West Chester University, HIS311 "African History to 1875"


Timeline of Portuguese Activity in East Africa, 1498-1700

Copyright 1998 by Jim Jones
All rights reserved

ESTABLISHING A FOOTHOLD

1498 Vasco da Gama arrived on the East African coast and obtained an alliance with the Swahili city of Malindi
1503 Ruy Lourenço Ravasco attacked Zanzibar
1505 The Portuguese built a fort at Sofala
1505-7 Francisco d'Almeida's force sacked Mombasa, Kilwa, and Barawa
1507 The Portuguese built their first fort at Mozambique
1510 The Portuguese conquered Goa and created the Viceroyalty of Goa to administer their possessions in the Indian Ocean

COMMERCIAL EXPLOITATION BEGINS

1514 Antonio Fernandez found gold in Shona country
1520-6 Francisco Alvarez visited Ethiopia
1528 The Portuguese sacked Mombasa again
1531 The Governor of Mozambique founded a trade fair and fort at Sena 160 miles upstream on the Zambezi River
1534-5 The Portuguese founded new trading posts in the vicinity of Tete about 200 miles upstream on the Zambezi River
1541 The Portuguese aided Ethiopia in its war against the Somali Kingdom of Adal

PORTUGUESE CONTROL AND AFRICAN RESISTANCE

1550s The Portuguese built Fort Sao Sebastiao on Mozambique Island
1560s The first Portuguese missionary reached the Mutapa kingdom on the Zambezi River
1568 Sebastao became king of Portugal at age 14
1569-73 A Portuguese military expedition into the Zambezi River Valley resulted in the loss of 800 out of 1000 men
1574-5 Another Portuguese military expedition lost 200 of 400 men
1585-6 Ali Bey organized the first northern Swahili resistance
1588-9 Ali Bey led a second campaign of resistance
1589 The Portuguese sacked Mombasa again and took control of the northeastern coastal cities
1591 Construction of Fort Jesus authorized
1593 Work began on Fort Jesus at Mombasa
1594 The Portuguese built a customs house at Mombasa
1597 The first Augustinian monastery was established at Mombasa
1599 The Portuguese began to occupy Fort Jesus, although construction continued into the 1630s

THE "GOLDEN YEARS"

1600s/ear Portuguese immigration to East Africa increased, and an Augustinian-educated sultan ruled Malindi, Mombasa and Pemba
1606 The Dutch laid siege to Fort San Sebastao on Mozambique Island
1608 Dutch attempted to take over Mozambique Island again
1608-18 Several Portuguese expeditions failed to find gold and silver
1618-48 The Thirty Years War ended the ability of the Portuguese government to support further expansion in East Africa
1628 A new Monomotapa (Kapararidze, head of the Mutapa state in the middle Zambezi valley) tried to reunite the Shona people by starting a war to expel the Portuguese
1628-1700 Portuguese extended their land claims to the Upper Zambezi

DECLINE OF PORTUGUESE POWER

1630s Portuguese aided a rival Monomotapa (or Mwene Mutapa) named Mavura to overthrew Kapararidze
1630s The Portuguese completed the construction of Fort Jesus at Mombasa
1631 Sultan of Mombasa renounced Catholicism and murdered most of the Portuguese garrison at Fort Jesus
1632 A new Portuguese garrison arrived at Fort Jesus
1650s Sea-borne Omani Arabs aided revolt in the city-states
1684-96 Opponents of Mavura founded a new state (Chagamire) and conquered Mutapa
1698 A 33-month siege took Fort Jesus and killed 1000 Portuguese and some 5000 Swahili allies and residents
1699 Fort Jesus was conquered
1700 By this date, Muslim forces expelled the Portuguese from the region north of Cape Delgado (located south of Kilwa)