Anthroponyms seta PIRES, Gomes

He was chief of the King?s house. In 1444, he captained one of the 3 ships in the fleet sailing to the River of Gold, together with Antão Gonçalves and Diogo Afonso. At the service of Prince Pedro, he left to the River of Gold and reached the regions beyond Port of Gale. Even though this first expedition failed, he returned to the Atlantic in a new ship armed by Prince Pedro in 1445, integrated in a fleet under the command of Soeiro da Costa. This fleet was composed of 14 caravels and a foist armed by the inhabitants of Lagos, and 12 ships from Lisbon and Madeira Island. Gomes Pires sailed South with Lançarote, who was the chief commander of the expedition, and reached Senegal River and Cape Verde, where Pires was given the responsibility to establish contact with the locals. According to Zurara, some of the captains expressed the will to return to the Kingdom along the voyage, but Gomes Pires encouraged them to continue because Prince Pedro wanted to know more about the ?Land of the Blacks? and about the Nile River, which was thought to be the Senegal River. Gomes Pires returned alone to the Kingdom after he had lost sight of the other ships. In his return, he passed by the Island of Arguin, sailed in the River of Gold, and disembarked in the place where Antão Gonçalves and Diogo Afonso had landed.

LAGARTO, Mariana, ?Pires, Gomes?, in Dicionário de História dos Descobrimentos Portugueses, vol. II, Lisboa, Caminho, 1994, pp. 906-907. ZURARA, Gomes Eanes de, Crónica dos feitos notáveis que se passaram na conquista de Guiné por mandado do infante D. Henrique, 2 vols., Lisboa, Academia Portuguesa de História, 1973-1981.

Author: Teresa Lacerda
Translated by: Ana Pereira

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