Columbus, Don Bartholomew

, brother of Christopher, acquired a reputation by the sea-charts and the spheres, which he made in a superior manner, considering the time in which he lived. He had passed from Italy to Portugal before his brother, whose tutor he had been in cosmography. Don Ferdinand Columbus, his nephew, says, that his uncle having embarked for London, was taken by a corsair, who carried him into an unknown country, where he was reduced to the extremity of distress, from which he delivered himself by making charts for navigation; and, having amassed a considerable sum of money, he went to England, presented to the king a map of the world in his own method, explained to him the plan his brother had formed of striking much farther forward on the ocean than had ever yet been done: the prince intreated him to invite over Christopher, promising to defray the whole expence of the expedition; but the latter had already entered into an engagement with the crown of Castile. Part of this story, and especially the proposal made by the king of England, seems totally without foundation: but it appears that Bartholomew had a share in the bounty bestowed on Christopher by the king of Castile; and in 1493 these two brothers, and Diego Columbus, who was the third, were ennobled. Don Bartholomew underwent with Christopher the fatigues and dangers inseparable from such long voyages as those in which they both engaged, and built the town of St. Domingo. He died in 1514, possessed of riches and honours. 2


Ferdinand’s Life.—Moreri.