The end of Filipe de Brito
In April 1613 the warlord Filipe de Brito e Nicote (known as Nga Zinga in Burma) was impaled on a stake in Syriam. He was the most colourful of Portuguese adventurers: he began his life in poverty in Lisbon, served the king of Arakan as a mercenary, and then rose to become to the lord of Syriam. His friend and ally was the renowned Burmese prince, poet, and polo player Natshinaung of Toungoo. Together with a motley crew of Portuguese, Africans and Malabaris, they attempted in vain to defend Syriam against the mixed Burmese and Deccani Muslim forces of King Anaukpetlun of Ava.
De Brito was eventually captured, stripped naked, and on a hill top several miles from present-day Yangon, was impaled on an iron stake. For three days he survived in agony overlooking his ruined domain. His followers were dispersed to the bayingyi (western European) villages of the Mu valley and his beautiful wife, the half Javanese Dona Luisa de Saldhana, niece of the Portuguese Viceroy of Goa, was sold at the slave markets of Ava.
In this illustration Filipe de Brito is pictured in his glory days, riding an elephant with an entourage.