Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Second and third Voyages of Gama
On 12 Feb 1502, Gama commanded the 4th Portuguese Armada to India, a fleet of 15 ships and eight hundred men, with the object of enforcing Portuguese interests in the east. On reaching India in Oct 1502, Gama started capturing any Arab vessel he came across in Indian waters. While the Zamorin was willing to sign a treaty, Gama made a preposterous call to the Hindu King to expel all Muslims from Calicut which was naturally turned down. He bombarded the city that destroyed several houses on the sea shore and captured several rice vesssels and barbariously cut off the crew's hands, ears and noses. He returned to Portugal in Sept 1503. He then sailed south to Cochin , a small vessel kingdoms of Calicut where he was given a small welcome. He returned to Europe with silver and gold.
Once he had reached the normal parts of the Indian Ocean, Gama waited for a ship to return from Mecca and seized all the merchandise on it. He then ordered the hundreds of passengers be locked in the hold and the ship - named Miri, and which contained many wealthy Muslim merchants - to be set on fire
Gama assaulted and exacted tribute from the Arab - controlled port of Kilwa in East Africa, one of these ports involved in frustrating the Portuguese. His ships engaged in privateer actions against Arab merchant ships.
Third Voyage :
In 1519 he became the first Count of Vidigueira, a count title created king Manuel I of Portugal on a royal decree issued in Evora in Dec 29, 1519, after an agreement with Dom Jairne, Duke of Braganza, who cede him on payment the towns of Vidigueira and Vila dos Frdes, granting Vasco da Gama and his heirs all the revenues and privileges related, thus becoming the first Portuguese count (earl) who was born with royal blood.
Having acquired a fearsome reputation as a "fixer " of problems that arose in India, Vasco da Gama was sent to the subcontinent once more in 1524. The intention was that he has to replace the incompetent Eduardo de Menezes as viceroy (representative)of the Portuguese possessions, but Gama contracted malaria not long after arriving in Goa and died in the city of Cochin on Christmas Eve in 1524.