Azorean Historical Timeline: 1432-1684

Azorean Historical Timeline: 1432-1684

1432 Goncalo Velho discovers the island of Santa Maria

1439 First known letter to document the existence of the Azores Islands (mentioning only seven islands not nine)

1439 First settlers come from the Algarve and other regions of Portugal

1443-44 The Portuguese discover the Island of Sao Miguel. Portuguese colonists inhabit the island.

1444 Volcanic explosion of large mountain at west end of Sao Miguel leaving a crater which today is the Sete Cidades

1450 Henry of Portugal grants the island of Terceira to Jacome de Bruges, a member of one of the richest families in Bruges

1452 Diogo and Joao de Teive discover the Islands of Flores and Corvo

1453 Afonso V gives Corvo to Afonso, Duke of Braganca

1462 Maria de Vilhena inherits Corvo and asks Willem Van Der Hagen for settlers to be sent to her island. However, settlers are taken to Flores instead.

1466 Afonso V gives the Azores to Duchess Isabella of Burgundy as a gift

1468 Joos van Huerter names Captain-Donatary of Faial

1473-74 Afonso V reoganizes the islands’ adminitration to block Charles, Duke of Burgundy’s take over

1473-74 Rui Goncalves da Camara becomes the first official Captain-Donatary of Sao Miguel and Terceira is taken from the de Bruges family

1482 Formal administration is set up in Pico

1504 Flores and Corvo are sold to Joao de Fonseca

1522 Major earthquake destroys Vila Franco do Campo former capital of Sao Miguel killing 5000 people. Capital is relocated to Ponta Delgada.

1580-1640 Azores are occupied by Spain and become a staging base for the Spanish Fleets

1684 Count of Ribeira Grande marries Constance de Rohan, Princess of Soubise

[This article was first published in 1998 at  It was compiled by John Vasconcellos and Melody Lassalle.]

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