João de Santarém

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João de Santarém (life dates unknown) was a Portuguese navigator and explorer .


In 1469, the Portuguese King Alfonso V leased the merchant Fernão Gomes the right to travel along the coast of West Africa in the name and on behalf of the Portuguese crown, but at his own expense . In this five-year contract, the wealthy Portuguese merchant Fernão Gomes et al. 100 iguas to explore the African coast every year . Fernão Gomes hired excellent seafarers for this task.

One of his captains was João de Santarém, who, together with the pilot Pêro Escobar, made the second trip organized and financed by Fernão Gomes from 1471 to 1472. They explored the course of the African coast in what is now Ghana and Benin up to the southernmost point of the Niger Delta , Cape Formoso .

On December 21, 1471 the island of São Tomé , on New Year's Day 1472 the island of Annobón (Ano Bom) and on January 17, 1472 the island of Príncipe , which they baptized São Antão , were reached. After this trip, João de Santarém disappeared from the Portuguese chronicles.

It is likely, but not certain, whether João de Santarém, who was entrusted as Capitão with the rule of Alcatrazes on the island of São Tiago or Santiago, which belongs to the Cape Verde group, in 1484 is identical with the navigator and explorer.


  • Portugal. Dicionário Histórico, Corográfico, Heráldico, Biográfico, Bibliográfico, Numismático e Artístico . vol. I -VII, Lisboa, 1904–1915, here: vol. VII (TZ), Lisboa 1915, p. 602.

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