Tristão da Cunha (sometimes spelled Tristão d'Acunha) (c. 1460 – c. 1540) was a Portuguese explorer and naval commander. His name has been anglicized as Tristan da Cunha in the name of the group of remote islands in the south Atlantic Ocean, 2816 km (1750 miles) from South Africa.
Cunha was born in Portugal, c. 1460. He was nominated as first viceroy of Portuguese India in 1504, but did not take up this post owing to temporary blindness.
The 1506 voyage
In 1506 he became commander of a fleet of 15 ships which operated on the east coast of Africa
and off India. Afonso de Albuquerque
was in charge of a squadron in this fleet and subsequently detached his squadron under secret royal orders to attack the island of Ormuz
After discovering the islands which now bear his name, Cunha landed in Madagascar. He subsequently visited Mozambique, Brava (where he reduced Arab power), and Socotra (which he conquered). He also distinguished himself in India in various actions.
His return to Europe
After his return to Europe, he served as ambassador to Pope Leo X
in 1514 to pay homage for the new conquests of Portugal. He later became a member of the Portuguese privy council
Even though he did not become viceroy of India, his son, Nuno da Cunha, became the 9th Governor of India in 1538.