Robert Kerr.

A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 06 Arranged in Systematic Order: Forming a Complete History of the Origin and Progress of Navigation, Discovery, and Commerce, by Sea a online

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Nerbudda, called generally Deccan, or the south. - E]

[Footnote 116: He was the sixth king of a dynasty of Turks from Persia,
which founded the kingdom of Delhi in 12O2, or rather usurped it from
the family of Ghaur, who conquered it in 1155 from that of Ghazni, which
had subdued all India in 1001 as far as the Ganges. Mahmud Shah Nasr
Addin began his reign in 1246, so that the conquests mentioned in the
text must have happened considerably before 1300. - Astl. I. 71. 2.]

[Footnote 117: Deccan or Dakshin signifies the _south,_ and is properly
that portion of India which lies between the Nerbudda and Kistna river.
It would far exceed the bounds of a note to illustrate the Indian
history, which is very confusedly, and imperfectly stated in the
text. - E.]

[Footnote 118: In the text of Faria named Mamud-xa, and probably the
same person named immediately before Madura. - E.]

[Footnote 119: These names are strangely corrupted in the Portuguese
orthography of Faria, and the princes are not well distinguished. Only
three of them were very considerable: Nizam Shah, or Nizam-al-Mulk, to
whom belonged Viziapour; Koth, or Kothb-shah, or Kothb-al-Mulk, the same
with Cotamaluco of the text, who possessed Golconda; and Kufo Adel Khan,
called Cufo king of Hidalcan in Faria, who held Bisnagar. - Astley, I.
71. d. - The great king of Narsinga is here omitted; which Hindoo
sovereignty seems at that time to have comprised the whole of southern
India, from the western Gauts to the Bay of Bengal, now the high and low
Carnatic with Mysore. - E.]

Having sailed from Onor accompanied by Timoja, Albuquerque came to
anchor off the bar of Goa on the 25th of February 1510. As it was
necessary to sail up the northern arm of the bay or river, on the bank
of which the city was situated, Albuquerque sent his nephew Antonio de
Noronha, accompanied by Timoja, to sound the channel. A light vessel of
easy draught of water which led the way gave chase to a brigantine
belonging to the Moors, which took shelter under protection of a fort or
blockhouse, erected for protecting the entrance of the harbour, which
was well provided with artillery and garrisoned by 400 men, commanded by
Yazu Gorji, a valiant Turk. Seeing the other vessel in chase, Noronha
pressed after him; and though the fort seemed strong, they attacked and
took it after a stout resistance, during which the commandant lost
greater part of one of his hands, yet persisted to defend his post till
deserted by his men, when he too retired into the city. In the mean
time, in emulation of his new allies, Timoja attacked and took another
blockhouse on the continental shore of the channel leading to Goa, which
was defended by some artillery and forty men. After these exploits the
channel was sounded without any farther obstruction.

Next day, as Albuquerque was sailing up the channel to proceed in his
enterprise, he was met by Mir Ali and other chief men of the city, who
came to surrender it to him, only stipulating, that their lives,
liberties, and goods should be secured. The reason of this surrender was
because Gorji had terrified them by his account of the astonishing and
irresistible prowess of the Portuguese, and because a _Joghi_, or native
religious saint, had predicted a short time before, that Goa was soon to
be subjected by strangers. Albuquerque readily accepted the surrender on
the terms proposed, and having anchored before the town on the 27th of
February, was received on shore by the inhabitants with as much honour
and respect, as if he had been their native prince. Mounting on a
superbly caparisoned horse which was brought for his use, he received
the keys of the city gates, and rode in great pomp to the palace which
had been built by Sabayo, where he found a great quantity of cannon,
arms, warlike ammunition, and horses. Having issued orders and
regulations which were much to the satisfaction of the inhabitants, he
dispatched several messages or embassies to the neighbouring sovereigns,
the only effect, of which was to shew his high spirit. Such of the
neighbouring towns as were dependent upon God, sent deputations without
delay to proffer their obedience and submission. The command of the
fort or castle was given to Don Antonio de Noronha, the government of
the infidels to Timoja, and the other offices were disposed of to the
general satisfaction. Understanding that several ships belonging to
Ormuz and other places on the Arabian coast, were lading in the port of
Baticala, four Portuguese vessels were sent thither, which took and
carried them to Cochin, and sent an ample supply of provisions to Goa.

About four months after the easy conquest of Goa, the fortune of
Albuquerque began to change its appearance, as those persons in Goa on
whose fidelity he had reposed most confidence, in spite of the
remonstrances of Timoja, entered into plots to deliver up the place to
its former master Ismael. They had submitted so easily to Albuquerque,
because unprovided for effectual resistance, to save their properties,
and to gain time till Ismael Adel Khan was prepared to come to their
relief. Having at length completed his preparations, he sent on before
him in June 1510 his general-in-chief Kamul Khan with 1500 horse and
8000 foot, on which Albuquerque took proper measures to defend his
recent acquisition. Having detected a conspiracy of the Moors to deliver
up the city, his first step was to secure and punish the chief
conspirators; among these were Mir Cassem and his nephew, to whom he had
confided the command of four hundred Moors, whom he caused to be hewed
in pieces by his guards; several others were hanged in the most public
places of the city, and the rest were rigorously imprisoned, above 100
being convicted of participating in the plot. By these rigid measures
the city was terrified into submission.

Soon afterwards Kamul Khan approached with the van of the army of
Ismael, and attempted to pass over into the island by means of boats
which he had provided for that purpose. He was courageously opposed by
Noronha, who captured twelve of the boats; many of the enemy were killed
by the Portuguese, and many others devoured by the alligators which
swarmed in the channel round the island; but at length Kamul Khan
effected a landing in force on the island, and the Portuguese were
obliged to take refuge within the walls of the city. Kamul Khan then
invested the city with his army, which he began to batter with his
cannon, and Albuquerque used every possible effort to defend the place.
Ismael Adel Khan now came up to second his general, at the head of
60,000 men, 5000 of whom were cavalry. Part of this great army passed
over into the island to strengthen the besiegers, and the rest took post
in two divisions on the continent to prevent the introduction of
provisions, one of these being commanded by an officer of reputation,
and the other by the mother and women belonging to Ismael, who
maintained their troops by _the gain from 4000 prostitutes_, who
followed the camp. By the arrival of this vast army the city of Goa was
completely surrounded, and no opportunity was left for Albuquerque to
execute any enterprise against the numerous assailants. Making what was
necessary prudent, he and his officers resolved to abandon the city
before day, which was accordingly executed though with much hazard, the
way being occupied by the troops of the enemy, and Albuquerque had his
horse killed under him; yet he got off all his men without loss after a
siege of twenty days.

After this retreat, it was resolved to spend the winter in these seas,
for which purpose the fleet came to anchor in a bay, which although not
commodious was the best that could be had on this part of the coast; and
being incommoded by a fort named _Pangi_ which had a considerable number
of cannon, it became necessary to gain possession[120]. Accordingly 300
Portuguese troops were appointed for the assault, while Noronha had the
command of a body of reserve, and Albuquerque guarded the shore. While
the Portuguese prepared during the night to assail the fort next
morning, 500 men marched by order of Ismael to reinforce the garrison;
and when the Portuguese marched to the assault, both the Moorish
garrison and the relief, being all drunk, mistook the Portuguese for
friends; the garrison believing them to be the reinforcement, and the
relief conceiving them to have been the garrison coming out to meet
them. They were soon however fatally undeceived by the attack of the
Portuguese, in which 340 of them were slain, and the rest put to the
rout, while the Portuguese only lost one man who was drowned
accidentally. A similar circumstance happened at the bulwark which had
been formerly won by Timoja at _Bardes_. By these two severe defeats of
his people, Ismael was so excessively alarmed that he left Goa, and his
fear was much increased as some conjurer had foretold that he was to be
killed by a cannon-shot near some river. He sent several ceremonious
messages to Albuquerque, on purpose to discover what was doing on board
the ships, and by the threatening answers he received his fears were
materially augmented. In consequence of this intercourse of messages,
Ismael was prevailed on to exchange some Portuguese, who had necessarily
been left behind when Goa was abandoned; for the Moors engaged in the
late conspiracy who remained prisoners with Albuquerque.

[Footnote 120: From the context it is obvious that this bay and the fort
of Pangi were in the close neighbourhood, of Goa; in fact the bay
appears to have been the channel leading to Goa, and the fort one of
those bulwarks on the continental shore which defended the navigation of
that channel. - E.]

About this time Albuquerque received intelligence that some vessels were
preparing at Goa to set his ships on fire, on which he anticipated the
intentions of the Moors by sending a force up the river to burn these
vessels, which was effected, but Don Antonio de Noronha was slain in
this enterprise; Noronha used to moderate the violent passions of his
uncle Albuquerque, who after his death allowed the severity of his
temper to proceed to extremities. Having detected a soldier in an amour
with one of the female slaves he used to call his daughters, and whom he
was accustomed to give away in marriage, he ordered him immediately to
be hanged; and as some of his officers demanded to know by what
authority he had done this arbitrary and cruel deed, he ordered them all
below deck, and flourishing his sword said that was his commission for
punishing all who were disobedient, and immediately cashiered them all.
During the continuance of this winter, the Portuguese fleet suffered
extreme hardships, especially from scarcity of provisions; and on
sailing from thence after the cessation of winter[121], they discovered
four sail which they supposed to have been Turks, or Mamelukes rather,
but on coming nearer, they were found to be a squadron from Portugal
under the command of Diego Mendez. Besides these, the king had sent out
this year other seven ships, under Sequeira, who arrived at Cananor soon
after Albuquerque; and a third armament of two ships to settle a trade
at Madagascar.

[Footnote 121: By winter on the coast of Malabar, must only be
understood, the period of storms and excessive bad weather which occurs
at the change of the monsoons, when it is imminently perilous to be at
sea. - E.]

On the return of Albuquerque from Goa to Cananor, he was much rejoiced
at the prospect of such powerful succours, and communicated his
intentions of immediately resuming his enterprise against Goa, but was
overruled in the council by Sequeira, on which Albuquerque went to
Cochin, and obtained a victory over the Malabars of Calicut, who
endeavoured to obstruct the Portuguese from loading pepper. Having
dispatched Sequeira with the homeward bound ships, and soon afterwards
Lemos with four more, he determined to resume the enterprise upon Goa.
As Diego Mendez, who had formerly been favourable to this design, and
several other captains, now opposed it, because it interfered with their
intentions of going to Malacca, as directed by the king, Albuquerque
commanded them all under the severest penalties not to quit the coast
without his orders. Though much dissatisfied, they were obliged to obey.
Accordingly, having fitted out twenty-three ships at Cananor, in which
he embarked with 1500 soldiers, he proceeded to Onor to join his ally
Timoja, whom he found busied in the celebration of his marriage with the
daughter of a queen; and being anxious to have the honour of the
viceroys presence at the wedding he invited him to land, which proved
very dangerous, as they were kept on shore for three days in consequence
of a storm, and when Albuquerque returned to the ships a boat with
thirty men was lost. On leaving Onor for Goa, Timoja sent three of his
ships along with Albuquerque, and promised to join him at Goa with 6000
men.

Albuquerque anchored for the second time before the bar of Goa on the
22d of November 1510. Impressed with a strong recollection of the
dangers he had escaped from on the former attempt, and anxious to sooth
the discontent which he well knew subsisted among some of his principal
officers on account of having been reluctantly compelled to engage in
this expedition, he addressed them in a conciliatory harangue by which
he won them over entirely to concur with him in bringing the hazardous
enterprise in which he was engaged to a favourable issue. Having made
the proper dispositions for the assault, the troops were landed at early
dawn on the 25th of November, and attacked the enemy who defended the
shore with such determined intrepidity that they were put to flight with
great slaughter, and without the loss of a man on the side of the
Portuguese. The enemy fled and endeavoured to get into the city by one
of the gates, and being closely pursued by the Portuguese who
endeavoured to enter along with them, the fight was there renewed, till
at length many of the Portuguese forced their way into the city doing
prodigious execution, and the battle was transferred to the streets.
These were successively cleared of the enemy by dint of hard fighting
all the way to the palace, in which time the Portuguese had lost five
officers of some note, and the fight was here renewed with much valour
on both sides. Albuquerque, who had exerted himself during the whole
action with equal courage and conduct, now came up with the reserve, and
the Moors were completely defeated, flying in all directions from the
city and endeavouring to escape to the continent, but through haste and
confusion many of them perished in the river. After this decisive
victory, it was found that of 9000 men who defended the city, 6000 had
perished, while the Portuguese lost fifty men. _Medeorao_[122], or
_Melrao_, nephew to the king of Onore, who commanded the three ships
sent by Timoja, behaved with great courage and fidelity on this
occasion; Timoja came himself to Goa with a reinforcement of 3000 men,
but too late to assist in the attack, and was only a witness to the
carnage which had taken place. The booty in horses, artillery, arms,
provisions, and ships, was immense, and contributed materially to enable
Albuquerque to accomplish the great designs he had in contemplation.

[Footnote 122: This person is afterwards named by Faria _Melrao_, and is
said to have been nephew to the king of Onore; the editor of Astley
calls him _Melrau_. Perhaps his real name might have been _Madeo row_,
and both he and Timoja may have been of the Mahrana nation. - E.]

The Portuguese who were slain in this brilliant exploit were all
honourably interred; those of the enemy were made food for the
alligators who swarmed in the river. All the surviving Moors were
expelled from the city, island, and dependencies of Goa, and all the
farms were restored to the gentiles, over whom Timoja was appointed
governor, and after him Medeorao, formerly mentioned. While employed in
settling the affairs of his conquest, ambassadors came from several of
the princes along the coast to congratulate Albuquerque on his brilliant
success. Both then and afterwards, many of the officers of Adel Khan
made inroads to the neighbourhood of Goa, but were always repelled with
loss. At this time, Diego Mendez and other two captains belonging to his
squadron, having been appointed by the king of Portugal for an
expedition to Malacca, stole away from the port of Goa under night in
direct contravention of the orders of Albuquerque, intending to proceed
for Malacca. Albuquerque sent immediately after them and had them
brought back prisoners; on which he deprived them of their commands,
ordering them to be carried to Portugal to answer to the king for their
conduct, and condemned the two pilots who had conducted their ships from
the harbour to be immediately hung at the yard-arm. Some alleged that
Albuquerque emulously detained Diego Mendez from going against Malacca,
which enterprise he designed for himself, while others said that he
prevented him from running into the same danger which had been already
met with by Sequeira at that place, the force under Mendez being
altogether inadequate to the enterprise.

To provide for the future safety of Goa, Albuquerque laid the
foundations of a fort, which he named _Manuel_, after the reigning king
of Portugal. On this occasion, he caused the names of all the captains
who had been engaged in the capture of Goa to be engraven on a stone,
which he meant to have put up as a monument to their honour; but as
every one was desirous of being named before the others, he turned down
the stone so as to hide all their names, leaving the following
inscription,

_Lapidem quem reprobaverant aedificantes_.

Thus they were all pleased, rather wishing their own individual praises
to be forgotten, than that others should partake. Albuquerque assuming
all the powers of sovereignty in his new conquest for the king of
Portugal, coined money of gold, silver, and copper, calling the first
_Manuels_, the second _Esperas_, and the third half esperas. Resolving
to establish a permanent colony at this place, he engaged several of the
Portuguese to intermarry with the women of the country, giving them
marriage portions in lands, houses, and offices as an encouragement. On
one night that some of these marriages were celebrated, the brides
became so mixed and confounded together, that some of the bridegrooms
went to bed to those who belonged to others; and when the mistake was
discovered next morning, each took back his own wife, all being equal in
regard to the point of honour. This gave occasion to some of the
gentlemen to throw ridicule on the measures pursued by Albuquerque; but
he persisted with firmness in his plans, and succeeded in establishing
Goa as the metropolis or centre of the Portuguese power in India.

The king of Portugal had earnestly recommended to Albuquerque the
capture of the city of Aden on the coast of Arabia near the entrance of
the Red Sea; and being now in possession of Goa, he thought his time
mispent when not occupied in military expeditions, and resolved upon
attempting the conquest of Malacca; but to cover his design, he
pretended that he meant to go against Aden, and even sent off some ships
in that direction the better to conceal his real intentions. Leaving Don
Rodrigo de Castel Branco in the command of Goa with a garrison of 400
Portuguese troops, while the defence of the dependencies and the
collection of the revenue was confided to Medeorao with 5000 native
soldiers, Albuquerque went to Cochin to prepare for his expedition
against Malacca.

The city of Malacca is situated on the peninsula of that name, anciently
called _Aurea Chersonesus_, or the Golden Peninsula, and on the coast of
the channel which separates the island of Sumatra from the continent,
being about the middle of these straits. It is in somewhat more than two
degrees of north latitude[123], stretching along the shore for about a
league, and divided in two nearly equal parts by a river over which
there is a bridge. It has a fine appearance from the sea, but all the
buildings of the city are of wood, except the mosque and palace which
are of stone. Its port was then frequented by great numbers of ships,
being the universal mart of all eastern India beyond the bay of Bengal.
It was first built by the _Celates_, a people who chiefly subsisted by
fishing, and who united themselves with the _Malays_ who inhabited the
mountains. Their first chief was Paramisora, who had been a person of
high rank in the island of Java, whence he was expelled by another chief
who usurped his lordship, on which occasion he fled to Cincapura, where
he was well received by the lord of that place and raised to high
employment. But having rebelled against his benefactor, he was driven
from thence by the king of Siam, and was forced to wander about Malacca,
as a just punishment for his ingratitude. Having drawn together a number
of the before-mentioned natives, with whom he established a new colony,
he gave the name of _Malacca_ to the rising city, signifying in the
language of the country _a banished man_, as a memorial of his own
fortunes. The first king of Malacca was _Xuque Darxa_, or sheikh
Dár-shah, called by some authors _Raal Sabu_, or Ra-el-Saib, who was the
son of Paramisora, and was subject to the kings of Siam; but from whom
his successors revolted. The country of Malacca is subject to
inundations, full of thick woods, and infested by dangerous and savage
beasts, particularly tigers, so that travellers are often forced to pass
the nights on the tops of high trees, as the tigers can easily take them
off from such as are low by leaping. The men of Malacca are courageous,
and the women very wanton. At this time the city of Malacca was rich and
populous, being the centre of trade between the eastern and western
parts of India, Mahomet was then king of Malacca, against whom the king
of Siam had sent an army of 40,000 men, most of whom perished by sundry
misfortunes, but chiefly through similar treacherous devices with those
which had been put in practice against Sequeira. But now Albuquerque
approached to revenge them all. Mahomet, fearing to meet the reward of
his former treachery to the Portuguese, had procured the assistance of
the king of _Pam_[124], who brought an army of 30,000 men with a great
number of pieces of artillery[125].

[Footnote 123: In lat. 2° 25' N.]

[Footnote 124: Named Pahang or Pahan, by the editor of Astleys
Collection.]

[Footnote 125: In the text of Faria, and following him in Astley, the
number of cannon is said to have been 8000; a number so incredible that
we have used a general expression only on this occasion in the
text. - E.]

On the 2d of May 1511, Albuquerque sailed from Cochin on his expedition
against Malacca, with 19 ships and 1400 soldiers, 800 of whom were
Portuguese, and 600 Malabars. While off the island of Ceylon he fell in
with and captured five vessels belonging to the Moors, which were bound
for Malacca. On arriving at the island of Sumatra, the kings of Pedier
and Pisang sent friendly messages to Albuquerque, on which occasion Juan
de Viegas, one of the men left behind by Sequeira was restored to
freedom, he and others having made their escape from Malacca. About this
time likewise, Nehoada Beguea, who had been one of the principal authors
of the treachery practiced against Sequeira, fled from Pedier and being
taken at sea by Ayres Pereira, to the great astonishment of every one
shed not one drop of blood, though pierced by several mortal wounds; but
on taking off a bracelet of bone from his arm the blood gushed out. The
Indians, who discovered the secret, said this bracelet was made from the
bone of a certain beast which is found in Java, and has this wonderful
virtue. It was esteemed a great prize and brought to Albuquerque. After
this, they fell in with another ship in which were 300 Moors[126] who
made so resolute a defence, that Albuquerque was obliged to come up in
person to assist in the capture, which was not accomplished without
considerable danger. In this vessel was _Geniall_, the rightful king of
Pisang; who had been banished by an usurper. Three other vessels were
taken soon after, from one of which a minute account was procured of the
military preparations at Malacca.

[Footnote 126: All are Moors with Faria, particularly Mahometans. The
crew of this vessel were probably Malays, perhaps the most ferociously
desperate people of the whole world. - E.]

On the 1st of July 1511, the Portuguese fleet cast anchor in the roads



Online LibraryRobert KerrA General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 06 Arranged in Systematic Order: Forming a Complete History of the Origin and Progress of Navigation, Discovery, and Commerce, by Sea a → online text (page 14 of 51)