Vasco da Gama was a famous Portuguese explorer of the 15th and 16th century. He is known as being the first European to sail from Europe to India, which was made possible by the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope. He led a fleet of 4 ships in July 1497 around the Cape and onto India, where they arrived in May 1498. He was rewarded for his voyage when he returned to Portugal. His second voyage to India was not as successful and he lost favor with the rulers of Portugal. After threatening to defect to Spain the Portuguese King decided it was best to keep Vasco da Gama on his side. Let’s take a look at the events that led up to the death of this famous explorer.
How Did Vasco da Gama Die?
When a new king came along in 1521 he decided to appoint Vasco da Gama as the governor of Portuguese India. He was granted the title of Viceroy in 1524 and sent to replace the corrupt Duarte de Menezes. He left for India later that year with a fleet of 14 ships. After a disastrous voyage with at least 4 ships being lost, he quickly set about replacing all of the officials in Portuguese India. However, not long after he arrived he contracted malaria. He died on the Christmas Eve of 1524 in the city of Cochin (now Kochi). He was replaced as governor by Henrique de Menezes. Vasco da Gama was originally buried in St. Francis CSI Church, which is located in Cochin. His remains were returned to Portugal in 1539 and his tomb is now located in the Jerónimos Monastery.