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Prince Henry The Navigator - Liverpool, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 22.873 W 002° 56.120
30U E 504301 N 5914681
Quick Description: Infante D. Henrique of Portugal, Duke of Viseu (4 March 1394 – 13 November 1460) was a central figure in the early days of the Portuguese Empire and in the 15th-century European maritime discoveries and maritime expansion.
Location: North West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 5/9/2019 10:19:49 AM
Waymark Code: WM10HAY
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Bernd das Brot Team
Views: 1

Long Description:

"Infante D. Henrique of Portugal, Duke of Viseu (4 March 1394 – 13 November 1460), better known as Prince Henry the Navigator (Portuguese: Infante Dom Henrique, o Navegador), was a central figure in the early days of the Portuguese Empire and in the 15th-century European maritime discoveries and maritime expansion. Through his administrative direction, he is regarded as the main initiator of what would be known as the Age of Discovery. Henry was the fourth child of the Portuguese king John I, who founded the House of Aviz.

Henry was responsible for the early development of Portuguese exploration and maritime trade with other continents through the systematic exploration of Western Africa, the islands of the Atlantic Ocean, and the search for new routes. He encouraged his father to conquer Ceuta (1415), the Muslim port on the North African coast across the Straits of Gibraltar from the Iberian Peninsula. He learned of the opportunities offered by the Saharan trade routes that terminated there, and became fascinated with Africa in general; he was most intrigued by the Christian legend of Prester John and the expansion of Portuguese trade. He is regarded as the patron of Portuguese exploration.

Life

Henry was the third surviving son of King John I and his wife Philippa, sister of King Henry IV of England. He was baptized in Porto, and may have been born there, probably when the royal couple was living in the city's old mint, now called Casa do Infante (Prince's House), or in the region nearby. Another possibility is that he was born at the Monastery of Leça do Bailio, in Leça de Palmeira, during the same period of the royal couple's residence in the city of Porto.

Henry was 21 when he and his father and brothers captured the Moorish port of Ceuta in northern Morocco. Ceuta had long been a base for Barbary pirates who raided the Portuguese coast, depopulating villages by capturing their inhabitants to be sold in the African slave trade. Following this success, Henry began to explore the coast of Africa, most of which was unknown to Europeans. His objectives included finding the source of the West African gold trade and the legendary Christian kingdom of Prester John, and stopping the pirate attacks on the Portuguese coast.

At that time, the ships of the Mediterranean were too slow and too heavy to make these voyages. Under his direction, a new and much lighter ship was developed, the caravel, which could sail further and faster, and, above all, was highly manoueverable and could sail much nearer the wind, or "into the wind". This made the caravel largely independent of the prevailing winds. With the caravel, Portuguese mariners explored rivers and shallow waters as well as the open ocean with wide autonomy. In fact, the invention of the caravel was what made Portugal poised to take the lead in transoceanic exploration.

In 1419, Henry's father appointed him governor of the province of the Algarve.

Resources and income

On 25 May 1420, Henry gained appointment as the Grand Master of the Military Order of Christ, the Portuguese successor to the Knights Templar, which had its headquarters at Tomar, in central Portugal. Henry held this position for the remainder of his life, and the Order was an important source of funds for Henry's ambitious plans, especially his persistent attempts to conquer the Canary Islands, which the Portuguese had claimed to have discovered before the year 1346.

In 1425, his second brother the Infante Peter, Duke of Coimbra, made a tour of Europe. While largely a diplomatic mission, among his goals was to seek out geographic material for his brother Henry. Peter returned from Venice with a current world map drafted by a Venetian cartographer.

In 1431, he donated houses for the Estudo Geral to reunite all the sciences—grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, music, and astronomy—into what would later become the University of Lisbon. For other subjects like medicine or philosophy, he ordered that each room should be decorated according to each subject that was being taught.

Henry also had other resources. When John I died in 1433, Henry's eldest brother Edward of Portugal became king. He granted Henry all profits from trading within the areas he discovered as well as the sole right to authorize expeditions beyond Cape Bojador. Henry also held a monopoly on tuna fishing in the Algarve. When Edward died eight years later, Henry supported his brother Peter, Duke of Coimbra for the regency during the minority of Edward's son Afonso V, and in return received a confirmation of this levy.

Henry functioned as a primary organiser of the disastrous expedition to Tangier in 1437. Henry's younger brother Ferdinand was given as a hostage to guarantee that the Portuguese would fulfill the terms of the peace agreement that had been made with Çala Ben Çala. The Portuguese Cortes refused to approve the return of Ceuta in exchange for the Infante Ferdinand who remained in captivity until his death six years later.

Prince Regent Peter had an important role and responsibility in the Portuguese maritime expansion in the Atlantic Ocean and Africa during his administration. Henry promoted the colonization of the Azores during Peter's regency (1439–1448).

For most of the latter part of his life, Henry concentrated on his maritime activities, or on Portuguese court politics.

Vila do Infante and Portuguese exploration

According to João de Barros, in the Algarve he repopulated a village that he called Terçanabal (from terça nabal or tercena nabal).] This village was situated in a strategic position for his maritime enterprises and was later called Vila do Infante ("Estate or Town of the Prince").

It is traditionally suggested that Henry gathered at his villa on the Sagres peninsula a school of navigators and map-makers. However modern historians hold this to be a misconception. He did employ some cartographers to chart the coast of Mauritania after the voyages he sent there, but there was no center of navigation science or observatory in the modern sense of the word, nor was there an organized navigational center.

Referring to Sagres, sixteenth-century Portuguese mathematician and cosmographer Pedro Nunes remarked, "from it our sailors went out well taught and provided with instruments and rules which all map makers and navigators should know."

The view that Henry's court rapidly grew into the technological base for exploration, with a naval arsenal and an observatory, etc., although repeated in popular culture, has never been established. Henry did possess geographical curiosity, and employed cartographers. Jehuda Cresques, a noted cartographer, has been said to have accepted an invitation to come to Portugal to make maps for the infante. This last incident probably accounts for the legend of the School of Sagres, which is now discredited.

The first contacts with the African slave market were made by expeditions to ransom Portuguese subjects enslaved by pirate attacks on Portuguese ships or villages. As Sir Peter Russell remarks in his biography, "In Henryspeak, conversion and enslavement were interchangeable terms."

Henry's explorations

Henry sponsored voyages, collecting a 20% tax (o quinto) on the profits made by naval expeditions, which was the usual practice in the Iberian states of that time. The nearby port of Lagos provided a convenient harbor from which these expeditions left. The voyages were made in very small ships, mostly the caravel, a light and maneuverable vessel. The caravel used the lateen sail, the prevailing rig in Christian Mediterranean navigation since late antiquity. Most of the voyages sent out by Henry consisted of one or two ships that navigated by following the coast, stopping at night to tie up along some shore.

During Prince Henry's time and after, the Portuguese navigators discovered and perfected the North Atlantic Volta do Mar (the "turn of the sea" or "return from the sea"): the dependable pattern of trade winds blowing largely from the east near the equator and the returning westerlies in the mid-Atlantic. This was a major step in the history of navigation, when an understanding of oceanic wind patterns was crucial to Atlantic navigation, from Africa and the open ocean to Europe, and enabled the main route between the New World and Europe in the North Atlantic in future voyages of discovery. Although the lateen sail allowed sailing upwind to some extent, it was worth even major extensions of course to have a faster and calmer following wind for most of a journey. Portuguese mariners who sailed south and southwest towards the Canary Islands and West Africa would afterwards sail far to the northwest—that is, away from continental Portugal, and seemingly in the wrong direction—before turning northeast near the Azores islands and finally east to Europe in order to have largely following winds for their full journey. Christopher Columbus used this on his transatlantic voyages. link

The statue
This statue is one of eight standing at each corner of the octagonal Palm House Building in Sefton Park.

"Sefton Park in Liverpool is arguably the best known and most loved by locals. Classified as a Grade One listed park by English Heritage, the magnificent 200-acre Park looks like a natural landscape rather than a man-made park. In spring the sight of millions of golden daffodils around the lake draws residents from across the city and carpets of bluebells give an impression of rural permanence.

The park features many distinctive curved paths and driveways and beech and other indigenous British trees abound. Amongst the park's many features are a boating lake, replica statues of Eros and Peter Pan and a café. The park is also home to the famous Palm House, a fabulous glass-panelled building that has been restored to its former glory." link

The Palm House is a Historic England Grade II* Listed Building.
GV II* Palm House, built in 1896, designed by Mackenzie and Moncur. It is octagonal in plan. It has an iron frame on a granite base, with totally glazed openings. It appears as a sequence of three domical roofs, one above the other, including a clerestorey and lantern with a ball finial. The side elevations are of six bays with three round-arched lights and colonnettes to each bay, and ornamental cresting above. There are entrances to the north, south-east and west with barrel-vaulted porches that are enclosed at the sides and have ornamental gates, some with animals or birds. There are statues at each angle by Léon-Joseph Chavalliaud of famous gardeners, explorers and scientists. Flanking the north entrance are A le Notre and J Parkinson; to the east are Mercator and Captain Cook; to the south are Darwin and Linnaeus; and to the west are Henry the Navigator and Columbus." link

The statue shows him standing in a military poise, wearing armour whilst holding a large sword in his right hand with the point on the ground.

There is an inscription on the plinth.
PRINCE HENRY THE NAVIGATOR

BORN AT OPORTO 1394 DIED AT SAGRES 1460
THE FATHER OF THE ATLANTIC EXPLORATION
THE PROTECTOR OF THE STUDIES OF PORTUGAL
Relevent website: [Web Link]

List if there are any visiting hours:
In a public park so available any time.


Entrance fees (if any):
None


Date dedicated: 1/1/1896

Sponsor(s): Henry Yates Thomson

Parking coordinates: Not Listed

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