A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 06 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 750 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 06.


Continuation of the Portuguese Transactions in India, during the Viceroyalty of Almeyda.

Besides the forts already erected on the eastern coast of Africa at Quiloa and Mozambique, and the factory at Melinda, King Manuel determined to build a fort at Sofala to secure the trade in gold at that place; for which purpose he sent out Pedro de Annaya with six ships in the year 1506:  three of these ships being destined to remain on the African coast, and the other three to proceed to India.  This fleet was separated in a storm, during which one of the captains was washed overboard and drowned, and another lost sixteen men who were slain by the natives of an island on which they landed.  The squadron rejoined in the port of Sofala, where Annaya found twenty Portuguese mariners in a miserable condition.  The ship to which they had belonged, commanded by Lope Sanchez, was forced to run on shore at Cape Corientes, being so leaky as to be in a sinking condition.  After landing, the crew refused obedience to their officers, and separated into different parties, endeavouring to make their way through the unknown countries and barbarous nations of Africa; but all perished except these twenty, and five who were found at the river Quiloma by Antonio de Magelhaens, who brought them to Sofala.

According to his orders, and by permission of the sheikh or king of Sofala, Annaya erected a strong wooden fort at that place.  The king soon afterwards repented of his concession, and was for some time in hopes that the Portuguese would be soon obliged to abandon the place on account of its unhealthiness.  About this time, three of the ships were dispatched for India, and two of these which were destined for protecting the coast from the attempts of the Moors were sent off upon a cruise to Cape Guardafu, both of which were lost; the captains and part of their crews saving themselves in the boats:  In consequence of the unwholesomeness of Sofala, the Portuguese garrison became so weakened by sickness that it required six of them to bend a single cross-bow.  Encouraged by these disasters and instigated by his son-in-law, the king collected a force of 5000 Kafrs with which he invested the fort, filled up the ditch with fascines, and made a violent assault, darkening the sun with incessant clouds of arrows.  Though only 35 Portuguese were able to stand to their arms, they made such havock among the assailants with their cannon, that the part of the ditch which had not been filled up with wood was levelled with dead bodies.  The enemy being thrown into confusion Annaya made a sally at the head of fifteen or twenty men[87], with whom he drove the Kafrs before him to a grove of palms, and thence into the town, crying out in consternation that their king had sent them to contend against the gods.  In the ensuing night, Annaya attacked the town, and even penetrated into the house where the king resided, who,

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