Gaspar & Miguel Corte-Real

Portuguese Navigators & Brothers


Born: 1450

Died: 1501


Born: 1448

Died: (fl. 1502)

Gaspar sailed west across the Atlantic in 1500 to look for new trade routes and new lands to colonize. He rediscovered Greenland before reaching North America, landing on what is probably Newfoundland, the returned to Portugal. In 1501, Gaspar embarked on a second expedition, again reaching Newfoundland. Two ships returned to Lisbon carrying 57 Beothuk Indians, but Gasparís ship was never heard from again.

The following year, one of Gasparís brotherís Miguel went in search of him. The expeditionís flagship, with Miguel aboard, was lost at sea. In 1503, the Portuguese king denied another brother permission to launch yet another expedition to search for the missing explorers.

When Ferdinand Magellan set off on his circumvention of the world, the Portuguese king, furious at him for serving Spain, was comforted by the Portuguese Ambassador that his fate might be ďlike that of the Corte-Real brothers.Ē

Henceforth, the Corte-Real brothers came to symbolize the dangers of exploration.

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