The New International Encyclopædia/Albuquerque, Affonso de, The Great

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ALBUQUERQUE, Affonso de, The Great (1453-1515). Viceroy of the Portuguese Indies. He was born at Alhandra, a town near Lisbon, and is known in the national epics as “the Portuguese Mars” and as “the Portuguese Cæsar.” Albuquerque spent his youth in attendance at the palace of King Alfonso V. He took part in the expedition against the Turks, which terminated in the victory of the Christians at Otranto in 1481. In 1489 he became chief equerry to King John II. He was assigned to duty on the Indian fleet of 1503, and acquitted himself with such discretion that King Emanuel appointed him viceroy of the Portuguese possessions in the East in 1506. His predecessor, Francisco de Almeida (q.v.), refused to give up his office, however, and sent Albuquerque as a prisoner to Cananore. In October, 1509, he was released, and took over the authority of the viceroy. Albuquerque captured the fortress of Goa, February 16, 1510, but was forced to evacuate it and retire to Panjim, where he awaited reënforcements from Europe, with whose help, on November 26, 1510, he recaptured the city, which has ever since been the chief seat of Portuguese power and commerce in the East. He gradually completed the conquest of Malabar, Ceylon, the Sunda Isles, the peninsula of Malacca, and (in 1515) the island of Ormuz, at the entrance of the Persian Gulf. He made the Portuguese name respected in the East, and many of the princes, especially the kings of Siam and Pegu, sought his alliance and protection. He maintained strict military discipline, was active, humane, respected, feared by his neighbors, and beloved by his subjects. Notwithstanding his valuable services, Albuquerque did not escape the envy of the courtiers and the suspicions of King Emanuel, who appointed Lopez Soarez, a personal enemy of Albuquerque, to supersede him as viceroy. This ingratitude affected him deeply. Ishmael, the Shah of Persia, offered his assistance to resist the arbitrary decree of the Portuguese court, but Albuquerque would not violate his allegiance. A few days afterward, commending his son to the king in a short letter, he died at sea near Goa, December 16, 1515. Emanuel honored his memory and raised his son to the highest dignities in the State. This son, whose name, Braz, or Blasius, was altered to Affonso after his father's death, compiled from the official dispatches and private letters of the viceroy the Commentarios do Grande Affonso d'Alboquerque (printed in Lisbon in 1557; reprinted in 1576 and 1774). A translation, edited by W. de G. Birch, published by the Hakluyt Society of London, in four volumes, 1875-84, is the standard authority for this period of Indian history.