‘Far from teaching practical navigation to his pilots as the myth has it,’ writes one (P. Russell, Prince Henry ‘The Navigator’: A Life (2001), 238), ‘it is much more probable that at first it was they who taught the Prince about their craft, so enabling him to relate his book knowledge of astrology, astronomy and cartography to the needs of practical navigation, even though he had little direct experience of the latter … His own unshakeable self-confidence that it was his destiny to succeed as a sponsor of oceanic exploration communicated itself to mariners and sea-going knights and squires alike, even before the caravel started to trade profitably in Guinea. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post. Henry's sobriquet, ‘the navigator’, is something of a misnomer. 117-126. A chart drawn by the Catalan cartographer, Gabriel de Vallseca of Mallorca, has been interpreted to indicate that the Azores were first discovered by Diogo de Silves in 1427. In 1425, his second brother the Infante Peter, Duke of Coimbra, made a diplomatic tour of Europe, with an additional charge from Henry to seek out geographic material. [10] This village was situated in a strategic position for his maritime enterprises and was later called Vila do Infante ("Estate or Town of the Prince"). . However, some of the military campaigns he was later involved in were less successful. Henry was interested in locating the source of the caravans that brought gold to the city. Infante Dom Henrique of Portugal, better known as Henry the Navigator, has enjoyed much attention from historians and public alike. The works of Sir Peter E. Russell, including his new biography Henry ‘the Navigator’: a life (New Haven, 2000), have made a great contribution to separating the historical Dom Henrique from his ‘culture hero’ counterpart, Henry the Navigator. Thrower, Norman J. W., "PRINCE HENRY THE NAVIGATOR". History, View all reference entries This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience possible. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates. See all related overviews in Oxford Reference American Eras. In his first voyage, which started on 22 March 1455, he visited the Madeira Islands and the Canary Islands. The 500th anniversary of the death of this eminent patron of navigation and initiator of geographical discovery is being commemorated this year in Portugal and Portuguese possessions. All these people trusted Henry because they believed, probably not always correctly, that he knew what he was about. Most of the voyages sent out by Henry consisted of one or two ships that navigated by following the coast, stopping at night to tie up along some shore. Zarco, a knight in service to Prince Henry, had commanded the caravels guarding the coast of Algarve from the incursions of the Moors. physics. [20] By 1452, the influx of gold permitted the minting of Portugal's first gold cruzado coins. Christopher Columbus used this on his transatlantic voyages. His captains brought back little gold, but the number of slaves captured or traded made these ventures well worthwhile. During these early stages of Portuguese exploration, there is no evidence that Henry envisioned sailing directly to India by rounding Africa’s southern tip, as Vasco da Gama would later succeed in doing in his 1497–1499 voyage long after Henry’s death. I am the third surviving son of King John I and Philippa of Lancaster, making me the prince of Portugal. Through his administrative direction, he is regarded as the main initiator of what would be known as the Age of Discovery. Using the new ship type, the expeditions then pushed onwards. When Edward died eight years later, Henry supported his brother Peter, Duke of Coimbra for the regency during the minority of Edward's son Afonso V, and in return received a confirmation of this levy. By the time of Henry’s death in 1460, Portuguese navigators had sailed as far south as the mouth of the Gambia River. Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA). Dom Henrique, Infante of Portugal (1394–1460), better known as Prince Henry the Navigator, is one of the most notorious figures of western history. Randles, W.G.L. In 1431, Henry donated houses for the Estudo Geral to teach all the sciences—grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, music, and astronomy—in what would later become the University of Lisbon. Another possibility is that he was born at the Monastery of Leça do Balio, in Leça da Palmeira, during the same period of the royal couple's residence in the city of Porto.[3]. On Campaign. To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy. Henry the navigator, portuguese prince noted for his patronage of voyages of discovery among the madeira islands and along the west coast of africa. Truth is, Prince Henry of Portugal never set sail on voyages of discovery. "[12], The view that Henry's court rapidly grew into the technological base for exploration, with a naval arsenal and an observatory, etc., although repeated in popular culture, has never been established. Yes, the “real” Prince Henry was one of the leading proponents of Portuguese expansion in the middle decades of the 1400s, and he did in fact play a leading role in organizing the early Portuguese voyages along the African coast.