Transactions of the Portuguese in India under the Government of Don Alfonso de Albuquerque, from the end of 1509, to the year 1515.
Being put into possession of the government of India in November 1509, Albuquerque prepared for an expedition against Calicut, in conjunction with Fernando Coutinno. The design was kept secret, yet the zamorin and all the other princes along the coast provided for their defence, on hearing that the Portuguese were making preparations for war. Setting out from Cochin with thirty vessels of various sizes and 1800 land forces, besides several boats full of Malabars who followed in hopes of plunder, he arrived at Calicut on the 2d of January 1510; and consulting on the difficulties attending the enterprise, it was determined that the division of the fleet belonging to Albuquerque should be left in charge of Don Antonio de Noronha, while that belonging to Coutinno was to be commanded by Rodrigo Rabelo. Every one strove to be so posted as to land first, and the men were so eager for landing that they were under arms all night, and so tired in the morning that they were fitter for sleep than fighting, yet soon recovered when the signal was given and the cannon began to roar.
The troops landed in two divisions; that under Coutinno consisting of 800 men with some field-pieces, and that commanded by Albuquerque of the same number of Portuguese troops, together with 600 Malabars. They marched in strange confusion, each striving to be foremost. The first attack was made on the bulwark or bastion of Ceram by De Cunna and De Sousa, who were bravely resisted by 600 men, till on the coming up of Albuquerque, the defenders fled and the Portuguese got possession of the bulwark. Being fearful of some disastrous event from the confusion of his men, Albuquerque sent notice to Coutinno, who came with all speed to his assistance. On seeing the Portuguese colours flying on the bulwark, Coutinno believed he had been called back by a contrivance of the viceroy to prevent him from acquiring honour, and addressed him in the following terms. “Were you ambitious, Sir, that the rabble of Lisbon should report you were the first in storming Cochin, that you thus recal me? I shall tell the king that I could have entered it with only this cane in my hand; and since I find no one to fight with, I am resolved to proceed to the palace of the zamorin!” Without waiting any reply from Albuquerque, Coutinno immediately marched his men to the palace. Being above five leagues from the shore, and the road much encumbered with palm trees, and having met some opposition by the way, Coutinno and his people were tired by their long march, and rested some time in a plain before the palace. He then attacked it, and though well defended, the Moors were forced to fly to the woods and mountains. The Portuguese soldiers being now possessed of the palace, quitted their ranks