NORONHA, D. António de
Viceroy of India (1571 ? 1573).
Born date unknown, he was the son of Dom Martinho de Noronha, 5th Lord of Vila Verde, and Guiomar de Albuquerque, 5th Lady of Vila Verde, a title which she had inherited from her father, Fernao de Albuquerque. His father?s lineage went as far as the archbishop of Lisbon, Dom Pedro de Noronha (1379 ? 1452), great-grandfather of Dom Antonio de Noronha. As for his mother, she was the niece of the famous Afonso de Albuquerque. He got married to Dona Francisca de Noronha, sister of Fernao Alvares de Noronha, who was the Kingdom?s general-captain of the galleys. From the marriage, three children were born. He was a knight of the Order of Christ, and arrived in India, for the first time in 1554, with viceroy Dom Pedro de Mascarenhas?s fleet. During that viceroyalty, the Catarraz, as Diogo do Couto labels him, participated in the Ponda expedition, in 1555. In 1557, under Francisco Barreto?s government, he was appointed for the captaincy of Diu. But it was during the viceroyalty of Dom Constantino that Dom Antonio accomplished his biggest achievements, with the expedition to Ceylon (1560) and the charges on Surat (1561). Finally, in 1565, during the viceroyalty of Dom Antao de Noronha, he was given the task of defending Cannanore, as its captain, Dom Paio de Noronha, wished to leave the post. Returning to the kingdom, Dom Antonio was nominated for the Royal Council, and ended up being appointed Viceroy of India, by letter, on 22 January 1571, due to his nobility and military prestige. As he left Lisbon on 17 March 1571, the Viceroy directly appointed by Dom Sebastiao I took with him royal instructions to establish the tri-partition of the State of India. According to these, Francisco Barreto would become the governor of the domains between Cape of Good Hope and Cape Guardafui, with Sofala as the capital city; Dom Antonio de Noronha would govern the domains between Cape Guardafui and the Sea of Ceylon, having Goa as its capital city; and, finally, Antonio Moniz Barreto would govern the domains between the Sea of Ceylon and the China Sea, with Malacca as its capital city. Having arrived in Goa on 6 September 1571, with a fleet of five carrack ships and Antonio Moniz Barreto as part of the group, he received the government from Dom Luis de Ataide, but not before the latter forced the sovereign of Bijapur (commonly known as Hidalcao) to lift the siege of Goa, after a fierce battle. The fact that Dom Antonio did not play any military part in this event, and only participated in the peace negotiations, gave an ill-impression of him at the time. After these events, his first decision as viceroy was to appoint the traditional surveillance fleets.
During 1572, the forces of the Zamurin of Calicut laid siege on Chale, as part of the conspiracy orchestrated by the latter along with other Asian rulers, amongst which the highlights go to Hidalcao, Nizalmaluco (sultan of Ahmadnagar) and the sultan of Aceh. Their attacks occurred roughly between 1565 and 1575, period known as one of deep political and military crisis. Therefore, and in order to break the siege, Dom Antonio decided to send Dom Diogo de Menezes, an important figure of this viceroyalty that had arrived to Goa from Malabar, to help Dom Jorge de Castro, the 80-year old captain of Chale. But when Dom Diogo arrived to Chale, Dom Jorge had already surrendered, delivering the fortress to the enemy. From this fact, derived the death of Dom Jorge and the subsequent attacks to the fortress by Dom Diogo, who managed to get only a few Portuguese out of there, who were later left in Kochi. Here, Dom Diogo attacked a local fortress which belonged to Hidalcao. Next, Dom Diogo sent Matias de Albuquerque, along with an armed fleet, to fight piracy in Malacca. When peace with Hidalcao was finally achieved, the viceroy ordered Goa to be restocked and a gift sent to that Asian ruler. However, the most striking event of the year was the new siege to Malacca by the sultan of Aceh, which should have taken place in 1570-1571, along with the sieges to Goa by Hidalcao and to Chaul by Nizalmaluco, but could only take place then. The sultan?s fleet was defeated by Tristao Vaz da Veiga who, despite not being the city?s captain, brought his ships into port and led the defence against the enemy. Still in this same year, another important event was the arrival of the Augustinians to Goa. They founded the monastery of Saint Augustine and, subsequently, sent several of its members to different points of Asia, as a renewal sign of the importance of the missionary dynamics in the State of India.
The Malacca siege, which stretched into 1573, happened simultaneously to new problems in the Moluccas, where Gonçalo Pereira Marramaque had been sent to as commodore of the fleet, soon after the assassination of the sultan of Ternate by the Portuguese. Marramaque did not manage to help break the siege to the Portuguese fortress of Ternate, but ended up helping the inhabitants of Ulate, allies of the Portuguese, defeat Ternate?s fleet. Meanwhile, in Ambon Island, Dom Duarte de Menezes died of high fevers and was substituted by Sancho de Vasconcelos who, along with Simao de Abreu (known as Papa Ferro), broke the siege set up by the Itos. After the naval triumph of Marramaque against the king of Tidore, Joao da Silva, who had been appointed commodore of the fleet, asked for the help of Malacca in the fight against the Itos, but the reinforcements sent by the viceroy arrived before the request was made to Malacca. It was then decided to abandon the fortress of Ambon Island and move the forces to the place of Cova. Between the end of 1572 and the beginning of 1573, the fortress of Daman was under the menace of a siege by the Mughal sovereign Akbar who, by that time, was fully committed to the conquest of the sultanate of Gujarat. Nonetheless, despite the menaces and the gathering of a powerful fleet, ordered and commanded by the viceroy, the latter would not be necessary as, soon after, peace was signed with the Great-Mughal, by Ambassador Antonio Cabral. Shortly after, a new Portuguese trading station opened in Surat, as a consequence of the integration of Gujarat in the domains of Akbar. In the meantime, and due to a new siege on Basrur, the viceroy sent new help through Dom Henrique de Menezes who, after some naval battles, was captured by the enemy and returned after the payment of a large ransom. However, there was still an important problem to solve: the tri-partition of the government. If Francisco Barreto was already in Eastern Africa, the same did not happen with Antonio Moniz Barreto. Still in Goa, he refused to leave for Malacca without receiving any troop reinforcements. As these were denied by Dom Antonio de Noronha, under the excuse that they were needed due to the difficult war situation, Moniz Barreto did not leave and wrote to Dom Sebastiao I exposing the situation. These letters, which were sent on the fleet that left India in the end of 1571, resulted in the overthrow of Dom Antonio de Noronha in the end of 1573, when a new fleet arrived to India. The overthrow was handled by the Archbishop of Goa, Dom Gaspar de Leao Pereira, who it seems was not a stranger to the intrigues which led to the deposal of the viceroy. As the run for the position was opened, the nominee was precisely Antonio Moniz Barreto to whom Dom Antonio de Noronha handed the government on 13 December 1573. Shortly after, Dom Antonio de Noronha left Kochi and returned to Lisbon, where he died after a sudden disease, which was motivated by his dishonour and also by the natural deaths of his wife and son. The wealth motivations that had led him to India, as viceroy, ended up not becoming real, and his 2-year government was not considered to be the best at the time.
Encased in the controversy with Antonio Moniz Barreto, the viceroyalty of Dom Antonio de Noronha was, in his time, seen only under the lens of such dispute. Nonetheless, Couto and Farias consider that Dom Antonio was unfairly treated and deserved to have held the position for more years. If, on one hand, Couto claims that ?This was the newest and most scandalous case that happened in India, of which many are to blame for, because they allowed for such an honourable and worthy nobleman to be deprived of government ?(COUTO, Diogo do, Da Ásia, IX, sem livro, 16, Lisboa, Lisboa, Livraria San Carlos, 1974); on the other hand, Farias simply states that ?[he] had the position for two years, deserving to have it for many more?(SOUSA, Manuel de Faria e, Ásia Portuguesa, Manuel Burquets (translation), vol. IV, Parte 1, cap. XIII, Porto, Livraria Civilização, 1945). For that reason, both authors stress the king?s regret when Dom Antonio de Noronha died. Along with the military events that happened during this viceroyalty, it is equally important to emphasize that, during the same period, viceroys continued to grant by-laws to several fortress captains, whilst the use of abundant legislation pertaining Law and Finance became a constant.
COUTO, Diogo do, Da Ásia, IX, no book, 16, Lisboa, Lisboa, Livraria San Carlos, 1974. SOUSA, Manuel de Faria e, Ásia Portuguesa, Manuel Burquets (translation), vol. IV, Part 1, chapter. XIII, Porto, Livraria Civilização, 1945. THOMAZ, Luís Filipe, A Crise de 1565 ? 1575 na História do Estado da Índia, reprint of Mare Liberum, nº 9, s.l., 1995, CNCDP, pp.481 ? 519. ZÚQUETE, Afonso, Tratado de Todos os Vice ? Reis e Governadores da Índia, Lisboa, Editorial Enciclopédia, 1962.
Author: Nuno Vila-Santa
Translated by: Marília Pavão