João Álvares Fagundes

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João Álvares Fagundes
Fagundes commemorative beside Halifax Harbour, Nova Scotia.
Born c. 1460
Viana do Castelo, Kingdom of Portugal
Died December 1522
Viana do Castelo, Kingdom of Portugal
Occupation Explorer, ship-owner
Known for Expeditions to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia

João Álvares Fagundes (born c. 1460, Kingdom of Portugal, died 1522, Kingdom of Portugal), an explorer and ship owner from Viana do Castelo in Northern Portugal, organized several expeditions to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia around 1520-1521.

Fagundes explored the islands of St Paul near Cape Breton, Sable Island, Penguin Island (now known as Funk Island), Burgeo, and Saint Pierre and Miquelon which he named the islands of Eleven Thousand Virgins in honor of Saint Ursula.[1]

Alvares Fagundes Monument Halifax Nova Scotia

King Manuel I of Portugal gave Fagundes exclusive rights and ownership of his discoveries on March 13, 1521.

In 1607, Samuel de Champlain identified the remains of a large cross ("an old cross, all covered with moss, and almost wholly rotted away") at what is now Advocate, Nova Scotia on the Minas Basin. He attributed the erection of the cross to Fagundes, whom he presumed to have visited the spot some eight decades earlier.[2]


  1. ^ Ganong, W. F., Crucial Maps in the Early Cartography and Place-Nomenclature of the Atlantic Coast of Canada, with an introduction, commentary and map notes by Theodore E. Layng (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1964), Chapter II: "João Àlvares Fagundes," 45-97.
  2. ^ Mount Allison University, Marshlands: Records of Life on the Tantramar: European Contact and Mapping, 2004

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