Templar Mysteries

The Corte-Real Brothers

Gaspar Corte-Real (1450–1501?) and Miguel Corte-Real (1448–1502?) were both Portuguese seafarers and knights of the Order of Christ. Their father, João Vaz Corte-Real, (died 1496) was also a famed seafarer and the alleged discoverer of Newfoundland in 1471–2 – according to a document held in Lisbon, the land is referred to as Terra Nova do Bacalhau, the New Land of the Codfish.

In 1500, Manuel I of Portugal sent Gaspar Corte-Real on a mission of exploration to the lands of Codfish, apparently in search of a quick passage to Asia. In 1501, he set out on a second voyage, along with Miguel and at least one other caravel, and made land somewhere in the region of Labrador or Newfoundland. As the weather deteriorated, Miguel returned home, and Gaspar remained in charge of the last remaining caravel. After Gaspar failed to return, Miguel set out again in a bid to find his brother.

As of 1502, neither sailor was seen again. Their brother, Vasco Anes Corte-Real, was denied permission to search for his brothers, though a later attempt proved fruitless. According to Brown University academic Edmund B. Delabarre, Miguel Corte-Real made the markings on the Dighton Rock.