Garcia de Noronha

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Garcia de Noronha
Portrait of D. Garcia de Noronha in Livro de Lisuarte de Abreuc. 1560.
Viceroy of India
In office
1538 – 3 April 1540
MonarchJohn III of Portugal
Preceded byNuno da Cunha
Succeeded byEstêvão da Gama
Personal details
Lisbon, Portugal
Died3 April 1540(1540-04-03) (aged 60–61)
Cochin, India
Military service
AllegianceKingdom of Portugal Kingdom of Portugal Portugal
Branch/servicePortuguese Navy

D. Garcia de Noronha (1479 in Lisbon – 3 April 1540 in Cochin) was a Portuguese nobleman. He was great-great-grandson of King Ferdinand I of Portugal, was the third viceroy and tenth governor of Portuguese India.[1][2]

D. Garcia de Noronha, 3rd Viceroy of India

As far as his life is reconstructed, Garcia de Noronha comes from noble proportions, his father Dom Fernando de Noronha, was a member of the Crown Council of Portugal, as mayor of the palace. As a young nobleman he frequented regularly the royal court. After the death of his father, he became a gentleman of the Board of Manuel I and João III, captain-general of Cartaxo, young nobleman and knight of the royal house.

He served in North Africa and went to India for the first time in 1511 as chief captain of a fleet of six ships. On that voyage, he is reported to have sighted the island of Saint Helena, that his pilots entered onto their charts.[3] This last source claimed that this event was decisive in leading to the utilisation of the island as a regular stopover for rest and replenishment for ships en route from India to Europe. However, this seems doubtful because when Estêvão da Gama arrived at St Helena expedition in 1503 his clerk Thomé Lopes)[4][5][6] identified St Helena's geographic position with reasonable accuracy when he quoted its distance and direction with respect to locations such as Ascension, Cape Verde, São Tomé and the Cape of Good Hope. The island's location with respect to Ascension and the Cape of Good Hope was likewise known following the 1505 Portuguese expedition led by Francisco de Almeida.[7]

He was married to Inês de Castro (a sister of D. João de Castro who was later to become the fourth viceroy of Portuguese India); with her he had four children. Moreover, he was a nephew of Afonso de Albuquerque.

He was a successor to the governor-general Nuno da Cunha, nominated by a royal decree of 18 March 1538 as viceroy of Estado da Índia by King John III. On 6 April 1538 he landed in India. During his reign he promoted the settlement of missionaries on Celebes Islands and Macassar. He issued a temporary ban on the construction of mainly Hindu and Buddhist temples within Portuguese India.

Dom Garcia died before the end of his mandate as viceroy on April 3, 1540, in Cochin and is buried in the chancel of the Cathedral of Goa.

In Cascais (São Domingos de Rana) a street is named after him.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Garcia de Noronha - Lisboa, Portugal,, recovered 21 March 2014
  2. ^ List of Viceroys and Governors of Portuguese India, recovered 21 March 2014
  3. ^ Disney, A. R. (2016). The Portuguese in India and other studies, 1500-1700 (XVII - The Portuguese and Saint Helena). Routledge. pp. 217–219. ISBN 978-1-138-49378-0.
  4. ^ A. H. Schulenburg, 'The discovery of St Helena: the search continues'. Wirebird: The Journal of the Friends of St Helena, Issue 24 (Spring 2002), pp. 13–19.
  5. ^ Duarte Leite, História dos Descobrimentos, Vol. II (Lisbon: Edições Cosmos, 1960), 206.
  6. ^ de Montalbodo, Paesi Nuovamente Retovati & Nuovo Mondo da Alberico Vesputio Fiorentino Intitulato (Venice: 1507)
  7. ^ The Voyage from Lisbon to India, 1505–06, being an account and journal by Albericus Vespuccius, translated from the contemporary Flemish [by George Frederick Barwick and Janet M. E. Barwick], and edited with prologue and notes by C. H. Coote. [With the text of the original entitled "Die reyse va Lissebone" in facsimile.], Published by B. F. Stevens in 1894.