Diogo Rodrigues : biography
D. Diogo Rodrigues, D. Diogo Roiz (c.1490-1501; Lagos, Portugal – †21 April 1577; Colva, Goa) was a Portuguese explorer of the Indian Ocean who begin sailing as an ordinary helmsmanAuguste Toussaint, History of the Indian Ocean (Chicago: University Press, 1966), pp. 109 under the command of Dom Pedro Mascarenhas to Goa. They sailed from the Cape of Good Hope eastward into little-known waters of the newly discovered route to Goa. It was after him that the island of Rodrigues wasis named around February 1528 after discovering it during his only return journey from Goa via Cochin (left on 15 January 1528) to Portugal, after which he rose to the rank of a knight (cavaleiro). He then returned back to Goa and made a mark in the history of the Portuguese empire in the subcontinent around the mid 16th century.
Alfred North-CoombesAlfred North-Coombes, The Island of Rodrigues, Mauritius: BPS, 1971, pp. 47–48. Reprinted 2002, ISBN 99903-79-02-5. records that maps of the island dated to 1540 of Plate 49 of the monumenta shows charts from both atlases and indicates as "do d0 ROIZ" also the Wolfenbuttel chart of c. 1540 carried the following inscriptions "i que achou Diogo Roiz". Diogo’s surname Rodrigues was replaced by Roiz later after receiving his knighthood (or Royes as it was written in some Dutch maps) as it was a royal diminutive of Rodrigues, who was knighted and received the royal confirmationBoxer, C.R., The tragic history of the sea,1589-1622. Cambridge, 1959, 54 (quoting from Sousa Viterbo, Trabalhos Nauticos dos Portuguezes nos seculos XVI e XVII, Lisboa, 1898, 1, 270) from King João III, an honor granted only to those Rodrigues aristocratic families for service to the monarch or empire. It is also concluded that the exact date of discovering the island of Rodrigues by D.Diogo Roiz was between 4 and 9 February 1528 as they had left from Cochin under the command and presence of D.Pedro Mascarenhas on the 15th of January 1528 with a fleet of four ships to appeal to the King. Under favorable north-east monsoon conditions, it would take twenty to twenty five days to reach the Mascarene islands. The island was chosen to be called Rodrigues permanently from February 1528.Castro, João de, 1500-1548; Corvo, João de Andrade, "Roteiro de Lisboa a Goa (1882)" 1824-1890; Lisboa: Academia Real das Sciencias, 1882, University of Michigan, ark:/13960/t6542rt6w Portugal did not claim any ownership, but used the island as a mark for sailing and had officially marked it on all maps, cartographic materials of that time either as Rodrigues, Diogo Roiz, Roiz or Diogo Rodrigues.
Exploration and Diogo Rodrigues
In the early 16th century, Diogo Fernandes Pereira was appointed captain of a Setúbal ship bound for Goa. He is said to have struck a wide arc east of Madagascar and stumbled upon the island of Réunion, which he promptly named ilha de Santa Apolónia (in honor of the St. Apollonia whose day it was, February 9, 1507). He then proceeded east to discover the island of Mauritius, which he named ilha do Cirne (the name of his ship). From there Fernandes went further east and discovered the island he named as ilha de Diogo Fernandes, Domigo Friz or Domingo Frias (the latter two probably are cartographic transcriptions or abbreviations of ‘Diogo Fernandes’). He is also said to have stopped for water at the first and third islands, before returning to Mozambique.Clara Pinto Correia Return of the crazy bird: the sad, strange tale of the Dodo, (New York: Springer, 2003), p. 24 Diogo Fernandes island (‘Domigo Friz’) was visited by Dom Diogo Lopes de Sequeira in 1509 and the name ‘Dom Galopes’ (another transcribed abbreviation) sometimes appears for that island in some maps.Le Guat, François, The voyage of François Le Guat of Bresse, to Rodriguez, Mauritius, Java, and the Cape of Good Hope, Vol. 2, Engl. trans., London: Halykut Society (1891); Appendix in Le Guat, p. 316 It went through its final permanent name change to Rodrigues island a few years later, after another Portuguese explorer in 1528 when making their way back across the Indian Ocean from Goa navigated via the islands of Réunion, Mauritius and Rodrigues, naming this entire archipelago the Mascarenes Island, Mascarene or Mascarenhas Islands, after his countryman and commander Dom Pedro Mascarenhas, who had been around before in 1512. It was around February 1528 itself that Diogo saw Rodrigues with such a drive along the group of Mascarene islands that bears his family name Rodrigues.