Front Cover
 Title Page
 Council of the Hakluyt society
 Editors' preface
 The life and writings of Azura...
 The author's preface
 The author's invocation
 In which we recount the descent...
 Which speaketh of the habits of...
 In which the chronicler speaketh...
 In which the author, who setteth...
 In which five reasons appear why...
 Why ships had not hitherto dared...
 How Gil Eannes, a native of Lagos,...
 How Affonso Goncalvez Baldaya reached...
 Of the things that were achieved...
 How Antam Goncalvez brought back...
 How Nuno Tristam reached the spot...
 How Antam Goncalvez, and afterwards...
 How the infant Don Henry sent his...
 How Antam Goncalvez went to make...
 How Nuno Tristam went to the island...
 How Lancarote required license...
 Who were the captains of the other...
 How they went to the island of...
 How they, Lancarote and the others,...
 Of the reasons that Gil Eannes...
 How they went to Cape Branco, and...
 How the caravels arrived at Lagos,...
 Wherein the author reasoneth somewhat...
 How the infant Don Henry made Lancarote...
 How the infant ordered Goncallo...
 Of the reasons that the author...
 How Antam Goncalvez and Gomez Pirez...
 How Nuno Tristam went to the Tira,...
 How Dinis Diaz went to the land...
 How Antam Goncalvez, Garcia Homem,...
 How they went to Ergim Island,...
 How John Fernandez came to the...
 How Antam Goncalvez went to make...
 How they took the Moors at Cape...
 How the caravel of Goncalo Pacheco...
 How Mafaldo took forty-six...
 How they landed another time, and...
 How Alvaro Vasquez took the seven...
 The Hakluyt society, 1896

Group Title: Cronica dos feitos de Guine
Title: The chronicle of the discovery and conquest of Guinea
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072645/00001
 Material Information
Title: The chronicle of the discovery and conquest of Guinea
Series Title: Works issued by the Hakluyt Society
Physical Description: 2 v. : ill., 7 maps (6 fold.) ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Zurara, Gomes Eanes de, ca. 1410-1473 or 4
Beazley, C. Raymond ( Charles Raymond ), 1868-1955
Prestage, Edgar, 1869-1951
Publisher: Printed for the Hakluyt Society
Place of Publication: London
Publication Date: 1899, c1896
Subject: Cartography   ( lcsh )
Discovery and exploration -- Guinea   ( lcsh )
Discovery and exploration -- Africa   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Bibliography: vol. I, p. iiii-ixvii.
Statement of Responsibility: written by Gomes Eannes de Azurara ; now first done into English by Charles Raymond Beazley and Edgar Prestage.
General Note: Paged continuously; v. 1: xii, ixvii, 1, 127 p.: v. 2: 4 p. l., cl, 129-362 p.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00072645
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: African Studies Collections in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001642894
oclc - 01703692
notis - AHV4366
lccn - 05040744

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page i
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
    Council of the Hakluyt society
        Page vii
        Page viii
    Editors' preface
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
        Page xii
    The life and writings of Azurara
        A 1
        A 2
        A 3
        A 4
        A 5
        A 6
        A 7
        A 8
        A 9
        A 10
        A 11
        A 12
        A 13
        A 14
        A 15
        A 16
        A 17
        A 18
        A 19
        A 20
        A 21
        A 22
        A 23
        A 24
        A 25
        A 26
        A 27
        A 28
        A 29
        A 30
        A 31
        A 32
        A 33
        A 34
        A 35
        A 36
        A 37
        A 38
        A 39
        A 40
        A 41
        A 42
        A 43
        A 44
        A 45
        A 46
        A 47
        A 48
        A 49
        A 50
        A 51
        A 52
        A 53
        A 54
        A 55
        A 56
        A 57
        A 58
        A 59
        A 60
        A 61
        A 62
        A 63
        A 64
        A 65
        A 66
        A 67
        A 68
    The author's preface
        B 1 (MULTIPLE)
        B 2
        B 3
        B 4
        B 5
    The author's invocation
        B 6
        B 7
        B 8
        B 9
    In which we recount the descent of the infant Don Henry
        B 10
        B 11
    Which speaketh of the habits of the infant Don Henry
        B 12
        B 13
        B 14
    In which the chronicler speaketh briefly of the notable matters which the infant performed for the service of God and the honour of the kingdom
        B 15
        B 16
        B 17
        B 18
        B 19
        B 20
        B 21
    In which the author, who setteth in order this history, saith something of what he purposeth concerning the virtues of the infant Don Henry
        B 22
        B 23
        B 24
        B 25
        B 26
    In which five reasons appear why the lord infant was moved to command the search for the lands of Guinea
        B 27
        B 28
        B 29
    Why ships had not hitherto dared to pass beyond Cape Bojador
        B 30
        B 31
    How Gil Eannes, a native of Lagos, was the first who passed the Cape of Bojador, and how he returned thither again, and with him Affonso Goncalvez Baldaya
        B 32
        B 33
        B 34
    How Affonso Goncalvez Baldaya reached the Rio d'Ouro
        B 35
        B 36
        B 37
    Of the things that were achieved in the years following
        B 38
    How Antam Goncalvez brought back the first captives
        B 39
        B 40
        B 41
        B 42
        B 43
    How Nuno Tristam reached the spot where Antam Goncalvez was, and how he dubbed him knight
        B 44
        B 45
        B 46
        B 47
        B 48
        B 49
    How Antam Goncalvez, and afterwards Nuno Tristam, came before the infant with their booty
        B 50
        B 51
    How the infant Don Henry sent his embassy to the Holy Father, and of the answer that he had
        B 52
        B 53
    How Antam Goncalvez went to make the first ransom
        B 54
        B 55
        B 56
        B 57
    How Nuno Tristam went to the island of Gete, and of the Moors that he took
        B 58
        B 59
    How Lancarote required license from the infant to go with his ships to Guinea
        B 60
        B 61
        B 62
    Who were the captains of the other caravels, and of the first booty that they made
        B 63
        B 64
        B 65
        B 66
        B 67
    How they went to the island of Tiger, and of the Moors that they took
        B 68
        B 69
        B 70
        B 71
    How they, Lancarote and the others, returned in their boats to Tiger, and of the Moors that they took
        B 72
        B 73
    Of the reasons that Gil Eannes gave, and how they went to Tiger, and of the Moors that they took
        B 74
        B 75
        B 76
    How they went to Cape Branco, and of what they did there
        B 77
        B 78
    How the caravels arrived at Lagos, and of the account that Lancarote gave to the infant
        B 79
    Wherein the author reasoneth somewhat concerning the pity inspired by the captives, and of how the division was made
        B 80
        B 81
        B 82
    How the infant Don Henry made Lancarote a knight
        B 83
        B 84
        B 85
        B 86
    How the infant ordered Goncallo de Sintra to go to Guinea, and how he was killed
        B 87
        B 88
        B 89
        B 90
        B 91
    Of the reasons that the author giveth for a warning as to the death of Goncallo de Sintra
        B 92
        B 93
        B 94
    How Antam Goncalvez and Gomez Pirez and Diego Affonso went to the Rio d'Ouro
        B 95
    How Nuno Tristam went to the Tira, and the Moors that he took captive there
        B 96
        B 97
    How Dinis Diaz went to the land of the negroes, and of the captives that he took
        B 98
        B 99
        B 100
    How Antam Goncalvez, Garcia Homem, and Diego Affonso, set out for Cape Branco
        B 101
        B 102
        B 103
    How they went to Ergim Island, and of the Moors they took there
        B 104
        B 105
        B 106
    How John Fernandez came to the caravels
        B 107
        B 108
    How Antam Goncalvez went to make the ransom
        B 109
        B 110
        B 111
        B 112
    How they took the Moors at Cape Branco
        B 113
        B 114
        B 115
    How the caravel of Goncalo Pacheco and two other ships went to the isle of Ergim
        B 116
        B 117
        B 118
        B 119
        B 120
    How Mafaldo took forty-six Moors
        B 121
    How they landed another time, and of the things that they did
        B 122
        B 123
    How Alvaro Vasquez took the seven Moors
        B 124
        B 125
        B 126
        B 127
        B 128
        B 129
        B 130
        B 131
    The Hakluyt society, 1896
        C 1
        C 2
        C 3
        C 4
        C 5
        C 6
        C 7
        C 8
        C 9
        C 10
        C 11
        C 12
        C 13
        C 14
        C 15
        C 16
Full Text


Zbe 1Dahkurt






No. XCV.











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WILLIAM FOSTER, ESQ., Honorary Secretary.


HE following translation of Azu-
rara's Chronicle of the Discovery
and Conquest of Guinea is the first-
complete English version that has
appeared of the chief contem-
porary authority for the life-work of Prince Henry
of Portugal, surnamed the Navigator; and we may
remind members of the Hakluyt Society, and
other readers, that we have but lately passed
the fifth centenary of the Prince's birth (March
4th, 1394).
The first volume includes about half of the text,
together with an Introduction on the Life and
Writings of Azurara, which it is hoped will be found
more exhaustive and accurate than any previous
notice of the historian.
In the second volume (which is due for the year
1897) will be given the rest of the Chronicle, with


an Introduction on the Geographical Discoveries
of the Portuguese, and Prince Henry's share in the
same. It will also contain notes for the explana-
tion of historical and other questions arising out of
certain passages in the text of both volumes. To
illustrate the condition of geographical knowledge
in the period covered by the present instalment, we
have included four reproductions of contemporary
(or almost contemporary) maps: (I) Africa, ac-
cording to the Laurentian *Portolano of 1351 in
the Medicean Library at Florence. This is the
most remarkable of all the Portolani of the four-
teenth century. Its outline of W. and S. Africa,
and more particularly its suggestion of the bend
of the Guinea Coast, is surprisingly near the truth,
even as a guess, in a chart made one hundred and
thirty-five years before the Cape of Good Hope
was first rounded. (2) N.-W. Africa, the Canary
Isles, etc., according to the design of the Venetian
brethren Pizzigani, in 1367. (3) The same accord-
ing to the Catalan Map of 1375 in the Bibliotheque
National at Paris. The interior of Africa is filled
with fantastic pictures of native tribes; the boat-
load of men off Cape Bojador in the extreme S.-W.
of the map probably represents the Catalan ex-
plorers of the year 1346, whose voyage in search
of the "River of Gold" this map commemorates.
(4) The same, with certain other parts of the world,
according to Andrea Bianco in 1436. In the suc-
ceeding volume, we hope to offer some illustrations


of the cartography of Prince Henry's later years,
as well as a likeness of the Prince himself, either
from the Paris portrait (MSS. Port. 41, fol. 5 bis) or
from the statue at Belem. We had expected to be
able to furnish our readers with a copy of the por-
trait of the Prince from the important oil-painting
on board preserved in a corridor of the extinct
monastery adjoining the Church of S. Vicente de
F6ra in Lisbon, but the photograph, which was
taken by Senhor Camacho with the permission of
His Eminence the Cardinal Patriarch, proved un-
satisfactory, owing to the position of the picture and
want of sufficient light.
We may add that a considerable part of the
Paris manuscript of the Chronicle of Guinea has
been collated for the present edition with the printed
text as published by Santarem, and the result proves
the accuracy of the latter.
We have to thank Senhor Jayme Batalha Reis,
who has looked through the present version as far
as the end of vol. i, and has kindly offered many
suggestions. Among other Portuguese scholars
who have been of service to us, we would especially
mention Dr. Xavier da Cunha, of the Bibliotheca
National, Lisbon ; Senhor Jose Basto, of the
Torre do Tombo, and General Brito Rebello. In
a lesser degree we owe our acknowledgments to
D. Carolina Michaelis de Vasconcellos and Dr.
Theophilo Braga, the chief authorities on all that
pertains to Portuguese literature, as well as to the


late Conselheiro J. P. de Oliveira Martins, whose
untimely death robbed his country of her foremost
man of letters.

C. R. B.
E. P.

October, 1896.

i *-/v i~n



"Lidar sem descango parece ter sidoo moto d'Azurara".
HE materials at hand for a study
of the life and work of the second
great Portuguese Chronicler are,
considering the age in which he
lived, and the position he held,
somewhat disappointing, and no
one of his countrymen has been at the pains to
work them up satisfactorily. They naturally fall
into three divisions-his own writings, documents
directly relating to his life or merely signed by him
in his official capacity, and the witness of historians.
There exists but one contemporary description of
Azurara, that by Mattheus de Pisano, author of the
Latin history of the Capture of Ceuta, though this is
supplemented by the contents of two letters addressed
to the Chronicler by Affonso V and the Constable
D. Pedro respectively, as well as by what can


be gleaned from documentary sources and from
Azurara himself. In the next century-the 16th
-some assistance may be derived from the tradi-
tions preserved by Barros, the historian of the
Indies, as also from his critical judgments together
with those of DamiAo de Goes, the famous Humanist
and friend of Erasmus. These are all in a sense
primary authorities, while the others who have
discoursed of, or incidentally mentioned him are but
secondary, namely, Nicolau Antonio, Jorge Cardoso,
Barbosa Machado, Joao Pedro Ribeiro, the Viscount
de Santarem, Alexandre Herculano, Vieira de
Meyrelles,. Innocencio da Silva, Sotero dos Reis, and
Rodriguez d'Azevedo.
Gomes Eannes de Azurara, to give the modern
spelling of his name, though he always signed himself
simply "Gomes Eanes" or Gomes Annes",1 was
the son of Joao Eannes de Azurara, a Canon of
Evora and Coimbra; but, beyond the fact of this
paternity, we know nothing of his father, and only
by conjecture is it possible to arrive at the name of
his mother, as will hereafter appear. He is said to
have come of a good family, on the ground of his
admission into the Order of Christ.
As with several other Portuguese men of letters,
the respective years of Azurara's birth and death are
unknown,2 and two localities dispute the honour of

1 In the Chronica de Guinh, ch. 97, he calls himself Gomez
Eanes de Zurara".
2 Barros, writing before 1552, says, "I know not how long he
lived,'-Asia, Dec. I, liv. ii, ch. 2,

6O AZURA:A. ii

having given him to the world; but there seems
little doubt that this bonus Grammaticus, nobilis
Astrologus, et magnus Historiographus," as his
friend Pisano calls him,' was born in the town of his
name, in the Province of Minho, at the very com-
mencement of the 15th century. In proof of this it
should be stated that Azurara expressly declares
in his Chronica de Ceuta, which was finished in
1450, that he had not passed the three first ages
of man" when he wrote it.2
The dispute as to his birthplace between the
Azurara in Minho and the Azurara in Beira3 is not
easy to settle, but tradition favours the former, and
until the end of the last century no writer had
ventured to doubt that the ancient town at the mouth
of the River Ave, which received its first charter, or
"foral", from the Count D. Henrique in 1102 or
I107, was the early home of the Chronicler.4 Such
evidence as exists in favour of the latter place is

1 "De Bello Septensi," p. 27 (in the Ineditos de Historia Portu-
gueza, vol. i, Lisbon, 1790).
2 Chronica de Ceuta, ch. 23.
3 This place is in Beira Alta, twelve kilometres east of Vizeu,
famous (inter alia) for the great picture of St. Peter as Pope,
lately reproduced by the Arundel Society.
4 The first to mention Azurara's birthplace was Soares de Brito
(born 1611, died 1669), who, in his Theatrum Lusitania Littera-
rium, p. 547, says : "Gomes Anes de Azurara ex oppido, sicuti
fertur, cognomine in Diocesi Portucalensi," voicing the tradition
of his time (MS. u of the Lisbon National Library, dated 1645).
The first who suggested Beira in place of Minho seems to have
been Corria da Serra, editor of the Ineditos, ibid., vol. ii,.p. 209.


slight, consisting only of inferences drawn from
a document, dated August 23rd, 1454, in which
Affonso V grants certain privileges to two inhabi-
tants of Castello Branco, who were accustomed to
collect the Chronicler's rents and bring them to
Lisbon. From this it has been argued by such able
critics as Vieira de Meyrelles and Rodriguez
d'Azevedo that these rents must have issued out of
family property situate at the Azurara in Beira,
which happens to be in the district of Castello
Branco, and hence that the Chronicler was a native
of Beira rather than of Minho.1 The conclusion
seems far-fetched, to say the least, for it is just as
likely that these two men were agents for a benefice,
or "commenda", at Alcains, in the same district,
which Azurara possessed at the time this grant was
The early life of the Chronicler is almost a blank.
Until the year 1450, in which he wrote his first
serious Chronicle, though not, perhaps, his first book,
we have little beyond the meagre information, sup-
plied by Mattheus de Pisano,3 that he began to study

1 Vide the articles on Azurara in the Instituto de Coimbra, vol.
ix, p. 72, et seq., by Vieira de Meyrelles, and in the Diccionario
Universal Portuguez, vol. i, p. 2151, by R. d'Azevedo.
2 Azurara is named in this document Commander of Alcains
and Granja de Ulmeiro".-Chanc. de D. Affonso V, liv. x, fol. 1 3,
Torre do Tombo.
I According to Azurara, Pisano was tutor (mestre) to Affonso V,
and "a laurelled Bard, as well as one of the most sufficient Philo-
sophers and Orators of his time in Christendom."-Chronica de
D. Pedro de Menezes, ch. i (Ineditos, vol. ii).


late-" dum mature jam setatis esset"-and that he
had passed his youth without acquiring the rudiments
of knowledge--"nullam litteram didicisset"'-to
which some later authorities have added-he spent
his early years in the pursuit of arms, a statement
likely enough to be true. It seems probable that he
obtained a post in the Royal Library during the brief
and luckless reign of D. Duarte (1433-1438), or
shortly afterwards, as assistant to the Chronicler
Ferndo Lopes, whom he succeeded, for he was
actually in charge of it early in the reign of
Affonso V, in 1452, and finished the Chronica de
Guind in that place in 1453.
Tradition has it that he entered the Order of
Christ as a young man, for he came to be Com-
mander therein, a position only obtainable at that
time by regular service in the Order, and by
seniority; but the nature of these services, and the
advancement which Azurara gained by them, can-
not precisely be determined, because the early
private records of the Order, together with the roll
of its Knights, have been lost, those that exist only
reaching back to the commencement of the i6th
century.2 This Order was founded by King Diniz
in 1319, on the suppression of the Templars, and it
inherited most, if not all, their houses and goods
throughout Portugal. Its members were bound by
the three monastic vows of chastity, poverty, and

1 De Bello Septensi, p. 27.
2 So says Corr6a da Serra-Ineditos, vol. ii, p, 207.


obedience, which prevailed in Azurara's time,
although Commanders and Knights of the Order
were at a later period allowed to marry, by grant of
Pope Alexander VI.1 The Commanders were
bound to confess and communicate four times in the
year, to recite daily the Hours of Our Lady, to have
four Masses said annually for deceased members,
and to fast on Fridays, -as well as on the days
ordained by the Church. Membership of the Order
was an honour reserved for Nobles, Knights, and
Squires, free from stain in their birth or other
impediment; while the Statutes directed a number
of enquiries to be made before a candidate was
admitted, one being, was he born in lawful wedlock ?
-a question our Chronicler could possibly not have
answered in the affirmative.2 Besides this, aspirants
were required to be knighted before their admission,
and then to profess. A gift of one or more
" Commendas", or benefices, followed in due course,
but, to prevent the abuse of pluralities which thus
crept in, Pope Pius V afterwards decreed that no
Knight should hold more than one Commenda, and
this he was to visit at least once in every three years.
The Knights possessed many privileges, the most
notable being that, in both civil and criminal cases,
they were exempt from the jurisdiction of the Royal
Courts, and subject only to those of their Order,

1 Vide Ruy de Pina, Chronica de D. Duarte, ch. 8.
2 Because Azurara is found to have been the son of a Canon, it
does not necessarily follow that he was illegitimate, and, in fact,
no letters of legitimation exist in respect of him,


which had all the old prerogatives of those of the
Temple and Calatrava, together with such as had
been granted it by name.1
According to one authority, Azurara began his
career as author in the reign of D. Duarte by compil-
ing a detailed catalogue of the Miracles of the Holy
Constable, Nun' Alvares Pereira.2 The MS., which
is said to have existed in the Carmo Convent in
Lisbon as late as 1745, has disappeared, but the
substance of this curious work may still be read in
Santa Anna's Chronica dos Carmaelitas, together
with a number of contemporary popular songs about
the Constable, extracted from MSS. left by
More than ten years now elapse without any men-
tion of Azurara's name, and we hear of him for the first
time, definitely, in 1450. On March 25th of that year
he finished at Silves, in the Algarve, his Chronicle of
the Siege and Capture of Ceuta, an event that took
place in 1415, and formed the first of a long line of
Portuguese expeditions, and the starting-point in
their career of foreign conquest. Fernao Lopes, the
Froissart of his country, and the father of Portuguese

1 Definicos e Estatutos dos Cavalleiros e Freires da Ordem de
N S. Jesu Cristo com a istoria da origem &' principio della.
Lisbon, 1628.
2 D. Carolina Michailis de Vasconcellos, however, is of opinion
that this, and the popular songs hereafter referred to, are pious
frauds, invented in the first half of the seventeenth century to
form materials for the canonisation of Nun' Alvares.
8 (- ,- dos Carmnaelias, vol. i, pp. 469, 486. Lisbon, 1745



history, was still alive at the time Azurara wrote this
work, but had become too old and weak to carry on
his history of the reign of Joao I, to which it is a
sequel. After paying a tribute to Lopes as a man
of "rare knowledge and great authority",1 Azurara
tells us that Affonso V ordered him to continue the
work, that the deeds of Joao I might not be
forgotten ; and this he did, culling his information
from eye-witnesses as well as from documents, with
that honesty and zeal which are his two most
prominent features as an historian." He began the
Chronicle-which was printed once only, and that in
the 17th century-thirty-four years after the capture
of Ceuta, i.e., in the autumn of 1449, and concluded
it, as the last chapter states, on March 25th, 1450.
It was, therefore, written in the short space of about
seven months, which, says Innocencio, seems well-
nigh incredible, considering how deliberately and
circumspectly histories were compiled in those days.3
The narrative is, with a few exceptions, full and even

1 Chronica de Ceuta, ch. 2.
2 Azurara's chief informants were D. Pedro, Regent in the
minority of Affonso V, and D. Henrique, in whose house he
stayed some days for the purpose by the king's orders; for he
knew more than anyone in Portugal about the matter" (Chronica
de Ceuta, ch. 12). To this fact must be attributed the prominent
place he gives D. Henrique in his narrative. The same circum-
stance is noticeable in the Chronica de D. Duarte, which was
begun by Azurara and finished by Ruy de Pina, of which here-
D Diccionario Bibliographico Portuguez, vol. iii, p. 147.


We know not the precise date at which Azurara
had begun to apply himself to the study of letters,
and he makes no allusion whatsoever, in his
writings, to his early life; but it is clear, from the
Chronic de Ceuta, that his self-training had been
lengthy, and his range of study wide.1 In the
Preface to this, his first literary essay still existing,
he quotes from many books of the Old and New
Testament, as well as from Aristotle, St. Gregory,
St. Anselm, and Avicenna; while in the body of the
work he compares the siege of Ceuta to that of
Troy, talks of Giovanni Boccaccio, a poet that was
born at Florence", mentions the Conde Lucanor, and
wanders off into philosophical musings that forcibly
recall passages of the Leal Conselheiro of D. Duarte,
and prove him to have been no tyro in the learn-
ing of the age. He was equally well versed in
astrology, in which he believed firmly, as in history,
and of the latter he says : I that wrote this history
have read most of the Chronicles and historical
works."2 To understand how this was possible, it
must be remembered that the Portuguese Court, in
the first half of the I5th century, was an important
literary centre, and that Jofio I and his sons, besides
being themselves authors of books, possessed
libraries among the most complete in Europe.s The

1 Pisano testifies of Azurara, scientie cupiditate flagravit".-
De Bello Septensi, p. 27. ? Chronica de Ceuta, ch. 38.
3 Vide Theophilo Braga, -Hstoria da Universidade de Coimbra,
Lisbon, 1892, vol. i, ch. 4, for the catalogues of these libraries and
an account of the books they-contained.


atmosphere of learning that he breathed made
Azurara what he was, and it explains the ascend-
ency he gained, as a pure man of letters, over the
mind of Affonso V.
Three years elapsed between the writing of his
second and third books, and there can be little
doubt that Azurara spent this period partly in the
Royal Library and partly among the Archives,
which were then housed in the Castle of S. Jorge in
Lisbon, continuing his study of the history of his
own and foreign countries in the chronicles and
documents those places contained.
Some time in the year 1452 the King, who was
then in Lisbon, charged him with the book which
constitutes his chief title to fame, owing to the
importance of its subject, and the historical fidelity
and literary skill that distinguish its presentment,
namely, the Chronica de Guine, or, as it might be
called, the Life and Work of Prince Henry the
Navigator. From the subscript we find it was
written in the Royal Library, and finished there on
February I8th, 1453. Azurara sent it to the King,
five days afterwards, with a letter which has fortu-
nately been preserved, since it shows how friendly and
even familiar were the relations subsisting between
them, and how these were maintained by a regular
correspondence. It appears that Affonso had urged
Azurara to obtain all the information possible about
the life and work of D. Henrique, and, this done, to
write as best he could, alleging a dictum of Tully,
that it sufficeth not for a man to do a good thing,


but rather to do it well". Then the letter proceeds,
addressing the King: For it seemed to you that it
would be wrong if some example of such a saintly
and virtuous life were not to remain, not only for the
sake of the Princes who after your time should
possess these realms, but also for all others of the
world who might become acquainted with his history,
by reason of which his countrymen might have cause
to know his sepulchre, and perpetuate Divine
Sacrifices for the-increase of his glory, and foreigners
might keep. his name before their eyes, to the great
praise of his memory."1
The following is a summary of the contents of the
Chronicle :
Azurara begins (Chapter i) by some reflections on
well-doing and gratitude, the conclusion to which he
illustrates by quotations, and then goes on to tell the
origin of his work, which lay in the King's desire
that the great and very notable deeds of D. Henrique
should be remembered, and that there should be an
authorised memorial of him, even as there was in
Spain of the Cid, and in Portugal itself of the Holy
Constable, Nun' Alvarez Pereira." The Chronicler
justifies his task by summing up the profits that had

1 This letter defines the scope of the book, which was not
meant to be a general history of the Portuguese expeditions and
discoveries. It is printed in Santarem's edition of the Chronica
de Guin4 and precedes his Introduction.
2 This charming old chronicle of the life of the noblest and
most sympathetic figure in Portuguese annals was written anony-
mously, and first printed in I526,


accrued from the Prince's efforts-firstly, the salva-
tion of the souls of the captives taken by the
Portuguese in their expeditions; secondly, the
benefit which their services brought to their captors ;
and thirdly, the honour acquired by the fatherland in
the conquest of such distant territories and numerous
Chapter ii consists of a long and most eloquent
invocation to D. Henrique, and a recital of his
manifold good deeds to all sorts and conditions of
men and his mighty accomplishments. Azurara
presents them to us as in a panorama, and his simple,
direct language reveals a true, though unconscious,
artist in words.
Chapter III deals with the ancestry of D. Henri-
que, and Chapter iv describes the man himself,
constant in adversity and humble in prosperity",
his appearance, habits, and manner of life, all with
much force of diction.
In Chapter v we have an account of the early
life of D. Henrique, of his prowess at the capture of
Ceuta, and during its siege by the Moors, with his
fruitless assault on Tangiers, which resulted in the
'captivity of the Holy Infant. His peopling of
Madeira and other islands in the great Ocean sea",
and presence at the gathering that ended in the
battle of Alfarrobeira are referred to, as also his
governorship of the Order of Christ and the services
he rendered to religion by the erection and endow-
ment of churches and professorial chairs. The
chapter ends with a description of the Town of the


Infant at Cape St. Vincent, there where both the
seas meet in combat, that is to say, the great Ocean
sea with the Mediterranean sea", a place designed
by the Prince to be a great mercantile centre, and a
safe harbour for ships from East and West.
In Chapter vi, Azurara returns to his laudations
of the Infant, whom he apostrophises thus : I know
that the seas and lands are full of your praises, for
that you, by numberless voyages, have joined the
East to the West, in order that the peoples might
learn to exchange their riches",; ard he winds up
with some remarks on "distributive justice", the
non-exercise of which had been attributed to D.
Henrique as a fault by some of his contemporaries.
Chapter vii is occupied with a recital of the
reasons that impelled the Infant to send out his
expeditions. They were shortly as follows. First
and foremost, pure zeal for knowledge; secondly,
commercial considerations; thirdly, his desire to
ascertain the extent of the Moorish power in Africa;
fourthly, his wish to find some Christian King in
those parts who would assist in warring down the
Moors; and last but not least, his purpose to extend
the Faith. To these reasons Azurara, quite
characteristically; adds a sixth, which he calls the
root from which they all proceeded-the influence of
the heavenly bodies, and he essays to prove it by
the Prince's horoscope.
The narrative of the expeditions really begins in
Chapter viii, which opens with an account of the
reasons why no ship had hitherto dared to pass


Cape Bojador, some of them being at first sight as
sensible as others are absurd. The fears of the
mariners prevented for twelve years the realisation
of their master's wish, and for so long the annual
voyages were never carried beyond the terrible
Chapter ix relates how at 'length, in 1434, Cape
Bojador was doubled by Gil Eannes, a squire of
D. Henrique, and how, on a second voyage with
one Affonso Gongalvez Baldaya, Eannes reached the
Angra dos Ruivos, fifty leagues beyond it.
In the next Chapter (x) Baldaya passes one
hundred and twenty leagues beyond Cape Bojador
to the Rio d'Ouro, and a short way beyond; but
failing to take any captives, as the Prince wished
him to do, he loads his ship with the skins of sea-
calves and returns to Portugal in 1436.
Chapter xi is a short one, and merely tells that
for three years, i.e., from 1437 to 1440, the voyages
were interrupted by the affairs of the Kingdom,
which required all the attention of D. Henrique.
These affairs were the death of D. Duarte, and the
struggle that followed between the Queen, supported
by a small section of the nobles, and the Infant D.
Pedro, backed by Lisbon and the people as a whole,
over the question of the Regency and the education
of the young King Affonso.
Chapters xii and xiii relate how Antam Gonaal-
vez took the first captives, and how Nuno Tristam
went to Cape Branco.
In Chapter xiv Azurara dwells on the delight


D. Henrique must have felt at the sight of the
captives, though he opines that they themselves
received the greater benefit: "for, although their
bodies might be in some subjection, it were a small
thing in comparison with their souls, that would now
possess true liberty for evermore."
Chapter xv contains an account of the embassy
sent to the Holy Father by D. Henrique to obtain
"a share of the treasures of Holy Church for the
salvation of the souls of those who in the labours of
this conquest should meet their end." The Pope,
Eugenius IV, granted a plenary indulgence, on the
usual conditions, to all who took part in the war
against the Moors under the banner of the Order of
Christ; and D. Pedro, the Regent, made D. Henrique
a present of the King's fifth to defray the heavy
expenses he had incurred by the expeditions.
In Chapter xvi Antam Gonqalvez obtains the
Infant's leave for another voyage, and is charged to
collect information about the Indies and the land of
Prester John. He receives ten negroes, in exchange
for two Moors whom he had previously taken,
together with some gold dust, and then returns
In Chapter xvii Nuno Tristam goes as far as
Arguim Island and makes some captures; this in
the year 1443.
Chapter xviii begins the relation of the first
expedition on a large scale, and the first that sprang
from private enterprise-namely, that of Langarote
and his six caravels from Lagos. Azurara takes the


opportunity to insert here a short but interesting
sketch of the change that had taken place in public
opinion with reference to these voyages. In the be-
ginning, they were decried by the great not a whit
less than by the populace, but the assurance of com-
mercial profit had now converted the dispraisers, and
the voyage of Langarote gave a tangible proof of it.
The next six Chapters (xix to xxiv) relate the
doings of this expedition, which ended in the
capture of two hundred and thirty-five natives.
Chapter xxv, which treats of the division of
the captives at Lagos, is the most pathetic in the
book, and one of the most powerful by virtue of the
simple realism of the narrative.
Chapter xxvi gives a lucid summary of the
after-lives of the captives, and their gradual but
complete absorption into the mass of the people.
Chapter xxvii narrates the ill-fated expedition
of Goncalo de Cintra and his death near the Rio
d'Ouro; while, in the next, Azurara refers the acci-
dent to the heavenly bodies, and draws a profitable
lesson from it, which he divides into seven heads,
for the benefit of posterity.
Chapter xxix contains a short notice of a
voyage undertaken by Antam Gonqalvez, Gomez
Pirez, and Diego Affonso to the Rio d'Ouro, which
had no result.
Chapter xxx deals with the voyage of Nuno
Tristam, who passed the furthest point hitherto
discovered, and reached a place he named Palmar.
Azurara confesses himself unable to give more


details about this expedition, "because Nuno
Tristam was already dead at the time King
Affonso ordered this Chronicle to be written "-a
statement which proves that he did not rely only
on documents for the facts he related, but was
careful to glean as much as possible from the
actors therein.
Chapter xxxi tells how Dinis Dyaz sailed
straight to Guinea without once shortening sail,
and how he was the first to penetrate so far, and
take captives in those parts. He pushed on to
Cape Verde, and, though he brought back but
little spoil, he was well received by the Infant,
who preferred discoveries to mere commercial
Chapters xxxiI to xxxvi recite the expedi-
tion of Antam Gonqalvez, Garcia Homem and
Diego Affonso to Cape Branco, Arguim Island
and Cape Resgate, where, besides trafficking, they
took on board a squire, Joham Fernandez, who had
stayed full seven months at the Rio d'Ouro, among
the natives, to acquire for the Infant a knowledge
of the country and its products.
Azurara refers in Chapter xxxII to Affonso
Cerveira, whose history of the Portuguese discoveries
on the African coast, now lost, was used by him in
the compilation of this Chronicle; and in the next
chapter he employs one of those rhetorical peri-
phrases of which his other works afford many an
example, though they are rather scarce in this his
masterpiece in point of style.



Chapters xxxvii to XLVIII relate the doings of
the first expedition from Lisbon, which was under
the command of Goncalo Pacheco, and penetrated
to Guinea, or the land of the Negroes, the result
being a large number of captives, seemingly the
chief object it had in view.
Chapters XLIX to LXVII contain the acts of the
great expedition of fourteen sail which set out
from Lagos in 1445, under the leadership of
Lancarote, for the purpose of punishing the Moors
on the Island of Tider and avenging Goncalo de
Cintra. In all twenty-six ships left Portugal that
year, being the largest number that had perhaps
ever sailed down the Western side of the Dark
Continent at one time.
After accomplishing their object some returned
home, but others, more bold, determined to explore
further South, if perchance they might find the
River of Nile and the Terrestrial Paradise. Arriving
at the Senegal they thought they had found the
Nile of the Negroes, and went no further. A
curious description of the Nile, and its power
according to astronomers, forms the subject of
Chapters LXI and LXII, where Azurara has collected
all the learning and speculation of the Ancients and
Mediaevals on the question.
Chapters LXVIII to LXxv describe the doings of
the remaining ships that left Portugal in 1445, and
relate descents on the Canaries and the African
coast, and the voyage of Zarco's caravel to Cape
Mastos, the furthest point yet reached.


Chapters LXXVI and LXXVII contain valuable
notes on the life of the peoples south of Cape
Bojador, together with an account of the travels of
Joham Fernandez, the first European to penetrate
far into the interior of Africa.
In Chapter LXXVIII Azurara adds up the sum of
the African voyages, and finds that up to 1446
fifty-one caravels had sailed to those parts, one
of which had passed four hundred and fifty leagues
beyond Cape Bojador.
Chapter's LXXIX to LXXXII are taken up by a
description of the Canary Islands, while Chapter
LXXXIII deals with the discovery and peopling of
the Madeiras and Azores.1
Chapter LXXXIV tells how D. Henrique obtained
from the Regent a charter, similar to the one he
had previously secured in the case of Guinea, to
the effect (inter alia) that no one was to go to
the Canaries, either for war or merchandise, without
his leave; and the following chapter (LXXxv) relates
a descent on the Island of Palma.
In Chapter LXXXVI Azurara narrates in feeling
terms the death of the gallant Nuno Tristam in
In Chapter LXXXVII we read how Alvaro
Fernandez sailed down the African coast past

SAzurara's laconism with reference to the history of the
discovery of the Madeiras and Azores is really regrettable. In
many respects his narrative needs to be supplemented from other


Sierra Leone, and more than one hundred and ten
leagues beyond Cape Verde.
Chapter LXXXVIII describes the voyage of another
Lagos fleet of nine caravels to the Rio Grande,
while the next five chapters (LxxxIx-xcIII) relate
that of Gomez Pirez to the Rio d'Ouro in 1446.
Chapters xcIv and xcv are devoted to the
trafficking venture of the year 1447, the unhappy
fate of the Scandinavian Vallarte, and an expedition
to the fisheries off the Angra dos Ruyvos.
In Chapters xcvi and xcvII Azurara winds up
his narrative, ending with the year 1448. The
captives brought to Portugal down to that date by
the various voyagers numbered, according to his
estimate, 927, "the greater part of whom were
turned into the true path of salvation"; and this
he counts as the greatest of the Infant's glories,
and the most valuable fruit of his lifelong efforts.
He then announces his intention to write a second
part of the Chronicle, dealing with the final portion
of D. Henrique's work-a purpose which to our
manifest loss he never carried out-and concludes
by giving thanks to the Blessed Trinity on the
completion of his task.
The Chronica de Guine' has many features in
common with that of Ceuta, but on the whole it.
reveals a decided advance in power. The style,
though at times rather rhetorical, is generally plain
and facile, ever and anon rising to a true eloquence.
While the narrative portions are vivid, picturesque,
and often majestic in their very simplicity, other


chapters bristle with quotations, and show a more
extensive range of reading and a knowledge truly
encyclopedic. All the philosophy, the geography,
the history, and even the astrology of the age is
called into requisition to support an argument or
illustrate a point.
But to return to our subject-the Life of the
On June 6th, 1454, Azurara received the reward
of his past services, being appointed Keeper of the
Royal Archives (Guarda M6r da Torre do Tombo),
at the instance of, and in succession to, Fernao
Lopes. It is probable that the office of Chief
Chronicler (Chronista-M6r) was conferred on him
at the same time and implied in the grant, though
it is not verbally mentioned there, since in the
document next referred to he is actually named
Chronicler.1 The King, in his letter of appointment,
after reciting that Fernio Lopes is very old and
weak, so that he cannot well serve his office, says
he confides in Gomez Eanes de Zurara, Knight
Commander of the Order of Christ, "by the long
education (criapom) we have given him and the ser-
vice we are receiving and expect to receive at his
hands", and therefore grants him the post to hold

SThe offices of Chief Chronicler, Keeper of the Royal Archives
and Royal Librarian were, as a rule, held by the same individual
and conferred at the same time, as in the case of Ruy de Pina,
but Azurara had the position of Royal Librarian for at least two
years before he obtained the others, namely from 1452, as already
mentioned (p. v).


in the same manner, and with the, same rights and
profits as were enjoyed by his predecessor therein.1
It is noticeable that Azurara had already obtained
a "Commenda" belonging to the Order of Christ,
and, although its name is not given here, we know
from another source it was that of Alcains, a place
situate in the Province of Beira (Baixa) and District
of Castello Branco, the value of which in 1628
amounted to one hundred and fouT milreis." The
source referred to is a document, dated July
I4th, 1452, which calls Azurara "Commander of
Alcains and "Author of the notable deeds of our
realm ", and mentions that he had already at that
time charge of the Royal Library." He appears
to have exercised this office with credit, though
somewhat less strictly than would now be considered
necessary, for Pisano says of him in this connection:-
"hic bibliothecam Alfonsi quinti, cujus curam gessit,
strenue disposuit atque ornavit, omnesque scripturas
Regni prius confusas mirum in modum digessit, &
ita digessit ut ea, quibus Regi & ceteris Regni
proceribus opus est, confestim discernantur; viros
enim eruditos summe coluit, atque nimio charitatis
more complexus est, quibus ut profecissent ex
Regia bibliotheca libros, si parebant, libenter com-
modavit ". But the Chronicler received yet

1 Canc. de D. Affonso V, liv. x, fl. 30. Torre do Tombo.
2 Definicoes e Estatutos dos' Cavalleiros e Freires da Ordeml de
N S. Jesu Christo, etc., p. 242.
SLiv. xi de D. Affonso r, fl. 62. Torre do Tombo,
4 De Bello Septensi, p. 26,



another advancement in the year 1454.: From a
document bearing date the 4th August it appears
that he was then living in a house belonging to the
King near the Palace in Lisbon which needed some
repairs. Affonso V therefore granted him leave to
lay out ten milreis upon it, and to make a cistern,
with a proviso that he and his heirs might continue
to inhabit the house and use it as their own, until
the sum so expended should be repaid out of the
Royal Treasury. In this licence Azurara is dubbed
" Commander of Pinheiro Grande and Granja
d'Ulmeiro, Our Chronicler, and Keeper of the
Archives ".1 These two Commendas belonged to
the Order of Christ, and were probably conferred
upon him in this same year, though the deed of
grant has not come down to us.
Pinheiro Grande is situate in the province of
Estremadura and Archbishopric of Lisbon, and its
ancient Commenda belonged to the Templars down
to the yeat 1311, and from 1319 to the present
century to the Order of Christ. In the Statutes of
the latter Order, published in 1628, it is stated to
have been worth 550 milreis for many years-" ha
muitos annos". Granja d'Ulmeiro is a small place
in the Bishopric of Coimbra, and the same Statutes
give the value of its Commnenda, called of St. Gabriel,
at 150 milreis, "in the year I582".

1 Estremadura, liv. vii, fl. 255. Torre do Tombo.
2 Definif;os e Estatutos, etc., p. 236.
SIbid., p. 263. The situations of these Commendas are taken
from PortugalAntigo e Moderno, Lisbon 1873, and following years.



Besides these two Commendas, Azurara still con-
tinued to hold that of Alcains, as we learn from the
document already referred to, granting certain
privileges to his agents in Castello Branco, and
dated the 23rd of the same month and year. The
revenue of these three Commendas, together with
his official salary, must have sufficed to make of him
a wealthy man, for it should be remembered that the
purchasing power of the milreis was then nearly six
times greater than at the present day. He seems,
however, to have relinquished the benefice of Alcains
shortly afterwards, for it does not appear again
among his titles, and henceforth he is only credited
with the other two.
In the above-mentioned document of privilege of
August 23rd, 1454, after reciting the services
rendered to Azurara by Guarcia Aires and Afomsso
-Guarcia-to employ the antique spelling-muleteers
of Castello Branco, in collecting his rents and
bringing them to Lisbon, the King grants them
immunity from being forced into the service of either
himself, the Infants, or the local authorities of the
district in which they live. Their houses, cellars,
and stables are not to be taken from them to lodge
others against their will, and they are to enjoy this
freedom as long as they continue to be of use to the
When next we hear of Azurara he is acting in
his official capacity as Keeper of the Royal Archives.

1 Chan. de D, Affonso V, liv. x, fI. 113. Torre do Tombo.



It seems that the people of Miranda had lost the
"foral" given them by King Diniz in 1324, and
required a copy of it, which Azurara made and
handed to them on the i6th February I456.1 This
is the first of a series of certificates (certid6es) signed
by the Chronicler that has come down to us, and the
issuing of these and similar documents appears to
have been one of his chief duties as Royal Archivist.
But Azurara was too valuable a man to be allowed
to spend his whole time and energy in the routine
work of an office; and so we find that when the
King had reigned twenty years or more, which would
be in or about 1458, he commissioned him to relate
the history of Ceuta under the Governorship of
D. Pedro de Menezes, to whom the city had been
entrusted on its capture.2 The story runs, that for
some time J oo I was unable to meet with anyone
who would undertake the responsibility of guarding
the new conquest, and, word of this having been
brought to D. Pedro while he was playing at
"Ch6ca", he at once hastened into the King's
presence, and said he would engage to hold the city
against the whole strength of Africa with the olive-
wood crook he had just been wielding.3 Be this

1 Gay. 15, Mayo 13, No. 21. Torre do Tombo. Azurara is
here described as Commander of Pinheiro Grande and Granja
d'Ulmeiro, our Chronicler and Keeper" (of the Records).
2 Chronica do Conde D. Pedro de Menezes, ch. I.
S" Chdca" is an old-fashioned Portuguese game played with a
stout staff and ball. The incident is referred to by Camoens in
EEdogue I, in the lines Ie-ininii,, "Emquanto do seguro azam-
bugeyro", etc.



incident true or not, certain it is that D. Pedro de
Menezes succeeded in maintaining Ceuta, despite all
the efforts of the Moors to expel him; and his
achievements, as chronicled by Azurara, form by
themselves sufficient ground for Affonso's commis-
sion. But another reason, no doubt, influenced the
King, and that was the supreme importance attached
to the possession of the old city. Its position as the
key of the Straits enabled the Portuguese to hinder
the Moorish corsairs from raiding the Algarve, and,
at the same time, to help the Christian cause by
attacks on the last relic of Mohammedan power in
the Peninsula, the kingdom of Grenada. Added to
this, its conquest was hailed as the first step in the
realisation of that cherished ideal, an African Empire:
for, besides being a great trading centre and the
sea-gate of Mauritania, it formed a wedge driven
into the heart of the Infidel, and a fitting crown to
the struggle of seven centuries, which, commencing
on the morrow of the battle of the Guadalete, had
ended by the establishment of the Cross in the land
of the Crescent. The tide had turned at last, and
for ever, and the Gothic monarchy was avenged.
Azurara, who on previous occasions had proved
himself a ready writer, compiled the Chronica do
Conde D. Pedro de Menezes more slowly, owing
doubtless to the fact that his new official duties kept
him from devoting his whole time to the work, and
the Chronicle was not finished until 1463.
In this very year.of 1458 occurred the first African
Expedition of Affonso V, with its result, the capture



of Alcacer. This event was probably the immediate
cause of the writing of the Chronicle, because the
record of his reign shows how the King cared more
for African expansion than maritime expeditions,
and how, like the old-time cavalier that he was, he
preferred a land-war with the Moors to the seem-
ingly theoretical, or at least distant, advantages to
be gained by voyages of discovery. In 1460 D.
Henrique died, leaving the fruit of his ceaseless
endeavours to be plucked by other hands; since it
was not until I498, when Vasco da Gama cast anchor
off Calicut, that the Infant's expeditions came to their
legitimate conclusion, and a century of efforts received
their reward.
But if Azurara possessed many of the higher
qualities of an historian, he was by no means
devoid of shortcomings; and two incidents, now to
be related, form serious blots on his character as
a Chronicler and a man.
In 1459 the Cortes met in Lisbon, and the
Deputies of the People requested that a reform
should be carried out in the Torre do Tombo, or
Archive Office. They complained that the mass
of old Registers which it was necessary to search
in order to obtain copies of the documents existing
there, together with the profitless prolixity of many
of them, had long proved a source of great expense;
and they therefore begged that such as were deemed
of importance might be transcribed and the rest
destroyed. This petition met with the King's
approval, and Azurara charged himself with its



execution, a task which seemingly occupied the
remainder of his life.1 He acted with a zeal
worthy of barbarous times, and the memory of
the destruction to which he condemned documents
of the highest historical importance has been pre-
served by tradition, and his proscription is -til
spoken of. He appears to have been unconscious
of the harm he did, for he prefaces each of the
new Registers compiled by him from the old with
an account of his handiwork. True it is that
Barros praises Azurara for these Registers, but in
reality they are only "dry, imperfect abstracts", as
one writer calls them, for they throw little light on
the periods to which they relate, and were, besides,
the cause of the loss of their originals. Fortunately,
however, some records escaped the general destruc-
tion, for it happened that certain Municipalities had
previously obtained transcripts of the most precious,
while others that existed in duplicate in the Archives,
unknown to anyone, came to light during the admi-
nistration of another Guarda-M6r.2 The authorities
of the City of Oporto obtained leave from Affonso V,

1 Particularly he "reformed" the Registers of the reigns of
Pedro I, D. Fernando, Joao I, and D. Duarte; and J. P. Ribeiro,
who gives a minute account of the state of these Registers and of
Azurara's compilation, winds up thus : Such is the state of the
Chancellary books of the early reigns down to that of Affonso V;
some are still in their original condition, while others are reformed
or rather destroyed, by Gomez Eannes de Zurara."-Memorias
Authenticas para aHistoria do RealArchivo, p. 171. Lisbon, 1819.
2 Annaes Maritimos e Coloniaes, No. i, Segunda series, p. 34;
and J. P. Ribeiro, Memorias Authenticas, etc., p. 2a.



on the 23rd March 1447, to have copies made of all
the documents in the Torre do Tombo which related
to them in any way, and these were furnished on
December 25th, 1453, when Lopes was still Keeper
of the Archives.
But AMurara was guilty of a yet graver delin-
quency than his destruction of the old Registers,
and a charge of forgery must be brought against
him. A detailed account of this affair may be
read in the judgment of the Casa de Supplicacao,
delivered on January 12th, 1479, from which it
appears that a dispute had arisen between the
Order of Christ and some inhabitants of Punhete
over rights claimed by the former in the River
Zezere, a tributary of the Tagus. The Order
based its claim on certain documents, one being
of the reign of D. Fernando, and said to have
been extracted from the Torre do Tombo, in
which that monarch purported to confer on the
Order of Christ jurisdiction over the towns of
Pombal, Soure, Castello Branco and others, to the
practical exclusion of his own authority therein.1
When a copy of this pretended grant was pro-
duced in support of the contention, Azurara's
successor in the Archives, Affonso d'Obidos,
received instructions to produce the Register of
D. Fernando for the purpose of comparison, and
to bring the scribes engaged in the Archive Office

There is a reference to this claim of the Order in the
Defnizcovs e Estatutos, etc., p. 201, and to its defeat.



with him; whereupon the grant was found at the end
of the Register in a different writing from the rest
of the.book. Neither d'Obidos, nor the scribe who
had copied out the Register, could say how it came
there, or who had inserted it, and the latter declared
that no such grant existed in the old books from
which he had transcribed the present one. On
further examination the pretended grant proved
to be in the handwriting of "Gomez Eannes,
Cleric ",1 a servant of Azurara, and it must have
been fraudulently inserted in the Register after the
latter had been bound up. On, the discovery of this
act of forgery, judgment was, of course, given
against the Order, and it was fortunate for our
Chronicler that the offence he had committed in its
interests remained undiscovered until after his death.2
Curiously enough, in the same year Azurara was
rewarded by a pension. The grant dated from
Cintra, August 7th, 1459, runs as follows :-" Dorn
Affonso, etc., to all to whom this letter of ours shall
come we make known that, considering the many
services we have received and expect hereafter to
receive from Gomez Eanes de Zurara, Commander

1 This must have been an adopted son of the Chronicler, to
whom he had lent his name.
2 This forgery must be reckoned a very passable one, although
the handwriting are obviously not the same, and the parchment
differs in texture and colour from that of the rest of the book.
The judgment of the Casa de Supplicagao is printed in extenso by
J. P. Ribeiro from liv. I, "dos Direitos Reaes," fol. 216, in the
Torre do Tombo.



of the Order of Christ, Our Chronicler and Keeper
of our Archives, and wishing to do him favour, we
are pleased to give him a pension of twelve white
milreis from the Ist day of January next, which
amount he has had of us up to the present time." 1
It would appear from the last line that this docu-
ment is rather the confirmation of an old grant than
the gift of something new, but it has been interpreted
to mean that Azurara had been receiving the money
from the King's privy purse, and was henceforth to
have it out of the public treasury. There can be no
dispute that the recipient merited the gift for his
past literary services, which were an earnest of the
work he was to accomplish in the future, and the
value of the latter will presently appear.
We possess the copy of one certificate issued by
the Chronicler in the following year, together with
the record of another, their respective dates being
June 27th and October 22nd, 1460. The former,
dated from Lisbon, was granted in answer to the
petition of the inhabitants of Nogueira, who felt
uncertain about the dues they were bound to pay
the Bishop of Coimbra ;2 the latter is mentioned by
J. P. Ribeiro, but seems to have disappeared from
the Torre do Tombo.
In 1461 there occurred an event, simple enough
on its face, but one which Azurara's biographers

1 Chanc. de D. Affonso V, liv. xxxi, fl. 76v. Torre do Tombo.
For the signification and value of these "white milreis", see
Damiao de Goes, Chronica de D. Manoel, ch. i.
2 Estremadura, liv. I, fl. 279. Torre do Tombo.



have regarded as the mystery of his life, or else
employed as a weapon wherewith to smite their
hero-his adoption by Maria Eannes. In the king's
confirmation of this, dated from Evora, February 6th,
1461, we are told that Maria Eannes, a Lisbon
tanner-considering the love and friendship that
Johane afines dazurara, erstwhile Canon of Evora
and Coimbra, had always shown to her mother, Maria
Vicente, as well as to herself and her husband, and
the many good deeds she herself had received at his
hands, being his godchild and friend, and considering
that she had no children and was no longer of an
age to have any, and also the love and friendship
she had felt for Gomez Eannes dazurara, ever since
his father's death, and the services he had rendered
her-thereby adopted him as her son and heir to
succeed to her real and personal property, including
her country house at Valbom, in the Ribatejo, and
a house she possessed in the Parish of S. Juliao in
Lisbon".1 Such is the substance of this document,
over the explanation of which some controversy has
taken place, because of the social gulf that separated
the parties to it. The true motive for the adoption,
as hints Senhor Rodriguez d'Azevedo, would seem
to have been the existence of some near relationship
between Maria Eannes and the Chronicler which it
was not expedient to disclose; but whether this
opinion find acceptance or no, there is nothing to

1 Terfeyro dodianna del Rey Dom Affonso Quinto, fol. 57'
Torre do Tombo.



justify the old view which regarded the grant as a
proof of Azurara's avarice and unscrupulousness:
since, on the contrary, the preamble reveals a lively
sense of gratitude in the donor for real benefits con-
ferred by the donee. If, however, the above theory be
worked out, the most plausible conclusion to arrive
at is, either that Maria Eannes and Gomes Eannes de
Azurara were brother and sister, both being children
of the Canon and Maria Vicente, or that the
Chronicler was half-brother to Maria Eannes, i.e.,
had the same father but not the same mother. It
seems at least a fair inference to draw from the
wording that the Canon and Maria Vicente were of
a similar age, and the same may be said of the other
pair, because at this time the Chronicler would count
nearly sixty years, and his benefactress could not be
much less, seeing that all possibility of her bearing
children had passed by. Either of these hypotheses
would account for the name Eannes being common
to the lady and Azurara. The Canon would then
have left his property between his two children, and
as Maria Eannes was childless, it would be natural
for her to bequeath her share of her father's property
to her brother. But be this as it may, we know
from an independent source that Azurara had a
sister, for she is mentioned in the letter which
Affonso. V wrote him whilst he was living in Africa
and engaged on historical investigations. The fact,
recorded by Pisano, that the Chronicler began his
studies relatively late in life, unless it be ascribed to
his adoption of a military career at first, seems to



show that he had passed his. early years under a
cloud, and that his father, from one cause or another,
lacked the power to provide him with an education
at the customary age. It is, however, impossible to
proceed beyond conjectures, and since the matter
cannot claim to be one of historical moment, we may
leave it unsolved without much regret.
On June i4th, 1463, Azurara issued a certificate
of documents in the Torre do. Tombo relating to
land of one D. Pedro de Castro,' while yet another
proof of the influence he possessed with his royal
master is afforded by two grants, dated respectively
June 22nd and 23rd of the same year. By the first
of these the office of Judge of Excise in the town of
Almada was conferred on a certain Pero d'Almada,
servant of Gomes Eannes, and the grant is expressed
to be made at the latter's request. The second
appoints the same individual Judge and Steward of
the gold-diggers at Adiqa, near that town.2
The Ckronica de D. Pedro de Menezes, which had
been commenced by Azurara in or about the year
1458, was finished on St. John the Baptist's Eve,
June 23rd, 1463, at his Commenda of Pinheiro

1 The original of this certificate belongs to the famous novelist,
Senhor Ega de Queiroz, whose wife claims descent from this de
Castro. Doubtless others of the Chronicler's certificates, the con-
tents-or at least the dates-of which would fill up some of the
gaps in his biography, are in private hands, without any record of
their issue remaining, either in the Torre do Tombo or elsewhere,
as in the present case. Brandao mentions one such in his
Monarchia Lusitana, Quinta-parte, p. 177. Lisbon, 1650.
2 Liv. ix de D. 4.-4,. :. V, fol. 94. Torre do Tombo.



Grande. It relates the history of Ceuta, from the
capture of the city in 1415 until the death of D.
Pedro de Menezes, the first governor, in 1437, and
gives evidence of the author's progress in historical
methods.' While it contains less moralising and
more matter than any of his previous works, at the
same time he appears surer of his own powers, and
no longer feels the same need of supporting every
remark by a citation. Of course this Chronicle has
not as deep an interest for us as that of Guinea, but
this is due to the subject, not to any shortcomings in
the narrator, whose contemporaries were probably of
a different opinion, for many of them looked askance
at the voyages of discovery, though there were few
that doubted the importance of the possession of
Azurara confesses that he felt at first somewhat
diffident of putting pen to paper, so marvellous
seemed the deeds he was- called on to relate; and he
would never have persevered with his task had he
learnt them on hearsay evidence, or from the mouths
of one or two witnesses ; but he found their truth
confirmed on a perusal of the official reports sent to
the King from Ceuta, and this encouraged him to
proceed. He appears to have been assisted in his
task by D. Pedro himself during his lifetime,2 and to
have written out the book twice, while his impar-

1 Affonso V ordered Pisano to write the Chronicle in Latin, as
he had previously done with the Capture of Ceuta.-Chronica
do Conde D. Pedro de Menezes, ch. i. The MS. is now lost.
2 Ibid., ch. 64.


tiality and the care he took to arrive at the truth
are everywhere visible.' Of course he cannot abstain
altogether from citations, and these have an interest
as showing the measure of his literary knowledge:
witness his mention of Dante's Divina Comnmedia,
Cin6 da Pistoia and The Book of Amadis, which he
ascribes to "Vasco Lobeira, who lived in the time of
D. Fernando".2
For three years contemporary records are silent
respecting the Chronicler, and it is not until 1466
that he comes before us again. On June I Ith of
that year, D. Pedro,' King of Aragon, son of him
who was Regent in the minority of Affonso V, and
fell at Alfarrobeira, wrote Azurara a short but
familiar autograph letter, which affords another
proof of the intimate relations that existed between
the Chronicler and the great personages of the age.
In this letter, which is in response to one sent
by Azurara, D. Pedro addresses him as "friend",
refers to his old kindness and sweet nature ", and
goes on to accept his offer to keep him informed of
the progress of events in Portugal. He then takes

1 Chronica do Conde D. Pedro de Menezes, chs. z and 3. The
end of ch. 3 deserves perusal, for it shows how fully Azurara
realized the difficulties of an historian's task.
2 Ibid., ch. 63. This is the first reference in all literature to
the authorship of the famous romance.
3 D. Pedro, fils, was a distinguished poet, and to him the
Marquis of Santillana addressed that famous letter which may be
described as a history of poetry in the Peninsula.. It is transcribed
in extenso by Dr. Theophilo Braga, in his Poetas Palacianoas,
pp. 161-169. Porto, 1871.



the Chronicler into his confidence, and complains of
the difficulties of his position as King of Aragon-
difficulties which were aggravated by an illness that
ended in his death less than a month after he had
penned this epistle.1
On July 27th, 1467, in answer to a petition of
the inhabitants, Azurara issued a certificate2 of the
"foral" of Azere (Azar), virtue office, and on the
very next day he met with another piece of good
fortune. From the deed of grant it appears that,
some ninety years previously, a certain Gonqalo
Estevez of Cintra had died, after having built a
chapel in honour of St. Clare in the Church of St.
Mary Magdalen, in Lisbon, where he desired to be
buried, and had left his property with the condition
annexed that masses should be regularly said
there. This condition, the document goes on
to declare, had been broken by his heirs for about
seventy years, in spite of judgments obtained against
them, and many had died excommunicate because
of their neglect and disobedience. Finally, the
goods had been declared forfeit to the Crown,

SThe letter was first published in the Panorama for 1841, at
P- 336. General Brito Rebello argues that the date 1406 is
impossible, and should read 1466, or possibly 1460. The former
has here been adopted. Other mistakes occur in the letter, as
printed in the Panorama, besides that of date. Some of its-
expressions are ambiguous, and the subscript "From Aviz", an
evident addition to the original, may be put down to the copyist,
who, knowing D. Pedro to be Master of Aviz, concluded that the
letter was written from there, though the contents disprove it.
SGa. 8, Maco i, No. 17. Torre do Tombo,



and they were now granted out to Azurara, on
condition that he should provide for the masses
and generally carry out the instructions contained
in the will of the founder.' A gift of this nature
was considered an extraordinary grace in those
days, and it affords clear evidence that the
Chronicler stood high in the royal regard.
In August of this same year Azurara went to
Africa, and, to explain the journey, some introduc-
tory remarks are needed. On returning from the
fruitless African expedition of 1464, the King had
written to .him from Aveiro, with instructions to
leave all his other occupations-which the Chronicler
naively assures us were very important and profitable
to his countrymen-and forthwith to collect and put
in writing the deeds of D. Duarte de Menezes,'late
Captain of Alcacer.2 This Duarte was the natural
son of D. Pedro, the hero of Azurara's last- book;
and he had merited much from Affonso V for his
long and faithful services at Alcacer, ending with the
sacrifice he had made of his own life to save that of
the King, during a reconnaissance against the Moors
in the last-named year.
As before, Azurara hesitated to make a start on
account of his "untutored style and small know-
ledge", and through fear of hostile criticism; indeed,

1 Decimo de Estremadura, fol. 270. Torre do Tombo.
2 ( ,-.. ,; do Conde D. Duarte de Mlenezes (Ineditos, vol. iii),
ch. i. It would almost seem as though Azurara accompanied
the King in. his first expedition in 1458, when Alcacer was taken.
-Zbid., ch. 34.


under 'the latter head he says, with a touch of bitter-
ness, "there are so many watching me, that I have
hardly put pen in hand before they begin to damn
my work."1 But his obligations to, and regard for,
the King caused him to pluck up courage, and
proceed with a task which occupied some three
or four years of his time. In order to secure the
best information possible, he considered that he
ought to visit Africa, because some of the dwellers
in and about Alcacer were the chief actors in the
drama he was called upon to write, and would be
likely to have a clearer recollection of events than the
courtiers in Portugal; and also 'because he wished
to view the district which had been the scene of the
struggle, and learn the disposition of the land, the
Moorish method of fighting, and the tactics employed
against them by the Portuguese. He confesses that
he would have gone to Ceuta before writing the
Chronica de D. Pedro, but the King refused to give
permission, considering that his services were more
needed inside than outside the realm. Even after
he had resolved on the present visit, the King
detained him a whole year, until fully convinced
how necessary it was, if his commands were to be
satisfactorily carried out." Finally, in August 1467,
Azurara crossed the Straits to Alcacer, where he
stayed for twelve months, occupied in studying the
district and taking part in the various excursions
into Moorish territory that were made by D.

2 Ibid., ch. 2.


1 ibid., ch. I,


Henrique, son of D. Duarte de Menezes,' who,
to satisfy him and aid his work, used even to
change the plan of operations and go to some
spot the Chronicler desired to inspect.1 With
an impartiality rare enough at that time, Azurara
took care to obtain information from the Moors
themselves, both from such as visited Alcacer and
from those he met when accompanying D. Henrique
to treat of matters with the inhabitants of the
neighboring places.2
The Chronicle, which is at once a life of D.
Duarte de Menezes and a history of Alcacer, sup-
plements that of his father D. Pedro de Menezes,
and carries the history of the Portuguese in North
Africa down to 1464. We have no record of when it
was finished, but the year 1468 seems the probable
date. It is, if not the most important, yet the longest,
as it proved to be the last, 'of the Author's historical
works, and cost him more labour than any of its
predecessors; but, through some mischance, no com-
plete MS. exists, all having many and great lacune,
as will hereafter appear. It presents the peculiarities
common to all Azurara's writings-the same fond-
ness for quotations, and the same reliance on
astrology as explicative of character. Among the
more interesting of the former, besides those from
the Classics and the Fathers, are his references to
Johao Flameno's gloss on Dante, Avicenna, Albertus
Magnus, and the Marquis of Santillana. Speaking

22 Jbid., ch, 6o,

I JTid., ch. 2,


of this Chronicle, Goes notes and condemns the
"superfluous abundance and wealth of poetical and
rhetorical words that are employed here and
elsewhere by its author.
During Azurara's stay at Alcacer the King ad-
dressed him an autograph letter dated November
22nd, 1467 (?), which affords a striking proof of
Affonso's superior mind, as well as of the esteem in
which he held men of letters. He begins by saying
that he has received the Chronicler's letter,1 and
rejoices he is well, as he had feared the contrary,
owing to his long silence, and proceeds:-
"It is not without reason that men of your profession
should be prized and honoured; for, next after the Princes
and Captains who achieve deeds worth remembering, they
that record them, when those are dead, deserve much
praise..... What would have become of the deeds of
Rome if Livy had not written them; what 6f Alexander's
without a Quintus Curtius; of those of Troy without a
Homer; of Caesar's without a Lucan ? .... Many are they
that devote themselves to the exercise of arms, but few to
the art of Oratory. Since, then, you are well instructed in
this art, and nature has given you a large share of it, with
much reason ought I and the chiefs of my Realm and the
Captains thereof to consider any benefit bestowed on you
as well employed."

Affonso then goes on to praise Azurara for having
voluntarily exiled himself in his service, and says
he would not have him stay in Africa any longer
than he pleases, and winds up as follows:-

1 Azurara seems to have corresponded frequently with Affonso
V; cf, Chronma de Guhin, ch. 7.


"I count it as a service that you wish for news of my
health, and, thanks be to God, I am well in body as in
other respects, though on the sea of this world. one is
constantly buffeted by its waves, especially as we are all
on that plank since the first shipwreck, so that no one is
safe until he reaches the true haven that cannot be seen
except after this life, to which may it please God to con-
duct us when He thinks it time, for He is sailor and pilot,
and without Him no man may enter there .... I, have not
a painting of myself that I can send you now; but, please
God, you will see the original, some time, which ivill please
you more."1

Herculano truly says of this epistle : "Had it
been from one brother to another, the language
could not well have been more affable and affec-
tionate ";2 but, more than this, it proves that
Portugal was, ahead of most European nations of
that age in possessing a King who could value
the pen as highly as the sword.
Henceforth little or nothing is known of the life
of Azurara, except from .the certificates he issued in
the course of his official duties.
On May 25th, 1468, one of these documents was
issued from the Torre do Tombo, and signed by a
substitute, with the statement that. the Chronicler
was living at Alcacer, on the service and by
command of the King. He probably returned to

1 The letter is printed in' the Ineditos, vol. iii, p. 3. According
to-Meyrelles, there are two copies of it in MS. No. 495 of the
Coimbra.University Library.-Vide Instituto, vol. ix.
2 Ousculos, vol. v, p. 14. Lisbon, r886.


Lisbon to finish the Chronica de D. Duarte de
Menezes in the autumn of this year.
On October 22nd, 1470, Azurara gave a certificate
of the Charter of Moreyra. In their petition for
the same, the inhabitants allege that their copy is so
written, and in such Latin, that they cannot under-
stand it; and they further wish to know how much
of the present money they must pay for the three
mnealkas mentioned in the original as payable for
the carriage of bread and wine-a question which
Azurara seems to have experienced some difficulty
in answering.1
On April 20th, 1471, he issued a similar certificate
to the dwellers in S. Joqo de Rey.3 In this same
year took place Affonso's third African campaign,
which resulted in the capture of Tangier, Arzila and
On September 5th, 1472, in answer to a petition
of the inhabitants of Cascaes, the Chronicler handed
them a copy of the Charter of Cintra, in which
district Cascaes is situate,3 and on December 5th in
the same year he issued copies of documents affecting
the liberties of the Order of Christ and the couto, or
"liberty", of Gordam.4

1 Mao 7 de Foraes Antigos, No. 3. Torre do Tombo.
2 Ma9o 3 de Foraes Antigos, No. 5. Torre do Tombo.
3 Mago i de Foraes Antigos, No. I. Torre do Tombo.
4 Armario 17, Mago 6, No. 5. Torre do Tombo. It is worthy
of note that the Eytor de Sousa, here referred to, is the-same,
person that appears: in/the .judgnient of the Casa de Supplicaqgo
of January i9th, 1479, as representing the Order of Christ,



This latter is the last existing document signed
by Azurara, though he appears to have given
another certificate on August 17th, 1473, nearly a
year after, relating to the forged grant of D.
Fernando to the Order of Christ, as mentioned by
Joao Pedro Ribeiro.'
There is no evidence to show when the Chronicler
died, and tradition on the point varies. The oldest
authority who refers to it is Damiao de Goes, and,
according to him, Azurara lived some years after
1472.' He never married, and was succeeded in
his post at the Torre do Tombo by Affonso Annes
d'Obidos; but the charter of this man's appointment
has been lost, and his first recorded certificate only
bears date March 31st, I475.3

We have now followed the life of Azurara step by
step, and seen him honoured for his talents by his
contemporaries, and rewarded for his services to
King and country by numerous benefactions.4 We

1 Memories Authenticas, p. 21.
2 Chronica de D. Manoel, quarta parte, ch. 38.
SMemorias Authenticas, p. 21.
4 Padre Jose Bayam, in p. 5 of his Prologue to the Chronica
del Rey D. Pedro I of Fernao Lopes (Lisbon, 1761), states that
Azurara obtained the position of Disembargador da Casa do
Civel, or Judge of Appeal of the Civil Court, on the authority of
ch. 54 of Pina's Chronica de D. Affonso which mentions a
certain Gomez Eanes as holding the office in question and being
sent on an embassy to Africa; but Joao Pedro Ribeiro, in vol. iv,
part 2, of his Dissertafes Chronologicas e Criticas, DissertagLo
XVI, proves conclusively that Bayam is in error, and that the
Judge had no connection with his namesake the Chronicler,



have also seen him on intimate terms with the Royal
Family, and corresponding regularly with some of
its members, as well as acquainted with the leaders
of the explorations and the learned men of the time,
and must conclude that this was chiefly due to his
literary attainments and genial character. It is
therefore pleasant to be able to record that, in our
day, Portugal has marked her appreciation of him, as
a man and a writer, by a statue, whilst recognizing
that his works form his greatest and most durable
monument. In the Praca de Luiz de Camoes in
Lisbon there rises a noble statue of the "Prince of
Spanish Poets"', surrounded by eight of the most
distinguished men of letters and action of the
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, his predecessors
and contemporaries, and among them is a life-size
figure of Gomez Eannes de Azurara.2

Azurara belongs to the line of Portuguese
Chroniclers who rendered illustrious the fifteenth
and sixteenth centuries, a line that began with
Ferndo Lopes and culminated in Damiao de Goes

1 The word "Spanish" is here used, in its correct sense, to in-
dude all the peoples ot the Peninsula. So the Archbishop of
Braga bears the title "Primaz das Hespanhas", denoting his
primacy over both Spain and Portugal.
2 No portrait of Azurara exists, and his signatures form the
only relic of him that we' possess.


and Joso de Barros, both of whom were almost
historians in the modern sense of the term, and at
the same time masters of prose style. He is indeed
the connecting link between the chronicler and the
historian, between the Mediaeval writers and those
of the Renaissance; for, while he possesses much of
the sympathetic ingenuousness of Lopes, yet he
cannot resist displaying his erudition and talents by
quotations and philosophical reflections, as quaint as
they are often unnecessary, proving that he wrote
under the influence of that wave of foreign literature
which had swept in with the new monarchy.
Three literary tendencies may be said to have
prevailed in Portugal during the fifteenth century-
firstly, a monomania for classical learning; secondly,
an increased taste for the medieval Epics and prose
Romances, due to the English influence that had
entered with Queen Philippa, daughter of time-
serving Lancaster, though it must be remembered
that Amadis de Gaula, the most famous romance
of the Middle Ages, was compiled in the pre-
ceding century and by a Portuguese hand; and
lastly, an admiration for Spanish poetry, which had
made wonderful strides since the great Italians,
Dante and Petrarch, had become known in the
Peninsula. In philosophy, Aristotle, as expounded
by Averroes, was the chief authority--Azurara calls
him "the Philosopher"-and following him Egidius
and Pedro Hispano, the Portuguese Pope and
scholar, enjoyed the widest influence. Platonic
philosophy was introduced at a much later period,



chiefly through the medium of Italian poetry, and it
never took root.
To the reader of Azurara's writings, it often seems
as though the author were overburdened by his
knowledge, which was in truth very extensive, if at
times somewhat superficial; and the Chronicles bear
witness to the fact that Portugal had not remained
foreign to the literary impulse of the Renaissance.
Besides citations from many books of the Bible, the
following classical writers appear in his pages:-
Herodotus, Homer, Hesiod, Aristotle, Caesar, Livy,
Cicero, Sallust, Valerius Maximus, Pliny, Lucan,
the two Senecas, Vegetius, Ovid, Josephus and
Ptolemy. Among early Christian and medieval
authors he mentions Orosius, St. Gregory, Isidore
of Seville, Lucas of Tuy, the Arabic astronomer
Alfragan, Gualter, Marco Polo, Roderick of Toledo,
Egidius, St. Jerome, Albertus Magnus, St. Bernard,
St. Chrysostom, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine,
and Peter Lombard; while he has heard the
legend of the voyages of St. Brendam and knows
the author of the Amadis de Gaula. He was
acquainted with the Chronicles and Romances of
the chief European nations,1 and had studied the
best Italian and Spanish authors. Added to this, he
had mastered the geographical system of the
Ancients,2 together with their astrology, and his
knowledge of the latter probably came from the

1 Chronic de D. Pedro de Mfenezes, ch. 63, and Chronica de
Ceuta, ch. 38. 2 Chronica de Guine, chs. 61 and 62.



-famous Opus Quadripartitum of Ptolemy. Although
he obtained his education in the time of D. Duarte,
or early in the reign of Affonso V,' an age which
had ceased to believe in sidereal influences, as
appears from the Leal Conselkeiro, his writings
show that he possessed a fervent faith in astrology
as explaining the character and acts, as well as
governing the destinies, of man.1 Various opinions
have been emitted about his style; for, while such a
good judge as Goes condemns his "antiquated words
and prolix reasoning, full of metaphors or figures
that are out of place in the historical style", Barros
speaks of his clear style" -that; together with his
diligence, rendered him worthy of the office he held.'
But perhaps the most perspicuous criticism thereon
is that of Correa da Serra, who declares, with
reference to the opinions just cited :-" Both may
well be right, for the style of Gomes Eannes is not
uniform, and seems the work of two different men.
As a rule his narrative is simple, full of sound
sense, and not without elegance; but, from time to
time, he remembers the rude rhetoric he had learnt
so late in life, and writes (if I may say so) in a
falsetto style. The first was what nature had
bestowed upon him, the last came from his immature
studies. But these very defects are of interest now,

1 Chronica de Guin', cbs. 7 and 28; Chronica de Ceuta
chs. 34, 52, and 57; Chronica de D. Duarte de Menezes, ch. 34.
2 Chronica do Princpie D .Joao, ch. 6, and Asia, Dec. I, liv.
ch. 2.


for they give an idea of the learning and taste of
that age."1 And, in spite of all his pedantry,
Azurara rises at times to a true eloquence, some of
his pages being equal to the best in Portuguese
prose. The grandeur of chapter ii of the Chronica
de Guind, and the heartfelt pity of Chapter xxv,
which relates the division of the captives, prove
conclusively that he could accommodate the style
to the subject like all writers worthy the name.
Had he lived a century later, he would have certainly
been placed in the first rank of Portuguese prosists;
while, as it is, his antiquated and at times inflated
language has gone far to prevent him from being
appreciated, or even read, by any save the studious.2
As an historian he had an unbounded respect for
authority, on his own confession, and the speeches
he puts in the mouths of his heroes remind the
reader at times of Livy, and make it clear that he
was writing under the immediate influence of
classical models.3 The historical importance of his
Chronicles is of the first order. They are contem-
porary with the events they relate, and contain the
history of the Portuguese expeditions to and rule in
Mauritania from the reign of Joao I down to that
of Affonso V, and furnish a complete account of all
the voyages of discovery along the African Coast,

SIneditos, .vol. ii, p. 210.
SCompare the remarks on Azurara's style by Sotero dos Reis
in his Curso da litteratura Portugueza e Brazileira. Maranhffo,
1866, vol. I, ligo xiv.
I Cf. Chronica de Ceuta, ch. I.



due to the initiative of D. Henrique, until 1448. True,
the Chronica de Guind omits to mention some other
voyages that were the result of private enterprise,
for Azurara wrote it in the capacity of Chronicler to
the King and as a panegyric of the Prince, and
never intended to relate discoveries unconnected
with his hero and with the land that gives his book
its title. The Chronica de Guind must, of course,
always take rank as Azurara's masterpiece. It was
the first book written by a European on the lands
south of Cape Bojador, and it restores to us, in great
part, the lost work of Cerveira entitled a History of
the Portuguese Conquests on the Coast of Africa, on
which it is founded, besides making up for the
regrettable disappearance of the naval archives of
the early period of modern discovery.
Azurara's credibility as a narrator is both unques-
tioned and unquestionable, for his position enabled
him to get at the truth, and he took pains to record
nothing but the truth, thereby proving himself a
genuine disciple of his master, Fernao Lopes. He
was moved, as a rule, neither by human respect nor
by petty jealousies, and accuracy seems with him to
have amounted to a passion.1 So truthful was he
that he preferred to leave the 'relation of facts
incomplete rather than tell of them without having

1 Many passages from his Chronicles might be cited to prove
this, but the following will suffice: Chronica de Ceuta, chs. I, 2,
I2, 51, 83, 91, and 95 ; Chronica de Guink, ch. 30; Chronica de
D. Pedro de Menezes, ch. I, and Bk. ii, ch. 18; Chronica de D.
Duarte de Menezes, chs. 2 and 60.


received exact information from eye-witnesses. He
was quite conscious of what he calls his "want of
polish and small knowledge ", and his humility is
shown by the declaration that he only regarded the
Chronica de Guind as material for some future
historian who would perpetuate the great deeds of
D. Henrique in a loftier and clearer style".'
His attitude towards the Moors, those hereditary
enemies of Portugal, was only what we should
expect, for, while he is strictly impartial in distri-
buting praise and blame to them equally with
Christians, he leaves us in no doubt on which
side his sympathies lay. In the Chronica de Guind,
for example, after descanting on the universal praise
of the Infant's life and work, he admits that a
discordant note in the general chorus' was struck
by the Moors whom the Prince had warred with
and slain, or, to quote his own words, "Some
other voices, very contrary to those I have until
now described, sounded in my ears, for which I
should have felt a great pity, had I not seen them
to come from men outside our Law ".
It has been already noted that Azurara, though
he wrote under the very shadow of the Palace, was
anything but a flatterer of the great; indeed, he
has been accused by some of insisting too much
on the defects in his heroes.3 On the other hand,

1 Chronica de Guing, ch. 6. 2 Ibid., ch. 2.
3 The Azorean scholar, Dr. J. T. Soares de Sousa, calls Azurara
"a clever courtier rather than a severe and impartial historian"
(quoted, by Dr. Theophilo Braga, in his Historia da Universidade


it must be confessed that he shows a marked par-
tiality, if not a blind admiration, for D. Henrique in
the Chronica de Ceuta as well as in the Chronica de
Guind. In the former he attributes to the Prince
the chief part in the capture of the city, while in
the latter he shows himself ever ready to defend
him from his dispraisers, and to convict of foolish-
ness out of their own mouths the opponents of
the voyages of discovery. Nay, more, he even
finds an explanation for D. Henrique's neglect to
defend his brother Pedro from being done to death
at Alfarrobeira, a neglect which is hard to explain
satisfactorily and must remain a blot on the Prince's
fair fame. But this bias may readily be accounted
for by the fact that Azurara passed much of his
time in close intimacy with D. Henrique, and drew
a great part of the information for his Chronicles
of Ceuta and Guinea from that source, besides
which he can hardly be blamed for the love he
felt and displayed for a great and good man, the
initiator and hero of modern discovery.
Finally, while no serious critic would admit
Azurara within the circle of great historians, few
would dispute his title to be. named a great
Chronicler. That he was a laborious and truthful
writer his pages make clear; that he could tell a
simple story vividly-nay, dramatically-and that he

de Coimbra, vol. i, p. 138); but this is certainly unjust and even
untrue. F. Manoel de Mello gives a fairer estimate in the witty
phrase, "Chronista antigo, tio candido de penna, como de barba."
-Apologos Dialogaes, p. 455, ed. Lisbon, 1721.


had at times flashes of inspiration, the Chronica 'de
Guind attests, though, even bearing this work in
mind, it is easy to perceive his inferiority in the
matter of style to Fernlo Lopes, a point constantly
insisted on by Portuguese critics. In a word, if, as
Southey said, Lopes is "beyond all comparison the
best Chronicler of any age or nation ", it may well be
that Azurara, "notwithstanding an occasional dis-
play of pedantry, is equal in merit to any Chronicler,
except his unequalled predecessor ".1


The following is a list of Azurara's works in the
order in which they were written :-
This volume, of doubtful authenticity, which was
never printed, has now been lost. Senhor Oliveira
Martins was unable to find a trace of it when
engaged on his recently-published life of the Holy
Constable,2 and suggests that it may have perished,
along with so many other literary treasures, in 1755,
during the Great Earthquake. Jorge Cardoso, in
his Agiologico Lusitano,3 quotes a passage from

1 Quarterly Review, May 1809, p. 288.
A Vida de Nun' Alvares. Lisbon, 1893.
Tom. iii, p. 217, ed. Lisbon, 1666. Barbosa Machado
mentions the MS. on the authority of Cardoso.-Vide Bibliotheca
torn. ii, art, on Azurara.


Azurara's work, and Santa Anna gives the sub-
stance of it in his Chronica dos Carmaelitas,
expressly declaring that he had seen the original
MS., which was then preserved among the Archives
of the Carmo Convent.1
Terceira parte em que se cont6m a tomada de
Ceuta." Composta por Gomez Eannes D'Azurara
Chronista M6r destes Reynos. & impressa na lin-
guagem antiga. Em Lisboa. Com todas as licencas
necessarias. A custa de Antonio Alvarez, Impressor
del-rei N.S. 1644, pp. x-283 fol. Such is the full
title of the CAronica de Ceuta as given in the one
and only published edition.
Following the Chronicle come accounts of the
death of King Joio and the translation of his body
to Batalha, extracted from the Chronica de D.
Dualre, as well as a copy, with translation, of the
epitaph on his tomb, and then his will and a general
Index. MSS. of this Chronicle exist in the Biblio-
theca National in Lisbon, and in the Torre do Tombo.
The former place contains a defective one, dating
from the middle of the 16th century, as well as one
of the second part of the same period apparently
complete. The latter boasts a MS. (No. 366) of
the 15th century, in large folio, written on paper in
red and black, which derives importance from its

1 Chranica dos Carmaelitas, vol. i, pp. 469 and 486. Lisbon,


early date, and exhibits a text practically identi-
cal with that of the book described above; while of
the others, one may be attributed to the I6th
century and two to the 17th. The Oporto Muni-
cipal Library has an i8th-century MS. of this
DE GUINm, escrita por mandado de El-Rei D. Affonso
V. sob a direccqo scientific, e segundo as instructors
do illustre Infante D. Henrique pelo Chronista
Gomez Eannes de Azurara; fielmente trasladada
do Manuscript original contemporaneo, que se
conserve na Bibliotheca Real de Pariz, e dada
pela primeira vez a luz per diligencia do Visconde
de Carreira, Enviado Extraordinario e Ministro
Plenipotentiario de S. Majestade Fidelissima na
corte da Franca; precedida de uma Introducqao e
illustrada cor algumas notas pelo Visconde de
Santarem ..... e seguida d'um Glossario das
palavras e phrases antiquadas e obsoletas." Paris,
1841. Fol. pp. xxv-474, with frontispiece portrait
of D. Henrique from this same MS.
The letter which Azurara addressed to King

1 There doubtless exist many other MSS. of Azurara's Chronicles,
besides those mentioned in this notice, both in public libraries
and private collections. Most of those described here are in
Lisbon, and neither the Royal Library at the Ajuda nor the rich
collection at Evora appear to contain a single specimen. Gallardo
states that D. Pedro Portocarrero y Guzman, Patriarch of the
Indies, the catalogue of whose library was printed at Madrd in
1703, possessed a signed MS. of the Chronica de Ceuta.


Affonso V, when he forwarded the Chronicle, is
printed in facsimile and precedes the Introduction.
There are three separate impressions of this
,Chronicle-one on parchment, of which the Biblio-
theca National in Lisbon possesses a copy, another
on large paper, both of these being folio size, and a
third on small paper octavo size.
Two early MSS. of the Chronicle exist: one, very
handsome and perfect, in the Paris National Library,
from which the printed edition was made; and the
other, bearing date 1506, in the Royal and National
Library at Munich. The latter belonged to Valentim
Fernandes, a German printer, established in Lisbon
from the end of the i5th century to past the middle
of the I6th, who owned many MSS. of great value,
which have been studied by Schmeller in his Ueber
Valentf Fernandez Alemd und seine Sammlung
von Naczrichten iiber die En/deckungen und Besitz-
ungen der Porlugiesen in Afrika und Asien bis
zum Jahre 1508. The imprint of this essay is 1845.
The Munich MS. is an abridgment; many of the
rhetorical passages, ch. i, and nearly the whole of
chs. iii-vii, being omitted. Valentim Fernandes,
who transcribed, if he did not compile, this sum-
mary, which he finished on November I4th, 1506,
commences his chapters at the eighth of the Paris
MS., and reduces the original number of chapters
from ninety-seven to sixty-two.
The text of the Paris MS. seems to have been
added to at some later time, and, at any rate, is not
in the state in which Azurara left .it in 1453, the


year the Chronicle was finished, because certain
passages speak of D. Henrique as though already
deceased, while he only died in 1460.1 Innocencio
thinks Azurara emended his work after the Prince's
death,, and inserted some reflections on his life and
moral qualities, without continuing the narrative, or
passing the limit he had at first marked out, namely
The history of the MS., and the discovery in
1837 by the Lusophile, Ferdinand Denis, of the
Paris copy, together with a description thereof, is
related by the Viscount de Santarem in his Intro-
duction, and deserves perusal.2 Fragments of the
Chronicle were known to Barros, who incorporated
them in his Asia, but Goes never saw it at all, and
it would seem to have disappeared from Portugal
in the I6th century.3 Frei Luiz de Sousa, the
great Dominican prose writer, met with a MS.
copy at Valencia, in the possession of the Duke
of Calabria, one of whose ancestors, a King of
Naples, had received it, he was informed, from
D. Henrique himself.4 We know from another

1 Cf. Chronica de Guind, ch. 5.
2Chronica de Guini, p. xii, and compare the art. on Azurara
in the Diccionario Universal Portuguea, and Innocencio da Silva,
Diccionario Bibliograpfico Portuguez, vol. ix, p. 245.
3 Barros, Asia, Dec. I, liv. ii, ch. i, and Goes, C.':,...ir do
Principe D. Joao, ch. 6.
4 Historia de S. Domingos, p. I, liv. vi, ch. 15. Santarem
suggests that Affonso V sent it to his uncle, Affonso the Magni-
ficent of Naples, by his ambassador, Martin Mendes de Berredo,


source that this MS. was still in Spain at the
beginning of the last century, but how it reached
its present resting-place, the National Library in
Paris, remains a mystery.
Continuada aa tomada de Cepta, a qual mandou
El-Rey D. Affonso V deste nome,. e dos Reys de
Portugal 'XII, escrepver." Such is the title of this
Chronicle, which was published in Vol. II of the
Ineditos, and runs from page 213 to the end. It is
there preceded by an Introduction of six pages,
dealing with the life and works of Azurara, from
the pen of the erudite Abbade Correa da Serra.
There exists a valueless MS. of this Chronicle in
the Bibliotheca National in Lisbon of the end of
the 17th century, and another equally devoid of
interest in the Academia das Sciencias. Mr.
Quaritch recently offered one for sale,' which
derives importance from having been copied from
another of early date, and was kind enough to
send it for our inspection. It is a small folio,
beautifully written on paper, containing 164 leaves
with thirty-one lines to the page, and was tran-
scribed from a MS. on parchment of 233 folios in
a single column, which had been itself finished in
Lisbon on July 24th, 1470, by Joio Gongalvez, the
scribe who copied the Paris MS. of the Chronica de

between 1453 and 1457; but this cannot be reconciled with the
fact that certain passages in the Chronicle appear to have been
written after the death of D. Henrique.
1 Catalogue No. 148, Bibliotheca Hisfana, February 1895.


Guind. The copy belonging to Mr. Quaritch has
some marginal notes without value, and must, to
judge from the writing, have been made in Portugal
at the very beginning of the I7th century, or, as he
says, about 1620. The text is the same as that
printed in the Ineditos.
This was published for the first time in Vol. III
of the Ineditos, and has there no separate title page,
but the heading of the first chapter reads as follows:
-" Comecasse a Historia, que fala dos feitos que
fez o Illustre e muy nobre Cavaleiro Dom Duarte
de Menezes, Conde que foi de Viana, Alferes Del-
Rey e Capitao por elle na Villa Dalcacer em Affrica.
A qual foi primeiramente ajuntada e escripta per
Gomez Eanes de Zurara, professor Cavalleiro, e
Comendador na Ordem de Christus, Chronista do
mesmo Senhor Rey, e Guardador m6r do Tombo de
seus Regnos."
All the MSS. of this Chronicle are defective, and
we know from the Royal Censor that they were in
the same state as early as the reign of Dom SebastiAo.
In fact, more than a third of the work has disap-
peared, and is represented by lacunae. The Biblio-
theca National in Lisbon has three, the Torre do
Tombo two, and the Bibliotheca da Academia Real
das Sciencias one MS. of this Chronicle; all show
the same gaps. The only MS. of value is one (No.
520) in the Torre do Tombo, dating from the end
of the 15th century, written on parchment, with the


headings to the Chapters in red and black, and an
illuminated title-page. It must be pronounced a
fine specimen of caligraphy, and, though incomplete
like the rest, is otherwise in good condition.

The Writings attributed to Azurara consist of the
following :-
There seems to be little doubt that Azurara wrote
some sort of a Chronicle of this King which has
not been preserved. ,The Chronicle we possess
goes under the name of Ruy de Pina, but, according
to Goes, it was begun by Fernao Lopes, continued
by Azurara, and only finished by Pina.1 Barros is
more explicit, for he not only states that Azurara
compiled the Chronicle in question, but adds that it
was appropriated by Ruy de Pina, who succeeded
him in the post of Chronista M6r.2 Azurara himself
does not help us much to a solution of the problem.
In the Chronica de Guind he refers twice to it some-
what vaguely, but in another place mentions it quite
clearly as his own work, though in the future tense.
Again, in the Chronica de Ceuta there is a similar
reference to it, also in the future tense.4 Unsatis-
factory as this is, we must perforce be content with

1 Chronica de D. Manoel, quarta parte, ch. 38.
2 Asia, Dec. I, liv. ii, ch. 2.
3 Chronica de Guinx, chs. i, 5, and 68.
4 Chronic de Ceuta, ch. 21, and cf. Chronic de D. Duarte de
Menezes, ch. 24.


it in default of any better information. It seems
most unlikely that Affonso V would have employed
the Chronicler on the lives of great nobles like Pedro
and Duarte de Menezes, who, after all, were but
private persons, without providing, in some way, for
a history of his father to be written. All we can
say is, that Azurara probably collected the material
and possibly made a first draft-although it is notice-
able that he nowhere speaks of the Chronicle as
finished, but always as something that is to be done
-then came Ruy de Pina and put it into shape, for
the style is certainly his, and, while more smooth, is
far less characteristic than the quaint rhetorical
sentences of Azurara.
Both Barros and Goes agree that Azurara wrote
a Chronicle of this monarch, and carried it down to
the death of D. Pedro in the year 1449, and that
it was finished by Ruy de Pina, under whose name
it appears." More than this, Barbosa Machado
actually cites it, as though it existed in his day,
thus-Chronica del Rey D. Affonso V, aid a more
do Infante D. Pedro ; fol. MS.2 It is true that, in the
Chronica de D. Pedro de Menezes, Azurara declares
that, in spite of entreaties, the King would never
allow him to write a history of his reign; but this

1 Asia, Dec. i, liv. ii, ch. 2, and Chronica de D. Mfanoel, quarta
parte, ch. 38. Goes says, too, that Azurara related the taking of
Arzilla, which happened in 1470.
Bibliotheca Lusitana, vol. ii, art. on Azurara.


was in 1463, and Affonso may well have entrusted
him with the work in later years, and another
passage of the same Chronicle seems to imply it,'
though Pina, while confessing that he was not the
first to receive a commission for the Chronicle of
King Affonso, declares that he found it uncom-
menced.2 If we examine carefully the first 124
Chapters of Pina's Chronicle, we shall at first sight
conclude the ideas to belong to Azurara and the
phraseology to savour of Pina. Such prominence
is given'to the acts and character of the Regent
that the work might well have borne his name,
and he is treated with a fervent veneration and
a love which might naturally be expected from
Azurara, who must have known him intimately, as
he certainly knew his son, but which could hardly
be looked for in a later writer. Again, D. Henrique's
neglect of his brother, a neglect which made Alfar-
robeira possible, is reprehended in terms that bring
to mind the stern and impartial Azurara rather than
his more smooth-tongued successor, while, curiously
enough, the incident is not touched on in Chapter
cxliv, undoubtedly the work .of Pina, where the
character of the Prince is summed up after his death
and receives unmixed praise. On the other hand, it

1 Chronica de D, Pedro de Menezes, chs. I, 2, and parte I,
ch. 26; and compare his references to the Chronica Geral in the
Chronica de D. Duarte de Menezes, chs. io8, III, i35, 142, and
145, as well as in the Chronica de Guini, ch. 5.
2 Prologue to the Chronica de D. Affonso V (Ineditos, vol. i,
p. 202). .


must be remembered that D. Henrique's behaviour
to his brother Pedro at the last is referred to in the
Ckronica de Guind as a proof of his loyalty under
difficult circumstances, and this fact certainly tells
against Azurara's authorship of the Chronicle under
consideration, though hardly enough of itself to
discredit the express statements of Barros -and
Goes. To sum up. While it is certain that
Azurara never wrote a complete Chronicle of
Affonso V, for the good reason that he prede-
ceased the King, it is impossible in the present
state of our knowledge to measure his share in the
first part, with which alone he has been credited,
although one cannot help inclining to the opinion
that the Chronicle as it stands is substantially the
work of Ruy de Pina.
volumes, existing in the Lisbon National Library.
The title of the First Volume runs :-" Chronica
do Invicto D. Duardos de Bertania, Princepe de
Ingalaterra, filho de Palmeiry, e da Princeza
Polinarda, do qual se conta seus estremados feitos
em armas, e purissimos amores, com outros de
outros cavalleiros que em seu tempo concorrerAo.
Composta por Henrrique Frusto, Chronista ingres,
e tresladada em Portugues por Gomes Ennes de
Zurara que fes a Chronica del Rey Dom AFongo
Henrriques de Portugal, achada de novo entire seus
There are three MS. copies of this volume which
differ somewhat inter se, the earliest dating from the



second half of the 17th century. Two of these
copies contain eighty chapters, the other but seventy-
six. They are marked respectively U B B in
-T I U W_ _0
the Lisbon National, Library. T1 O 7
The last, an 18th-century MS., though substan-
tially the same work as the two former ones, bears a
different title: Chronica de Primaleao, Emperador
de Grecia. Primeira Parte. Em que se conta das
faqanhas que obrou o Princepe D. Duardos, e os
mais Princepes que com elle se criarao na Ilha
Perigoza do Sabio Daliarte." Its composition is
attributed to Guilherme Frusto, Autor Hybernio",
and the name of Azurara does not appear as trans-
lator, one "Simisberto Pachorro being named as
the copyist.
The Second Volume bears the title :-" Segida
parte da cronica do Princepe Dom Duardos. Com-
posta por Henrique Frusto e tresladada por Gomez
Enes Dazurara, autores da primeira parte." It
contains eighty-six chapters and is marked U.
Underneath the title is written in a flowing
hand-" Podesse encadernar esta segunda part da
Chronica do Princepe Dom Duardos. Lxa em
Mesa. 21 de Outubro de 659", and signed with.
three names.
The Third Volume is headed :-" Terseira parte
da Chronica do Princepe Dom Duardos", composta
por Henrrique Frusto e tresladada por Gomez Ennes
dazurara, Auctores da la, e 2a parte. It has thirty-
five Chapters, and ends.abruptly. Its mark is T.
All the MSS. described above are of rela- T-



tively recent date, written on paper and of folio size.'
A certain want of connection appears between Parts
I and 11, but this is not so as regards Parts ii and
in. A very unpoetical Sonnet closes Chapter xI.
of the last Part, and, since it is not referred to in the
text and its language is modern, may possibly have
been interpolated. From the form it cannot be
earlier than I526 or 1530, while a competent judge
holds it to have been probably composed after 1550.
From a cursory .examination of the Chronicle
under consideration, it would seem to be neither (i)
a translation from the English, nor yet (2) by the
hand of Azurara, as alleged, but an original compo-
sition by some anonymous writer. The value of the
first statement may be estimated by remembering
how Cervantes declared he had copied D. Quixote
from the Cide Hamete Benengeli; and, again, how
Joao de Barros introduced his Clarimundo as a
version from the Hungarian; in any case, no such
early English or Irish Chronicler as Frusto or
Frost (?) can be shown to have existed. The
Cycle of the Round Table, and other British
Romances of Chivalry, which were known in
Portugal early in the 14th century, became more
popular after the marriage of D. Joao I with D.
Philippa of Lancaster, and this accounts for the
ascription to an English origin; while Azurara's

Dr. Theophilo Braga mentions another MS: of the whole
Chronicle, in a single volume of 644 folios, as being in private
hands. The name of the English (?) Chronicler is there spelt
"Henrique Fauste".-Anmadis de Gauda, p. 196 n. Porto, 1873.


kn.il\\-c1-, of such books, as displayed in his:
various Chronicles, explains how this story of a
mythical D. Duarte came to be fathered on him.
The considerations that weigh most against Azurara's
authorship of the MS. are those of date and style.
It has been already proved that he died in or about
the year 1473, so that, assuming the work to be his,
it must have been written at least before that date,
or even much earlier, say before 1454; since it cannot
be presumed that he would have time for such an
essay after his appointment as Chief Chronicler of
Portugal and Royal Archivist. Perhaps he would
have lacked the inclination as well, at least ju,:liii
from the disdainful tone of his reference to the
Amadis de Gaula in the Chronica de D. Pedro de
Mlenezes. Now, the first of the Palmerin series-to
which our MS. certainly belongs-the Palmerin de
Oliva, was only printed in 1511 ; and though both it
and its sequel, Primaleon, may have existed in MS.
in the 15th century, contemporary literature has no
record of the fact as in the case of A-l, .'a, and there
is nothing to favour the supposition. But, apart
from this, a perusal of the first few chapters of Part I
of the present MS., and especially the opening lines
of Chapter I, will convince most readers, without
further proof, that it is nothing else than a con-
tinuation of the Palmeirim de Inglaterra' of
Francisco de Moraes,' for it not only takes up

.1 But it is quite a distinct work from that of Diogo Fernandes,;
though the same period seems to have given them birth.

8t AZURAkA. Ixvii

the story where Moraes had left off, but expressly
refers to the Palmeirim on more than one occasion.1
Now, the book of Moraes was only written about
the year 1543, so that, as far as the dates go, they
are enough of themselves to decide the question of
Azurara's authorship in the negative. To come to
the question of style-that of the MS. has nothing
to correspond with the rhetorical expressions and
the quotations, and none of the idioms, peculiar to
Azurara; nor does it belong to the 15th century, but
rather to the middle or latter part of the 16th, despite
the slight archaic atmosphere, shown more especially
in the orth:.-, ra.:phii v, that hangs about Part I, and
ever and anon calls to mind the Saudades of Ber-
nardim Ribeiro. The phrase "a'chada de novo
entire seus papeis", on the title-page of the Romance,
evidences nothing, although it is alleged, as already
mentioned, that Azurara left MSS. behind him
which were explored in the last century by Padre
Jose Pereira de Sanit' Anna.2

Day of Camoens' Death, 1895.

1 Vide Part I, chs. I, 4, 6, 17, and 37.
2 Compare, on this question, the following studies:-Opusculo
acerca do Palmeirim de Inglaterra e do seu actor, by M. O.
Mendes. Lisbon, 1860. Discurso sore el Palmeirim de Ingla-
terra y su verdadero author, by N. D. de Benjumea. Lisbon, 1875.
Versuch iiber den Ritterroman Palmeirim de Inglaterra, by
D. Carolina Michaelis de Vasconcellos. Halle, 1883.

NOTE. The elegant signature of Azurara, with its
flourishes and general ornateness, a woodcut of which
appears below, was copied by my friend the Viscount de
Castilho, son of the poet, from an original document in
the Torre do Tombo. The writing, it will be observed, is
clear and firm, a characteristic of all the Chronicler's
signatures, which exist to the number of some half-dozen
in the Torre.-E. P.





ERE beginneth the Chronicle in which
are set down all the notable deeds
that were achieved in the Conquest
of Guinea, written by command of
the most high and revered Prince and
most virtuous Lord the Infant Don
Henry, Duke of Viseu and Lord of
Covilham, Ruler and Governor of the Chivalry of the Order
of Jesus Christ. The which Chronicle was collected into
this volume by command of the most high and excellent
Prince, and most powerful Lord the King Don Affonso
the Fifth of Portugal.

Which is the Prologue, wherein the Author sheweth what will be his
purpose in this Work.
WE are commonly taught by experience, that all well-
doing requireth gratitude. And even though the benefactor
doth not covet it for himself, yet he should desire it, that


the recipient may not suffer dishonour where the giver
hath acquired virtuous merit. And such a special com-
munion is there between these two acts, to wit, giving and
thanking, that the first requireth the second by way of
obligation. And did not the former* exist, it would
not be possible for there to be gratitude in the world.
Wherefore, Saint Thomas,- who was the most clear teacher1
among the Doctors of Theology, saith in the second book
of the second part of his work, in the Io8th section, that
every action returneth by nature to the cause from which it
first proceeded. Therefore, since the giver is the chief cause
of the benefit received by the other, it is requisite, by the
ordinance of Nature, that the good he doth should come
back to him in the shape of a fitting gratitude. And by
this return we are enabled to understand the natural like-
ness between the works of Nature and those that give moral
aid, for all things bring about a proper return, starting
from a commencement and progressing till in the end they
accomplish the recompence we speak of. And, in proof of
this, Solomon saith in the book of Ecclesiastes, that the
sun riseth over the earth, and, having encircled all things,
returneth to where it first appeared. The rivers also
proceed from the sea, and ceasing not their course, are
continually returning to it. A like thing happeneth in the
moral order, for all good that cometh from a generous will,
doth run a straight course until it arrive at the fitting
recipient, and then afterwards it returneth naturally to the
place where the generosity allowed it to begin ; and such a
return bringeth about that sweet union between those that
do good and those that receive it, of which Tully speaketh
when he saith that no service is more necessary than

I.e., conferring of favours.
f I.e., Aquinas. See note'I, in vol. ii. Throughout the present
volume the numbers inserted in the text refer to historical and other
notes which will be appended to vol. ii.


gratitude, in order that the good may return to him who
gave it.
And in that the most high and excellent Prince and
most mighty Lord, the King Don Affonso the Vth (who
at the time of the writing of this book reigned in Portugal,.
by the grace of God, whose reign may God in his mercy
increase in length and in virtues), in that he, I say, saw and
knew the great and very notable deeds of the Lord Infant'
Don Henry, Duke of Viseu and Lord of Covilham, who
was his highly-valued and beloved uncle, and in that the
said deeds appeared to him so noteworthy among the many
actions of Christian princes in this world-it seemed to him
a wrong thing not to have some authentic memorial of
the same before the minds of men. And this most of all
because of the great services which the said Lord had ever
rendered to past kings, and the great benefits which by
his efforts the Prince's countrymen had received.
For these reasons the King bade me engage in this work
with all diligence, for although great part of his other
actions are scattered through the Chronicles of the Kings
of his day, as, for instance, what he did when the King
Don John, his father, went to take Ceuta,2 and when on his
own account he went with his brothers and many other
great lords to raise the siege of the aforesaid town, and
afterwards when in the reign and by the command of the'
King Don Edward of glorious memory, he attacked Tan-
gier, where were done many very notable deeds, which are
mentioned in his history, yet all that followeth was
done by his ordinance* and mandate, not without great
expense and trouble, all which is truly to be set down
to his account. For though in all kingdoms men com-
pile general Chronicles of their Kings, they do not fail

SI.e., all that follows in this book was done by Henry's ordinance,

also to write separately of the deeds of some of those
Kings' vassals, wherever the greatness of the same is
notable enough to warrant such especial mention-as was
done in France in the case of Duke John, Lord of Lan-
gam,3 and in Castille in the matter of the deeds of the
Cid Ruy Diaz,4 and in our own kingdom in the story of
the Count Nunalvarez Pereira.' And with this Royal
Princes ought to be not a little contented, for so much the
more is their honour exalted as they have seigniory over
greater and more excellent persons; for no Prince can be
great, unless he rule over great men; nor rich, unless he
rule over the wealthy. For this cause said the virtuous
Roman Fabricius, that he would rather be lord over those
who had gold, than have gold himself.
But because the said deeds were written by many and
various persons, so the record of them is variously written,
in many parts. And our Lord the King, considering that
it was not convenient for the process of one only Con-
quest* that it should be recounted in many ways, although
they all contribute to one result, ordered me to work at
the writing and ordering of the history in this volume so
that those who read might have the more perfect knowledge.
And that we may return the benefit he conferred on us by
gratitude to him from whom we received it, as I began to
set forth at the commencement of this chapter, we will
follow the example of that holy Prophet Moses, who,
desiring not to let the people of Israel forget the good that
God had shewn them, often commanded the receivers to
write them upon their hearts, as in a book that should
display to those who considered it what was written therein.
Further, seeing that the remembrance of injuries is tender,
and that the good deed is soon forgotten, those that
came after+ set up signs that should be lasting, on which

-* Such as that of Guinea.

t- I.e., after Mroses.


people might look and remember the benefits they-had
received in time past. And so likewise it is written of
Joshua, that God bade him take twelve great stones from
the midst of the river Jordan, and carry them to where the
camp was pitched, after all had crossed. For this was
done in order that they should be in remembrance of the
wonderful miracle which God had wrought in presence of
the people, when he parted the waters, so that those which
came from above stood up in a heap and did not flow out
towards the sides, while those which were below flowed on
until the river was dry. But some, considering that even by
such signs it was not always perfectly well known what
had been done (just as we see that the Pillars of Hercules6
do not signify clearly to all who see them that they were
placed there as a memorial of his Conquest of Spain),
began the custom of writing what could not otherwise be
long remembered. And in proof of this it is related in the
book of Queen Esther, that King Ahasuerus kept a record
of all the notable services that had been rendered to him,
and that at certain times he caused this record to be read,
that he might reward the authors of those services. So,
too, the King Don Ramiro, desiring that the men of Spain
should not allow themselves to forget the great aid that the
blessed apostle Saint James had given them, when he
delivered them from the power of the Moors, and promised
to be our helper in all our battles with the Infidel, caused
to be written the story of that event in the privileges that
he granted the Church of Santiago,7 that is to say, in pro-
viding for the entertainment of the poor,-privileges which
that Church now receives from every part of Spain where
Christians then lived.
Now this care that the ancients- showed ought to be a
custom of to-day, and inasmuch as our memory is weaker
than theirs was, and less mindful of the good that it
receiveth, so much the more careful should we be to keep


ever before us the benefits' bestowed on us by others, since
we cannot afford to forget them without manifest injury to
ourselves. And because we received of God great benefit
in the deeds hereinafter recorded, in three ways-firstly, by
the many souls that have been already saved, and yet will
be saved, of the lineage of our captives; secondly, by the
great benefits we all of us receive from the said actions;
thirdly, by the great honour that our realm is now gaining
in many parts by subjecting to itself so great a power of
enemies, and so far from our own land-for all these
reasons we will put this history in remembrance to the
praise of God, and to the glorious memory of our aforesaid
Lord, and to the honour of many good servants of his,
and other worthy persons of our country who toiled man-
fully in the doing of the aforesaid actions. Finally,
because our said Chronicle is especially dedicated to this
Lord,* let us begin at once to speak of his habits and of his
virtues, and of his appearance also, in accordance with the
custom of various authors of credit whose chronicles we
have seen.

The Author's invocation.
0 THOU Prince little less than divine! I beseech thy
sacred virtues to bear with all patience the shortcomings of
my too daring pen, that would attempt so lofty a subject as
is the recounting'of thy virtuous deeds, worthy of so much
glory. For the eternal duration of these thy actions, if
the end of my attempt be profitable, will "exalt thy
fame and bring great honour to thy memory, giving a

"This Lord," the "aforesaid Lord," and so on, is of course


useful lesson to all those princes that shall follow thine
example. For of a certainty it is not without cause that I
ask pardon of thy virtues, knowing my insufficiency to
compass such a task, and that I have more just reason to
expect blame for doing less than I ought, than for saying
over much. Thy glory, thy praises, thy fame, so fill my
ears and employ my eyes that I know not well where to
begin. I hear the prayers of the innocent souls of those
barbarous peoples, almost infinite in number, whose ancient
race since the beginning of the world hath never seen the
divine light, but who are now by thy genius, by thy infinite
expense, and by thy great labours, brought into the true
path of salvation, washed in the waters of baptism, anointed
with the holy oil, and freed from that wretched abode of
theirs, knowing at this present what darkness lay concealed
under the semblance of light in the days of their ancestors.
I will not say with what filial piety, as they contemplate
the divine power, they are ever praying for a reward to thy
great merits-for that is a matter which cannot be denied
by him who hath well considered the sentences of St.
Thomas and St. Gregory8 on the knowledge possessed by
spirits concerning those who have been, or are, profitable
to them in this world. I see those Garamantes,9 those
Ethiopians, who live under the shadow of Mount Caucasus,
black in colour, because of living just opposite to the full
height of the sun's rays-for he, being in the head of
Capricorn, shineth on them with wondrous heat, as is shown
by his movements from the centre of his eccentric, or, in
another way, by the nearness of these people to the torrid
zone,-I see the Indians of the greater and the lesser
India,10 all alike in colour, who call upon me to write of thy
gifts of money and of raiment, of the passing of thy ships,
and of thy hospitality-which those received who, either
to visit the Apostle," or to see the beauty of the world,
came to the ends of our Spain. And those dwellers on


the Nile, whose multitudes possess the lands of that
ancient and venerable city of Thebes,12 they, too,.astonish
me, for I see them clothed in thy livery, and their bodies,
that had never known a covering, now carrying robes of
varied colours, while the necks of their women are adorned
with jewels of gold and silver in rich workmanship. But
what has caused this save the munificence of thine expenses
and the labours of thy servitors, set in motion by thy
beneficent will, by the which thou hast transported to the
ends of the East things created in the West ? Yet not even
the prayers and the cries of these peoples, though they
were many, were of such price as the acclamations I heard
from the greatness of the Germans, from the courtesy of
the French, from the valour of the English, and from the
wisdom of the Italians,13 cries that were accompanied by
others of divers nations and languages, all renowned by
lineage and virtues. Oh thou, say these, who interest the
labyrinth of such great glory, why dost thou busy thyself
only with the nations of the East ? Speak to us, for we
traverse the lands and encircle the circumference of the
Earth, and know the Courts of Princes and the houses of
great lords. Know that thou wilt not find another that
can equal the excellency of the fame of this man, if thou
judges by a just weight of all that pertains to a great
prince. With reason mayst thou call him a temple of all
the virtues. But how plaintive do I find the people of our
nation because I place the testimonies of some other race
before theirs. For here in Portugal I meet with great lords,
prelates, nobles, widowed ladies, Knights of the Orders of
Chivalry, Masters and Doctors of the holy faith, with many
graduates of every science, young scholars, companies of
esquires, and men of noble breeding, with mechanics and an
untold multitude of the people. And some of these shew
me towns and castles; others villages and fields; others
rich benefices; others great and wealthy farms; others


country houses and estates and liberties; others charters for
pensions and for marriages; others gold and silver, money
and cloth; others health in their bodies and deliverance
from perils which they have gained by means of thee;
others countless servants both male and female; while
others there are that tell me of monasteries, and churches
that thou didst repair and rebuild, and of the great. and
rich ornaments that thou didst offer in many holy places.
Others, again, pointed out to me the marks of the chains
they bore in. the .captivity from which thou didst rescue
them. What shall-I say of the needy beggars that I see
before me laden with alms ? And of the great multitude of
friars of every order that shew me the garments with which
thou didst clothe their bodies, and the abundance of. food
with which thou didst satisfy their necessities? I had
already made an end of this chapter, had I.not described'
the approach of a multitude of ships with tall sails laden
from the islands thou didst people in the great Ocean Sea,14
which called, on. me to wait for them, as they longed to
prove that they ought not to be omitted from this register.
And they displayed before me their great cattle-stalls, the
valleys full of sugar cane from which they carried store to
distribute throughout the world: they brought also as
witnesses to their great prosperity all the dwellers in the
kingdom of the Algarve.15 Ask, said they, whether these
people ever knew what it was to have abundance of bread
until our Prince peopled the uninhabited isles, where no
dwelling existed save that of. wild beasts. Next they
shewed me great rows of beehives full of swarms of
bees, from which great, cargoes of wax and honey are
carried to our realm; and besides these,. lofty, houses
towering to the sky, which have been and are .being
built with wood from those pafts. But why should I
mention the multitude of things that were told me in thy
praise, though all of them were things that I could write


without injuring the truth? Let me tell how there now
sounded in my ears. some other voices very contrary to
these I have recounted hitherto : voices for which I should
have felt great compassion had I not discovered them to
be the cries of those outside our law. For there addressed
me countless souls of Moors, both on this side the Straits,
and also beyond,16 of whom many had died by thy lance
in the cruel war thou hast ever waged against them. And
others presented themselves before me loaded with chains,
their countenances pitiable to behold, men who were
captured by thy ships through the strength of the bodies
of thy vassals; but in these I noticed that they complained
not so much of the ill fortune that overtook them at the
end as of their fate in earlier life, that is, of the seductive
error in which that false schismatic Mohammed17 left them.
And so I conclude my preface, begging that if thy great
virtues, if the excellence of thy great and noble deeds,
suffer any loss by my ignorance and rudeness, thy magna-
nimous greatness may vouchsafe to look on my fault with
a pr.pitiou: countenance.

In which we recount the descent of the Infant Don Henry.
Two reasons move me to speak in this chapter of the descent
of this noble prince. First of all, because the long course of
ages driveth out of the memory the very knowledge of past
things, which would be altogether dimmed and hidden from
our eyes were they not to be represented before us in writing.
And since I have determined to write for the representing
of this present time to "those that come after, I ought not
to pass by in silence the glory of so noble a descent as our
Prince's, since this book must indeed be a work placed


by itself. For it may happen that those who read through
this may not know anything of other writings.
But this digression must needs be brief, that I may not
be drawn away far from my projected task.
And the second reason* is that we may not attribute the
whole of such great virtues to one man only, but may
rather give some part to his ancestors, for it is certain
that nobility of lineage, being well observed by one that
hath sprung from such a stock-for the sake, as often
happeneth, of avoiding shame, or in some way of acquir-
ing virtue-constraineth a man to shew courage, and
strengtheneth his heart to endure greater toils.
Therefore you must know that the King Don John, who
was the tenth King of Portugal, the same that was victor
in the great battle of Aljubarrota and took the very noble
city of Ceuta, in the land of Africa, was espoused to
Donna Philippa, daughter of the Duke of Lancaster, and
sister of the King Don Henry of England, by whom
he had six lawful children, to wit, five princes, and one
princess, who was afterwards Duchess of Burgundy." Some
others, who died while still very young, I omit to mention.
And of these children Prince Henry was the third, so that
with the ancestry he had, both on his father's and his
mother's side, the lineage of this royal prince embraced the
most noble and lofty in Christendom. Now this same
Prince Henry was also brother of the King Don Edward
and uncle of the King Don Affonso, the kings who, after
the death of the King Don John, reigned in Portugal.
But this, as I said, I touch on briefly, because if I were
to declare things more fully I should meet with many
matters of which any single one duly followed up, as would
be necessary, must needs cause so great a delay that I
should be late in returning to my first commencement.

I.e., for undertaking Prince Henry's genealogy.



Which speaketh of the habits of the Infant Don Henry.

MESEEMETH I should be writing overmuch if I were to
recount fully all the particulars that some histories are
accustomed to relate about those Princes to whom they
addressed their writings. For in writing of their deeds
they commenced by telling ofthe actions of their youth,
through their desire to exalt their virtues. And though it
may be presumed that authors of such sufficiency would
not do aught without a clear and sufficient reason, I shall
for the present depart from their course, as I know that it
would be a work but little needed in. this place. Nor do I
even purpose to make a long tale about the Infant's bodily
presence, for many in this world have had features right
well proportioned, and yet for their dishonest vices have
got great harm to their fair fame. So, though it be
nothing more, let it suffice what the philosopher19 saith
concerning this, that personal beauty is not a perfect good.
Therefore, returning to my subject, let me say that this
noble Prince was of a good height and stout frame, big and
strong of limb, the hair of his head.somewhat erect, with a
colour naturally fair, but which by constant toil and exposure
had become dark. His expression at first sight inspired fear
in those who did not know him, and when wroth, though
such times were rare, his countenance was harsh. Strength
of heart and keenness of mind were in him to a very
excellent degree, and beyond comparison he was ambitious
of achieving great and lofty deeds. Neither luxury nor
avarice ever found a home within his breast, for as to the
former he was so temperate that all his life was passed in
purest chastity, and as a virgin the earth received him at
his death again to herself. And what can I say of his


greatness, except that it was pre-eminent among all the
princes of the earth? He was indeed the uncrowned
prince, whose court was full of more numerous and more
noble vassals of his own rearing than any other. His
palace was a school of hospitality f6r all the good and
high-born of the realm, and still more for strangers; and
the fame of it caused there to be a great increase in his
expenses: for commonly there were to be found in his
presence men from various nations so different from our
own, that it was a marvel to well-nigh all our people: and
none of that great multitude could go away without some
guerdon from the Prince. All his days were passed in
the greatest toil, for of a 'surety among all the nations of
mankind there was no one man who was a sterner master
to himself. -It would be hard to tell how many nights he
passed in the which his eyes knew no sleep; and his body
was so transformed by the use of abstinence that it seemed
as if Don Henry had made its nature to be different from
that of other men. Such was the length of his toil and so
rigorous was it, that as the poets have feigned that Atlas
the giant held up the heavens upon his shoulders, for the
great knowledge that was- in him concerning the move-
ments of the heavenly bodies, so the people of our
kingdom had a proverb, that the great labours of this our
Prince "conquered the heights of the mountains," that is to
say, the matters that seemed impossible to other men, by
his continual energy, were made to appear light and easy.
The Infant was a man of great wisdom and authority,
very discreet and of good memory, but in some matters a
little tardy, whether it were from the influence of phlegm
in his nature, or from the choice of his will, directed to
some certain end not known of men. His bearing was
calm and dignified, his speech and address gentle. He
was constant in adversity, humble in prosperity. Of a
surety no Sovereign ever had a vassal of such station, or


even of one far lower than his, who held him in greater
obedience and reverence than he showed to the kings who
in his days reigned in Portugal, and especially to the King
Don Affonso, in the commencement of his reign, as in his
Chronicle20 you may learn more at length. Never was
hatred known in him, nor ill-will towards any; however
great the wrong he might have done him; and so great
was his benignity in this matter that wiseacres reproached
him as wanting in distributive justice, though in all other
matters he'held the rightful mean.
And this they said because he left unpunished some of
his servants who deserted him in the siege of Tangier,
which was the most perilous affair in which he ever stood
before or after,21 not only becoming reconciled to them, but
even granting them honourable advancement over and
above others who had served him well; the which, in the
judgment of men, was far from their deserts. And this is
the only shortcoming of his that I have to record. And
because Tully commrandeth22 that an author should reason,
in the matter of his writing, as truly appeareth to him-in
the sixth chapter of this work I shall declare myself more
fully on this,* that I may approve myself a truthful writer.
The Infant drank wine only for a very small part of his
life, and that in his youth, but afterwards.he abstained
entirely from it. He always shewed great devotion to the
public affairs of these kingdoms, toiling greatly for their
good advancement, and much he delighted in the trial
of new essays for the profit of all, though with great
expense of his own substance. And so he keenly enjoyed
the labour of arms, and especially against the enemies of
the holy faith, while he desired peace with all Christians.
Thus he was loved by all alike, for he made himself useful
to all and hindered no one. His answers were always

I.e., on this point of distributive justice.


gentle, and therewith he shewed great honour to the
standing of every one who came to him, without any
lessening of his own estate. A base or unchaste word was
never heard to issue from his mouth.
He was very obedient to all the commands of Holy
Church, and heard all its offices with great devotion; aye
and caused the same to be celebrated in his chapel, with
no less splendour and ceremony than they could have had
in the College of any Cathedral Church. And so he held
all sacred things in great reverence and treated the
ministers of the same with honour, and bestowed on them
favours and largess. Well-nigh one-half of the year he
spent in fasting, and the hands of the poor never went
away empty from his presence. Of a surety I know not
how to find any prince so Catholic and religious, that I
could say as much of him. His heart never knew what
fear was, save the fear of sin; and since from chaste habits
and virtuous actions spring great and lofty deeds, I will
collect in this next chapter all .the notable things which
were performed by him for the service of God and the
honour of the Kingdom.

In which the Chronicler speaketh briefly of the notable matters which
the Infant performed for the service of God and the honour of
the Kingdom.
WHERE could this chapter begin better than in speaking
of that most glorious conquest of the great city of Ceuta,
of which famous victory the heavens felt the glory and the
earth the benefit. For it seemeth to me a great glory, for
the sacred college of the Celestial Virtues,23 that all those
holy sacrifices and blessed ceremonies should have been
celebrated in praise of Christ our Lord in that city from


that day even until now, and by his grace ever shall be
celebrated. And as to the profit of our world from this
achievement, East and West alike are good witnesses
thereof, since their peoples can now exchange their goods,
without any great peril of merchandise-for of a surety no
one can deny that Ceuta is the key of all the Mediterranean
sea. In the which conquest the Prince was captain of a
very great and powerful fleet, and like a brave knight.
fought and toiled in person on the day when it was taken
from the Moors; and under his command were the Count
of Barcellos, the King's bastard, and Don Fernando, Lord
of Braganza, his nephew, and Goncalo Vasquez Coutinho,
a great and powerful noble, and many other .lords and
gentlemen with all their men-at-arms, and others who joined
the said fleet from the three districts of the Beira, and the
Tral-os-Montes and the Entre Douro-d-Minho.24 Now the
first Royal Captain who took possession by the walls of
Ceuta was this same of whom I write, and his square
banner was the first that entered the gates of the city,
from whose shadow he was never far off himself. On that
day the blows he dealt out were conspicuous beyond those
of all other men, since for the space of five hours he never
stopped fighting, and neither the heat, though it was very
great, nor the amount of his toil, were able to make him
retire and take any rest. And in this space of time, the
Prince, with four who accompanied him, made a valiant
stand. For as to the others who should have followed in
his company, some were scattered through that vast city,
and others were not able to join him by reason of a gate
through Which the Infant with the said four companions
had passed together with the Moors, which gate was
guarded by other Moors on thetop of the wall. So for about
two hours the Prince and his friends held another gate,
which is beyond that one which stands between the two
cities25 in a turn of the wall under the shadow of the castle,


which gate is now called that of Fernandafonso. And to
this had retired the greater part of the Moors who had fled
out of the other town from the side of Almina just where the
city was entered, but in the end, despite the great multitude
of the enemy, they shut that gate. And whether their toil
were idle or no could well be seen by those who had fallen
and lay dead there, stretched out along that ground. In
that city of Ceuta was the Infant knighted, together with
his brothers, by. his father's hand, with great honour, on the
day of the consecration of the Cathedral Church. And
the capture was on a Thursday, the 21st day of the month
of August, in the year of Christ 1415. And immediately
ontke_ return_of the.-King Don. J.il h to his kingdom, he
made this honoured prince a duke, with the seignory there-
of, i afpl-ace of the province of the Algarve.2 Arid after-
wards at the end of three years there came against Ceuta
a great power of Moors, who were reckoned at a later time
by the King's Ransomers of Captives to be ioo,ooo strong-
for there were present the people of the Kings of Fez and
of Granada and of Tunis and of Marocco and of Bugya,27
with many engines of war and much artillery, with the
which they thought to take the aforesaid city, encircling it
by sea, and land. Then the Infant was very diligent in
succouring it with two of his brothers, that is, to say the
Infant Don John and the Count of Barcellos, who was
afterwards Duke of Braganza, with many lords and
gentlemen and with the aid of a great flotilla; and after
killing many of the Moors and delivering the city, he
repaired it and returned again very honourably to
Portugal. Yet he was not well content with his victory,
because the chance of taking the town of Gibraltar, for
which he had made preparation, did not offer itself to
him.28 The chief reason of his being thus hindered was the
roughness of the winter, which was just then beginning;
for although the sea at that time is dangerous everywhere,


it is much more so at that very part because of the great
currents that are there. He also fitted out a very great
armada against the Canary Islands,29 to shew the natives
there the way of the holy faith.
Again, while the King Don Edward was reigning, by
his order he passed over a third time into Africa, when he
besieged the city of Tangier, and went for nineteen leagues
with banners flying through the land of his enemies; and
then maintained the leaguer for two and twenty days, in
which time were achieved many feats worthy of glorious
remembrance, not without great slaughter of the enemy,
as in the history of the kingdom you can learn more
He governed Ceuta, by command of the kings, his father,
brother and nephew,* for five and thirty years, with such
prevision that the crown of the kingdom never suffered loss
of honour through any default of his ; but at last, because
of his great burdens, he left the said government to the
King Don Affonso, at the beginning of his reign.30 More-
over, from the time that Ceuta was taken he always kept
armed ships at sea to guard against the infidels, who then
made very great havoc upon the coasts both on this side
the straits and beyond ; so that the fear of his vessels kept
in security all the shores of our Spain and the greater part
of the merchants who traded between East and West.31
Also he caused to be peopled in the great Sea of
Ocean five islands, which embraced a goodly number of
people at the time of the writing of this book, and
especially Madeira ;82 and from this isle, as' well as the
others, our country drew large supplies of wheat, sugar,
wax, honey and wood, and many other things, from
which not only our own people but also foreigners have
gained and are gaining great profit. Also the Infant

Joln, Edward and Affonso.


Don Henry was with the king Don Affonso his nephew,
in that army he collected against the Infant Don Pedro,
from which followed the battle of Alfarrobeira, where
the aforesaid Don Pedro was killed and the Count of
Avranches who was with him, and all their host defeated.-3
And there, if my understanding suffice for the matter,
I may truly say that the loyalty of men of all times was
as nothing in comparison of his. Further, although his
services* did not occasion him such great labours as those
I have mentioned, yet of a certainty the circumstances of
the matter gave to them a lustre and a grandeur that
exceeded all else: and of these I leave a fuller account to
the general history of the Kingdom.
Don Henry also made very great benefactions to the
Order of Christ, of which he was ruler and governor by
the authority of the Holy Father, for he bestowed upon it
all the spiritualties of the islands and in the kingdom
he made purchases of lands (from which he created new
commanderies), as well as of houses and estates, which he
annexed to the said Order. And in the Mother-Convent of
the Order he built two very fair cloisters and one high choir,
with many rich ornaments, which he presented for sacred
uses." And for that he had a great devotion to the Virgin
Mary, he built in her honour a very devout house of prayer,
one league from Lisbon, near the sea, at Restello, under the
title of St. Mary of Belem. And in Pombal and in Soure, he
built two very notable churches. Also, he bequeathed many
noble houses to the City of Lisbon, being pleased to give his
protection for the greater honour of the holy Scriptures;
and he ordained a yearly grant of ten marks of silver to
the Chair of Theology for ever. And in the same way he
gave to his chapel of St. Mary of Victory seven marks of
yearly revenue.35 But I know not for the present if there is

In this battle. In his jurisdiction.


to be an increase in these grants after his death, for, at the
time that King Affonso ordered this book to be written
he was yet alive, of an age little less than sixty years, so
that I cannot make an end of his benefactions, for, as his
mind was great and ever intent on noble actions, I am
sure that his members may indeed grow weaker with the
lapse of time, but his will can never be too poor both to
undertake and to finish a multitude of good deeds, so long
as his soul and body are united together. And this may
well be understood by those that saw him. ready to go
to Ceuta36 and almost embarked on shipboard with that
intent-to end his life there, toiling in arms for the honour
of the Kingdom and the exaltation of the Holy Faith.
For in this cause he ever had a desire to finish his days:
yet he desisted from carrying out his purpose for this time,
because the King agreed with his Council in hindering the
voyage, though he had previously given him leave. And
though the chief cause of this be not known to most men,
some wiseacres, who were not members of the Chief
Council, perceived that the reason was as follows: the Lord
King, like a man of great discretion, considering the great
things to be performed at home, ordered him to remain,
that he might give him, as his uncle and especial friend
and most notable servant, the principal part in searching
out the remedies for these troubles. But it mattereth not
much, whether this was the cause of his remaining or
whether it was some other reason outside our knowledge:
let it suffice that by this action you may see what was the
chief part of his life's purpose, and this is what I ought in
reason to set forth after what I have said. And among
those actions of the Prince's* there are many others of
no little grandeur, with which another man, who had not
attained to the excellency of this hero, might well be

* In home affairs.

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