Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Vasco da Gama

Vasco da Gama. Explores da Gama's role as the knight commander of the military Order of Christ. Includes other biographical information and sketches.

From the site:

Dom Vasco da Gama was born circa 1469 at Sines and died on Christmas eve in Cochin, India, in 1524, being Viceroy of India. After his successful first voyage by sea to India (1497-1499), King Emmanuel I gave him the title of Dom (Lord) with an annual grant of 300.000 reais, for him and his descendants, and appointed him Admiral of the Indies (January, 1500). In 1519, the Admiral was granted the coveted title of Count of Vidigueira.

Very little is known about Vasco da Gama before his appointment as Capitão-Mor (Captain-General) of the fleet sent to find the sea route to India. He was the son of Estêvão da Gama - a knight commander of Cercal of the Order of St. James of the Sword and alcaide-mor of the village of Sines, which also belonged to the latter Order - and of his wife Isabel Sodré.
His father was a member of the Household of prince Dom Fernando - master of the Order of St. James, and later on, to that of the prince's son - Dom Diogo, duke of Viseu, having also fought in Castille and in the North Africa's military campaigns. His father's family, from the southern province of Alentejo, appears to have had close links with the military Order of Avis and later on with the Order of St. James.

His mother's family, of English ascendancy, had also links with the household of Dom Diogo, duke of Viseu and governor of the military Order of Christ.

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