Portuguese in South-East Africa, 1600-1700

By Eric Axelson | Go to book overview

4
DIOGO SIMõES MADEIRA

The royal despatch dismissing Ataíde required the departing General to hand over charge of the Conquest to Diogo Simões Madeira. For his past services Madeira was granted the habit of the Order of Christ, with a pension of 40 milréis, and confirmed in his possession of the lands of Nhampanza. To encourage him in the future, the Viceroy was to hold out to him the possibility of his elevation to the ranks of the nobility. It was made clear to him that he remained subordinate to the General of the Conquest, if there was one, otherwise to the captain of Moçambique.1

Madeira took over the command of 25 soldiers in the fort of Santo Estêvão, 120 in Sena and 25 in Quelimane. He received some arms and munitions but no trade goods with which to sustain the troops. He accordingly requisitioned some cloth and beads from the factory (reporting his actions to the Viceroy and asking for supplies to be sent him) and made his way up the Zambezi. Coming to the lands of Chombe, a vassal of Sena, he demanded a quit-rent due of 2,000 panjas of maize, and the release of a number of slaves who had fled from Sena and Tete. Chombe, encouraged by certain Portuguese who were jealous of Madeira, refused. The tribesmen confirmed their revolt--and their possession of fire-arms--by shooting at the flotilla over a distance of 10 leagues. They gathered in force at Bandar, at the entrance to the Lupata gorge, and demanded payment for passage of the river. Madeira ran his boats ashore, gave battle and put the enemy to flight.

At Tete Madeira called a council meeting to decide whether to press on to Chicôa, or first break Chombe's revolt and re-open the Zambezi; the latter course was decided upon. One hundred bearers of fire-arms went downstream by boat, while 2,000 vassals of Tete and 6,000 warriors levied from the Mongas and Quitambo marched along the banks. Chombe's stockade lay alongside an expanse of water. Round it ran a ditch, the earth from which was heaped against the stakes. The stockade contained loopholes, for Chombe had two stone-throwing pieces and 150 firelocks and muskets. He and his men had bought these fire-arms from Portuguese and mulatto traders in exchange for girls and maize, with the result that "the Kafirs who used to be terrified at the discharge of a firelock to-day fire them themselves; and most of the Kafir chiefs of these parts have a better armoury of fire-arms than is to be found in

____________________
1
Rei to V., 24/3/1612, op. cit.

-40-

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Portuguese in South-East Africa, 1600-1700
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Contents ix
  • Abbreviations x
  • 1 - SOUTH-EAST AFRICA AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY 1
  • 2 - THE SIEGES OF MOÇAMBIQUE 15
  • 3 - ESTÊVÃO DE ATAÍDE 30
  • 4 - DIOGO SIMõES MADEIRA 40
  • 5 - NUNO ÁLVARES PEREIRA 55
  • 6 - THE REVOLT OF MOMBASA 78
  • 7 - THE 1635 SETTLEMENT SCHEME 97
  • 8 - SOUTH-EAST AFRICA, 1637-1651 115
  • 9 - SOUTH-EAST AFRICA, 1652-1671 129
  • 10 - THE 1677 SETTLEMENT SCHEME 144
  • 11 - THE FALL OF MOMBASA 155
  • 12 - SOUTH-EAST AFRICA, 1681-1700 176
  • 13 - SOUTH-EAST AFRICA AT THE CLOSE OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY 188
  • Appendix - SHIPWRECKS ON THE SOUTH AFRICAN COAST 196
  • GLOSSARY 209
  • Bibliography 211
  • Index 217
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