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Created on Jul 20, 1995. Last modified Nov 17, 1999.

Francisco de Almeida

Born: 1450, Lisbon, Portugal.
Died: March 1, 1510, Table Bay (Cape Town), South Africa.

Born in Lisbon, in the year 1450, Francis Almeida gained fame in the Moorish wars. He was made the first Portuguese Viceroy of India in March 1505 by the king, Manuel I. He sailed round the Cape of Good Hope with 21 ships, and destroyed Mombasa before taking up residence in Cochin. He entered into fierce wars with Indian and South Asian kingdoms in order to build up a spice trade for Portugal; eventually executing a treaty with Malacca. He entered into war with the Arabs over trade, and defeated their combined navy off Diu in February 1509.

He imprisoned Afonso de Albuquerque, who was sent to replace him as Viceroy. Eventually he had to recognise his successor. Albuquerque was freed in November 1509, when Almeida set sail for Portugal. While restocking at at the Cape of Good Hope, in Table Bay (modern day Cape Town) he died in a skirmish with the Hottentots, on March 1, 1510.