The next three pages focus on six expeditions of discovery from among a greater number of them that were instituted by Emperor Charles V, King of Spain, and the kings after him.
The expeditions attracted financial speculation. They often had some of the cost borne by the participants and by the owners of the ships involved. In return, they were promised franchises in relation to land or materials discovered.
Voyage in 1492 by Christopher Columbus (see below).
Voyage in 1493 by Christopher Columbus.
Voyage in 1519 by Ferdinand Magellan (and involving Jean Sebastian Elcano)
Voyage in 1525 by Garcia Jofré de Loaisa and Jean Sebastian Elcano (& involving Andrés de Urdaneta as young layman)
Voyage in 1541 by Ruy Lopex de Villalobos (& involving four members of the Order of Saint Augustine)
Voyage in 1564 by Miguel Lopez Legapsa (and involving Andrés de Urdaneta O.S.A. as a navigator)
First Voyage (in 1492) by Colombus
In 1492, Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) sailed from Lisbon (at the behest of the Spanish) in an effort to prove the world was round by reaching the East Indies by sailing westwards. Before travelling anywhere near the distance that, unknown to him, would have been required, Columbus discovered America rather than reach Asia from the west.
He landed in the Bahamas. He was not initially convinced, however, that he was not in the East Indies, and for this reason called the native peoples of America by the name of Indians. There was no chaplain on this first voyage.
Second Voyage (in 1493) by Columbus
Columbus did not persist in his attempt to sail around the world. Instead, from America he returned quickly to Europe. To capitalise on his discovery, he rapidly gathered potential occupants to exploit the land that he had found. This led to his second expedition, which was a commercial enterprise. The second voyage of Columbus was organised in the city of Vizcaya (a Basque area on the coast of northern Spain) by Juan de Arbolancha and Iñigo de Artieta.
With six Basque ships, he set sail in July 1493 with Basque pilots Lope de Olano and Martin Zamudio and many Basque sailors. One of the ships was outfitted by Juan Perez de Loyola, the older brother of the future saint, Ignatius of Loyola. Columbus was familiar with strong Basque connections. For example, in his first voyage, Juan de Lakotsa, his navigator, was Basque. His ship, Santa Maria, was owned by a Basque man and sailed by a Basque crew, and the Niña had a crew that was mainly Basque.
Because a settlement was intended in the New World, chaplains were taken along. They were three priests from the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy (Mercedarians): the names usually mentioned are Juan Infante, Juan de Solórzano and Jorge de Sevilla. The Mercedarians had been founded in Barcelona, Spain in 1215 by Saint Peter Nolasco in order to arrange the ransom (financial redemption) of captives. The Mercedarians ended up having eight provinces in Latin America that included Mexico, Cuba, Brazil, Peru, Chile, and Ecuador. For the Order of Mercy, see: http://www.orderofmercy.org and http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10197b.htm
Voyage in 1519 by Magellan (and involving Jean Sebastian Elcano)
The next expedition to be included here began in Spain in 1519. King Charles I of Spain (who later became Emperor Charles V) still desired that the goal originally given to Columbus would be achieved, i.e., to complete the circuit of the world by sailing westwards. The expedition was placed under the command of Ferdinand Majellan (or who in the Portuguese language of his birth was named Fernao de Mangelhaes).
He was born about 1480 at Saborosa in Villa Real, Province of Traz os Montes, Portugal. His voyage has been called the greatest navigational feat in history. This fleet consisted of five vessels granted by the government: (Trinidad, Victoria, Concepción, San Antonio, and Santiago): two of 130 tons each, two of 90 tons each and one of 60 tons. They were supplied with food for 234 persons for two years. On 20th September 1519, these five ships with 277 men set out from harbour of Sanlucar de Barrameda, which is the port on the Atlantic coast of Spain that is nearest to Seville.
Once again a member of the Order of Mercy was the principal chaplain, Pedro Valderama (or Valderrama), who was serving in Seville. The Mercedarians had begun ministry in Latin America in 1514 (nineteen years before the arrival of the first group of Augustinians there in 1533) in Santo Domingo. There was another priest assigned to the expedition as assistant chaplain. He is thought to have been born in France and to have belonged to a diocese, and not to have been the member of a religious order.
Two of the five ships of Magellan were lost or had withdrawn from the expedition even before it had sailed through the Straits of Magellan at the southern tip of South America and entered the Pacific Ocean. The assistant chaplain, who was on board the San Antonio, took part in a revolt against Magellan. Some of those who participated in the mutiny (revolt) were executed, but Juan de Cartagena, who was the captain of the San Antonio, and the priest on the ship instead were abandoned on an island and left to die. The San Antonio then turned back to Spain.
Later in the voyage, Magellan discovered the Philippines on 16 March 1521, and took possession of them in the name of the King of Spain. Pedro Valderama, the chaplain of the fleet who was aboard the Trinidad ("Trinity"), preached the Christian Faith to the inhabitants. On 31 March 1521, in the Island of Limawasa, the first Mass was celebrated on the soil of the Philippines by the chaplain, Pedro de Valderama.
It was attended by both the sailors and the natives. During the Mass, all the canons on the ships fired in salute. Before the ships departed from the Philippines three weeks later, he administered baptism to King Colambu and King Siagu and 800 natives of Mindanao and Cebú, on Low Sunday, 7 April 1521. Disaster struck, ho ever, on the nearby little island of Mactan on 27th April, when Magellan (Magalhaes) was killed in a fight with the natives.
After his death, one of the remaining three ships was abandoned because not enough sailors were left to handle three vessels. Captain Juan Sebastián del Cano took command of the reduced fleet and brought it to the Moluccas, where he took on a cargo of cloves. The fourth ship, the Trinidad, tried to return across the Pacific but was forced back by the winds. It was then captured by the Portuguese. Most members of the crew meet death, and some were placed in prison.
The last ship, the Victoria, was successful in completing the long return voyage to Spain. The Victoria, under the control of Jean Sebastian Elcano, took roughly a year to sail across the Indian Ocean, past the southern tip of Africa and to reach Spain. By the time the Victoria reached Seville on 8 September 1523, the crew had completed a circuit of the world from east to west. It had taken them three years, and a journey of 14,460 leagues. Only eighteen men had completed the journey, from the 237 who had begun it. The others had either lost their lives through war, execution, or death because of sickness or the lack of the proper food (i.e., by scurvy and malnutrition), or had been left behind in the Indies.
Juan Sebastian Elcano (or d'Elcano, or del Cano, or El Cano) had brought just seventeen men back with him. Eighteen men had now sailed all the way around the earth on the Victoria, but the priest, Pedro Valderama of the Trinidad, was not one of those aboard the Victoria who completed the expedition. This meant that no person who at the time was a priest or a member of a religious order had as yet sailed all the way around the world. Even though they had not done so in one voyage, or completed one loop that was unbroken, the first persons to have crossed every line of latitude in the world were actually two members of the expedition who had not been part of it after it had reached the Philippines.
These men were Ferdinand Magellan and a native person from the Malacca area (Indonesia today) who was named Trapobana. When in the employ of the Portuguese many years earlier in 1511, Ferdinand Magellan took part on the attack by sailors of Portugal upon Malacca, which was a Moslem seaport that became a Malay trading post and slave market. Magellan had obtained Trapobana there as his servant (or slave), and brought him back to Europe. He gave him the name of Enrique (Henry), and sometimes referred to him as Prince Henry.
Henry went on Magellan's expedition of 1525 as a guide and interpreter. Technically speaking, therefore, when Magellan's expedition had crossed the line of latitude of Malacca from the west, Enrique and Magellan had sailed around the world (although not in one single and continuous journey, and not in a circuit that was unbroken). Although Magellan because of his death did not complete the voyage of 1521, he and Henry can be considered the first persons to circle the world because Cebu is west of the Moluccas.
Sailing west, they had reached a latitude further west that the latitude they had previously reached when sailing to the east. After the death of Magellan in the Philippines, on 1st May 1521 Enrique joined a mutiny against Magellan's successor, and left the expedition soon afterwards.
(Continued on the next page.)