Betancourt, Who Begun The Conquest Of The Canaries, Was Slain In A War
With The Natives, Leaving One Menante His Heir; Who Afterwards Sold The
Islands To One Peter Barba Of Seville.
But others say, that John de
Betancourt went to France to procure reinforcements, to enable him to
Conquests, and left the command of Lancerota with his
nephew; who, hearing nothing of his uncle, and being unable to continue
the contest with the natives, sold the Canaries to Don Henry, for an
estate in the island of Madeira.
It is related that, in 1424, Don Henry sent a squadron with some land
forces, under Don Ferdinando de Castro, on purpose to make a conquest of
these islands; but, being repulsed by the bravery of the natives, de
Castro prudently desisted from the enterprize and returned home; and
that Don Henry afterwards resigned his claim to these islands in favour
of the crown of Castile. The Castilian writers, however, assert that both
Don Henry and the king of Portugal refused to give up these islands,
until the dispute was ended by the judgment of Pope Eugenius IV. who
awarded them to the king of Castile. These islands, anciently called the
Insulae Fortunatae, or Fortunate Islands, are seven in number, in lat.
28 deg. N. where the longest day is thirteen hours, and the longest night the
same. They are 200 leagues distant from the coast of Spain, and 18
leagues from the coast of Africa. The people were idolaters, and eat raw
flesh for want of fire.
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