What do we know about the Portuguese-Danish voyage to Greenland in 1472/3?

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,158
Portugal
Around 1472/3 the Danish (and Norwegian) king Christian I planed an expedition to Greenland with the financial support of the Portuguese king D. Afonso V.

Involved in that expedition were possibly Didrik Pining a German corsair and governor of Iceland; another German corsair called Hans Pothorst; possibly John Scolvus, an half mythical name; João Vaz Corte-Real a Portuguese explorer and captain in two isles in Azores; and finally Álvaro Martins Homem, another Portuguese explorer that was also captain of a village in Azores.

This expedition, or these expeditions re-established contact with Greenland and according to some authors (cf. Sofus Larsen in “The Discovery of North America Twenty Years Before Columbus”, 1925) claimed that it reached the American continent in the Labrador area.

Anyone can give some input to this theme or knows some online study or sources about this, which can make a clear distinction from what we really know and what is speculative?

***

Some Wikipedia links for the basics:

Didrik Pining - Wikipedia

Hans Pothorst - Wikipedia

John Scolvus - Wikipedia

João Vaz Corte-Real - Wikipedia

Álvaro Martins - Wikipedia

Primary source:

“As Saudades da terra”, by Gaspar Frutuoso, a 1570 work, here on na edition of 1873: As Saudades da terra : Gaspar Frutuoso , Alvaro Rodrigues de Azevedo : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive (in Portuguese)

And an article by Thomas Hughes, “The German Discovery of America: A review f the Controversy over Didrik Pining’s Voyage of Exploration in 1473 in the North Atlantic”:
 

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pikeshot1600

Ad Honoris
Jul 2009
10,008
I have heard of Corte-Real, but not the others. Thanks for the links.

Just to comment, I don't think it is out of the question that some Europeans landed in North America before 1492. AFAIK the fisheries off Newfoundland were previously known, and having a place to go ashore would have been necessary for maintenance on the vessels, preparing the catch and replenishment of fresh water, etc.

Also, was not Labrador supposedly named for a Portuguese mariner named Lavrador? Just asking. I am not sure of the year(s), and fishermen were interested in fishing rather than exploration. That they left no artifacts ashore to mark their existence would not be surprising. They did not intend to stay and colonize. They probably would have just repaired their ships, and salted and smoked fish.
 
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Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,158
Portugal
I have heard of Corte-Real, but not the others. Thanks for the links.

Just to comment, I don't think it is out of the question that some Europeans landed in North America before 1492. AFAIK the fisheries off Newfoundland were previously known, and having a place to go ashore would have been necessary for maintenance on the vessels, preparing the catch and replenishment of fresh water, etc.
Indeed. Agreed.

There were several "Corte-Real" explorers by the end of the 15th and beginning of the 16th century. This João Vaz was the first, and father of others explorers that disappeared in the North Atlantic.

I begun this thread also because I would like to know if there is something in Danish (or preferably in Danish translated to English) about this.

Also, was not Labrador supposedly named for a Portuguese mariner named Lavrador? Just asking. I am not sure of the year(s), and fishermen were interested in fishing rather than exploration. That they left no artifacts ashore to mark their existence would not be surprising. They did not intend to stay and colonize. They probably would have just repaired their ships, and salted and smoked fish.
I don’t know much about João Fernandes Lavrador (literally “farmer”). Wikipedia as usual as an entry:

João Fernandes Lavrador - Wikipedia

The Dictionary of Portuguese History that I have and the Portuguese-Brazilian encyclopaedia don’t say much more.

About material evidences there aren’t, as far as I know, maybe with one exception the stone of Dighton. An amateur Portuguese “historian” Manuel Luciano da Silva has thesis that the stone is an evidence of the Portuguese explorers:

Dighton Rock - Wikipedia

I find it quite dubious and I am quite sceptical about it.
 
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pikeshot1600

Ad Honoris
Jul 2009
10,008
@Tulius,

I read that Dighton Wiki, and it seems to me that the petroglyphs being "similar to an Indian petroglyph in eastern Vermont" pretty much is the evidence of choice. :)

Also, I Googled Lavrador. He evidently had been in the pay of Henry VII of England, and went to sea as an explorer in 1501. He was never heard from again. Occupational hazard.

EDIT: I see you included the Lavrador Wiki as well.
 
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Jul 2019
848
New Jersey
Dighton Rock is pretty weak evidence, although Samuel Eliot Morison laughingly cites one fellow who actually thought that it was Jesus who made those carvings. Ultimately, the rock says whatever you want it to. In that same book (The European Discovery of America), Morison points out that the name Tierra de Lavrador was initially given to Greenland, and only later "migrated" west to what we now know as Labrador.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,158
Portugal
@Tulius,

I read that Dighton Wiki, and it seems to me that the petroglyphs being "similar to an Indian petroglyph in eastern Vermont" pretty much is the evidence of choice.

Also, I Googled Lavrador. He evidently had been in the pay of Henry VII of England, and went to sea as an explorer in 1501. He was never heard from again. Occupational hazard.

EDIT: I see you included the Lavrador Wiki as well.
Dighton Rock is pretty weak evidence, although Samuel Eliot Morison laughingly cites one fellow who actually thought that it was Jesus who made those carvings. Ultimately, the rock says whatever you want it to. In that same book (The European Discovery of America), Morison points out that the name Tierra de Lavrador was initially given to Greenland, and only later "migrated" west to what we now know as Labrador.
About the Dighton Rock I must say that all that I read about it “I find it quite dubious and I am quite sceptical about it.” Basically I just mentioned mostly to dismiss it.

About Morison’s book, I don’t knew it, just read a review from Charles Boxer: The European Discovery of America: The Northern Voyages A.D. 500–1600. By Samuel Eliot Morison. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1971. xviii + 712 pp. Maps, illustrations, bibliographies and notes, and index. $15.00.)

“that goddam codfish Island” is a marvellous murderous comment! :D
 

LatinoEuropa

Ad Honorem
Oct 2015
5,222
Matosinhos Portugal
Friend Tulius the Portuguese have been eating codfish since 1353

Not forgetting the earthquake of 1755 in Lisbon that helped to destroy many documents on the history of Portugal one of the main that are the discoveries that were kept in secret of the Crown of the Kings of Portugal

What do we know about the Portuguese-Danish voyage to Greenland in 1472/3? Yes, I would also like to have more knowledge.

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Amigo Tulius os portuguêses comem bacalháu desde o ano 1353

Não esquecendo o Terramoto de 1755 em Lisboa que ajudou a destruir muitos documentos sobre a história de Portugal umas das principais que são as descobertas que eram mantidas em segredo da Coroa dos Reis de Portugal
 
Jun 2017
629
maine
European exploration and settlement is
I have heard of Corte-Real, but not the others. Thanks for the links.

Just to comment, I don't think it is out of the question that some Europeans landed in North America before 1492. AFAIK the fisheries off Newfoundland were previously known, and having a place to go ashore would have been necessary for maintenance on the vessels, preparing the catch and replenishment of fresh water, etc.

Also, was not Labrador supposedly named for a Portuguese mariner named Lavrador? Just asking. I am not sure of the year(s), and fishermen were interested in fishing rather than exploration. That they left no artifacts ashore to mark their existence would not be surprising. They did not intend to stay and colonize. They probably would have just repaired their ships, and salted and smoked fish.
Europeans in North America prior to 1492 is a given. L'Anse aux Meadows on Newfoundland has been authenticated and confirmed.

There is a pretty good article, though dated now, on Jstor (https://www.jstor.org/). It appeared originally in "German Studies Review"
 

LatinoEuropa

Ad Honorem
Oct 2015
5,222
Matosinhos Portugal
Labrador word
word LAVRAR.
Words: Labrador
the word LAVRAR comes from the name of the Portuguese Azorean discoverer of the LABRADOR peninsula, João Fernandes Lavrador. he was the first navigator to set foot in Canada in 1499. for he had done a planting program in the so-called LABRADOR archipelago which bears his name only with a letter error. the Portuguese crown determined that those who work with earth would be called LAVRADOR. this information was passed to me by a Portuguese history teacher. I would like you to research more about it. Kind regards.

In portuguese


Palavra Labrador
palavra LAVRAR.
Palavras: Labrador
a palavra LAVRAR vem do nome do descobridor Açoriano Português da península do LABRADOR, João Fernandes Lavrador. ele foi o primeiro navegador a pisar no Canada em 1499. por ele ter feito um programa de plantio no chamado arquipélago do LABRADOR que leva seu nome apenas com um erro de letra. a coroa Portuguesa determinou que quem trabalha com terra se chamaria LAVRADOR. essas informações foram passado para mim por um professor de história Português. gostaria que vocês pesquisassem mais sobre o assunto. atenciosamente.


I'm sorry the link is in Portuguese, I could not have it in English.


Labrador | Palavras | Origem Da Palavra