Neha Patil

Enrique of Malacca

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Other names  Henrique, Heinrich
Other name  Henrique, Heinrich
Occupation  slave, interpreter
Enrique of Malacca Panglima Awang Enrique De Malacca
Known for  probably being the first to circumnavigate the world as part of Ferdinand Magellan's voyages

Enrique of Malacca (Spanish: Enrique de Malaca; Portuguese: Henrique de Malaca), was a native of the Malay Archipelago who became a slave of the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in the 16th century. Italian historian Antonio Pigafetta, who wrote the most comprehensive account of Magellan's voyage, named him "Henrique" (which was Hispanicised as Enrique in official Spanish documents). Pigafetta explicitly states that "Henrique" was a native of Sumatra. His name appears as "Henrique", which is Portuguese, and is probably the name given to him at his christening, as he was baptised a Roman Catholic by his Portuguese captors. His name appears only in Pigafetta's account, in Magellan's Last Will, and in official documents at the Casa de Contratación de las Indias of the Magellan expedition to the Philippines.


Enrique of Malacca wwwbalangayvoyagecomimagesaboutimagesenriqu

As set out in Magellan's document Last Will, Magellan acquired Enrique as a slave at Malacca, most probably at the early stages of the siege by the Portuguese in 1511. His Christian name, Henrique, may indicate that his capture was on 13 July, the feast-day of St Henry, which was several days from the start of the siege of Malacca by the Portuguese under the leadership of Afonso de Albuquerque.

Enrique of Malacca Enrique of Malacca The World39s First Circumnavigator The Scuttlefish

Enrique's baptism is attested by Magellan himself in his Will, in which he states that Enrique was a Christian. Magellan also explicitly mentions that Enrique was a native of Malacca. Eyewitness documents of Antonio Pigafetta, Ginés de Mafra, the Genoese pilot, Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas, Juan Sebastián Elcano, and Bartolomé de las Casas, and secondary sources such as João de Barros and Francisco López de Gómara, refer to him as a slave.

Enrique of Malacca ENRIQUE DE MALACCA HistoriaFactory

Magellan expedition

Enrique of Malacca Lydia AznarAlfonso Museum Foundation of the Visayas Inc

Enrique accompanied Magellan back to Europe, and onwards on Magellan's search for a westward passage to the East Indies, and he served as an interpreter for the Spaniards. Ginés de Mafra explicitly states in his first hand account that Enrique was taken on the expedition primarily because of his ability to speak the Malay language: "He [Magellan] told his men that they were now in the land he had desired, and sent a man named Herédia, who was the ship's clerk, ashore with an Indian they had taken, so they said, because he was known to speak Malay, the language spoken in the Malay Archipelago." The island in the Philippines where Enrique spoke and was understood by the natives was Mazaua, which Mafra locates somewhere near Mindanao.

Enrique the Traitor

Enrique of Malacca After 33 years Kidlat39s film about Magellan39s slave debuts

The Genoese pilot of the Magellan expedition, states — wrongly — in his eye-witness account that the Spaniards had no interpreter when they arrived back to Cebu, because Enrique had died on Mactan along with Magellan during the Battle of Mactan in 1521. However, Enrique was very much alive on 1 May 1521, and attended a feast given by Rajah Humabon to the Spaniards. Antonio Pigafetta writes that the survivor João Serrão, who was pleading with the crew from the shore to save him from the Cebuano tribesmen, said that all those who went to the banquet were slain, except for Enrique. A discourse by Giovanni Battista Ramusio claims that Enrique warned the Chief of Subuth that the Spaniards were plotting to capture the king and that this led to the murder of Serrão and others at the banquet.


Enrique accompanied Magellan on all his voyages, including the voyage that circumnavigated the world between 1519 and 1521. On 1 May he was left in Cebu, and there is nothing more said of Enrique in any document.

Historians and others have often speculated that Enrique was the first to circumnavigate the world. The official and generally accepted view is that Elcano and his sailors were the first, according to Maximilianus Transylvanus and Antonio Pigafetta documents. Enrique is only documented to have travelled with Magellan from Malacca to Cebu, 2500 km and 20 degrees of longitude short of completing the circumnavigation. It is not known if he ever had a chance to complete it.


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  • Blair, Emma Helen and Robertson, James Alexander, The Philippine Islands 1493-1898 (55 vols, Cleveland, 1901-1907); abbreviated BR in citations.
  • Jesús, Vicente Calibo de, Mazaua, Magellan's Lost Harbor (2004)
  • Fry, Stephen, The Book of General Ignorance (London, 2006)
  • Genoese Pilot, Navegaçam e vyagem que fez Fernando de Magalhães de Seuilha pera Maluco no anno de 1519 annos In: Collecção de noticias para a historia e geografia das nações ultramarinas, que vivem nos dominios Portuguezes, ou lhes sao visinhas (Lisbon, 1826) pp. 151–176
  • Mafra, Ginés de, Libro que trata del descubrimiento y principio del Estrecho que se llama de Magallanes (1543), critical edition by Antonio Blazquez and Delgado Aguilera (Madrid, 1920) pp. 179–212
  • Manchester, William, A World Lit Only by Fire: the Medieval Mind and the Renaissance (Boston, 1993)
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  • Morison, Samuel Eliot, The European Discovery of America: The Southern Voyages 1492-1616 (New York, 1974)
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  • 1524a. facsimile edition of Nancy-Libri-Phillipps-Beinecke-Yale codex, vol. II (New Haven, 1969)
  • 1524b. Primo viaggio intorno al globo terracqueo, ossia ragguaglio della navigazione...fatta dal cavaliere Antonio Pigafetta...ora publicato per la prima volta, tratto da un codice MS. Della biblioteca Ambrosiana di Milano e corredato di note da Carlo Amoretti. Milan 1800.
  • 1524c. Il primo viaggio intorno al globo di Antonio Pigafetta. In: Raccolta di Documenti e Studi Publicati dalla. Commissione Colombiana. Andrea da Mosto (ed. and tr.). Rome 1894.
  • 1524d. Le premier tour du monde de Magellan. Léonce Peillard (ed. and transcription of Ms. fr. 5650). France 1991.
  • 1524e. Magellan’s Voyage, 3 vols. James Alexander Robertson (ed. and tr. of Ambrosian). Cleveland 1906.
  • 1524f. Magellan’s Voyage: A Narrative Account of the First Circumnavigation. R.A. Skelton (ed. and tr. of Yale ms.). New Haven 1969.
  • 1524g. * of Ms. fr. 5650 and Ambrosian ms.). London 1874.
  • 1523h. The Voyage of Magellan: The Journal of Antonio Pigafetta. Paula Spurlin Paige (tr. of Colínes edition). New Jersey 1969.
  • 1524i. Il Primo Viaggio Intorno Al Mondo Con Il Trattato della Sfera. Facsimile edition of Ambrosian ms. Vicenza 1994.
  • 1524j. The First Voyage Around the World (1519-1522). Theodore J. Cachey Jr. (ed. based on Robertson’s tr.) New York 1995.
  • 1524k. Pigafetta: Relation du premier voyage autour du monde...Edition du texte français d’après les manuscripts de Paris et de Cheltenham. Jean Denucé (text transcribed from Ms. 5650, collating Mss. Ambrosiana, Nancy-Yale and 24224 in notes.) Antwerp 1923.
  • Quirino, Carlos, "The First Man Around the World Was a Filipino" In: Philippines Free Press, 28 December 1991. --"Pigafetta: The First Italian in the Philippines." In: Italians in the Philippines, Manila: 1980. -- "Enrique." In: Who's Who in the Philippines. Manila: Pp. 80–81.
  • Ramusio, Gian Battista, La Detta navigatione per messer Antonio Pigafetta Vicentino (1550) In: Delle navigationi e viaggi... (Venice) pp. 380–98
  • Torodash, Martín, 'Magellan Historiography' In: Hispanic American Historical Review, vol. LI (1970), pp. 313–335
  • Zweig, Stefan, Conqueror of the Seas: The Story of Magellan (New York, 1938)
  • References

    Enrique of Malacca Wikipedia

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