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Francisco de Almeida

Civilization:Hispanic: Portugal
Era: Exploration
1450–1510Field of Renown:military: General
 Portuguese trading ship

Almeida was the first governor of Portuguese India, and the predecessor of the more famous Albuquerque. Although the men were rivals, they both did great service to the cause of Portugal in India.

Almeida had established his reputation as a soldier and commander in the wars against the Moors of Granada. On the return of da Gama's second voyage, he was selected as the first Governor of Portuguese India, which was at first a very limited dominion. Instead of sailing directly to India, he spent a year sailing up the eastern coast of Africa, building forts, and conquering Arab trading towns along the way. This provided the ships which followed with safe ports and provisions on the long journey.

On his arrival in India, he established his base at Cochin, and with his son Lourenzo, explored the Malabar coast and the island of Sri Lanka. He fought Arab, Egyptian, and Indian united fleets at every opportunity. Lourenzo's fleet won several important battles and he established himself as a terrific naval hero before being killed. Shortly thereafter, Albuquerque, whose fleet had sailed several years after Almeida's and had spent much time battling Moslem merchants off the coast of Arabia, arrived in India. Almeida imprisoned his rival, but within a year, was officially relieved of his duties in favor of Albuquerque. He died en route to Portugal in a skirmish with natives at the southern tip of Africa.

Key events during the life of Francisco de Almeida

Year Event
1450 Birth of Almeida in Portugal.
1476 Fought in the Battle of Toro against Ferdinand and Isabella.
1492 Fought under Ferdinand against the Moors during the Battle of Granada.
1499 Da Gama returns successfully from first voyage to India.
1503 Provided with a fleet and set sail to India.
1505 Build a fort on the island of Mozambique to serve as a stopping post.
1505 Battled with Arabs along African and Arabian coasts. Captured Zanzibar.
1506 Arrived in India. Assumed post as governor of Portuguese India at Cochin.
1507 Almeida's son Lourenzo victorious in sea battles and explores Sri Lanka.
1508 Death of Almeida's son Lourenzo in a naval battle with Arabs.
1508 Alfonso Albuquerque arrives at Cochin with commission to succeed Almeida.
1509 Feb: Decisively defeats the Arabs at the naval Battle of Dui.
1509 Nov: Forced to resign command in favor of Albuquerque.
1510 Perished in a skirmish with natives off the coast of Africa on his return home.


Story LinksBook Links
Story of Almeida  in  South Africa  by  Colvin
In the East Indies  in  Ferdinand Magellan  by  Ober
Predecessors of Albuquerque  in  Albuquerque: Rulers of India  by  Stephens
Discovery of the Spice Islands  in  Book of Discovery  by  Synge

Contemporary Short Biography
Vasco da Gama Sailed from Europe to the Orient by sailing around the Cape of Good Hope.
Alfonso de Albuquerque Naval officer who helped establish a Portuguese colony in India at Goa.
Ferdinand Magellan Captain of first fleet to circumnavigate the globe. Died in Philippines.
Emanuel I of Portugal King of Portugal during Portuguese conquest of the Far East.
Lourenzo Almeida Portuguese naval commander, who aided his father Francisco in his conquests in India.