A total of about 1,500 miles of African coast had been explored by these expeditions. Educated at Cheltenham College and Queen's College, Oxford, Russell graduated in 1935 and began research on the intervention of the Black Prince in Spain and Portugal. Come to learn about me? Prince Henry himself even convinced some explorers to go further south. The area was stormy, the troubled waters would drown even some of the largest ships of the time and very few actually returned alive after reaching Cape Bojador. A fellow of the British Academy and the Royal Historical Society, he is also a commander of the Order of Prince Henry, Portugal. During the 1450s, Henry's sailors continued to gather information about Africa while Henry himself became increasingly withdrawn from public contact. Henry wanted to find a water route to India.
Russell argues that the invasion of Ceuta cemented Prince Henry as crusader against Islam, and that from then on; his future endeavors had to be shaped within the conflict between Islam and Christianity Russell, 58. A campaign launched in July 1415 during a civil war in North Africa left the port of Ceuta stripped of its navy. Gil Eanes, the commander of one of Henry's expeditions, became the first European known to pass Cape Bojador in 1434. Formally, he was Henrique, duque de Viseu, senhor da Covilhã. Henry supported and defined the missions of his captains and patronized map makers and others who could make practical contributions to the progress of discovery. Portuguese cartography from his era provided functional records of Henry's trade network that stand in sharp contrast to the grandiose and distorted maps created for the sixteenth-century royal patrons of exploration and cartography. From his headquarters on the Sagres Peninsula, at the southwestern limit of , Henry planned explorations into unknown reaches of the and helped develop a new kind of ship, known as the caravel, that was lighter and nimbler than the heavy ships used as freighters by the Portuguese in the Mediterranean.
Only the most important of these expeditions will be mentioned here. Born at Oporto on March 4, 1394, Henry was the third son of John I of Portugal and Philippa of Lancaster. . Russell demonstrates the degree to which Henry was motivated by the predictions of his astrologer—an aspect of his career little known until now—and explains how this innovator, though firmly rooted in medieval ways of thinking and behaving, set in motion a current of change that altered European history. He has also been well served by his publishers, Yale University Press, who have produced a beautiful book, well-bound on good paper with a generous clutch of illustrations, for a very reasonable price. Instead, Prince Henry established a school for the study of the arts of navigation, mapmaking. The prince of Portugal preferably known as Prince Henry the Navigator was not only a prince but also the patron of Portuguese explorers.
New York: Chapman and Hall, 1914. Fisher, Leonard Everett, Prince Henry the Navigator, New York: Macmillan; London: Collier Macmillan, 1990. In 1434 Gil Eannes rounded Cape Bojador, up to that time the southernmost limit of European exploration. With a coarse African red pepper malagueta the Portuguese made their first incursion into the Italian monopoly of the spice trade. The Moroccan campaign inspired Henry with a desire to extend his knowledge of Africa.
Hardliners in the Portuguese court, including Henry, opposed giving up Ceuta, and as a result Fernando died in captivity in Fez in 1443. He focused instead on the strategic and pragmatic monopolization of trade at key ports and islands. Ceuta became Portugal's first overseas possession. Further, a new ship design that became the Portuguese caravel employed new rigging techniques that enabled mariners to more easily negotiate strong headwinds and unfavorable currents. After many unsuccessful attempts Gil Eannes in 1434 rounded Cape Bojador on the North African coast.
Later other counselors took over Henry's duties in the capital, and he was able to return to his primary interests. North Africa and the Atlantic Islands King John wished to satisfy the avarice and lust for battle of his warriors; Prince Henry and his brothers wanted to prove their manhood and strike a blow for the faith on the battlefield. He made a naval observatory in 1450 to teach cartography, navigation, and astronomy. His goal was to find a route to the rich spice trade of the Indies and to explore the west coast of Africa. Contact us We'd love to hear from you.
There was one Nuno Tristao who managed to sail to Cabo Blanco during that time. John and his sons became involved in a three-fold movement of Portuguese expansion, comprising the campaign to conquer Moorish North Africa; the movement to explore and conquer the Atlantic island groups to the west and south; and the exploring, trading, and slaving expeditions down the West African coast. With the fall of Ceuta the Portuguese learned of the long-established gold trade with black Africa conducted by caravan across the Sahara. Gold hunger had been growing in late medieval Europe in response to the growth of commerce, but Portugal had lacked gold coinage since 1383. He grew to maturity at a time when John I was bringing to a close a confused period of civil strife and war with Castile and securing Portugal's independence. The institute, best described as a 15th-century research and development facility, included libraries, an astronomical observatory, shipbuilding facilities, a chapel, and housing for staff. Henry paid for the explorations he sponsored through his appointment as governor of the Order of Christ, a religious order holding estates and benefices throughout the kingdom, and through his right to one-fifth of all the trading profits from lands he discovered.
The Cape Verde Islands, much farther to the south, were discovered and settled in 1455-1460. Henry claimed he was curious about what lay to the south of Morocco, and wanted to discover the southern limits of the Muslim area so that he might ally with others to defeat the infidels, but in fact his principal motivation without doubt was slave raiding along the coast of Africa. Livermore, A New History of Portugal 1947. He never found it, but made a huge impact on geographic knowledgeat the time. These icons have inspired many and still encourage adventurists today.
The conflicts of this period had left the nobility decimated and impoverished and the monarchy's revenues greatly depreciated. The new captives included a local chief who spoke Arabic. With him died a golden age of Chinese exploration, never to be repeated. To ensure the victors his promise to hand the city over, he offered up his brother D. Henry had been eager to take financial risks, as well as to motivate others to take personal risks sailing on Portuguese caravels. The nearby port of Lagos provided a convenient harbor from which these expeditions left.