East Indies
June 1513

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Institute of Historical Research

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W. Noel Sainsbury (editor)

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1864

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1-2

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'East Indies: June 1513', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, East Indies, China and Japan, Volume 2: 1513-1616 (1864), pp. 1-2. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=68550 Date accessed: 23 November 2014.


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June 1513

1513.
June 6.
Lisbon.
1. Emmanuel King of Portugal to the Pope. Thinks it proper to write to him, as the head of Christendom, of his successes in India. After many obstinate battles and much bloodshed, his general, Alfonso de Albuquerque, to repair the losses of previous years, sailed to the Aurea Chersonesus, called by the natives Malacca, between the Sinus Magnus and the Ganges' estuary, a town of immense size, supposed to contain 25,000 houses, and abounding in spices, gold, pearls, and precious stones. After two engagements and considerable slaughter of the Moors, the place was captured, sacked, and burned. The King, who fought upon an elephant, was badly wounded and fled; many were taken, and much spoil carried off, including seven war elephants, with towers and harness of silk and gold, and 2,000 brass guns of the finest workmanship. Albuquerque caused a fortress to be built at the mouth of the river which flows through the city, with walls 15 feet thick, of stones taken from the ruins of the mosques. There were then at Malacca foreign merchants from Sumatra, Pegu, Java(?) [Ja'aes], Gores, and from the extreme east of China, who being allowed by Alfonso liberty to trade, removed their habitations near the citadel, and promised obedience to Portugal and to take its currency. The Malachese subscribed for 1,000 catholici of gold money and 100,000 for silver (auream catholicos mille scilicet nummorum argenteam centum valore Malachenses inscripsere). On hearing this the King of Ansiam (Siam), the most powerful king of the east, from whom Malacca had been usurped by the Moors, sent a golden cup with a carbuncle and a sword inlaid with gold as a pledge of amity. Hereupon Alfonso sent him some of his cleverest men, with gifts, to explore the country, which will doubtless augment the Catholic faith. Returning to India, he found Goa, which he had formerly won with great bloodshed, besieged by the Moors, and another strong citadel raised beside it;“ unde Ruminum Turcorum quæ sex milia nostros continue infestabant.” He attacked and took it, found a great booty, punished the Christian renegades serving in the ranks of the Moors, sailed to Dabuli, received an embassy from Prester John, who requested him to cross the Red Sea, and unite with himself in war against the infidels. He has sent home to the King a large fragment of the wood of the true cross, and asks to have some clever workmen, in order that he may divert the Nile from the country of the Sultan. There was with him at the time the Ambassador of the Pagan King of Narsinga, who had 1,500 elephants of war, 40,000 horse, as much foot as he wishes, and so much territory as can scarce be traversed in six months. There was also with him an ambassador from the King of Cambaya from Sabay, formerly Lord of Goa, and King Grosapa, with presents and offers of alliance. In the last fleet that appeared was an ambassador from the King of Ormus (Armusii) with a present of pearls and jewellery. Alfonso had taken this King and made tributary the chief town of Ormus, in which he found 15,000 seraphini=gold ducats. Many nations in India have embraced Christianity. It may therefore be expected that God's favour will attend Albuquerque in his attempts upon the Red Sea, when he will shut the door on the commerce of the Saracens. He will effect a union with Prester John, and raising the standard of the cross, inflict a blow upon Mahometanism. [Latin. Four pages. Brit. Mus., Nero, B. 1, 70. Letters and Papers of Henry VIII., edited by J. S. Brewer, M.A., No. 4173.]


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