Ferdinand Magellan

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Ferdinand Magellan was born in 1480, in a stone farm house in Portugal. His father's name was Dom Ruy Magellan, and his mother's name was Donha Alda De Mesquite. His father was a Portuguese nobleman and owned a large amount of land. He was also a sheriff, an honorary position awarded for distinguished service to the crown.

Ferdinand's brother was named Diago De Sousa, a name he took from his wealthy grandmother, his sister was named Isabel Magellan. His family seemed to care about each other and respected one another. His family owned cows, sheep, hogs, and goats and fields of wheat, rye, corn and vineyards full of grapes. Ferdinand and his brother and sister had to help the tenants (people that rented and farmed the land), raise the animals and harvest the crops. Ferdinand went to school at a monastery.

Both his parents died when Ferdinand was only ten years old. At the age of twelve, he was sent to live at the court of Queen Leonora and John II of Portugal. His older brother, Diago, had gone to court two years earlier. His cousin, named Francisco Serrano also twelve years old, came at the same time as Ferdinand did. At court Ferdinand learned music, dance, horsemanship and how to handle weapons, in addition to academic subjects such as reading, writing and religion. Also he learned algebra, geometry, astronomy and navigation.

After he had worked at court for a few years, he started checking the supplies for the ships going to India. This was work for the India House, run by the monarchy. India house was the agency for overseas trade. Magellan heard reports of new discoveries brought back by returning ships. It was here that Magellan learned practical aspects of navigation from the sailors and by helping outfit the ships he learned about rigging, repairing, armaments and supplies.

In 1495, John II died, and his brother-in-law, Duke Manuel became king. Duke Manuel did not like Ferdinand, so even though Ferdinand wanted to sail, it was not until 1505...
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