Vasco Nunez de Balboa Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1475 - 1519 *** Full Name: Vasco Nunez de Balboa *** Occupation: Spanish Explorer, Governor and Conquistador *** Date of Birth: Vasco Nunez de Balboa was born in approximately 1475 *** Place of Birth: Vasco Nunez de Balboa was born in Jerez de los Caballeros in Badajoz, Spain *** Family background: His father was Nuño Arias de Balboa, and his mother was Lady de Badajoz *** Early life and childhood: He grew up Very little is known about his family, what is known is that of four sons, Vasco was the third son *** Education: Vasco would have begun his studies within his home, learning basic manners, he would have been taught to read and write as well as how to handle weapons and the art of warfare. Vasco’s was apparently privileged to have been sent to serve Don Pedro de Portocarrero, lord of Moguer at the time, to become his page and later to serve as his squire ***
Vasco Nunez de Balboa Fact 1: Vasco Nunez de Balboa was born in approximately 1475 and during the 15th century period in history when which is described as the late middle ages to early Renaissance and early modern period.
Vasco Nunez de Balboa Fact 2: Vasco would marry but it would be an unconventional marriage to say the least. What was relatively common for the day, were marriages by proxy and this was exactly the marriage Vasco Nunez de Balboa would have. Unfortunately, he would never get to meet his bride and the marriage would be not only unconsummated, but childless.
Vasco Nunez de Balboa Fact 3: Vasco Nunez de Balboa, at the urging of his master and upon hearing the great news of Christopher Columbus's exciting voyages to the New World, decided he too would embark on his voyage with Juan de la Cosa to the Americas.
Vasco Nunez de Balboa Fact 4: They decided to join the expedition of Rodrigo de Bastidas who had a
license. The license meant that of all and any treasure acquired by Bastidas, one fifth was to be given to the Spanish King and Queen while the remaining four fifths could be retained for himself.
Vasco Nunez de Balboa Fact 5: This was known as the Quinto Real. Having travelled to the New World with his share of the earnings Vasco decided he would try his hand at farming and animal husbandry.
Vasco Nunez de Balboa Fact 6: It was not to be and Vasco was forced to rethink his future. Having no money, he made the decision to stow away on a vessel.
Vasco Nunez de Balboa Fact 7: He would eventually be found out and threatened with being left on the next deserted island. With luck and thanks to his extremely likeable countenance, Vasco was spared punishment because he had a great knowledge of the region and proved rather valuable.
Vasco Nunez de Balboa Fact 8: After a victorious battle with the natives, the Spanish contingent settled in Santa Maria la Antigua del Darien the first permanent mainland settlement on American soil.
Vasco Nunez de Balboa Fact 9: Vasco Nunez de Balboa would become most well known for founding the settlement of Santa Maria La Antigua del Darien which is in present day Panama.
Vasco Nunez de Balboa Fact 10: As a conquistador Balboa would succeed Nicuesa after his disappearance at sea to the governorship of Veragua. Vasco would continue befriending some tribes whilst defeating others.
Vasco Nunez de Balboa Fact 11: During his travels he was able to explore swamps, rivers and mountains, always on the look-out for any gold riches to be had. During an expedition to the mountain peak of Darien, Panama, Vasco Nunez de Balboa was the first European to set sight on the Pacific Ocean.Vasco Nunez de Balboa Fact 16: The marriage was conducted by proxy and Vasco would never actually meet his bride.
Vasco Nunez de Balboa Fact 12: He would immediately lay claim to, not only the ocean, but all the land in the name of Spain. Routes to the coast would be explored and established.
Vasco Nunez de Balboa Fact 13: Vasco Nunez de Balboa in search of every more riches and eager to explore the Pacific Ocean, arranged to recruit men from Cuba.
Vasco Nunez de Balboa Fact 14: When Pedrarias Davila discovered this, he was not only furious but had Vasco arrested.
Vasco Nunez de Balboa Fact 15: The local bishop interceded and arranged a marriage between Balboa and Pedrarias’s daughter and in so doing, created a connection between the two men.
Vasco Nunez de Balboa Fact 17: Life for Balboa would not go as planned, and upon his return for sturdier ships, at the urging of Pedrarias to meet, Balboa traveled to meet with him and along the way he would encounter Francisco Pizzaro and in the name of the governor, would have Balboa arrested.
Vasco Nunez de Balboa Fact 18: Balboa insisted he be transported to Spain to stand trial, having denied all charges, but Pedrarias refused.
Vasco Nunez de Balboa Fact 19: The trial took place and Vasco Nunez de Balboa was found guilty.
Vasco Nunez de Balboa Fact 20: Vasco Nunez de Balboa was executed in January 1519, together with four others, by beheading with an axe and their heads put out for public display. His final resting place is not known.
Influence and Legacy: His legacy is a lasting one as the discoverer of the great Pacific Ocean.
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