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Produced by Chris Curnow, Joseph Cooper, Carol Ann Brown
WORKS ISSUED BY
The Hakluyt Society.
THE DISCOVERY AND CONQUEST
first series. no. c-mdcccxcix
CONQUEST OF GUINEA.
GOMES EANNES DE AZURARA;
NOW FIRST DONE INTO ENGLISH
CHARLES RAYMOND BEAZLEY, M.A., F.R.G.S.,
fellow of merton college, oxford; corresponding member
of the lisbon geographical society;
EDGAR PRESTAGE, B.A.Oxon.,
knight of the most noble portuguese order of s. thiago; corresponding
member of the lisbon royal academy of sciences,
the lisbon geographical society, etc.
With an Introduction on the
Early History of African Exploration, Cartography, etc.
BURT FRANKLIN, PUBLISHER
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
514 West 113th Street
New York 25, N. Y.
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY THE HAKLUYT SOCIETY
REPRINTED BY PERMISSION
PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.
THE HAKLUYT SOCIETY.
Sir Clements Markham, K.C.B., F.R.S., Pres. R.G.S., President.
The Right Hon. The Lord Stanley of Alderley, Vice-President.
Rear-Admiral Sir William Wharton, K.C.B., Vice-President.
C. Raymond Beazley, Esq., M.A.
Colonel G. Earl Church.
Sir Martin Conway.
Albert Gray, Esq.
F. H. H. Guillemard, Esq., M.A., M.D.
The Right Hon. Lord Hawkesbury.
Edward Heawood, Esq., M.A.
Dudley F. A. Hervey, Esq., C.M.G.
Admiral Sir Anthony H. Hoskins, G.C.B.
J. Scott Keltie, Esq., LL.D.
F. W. Lucas, Esq.
Vice-Admiral Albert H. Markham.
E. J. Payne, Esq.
Sir Cuthbert E. Peek, Bart.
E. G. Ravenstein, Esq.
Howard Saunders, Esq.
Charles Welch, Esq., F.S.A.
William Foster, Esq., B.A., Honorary Secretary.
This Volume continues and ends the present Edition of the Chronicle of Guinea, the first part of which was published in 1896 (vol. xcv of the Hakluyt Society’s publications). Here we have again to acknowledge the kind advice and help of various friends, particularly of Senhor Batalha? Reis and Mr. William Foster. As to the Maps which accompany this volume: the sections of Andrea Bianco, 1448, and of Fra Mauro, 1457-9, here given, offer some of the best examples of the cartography of Prince Henry’s later years in relation to West Africa. These ancient examples are supplemented by a new sketch-map of the discoveries made by the Portuguese seamen during the Infant’s lifetime along the coast of the Dark Continent. The excellent photograph of Prince Henry’s statue from the great gateway at Belem is the work of Senhor Camacho. As to the Introduction and Notes, it is hoped that attention has been given to everything really important for the understanding of Azurara’s text; but the Editors have avoided such treatment as belongs properly to a detailed history of geographical advance during this period.
C. R. B.
n this it may be well to summarise briefly, for the better illustration of the Chronicle here translated, not only the life of Prince Henry of Portugal, surnamed the Navigator, but also various questions suggested by Prince Henry’s work, e.g.—The history of the Voyages along the West African coast and among the Atlantic islands, encouraged by him and recorded by Azurara; The History of the other voyages of Prince Henry’s captains, not recorded by Azurara; The attempts of navigators before Prince Henry, especially in the fourteenth century, to find a way along West Africa to the Indies; The parallel enterprises by land from the Barbary States to the Sudan, across the Sahara; The comparative strength of Islam and Christianity in the Africa of Prince Henry’s time; The State of Cartographical Knowledge in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and its relation to the new Portuguese discoveries; The question of the “School of Sagres,” said to have been instituted by the Navigator for the better training of mariners and map-makers.
I.—The Life of Prince Henry.
Henry, Duke of Viseu, third son of King John I of Portugal, surnamed the Great, founder of the House of Aviz, and of Philippa of Lancaster, daughter of John of Gaunt and niece of King Edward III of England, was born on March 4th, 1394.
We are told by Diego Gomez, who in 1458 sailed to the West Coast of Africa in the service of Prince Henry, and made a discovery of the Cape Verde islands, that in 1415 John de Trasto was sent by the Prince on a voyage of exploration, and reached “Telli,” the “fruitful” district of Grand Canary. Gomez here gives us the earliest date assigned by any authority of the fifteenth century for an expedition of the Infant’s; but in later times other statements were put forward, assigning 1412 or even 1410 as the commencement of his exploring activity. This would take us back to a time when the Prince was but sixteen or eighteen years old; and though it is probable enough that Portuguese vessels may have sailed out at this time (as in 1341) to the Canaries or along the West African coast, it is not probable that Henry took any great share in such enterprise before the Ceuta expedition of 1415. In any case, it is practically certain that before 1434, no Portuguese ship had passed beyond Cape Bojador. Gil Eannes’ achievement of that year is marked by Azurara and all our best authorities as a decided advance on any previous voyage, at least of Portuguese mariners. We shall consider presently how far this advance was anticipated by other nations, and more particularly by the French. Cape Non, now claimed by some as the southernmost point of Marocco, had been certainly passed by Catalan and other ships before Prince Henry’s day; but it had not been forgotten how rhyme and legend had long consecrated this point as a fated end of the world. Probably it was still (c. 1415) believed by many in Portugal—
“Quem passar o Cabo de Não Ou tornar, ou não.”