Afonso de Albuquerque


Afonso de Albuquerque : biography

1453 – 1515

On 4 November 1509, Albuquerque became the second Governor of the State of India, a position he would hold until his death. Almeida, having returned home in 1510,Almeida returned to Portugal five days later, but died in a skirmish with the Khoikhoi near the Cape of Good Hope. Albuquerque speedily showed the energy and determination of his character. He intended to dominate the Muslim world and control the Spice trade.

Initially King Manuel I and his council in Lisbon tried to distribute the power, outlining three areas of jurisdiction in the Indian Ocean:Foundations of the Portuguese empire, 1415-1580, p. 245-247, Diffie, Winius in 1509, the nobleman Diogo Lopes de Sequeira was sent with a fleet to Southeast Asia, with the task of seeking an agreement with Sultan Mahmud Shah of Malacca, but failed and returned to the kingdom. To Jorge de Aguiar was given the region between the Cape of Good Hope and Gujarat. He was succeeded by Duarte de Lemos, but left for Cochin and then for the kingdom, leaving his fleet to Albuquerque.

Conquest of Goa, 1510

In January 1510, obeying the orders from the kingdom and knowing of the absence of Zamorin, Albuquerque advanced on Calicut. The attack was unsuccessful, as Marshal D. Fernando Coutinho ventured into the inner city against instructions, fascinated by its richness, and was ambushed. During the rescue, Albuquerque received a severe wound and had to retreat.Foundations of the Portuguese empire, 1415-1580, p. 247, Diffie, Winius

Soon after the failed attack, Albuquerque hastened to assemble a powerful fleet of 23 ships and 1200 men. Contemporary reports state that he wanted to fight the Egyptian Mamluk Sultanate fleet in the Red Sea or return to Hormuz. However, he had been informed by Timoji (a privateer in the service of the Hindu Vijayanagara Empire) that it would be easier to fight them in Goa, where they had sheltered after the Battle of Diu,Bhagamandala Seetharama Shastry, Charles J. Borges, "Goa-Kanara Portuguese relations, 1498-1763" p. 34-36 and also of the illness of the Sultan Yusuf Adil Shah and war between the Deccan sultanates.Bhagamandala Seetharama Shastry, Charles J. Borges, "Goa-Kanara Portuguese relations, 1498-1763" p. Borges, "Goa-Kanara Portuguese relations, 1498-1763" p. 34-36 34-36 So he invested by surprise in the capture of Goa to the Sultanate of Bijapur. He thus completed another mission, for Portugal wanted not to be seen as an eternal "guest" of Kochi and had been coveting Goa as the best trading port in the region.

A first assault took place in Goa from March 4 to May 20, 1510. After initial occupation, feeling unable to hold the city given the poor condition of its fortifications, the cooling of Hindu residents’ support and insubordination among his ranks following a severe attack by Ismail Adil Shah, Albuquerque refused a truce offered by the Sultan and abandoned the city in August. His fleet was scattered, and a palace revolt in Kochi hindered his recovery, so he headed to Fort Anjediva. New ships arrived from Portugal, which were intended for the nobleman Diogo Mendes de Vasconcelos at Malacca, who had been given a rival command of the region.

Only three months later, on November 25, Albuquerque reappeared at Goa with a renovated fleet, Diogo Mendes de Vasconcelos compelled to accompany him with the reinforcements for MalaccaFoundations of the Portuguese Empire, 1415-1580, p. 253, Diffie, Winius 253, Diffie, Winius and about 300 Malabari reinforcements from Cannanore. In less than a day, they took Goa from Ismail Adil Shah and his Ottoman allies, who surrendered on 10 December. It is estimated that 6000 of the 9000 Muslim defenders of the city died, either in the fierce battle in the streets or by drowning while trying to escape.Kerr, Robert (1824) Albuquerque regained the support of the Hindu population, although he frustrated the initial expectations of Timoja, who aspired to become governor. Albuquerque rewarded him by appointing him chief "Aguazil" of the city, an administrator and representative of the Hindu and Muslim people, as a knowledgeable interpreter of the local customs. He then made an agreement to lower the yearly dues.