Anthroponyms seta SILVA, Aires Gomes da

In 1500 he went to the Orient with the fleet of Pedro Alvares Cabral. Little is known about the life of this nobleman of the Royal House prior to his departure, and his biography is abbreviated by his death on the trip to India, which occurred before the Indian Ocean was reached. It is possible, however, to outline his social profile through his genealogy. Aires Gomes was the son of Pedro da Silva, who had expertise in law, and was the second illegitimate, later legitimized, son of João Gomes da Silva and of Dona Isabel Paes. She was the daughter of Gonçalo Paes, who was King Afonso V´s poet. The grandfather of this captain was Chief Alcaide of Montemor-o-Velho and Lord of Vagos. The family of Aires Gomes da Silva had blood ties to the First Count of Cantanhede, to the Countess of Borba, to the First Count of Olivença, and to Dom Alvaro de Bragança, who was the brother of the Third Duke of Bragança. Dom Alvaro was one of the financial supporters of Cabral´s fleet along with the Count of Tarouca and the First Viscount of Vila Nova de Cerveira. Regarding his blood ties in the orient, it should be noted that one of his first cousins married Fernão de Albuquerque, a brother of Afonso de Albuquerque, who would be known as the Lion of the Seas. More importantly, his second cousin, Dona Guiomar da Silva, married Sancho de Tovar, who was captain of the main ship in the 1500 fleet.

SILVA, Teresa Marques da, ?O capitão Aires Gomes da Silva? in Descobridores do Brasil ? Exploradores do Atlântico e Construtores do Estado da Índia, João Paulo Oliveira e Costa (coord.), Lisboa, SHIP, 2000, pp. 111-121.

Author: Teresa Lacerda
Translated by: Maria João Pimentel

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