Anthroponyms seta BRITO, Cristovão

This gentleman of the Royal House was the son of João de Brito and of Dona Beatriz da Silva. All his brothers, including Pedro de Mendonça (the oldest one, son of João de Brito?s first marriage to Dona Maria de Mendonça) sought the East as a means of serving the King. The brothers are Pedro de Mendonça, captain of the 1504 fleet; Lopo de Brito, donatory captain of Ceylon (1519-1522); António de Brito, donatory captain of the Moluccas (1522); and Jorge de Brito, captain of the 1511 India fleet and commodore in 1520. The grandfather of this Brito family branch was Mem de Brito Nogueira, who inherited the estates of S. Estêvão de Beja and of Santa Cruz de Lisboa. On account of the marriages of their aunts, Dona Violante de Brito and Dona Inês de Brites, they were, respectively, nephews of João Lopes ? chief judge at the ?Casa do Cível? High Court ? and of Gonçalo Vaz de Melo ? master of the ceremonies of King Afonso V. A cousin of them, Dona Joana de Melo, married Duarte de Lemos, captain of the 1508 fleet. On the mother?s side, they were great-grandchildren of Dom Leonel de Lima, 1st viscount of Vila Nova de Cerveira and chief alcaide of Ponte de Lima. Thus, they were cousins and nephews, and first degree cousins, of many of the Limas and Coutinhos who sailed the Indian Ocean during the reign of King Manuel I. In 1511 Cristóvão de Brito left for India as captain of the fleet. In 1512, before returning to the Realm, he was the commodore of a fleet that blocked access to the Dabul port. He returned to the East in 1514 as commodore of the fleet that guarded the coast of India. He died in Dabul in 1526. In 1518 Cristóvão and his brother António de Brito are mentioned as being members of the Royal Council.

Bibliography:
LACERDA, Teresa, Os Capitães das Armadas da Índia no Reinado de Manuel I ? uma avaliação social, Cascais, Câmara de Cascais, 2008, no prelo.

Author: Tersa Lacerda
Translated by: Maria das Mercês Pacheco


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