There are some interesting connections between the Portuguese discoveries and the Danish court.
|Sancho I of Portugal, married Dulce, daughter of Ramon Berenguer IV, in 1174. Their daughter Berengaria subsequently married the King of Denmark.||Sancho I|
|Henry the Navigator's cousin, Philippa Plantagenet was the wife of Eric of Pomerania (king of the then united kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden). Philippa was the daughter of Henry IV of England, who was in turn the son of John of Gaunt, Henry the Navigator's grandfather.|
It has been established by Professor Sofus Larsen that around 1445 King Eric sent his cousin-in-law a copy of Claudius Clavus's famous series of northern maps. These maps infer the existence of a sea-lane running parallel to the west coast of Greenland and leading direct from the Atlantic to China. Henry's first step, according to Larsen, was to invite a Danish observer to sail in a Portuguese expedition down the coast of Africa, his purpose being to create a precedent for the Portuguese to accompany the Danes on a voyage to Greenland. Several chroniclers relate that the Danish knight Vallarte took part in Fernao d'Afonso's trip to Cape Verde in 1448.
|In 1447, an expedition was sent to Guinea. Pedro (the regent of Portugal) sent Vallarte (a Danish nobleman who had spent some time in Pedro's court) as an ambassador to make a treaty with the king of the region (it was thought that there was a christian king there). With Vallarte went Fernao d'Afonso of the Order of Christ.||FPE p.89|
|Towards the end of his life, Prince Henry the Navigator had received a map from his uncle King Eric of Denmark. Drawn in 1427 by Claudius Clavus, this map of Northern Europe set Henry thinking about a north-west expedition. In 1473 a large Luso-Norwegian expedition was launched from Iceland. It was suggested that João Corte Real took part in this (he was rewarded by the King of Portugal with the post of Governer of Terceira in the Azores for having discovered 'stockfish land' (almost certainly Newfoundland). In 1500 Corte Real's sons Gaspar and Miguel (acquaintances of Columbus) made a particular effort to explore these northern regions of America, and disappeared in Newfoundland in 1502.||CBM p.290...|
|Prince Henry Sinclair of Orkney was reputed to have voyaged to North
America in the late 1390's. He also appears to be connected quite closely to the
Norwegian royal family. (Orkney was a Norwegian earldom at the time). He is
reputed to have had a special relationship with Queen Margaret I, the grand-aunt
of King Eric.
Could it be that Eric's maps came to Henry the Navigator from Prince Henry of Orkney?
|Henry Sinclair Sites|
Prince Henry Sinclair