Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
March 2005

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


Gaspar Cortereal


Cortereal, Gaspar (d. 1501?), navigator, was a native of the island of Terceira, in the Azores. In 1500 he was commissioned by the king of Portugal to make a voyage of exploration to the New World, and was appointed governor of whatever countries he might discover, within the limits assigned to Portugal under the treaty of Tordesillas. In the summer of 1500 he explored part of the east coast of Greenland, but was turned back by the ice; and in 1501 he made a second expedition, with three ships, during which he visited the shores of Labrador and Newfoundland. At Hamilton bay, he seized about 60 natives, and sent them back to Lisbon as slaves. He himself proceeded south of Newfoundland ; but his ship was never heard of again, and it is probable that it was lost with all on board some time in the autumn of 1501. In 1502 Michel Cortereal, his brother, set out in search of him, but he too disappeared. See H. P. Biggar, The precursors of Jacques Cartier (Ottawa, 1913).

Source  : W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. II, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 411p., p. 134.


© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College