SÁ, Caetano Correia de (1712-?)
Governor and captain-general of Mozambique (1746-1750).
The nineth son of the Viscount of Asseca, Dom Diogo Correia de Sá e Benevides Velasco, and of his wife, Dona Inês da Hungria de Lencastre, Caetano Correia de Sá was born in Lisbon, in 1712. As was customary at that time, the second sons of the Portuguese nobility went East in search for a better life. Caetano Correia de Sá and his brother, José Correia de Sá, were no exception to the rule. He sailed to India in 1729, in the capacity of infantry captain of the ship Nossa Senhora do Livramento. At Goa he held the posts of infantry captain and grenadier captain. After that he was Admiral of the Fleet, Fleet Supervisor, Field Marshal and Assistant-General to the Viceroy. During those years he fought against the Marathas on the Northern Province, namely in the armadas that sailed from Goa in 1731 and 1738. Also in 1738 he participated in the taking of the Bassein fortress and in the defence of the Assarim Fortress.
Both his military career and the course of his family life are representative of the Portuguese?s typical progress in Estado da India. He married in Goa with Dona Francisca Pereira de Lacerda, the daughter of António Coelho da Rocha, a member of an important family in Daman. Following the occupation of the Northern Province by the Marathas, he lost most of his goods, a twist of fortune which may have proved influential in the Viceroy Marquis of Castelo Novo?s decision of appointing him governor and captain-general of Mozambique and Sena Rivers. His charter was issued on 23 August 1745, and he ruled from 1746 to 1750.
Once in Mozambique, he had to face the extreme scarcity of supplies that affected the region in 1746-1747. Under his rule, the construction of the Customs House, begun in 1744, was completed, in compliance with the Viceroy?s orders. The constant complaints of lack of ships to fight European competition on the region and to endow the Portuguese stronghold with the necessary provisions made Lisbon send in 1748 and 1749 two sailing vessels with soldiers and officials. Unlike his predecessors, Correia de Sá did not accept that the French ships used the port for slave trade purposes under the false pretences of selling rice. The way he acted in Mozambique roused a general feeling of approval, as his previous career in India had done before. He peacefully conducted the affairs of his governorship, and was considered one of the best governors in the first half of the seventeen hundreds: an affable, honest, and fair man, who treated all residents as equals.
On his return to Goa he took up his military carer. He participated, in the capacity of Ensign captain, in the expeditions led by the Viceroy Marquis of Távora against the Marathas and the Bhonsles, namely in the taking of Neutim (1751), and in the capture of the fortresses of Piro and Ximpim (1752), in the kingdom of Sunda. In 1753, he was appointed commander of the royal ship São Francisco Xavier, and returned to Goa, in 1756, in the capacity of commodore of the ship Nossa Senhora da Oliveira. After that he was castellan of Diu, and in the 1760s he held office as Treasurer of India. He was also appointed commander of Daman in 1765, but never took office.
While he was in Lisbon, he asked for his services to be rewarded with the grant of the Maera village, taken from the Bhonsles. Given the acute financial problems that characterised India at the time, he was given instead a commandery in the Kingdom.
FORJAZ, Jorge e NORONHA, José Francisco de, Os luso-descendentes da Índia Portuguesa, Lisboa, Fundação Oriente, 2003; MATOS, Artur Teodoro de, (dir.), Junta da
Real Fazenda do Estado da Índia, Lisboa, CNCDP, 2000; Arquivo Histórico Ultramarino, Avulsos: Índia e Moçambique; Códices: Conselho Ultramarino.
Author: Eugénia Rodrigues
Translated by: Leonor Sampaio da Silva.