Henry - The Navigator


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  • In 1394, Henry was born as the third surviving son of the King and Queen of Portugal. Therefore, it was unlikely that he would ever become king. Henry, however, had high aspirations.
  • Henry convinced his father to conquer the North African port of Ceuta. In 1415, Henry and his brothers conquered the land that would eventually serve as a launching point for African expeditions.
  • Following the conquest, Henry then remained in his court in the city of Sagres. Notable people came from distant places solely to visit him due to their interests in overseas territory. Many then were employed by him.
  • Henry never got married. He was more devoted to his legacy and wealth than to finding a partner. As a devout Catholic, he believed he had a responsibility to spread Christianity to other parts of the world.
  • Henry became so engrossed in his climb to wealth, he gave up his original goal of trading spices and gold. Instead, his main source of income was in the trade of humans in the 1440s. Unfortunately, Henry helped start the Transatlantic slave trade.
  • Henry died in 1456. By this time, the Portuguese hadn't even traveled halfway down the west coast of Africa. However, Portugal was gaining wealth from its African trade and was planning future voyages for conquering.
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