Estêvão da Gama (16th century)

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Estêvão da Gama
D. Estêvão da Gama.tiff
Governor Estêvão da Gama, in Ásia Portuguesa of Manuel de Faria e Sousa
Governor of Portuguese India
In office
1540–1542
Monarch John III of Portugal
Preceded by Garcia de Noronha
Succeeded by Martim Afonso de Sousa
Personal details
Born 1505
Kingdom of Portugal
Died 1576
Lisbon, Kingdom of Portugal
Nationality Portuguese
Military service
Allegiance Portuguese Empire
Battles/wars Ottoman–Portuguese conflicts (1538–1557)

Estêvão da Gama (ca. 1505–1576) was the Portuguese governor of Portuguese Gold Coast (1529–15??) and Portuguese India (1540–1542). Named after his paternal grandfather Estêvão da Gama, Estêvão was the second son of Vasco da Gama and brother of Cristóvão da Gama.

He commanded the fleet that entered the Red Sea, with the intent of attacking the Ottoman fleet in its harbor at Suez, leaving Goa December 31, 1540 and reaching Aden January 27, 1541. The fleet reached Massawa February 12, where Gama left a number of ships and continued north. Reaching Suez, he discovered that the Ottomans had long had intelligence of his raid, and foiled his attempt to burn their beached ships. Gama was forced to retrace his steps to Massawa, although pausing to attack the port of El-Tor on the Sinai Peninsula.

Once back at Massawa, Gama found the men he had left were restless and convinced by the self-described patriarch João Bermudes that they should provide military assistance to the beleaguered Emperor of Ethiopia. Gama acquiesced to their demands, and landed 400 men, 130 military slaves, and sufficient supplies for them at Massawa and the nearby port of Arqiqo under the charge of his brother Cristóvão, before departing for India July 9.

Cultural depiction[edit]

  • Estêvão da Gama appears in the 2011 Indian film Urumi. American actor Alexx O'Nell portrayed Estêvão da Gama in the film.

External links[edit]