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Gaspar Corte Real

Queen Elizabeth Ist

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Short Biography of the life of Gaspar Corte Real - Portuguese Explorer
The following biography information provides basic facts about the life Gaspar Corte Real:

  • Nationality - Portuguese
  • Lifespan - 1450 - 1501
  • Family - Son of Joao Vaz Corte Real, the governor of Terceira which was an island in the Azores

  • Education - Well educated befitting his status
  • Career - Portuguese Explorer
  • Famous for :  Exploring Greenland and the coast of Newfoundland

Facts, Timeline & History about the life of Gaspar & Miguel Corte Real - Portuguese Explorers
The following are additional facts and a timeline about the life and history of Gaspar Corte Real:

  • 1450: Gaspar Corte Real was born in Angra do Heroismo, on the Island of Terceira in the Azores
  • The family of Gaspar Corte Real was of the Portuguese nobility
  • His father, Joao Vaz Corte Real, had commanded an expedition to Iceland on behalf of Henry the Navigator
  • Joao Vaz Corte Real was rewarded with the lands and the title of the governor of Terceira, which was an island in the Azores
  • There were three Corte Real brothers:
    • Gaspar Corte Real
    • Miguel Corte Real
    • Vasco Anes Corte Real
  • Gaspar Corte Real and his brothers were well educated and raised in a family who were soldiers and explorers
  • As was customary during the Medieval era young nobles completed their education living with a high born member of the nobility
  • Gaspar Corte Real lived in Lisbon as a servant to the Duke of Beja
  • 1480: Gaspar Corte Real moved from Lisbon to the Azores to administer lands which had been given to him by his father
  • 1491 The Duke of Beja became King Manuel I of Portugal
  • Gaspar Corte Real and his brothers spent some time back in Portugal at the court of King Manuel
  • Exciting news of the voyages of Christopher Columbus and John Cabot prompted the Portuguese King to encourage Portuguese explorations hoping to discover a Northwest Passage to Asia
  • 1500 May 12: Gaspar Corte Real received a charter from King Manuel to discover and claim jurisdiction over lands in the New World. The Corte Real family were familiar with the Atlantic routes due to their land in the Azores
  • The Royal charter granted Gaspar and his expedition a share of the profits
  • 1500: Gaspar Corte Real embarked from Lisbon with one ship
  • 1500: The Gaspar Corte Real expedition reached a cold, snow-covered land in the northwestern Atlantic
  • 1501: Gaspar made his second voyage with three ships and found a land full of  tall, green trees. He named the land "Terra Verde" meaning Greenland
  • 1501: The three ships separated and Gaspar was seen heading south
  • 1501: Gaspar Corte Real and his ship and crew disappeared
    • Two of the ships returned to Lisbon bringing 57 captured Beothuk, who were then sold as slaves
    • But Gaspar did not return
  • 1502: May 10 Miguel Corte Real left Lisbon to search for his brother
    • But Miguel also disappeared
  • 1503: Vasco Anes Corte Real the third brother, was refused permission by King Manuel to continue the search
  • King Manuel granted Vasco Anes Corte Real the lands of Newfoundland and sent out a further expedition to find the two brothers - but to no avail. Gaspar and Miguel Corte Real were never seen again

The Mystery of Miguel Corte Real and the Dighton Rock
The mystery of the missing Corte Real brothers resounds to this day. In 1918 a stone which had been submerged by water for many years was discovered by Professor Edmund Delabarre of the Brown University. It is called the Dighton Rock, after its location near Dighton, Massachusetts. The Dighton Rock is made of sandstone, weighs 40 tons and measures ten foot by four foot. The Professor identified many important inscriptions on this stone. One of the inscriptions bears the date 1511, together with the Portuguese Coat of Arms and name "Miguel Corte Real". Miguel clearly lived for at least another nine years after his disappearance in 1502...

The Age of Exploration
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