Diogo Soares

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Diogo Soares de Albergaria, also known as Diego Soares de Melo and the "Gallego" was a 16th-century Portuguese navigator and explorer.

India

Soares arrived to India circa 1538,[1] there he was a known murderer and pirate. Estêvão da Gama, by then Governor of Goa, issued a warrant for his arrest, but he was later granted a pardon by da Gama's successor, Martim Afonso de Sousa,[2] who was Soares friend.[3] Under his command Soares commanded expeditions and at the same time that he continued his pirate activities near Portuguese Mozambique.[1]

Madagascar

Soares visited Madagascar in 1543 under the orders of Martim Afonso de Sousa, to investigate the whereabouts of de Sousa's brother who was reportedly wrecked there, the same year he returned to Kochi (the Cochin) without the information but with loads of silver and slaves looted from the Island[4]

The northern coastal town of Antsiranana was probably named after Soares, it contained his name until 1975, sometimes in a Spanish form as Diego Suárez also the large natural bay along the northeast coast of Madagascar is named Diego Suarez Bay.[4]

Burma

Soares landed in Portuguese Malacca in 1547,[1] driven by the weather.[2] There he stayed under the orders of Tabinshwehti, King of the Birmans, where he became a wealthy man, worth four millions in jewels and other valuables, had a pension of 200,000 ducats yearly, was called the king's brother, and was supreme governor of the kingdom and general in chief of the army.[1]

Burmese–Siamese War (1548)

During the Burmese–Siamese War, Soares commanded a force of five captains and 180 professional mercenary,[5] he also led the failed invasion and siege of Tapuram, which ended after five months after 120,000 Peguans deserted when their leader Xemindoo (Smim Htaw) rebelled in their native Pegu, but also as a revenge of the mistreatments of Soares who was his general in chief.[1]

Death

While still a King Tabinshwehti's general, Soares tried to take off by force the daughter of a rich merchant, in the process he killed the groom and others who came to her rescue, and the bride committed suicide to avoid the dishonour. Short after that, the King was killed and replaced by one of his generals called Zemin (Smim Sawhtut), who eventually handed Soares to the city of the disgraced bride, there the people stoned Soares to death, plundered his house, and as much less treasure was found, he was believed to have buried the rest.[1] The episode of his death is described in the book Peregrinação by Fernão Mendes Pinto.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f Kerr, Volume 6, Chapter 4, Section 15
  2. ^ a b Mendes Pinto, Pp. 620
  3. ^ Barros and Couto, Pp. 180
  4. ^ a b Van Den Boogaerd, Pp. 40-41
  5. ^ Sodacan, Burmese–Siamese War Invasion

References

  • Kerr, Robert (2004) [1st. pub. Wm. Blackwood, Edinburgh & T. Cadell, London:1824]. A general history and collection of voyages and travels, arranged in systematic order: forming a complete history of the origin and progress of navigation, discovery and commerce, by sea and land, from the earliest ages to the present time. Chapel Hill, NC: Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 2012-12-30. 
  • Van Den Boogaerd, Pierre (2009). Shipwrecks of Madagascar. New York: AEG Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-60693-494-4. 
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