The islands were known in the fourteenth century and parts of them appear in the Atlas Catalan. In 1427, a captain sailing for Henry the Navigator, possibly Gonçalo Velho, rediscovered the Azores, but this is not certain. In Thomas Ashe's 1813 work, A History of the Azores, the author identified a Fleming, Joshua Vander Berg of Bruges, who made landfall in the archipelago during a storm on his way to Lisbon. He stated that the Portuguese explored the area and claimed it for Portugal. Other stories note the discovery of the first islands (São Miguel Island, Santa Maria Island and Terceira Island) by sailors in the service of Henry the Navigator, although there are few documents to support the claims. An English expedition to the Azores in 1589 was met with success as a few of the islands along with the harbouring ships were plundered. Another English expedition against the Azores in 1597, the Islands Voyage, however failed. Spain held the Azores in what is called The Babylonian captivity of 1580–1642. Into the late 16th century, the Azores as well as Madeira began to face problems of overpopulation. Spawning from that particular economic problem, some of the people began to emigrate to Brazil.
- Heijer, H. den, Grote Atlas van de West-Indische Compagnie = Comprehensive Atlas of the Dutch West India Company, II, de nieuwe WIC 1674-1791 = the new WIC 1674-1791 (Voorburg, 2012), 152-153