Martim Afonso de Sousa
|Martim Afonso de Sousa|
Painting of Martim Afonso de Sousa by Benedito Calixto
|Governor of Portuguese India|
|Monarch||John III of Portugal|
|Preceded by||Estêvão da Gama|
|Succeeded by||João de Castro|
|1st Captain-major of the Captaincy of São Vicente|
John III of Portugal|
Sebastian of Portugal
|Preceded by||Office created|
|Succeeded by||Pero Lopes de Sousa|
Vila Viçosa, Kingdom of Portugal
21 July 1564|
Lisbon, Kingdom of Portugal
Pero Lopes de Sousa|
Lopo Rodrigues de Sousa
Rodrigo Afonso de Sousa
Gonçalo Rodrigues de Sousa
b. Tristão de Sousa
b. Isabel Lopes de Sousa
|Battles/wars||Ottoman–Portuguese conflicts (1538–1557)|
Born in Vila Viçosa, he was commander of the first official Portuguese expedition into mainland of the colony of Brazil. Threatened by the presence of French ships along the coast of Brazil, the Portuguese crown in December 1530 sent a fleet with 400 people led by Martim Afonso de Sousa to establish control and explore. His mission was to place Portuguese markers as far south as the River Plate estuary, but he was shipwrecked there.
Upon return to São Vicente and Santos, in 1532 he led troops guided by the native inhabitants and by earlier Portuguese settlers such as João Ramalho up the Serra do Mar mountains to the area near the future village of São Paulo. On the high plateau, he founded the town of Santo André. He also established a sugar mill near the coast at São Vicente, with sugarcane brought from the Portuguese Cape Verde islands. In both activities, Afonso de Sousa established a pattern followed by Portuguese colonizers and Brazilians for long afterward: the "entradas" and "bandeiras" – or explorations and raids into the interior – and the production of sugar along the coast for export.
Sousa was the first Royal Governor of Brazil. He settled in the north-east region of the modern country.
He died in Lisbon in 1564.