Map of Brazil in the Miller Atlas of 1519
Map of Brazil in the Miller Atlas of 1519

Governors and Viceroys of Portuguese Brazil, 1549-1760

Written by Marco Ramerini. 

Brazil was discovered, almost by accident in 1500 by a Portuguese expedition live in the East under the command of Pedro Alvares Cabral. Cabral ‘s expedition followed the sea route to India traveled recently by Vasco da Gama, sailing around Africa. The expedition – to avoid the equatorial calms – followed a route far from the African coast that led to the discovery, on April 22, 1500, of the Brazilian coast. Cabral to these new lands gave the name of “Vera Cruz” .

Following the discovery of Cabral, in the following years several Portuguese expeditions reached Brazil, but in the first 30 years – from 1500 until 1530 –  the Portuguese were limited to quick landings and harvesting timber (the famous Pau Brasil). Only because of the French attempts to occupy the new land, Portugal decided to colonize Brazil. In 1532, the expedition Martim Afonso de Sousa founded the village of São Vicente, which became the first permanent settlement in Brazil. As of 1534 D. João III divided the territory into twelve hereditary captaincies, but this system of colonization proved to be unprofitable, so in 1549 the king decided to appoint a Governor-General to administer the entire colony.

LIST OF GOVERNORS AND VICEROYS OF PORTUGUESE BRAZIL, 1549-1760

Tomé de Sousa

1549-1553

Duarte da Costa

1553-1558

Men de Sá

1558-1572

Luís Brito de Almeida

1573-1578

Lourenço da Veiga

1578-1581

Temporary government of Câmara and of Ouvidor-Geral Cosme Rangel

1581-1583

Manuel Telles Barreto

1583-1587

Temporary government of Bispo, of Provedor-Mor and Ouvidor-Geral

1587-1591

Francisco de Sousa

1591-1602

Diogo Botelho

1603-1607

Diogo de Meneses

1608-1612

Gaspar de Sousa

1613-1617

Luís de Sousa

1617-1621

Matias de Albuquerque (he was ufficially entrust of this task because the Dutch occupation of Salvador; later he appointed Francisco de Moura Rolim as governor of Salvador during 1625-1627)

1624-1625

1625-1627

Diogo Luís de Oliveira

1627-1635

Pedro da Silva

1635-1639

Fernando Mascarenhas, Conde da Torre

1639

Vasco Mascarenhas, Conde de Óbidos

1639-1640

Vice-Rei Jorge Mascarenhas, Marquês de Montalvão

1640-1641

Junta provisória

1641-1642

Antônio Telles da Silva

1642-1647

Antônio Telles de Meneses, Conde de Vila-Pouca de Aguiar

1647-1650

João Rodrigues de Vasconcellos e Sousa, Conde de Castelo Melhor

1650-1654

Jerônimo de Altaíde, Conde de Atouguia

1654-1657

Francisco Barreto de Meneses

1657-1663

Vice-Rei Vasco Mascarenhas, Conde de Óbidos

1663-1667

Alexandre de Sousa Freire

1667-1671

Afonso Furtado de Castro do Rio de Mendonça, Visconde de
Barbacena

1671-1675

Junta provisória composed by Chanceler da Relação, Agostinho de Azevedo Monteiro and other people. When Azevedo Monteiro dead, on his place was appointed the Desembargador Cristóvão de Burgos

1675-1678

Roque da Costa Barreto

1678-1682

Antônio de Sousa de Meneses

1682-1684

Matias da Cunha

1687-1688

Junta provisória composed by Chanceler da Relação Manoel Carneiro de Sá and by the  Arcebispo

1688-1690

Antônio Luís Gonçalves da Câmara Coutinho

1690-1694

João de Lencastre

1694-1702

Rodrigo da Costa

1702-1705

Luís César de Meneses

1705-1710

Lourenço de Almeida

1710-1711

Pedro de Vasconcellos e Sousa, Conde de Castelo Melhor

1711-1714

Vice-Rei Pedro de Noronha, Conde de Vila Verde e Marquês de
Angeja

1714-1718

Sancho de Faro e Sousa, Conde de Vimieiro

1718-1719

Junta provisória composed by Chanceler da Relação, Caetano de Brito de Figueiredo and other people.

1719-1720

Vice-Rei Vasco Fernandes César de Meneses, Conde de Sabugosa

1720-1735

Vice-Rei André de Mello e Castro, Conde de Galvêas

1735-1749

Vice-Rei Luís Pedro Peregrino de Carvalho Meneses de Ataíde,
Conde de Atouguia

1749-1755

Junta provisória composed by chanceler da Relação, Manoel Antônio da Cunha Sottomayor and other people.

1755

Vice-Rei Marcos de Noronha e brito, Conde de Arcos

1755-1760

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