In the course of this year 1544, the great Khan of the Tartars invaded China and besieged Peking with a prodigious army, amounting to millions of men. A large detachment from this vast army, among which were 60,000 horse, was sent against the city of Quamsi, which was plundered, and an immense number of the inhabitants put to the sword. While on his return with this part of the army, Nauticor the Tartar general attempted to reduce the fortress of Nixiancoo, but was repulsed with the loss of 3000 men, on which he was disposed to desist from the enterprise, deeming the place impregnable. Among the prisoners taken at Quamsi were nine Portuguese, one of whom named George Mendez made offer to the Tartar general to put him on a plan for gaining the fortress of Nixiancoo, on condition that he and his companions were restored to liberty. The general agreed to his proposal, and gained the fort by the advice of Mendez, with the slaughter of 2000 Chinese and Moguls. In pursuance of his promise, the general obtained the liberty of the Portuguese from his sovereign, but prevailed on Mendez to continue in his service by a pension of 6000 ducats. The Tartar emperor was constrained to raise the siege of Peking and retire to Tuymican his residence in Tartary, after having closely invested the metropolis of China for almost seven months, with the loss of 450,000 men, mostly cut off by pestilence, besides 300,000 that deserted to the Chinese.
In 1545, Martin Alfonso de Sousa became exceedingly dissatisfied with his situation as governor-general in India, being threatened on every side by a combination of the native princes, and having no adequate means of defence either in men or money. Only a few days before the arrival of his successor, he declared to Diego Silveyra who was going to sail for Portugal, that if the king did not immediately send out a successor, he would open the patents of succession, and resign the government to whoever he might find nominated for that purpose. He was soon afterwards relieved by Don Juan de Castro, whose journal of the expedition into the Red Sea we have laid before our readers in the preceding chapter, and who arrived at Goa in August or September 1545, to assume the government of India.
Government of India by Don Juan de Castro, from 1545 to 1548.