Henrique de Portugal, duque de Viseu

Is your surname de Avis?

Research the de Avis family

Henrique de Portugal, duque de Viseu's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Share

Henrique 'o Navegador' de Avis, duque de Viseu

Nicknames: "Henri le Navigateur", "The Navigator", "Henry the Navigator", "He is known in English as Prince Henry the Navigator or the Seafarer (Portuguese: o Navegador).", "Duke of Viseu", "Grand Master of the Order of Christ"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Porto, Portugal
Death: Died in Sagres, Portugal
Place of Burial: Duke Of Viseu
Immediate Family:

Son of João I o Bom, rei de Portugal and Filipa de Lencastre, rainha consorte de Portugal
Brother of Pedro de Portugal, duque de Coimbra; Branca, infanta de Portugal; Afonso, Infante de Portugal; Beatrice / Beatrix De Pinto; Duarte I o Eloquente, rei de Portugal and 7 others
Half brother of Afonso de Portugal, 1º duque de Bragança; Branca de Portugal and Beatrice of Portugal, Countess of Arundel

Occupation: Duque de Viseu
Managed by: Bianca May Evelyn Brennan
Last Updated:

About Henrique 'o Navegador' de Avis, duque de Viseu

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_the_Navigator (click on link for complete English version or see below)

Henry the Navigator (Portuguese pronunciation: [ẽˈʁik(ɨ)]; Portuguese: Henrique o Navegador Porto, 4 March 1394 – 13 November 1460) was an infante (prince) of the Kingdom of Portugal and an important figure in the early days of the Portuguese Empire. He was responsible for the early development of European exploration and maritime trade with other continents. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

O Infante Dom Henrique, Duque de Viseu, (Porto, 4 de Março de 1394 — 13 de Novembro de 1460) foi um príncipe português e a mais importante figura do início da era das Descobertas, também conhecido na História como Infante de Sagres ou Navegador.

1 Biografia

2 Romance

3 Ver também

4 Bibliografia


Biografia

O Infante D. Henrique nasceu no Porto, numa Quarta-Feira de Cinzas, dia que se considerava pouco propício ao nascimento de uma criança. Era o quinto filho do rei D. João I, fundador da Dinastia de Avis e de Dona Filipa de Lencastre.

O infante foi baptizado alguns dias depois do seu nascimento, tendo sido o seu padrinho o Bispo de Viseu. Os seus pais deram-lhe o nome Henrique possivelmente em honra do seu avô materno, o duque Henrique de Lencastre.

Pouco se sabe sobre a vida do infante até aos seus catorze anos. O infante e os seus irmãos (a chamada Ínclita geração) tiveram como aio um cavaleiro da Ordem de Avis.

Em 1414, convenceu seu pai a montar a campanha de conquista de Ceuta, na costa norte-africana junto ao estreito de Gibraltar. A cidade foi conquistada em Agosto de 1415, abrindo para o Reino de Portugal as portas ao domínio do comércio que aquele porto exercia.

Em 1415, foi armado cavaleiro e recebeu os títulos de Duque de Viseu e Senhor da Covilhã. A 18 de Fevereiro de 1416, foi encarregado do Governo de Ceuta. Cabia-lhe organizar no reino a manutenção da Praça marroquina.

Em 1418, regressou a Ceuta na companhia de D. João, seu irmão mais novo. Os Infantes comandavam uma expedição de socorro à cidade, que sofreu nesse ano o primeiro grande cerco, imposto conjuntamente pelas forças dos reis de Fez e de Granada. O cerco gorou-se e D. Henrique tentou de imediato atacar Gibraltar, mas o mau tempo impediu-o de desembarcar: manifestava-se assim uma vez mais a temeridade e fervor anti-muçulmano do Infante. Ao regressar a Ceuta recebeu ordens de D. João I, para não prosseguir tal empreendimento, pelo que voltou para o reino nos primeiros meses de 1419. Montou por esta época uma armada de corso, que actuava na zona do estreito de Gibraltar a partir de Ceuta. Dispunha, de mais uma fonte de rendimentos e muitos dos seus homens habituaram-se, assim, ao mar. Alguns deles seriam desviados, mais tarde, para outras viagens em direcção a novos destinos.

Em 1419-1420 alguns dos seus escudeiros, João Gonçalves Zarco e Tristão Vaz Teixeira, desembarcaram então nas ilhas do arquipélago madeirense, que já era visitado por navegadores portugueses desde o século anterior. As ilhas revelaram-se de grande importância produzindo grandes quantidades de cereais, minimizando a escassez que afligia Portugal. O arquipélago foi doado a D. Henrique pelo rei D. Duarte, sucessor de D. João I, em 1433.

Em 25 de Maio de 1420, D. Henrique foi nomeado dirigente da Ordem de Cristo, que sucedeu à Ordem dos Templários, cargo que deteria até ao fim da vida. No que concerne ao seu interesse na exploração do Oceano Atlântico, o cargo na Ordem foi também importante ao longo da década de 1440. Isso se deve ao fato da Ordem controlar vastos recursos, o que ajudou a financiar a exploração, a verdadeira paixão do príncipe.

Brasão de armas

Em 1427, os seus navegadores descobriram as primeiras ilhas dos Açores (possivelmente Gonçalo Velho). Também estas ilhas desabitadas foram depois colonizadas pelos portugueses,

Até à época do Infante D. Henrique, o Cabo Bojador era para a Europa o ponto conhecido mais meridional na costa de África. Gil Eanes, que comandou uma das expedições, foi o primeiro a passá-lo, em 1434, eliminando os medos então vigentes quanto ao desconhecido que para lá do Cabo se encontraria.

Aquando da morte de D. João I, o seu filho mais velho (e irmão de D. Henrique), D. Duarte subiu ao trono, e entregou a este um quinto de todos os proveitos comerciais com as zonas descobertas bem como o direito de explorar além do Cabo Bojador.

O reinado de D. Duarte durou apenas cinco anos, após o qual, D. Henrique apoiou o seu irmão D. Pedro na regência, durante a menoridade do sobrinho D. Afonso V, recebendo em troca a confirmação do seu privilégio. Procedeu também, durante a regência, à colonização dos Açores.

Com uma nova embarcação, a caravela, as expedições sofreram um grande impulso. O Cabo Branco foi atingido em 1441 por Nuno Tristão e Antão Gonçalves. A Baía de Arguim em 1443, com consequente construção de um forte em 1448.

Dinis Dias chega ao Rio Senegal e dobra o Cabo Verde em 1444. A Guiné é visitada. Assim, os limites a sul do grande deserto do Saara são ultrapassados. A partir daí, D. Henrique cumpre um dos seus objectivos: desviar as rotas do comércio do Saara e aceder às riquezas na África Meridional. Em 1452 a chegada de ouro era em suficiente quantidade para que se cunhassem os primeiros cruzados de ouro.

Entre 1444 e 1446, cerca de quarenta embarcações saíram de Lagos. Na década de 1450 descobriu-se o arquipélago de Cabo Verde. Data dessa época a encomenda de um mapa-múndi do velho mundo a Fra Mauro, um monge veneziano.

Em 1460 a costa estava já explorada até ao que é hoje a Serra Leoa.

Entretanto, D. Henrique estava também ocupado com assuntos internos do Reino. Julga-se ter patrocinado a criação, na Universidade de Coimbra de uma cátedra de astronomia.

Foi também um dos principais organizadores da conquista de Tânger em 1437, que se revelou um grande fracasso, já que o seu irmão mais novo, D. Fernando (o Infante Santo) foi lá capturado e aprisionado durante 11 anos, até falecer. A sua reputação militar sofreu um revés e os seus últimos anos de vida foram dedicados à política e à exploração.

O Infante D. Henrique foi uma personagem muito intrigante, com um certo mistério e muitos segredos. Também os seus motivos e os objectivos das suas navegações têm sido amplamente discutidos e diferenciados, mas, sem dúvida, foi o grande condutor da expansão ultramarina portuguesa e europeia.

Romance

Arkan Simaan, "L’écuyer d’Henri le Navigateur" (Harmattan, Paris), romance histórico, em francês, baseado em crónicas do século XV. O personagem central é fictício, mas o leitor percebe como foram preparadas a tomada de Ceuta e a ocupação da cidade até 1418-1419. Segue-se a aventura marítima de D. Henrique: as descobertas de Porto Santo e da Madeira, a vinda para Sagres do cartógrafo judeu majorquino, Jafuda Cresques, a colonização da Madeira, a passagem do cabo Bojador, o encontro dos portugueses com os Azenegues e os Wolofs e, enfim, as razias de escravos, sem esquecer o desastre de Tânger.

Bibliografia

ALBUQUERQUE, Luís de. Dicionário de história dos descobrimentos portugueses. Lisboa: Círculo de Leitores, 1994.

DOMINGUES, Mário. O Infante D. Henrique. Lisboa: Romano Torres, 1957. Comentário: Trabalho sobre o Infante, com três grandes capítulos: do tempo que vai desde o seu nascimento até à empresa de Ceuta, ao período dos estudos e experiências feitas pelo Infante tendo como objectivo os descobrimentos e por fim relativo ao período desde a morte de D. João I até à Batalha de Alfarrobeira, que é meramente político, com referências à tomada de posição em relação à regência do Reino depois da morte do rei D. Duarte e o seu relacionamento com o Infante D. Pedro. D. Afonso Henrique morreu em 1460 sem tal que lhe acontecesse.

RUSSEL, Peter. Prince Henry ´the Navigator´a Life. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000. ISBN 0-300-08233-9

--------------------

This article is about the Portuguese prince. For the Dutch prince sometimes known as "Henry the Navigator", see Prince Henry of the Netherlands.

The Infante Henrique, Duke of Viseu, pron. IPA: [ẽ'ʁik(ɨ)]), (Porto, March 4, 1394 – November 13, 1460) in Sagres) was an infante (prince) of the Portuguese House of Aviz and an important figure in the early days of the Portuguese Empire, being responsible for the beginning of the European worldwide explorations. He is known in English as Prince Henry the Navigator or the Seafarer (Portuguese: o Navegador).

Prince Henry the Navigator was the third child of King John I of Portugal, the founder of the Aviz dynasty, and of Philippa of Lancaster, the daughter of John of Gaunt. Henry encouraged his father to conquer Ceuta (1415), the Muslim port on the North African coast across the Straits of Gibraltar from the Iberian peninsula, with profound consequences on Henry's worldview: Henry became aware of the profit possibilities in the Saharan trade routes that terminated there and became fascinated with Africa in general; he was most intrigued by the Christian legend of Prester John and the expansion of Portuguese trade.

It is a common conception that Henry gathered at his Vila on the Sagres peninsula a school of navigators and map-makers. He did employ some cartographers to help him chart the coast of Mauritania in the wake of voyages he sent there, but for the rest there was no center of navigational science or any supposed observatory in the modern sense of the word, nor was there an organized navigational center. In “Crónica da Guiné” Henry is described as a person with no luxuries, not avaricious, speaking with soft words and calm gestures, a man of many virtues that never allowed any poor person leave his presence empty handed.

Henry was born in 1394 in Porto, probably when the royal couple was being housed in the old mint of the city, nowadays called Casa do Infante (Prince's House). He was the third son born to Philippa of Lancaster, the sister of King Henry IV of England. Henry was 21 when he, his father and brothers conquered the Moorish port of Ceuta in northern Morocco, that had been for a long time the base for Barbary pirates that assaulted the Portuguese coast, depopulating villages by capturing their inhabitants to be sold in the African slave market. This attack was successful, as it inspired Henry to explore down the coast of Africa, most of which was unknown to Europeans. The desire to locate the source of the West African gold trade, find the legendary Christian kingdom of Prester John, and stop the pirate attacks on the Portuguese coast were three of his main interests in the region. The ships that sailed the Mediterranean at that time were too slow and too heavy to make these voyages. Under his direction, a new and much lighter ship was developed, the caravel, which would allow sea captains to sail further, faster and much more efficiently. In 1419, his father appointed him the governor of the province of the Algarve.

Resources and income

On May 25, 1420, Henry gained appointment as the governor of the very rich Order of Christ, the Portuguese successor to the Knights Templar, which had its headquarters at Tomar. Henry would hold this position for the remainder of his life, and the order was an important source of funds for Henry's ambitious plans, especially his persistent attempts to conquer the Canary Islands, that the Portuguese claimed having discovered before the year 1346.

Henry also had other resources. When John I died, Henry's eldest brother, Duarte became head of the castles council, and granted Henry a "Royal Flush" of all profits from trading within the areas he discovered as well as the sole right to authorize expeditions beyond Cape Bojador. He also held various valuable monopolies on resources in the Algarve. When Duarte died eight years later, Henry supported his brother Pedro for the regency during Afonso V of Portugal's minority, and in return received a confirmation of this levy. Henry also promoted the colonization of the Azores during Pedro's regency (1439–1448).

--------------------

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_the_Navigator

Henry the Navigator (Portuguese pronunciation: [ẽˈʁik(ɨ)]; Portuguese: Henrique o Navegador Porto, 4 March 1394 – 13 November 1460) was an infante (prince) of the Kingdom of Portugal and an important figure in the early days of the Portuguese Empire. He was responsible for the early development of European exploration and maritime trade with other continents.

Henry was the third child of King John I of Portugal, the founder of the Aviz dynasty, and of Philippa of Lancaster, the daughter of John of Gaunt. Henry encouraged his father to conquer Ceuta (1415), the Muslim port on the North African coast across the Straits of Gibraltar from the Iberian peninsula. He learnt of the opportunities from the Saharan trade routes that terminated there, and became fascinated with Africa in general; he was most intrigued by the Christian legend of Prester John and the expansion of Portuguese trade.

It is a common misconception that Henry gathered at his villa on the Sagres peninsula a school of navigators and map-makers. He did employ some cartographers to chart the coast of Mauritania after the voyages he sent there, but there was no center of navigation science or observatory in the modern sense of the word, nor was there an organized navigational center. In "Crónica da Guiné" Henry is described as having no luxuries, not avaricious, speaking with soft words and calm gestures, a man of many virtues that never allowed any poor person leave his presence empty-handed.

Early life

Henry was born in 1394 in Porto, probably when the royal couple was living in the city's old mint, now called Casa do Infante (Prince's House). He was the third son born to Philippa of Lancaster, the sister of King Henry IV of England. Henry was 21 when he, his father and brothers captured the Moorish port of Ceuta in northern Morocco, that had long been a base for Barbary pirates who raided the Portuguese coast, depopulating villages by capturing their inhabitants to be sold in the African slave market. Following this success, Henry started to explore the coast of Africa, most of which was unknown to Europeans. His objectives included finding the source of the West African gold trade and the legendary Christian kingdom of Prester John, and stopping the pirate attacks on the Portuguese coast. The then ships of the Mediterranean were too slow and too heavy to make these voyages. Under his direction, a new and much lighter ship was developed, the caravel, which could sail further and faster. In 1419, Henry's father appointed him governor of the province of the Algarve.

Resources and income

On 25 May 1420, Henry gained appointment as the governor of the very rich Order of Christ, the Portuguese successor to the Knights Templar, which had its headquarters at Tomar. Henry would hold this position for the remainder of his life, and the order was an important source of funds for Henry's ambitious plans, especially his persistent attempts to conquer the Canary Islands, which the Portuguese had claimed to have discovered before the year 1346.

Henry also had other resources. When John I died, Henry's eldest brother, Edward became head of the castles council, and granted Henry a "Royal Flush" of all profits from trading within the areas he discovered as well as the sole right to authorize expeditions beyond Cape Bojador. He also held various valuable monopolies on resources in the Algarve. When Duarte died eight years later, Henry supported his brother Pedro for the regency during Afonso V of Portugal's minority, and in return received a confirmation of this levy. Henry also promoted the colonization of the Azores during Pedro's regency (1439–1448).

Vila do Infante, patron of Portuguese exploration

According to João de Barros, in Algarve he repopulated a village that he called Terçanabal. This village was situated in a strategic position for his maritime enterprises and was later called Vila do Infante.

From his Vila do Infante in 15th Century Portuguese, Estate or Town of the Prince on the Sagres peninsula located at the south-westernmost point of Iberia and with sea access to both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, Henry sponsored voyages down the coast of Africa, sailing as far as Guinea, that were primarily exploration expeditions, later on bringing back to the nearby town of Lagos, from whence they set out, numerous African slaves and goods.

The first contacts with the African slave market were made by expeditions to ransom Portuguese subjects enslaved by pirate attacks on Portuguese ships or villages. Henry justified this on the grounds that he was converting these captives to Christianity. As Sir Peter Russell remarks in his biography, "In Henryspeak, conversion and enslavement were interchangeable terms." The view that Henry's court rapidly grew into the technological base for exploration, with a naval arsenal and an observatory, etc., is believed by some historians, though not actually proven.[citation needed] Henry did possess geographical curiosity, though, and therefore employed cartographers. Jehuda Cresques, a noted cartographer, received an invitation to come to Sagres and make maps for Henry, a position he accepted. Henry was somewhat interested in profits from his voyages. From the first Africans that were brought to Lagos for sale in 1444 (see his contemporary biography by Zurara), he received from the merchants the value corresponding to the fifth part (o quinto) as the expedition had been sponsored by the shipowners.

The nearby port of Lagos provided a convenient harbor from which these expeditions left. The voyages were made in very small ships, mostly the caravel, a light and maneuverable vessel that used the lateen sail which had been the prevailing rig in Christian Mediterranean navigation since late antiquity.[3] Most of the voyages sent out by Henry consisted of one or two ships that navigated by following the coast, stopping at night to tie up along some shore.

Early results of Henry's explorers

Until Henry's time, Cape Bojador remained the most southerly point known to Europeans on the unpromising desert coast of Africa, although the Periplus of the Carthaginian Hanno the Navigator described a journey farther south about 2,000 years earlier.

As a second fruit of this work João Gonçalves Zarco, Bartolomeu Perestrelo and Tristão Vaz Teixeira rediscovered the Madeira Islands in 1420, and at Henry's instigation Portuguese settlers colonized the islands.

In 1427, one of Henry's navigators, probably Gonçalo Velho, discovered the Azores. Portugal soon colonized these islands in 1430.

Gil Eanes, the commander of one of Henry's expeditions, became the first European known to pass Cape Bojador in 1434. This was a breakthrough as it was considered close to the end of the world, with difficult currents that did not encourage commercial enterprise.

Henry also continued his involvement in events closer to home. In 1431 he donated houses for the Estudo Geral to reunite all the sciences — grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, music and astronomy — into what would later become the University of Lisbon. For other subjects like medicine or philosophy, he ordered that each room should be decorated according to each subject that was being taught.

He functioned as a primary organizer of the Portuguese expedition to Tangier in 1437. This proved a disastrous failure; Henry's younger brother Fernando was given as a hostage to guarantee that the Portuguese would fulfill the terms of the peace agreement that had been made with Çala Ben Çala. The agreement was first broken by the Moors, who attacked the Portuguese and captured the Portuguese wounded when they were being carried to the ships, killing those who tried to resist. The Archbishop of Braga and the count of Arraiolos refused to approve the terms in the reunion of the Portuguese Cortes, thus condemning Fernando to remain in miserable captivity until his death eleven years later. Henry for most of his last twenty-three years concentrated on his exploration activities, or on Portuguese court politics.

Using the new ship type, the expeditions then pushed onwards. Nuno Tristão and Antão Gonçalves reached Cape Blanco in 1441. The Portuguese sighted the Bay of Arguin in 1443 and built an important fort there around the year 1448. Dinis Dias soon came across the Senegal River and rounded the peninsula of Cap-Vert in 1444. By this stage the explorers had passed the southern boundary of the desert, and from then on Henry had one of his wishes fulfilled: the Portuguese had circumvented the Muslim land-based trade routes across the western Sahara Desert, and slaves and gold began arriving in Portugal. By 1452, the influx of gold permitted the minting of Portugal's first gold cruzado coins. A cruzado was equal to 400 reis at the time. From 1444 to 1446, as many as forty vessels sailed from Lagos on Henry's behalf, and the first private mercantile expeditions began.

Alvise Cadamosto explored the Atlantic coast of Africa and discovered several islands of the Cape Verde archipelago between 1455 and 1456. In his first voyage, which started on 22 March 1455, he visited the Madeira Islands and the Canary Islands. On the second voyage, in 1456, Cadamosto became the first European to reach the Cape Verde Islands. António Noli later claimed the credit. By 1462, the Portuguese had explored the coast of Africa as far as the present-day nation Sierra Leone. Twenty-eight years later, Bartolomeu Dias proved that Africa could be circumnavigated when he reached the southern tip of the continent, now known as the "Cape of Good Hope." In 1498, Vasco da Gama was the first sailor to travel from Portugal to India.

--------------------

The Infante Henrique, Duke of Viseu (Portuguese pronunciation: [ẽˈʁik(ɨ)]; Porto, March 4, 1394 – November 13, 1460 in Sagres) was an infante (prince) of the Portuguese House of Aviz and an important figure in the early days of the Portuguese Empire, being responsible for the beginning of the European worldwide explorations. He is known in English as Prince Henry the Navigator (Portuguese: o Navegador).

Prince Henry the Navigator was the third child of King John I of Portugal, the founder of the Aviz dynasty, and of Philippa of Lancaster, the daughter of John of Gaunt. Henry encouraged his father to conquer Ceuta (1415), the Muslim port on the North African coast across the Straits of Gibraltar from the Iberian peninsula, with profound consequences on Henry's worldview: Henry became aware of the profit possibilities in the Saharan trade routes that terminated there and became fascinated with Africa in general; he was most intrigued by the Christian legend of Prester John and the expansion of Portuguese trade.

It is a common conception that Henry gathered at his Vila on the Sagres peninsula a school of navigators and map-makers. He did employ some cartographers to help him chart the coast of Mauritania in the wake of voyages he sent there, but for the rest there was no center of navigational science or any supposed observatory in the modern sense of the word, nor was there an organized navigational center. In “Crónica da Guiné” Henry is described as a person with no luxuries, not avaricious, speaking with soft words and calm gestures, a man of many virtues that never allowed any poor person leave his presence empty handed.

-------------------- Henry the Navigator

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Infante Henrique, Duke of Viseu (Porto, March 4, 1394 – Sagres, November 13, 1460); pron. IPA: [ẽ'ʁik(ɨ)]), was an infante (prince) of the Portuguese House of Aviz and an important figure in the early days of the Portuguese Empire, being responsible for the beginning of the European worldwide explorations. He is known in English as Prince Henry the Navigator or the Seafarer (Portuguese: o Navegador).

Prince Henry the Navigator was the third child of King John I, the founder of the Aviz dynasty, and of Philippa of Lancaster, the daughter of John of Gaunt. Henry encouraged his father to conquer Ceuta (1415), the Muslim port on the North African coast across the Straits of Gibraltar from the Iberian peninsula, with profound consequences on Henry's worldview: Henry became aware of the profit possibilities in the Saharan trade routes that terminated there and became fascinated with Africa in general; he was most intrigued by the Christian legend of Prester John and the expansion of Portuguese trade.

It is a common conception that Henry gathered at his Vila on the Sagres peninsula a school of navigators and map-makers. He did employ some cartographers to help him chart the coast of Mauritania in the wake of voyages he sent there, but for the rest there was no center of navigational science or any supposed observatory in the modern sense of the word, nor was there an organized navigational center. In “Crónica da Guiné” Henry is described as a person with no luxuries, not avaricious, speaking with soft words and calm gestures, a man of many virtues that never allowed any poor person leave his presence empty handed.

Early life

Henry was the third son born to Philippa of Lancaster, the sister of King Henry IV of England. Henry was 21 when he, his father and brothers conquered the Moorish port of Ceuta in northern Morocco, that had been for a long time the base for Barbary pirates that assaulted the Portuguese coast, depopulating villages by capturing their inhabitants to be sold in the African slave market. This attack was successful, as it inspired Henry to explore down the coast of Africa, most of which was unknown to Europeans. The desire to locate the source of the West African gold trade, find the legendary Christian kingdom of Prester John, and stop the pirate attacks on the Portuguese coast were three of his main interests in the region. The ships that sailed the Mediterranean at that time were too slow and too heavy to make these voyages. Under his direction, a new and much lighter ship was developed, the caravel, which would allow sea captains to sail further, faster and much more efficiently. In 1419, his father appointed him the governor of the province of Algarve.

[edit]Resources and income

On May 25, 1420, Henry gained appointment as the governor of the very rich Order of Christ, the Portuguese successor to the Knights Templar, which had its headquarters at Tomar. Henry would hold this position for the remainder of his life, and the order was an important source of funds for Henry's ambitious plans, especially his persistent attempts to conquer the Canary Islands, that the Portuguese claimed having discovered before the year 1346.

Henry also had other resources. When John I died, Henry's eldest brother, Duarte became head of the castles council, and granted Henry a "Royal Flush" of all profits from trading within the areas he discovered as well as the sole right to authorize expeditions beyond Cape Bojador. He also held various valuable monopolies on resources in the Algarve. When Duarte died eight years later, Henry supported his brother Pedro for the regency during Afonso V of Portugal's minority, and in return received a confirmation of this levy. Henry also promoted the colonization of the Azores during Pedro's regency (1439–1448).

[edit]Vila do Infante, patron of Portuguese exploration

According to João de Barros, in Algarve he repopulated a village that he called Terçanabal (maybe from *dársen'Anibal). This village was situated in a strategic position for his maritime enterprises and was later called Vila do Infante.

From his Vila do Infante, or Town of the Prince, on the Sagres peninsula, Henry sponsored voyages down the coast of Mauretania that were primarily exploration expeditions, later on bringing back to the nearby town of Loola, from whence they set out, numerous African slaves and goods. The first contacts with the African slave market were made by expeditions to ransom Portuguese subjects enslaved by pirate attacks on Portuguese ships or villages. Henry justified this on the grounds that he was converting these captives to Christianity. As Sir Peter Russell remarks in his biography, "In Henryspeak, conversion and enslavement were interchangeable terms." The view that Henry's court rapidly grew into the technological base for exploration, with a naval arsenal and an observatory, etc., is believed by some historians, though not actually proven.[citation needed] Henry did possess geographical curiosity, though, and therefore employed cartographers. Jehuda Cresques, a noted cartographer, received an invitation to come to Sagres and probably make maps for Henry, a position he accepted. Henry was somewhat interested in profits from his voyages. From the first Africans that were brought to Lagos for sale in 1444 (see his contemporary biography by Zurara), he received from the merchants the value corresponding to the fifth part (o quinto) as the expedition had been sponsored by the shipowners.

The nearby port of Lagos provided a convenient harbor from which these expeditions left. The voyages were made in very small ships, mostly the caravel, a light and maneuverable vessel that used the lateen sail of the Arabs. Most of the voyages sent out by Henry consisted of one or two ships that navigated by following the coast, stopping at night to tie up along some shore.

Early results of Henry's explorers

Until Henry's time, Cape Bojador remained the most southerly point known to Europeans on the unpromising desert coast of Africa, although the Periplus of the Carthaginian Hanno the Navigator described a journey further south about 2,000 years earlier.

As a second fruit of this work João Gonçalves Zarco, Bartolomeu Perestrelo and Tristão Vaz Teixeira rediscovered the Madeira Islands in 1420, and at Henry's instigation Portuguese settlers colonized the islands.

In 1427, one of Henry's navigators, probably Gonçalo Velho, discovered the Azores. Portugal soon colonized these islands in 1430.

Gil Eanes, the commander of one of Henry's expeditions, became the first European known to pass Cape Bojador in 1434. This was a breakthrough as it was considered close to the end of the world, with difficult currents that did not encourage commercial enterprise.

Henry also continued his involvement in events closer to home. In 1431 he donated houses for the Estudo Geral to reunite all the sciences — grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, music and astronomy — into what would later become the University of Lisbon. For other subjects like medicine or philosophy, he ordered that each room should be decorated according to each subject that was being taught.

He functioned as a primary organizer of the Portuguese expedition to Tangier in 1437. This proved a disastrous failure; Henry's younger brother Fernando was given as a hostage to guarantee that the Portuguese would fulfill the terms of the peace agreement that had been made with Çala Ben Çala. The agreement was first broken by the Moors, who attacked the Portuguese and captured the Portuguese wounded when they were being carried to the ships, killing those who tried to resist. The Archbishop of Braga and the count of Arraiolos refused to approve the terms in the reunion of the Portuguese Cortes, thus condemning Fernando to remain in miserable captivity until his death eleven years later. Henry for most of his last twenty-three years concentrated on his exploration activities, or on Portuguese court politics.

Using the new ship type, the expeditions then pushed onwards. Nuno Tristão and Antão Gonçalves reached Cape Blanco in 1441. The Portuguese sighted the Bay of Arguin in 1443 and built an important fort there around the year 1448. Dinis Dias soon came across the Senegal River and rounded the peninsula of Cap-Vert in 1444. By this stage the explorers had passed the southern boundary of the desert, and from then on Henry had one of his wishes fulfilled: the Portuguese had circumvented the Muslim land-based trade routes across the western Sahara Desert, and slaves and gold began arriving in Portugal. By 1452, the influx of gold permitted the minting of Portugal's first gold cruzado coins. A cruzado was equal to 400 reis at the time. From 1444 to 1446, as many as forty vessels sailed from Lagos on Henry's behalf, and the first private mercantile expeditions began.

Alvise Cadamosto explored the Atlantic coast of Africa and discovered several islands of the Cape Verde archipelago between 1455 and 1456. In his first voyage, which started on March 22 1455, he visited the Madeira Islands and the Canary Islands. On the second voyage, in 1456, Cadamosto became the first European to reach the Cape Verde Islands. António Noli later claimed the credit. By 1462, the Portuguese had explored the coast of Africa as far as present-day nation Sierra Leone. Twenty-eight years later, Bartolomeu Dias (can be spelt Diaz) proved that Africa could be circumnavigated when he reached the southern tip of the continent. This is now known as the "Cape of Good Hope." In 1498, Vasco da Gama was the first sailor to travel from Portugal to India.

view all

Henrique de Portugal, duque de Viseu's Timeline

1394
March 4, 1394
Porto, Portugal
1460
November 13, 1460
Age 66
Sagres, Portugal
????
Duke Of Viseu