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The story of the First Circumnavigation is told in this recent book.


Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation
of the Globe.
By Laurence Bergreen.


From the NY TIMES book review 12/5/2003 of the new book

Elcano is often credited with being the first circumnavigator. One of Bergreen's interesting subplots alternatively reveals Magellan's slave, Enrique, as the first human to circle the globe. Magellan had purchased him ''10 years earlier in Malacca, where he was baptized, and he had followed his master ever since across Africa and Europe,'' then across the Atlantic, through the Straits of Magellan and across the Pacific. Enrique appeared to be a loyal domestic, and Magellan's will stipulated unambiguously that in the event of his death, Enrique was to be freed immediately and paid 10,000 maravedis. Enrique astonished his shipmates in the Philippines by conversing with islanders. Apparently he was not a native of Malacca, but a Filipino captured in boyhood by slave traders from Sumatra. His service to Magellan created the circumstances in which he became the first person to circle the world and return home, albeit indirectly and not of his own volition.

That homecoming set the stage for a dramatic act of resistance to slavery. After Magellan's death Enrique demanded his freedom. Rebuffed, and threatened by the new commanders, he plotted with a local king to betray the armada. In the massacre that followed, almost 30 men were killed, including many of the most capable and prestigious. The slavery, the murder, the betrayals, the greed: all were part of the encounters between Europeans and others in the wake of Magellan, and they temper the triumphalism associated with the expedition.


Good history relies on good sources, and every biographer of Magellan has leaned heavily on the journal kept by Antonio Pigafetta, the pious yet bawdy Venetian scholar who chronicled the mission.





[butuanchronicles] Pigafetta account on Enrique


Pigafetta relates Enrique was wounded in Mactan while fighting beside
his master, Fernam de Magalhains. He was berated by Duarte Barbosa
who thought Enrique was malingering. Angry at this Enrique plotted
with Humabon the murder of Barbosa, the other ranking officers of the
fleet, and the capture of the ships. All of which were achieved
except for the last.

After the fatal banquet at Cebu, no more mention of Enrique is made
in any of the 9 surviving eyewitness accounts. The Albo account and
the Genoese account do not even mention Enrique. Gines de Mafra
refers to him.

In the records of the Casa Contratacion de las Indias, Enrique is
listed as having died during the massacre at Cebu. There is no record
to contradict this, although it's logical to assume the Cebuanos
didn't kill him. But it's possible the Spaniards may have killed him
during the melee. It's hard to contradict the Casa Contratacion
document with mere speculative musings. So unless a written account
can be produced saying something else, those document stands.

In, Greg Hontiveros’

Butuan History is schedule to be released. He wrote:
  So much speculation has been made on what happened to
  Enrique after the Mactan debacle. Was he slain in
  Mactan? Did he stay over in Cebu? Did he travel with
 the expedition's survivors in order to reach his home
 in Sumatra?
  Let me add my research on the controversy. I came
 across these eyewitness accounts of two navigators -
 Francisco Alba who was a Greek, and most importantly
 the pilot from Genoa, Italy who was very likely
  Giovanni Battista di Polcevera. I have noted the
 reference to Albo, but I still have to scan my notes
 further on the specific reference re the Genoese
 Pilot, but I swear the quote is honest and accurate.
  Albo's account:
  "We left Subu and sailed southwest to a latitude of 9
 and three-fourths degrees, between the end of Subu and
 an island called Bohol...Accordingly we left that
 channel and went 10 leguas south and anchored in the
 island of Bohol. There we made two ships of the three,
 burning the third because we had no men. The last
 named island is 9 and half degrees. We left Behold
 and sailed southwest toward Quipit, and anchored at
 that settlement on the right hand side of a river..."
  (Notes on Pigafetta's Primo viaggio intorno al mondo,
  Vol. 33, page 349, Blair & Robertson's The Philippine
  The Genoese Pilot's account:
  "While they did this many paraos [sailboats] came to
 speak to them, and navigating amongst the islands, for
 in that neighborhood there are a great many, they did
 not understand one another, for they had no
 interpreter, for he had been killed with Fernao de
  It is obvious here that Enrique was with Magellan in
 that battle of Mactan, most likely beside his master
 till their death. Enrique was Magellan's servant and
 interpreter, and he obviously had to accompany
 Magellan (who had to walk with a limp from a deep
 wound suffered in combat in the Portuguese Navy a
 dozen years back) in these islands, whether to do
 battle or to negotiate with the natives.
  Did Enrique complete the circumnavigation of the
 globe? Tantalizingly close perhaps, but he still
 brings honor as the first Oriental to be in that
 globe-girdling expedition by Europeans.

To be continued………



Inside the story of the greatest journey there was another man who who stood behind and sailed with the greatest explorer.
My version is on