Almeida, Lawrence

was son of the former, and had he enjoyed longer life, would probably have equalled him in fame. His first exploit was against Caulan, in India, whither he was dispatched by his father to destroy all the ships in that harbour; he executed his orders with so much expedition, that he came in sight of the town before they were apprized of his arrival, and destroyed 27 ships. Soon after he was sent on a cruize against the Maldive islands, to intercept all Arabian ships. The strength of the currents in those seas, drove him as far south as Cape Comorin, and the island of Ceylon, and he put into a port in the latter. The king hearing of his arrival, and having before heard of the fame of the Portugueze in those parts, treated him with great respect, and entered into a treaty, by which he agreed to pay a yearly tribute to the king of Portugal, on condition of receiving protection and defence. The tribute was to be 250,000 Lb. | weight of cinnamon; and the first year’s payment was immediately put on board. On his return, he was ordered to the Anchidive islands; when being informed of a large fleet fitting out at Calicut, Lawrence immediately sailed to that place, engaged it, and after a fierce conflict, gave them a total defeat. He then returned to Cananor, where he was received by the king of that place, who was a friend of the Portugueze, with great honour: he afterwards continued with his father, until he sailed on the fatal expedition in which he lost his life. He was dispatched with eight ships to annoy the Arabians, and at first was successful. He put into the port of Chaul, a large and opulent city, adjoining to the kingdom of Canibaya. Here he received advice that the sultan of Egypt had fitted out a considerable force, manned with his bravest soldiers. It consisted of five large ships, and six galleys, to which the king of Cambaya joined 30 sloops of war. When they appeared off Chaul, the Portugueze concluded they were the ships of Albuquerque, and made no preparation to engage; the Egyptian admiral entered the river, but his allies remained out at sea.

The next day Lawrence Almeida weighed anchor and attacked the admiral’s ship, but in the action he was wounded. His officers, finding they were becalmed, and could not come to close quarters with the enemy, advised him to return. This he declined, and soon received another desperate wound in the face with a dart. The action continued at a distance, Almeida not being able to get near his enemy. Other captains were more fortunate, as they boarded and took two ships. The next day, the fleet from sea came in and joined the enemy. The Portugueze held a council, and were almost unanimously of opinion, that they ought to put to sea in the night, which they endeavoured to effect, but the enemy pursued and came up with the admiral’s ship, in the rear, and surrounded her. An unfortunate shot rendering it impossible to steer her, she ran aground. The Portugueze captains had a strong desire to assist their admiral, but the violence of the tide prevented them. However, they sent a boat to bring Almeida away; but he refused to quit his fellow-soldiers in this distress, hoping also that he should be able to defend himself until the tide returned. The enemy did not dare to board his vessel, but continued a fierce cannonade at a distance, which was returned with spirit. Almeida at last | received another wound, in his thigh, which quite disabled him, and being placed in a chair which was lashed to the mast, he continued to animate his men, until a shot in the breast killed him. The Portugueze on board this unfortunate ship were now reduced to 20, who still continued to defend themselves, but the enemy succeeded in boarding her, and to their honour, treated the few brave survivors with great humanity. 1


Modern Univ. History.