Anthroponyms seta CASTRO, Filipe de (15th century?16th century)

Second son of Álvaro Pires de Castro and D. Maria Rodrigues. 1. On his father?s side, he belonged to a rather illustrious family, but to what was already a secondary branch of the lineage; as a second son of an illegitimate son, Álvaro Pires de Castro, he cannot himself be considered to have been a very distinguished figure. His mother?s family was not illustrious at all, in terms of lineage, stemming as it did from a bureaucrat of obscure origins ? his grandfather, Rui Galvão ? who had, nonetheless, managed to carve out an important position in the court of Afonso V (1438-1481); Filipe?s uncle on his mother side, Duarte Galvão ? the official chronicler of the kingdom ? was, likewise, an important courtier, and, as far as close relatives are concerned, probably the most valuable family connection his nephew had at his disposal, despite coming from the less renowned side of his family. 2. The name of Filipe de Castro is known to us thanks to his three round voyages to India and back, as captain, in 1504, and as Capitão-mor (commander of a fleet) in 1507 and 1525 (it is also possible, but by no means certain, that he took part in an expedition to the Guinea Coast, as captain of a caravel, in 1489, and that he served in Morocco in the following decade). Discretion seems to have been a trait of his character. In 1504, he sailed with the fleet of Lopo Soares de Albergaria, which gained a fair amount of fame by winning some important victories in which Filipe, unlike others, failed to distinguish himself. In 1507, he was nominated Capitão-mor of part of that year?s India fleet. This voyage was a much more routine affair than the one of 1504, and the only fact worthy of mention is that all the ships lost the monsoon and were forced to winter at Mozambique, where they tried to make something of the time they were forced to spend there by building a fortress. After a long hiatus of almost twenty years, he sailed again East in 1625, this time as Capitão-mor of the whole India fleet. It was an unfortunate return to the India Run, for his ship was wrecked near the Arabian coast on the outward voyage, although part of the people and of the cargo on board was saved and carried to India. Filipe de Castro returned to Portugal on someone else?s ship, in 1627.

MURTEIRA, André, ?Filipe de Castro, Capitão da Carreira da Índia?, in A nobreza na expansão portuguesa. Dados biográficos, João Paulo Oliveira e Costa (ed.), Lisbon, 1999.

Author: André Murteira

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