Luís Mendes de Vasconcellos

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Luís Mendes de Vasconcellos
Luis Mendes de Vasconcellos.jpg
Governor of Portuguese Angola
In office
Monarch King Philip II
Preceded by Manuel Cerveira Pereira
Succeeded by João Correia de Sousa
Grand Master of the Order of Saint John
In office
17 September 1622 – 7 March 1623
Monarch King Philip III
Preceded by Alof de Wignacourt
Succeeded by Antoine de Paule
Personal details
Born c. 1542
Évora, Kingdom of Portugal
Died 7 March 1623 (aged c.81)
Resting place St. John's Co-Cathedral
Nationality Portuguese
Children Joanne Mendes de Vasconcelos
Military service
Allegiance Portugal Portuguese Empire
Sovereign Military Order of Malta Order of Saint John

Luís Mendes de Vasconcellos (c. 1542 – March 7, 1623) was a Portuguese nobleman who served as colonial Governor of Angola between 1617 and 1621, and the 55th Grand Master of the Order of Saint John between 1622 and 1623. He was also a writer.

He was born in Évora, Portugal in around 1542 . He was the son of Francisco Mendes de Vasconcelos (brother of Luís da Costa, a servant of Henrique of Portugal) and Isabel Pais de Oliveira; paternal grandson of Cristóvão Nunes da Costa (natural son of Luís Nunes da Costa by Isabel Botelho and brother of Brás Nunes da Costa who had natural issue by Catarina Anes) and Catarina Mendes de Vasconcelos; and maternal grandson of Paio Rodrigues de Vilalobos and Isabel de Oliveira.

From 1608 to 1612 he was a writer in Lisbon.

In 1617 Vasconcellos became Governor of the Portuguese colony of Angola. He suppressed a revolt in 1618. During his three-year term as governor, he enslaved about 50,000 Angolans and shipped them to the Americas.[1]

Vasconcellos was also a distinguished member of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem. He was well known for his bravery in various naval expeditions against the Ottoman Empire. He was elected Grandmaster of the Order on 17 September 1622, after the death of Alof de Wignacourt.

He was the first Portuguese Grandmaster since Afonso of Portugal, and the first one on Malta. Vasconcellos served as Grandmaster for less than six months, dying on 7 March 1623.[2] He was succeeded by Antoine de Paule.

He was the father of Joanne Mendes de Vasconcelos, who fought in the Portuguese Restoration War.[3]


  1. ^ Landers, Jane G.; Robinson, Barry M., eds. (2006). Slaves, Subjects, and Subversives: Blacks in Colonial Latin America. New Mexico: University of New Mexico Press. p. 89. ISBN 9780826323972. 
  2. ^ Gatt, John. "History – 1622 – 1623 Luis Mendez de Vasconcellos". Coins of Malta. Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  3. ^ Torres, João Romano, ed. (1915). Portugal - Dicionário Histórico, Corográfico, Heráldico, Biográfico, Bibliográfico, Numismático e Artístico. pp. 322–324. 

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Preceded by
Alof de Wignacourt
Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller
Succeeded by
Antoine de Paule