Great Explorations of the 15th Century


Duarte Pacheco PereiraDuarte Pacheco Pereira (c. 1460 – 1533), called the Great, was a Portuguese sea captain, soldier, explorer and cartographer. He traveled particularly in the central Atlantic Ocean west of the Cape Verde islands, along the coast of West Africa and to India. His accomplishments in strategic warfare, exploration, mathematics and astronomy were of an exceptional level. Pacheco Pereira was the son of João Pacheco and Isabel Pereira.

pacheco1b1455 AD – In his youth, Pacheco served as the King of Portugal’s personal squire. Having graduated with honors, he was awarded a study fellowship from the monarch himself.

1456 AD – Cape Verde was discovered by Luigi da Cadamosto, a navigator in the service of Portugal. Four years later, Diogo Gomes, a Portuguese explorer, visited the uninhabited islands, and colonists from Portugal began to settle there in 1462. People from W Africa were soon brought in as slaves, and by the 16th century the islands had become a shipping center for the slave trade. Later a Portuguese penal colony was established, and some of the convicts remained after completing their terms. Slavery was abolished on the islands in 1876. Portuguese Guinea (now Guinea-Bissau) was administered as part of the Cape Verde Islands until 1879

dpachecocoinjpg1488 AD – Pacheco Pereira explors the west coast of Africa. His expedition fell ill with fever and lost their ship. Pacheco is rescued from the island of Príncipe in the Gulf of Guinea by Bartolomeu Dias when Dias was returning from rounding the Cape of Good Hope for the first time. As Captain-major of São Tomé he was preceded by João Pereira

Between the 16th and 18th Centuries, there is little record of the Pereira Dynastic movements. Given their devout religious distraction, ties to the Catholic faith and the rise of the protestant reformation against the excesses of Rome, it is highly likely that the reign of Terror by the Spanish Inquisition and Papacy required the acceptance of a low profile in the historic record.

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