The kingdom of Allada in the seventeenth century was an important supplier of slaves for the trans-Atlantic trade, and also an object of Christian missionary activity, but the earlier history of its interactions with Europeans is poorly documented. It has previously been assumed that the first direct Portuguese contact with the Allada area occurred in 1553. However, recently discovered documents in Portuguese archives correct this view. These comprise two petitions to the King of Portugal from an ambassador of the King of Allada currently in Lisbon: although undated, the content of one of them enables it to be dated to either 1544 or 1555, more probably the former; given the time which the ambassador had already spent in Portugal, his original dispatch from Allada occurred in 1540/1541 or 1551/1552. The petitions document the Allada king's interest in the establishment of a Christian church in his realm, as well as commercial relations.