João de Sá

João de Sá
Born Kingdom of Portugal
Occupation Explorer, Scrivener

João de Sá, knight (fl. 1497 – 1514) was a Portuguese explorer, who accompanied Vasco da Gama on the voyage that of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India.


João de Sá is one of the purported authors of A Journal of the First Voyage of Vasco Da Gama 1497–1499 (the other being Álvaro Velho).

Vasco da Gama lands at Calicut, 20 May 1498.

Sá was definitely a member of the voyage to India, travelling on the carrack São Rafael which was captained by Vasco da Gama's younger brother, Paulo da Gama. Sá was also a member of the group who accompanied Gama on his first trip into Calicut on 20 May 1498.

On the return voyage the São Rafael was scuttled off the East African coast, and the crew re-distributed to the remaining two ships, the São Gabriel and the Berrio, as by this point there were not enough crewmen left standing to manage all three ships. This was due to the loss of almost half the crew during the voyage across the Indian Ocean, and to scurvy being rife amongst the survivors. João de Sá transferred to the São Gabriel, and then was given control after Vasco da Gama decided to remain at Santiago island with his brother Paulo, who had fallen seriously ill. The S. Gabriel under Sá arrived in Lisbon sometime in late July or early August. Although Paulo was later able to travel on with his brother towards Portugal, he died whilst en route and was buried at the monastery of São Francisco in Angra do Heroismo.

Like Vasco da Gama, João de Sá appears to have been closely associated with the Almeida family. It is believed that he spent some time at Jorge de Almeida.

Between February 1511 and April 1514, de Sá, who was a trained scrivener, was the treasurer of spices in the Casa da Índia. He had also become a cavalier by royal letter in January 1512.

See also


  • Álvaro Velho, "Roteiro da viagem que em descobrimento da India pelo Cabo da Boa Esperança fez dom Vasco da Gama em 1497": Segundo um manuscripto da Bibliotheca publica portuense (full text in Portuguese)

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