Portuguese youths; and as one of them had received a wound in the foot, they thought it prudent to return to the shore, which they were unable to reach before the next morning. Gilianez and Baldaya then dispatched a stronger force to the cave in which the Africans had taken shelter, where nothing was found but some weapons which had been left by the fugitives. Owing to this event, the place where the two cavaliers were landed was named Angra dos Cavallos, or the Bay of Horses; which is in latitude 24° N.

The navigators proceeded along a rugged coast to the south of the Bay of Horses, upon which the sea breaks with a terrible noise, and which, on account of being entirely composed of a hilly shore, faced with rocks and small rocky islands, is called Otegado, or the Rocky Place. At about twelve leagues distance from the bay of Cavallos they entered the mouth of a river, where they killed a number of sea wolves or seals, the skins of which they took on board in defect of any other productions of the country; these seals were found on an island at the mouth of this river, on which the mariners are said to have seen at least 5000 asleep on the shore. The voyage was continued to Punta de Gale, forming the western head-land of the Rio de Ouro, immediately under the tropic, where a fishing net was found constructed of twine, made from the inner bark of some tree of the palm tribe, but no natives were met with; and as provisions began to grow scarce, the adventurous mariners were constrained to return into Portugal, after ranging for some time up and down the rocky coast of Otegado, without making any important discovery.

About this period, or perhaps considerably earlier, Don Henry obtained a bull from Pope Martin V. by which the sovereign pontiff made a perpetual donation to the crown of Portugal, of all lands and islands which had been or might be discovered between Cape Bojador and the East Indies, inclusively, and granted a plenary indulgence for the souls of all who might perish in the prosecution of the enterprize, and in achieving the conquest of these extensive regions from the infidel and pagan enemies of Christ and the church. In this measure, the philosophical genius and enlarged political views of Don Henry are plainly evinced; and, undismayed by the obstacles which had so long opposed his grand project of discoveries, and the length of time which had been employed in making so very small progress, he shewed himself to have looked steadily forwards to the full accomplishment of his hopes of discovering the route by sea from Europe to India, around the still unknown shores of Southern Africa. The date of this papal grant does not certainly appear. De Barros and Lafitau are of opinion that it must have been posterior to 1440; Purchas places it in 1441; and de Guyon in 1444. But Martin V. died in 1431; and these writers seem to have confounded the original grant from that pontiff, with subsequent confirmations by his successors Eugenius IV. Nicholas V. and Sextus IV.[9]

The gradual progress of these discoveries were interrupted for a time by an unsuccessful attempt of Edward I. or Duarte, king of Portugal, to gain possession of Tangier in the kingdom of Fez. But the history of this war, in which the Portuguese arms suffered much misfortune and dishonour, are quite irrelevant to the present subject. The plague likewise, which raged at Lisbon in 1438, contributed to the suspension of the patriotic enterprizes of Don Henry. At length, in 1440, Don Henry resumed his project of maritime discovery, and dispatched two caravels from Sagres, which were forced back by unfavourable weather, apparently without even reaching the coast of Africa.

In 1441, a young officer named Antonio Gonzales made a voyage in a small vessel, with a crew of twenty-one men, to the island where so great a number of sea wolves had been seen in the former voyage of Alphonzo Gonzales Baldaya in 1435. In this voyage Alphonzo Gotterez, a gentleman of the bed-chamber to Don Henry, acted as secretary, and the two adventurers were instructed to endeavour to obtain an account of the country and its inhabitants, and to procure a cargo of the skins of the seals or sea wolves, that the voyage might not be entirely destitute of some commercial advantages. After accomplishing this part of his instructions, Gonzales determined to use his utmost efforts for procuring some of the inhabitants of the country to carry back with him to Sagres. For this purpose, he landed at the beginning of the night with nine associates, and having advanced about ten miles into the interior, discovered a native following a camel. The sudden appearance of the Portuguese rendered the astonished Moor perfectly motionless, and before he could recover from his surprize he was seized by Gotterez. On their return to the shore with their prisoner, they traced some recent footsteps on the sand, which led them in view of about forty natives, who withdrew to an adjoining hill, but the Portuguese secured a female Moor who had strayed from the party. With these two prisoners they returned to their vessel, not choosing to run any unnecessary risk, or to make any needless attack upon the natives, which was contrary to the express orders of Don Henry.

When preparing next morning to set sail on their return to Portugal, another Portuguese ship arrived, which was commanded by Nuno Tristan, a gentleman of the princes household. Encouraged by this reinforcement, a second expedition into the interior was immediately resolved upon, in which Nuno Tristan, Diego de Vigliadores, and Gonzales de Cintra, joined with Alphonzo Gonzales and Alphonzo Gotterez. Advancing again under night, they soon perceived a party of the natives whom they immediately attacked, shouting out Portugal! Portugal! San Jago! San Jago! The Moors were at first stupified with fear and surprise; but recovering from their panic, a struggle ensued, in which three of the Moors were slain, and ten made prisoners, the Portuguese being indebted for their safety to their defensive armour. After endeavouring, in vain, to establish an intercourse with the Moors for the redemption of the prisoners, Alphonzo Gonzales returned to Sagres with a cargo of skins and the Moorish prisoners, and was honourably rewarded by his discerning master. The place of this exploit was named Puerto del Cavallero, or the Knights Harbour, on occasion of Gonzales being there knighted by Nuno Tristan.

After careening his vessel, Nuno Tristan proceeded along the coast according to his orders, and reached a cape in lat. 20° 50' N. to which he gave the name of Cabo Branco, or the White Cape, on account of the whiteness of its cliffs. He there landed and found some fishing nets on the shore; but after repeated incursions into the country, being unable to meet with any of the natives, he made a survey of the coast, and returned to Portugal with an account of his proceedings.

Three of the prisoners carried to Portugal by Gonzales were Moors of some rank and considerable opulence; who each promised to pay ransoms for their safe return to their native country, and to give, besides, six or seven slaves each to the captors. Don Henry, as grand master of the order of Christ, was eager for the acquisition of so many converts from the religion of Mahomet, and was in hopes that the favourable report which the Moors might make on their return to Africa, would induce the natives to enter into trade with his navigators; and that, among the slaves which were to be given in exchange, some certain knowledge might be acquired of the burning regions of Africa, about which such strange reports were then prevalent. Antonio Gonzales was therefore dispatched on another voyage in 1442, accompanied by a German gentleman named Balthazar, who had distinguished himself in the late unfortunate attempt on Tangier, and who was anxious to carry home some account of the newly discovered countries. After being forced to return to port, to repair the damages they had sustained in a dreadful tempest, they again sailed, and reached the coast where the Moors had been made prisoners. The principal Moor was landed, and was received with great deference and respect by his countrymen; but he forgot all his promises on regaining his liberty, and never returned to pay the ransom he had bargained for. It would appear, however, that he had informed the natives of the return of the other two chiefs; as at the end of nine days, above an hundred natives appeared on the coast, and entered into treaty for the ransom of their two countrymen who remained captives, and for whom ten negroes, natives of different parts of Africa, were given in exchange. During these transactions, the sight of a considerable quantity of gold dust in the possession of the Moors, excited the most lively emotions in the Portuguese, as being the first intimation of that valuable commodity being procurable on the coast of their new discoveries. From this circumstance, Gonzales gave the name of Rio del Ouro, or Gold River, to the deep arm of the sea in which he now lay, which penetrates about six leagues N. N. E. from the tropic of Cancer.

[7] De Barros; Lafitan; Vincent, in the Periplus of the Erythrean sea; Meikle, in his translation of the Lusiad. Harris, in his Collection, Vol. I. p. 663, postpones this discovery to the year 1439.--Clarke.
[8] In Purchas this person is named Antonio Gonsalvo; but the authority of Clarke, I. 188, is here preferred.--E.
[9] Progr. of Nav. Disc. I. 184.


Volume 2, Chapter 3, Section 4 -- Continuation of Discovery to Cape de Verd.

On the return from this voyage, the sight of gold placed the fame and advantage of the enterprizes and discoveries of Don Henry beyond the reach of prejudice and detraction, and the former murmurings and discontents against his proceedings were changed into admiration and applause. In 1443 Nuno Tristan was again sent out, with orders to prosecute the discovery of a coast which now seemed so likely to prove advantageous to the commerce of Portugal. He now doubled Cape Blanco, or Branco, which he had discovered in his former voyage, and, about ten leagues farther to the south-east, fell in with an island, or rather cluster of seven islands, called Adeget by the natives, but which have since, with the bay in which they lie, received the name of Arguim, or Arguin. The small canoes which were used by the natives of this coast were at first mistaken for some strange kind of birds, as the people sit upon them astride, using their feet instead of paddles, to urge them along. To one of the islands in this bay Tristan gave the name of De las Garças, on account of the seasonable supply which he there received. From this place Nuno Tristan returned into Portugal, with some of the natives of the country.

Don Henry, in 1444, made an exchange with Massiot de Betancour, lord of the Canary Islands, for the islands of Lancerota, Fuertaventura, and Ferro, giving him some possessions in the island of Madeira in their stead; and immediately fitted out a powerful squadron, commanded by the grand master of his household, Fernand de Castro, to take possession of this new acquisition, and to subdue the remaining islands, Canaria, Palma, Gratioso, Inferno, Alegrazze, Santa-Chiara, Rocca, and Lobos. But, as the king of Castile afterwards laid claim to the Canaries, Don Henry resigned his conquests, finding the value of these islands by no means answerable to his expectation.

So greatly had the fame of the new discoveries extended in consequence of the small quantity of gold which had been procured by Gonzales at the Rio del Ouro, that several of the inhabitants of Lagos petitioned Don Henry, in 1444, to be erected into a trading company, engaging to carry on the discoveries along the coast of Africa at their own expence. The prince granted their request, and a company was accordingly formed, the prototype of those celebrated East India companies which have since carried on trade to such vast amount. Among the partners were Juan Diaz, the ancestor of him who afterwards discovered and passed the Cape of Good Hope; Gilianez, who had so boldly overcome the obstacles of Cape Bajador; Lançerot, a gentleman of the household of Don Henry; Estevan Alfonso; and Rodrigo Alvarez. A squadron of six caravels was fitted out under the command of Lançerot, which sailed from Lagos in the year 1444, and reached the isle of Garças, in the bay of Arguin, where they captivated [[=captured]] an hundred and fifty Africans, and returned to Lagos, after very slightly extending their knowledge of the coast of Africa to the desart island of Tider, in 19° 30' N.

In 1445, the subsequent voyage of Gonzales da Cintra, likewise a gentleman in the household of Don Henry, in some measure expiated the wanton outrage which had been committed in that of Lançerot. The merit of Gonzales had raised him to the rank of a gentleman in the household of Don Henry, and his character was held in much estimation; but his confidence was obtained and betrayed by a moor of the Assanhaji tribe,[10] whom he had taken on board to serve as an interpreter with the natives on the coast of Africa. Misled by this crafty African, who held out great hopes of acquiring plunder, Gonzales steered for the island of Arguin, and put into a creek or bay on the coast, in lat. 22° 48' N. about fourteen leagues to the south of Rio del Ouro, and forty-five to the north of Cape Branco. The Moor got leave to go on shore, under pretence of visiting some relations, but escaped in the night with another of his countrymen. Gonzales was much mortified at allowing himself to be circumvented by the cunning of his interpreter, and rashly embarked in a boat with only twelve men, with the intention of pursuing the fugitive. Pressing onwards with too much eagerness, he neglected to attend to the tide, which happened then to be on the ebb. His boat stuck fast, and when the morning broke, he was surrounded by two hundred Moors. Unable to extricate himself, or to contend against such mighty odds, Gonzales and seven of his men were slain; the other five made their escape by swimming to the ship, which immediately set sail for Lagos. The clumsy denomination of Angra de Gonzales da Cintra, to this bay, still commemorates the death of this commander.

In the subsequent year, 1446, Don Henry sent out a small squadron of three caravels, under the command of Antonio Gonzales, assisted by Diego Alfonso, and by Gomez Perez, the king's pilot. They were directed to proceed for the Rio del Ouro, and were strictly enjoined to cultivate the friendship of the natives by every possible means, to establish peace with them and to use their utmost endeavours to convert them to the Christian religion; among other instructions, they were urged to pass unnoticed the insults or neglect of honour which they might experience from the negroes. The Portuguese endeavoured, but ineffectually, to conciliate the natives, and to remove the angry prejudices which they entertained. They returned to Lagos with no other fruit from their voyage except one negro whom they had received in ransom, and an aged Moor who requested permission to accompany them to Portugal. One of their own companions, Juan Fernandez, from an ardent desire to procure information for the prince, got leave to remain among the Assanhaji Arabs.

Next year, 1447, Antonio Mendez was ordered to return in search of Juan Fernandez, from whose inquisitive disposition much information was expected. In this expedition he was accompanied by two other caravels, commanded by Garcia Mendez and Diego Alfonso, but they were separated by a storm in the early part of the voyage. Alfonso was the first who reached the coast at Cape Branco, where he landed, and set up a wooden cross as a signal to his consorts, and then proceeded to the islands of Arguin, which afforded shelter from the tremenduous surf which breaks continually on the coast of Africa. While waiting at Arguin for the other ships, Alfonso paid many visits to the continent, where he made prisoners of twenty-five of the natives. When the other two ships of the squadron had joined, they went to the Rio del Ouro in search of their countryman, Juan Fernandez, who had been several days anxiously looking out for a vessel to carry him off.

After experiencing many hardships, Fernandez had succeeded in gaining the friendship of a considerable person among the Moors, and was accompanied to the shore by that man's slaves in a body. The natives exerted themselves to procure the release of some of their countrymen who were prisoners with the Portuguese, to whom they gave nine negroes and a quantity of gold dust by way of ransom. To the place where this transaction took place, the navigators gave the name of Cabo do Resgatij, or Cape Ransom; where likewise Fernam Tavares, an aged nobleman, received the honour of knighthood, a distinction he had long been entitled to, but which he would only receive upon the newly discovered coast. During the homeward voyage, Gonzales touched at a village near Cape Branco, where he increased his captives to ninety.

Juan Fernandez described the natives of the coast as wandering shepherds, of the same race with the Moor who had been brought over to Portugal by Antonio Gonzales in the former voyage. After he had been conveyed to a considerable distance inland, he was stripped of all his clothes, and even deprived of all the provisions he had taken on shore. A tattered coarse rug, called an alhaik, was given him instead of the clothes he had been deprived of. His food was principally a small farinaceous seed, varied sometimes by the roots which he could find in the desert, or the tender sprouts of wild plants. The inhabitants, among whom he lived as a slave, unless when better supplied by means of the chase, fed on dried lizards, and on a species of locust or grasshopper. Water was bad, or scarce, and their chief drink was milk. They only killed some of their cattle on certain great festivals; and, like the Tartars, they roamed from place to place in quest of a precarious sustenance for their flocks and herds. The whole country presented only extensive wastes of barren sand, or an uncultivated heath, where a few Indian figs here and there variegated the dreary and extensive inhospitable plain. A short time before he rejoined his countrymen, Fernandez acquired the protection and kindness of Huade Meimon, a Moor of distinction, who permitted him to watch for the arrival of the ships, and even assigned him a guard for his protection.

In the interval between these two voyages of Gonzales, Denis Fernandez, a gentleman of Lisbon, who had belonged to the household of the late king, fitted out a vessel for discovery under the patronage of Don Henry, with a determination to endeavour to penetrate farther to the southwards than any preceding navigator. He accordingly passed to the southwards of the Senegal river, which divides the Azanhaji moors from the Jaloffs, or most northern negroes, and fell in with some almadias or canoes, one of which he captured, with four natives. Proceeding still farther on, without stopping to satisfy his curiosity in visiting the coast, he at length reached the most westerly promontory of Africa, to which he gave the name of Cabo Verde, or the Green Cape, from the number of palm trees with which it was covered. Alarmed by the breakers with which the shore was everywhere guarded, Denis did not venture to proceed any farther, especially as the season was already far advanced, but returned with his captives to Portugal, where he met with a flattering reception from Don Henry, both on account of his discovery of the Cape de Verd, and for the natives he had procured from the newly discovered coast, without having been traded for with the Moors.

[10] This tribe of Assenhaji, or Azanaghi, are the Zenhaga of our maps, and the Sanhagae of Edrisi and Abulfeda. They are at present represented as inhabiting at no great distance from the coast of Africa, between the rivers Nun and Senegal.--Cl.


Volume 2, Chapter 3, Section 5 -- Progress of Discovery from Cape de Verd to the Gambia.

Soon after the return of Denis from the Cape de Verd, Gonzales Pachecos, a wealthy officer belonging to the household of Don Henry, fitted out a ship at his own expence, of which he gave the command to Dinisianez da Gram, one of the princes equerries, who was accompanied by Alvaro Gil, an essayer of the mint, and Mafaldo de Setubal. After touching at Cape Branco, they steered along the coast for the isle of Arguin, making descents in several places, where they made a considerable number of captives from the Moors. At the isle De las Garças they found another caravel, commanded by Lourenço Dias, which formed part of a considerable squadron that had been lately fitted out from Lagos. Two days afterwards, the admiral of that squadron, Lançarot, and nine other caravels arrived. Gram informed Lançarot of his success in making fifty prisoners, whom he had dearly purchased by the loss of seven of his men, who had been murdered by the Moors. Lançarot immediately sailed for Arguin, bent on revenge, and sacrificed the lives of eight, and the liberty of four of the natives, to the memory of Gonzales da Cintra and the mariners of Gram. On this occasion two of the Portuguese officers were knighted on the newly discovered coast, which seems then to have been a fashionable ambition among them, no doubt arising from the prevailing zeal for maritime discovery. From Arguin Lançarot passed over to the isle of Tider, whence the inhabitants made their escape to the adjacent continent; but the Portuguese soon followed, and the astonished Moors fled on all sides, after a sharp skirmish, in which a good many of them were slain, and sixty taken prisoners.

The fleet now separated, a part returning home by way of the Canaries, while Lançarot, with several other caravels, advanced along the coast of Africa southwards, till he got beyond what the Moors called the Çahara, or Sahara, of the Assenaji. This Moorish nation is mentioned by Abulfeda as the ruling tribe in Audagost, or Agadez, and as inhabiting the southern part of Morocco. They are therefore to be considered as the peculiar people of the great desert and its environs, at its western extremity on the Atlantic. The latter part of their name, aji, or rather aspirated haji, signifies a pilgrim, and is now the appropriate title of one who has made the great pilgrimage of Mecca. In the present case, the name of Assenaji probably signifies the Wanderers of the Desert. The Sanhaga, or Assenaji tribe, is now placed at no great distance from the African coast, between the rivers Nun and Senegal; and this latter river has probably received its Portuguese name of Sanaga from that tribe. Ptolemy likewise probably named Cape Verd Arsinarium, from the same people, from which it may be inferred that they anciently occupied both sides of the Senegal river, which is named Dardalus by that ancient geographer.

Twenty leagues beyond the southern boundary of the great desert, Lançarot came to the mouth of a large river, which had been formerly seen by Denis Fernandez, and named by him Rio Portugues, or the Portuguese river; which was called Ouedech by the natives, and afterwards got the name of Canaga, Zanaga, Sanhaga, Sanaga, or Senega, now the Senegal. Lançarot passed in safety over the bar of this river, and endeavoured to explore its course upwards, but the weather became unfavourable, and forced him again to sea, when he proceeded with part of his squadron to Cape Verd, near which place he took in a supply of water and goat's flesh. The fleet was again dispersed by a second storm, and only three vessels remained under the command of Lançarot. With these he made a descent on the island of Tider, where he captured fifty-nine Moors; and with these, and some natives he had made prisoners on the banks of the Senegal, he returned into Portugal.

In the year 1447, Nuna Tristan made another voyage to the coast of Africa; and, advancing beyond Cabo dos Mastos, or the Cape of Masts, so named from some dead palms resembling masts, seen there by Lançarot, who made this discovery in the former voyage, Nuna Tristan proceeded southwards along the coast of Africa, 180 miles beyond Cape Verd, where he reached the mouth of a river which he called Rio Grande, or the Large River, since called Gamber, Gambra, or Gambia. Tristan came to anchor at the mouth of this river, and went in his boat with twenty-two armed men on purpose to explore its course. Having reached to a considerable distance from his ship, he was environed by thirteen almadias or canoes, manned by eighty negroes, who advanced with dreadful yells, and poured in continual vollies of poisoned arrows, by which he, and almost every man in his boat were wounded before they could regain the ship. Nuno Tristan and all the wounded men died speedily of the effects of these poisoned weapons, himself only living long enough to recount the nature of the terrible disaster to the small remainder of the crew who had been left in charge of the caravel; which was brought home by only four survivors, after wandering for two months in the Atlantic, scarcely knowing which way to steer their course.

There appears some difficulty and contradiction in regard to the river discovered by Nuna Tristan, from the vague name of Rio Grande. Instead of the Gambia, in lat. 13° 30' N. some of the Portuguese historians are inclined to believe that this fatal event took place at another river, in lat. 10° 15' N. at least 500 nautical miles beyond the Gambia, to the S.S. E. which was afterwards called Rio de Nuno. This is scarcely probable, as no notice whatever is taken of the great archipelago of shoals and islands which extend from Cabo Rosso to beyond the mouth of that river which is still called Rio Grande. Yet it must be acknowledged that our remaining information respecting these early Portuguese voyages of discovery, is unfortunately vague and unsatisfactory.

In the same year, 1447, Alvaro Fernando proceeded to the coast of Africa, and is said to have advanced forty leagues beyond Tristan, having arrived at the mouth of a river called Tabite,[11] 100 miles to the south of Rio Nuno. Notwithstanding the appearance of a determined opposition on the part of the natives, who had manned five almadias, Alvaro resolved to explore its course in his boat, and proceeded up the river for that purpose, with the utmost circumspection. One of the almadias stood out from the rest, and attacked his boat with great bravery, discharging a number of poisoned arrows, by which Alvaro and several of his men were wounded, which forced him to desist and return to his ship. Being, however, provided with theriac and other antidotes against the poison, Alvaro and all his men recovered from their wounds. He resolved, after leaving the river Tabite, to proceed along the coast, which he did to a sandy point; and, apprehending no danger in so open a situation, was preparing to land, when he was suddenly assailed by a flight of poisoned arrows, from 120 negroes who started up from a concealment. Alvaro, therefore, desisted from any farther attempt to explore the coast, and returned to Lagos to give an account of his proceedings.

In the same year, ten caravels sailed from Lagos for Madeira, the Canaries, and the coast of Africa, but returned without making any progress in discovering the coast. Under this year likewise, 1447, the Antilles, or Caribbee islands, are pretended to have been discovered by a Portuguese ship driven, thither by a storm. But the fact rests only on the authority of Galvano, a Portuguese historian, and is not at all credible. Indeed the story is an absolute fable; as the inhabitants are said to have spoken the Portuguese language, and to have had seven cities in their island. In the same year, Gomez Perez went with two caravels to Rio del Ouro, whence he carried eighty Moors to Lagos as prisoners.

About this period the progress of discovery was arrested by political disputes in Portugal, which ended in a civil war between Don Pedro, Duke of Coimbra, and King Alphonso V. his nephew and son-in-law, in the course of which Don Pedro was slain. Don Henry appears to have taken no share in these disputes, except by endeavouring to mediate between his nephew and brother; and, after the unhappy catastrophe of Don Pedro, Don Henry returned to Sagres, where he resumed the superintendence of his maritime discoveries.

[11] No such name occurs in the best modern charts, neither is there a river of any consequence on the coast which answers to the distance. The first large river to the south of the Nuno is the Mitomba, or river of Sierra Liona, distant about 130 maritime miles.--E.


Volume 2, Chapter 3, Section 6 -- Discovery and Settlement of the Açores.[1]

These nine islands, called the Açores, Terceras, or Western islands, are situated in the Atlantic, 900 miles west from Portugal, at an almost equal distance from Europe, Africa, and America. The Flemings pretend that they were discovered by a navigator of their nation, John Vanderberg, who sailed from Lisbon in 1445 or 1449. Santa Maria, one of these islands, 250 leagues west from Cape St Vincent, was first seen on the 15th August 1432, by Cabral, who sailed under the orders of Don Henry. San Miguel was taken possession of by the same navigator on the 8th May 1444; and Ponta Delgada its capital, received its charter from Emanuel in 1449. Tercera was given to Jacome de Brujes in 1450, by Don Henry, in which year St George was discovered. Pico and Gracioso were discovered about the same time. Perhaps Fayal may actually have been first explored, as many of the inhabitants are of Flemish descent, under the command and protection of the Portuguese. Flores and Corvo, which lie seventy leagues west from Tercera, are not reckoned among the Açores by some writers. In this latter island, the Portuguese pretend that there was discovered an equestrian statue made from one block of stone. The head of the man was bare, his left hand rested on the mane of his horse, and his right pointed towards the west, as if indicating the situation of another continent. In addition to all this, an inscription appeared to have been traced on a rock beneath the statue, but in a language which the Portuguese did not understand.

In the slow progress of discovery, the perils endured by the officers and men employed by Don Henry, from the Moors and Negroes, frequently occasioned murmurs against his plans of discovery; but the several clusters of islands, the Madeiras, Cape Verd, and Açores, formed a succession of maritime and commercial colonies, and nurseries for seamen, which took off from the general obloquy attending the tedious and hitherto unsuccessful attempts to penetrate farther into the southern hemisphere, and afforded a perpetual supply of navigators, and a stimulus to enterprize. The original prejudices against the possibility of navigating or existing in the torrid zone still subsisted, and although the navigators of Don Henry had gradually penetrated to within ten degrees of the equator, yet the last successive discovery was always held forth by the supporters of ignorant prejudice, as that which had been placed by nature as an insurmountable barrier to farther progress in the Atlantic. In this situation, the settlement of the Açores was of considerable importance. In 1457, Don Henry procured the grant of many valuable privileges to this favourite colony, the principal of which was the exemption of the inhabitants from any duties on their commerce to the ports of Portugal and even of Spain.

In 1461, a fort was erected in the isle of Arguin on the African coast of the Moors, to protect the trade carried on there for gold and negro slaves. Next year, 1462, Antonio de Noli, a Genoese, sent by the republic to Portugal, entered into the service of Don Henry, and in a voyage to the coast of Africa, discovered the islands which are known by the name of the Cape de Verd Islands, though they lie 100 leagues to the westward of that Cape. In the same year Pedro de Cintra, and Suera de Costa, penetrated a little farther along the coast of Africa, and discovered the river or Bay of Sierra Liona or Mitomba, in lat. 8° 30' N. This constituted the last of the Portuguese discoveries, carried on under the direct influence and authority of Don Henry, the founder and father of modern maritime discovery, as he died next year, 1463, at Sagres, in the sixty-seventh year of his age; and, for a time, the maritime enterprise of the Portuguese nation was palsied by his death.

Thus, during a long period of fifty-two years, this patriotic prince devoted almost his whole attention, and the ample revenues which he enjoyed as Duke of Viseo end grand master of the military order of Christ, in extending the maritime knowledge, and consequently the commercial prosperity of his country. The incidents of the last seven years of the life of this distinguished prince, are involved in uncertainty, and we know very little with regard to the progress of his maritime discoveries from 1456, the date of the second of the voyages of Cada Mosto, of which we propose to give a separate account, till the year of his death, 1463. From the year 1412, when he began his operations, at which time he could scarcely exceed fifteen years of age, the navigators who had been formed under his auspices and direction, and often instructed by himself in the theory of navigation and cosmography, gradually explored the western coast of Africa, from Cape Nam or Non, in lat. 28° 15', certainly to Rio Grande, in lat. 11° N. or rather to Rio de Nuno, not quite a degree farther south; but it is highly probable that the southern limit of discovery in his time extended to Cabo Verga, in lat. 10° N. the northern boundary of the country usually called the Sierra Liona, or the Ridge of Lions, perhaps to the gulf of Mitomba, or bay of Sierra Liona, in lat. 8° 30' N. an extent of 29° 15' of latitude, or 1185 nautical miles; a mere nothing certainly when compared with modern navigation, but a wonderful effort in the infancy of the science, when even coasting voyages of any extent along well known shores, and in frequented seas, were looked upon as considerable efforts. No brilliant discovery, indeed, rewarded the perseverance of Don Henry, and the courage of his servants; but an indestructible foundation of useful knowledge was laid, for overthrowing the ignorant prejudices of the age, and by which, not long afterwards, his plans were perfected by completing the circumnavigation of Africa, and by the discovery of the New World. Dr Vincent, the learned editor and commentator of the Periplus of the Erythrean Sea, is disposed to limit the discoveries of Don Henry to Cape Verd,[2] but Ramusio believed that the Island of St Thomas was settled in his time; and the ingenious translator of the Lusiad of Camoens is of opinion that some of his commanders passed beyond the equator.[3] According to Mickle, it was the custom of his navigators to leave his motto, Talent de bien faire, wherever they came; and in 1525 Loaya, a Spanish captain, found that device carved on the bark of a tree in the island of St Matthew, or Anabon, in the second degree of southern latitude. But this proof is quite inconclusive, as the navigators long reared in the school of this great prince might naturally enough continue his impress upon the countries they visited, even after his lamented death.

About seven years before the decease of Don Henry, two voyages were made to the African coast by Alvise da Cada Mosto, a Venetian navigator, under the auspices of the Duke of Viseo; but which we have chosen to separate from the historical deduction of the Portuguese discoveries, principally because they contain the oldest nautical journal extant, except those already given in our First Part from the pen of the great Alfred, and are therefore peculiarly valuable in a work of this nature. Their considerable length, likewise, and because they were not particularly conducive to the grand object of extending the maritime discoveries, have induced us to detach them from the foregoing narrative, that we might carry it down unbroken to the death of the great Don Henry. These voyages, likewise, give us an early picture of the state of population, civilization, and manners of the Africans, not to be met with elsewhere.

To this we subjoin an abstract of the narrative of a voyage made by Pedro de Cintra, a Portuguese captain, to the coast of Africa, drawn up for Cada Mosto, at Lagos, by a young Portuguese who had been his secretary, and who had accompanied Cintra in his voyage. The exact date of this voyage is nowhere given; but as the death of Don Henry is mentioned in the narrative, it probably took place in that year, 1463.

[1] So called from the number of hawks which were seen on these islands when first discovered, _Açor_ signifying a hawk in the Portuguese language; hence Açores or Açoras, pronounced Azores, signifies the Islands of Hawks.--Clarke.
[2] Peripl. of the Erythr. Sea, 193.
[3] Hist. of the Disc. of India, prefixed to the translation of the Lusiad, I. 158.

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