Portuguese in South-East Africa, 1600-1700

Portuguese in South-East Africa, 1600-1700

Portuguese in South-East Africa, 1600-1700

Portuguese in South-East Africa, 1600-1700


The pages that follow are an attempt to outline Portuguese activity in south-east Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope to the equator, during the seventeenth century, with particular emphasis on white settlement and relations between the Portuguese and indigenous populations. Meant to be a purely factual record, the work is bare of comment, apart from a few final generalizations. It is hoped that the work will contribute something towards a more general appreciation of Portuguese effort in Africa, and that it will fill in some details regarding lesser-known incidents. It is hoped too that those w ho may wish to pursue the subject further may find the archival references of use.

The work embodies some material collected in Portugal and London, Paris and Rome in 1936 and 1937. But the vast bulk of the research and the writing was made possible by the late Sir Ernest Oppenheimer and his fellow directors of the De Beers Group of companies, whose generosity established the Ernest Oppenheimer Institute of Portuguese Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. The University's Board of Portuguese Studies appointed me Research Officer in 1955, and enabled me to spend nearly a year in Portugal and three months in London. Thanks to the kindness of the Ministers of Ultramar, Comandante Sarmento Rodrigues and Dr Raul Ventura, I was able also to visit Goa and work in the Arquivo Histórico do Estado da Índia.

I express my gratitude to the late Sir Ernest Oppenheimer and his associates; to the late Dr H. R. Raikes, former Principal and Vice- Chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand; Professor W. G. Sutton (present Principal and Vice-Chancellor); and to the other members of the Institute.

Since the beginning of 1959 the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation has financed my work, and I warmly thank the Trustees for their generous support.

I am deeply appreciative of the encouragement and assistance given me by H.E. General Abranches Pinto, formerly Portugal's distinguished Ambassador in South Africa and now at the Court of St James, and by Dr A. Coelho Lopes, Secretary of the Portuguese Embassy in South Africa.

I recall with gratitude the friendly assistance given by the directors and staffs of various archives and libraries, especially Dr Alberto Iria, Director of the Arquivo Histórico Ultramarino; Dr Panduronga Pissurlencar, Director of the Arquivo Histórico do Estado da Índia; Dr J. M.

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