The Philippine Islands, 1493–1898
Explorations by early navigators, descriptions of the islands and their peoples, their history and records of the catholic missions, as related in contemporaneous books and manuscripts, showing the political, economic, commercial and religious conditions of those islands from their earliest relations with European nations to the close of the nineteenth century
Volume X, 1597–1599
Edited and annotated by Emma Helen Blair and James Alexander Robertson with historical introduction and additional notes by Edward Gaylord Bourne.Page 1
Contents of Volume X
- Preface ... 9
- Documents of 1597
- Documents of 1598
- Letter to Antonio de Morga. Juan de Ronquillo; Tanpaca, January 4 ... 53
- Report, of conditions in the Philippines. Antonio de Morga; Manila, June 8 ... 75
- Recommendations as to reforms needed in the islands. [Unsigned and undated; 1598?] ... 103
- Reception of the royal seal at Manila. Francisco Tello, and others; Manila, June 8 ... 132
- Letters from the archbishop of Manila to Felipe II. Ygnacio de Santibañez; Manila, June 24 and 26 ... 141
- Letters from the bishop of Nueva Segovia to Felipe II. Miguel de Benavides; Manila, June 30 and July 5 ... 161 Page 2
- Letters to Felipe II. Francisco Tello; Manila, June 17–July 9 ... 168
- Report of the Audiencia on the conduct of Tello. Antonio de Morga, and others; Manila, July 15 ... 183
- Documents of 1599
- Letter to the archbishop of Manila. Felipe III; Valencia, March 1 ... 189
- Letter from the bishop of Nueva Segovia to the king. Miguel de Benavides; Tulac, May 17 ... 190
- Letter to Joan de Ibarra. Miguel de Benavides; Afulu, May 22 ... 198
- Missions of the religious orders. Geronimo de Alearas; Manila, June 28 ... 204
- Military affairs in the islands. Francisco Tello, and others; Manila, July 12 ... 207
- Letter to the king. Francisco Tello; Manila, July 12 ... 245
- Ordinances enacted by the Audiencia of Manila: Francisco Tello, and others; Manila, June, 1598–July, 1599 ... 293 (To be concluded.)
- Bibliographical Data ... 317
- Autograph signature of Ignacio de Santibáñez, first archbishop of Manila; photographic facsimile from MS. in Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla ... 159
- Autograph signature of Francisco Tello; photographic facsimile from MS. in Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla ... 177
The present volume covers the years 1597–99, and is mainly occupied with the details of the Philippine colony's internal affairs and development Mindanao has been conquered, but proves to be an unprofitable possession, except that the Spanish garrison there serves as a check on the piratical Moros, who otherwise would harry the Pintados Islands. Japanese pirates have menaced Luzón, and the Chinese immigration needs frequent restriction. In the colony there is much corruption in official circles and inaction and inefficiency in the military. The new governor relates his efforts to improve the condition of the city and administer the affairs of the islands; but he is accused, especially by the ecclesiastics, of immorality and tyrannical behavior, and of general unfitness for his office. The Indians are oppressed in various ways; and some mutinies among them have been suppressed. Formal submission to the Spanish crown is required from the Indians; but this proves difficult to enforce. They need more missionaries, who are to be sent. The usual discords between the secular and ecclesiastical authorities still exist; and the relations between Manila and Mexico are none too cordial. Complaint is made of the trade recently begun with the Chinese at Canton. Page 5
A letter from Antonio de Morga (June 30, 1597) notifies the king that the treasure-ship “San Felipe” has been wrecked on the coast of Japan, and her cargo seized by the emperor of that country; this is a heavy blow to the Philippine colony. Franciscan missionaries have been crucified in Japan. Morga approves the reëstablishment of the Audiencia in the islands.
Luis Perez Dasmariñas recommends (July 20, 1597) that the royal hospital at Manila should be placed under the joint care of the Franciscans and the Order of La Misericordia. He reports that the religious are reluctant to do this, but that the confraternity approve of the plan—except that they are unwilling to assume a financial responsibility in a work which is, on their part, one of charity only.
A group of short letters from Tello to the king (April 29–August 12, 1597) relates various matters of interest. The conquest of Mindanao has been practically effected. The numbers and power of the Chinese in the islands have been greatly reduced. A rising of the Zambales has been quelled. Insubordinate Spaniards have been punished; “on New Year's day, I had the entire city council arrested for an act of disobedience to me.” Tello is improving the city, and is striving to secure a good water-supply. He has imprisoned Dasmariñas, for failure to equip the lost treasure-ship properly. The Japanese talk of seizing Formosa, but the Spaniards are planning to forestall them in this. The Chinese who slew some Spaniards en route to Mindanao have been punished with death. It is reported that the Spanish fort of Maluco has been seized by the natives. The natives of Mindanao have rebelled (August, 1597), and reënforcements have been sent thither to end the Page 6the Chinese, whom he views with some suspicion. The Japanese trade requires regulation, especially that in deerskins, which threatens to destroy the game. The sale of provisions especially should be under government supervision. Sumptuary laws and the prevention of gambling are required. Negroes should be kept out. Building houses with wood should be prevented. The streets need repairs. The officials take much advantage of their position, and especially favor their dependents unduly. Military commissions are given by favoritism. Soldiers are ill disciplined, ill paid, ill lodged, demoralized, and in bad health. Military stores are badly cared for; the very arquebuses in the armory are rotting, and there is no preparation for emergencies. The ordinary magistrates pillage the treasury, are oppressive, indolent, and corrupt, and take advantage of their position to traffic; they are not sharply looked after. The encomenderos are extortionate and fraudulent, take law into their own hands, and fail to provide religious instruction for the Indians. The royal exchequer and treasury is negligently and wastefully managed, and insufficiently regulated. There are many sinecures, and not a little fraud in offices. In the voyages to and from Mexico, many frauds and illegal acts are committed by the officers of the vessels.
An interesting complement to Morga's report—all the more so because it is apparently written by an ecclesiastic—is found in a document unsigned and undated (but probably of 1598) which enumerates the reforms needed in the islands. The writer advises that the usual inspection of encomenderos and officials be made by the prelates of the church, rather than, as hitherto, by laymen appointed by the governor. Page 7He urges that fewer offices be provided, and that each should have more extensive jurisdiction. The present system is a heavy and increasing burden on the wretched Indians, who are in danger of perishing; and causes much unnecessary waste to the royal exchequer. The city should establish a storehouse, where rice and other supplies should be kept in store for times of need. Thus the natives would not be harassed, often at most unseasonable times, to supply provisions for the Spaniards; both peoples can be aided in times of famine, and prices can be better regulated. More care should be used in selecting men to collect the tributes from the Indians; and their appointment, as well as that of the lay protector of the Indians, should be approved by the archbishop. The Indians who are engaged in various labors for the Spaniards are often kept waiting a long time for their pay, or even cheated out of it; when such pay is due them, it should be sent to them promptly and safely. Rewards should be given to deserving soldiers; and the troops should no longer be recruited with exiles and criminals. The troops should be paid more liberally and punctually; and one meal a day should be given to the poor Spaniards, whether soldiers or not. The soldiers, moreover, should be paid from the time of their arrival; for, as it is, they must serve long without pay, which causes great suffering and immorality among them. Half of the advance pay now given them in Mexico should be held back until their arrival at Cavite. The desirability of aiding needy Spaniards is again urged, and this charity should be placed in charge of the Confraternity of La Misericordia. The seminary of Sancta Potenciana is well conducted, and a most important work; it should be Page 8further aided, and now needs that some order of professed nuns be represented in it. Again the writer urges that the vessels plying between the islands and Nueva España be commanded by inhabitants of the Philippines, in order to correct the abuses now prevalent.
Upon the arrival of the ships from Nueva España, bringing the members of the reestablished Audiencia, the royal seal, which represents the authority and person of the king, is received by the governor (June 8, 1598) with great solemnity and pomp, and deposited in the royal building; the official record of this proceeding, with the oaths taken by the new governor, is here presented.
The new archbishop of Manila writes to the king (June 24, 1598) complaining of the neglected and impoverished condition of his see, and the little interest or attention given to religion by the laity therein. He denounces the governor as avaricious, corrupt, vicious, and tyrannical. The archbishop asks that a new governor be appointed, who shall have no selfish aims in accepting the post, preferably an ecclesiastic. Some check must be placed on the immigration of Chinese, who are ruining the country and demoralizing the natives. The Inquisition should be reëstablished in Manila. In another letter (dated July 26) Santibañez explains to the king his attitude in regard to the marriage of one of his relatives, and complains that the governor has, in consequence of this affair, slandered and persecuted him. The archbishop again denounces Tello's vices, and asks that he himself be permitted to return to Spain, as he cannot remain with Tello in that land.
Fray Miguel de Benavides, bishop of Nueva Segovia, Page 9sends to the king (June 30, 1598) a complaint against the conduct of the new governor, Francisco Tello: the latter has contracted an unlawful marriage, and is also very licentious; he has seized the property of a citizen; and he is cowardly, extravagant and reckless, even wasting the public stores for his own uses. Benavides asks that Luis Dasmariñas be appointed governor in Tello's place. A postscript to this letter (dated July 5) complains of the wrongs done to the Chinese by the Spanish officials, and for details refers the king to Fray Diego de Soria, who is going to Spain.
Tello sends the king a report on military matters (June 17, 1598). In Mindanao, Ronquillo had been successful, but retired (pursuant to orders afterward canceled), and is to be tried. In Cagayan the revolt has been extinguished, and its leader killed; and the Spanish encomendero whose oppression had had most to do with causing the revolt has died in prison, while awaiting trial. Relations with Japan are still uncertain, although Luis de Navarrete's reception as ambassador had on the whole been favorable. Some new economies are being practiced in the military establishment. An impregnable citadel has been formed within the city, but there is a lack of weapons; and there is great negligence in Nueva España in providing serviceable and well-equipped soldiers. Another letter (dated June 19) complains that the reënforcements sent from Nueva España are ragged, penniless, and unarmed, largely on account of the rascality and greed of their captains. The viceroy of that country illegally permits Mexicans to bring money to the islands, to the great detriment of the inhabitants. The old soldiers who have obtained Page 10encomiendas receive but little income therefrom, because so many of the Indians are revolting; these men need aid, which the king is asked to grant. The governor claims that he is annoyed by defamatory libels, and asks that the offenders be punished. He objects to the reckless marriages of rich widows, and proposes to the king a plan for correcting this evil. The royal treasury is greatly straitened, and for its relief Tello asks permission to levy additional duties on the Chinese merchants. In a third letter (July 9) Tello reports the number of religious in the islands, belonging to the various orders, and the number still needed. The Council of the Indias orders that suitable measures be taken to increase the number of missionaries in the islands, and to send out such as are fitted to do this work.
The Audiencia complains to Felipe II (July 15, 1598) of Tello for various improprieties of conduct and irregularities of procedure; but above all for failure to recognize that, by the establishment of the Audiencia, the extent of his own jurisdiction is diminished.
A letter from Felipe III—who has succeeded his father on the Spanish throne—to the archbishop of Manila (March, 1599) refers to the latter certain complaints sent from Manila regarding some Augustinian teaching friars.
Bishop Benavides writes (May 17, 1599) to the king, informing him of the death of the new archbishop, and complaining of the acts of the governor and Audiencia in sending a ship to trade with China—from which all kinds of evils, spiritual and temporal, would result to Macao and the Philippines.
Benavides writes to the king's secretary (May 22, Page 111599) urging that a new governor be appointed for the islands; and he recommends for that post several persons. He asks that no ships be allowed to go from the Philippines to China, as that will ruin the Portuguese who trade there. He complains of the undue power exercised by the bishops over the religious orders; and that he receives so little salary that he cannot live decently on it.
A brief statement of the religious houses established in Luzón up to June 28, 1599, is made by Gerónimo de Alcaraz, secretary of the cathedral chapter of Manila. A long report on military affairs was sent (July 12, 1599) by Tello to the king. He urges that annual supplies of men and arms be sent to the Philippines from Nueva España, adducing many important reasons for this. The Spanish colony is surrounded by many and powerful heathen countries, who are hostile to the Christian faith. The insalubrious climate and various military expeditions are continually causing losses of men. Artillery and skilled workmen are greatly needed; and the fortifications need repair. The government of Nueva España has given little attention to the needs of the Philippine colony. Japanese pirates have menaced Luzón, and the Chinese are suspected of plots against the Spaniards. Light sailing-vessels are being built for defense of the coast, since galleys cannot be used to advantage. Mindanao is pacified, but no tribute has yet been paid, and the country is poor. A rebellion in Cagayan has been put down, and the leaders executed; so that region is now pacified and secure. Dasmariñas's expedition to Camboja has proved a failure, and he is stranded on the Chinese coast, in great need; but Tello is unable to send him aid, and Page 12advises him to return to Manila. Aid for the poor soldiers is urgently needed and requested. This letter is accompanied by a report of the conquest of Mindanao and of affairs there, and other papers. Mindanao is a source of little profit; but it is necessary to keep that island in subjection, in order to protect the Pintados natives. Another paper gives a history of affairs in Camboja, the relations of the Philippine colony with that country, and the failure of Dasmariñas's expedition thither. At the end of the document are depositions (dated in 1593, and apparently copied from the official records of the colony) to show that the conquest of Champa is justifiable, as its king is a pirate and tyrant, and a man of evil life, and robs and kills Christians on the high seas.
In another letter of the same date (July 12) Tello makes a general report of affairs in the islands. In matters of religion, there is need for more ministers of the gospel. Two bishops have arrived in the islands, and are in charge of their dioceses. The hospitals have been aided; that for the Spaniards has been placed in charge of the Confraternity of La Misericordia, and that for the natives is under the king's authority. The seminary for girls (Santa Potenciana) is in good condition, and doing excellent work. It should be under the charge of professed nuns, and its income ought to be increased; the king is asked to provide for these matters. The Jesuits have begun the foundation of a seminary for the Indians, in which they are to learn the Spanish language and civilized ways of living; the king is asked to aid this also. Measures are being taken to enforce the royal decree that formal submission and homage Page 13must now be rendered to the king by the conquered Indians; but Tello finds some difficulties in this. The bulls concerning the crusades are being preached, and Tello expects to extend this to the Indians. One of the auditors has died, and his place is filled. Tello has been obliged to check the assumption of secular authority by the ecclesiastics. The Chinese should be driven out of Manila, and the Parián abolished. A building of stone has been erected for the Audiencia; Tello asks for a grant of money to continue this work, and mentions other public buildings which he has erected or improved. Religious instruction should be commenced in the Ladrones Islands; and the viceroy of Nueva España has been asked to send missionaries thither. The latter functionary has neglected several matters which are necessary to the prosperity of the Philippine colony, and has been arbitrary and overbearing in his treatment of it. Especial complaint is made that he has evaded the law which restricts the Chinese trade to citizens of the Philippine colony, by granting licenses for trade to Peruvians, who have taken from the islands the best of the Chinese trade, which is their main support. A port at Canton has been opened to the Spaniards for trade; and efforts are being made to improve this opportunity. Trade with Siam has also begun. Tello asks that the citizens of Cebú be allowed to trade occasionally with Peru; and that officers of vessels to Nueva España be not appointed there, but in the islands. He recommends that the Indians should be punished by moderate pecuniary-fines, rather than by flogging. Various papers are appended to this letter by Tello. One is a memorandum of the number of converts and Page 14missionaries in the islands. Another is an inventory of the resources and income of the hospital for natives, and a statement of its expenses for part of the current year. The instructions given to the alcaldes-mayor and to the religious for securing the formal submission of the Indians to the authority of the Spanish king, and the measures taken for this purpose in La Laguna, are given in detail.
The ordinances enacted by the Audiencia of Manila during the year June, 1598, to July, 1599 (the part in this volume ends with December, 1598) throw much light on social and economic conditions at that time. Certain Chinese prisoners remain too long in jail for non-payment of debts, thus causing much useless expense; their services will hereafter be sold for the payment of their debts. Notaries must be present at the inspection of prisons. Prisoners shall no longer be permitted to leave the jail at their pleasure. All huckstering is forbidden, under heavy penalties. No person whatever may leave the islands without the governor's permission, under heavy penalties. The prisons must be regularly visited by the auditors, so that justice shall be promptly and duly administered. The Indians shall be encouraged and obliged to raise poultry. Provision is made for the aid of certain slaves in Pampanga. Another act makes regulations for the supply of provisions in the city of Manila. Buffalo meat shall be provided by contract with Indian hunters. The natives and Sangleys shall be obliged to raise fowls and swine. The Indians must carry their provisions to the city for sale; and for meat, fowls, and some other articles the prices are fixed by the authorities. The natives about Manila protest Page 15against being compelled to furnish supplies to the city; and the Audiencia therefore enacts that this responsibility shall be divided among the various districts, each being assigned a period of two or three months therefor. Residencias of regidors shall be taken every two months. Various reports are to be sent to the king and his Council.
The remainder of the ordinances contained in this document will be presented in Vol. XI.
Documents of 1597
- Letter to Felipe II. Antonio de Morga; June 30.
- Administration of the hospital at Manila. L.P. Dasmariñas; July 20.
- Letters to Felipe II. Francisco Tello; April 29-August 12.
Source: All these documents are obtained from original MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla.
Translations: The first two documents are translated by Henry B. Lathrop, of the University of Wisconsin; the third, by Arthur B. Myrick, of Harvard University, except the second letter, which is by Consuelo A. Davidson. Page 17
Letter from Antonio de Morga to Felipe II
At the end of April of the current year I sent your Majesty an account of the state of affairs in these islands, a duplicate whereof is enclosed. I have only to add that some days after I returned to this city, the ship “San Felipe” which left this city in July, 96, was carried by several storms to the coast of Japan, entered the port of Hurando, and was lost there; and the emperor of that country, Taycosama, covetous of the treasure with which it was laden, took it all. The men of the ship and the passengers have come in other vessels. At the same time the said tyrant caused to be crucified in Nangasaqui six barefoot friars of the Order of St. Francis, of the number of those who were there from these islands1. He has also crucified eighteen native Japanese Christians of their following. Fuller accounts of the matter will be sent your Majesty by the reports thereon to Page 18be written by the governor. So far as I can learn, the said king of Japan is a proud and covetous barbarian, who does not keep his word or observe the peace that he promises. As for the Portuguese present in those islands, they desire to see us ousted from there, and have done us no kindness in the affair of the said ship. The religious had as little assistance in what was done to them; and a little before had received great injuries from the religious of the Society who were there and from their bishop, whose purpose was to cause them to abandon that kingdom, as has been done—leaving the members of the Society alone in this work of conversion, as they are, much to their satisfaction. Yet the barefoot friars and their following met death with great fervor for the faith and the defense thereof, and God has since worked many marvels and miracles by means of their bodies. Therefore we of this country have reason to be consoled and happy to have produced in it such fruit for heaven and such honor for Christianity. The loss of this ship was a very great one. She was worth a million and a half—a mighty loss for so small a country; hence it is more needy than ever and more wretched, and your Majesty will have pity on it.
Herewith I send your Majesty again the despatches which it has been possible to copy, in the short time allowed, from those sent last year in the “San Phelipe.” They dealt with the residencias and other local affairs which it seemed essential for your Majesty to know, because of their importance. I do not lack those who are ill-disposed toward me because I pay attention as I ought to your Majesty's service; but I care not, for truth must prevail. In the coming Page 19year there will be sent at the first opportunity other official documents pertaining to the same residencia in which I have been pleading, and which has been undertaken for these islands.
It is said that your Majesty intends to command the reestablishment of the royal Audiencia which used to be in these islands, which, according to the disposition of affairs in it, will be the most necessary of all things. I accordingly repeat my assurances to your Majesty that on my conscience there never was so great a necessity thereof as now; and I declare that it will be well received by all. I am here very ready to serve your Majesty in all things in which my personal service is required; for I have come hither five thousand leguas; but if my departure hence is desirable, and if your Majesty is pleased to command it, I shall regard it as a very great kindness. Above all may your Majesty's royal will be fulfilled. May your royal person be preserved for many years, as the whole of Christendom, and as we your servants, have need. Manila, June 30, 1597.
Doctor Antonio de Morga
1 See Morga's account of the martyrdom of the Franciscans, in his Sucesos (Hakluyt Soc. trans.), pp. 78–84; and that by Santa Inés, in his Crónica, ii, pp. 273–581, 621–644. The latter writer furnishes also biographical sketches of the martyrs (among whom was Pedro Baptista). They were canonized in 1862.
Taikô-sama was a name adopted by Hideyoshi in 1591, when he made a partial abdication of his power in favor of an adopted son. He died in September, 1598.
Administration of the Royal Hospital at Manila
I have desired that the royal hospital of this city should be served and administered with more charity, better order and a more perfect system than hitherto; for I am told and I know how much the poor thereof suffer, and of how much importance for the correction of this and of many other evils is their good comfort, assistance, and healing, spiritual and temporal—all which the hospital has in charge; and how essential it is that it should be administered by persons who are servants of God, self-denying and free from self-interest, charitable and zealous for His service and for the good of their neighbors. Hence I desire that the Order of St. Francis, because it seems to me suitable on account of its self-denial, barefootedness, and freedom from self-interest, may unite with the Confraternity of La Misericordia1 in the charge of the hospital. I suggest that they place Page 21there four friars—two priests and two laymen; for this can be done without interfering with the conversion of the natives, and will be a thing of great service to God and your Majesty, the good of the poor and of this state, and the good order, service, and system of the said hospital. It will also remedy many of the inconveniences that may arise, and of the deficiencies from which the hospital suffers, from the want of such persons in charge of it. For these reasons I have asked that this order, associated with the Confraternity of La Misericordia, may attend to this matter, and may take under its care the government and administration of the hospital. Therefore I have set forth and enclosed separately some of the reasons for this, and the advantages which I see in this course and in joining the hospital for the slaves, which the Confraternity of La Misericordia has founded, with the royal hospital. The plan involves establishing separate quarters in the said royal hospital, that there may be a definite place for the slaves, and that slaves and Spaniards may not be mingled. In these quarters there may be a separate ward or room for needy Spanish women, mestizas, and the like, in such a way that they may be kept in separation and distinct from the slaves. There is a great need of this ward for women, for there is no place to put them in the royal hospital, and hence they are not received there. By joining the royal hospital with the hospital of the Confraternity of La Misericordia a place may be provided—which will be of great importance, help, and benefit to the necessities of poor and needy women who have not wherewithal to care for themselves in their sicknesses. It must be no little that they suffer in these Page 22regions for lack thereof, and because of their poverty; for even in health there is no little to be undergone, and many are the evils and misfortunes which may result from the lack of this provision.
The provincial and Order of St. Francis having discussed and considered this matter hesitate about it because the distance between the hospital and their monastery makes it inconvenient to keep religious in the former; but as for me, my judgment is that, as they have religious who have to go even further away in the work of instruction, they can keep them here; and that there is no lack of religious who know the language, for the work of conversion. Hence, although there will be some inconveniences, they will not be serious and important; and it seems best to overlook them, and to take account of the advantages hoped for from this work and to be expected of it, which are not few, or of small value and importance.
The deputies and Confraternity of La Misericordia were inclined to accept the suggestion, and to undertake the administration of the royal hospital jointly with that of the slaves' hospital; and the same guardian of the Order of St. Francis, before the adoption of the resolution above mentioned, approved it. In conference with the deputies with regard to the effect of it, he hesitated on one or two points. One of special importance was the question whether the expense was to be in common, and whether the expense for the slaves was to be paid out of the income of the hospital, and that for the Spaniards, in consequence, out of the alms of the Confraternity of La Misericordia. Although he made some doubt and scruple to me personally as to paying for the slaves, to whom his superiors owed Page 23the duty of support (although God knows how it was incurred) out of the funds destined for the poor Spaniards, yet on the whole he said, with my approval, that in the interim before your Majesty should be advised of the whole matter, everything should be paid for by accounts kept separately for the royal hospital and by consequence for that of the slaves likewise—as used to be done and as is done still; so that they are not connected, though the connection is desired because of the known advantages of it. But the greatest obstacle to the execution of this plan is the fear and mistrust put forward to requiring the Confraternity and deputies of La Misericordia to render accounts, exposing them to disturbance, and perhaps to expense and loss for matters their connection with which is voluntary—being assumed for charity and the service of God, and not for duty, pay, or advantage. This objection, however, was met by the consideration that the expense with its account had to pass before so many persons of honor, standing, and financial stability that there was not much ground for hesitation; since just as one superintendent or administrator paid and gave accounts, so the deputies can do the same as well or better, being more in number, and of no less financial standing, and making their expenditures with the system and general agreement which are to be desired. With all, I could not bring them to make the venture. But if this risk and obligation were absent, they would do it; this I know from some who were desirous of undertaking this work.
I give your Majesty an account of this matter, because of the importance that it may have for the Page 24service of God and your Majesty, the good of the poor, and the advantage of a work of such public necessity and importance in these regions. If your Majesty should be pleased to command that the Confraternity of La Misericordia should take charge of the administration of the royal hospital, as aforesaid, it will be necessary to come to a statement of the system to be observed in making payments for the royal hospital and that of the Confraternity of La Misericordia, by deciding whether they are to be kept separate or no. It will also be necessary, in the way in which your Majesty shall be most pleased and profited, to deal with the mistrust about the accounts, which is what causes most hesitation. Submitting myself to your royal pleasure, and suggesting as I ought what occurs to me in the matter, I propose, Sire, that payments be made only as passing through the hands of a single administrator and superintendent. In this way he will be able to give account of the expenditure. Let the manner, order, and direction of the same be in accordance with the judgment of the deputies of La Misericordia; and let the superintendent give his account of expenditures made under the direction of the deputies. On such conditions the Confraternity will take charge of the work; for it will not hand in accounts and will be called upon for no business except of charity, trust, and good administration, while the superintendent will hand in the accounts for the said Confraternity. Thus the whole, if your Majesty please, will be in one; and on other conditions the Confraternity will not undertake it. At least I regard it as a matter of the highest importance and advantage that your Majesty give commands that the archbishop and the Page 25Order of St. Francis place four religious—two priests and two laymen—in the said hospital; and that, in case this order cannot undertake it, the Society of Jesus do so, for, being persons of great charity and good government in all things, it will be of great advantage for them to have this in their charge; so that in this way it seems that many great evils would be remedied, and many great advantages result. Our Lord keep your Majesty many long years, as His Divine Majesty has power, and as we all desire and have need. Manila, July 20, 1597.
Luis Perez Dasmariñas
[Endorsed: “Let the president and auditors and the archbishop state what they think best to be done in the case; and in the meantime let them give such orders as they think best for the good conduct of the hospital.”]
Considering and reflecting that the royal hospital of this city is one of the most important and considerable establishments in this country and these islands, it is very essential to the same, for the best advantage and comfort of the poor, and for the good order and system of the administration of the hospital, that it should be under the charge of persons who are influenced by the love of God and by zeal for His service and for the welfare and advantage of His poor, and by no payment or temporal interest. Since all the other hospitals of this city have this advantage, it is a pity that it should be lacking in this one alone, which is of so much importance; and that although it has so good an income and other advantages, it should not surpass the others; and that there should Page 26be cause that many refuse to go to it to be cared for, and prefer to go elsewhere. That is proof of either carelessness and disorder, or of necessity; and, although there is some of the latter, yet I believe that it must be mainly the former. Likewise it spends and requires on its part certain salaries and expenses for persons who serve in the said hospital. Great injury is done to the service of God our Lord and of his Majesty the king, if such an institution is managed extravagantly, ineffectively, or unsystematically. At the same time other hospitals are well managed, because of being in the hands of persons who are members of religious orders and servants of our Lord; who being free and bare from personal interest, exert themselves for the good of the poor, merely for His love and service, and with charity and zeal for the good of their neighbors. This is what is done in the hospital for the natives and in that for the Sangleys, which are now well established, having their incomes and accounts separate. On this account, and because they are in charge of persons who are servants of God and have the qualities aforesaid, they are better served than when they were otherwise managed, and better than is that for the Spaniards, for lack of persons to administer and serve it through love and charity toward God and their neighbor, as has been said.
Hence, considering this, and because I know that it will be of great convenience and advantage to the service of God our Lord, and of his royal Majesty; the good, profit, and relief of many poor, and of the wretched and needy; and the common benefit, welfare, and service of this state—therefore I am of the opinion and belief that it may be very advantageous Page 27and extremely useful, and may conduce to the improvement, good management, and systematic conduct of the royal hospital that the hospital of the Confraternity of La Misericordia should be joined with it. The resulting advantages will be recapitulated; and the causes and reasons on which I rely, and which I find for this, are the following.
The first reason is that this is a work of so great service to the Divine Majesty of God, and the royal Majesty; to the state a very great advantage, profit, and benefit; to the poor, the advantage, attendance, and healing of their maladies and miseries, bodily as well as spiritual.
Conspicuous among the advantages is the service to God done by caring for His poor, whether Spanish or not, which latter are a forgotten and wretched people—although some of their masters, for charity and the love and service of God, provide and afford them their support, their good, their care, and their salvation, spiritual and temporal.
The royal Majesty will be much advantaged, because by the charity, good order, and system that will exist, several salaries for persons employed in the said hospital may be dispensed with, and there will be more profit and increase of the revenue; while for the support of the poor there will be a larger fund, in addition to the fact that they will be better cared for and served. The result will be that health will more abound, and that perhaps mortality will be lessened, together with these great sicknesses—a great service to God and his royal Majesty, and the state; for his Majesty will have more soldiers, by which he will reap a profit, and in this case a great one, because of the great cost and expense of sending Page 28and bringing them here. The state will also have a larger population, more citizens and men to defend it, in addition to the great private and ordinary benefit received by the people thereof, in saving much expense on their property incurred for the care of their servants and slaves, as well as trouble, care, and responsibility, by their being cared for in the said hospital bodily and spiritually.
Then the importance of this for the souls and bodies, not only of the Spaniards but those of the slaves, may easily be seen and understood. For the former, the Spaniards, fail not to have and to suffer great and special need in their illnesses and deaths, of someone to minister to them, or at the least to aid and comfort them therein; while the latter, the slaves, as a people cast off and the greater part of them ordinarily belonging to the royal crown, and of so different races—some or many of them yet to be converted, or imperfectly instructed and entered in the Christian faith—still more require that there should be someone who in the love of God, and with zeal for the good of their souls, should aid them and secure their welfare and health, spiritual and temporal, in the one case as in the other.
Further, the reward, merit, and crown befitting the service done to God our Lord by this, and to the royal Majesty, and the good to this state and these islands, will not be small; since the result and the advantages which will arise from it are so great and so special, important, and universal; and this is a cause for applying the compassion and Christian charity in this state to the glory and service of God, to the welfare, relief, and consolation, perhaps the salvation, of His creatures and the poor thereof; and Page 29to the edification and confusion of the great numbers of barbarians, heathens, and infidels whom we have as witnesses about us looking at us, and who will see nothing that can move and edify them like such works of true charity, performed without worldly payment and profit.
It will also result from this that the Confraternity of La Misericordia, which is of such importance, and which succors, aids, and relieves so many general and public necessities, would ordinarily be supported in this state and would be more continuous, and that charity and compassion would be more exercised, as has been said. The hospital would be more frequented and more fully occupied, and the poor better provided and served; and all this would result because of the good order, careful accounting, and system which would exist, on account of putting the control in the hands of persons of such security, gravity, and commendable zeal as the deputies of the said Confraternity. This will also be a cause that for the love and service of God our Lord, as also for their own characters and persons, and their own interest in their own property (namely, their slaves), more people will visit the hospital, and aid it with greater care and liberality, and less hesitation; for one month brings the chance upon one, another upon another, and in this order it comes to all. This will be occasion and cause that the devout women, and those of the greatest influence, after seeing the work and perceiving that it is under the care of religious who are servants of God, and under that of their husbands, and that it is for the good of their slaves, will please and desire to see them, and to visit the hospital, and take the poor some dainties; and from the visits made Page 30to some of them will result the good, the comfort, and the consolation of the rest.
Further, as for the order, good accounting, and systematic management of the expenditure, and the care of the estate of the said hospital, it can be carried on by no hand with more clearness and security than by persons of so great honor and so high standing, persons who are required to be such, and who are themselves cognizant of and acquainted with all that is done. Thus the defects, if any there are, will be more known and observed; and if they arise from need the hospital will finally have more, and those from among the best in the state, who will be active in their efforts to supply and provide what is lacking.
The service of the hospital, which is of so great importance to the health and comfort of the sick, will be better and more punctual, and not so expensive, being attended to by persons undertaking it for charity, and not for gain.
Besides all that is said and referred to above, there will be avoided in the aforesaid way many sinful speeches and murmurs, inasmuch as the business will be in the hands of persons of such charity, poverty, holy zeal, and high standing; and thus with reason there will be more occasion for glory and praise to God for this work than for murmurs and condemnation.
In short, this undertaking may afford to the Divine Majesty of God our Lord, service and glory; to the royal Majesty, great service and profit; to the state, great and general good, and advantages; to these nations and tribes who are looking on at us, confusion and edification; to the poor, service, aid, and comfort in their wretchednesses and sicknesses, and Page 31care and healing for their bodies, and above all for their souls; and to those who have in their charge the service, administration, and superintendence, a great crown and reward.
Therefore, since this project is good for all and in all, and since this work encloses within itself so many great and important effects, it is right that it should be favored, and that your piety should be supported in it. For the religious who will be occupied there, will be well occupied and employed, preaching with their works true charity and humility, and at the same time striving and aiding in the saving and healing of the souls, both of Spaniards and of others, who shall be ministered to and cared for there; and, since so great advantages may result from this, it is right that it should be done, and that your piety should be supported in encouraging and beginning a work of such importance, and from which so great advantages are hoped for and may result, as has been said.
And assuredly it is highly desirable that the royal hospital should be in the care of this order or of the Society, that it may be served and administered as is proper, and that it may enjoy the advantages which the other hospitals enjoy, and the good administration which they have, as well that for the natives as that for the Sangleys, as has been said. It is also a great good, glory, and service to our Lord, and a cause of great satisfaction and consolation that the results obtained from them are great; and there will be great enthusiasm from this day forward because they are in charge of persons who are servants of God, free from personal interests, who for God, His love and service, give their efforts to this work. Of this advantage Page 32it is right that this royal hospital should have the fruit, because it is not the least important, and that it should not suffer, and remain as it is.
1 This confraternity was founded (1594) at Manila by a priest named Juan Fernandez de León, who came to the islands in 1591. The association was planned in imitation of that at Lisboa, and included prominent members of all the orders, as well as secular persons. Its first presiding officer was Luis Pérez Dasmariñas. In conjunction with the Franciscans, the Confraternity of La Misericordia (“mercy”) administered the hospital for many years. See Santa Inés's Crónica, ii, pp. 200–215.
Letters from Francisco Tello to Felipe II
Last year, as soon as I arrived in these islands, I wrote to your Majesty what had taken place, taking into account the short time that I had spent here. I was afterward told that the people of Terrenate were coming to these your Majesty's islands to inflict injuries upon your subjects and vassals, and that the natives of Mindanao were helping them in this. The conquest of Mindanao being in charge of the heirs of the late Esteban Rrodriguez de Figueroa, who was killed there, I insisted on their continuing that pacification, giving them men at your cost, and appointing, as general and leader, Don Juan Ronquillo, supplying them with what they needed from your Majesty's storehouses, the supply being ample. All was charged to the estate of Esteban Rrodriguez and is now being collected.
I sent to Mindanao Captain Toribio de Miranda, so that, until the arrival of the troops, he might encourage and look after the Spaniards, who had fortified themselves there after the death of Esteban Rrodriguez. Captain Toribio de Miranda, setting out with this order of mine, met the soldiery who had deserted that position, on account of the coming of Captain Page 34Juan de Lajara. The latter I hold under arrest. He is to be tried for having abandoned his post without orders from the governor of these islands. Toribio de Miranda having met these men, showed them my orders which he was carrying, and made them return. Then of the men whom I had sent from here, some arrived with Captain Diego de Chabez, with assistance in the shape of supplies. Encouraged by this, many returned to Mindanao with the others and fortified themselves again, although in a better position than before. After this, General Don Juan Ronquillo left Oton with the rest of his force, which numbered perhaps one hundred and fifty men in all. At the present moment I am quite satisfied that, after his arrival, a large part of that land will be peacefully opened up. I have no good reports from that land in regard to abundance of provisions or gold (which is the only thing to encourage those who make these conquests), nor as large a tribute as there was said to be. In the prosecution of this business the necessary demands of your Majesty's service will be considered.
When I came to the government I found that the Sangleys had been given a free hand, and jurisdiction in the administration and cabildo. Considering the troubles that might result, and the large numbers of Sangleys here (somewhat over ten thousand), I took away and withdrew their power in the administration—leaving, however, a governor among them, as was formerly the custom. I have expelled from this land a large number of the Sangleys who were here, and I shall soon order many others to go, leaving only three or four thousand men, who are necessary for the service of the land. Page 35
About two months ago the Parian of the Sangleys was burned, together with a large amount of property. I assisted that night in taking care of the property of a few, which was saved. The fire did not touch this city, although the Parian is contiguous to it. All this was well done, and I permitted them to rebuild their Parian, but one hundred paces farther from the city than it was before.
We are having a good deal of trouble from the license taken by some religious in this land. They have a practice of excommunicating the governor by virtue of the apostolic briefs in their possession. Having no authority here to annul their unlawful acts, we can have no liberty to carry on your Majesty's service as it should be done. Therefore I humbly beg your Majesty to consider and order what is most necessary for your Majesty's service.
Many events have taken place in these days. One of them was the rising of the Zambales natives, and the murder of two alcaldes-mayor—one a short time before I came, and the other after my arrival. Therefore I appointed Captain Julian de Cuenca alcalde-mayor of Panpanga, to go to punish them—which is a difficult matter, because these Zambales are in hiding in rugged mountain ranges. However, he wrote me that he had beheaded twenty of them, and that he continues to hunt them down; so that after such a punishment they will be sufficiently frightened for him to make the effort to induce them to leave the sierra for a settlement where they may be instructed.
Although I commenced to govern with mildness, because it seemed to me the best way to get along with the Spaniards here, yet when I came to know Page 36them and see the license that they take, I found it necessary to punish several captains and regidors. On New Year's day, I had the entire city council arrested for an act of disobedience to me, which occurred during the election of alcaldes. In all that has been done I have followed judicial forms and taken records, so that, whenever it is necessary, your Majesty may order their examination.
When I arrived, I found your Majesty's royal affairs in confusion, owing to the carelessness and neglect of former governors. I have ordered that, in building, stone shall be substituted for wood which has hitherto been used. Fines and the expenses of justice will be attended to. I also ordered the construction of cabildo buildings in stone, where there had been none before. The whole city has been enriched by stone buildings, and since my arrival more than one hundred and fifty houses have been erected. I am trying to have water conducted into the city, as it is needed by the citizens and by the troops stationed here by your Majesty. Many have died on account of the poor water.
Don Luys Dasmariñas, when he was governor here, appointed Captain Juan Xuarez Gallinato sargento-mayor of the force to go to the assistance of the king of Canboja, who they said was besieged by his enemy the king of Çian. When they arrived there they met a rough reception from a part of the people of Canboja, and from some Sangleys who are settled there and engage in trade. The Spanish came to blows with some of these Sangleys and killed some of them. There was lost, according to their story, a large amount of property belonging to the Sangleys, which they had placed aboard sampans at the Page 37time of the fight. I am examining the papers which Captain Juan Xuarez Gallinato brought. He has already returned from his expedition, and justice will be meted out in the case. May our Lord preserve your Majesty for many years for the need of Christendom, etc. Manila, April twenty-nine, 1597.
Don Francisco Tello
From the vessel “San Phelipe,” lost in the sea of Japan, some letters addressed to your Majesty reached my hands, which I enclose herewith.
I have imprisoned Don Luis Perez Dasmariñas, because he failed to fit out and repair thoroughly the said vessel; and, for the same reasons, I have imprisoned also General Matias Delandecho. An investigation of this matter is being made in the case of each, and justice shall be done. Copies of all proceedings in connection with this investigation will be sent to your Majesty.
I beg to thank your Majesty for your kindness to this kingdom and especially to myself, in creating here a royal Audiencia, a tribunal very much needed by this government; and although so far I have not received from your Majesty any letter or decree to that effect, I have heard the news through the auditor Don Antonio Maldonado and others, who have communicated it to me. Doctor Antonio de Morga, lieutenant-general of this kingdom, serves your Majesty here with zeal and assiduity; and because he enforces the law, he has made enemies—since, as I have previously written to your Majesty, there are honest people here willing to serve your Majesty; but there exist others unruly and ill disposed, who are exceedingly Page 38dangerous to the country. I am punishing a few of these, and am investigating the previous records of others; it shall be done throughout. May our Lord preserve your Majesty as is needful for the good of Christendom. Manila, June 15, 1597.
Don Francisco Tello
Every day events are taking place of which I shall advise your Majesty. A grave Dominican friar1 lately arrived here from Japon, who went on the ship “San Felipe” which was lost there. He acquainted me with the affairs of that kingdom, and gave me a memorandum which will accompany this. I asked him to sign it, and I now send it to your Majesty, so that you may order to be considered and decreed in this matter whatever you think best for your Majesty's royal service.
Later advices have arrived from Japon to the effect that the Japanese are considering the occupation of the island of Hermosa [Formosa] which lies near these islands, and serves as a connecting point between China and these islands. I am considering what is best to do in this case, because, although I am of the opinion that we should seize it first, the council of war opposed me; urging that we have few men for such an enterprise. I have appointed, as general of the coast, Captain Don Juan Çamudio, a trusty and serviceable person. I am also fitting out ships with which to navigate among all these islands, wherever it is necessary.
I have sent money and men to Cagayan to fortify Page 39your Majesty's fort there. If the men and assistance which I have asked from Nueva Spaña are sent to me, I shall not fear all the power of Japon; because, although there are few troops here, they are all excellent and well-drilled. Your Majesty may be certain that your vassals here will maintain what we hold, even to the death, with sword in hand, doing our duty in your Majesty's service. May our Lord preserve your royal person, as Christendom has need and your vassals desire. Manila, June 19, 1597.
Don Francisco Tello
As matters of importance arise in this government, it becomes necessary to give your Majesty an account of such affairs. Yesterday we held a council of war to consider a petition presented to us by Don Luys Perez Dasmariñas, relative to an expedition to the island of Hermosa, and we passed resolutions which your Majesty may examine, if you be pleased to do so, by means of the report which will accompany this. Although I ordered with resolution what was to be done, I shall keep the sounding-lead in my hand until reënforcements and money arrive from Mexico; for without men nothing can be done. I have sent to the viceroy for five hundred men.
While the detachment of thirty soldiers under an ensign, ordered to the assistance of Mindanao, was on its way thither, aboard a Sangley ship, the Sangleys (who numbered more than forty) mutinied, and killed twenty-five soldiers and some women, and the rest jumped overboard. Captain Gregorio de Bargas, who was sailing in that region with my orders, upon hearing of the matter, attacked and captured the ship, and killed forty soldiers. Nine Page 40who were left alive were brought to me two days ago. Today they were executed, with great publicity, before the eyes of their nation and others who are in this city.
Yesterday there arrived from Malaca some of the soldiers who were with Sargento-mayor Gallinato on the expedition to Canboja. They say that they had the news there that Malucos and Terrenatans had banded together, captured your Majesty's fort and annihilated the Portuguese detachment stationed there. I am making an investigation to see what foundation this report has. The result I shall try to send on these ships. These soldiers also say that they were told that there were four English ships off Maluco; and that it was thought that they had joined Terrenate and Maluco to undertake this enterprise. I am guarding the frontiers, because as there are few men here and the fort is in Manila, they were in need of reënforcements. In everything I shall continue to do all that is necessary for your Majesty's royal service, and I shall inform you of everything that happens, after the departure of these vessels, by the despatch-boat, which will be in readiness to be sent out if necessary.
They say that the news from Mindanao is quite plainly for your Majesty's advantage. Although I have heard nothing by letter from the governor there, several Indians who have come from there one by one corroborate this news. May our Lord preserve your Majesty's Catholic person to the benefit of Christendom. Manila, June 22, 1597.
Don Francisco Tello
This ship of discovery under Joan Batista Justiniano, Page 41which is about to go to Nueva Spaña, has just returned, on account of lack of cables, and will sail again in the morning. Some further details concerning what I have already written to your Majesty are as follows. We have just heard from Mindanao that the war has been renewed with the Indians, because they have failed to observe the stipulations of the treaty. So we have again sent assistance in men, munitions, supplies, and other things. I have ordered General Don Joan Ronquillo to prosecute the war, and, after having demolished the enemy's fort, to build a good one in its place, leaving it well supplied with artillery, and fortified; and to leave a captain with one hundred arquebusiers, and mobilize the remainder of the troops, amounting to about two hundred men. If the Japanese should come, as is thought probable, he will take position on one of the frontiers, especially that of Cagayan. In other places, I have appointed, as justices, captains who were old soldiers, and I have given them soldiery. What little sail-cloth is to be had here, is all well prepared for any occasion. I am having artillery cast, and powder and other necessary things provided, in all haste. Although I am almost out of lead and iron, I shall try to have one of your Majesty's small vessels, which now lie here, go to China, where there is a great abundance of such things, in order to buy some, and return so quickly that we shall not be embarrassed by the scarcity.
I am having some galliots and light vessels built to patrol all these coasts, because their defense is quite important if we are attacked by the Japanese.
When I became governor of these islands, I found them full of Sangleys. I have expelled more than Page 42eight thousand of them, and I am gathering the others, who are scattered, into Manila, in order that those who are not needed may return to their own country, for they teach the natives very evil customs. In everything I shall always try to further the service of God and your Majesty, as I was ordered to do, and is my duty. May our Lord preserve your Majesty's Catholic person as is needful. Manila, August twelve, 1597.
1 This was Fray Martin de León, according to Santa Inés (Crónica, ii, p. 270).
Documents of 1598
- Letter to Antonio de Morga. Juan de Ronquillo; January 4.
- Report of conditions in the Philippines. Antonio de Morga; June 8.
- Recommendations as to reforms needed in the islands. [Unsigned and undated; 1598?]
- Reception of the royal seal at Manila. Francisco Tello, and others; June 8.
- Letters from the archbishop of Manila to Felipe II. Ygnacio de Santibañez; June 24 and 26.
- Letters from the bishop of Nueva Segovia to Felipe II. Miguel de Benavides; June 30 and July 5.
- Letters to Felipe II. Francisco Tello; June 17–July 9.
- Report of the Audiencia on the conduct of Tello. Antonio de Morga, and others; July 15.
Source: All these documents are obtained from original MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla.
Translations: The first, fourth, fifth, and most of the sixth, are translated by Robert W. Haight; the second, by Rachel King; the third, and part of the sixth and seventh, by James A. Robertson; most of the seventh, by José M. and Clara M. Asensio; the eighth, by Helen E. Thomas. Page 44
Letter from Juan Ronquillo to Antonio de Morga
In my last letter, which I sent you by Captain Luys de Villafaña, who left this island on the first of August, I described the need that we were in, and the investigations on account of the failure of the arms to arrive. Although he was wrecked on the way, I have understood that the papers reached there, having been wet, but in such shape as to be legible. Thus far I have seen no answer, either to this despatch, or to those sent on the thirteenth of May and the first of July, from the lord governor, or from your Grace. It leaves me quite undecided and uncertain as to what I am to do. While the aid awaited was being sent on, our need was becoming more pressing, to such an extent that I even abandoned the work, dropped the pacification, and ran the whole fleet aground, so that all the men could busy themselves with gathering landan for food. It seemed to me more important not to abandon the foothold that we had gained in the country, than to get more land, and risk losing it all. Further, it was impossible to provide the men from so few rations; and with so small provision and less support, and large appetites, it looked to me as if they would be Page 45forced to leave. I finally resolved to tell them not to be impatient to turn their prows about, or to hope for Manila; for here we should live or die. Thereupon I embarked the next day and went up the river to cut landan;1 for I felt myself fortunate if I could get plenty of this even. We passed several days in this way, and when it appeared to me that the men were settled, and less anxious about the proposed movement, I had a few vessels launched; and in them I sent two captains with fifty men to the villages of Lumaguan, who is the most friendly to us, that they might be fed there, and together with the natives reconnoiter some of the enemies' villages in the neighborhood. When they were setting out against the latter one night, they attacked the very friends who were guiding them, and killed several. They had thought that they were being deceived, and betrayed to the enemy. The mistake made much trouble, and it would have been worse if they had not taken the utmost pains to remedy it, giving satisfaction to the injured, making them presents, and giving them whatever they had with them. As they were truly friendly to us, this sufficed to put them on the former footing, as they have since demonstrated in all earnestness. So I persevered in the undertaking, changing, however, the leader whom I had sent; and it pleased God that this expedition should be the beginning of so much good fortune as we have had since then, for back from the fort of Buyahen, on a large lagoon, were found a number of the hostile villages, with excellent fields of rice, although it was not the season to harvest it. I ordered them to take the stronghold of a chief named Dato Minduc, Page 46which was close to Buyahen. Its site was such that the natives themselves say that, unless men were to come down from heaven to take it, it would be impossible to do so. We captured it with all the artillery in it, a number of men being lost on their side, and none on ours. After this the enemies began to lose spirit, and the friendly natives to take heart, and to hold us in greater esteem. This was on the twenty-ninth of August. On the very next day I brought the men down to the fort, and encouraged them all, and bade them be of good hope that the work would soon be done; and I cheered them to it, and straightway followed up the undertaking, without giving the men's ardor a chance to cool. I got aboard ship, and made my way along the coast. On the eighteenth of September, I entered a river called Picon, in a well-peopled country, there being, besides the natives, a large number of the enemy, who had been scattered abroad, and had joined them. At daybreak we arrived at the first village, close to the sea. It was one of the finest places I have seen, with excellent houses, and a very elaborate mosque; there was a good supply of swine, fowls, goats, and fruit. The enemy made a stand, but at the first encounter we overpowered them, and killed or captured more than two hundred persons; the troops stopped for food, and then I had the village burned. I would have liked to attack another village, which lay a day's march inland, and which has two thousand houses. I left it, because I could have done nothing at that time; for the fugitives from the first village had warned them, and they had all gone to the mountains. This stroke had terrorized the whole coast, and not a vessel appeared over its whole extent; for, as there Page 47were Indians in many places, they had all received news of it without delay.
I could remain no longer, nor pass on to other encounters which I might have had there, on account of the crops which I had discovered at Buyahen, which were urgently demanding my presence for the harvest, before their owners should gather them. Accordingly I came back to the fort, whence, in less than four days, I again sent the same captains who had been there before, for the crops, with eighty soldiers and all the boats, besides five hundred friendly Indians, to gather the harvest, and to take another fort in the same neighborhood, of which the Indians informed them. On the twenty-second of October they attacked it, and took it with all the artillery, killing more than a hundred and seventy of them, besides taking a number captive. I did not come out so cheaply as the last time; for it was an extremely strong place, having, besides the usual defenses, inventions of which a barbarous people are incapable. Furthermore, they had fastened on the very curtains some large spars bent like a bow, so that when anyone attacked it, by cutting one end loose from the inside a hundred men would be thrown down—namely, all who were climbing upon the rampart platform. It was intrenched at intervals in such wise that it was necessary to win it step by step, and from below, if one undertook to take it by storm. There were a great many pikemen to receive the stormers, and they felt so safe that they put their women and goods on the inside to guard them better. Thus they lost everything, and the booty was very rich, although the Indians obtained the most—more than did the soldiers, of whom eighteen came Page 48out wounded (including the two captains, Guerrero and Grabiel Gonzalez), most being wounded by bullets and arrows. They had fortified this fort strongly; and since they had lost it first, having considered it so long as a last hope for their safety, they thought of nothing more after losing it but being left in peace in the one which they at present hold; for already they have hardly a hand's breadth of land left, and there they are fortifying themselves as much as possible. This will not succeed, for without my going there they will come to ask peace from me—in a few days I hope, because the grain is growing up all over. In this way the whole country becomes ours and the crops are left ready to be gathered. They lie so near to Buyahen that the sentinel bells can be heard from one place to the other.
They are retreating and there is no one who can go ahead. They are sending chiefs from a distance to conduct us peaceably, who wish to become our friends and pay tribute. On the first of November I arrived anew at the mouth of this river on the site of Mindanao, where the fort which belonged to the Spaniards when they took the country was burned. There was a fleet there of more than sixty ships and we did not know what people they carried; but, believing that it was those whom we were awaiting from those islands, I was glad that they had arrived in so good time, and sent some of the friendly Indians to reconnoiter them. They said that they were Terrenatans. I immediately sent Captain Grabiel Gonzalez to make certain who it was, and on the way he met a caracoa which was on sentinel duty. Some arquebus-shots were exchanged, and without any injury he came back with the information. There Page 49were at this time in the whole camp, provisions for not more than nine days; and the munitions were so far spent that, having no matches, the soldiers were going about with fire-brands in their hands—for the few matches and balls which they had, had been taken by the troops who were outside harvesting the grain. We had to consider that as soon as we sent to call them back we were lost; for if the rice were not cut we should have nothing to live on. Likewise, on the other hand, I saw the great injury which I should suffer if the enemy should fortify themselves where they were working. It would cost me a great deal to dislodge them, and besides there was the risk which was run of losing the communication with your city; for we had to enter boldly into the enemy's country, as one of the boats of the friendly Indians from Zanboanga had done. Finally, as the evil of the want of food was most pressing, and as without food we could neither go back nor forward, I resolved to reënforce the pass of Vutil, so that the enemy could not pass that way and join with the people of Buyahen. The troops who were acting as porters kept the pass, and immediately, at the same time, I sent the people who were above down to the sea, ordering Captain Juan Pacho, who was at their head, not to come back without bringing in first all the rice which he had harvested and cut, as aforesaid. I got a galley ready with a good deal of trouble, for there was not even bonote2 to calk it, and I had to go in person among the houses of the Indians to find some. I launched it, and fitted it with guns and new rigging to make it ready; for I was resolved Page 50that if the enemy fled I should follow them even as far as their own country. When the men got back I embarked, on Thursday morning, which I reckon to be the third of November. By noon I had come in sight of the enemy, where I anchored, and we exchanged cannon-shots. Seeing that he had a larger force than I had understood, I immediately sent an order to Captain Guerrero who was in Butil, that he should come down to the river of Vitara to the sea, with a galliot, and enter the mouth of this river of Mindanao and come within sight of the enemy, and exchange cannon-shots on his arrival. He did so, arriving at noon on Friday. On the way he met an outpost of the enemy, and killed a few Indians who were with them, with a cannon-shot. When he arrived at cannon-shot distance from the fort he anchored, and commenced to fire. The enemy replied so well that at the first shot they hit the galliot, and it was only by good fortune that it did not go to the bottom. With the second they killed a soldier. With such exercise the day was passed. Saturday morning, Lumaguan having arrived with some troops that were expected, I ordered Captain Guerrero to land immediately with twenty-five soldiers and join me, leaving the rest and the captain of the galliot in it, with orders that, when the troops began the investment, the galliot should come up close to the mouth of a lake which was close to the fort. Accordingly, when these troops came I landed ninety men with Captains Juan Pacho, Guerrero, Ruy Gomes, Grabiel Gonzalez, and Altra. I circled about the fort with the galley, fighting with a good deal of skirmishing, and the galliot doing the same on the other side, so that we had the fort between us. On my side the Page 51troops landed not a hundred paces from the fort, on which, on the side toward the aforesaid lake, they had already closed in, and which they had reached as well as on our side, where a very large cavalier was under construction, although they had not yet finished the enclosure. The enemy were so brave that although, by keeping their fleet within the lake, they might have gone away two nights before without losing anything, not only would they not do so, but they even ran the whole fleet on land, excepting one ship, using that as a bridge to pass from the cavalier to the fort.
That very night they cried out to us, telling Captain Don Juan Pacho to have a care and not come to fight them, “because we are all Terrenatans, and you are Castilians and Tanpacans.” Although they might have been safe in their fort, and not have lost it unless they sold themselves very dearly, most of them went out into the open country to reconnoiter and there commenced to fight with the land troops. These acted so courageously and so quickly that the enemy had no time to prepare before they had come upon them in front; and when they wished to go back to the fort they could not do so at all, for the artillery of my galley, which was moored quite near, cut off their road with lenternas [grenades?] and balls. Our men kept coming forward without giving way in any part, gained the cavalier, and by the bridge that the enemy had provided passed on to the fort, and won it with all the artillery, altogether in less than an hour. They took the whole fleet, of which we were in much need, and ten pieces of fairly good artillery and more than fifty arquebuses, although most of these were thrown away by the friendly Indians. Page 52There were killed there on this occasion more than eighty Moros, among them the commander of their forces, who was an uncle of the king of Terrenate, and was named Cachil Baba, together with other cachils3 and chiefs. Of those who fled many were wounded, most of whom died, as was afterward seen, in the marshes and mountains. One band of more than fifty Moros—some being wounded, among these a cachil—made an attempt to pass to the other side of the river, thinking that from there they might escape; but, as the river is broad and the current swift, they were all drowned. Every day we are finding more and more who have died from wounds and hunger, and those who have survived are gathering in small bands and going back to their country. They found some boats to take their goods across at the cape of San Agustin, and carry this good news to their king—whom perchance the gain will dispose to continue. This reënforcement was brought by Buysan, brother of Sali and uncle of Raxa Mura, who went to get him and wished him to attack the sargento-mayor, at the time when they cut off his leg. The king of Terrenate yielded to him respectfully, as your Grace may see by the letter of the chief captain of Maluco, a copy of which is sent with this, in which he informs me of what had happened. The troops who came were the most noble and gallant in all Terrenate, and the commander was an old man of more than sixty years, white-haired, with mustaches more than a span long. He was a very Page 53venerable person, and so valiant that, after being brought down with an arquebus-shot, so that he could not move, he raised his campilan in the air, calling out to his troops to fight until death. They came well supplied with women and goods, and the materials for making powder. They brought gilded field-beds to sleep on, with cushions of silk and chairs to sit upon, and richly worked cloths for their use. There was so much with this and other things that the booty must have been worth six thousand ducats; and though, as always, the soldiers took the lesser part, yet even thus some of them are a little better off.
I am well aware that I was very fortunate on that occasion, and if our Lord was pleased to grant me success, still fortune will change and the enemy will have it. Not only will that which remains to me here be lost, but even the Pintados Islands have been in great danger, having run the risk each year of being harried by these enemies. But though I knew that God was helping us in a time of such need, yet I had almost lost hope of success. On the other hand, finding myself puzzled and almost desperate at seeing that at the end of six months there had come no reply from the lord governor, nor in any way any intimation of his will or determination, and that it almost seemed as if he were forgetting us, as if we were a lost people without hope, I resolved to do what I did as one who was destitute of aid, and who must live by his own hands. The success was such that I may be pardoned. When I took the site of Buyaen I was so nearly out of supplies that there was not a cannon-ball left for me to use; and on this so important occasion, as I with reason believe it to be—and I may say that since the Philipinas were discovered there Page 54was never a better one in them—I had no others than what, by my own diligence, I gathered from some fishermen's cast-nets, and well they did their duty, since they fished so well on land.
When I left that city I told your Grace that, even if I found myself in the utmost need, I should not turn my prow back thither; but first should go to the land of the enemy, and my duty should be well done. If I have accomplished this against so many difficulties as your Grace may see, I believe there are few men who would not have been moved by the circumstances and the necessity which urged me on. When I was most pressed and the troops most in want—so much so that it would bring pity to the heart of anyone who saw it, no matter how hardened he was; for their shirts, shoes, and hose but ill sufficed them, and their food was only a dish of rice with nothing else—even at such a time, I conquered the island; for we may say that it is already conquered, as the larger part pays or gives tribute; and I hope, God willing, that a year from now the whole island will pay us. All this occurred in the midst of the winter, in water waist-deep, with no change of clothing, and the men weary from head to foot. What I think most of is, that I kept the men free from discontent, which seems almost a miracle. And when it was understood that I must depart for lack of supplies, I put in the warehouse eight hundred sestos of rice of forty gantas each; and I supplied almost the whole camp for a month and a half with the crops; the Spaniards and Indians brought in food enough for another month, and the friendly Indians did the same. Much more than what was gathered was destroyed and ruined, as it was not the harvest season. Page 55
On all these occasions soldiers and captains worked so gallantly that I have never before so much regretted being poor, since I cannot provide them with some little part of all that they deserve. The sargento-mayor and Captain Juan de Valencia arrived on the twenty-eighth of the last month in a fragata, in which they had been despatched from that city to Butuan. They brought a thousand sestos of rice and some fish, wine, and some clothing which Captain Guenca gave them in Zebu, together with other articles. Very luckily they were retarded, as I had also been, so that they did not arrive earlier; for if they had been twenty days earlier the enemy would have taken them without fail.
The friendly natives were so alarmed at this that even those from the village of Tanpaca, who are near to this fort, withdrew their goods to the tingues, and did not feel safe. They thought that we were dead, and told us to eat, for we must soon kill the Terrenatans. It is strange what fear they felt of the latter, incomparably more than of us; although immediately after this victory they said that we were more valiant than the others, and that there was no people like us. When the fight was over we had no place to store the tribute in acknowledgment of sovereignty which the friendly chiefs offered us in token of friendship, paying it in rice, for at the time of the invasion from Terrenate, Silonga had not threatened them, or made them abandon their good purpose. Immediately upon my arrival I sent to get it, and to prepare them, and to tell them that they might be certain that they would always be under his Majesty's dominion, and likewise to collect the acknowledgment. On this mission the captains, Juan Pacho, Guerrero, and Page 56Grabiel Gonzalez were sent with eighty soldiers; and six days ago they informed me that the natives were very firm in their friendship, and that they were busy harvesting the rice which they were to pay. Lumaguan and his people were doing the same thing, being obliged to pay seven hundred sestos of clean rice. In order to collect this, all the men had to pass on to the great lake [i.e., Lanao] for which this island is famous; and as the fame of our works had spread throughout the whole island, two chiefs had already come down from the lake to say that they did not wish to fight with the Spaniards, but to be their friends and pay them tribute. Thus I hope, through God, that inside of twenty days the whole country will be settled; and while sending down the people already mentioned, I myself shall go out in person and go along the coast of the lake and of the cape of San Agustin. Four days ago there came to me word from another chief who wished to be friendly, that the Terrenatans are leaving this road and passing on; for there was not one of them who did not drop his arms and flee. I shall go as far as La Canela, subduing all the country up to that point. This will not detain me long, as I shall follow down the coast and on the way meet the fleet, which was to be despatched from those islands. As it was already so belated when I arrived, it would have been in danger if I had not come to its rescue, and might not have arrived here. I have also kept merchant vessels from the islands of Jolo and Taguima during this whole time. Thus far they have been giving help to the enemy, the most important which they have received; but as they were present at the defeat of the Terrenatans, they are little disposed to remain with Page 57them or favor the people of Buyahen. I warned them to be waiting for me at the end of January at La Caldera with the tribute, so that I should not go to their country to punish them. If they do not give it, perhaps I shall do so, as it will be the most certain way.
As I have had no letter from the lord governor I do not know what he may have ordered concerning the continuation of this establishment; but I can say this for myself, that even if he orders me to desert it in so great need as it is, without giving the least information as to the situation in which I now am, which is very different from what I have hitherto thought it, I should not do so. For if it is not kept up for the good which it may be hoped will result to the country, in order to make up for the damage which it suffered in being laid waste, then it must be done for the consideration that its condition will be like that of all the Pintados, which were laid waste unmercifully. And as these affairs are not well understood there, perhaps they thought it sufficient to station here, or at La Caldera, fifty soldiers as a garrison in order to keep the country in check. Those and as many more will be a breakfast to these natives on the day when they do not see that things move on so effectually as now; and they would have done the same thing to those who would have remained in this fort, when I was told to withdraw the rest of the camp to Zebu. In short, I have done this only of my own free will, for good or evil, and without advice—not because I am not given to taking it on all occasions, but because in this country it has always turned out ill, and few are brought into friendship through force. Page 58
Neither do I think of wasting time in besieging Buyahen any longer; because, by the means which I have now taken, I shall reduce it to peace with much less difficulty. I am negotiating a marriage between Raxa Mura and the sister of Xlunao, who is the chief of this village of Tanpaca. He is willing and anxious for it and has already embarked to come to see me. As he is a boy, although he is respected by all, his uncles Sali and Silonga would not let him do so. They have hindered him, warning him that he will be hanged. He is importunate in his desire to come, saying that he has no fear of the Spaniards, because he has done them no harm; and his father, Dimasanca, was their friend and paid them tribute, and why should they do him harm? As his uncles are so much to blame they are keeping him back, thinking that they cannot receive the mercy that Raxa Mura will, on account of their treacheries; and that, if he came, they would be lost. If they could make sure that they would not lose their heads, they would all be friendly and the island would be pacified. But it is enough that Raxa Mura should be friendly, wherefore Captain Juan Pacho is under orders to carry on this negotiation through the mother. If this plan of mine is not successful and fails, they must be overcome by want where they now are; for I have them so close pressed and hemmed in that they are not lords of the land a pace from their fort, and they will die of hunger, as neither salt nor fish can enter to them, and their crops have been taken from them on all sides, so they must either die or surrender. And what makes them more reasonable is, that three days ago I took a fort at the place where I have the galliot from Vutil. I have closed the river in such Page 59wise that there is no way to go up or down it, and I have there a captain with twenty-four soldiers. They were greatly affected by the defeat of Terrenate; and as they had put their hope in that they lost it thereby as much as if they had been defeated. Sali and Silonga called a meeting of all their people and sought their advice as to what to do. All the timaguas and other chiefs told them that there was nothing to do but become the friends of the Spaniards and pay them tribute. They answered that they would not pay tribute, but would fight first, and they warned them that they should do so. They all answered that they did not wish to fight with the Spaniards, for it was well known that that meant to go to death. The advice that their people gave them was good, but it pleased God that they should choose the worst.
If there had not been such a lack of rowers I should have traveled by means of two hands and forced their respect. But I have so few Indians, and keep them so busy in all kinds of ways that we should be thankful for what has been done. They must have harvested much rice likewise in other parts, and therefore a considerable amount of that to be sent from there [Manila] can be dispensed with. I have something more than four hundred Indians, and two hundred and fifteen Spaniards, counting soldiers, sailors, and gunners. Some of these are crippled and maimed. The war of men continues. Although I understand that this will be more costly to me than was the Terrenate war, two soldiers only have been lost—one of them having his head carried away by a cannon-shot, and the other one his bowels by an arquebus-shot. I sent asking your Grace if you would have those conveyed back to Manila who are Page 60no longer capable of service. It will be a gracious act to favor their cause.
In the last letter which I wrote to your Grace I gave an account of the products of this land, so far as they were known up to that time; and now I am doing the same with what has since been observed. In the first place the country is healthful, as has been clearly shown; for if the want, hardships, and privations which the troops have suffered here in mid-winter had occurred in that city, not a man would have lived through it. The climate is incomparably better than that of that island [Luzón]; for in the whole year there are not six days of extreme heat, and the evenings, nights, and mornings are usually cool. Gold is found in all parts, although not in large quantities, but it must exist where there are traces of it. Throughout the whole island there is a great deal of wax and much tortoise-shell. Rice is sowed in all parts, and in some places in great quantities. They raise fowl, goats, and swine in all the villages, and wax they do not save. There is a great quantity of wild game, which is excellent, growing larger than in other places.
There are a great many nipa and other palms, although more than twenty thousand palm-trees have been destroyed. The people of the tingues are farmers and stock-raisers, and would plant a great deal if directed to do so; accordingly, four hundred or five hundred Spaniards could be very bountifully supplied here, and even more. They are in an excellent position for trade, for they are at a very few days' journey from all the islands of Maluco, Xlatheo [Matheo?], Borney, and Xaba, and they lie on the route of the galleons which ply between Yndia, Page 61Malaca, and Maluco, and which anchor at La Canela. The only thing to be feared is that the men from these galleons will enter the island, doing damage, and making a bad name for us. It would take a miracle to lose it. The worst thing that I see is that it should be divided into encomiendas, as otherwise the soldiers will work willingly and even without further recompense than what they may happen to get. And accordingly it seems but just that the masters should come and give us support, or that they should leave us, who are well satisfied with it.
Two or three encomenderos only have sent their attendants; and they might as well not have sent them, because they have not provided them with provisions and supplies, but the king has had to furnish them. If this is all that is necessary, they have done well to stay at home forgetful, and let us fools labor here for them. And it seems to me that there has been sufficient deceit, falsehood, and cunning used with the lord governor with their false excuses. Let them come or give up, for otherwise I believe there will be no one to continue the work. Let them build ships and boats; since most of them hold encomiendas, from which they can pay for them. Of one thing they may be certain, that so long as I am on the island no tributes shall be collected there unless in the meantime there shall be another order from the lord governor; except that I shall have them collected and put in the treasury to cover the expenses of this pacification; for thus far I have knowledge of no assent or approval, and therefore I shall treat it as if left to me. Thus far I have founded no settlement; for, although the situation of Tanpaca is good and healthful, it is far from the sea, so that Page 62it takes a fragata five or six days to come up and go down from here. There is no other site of importance, and from now on until things are more settled it is inexpedient to leave this river; I shall therefore postpone such an enterprise until a better opportunity.
More than thirty pieces of artillery, although small ones, have been won from the enemy, and more than five hundred boats have been defeated and captured; and up to the time of the peace more than eight hundred people have died or been taken captive.
On the twenty-sixth instant the sargento-mayor came down from exploring the great lake. He found upon it a village of eight hundred people, which immediately surrendered peaceably and paid acknowledgment. There were no more in that neighborhood. And as all the people there pay tribute to these people, they denied having any more than a few tinguianes [i.e., hill people]. When they were told to notify the villages, they said that they could not, for they were at war with them; that this was the boundary of their nation; and that it would take a large body of troops. It could not all be explored on this occasion, because it would take more time than our troops could afford. It is understood that the people of this district are all farmers, and by nature like the Vizayans; they have much cotton and wax. This part of the lake is clear, and has a swift current, owing to the strength of the rivers which flow into it, and which have every reason for being populous. We shall examine it soon; the reason for our not doing so this time was that Silonga knew that the chiefs and principal men of his party wished to go Page 63over to our side, paying tribute and obedience unto his Majesty. Seeing himself deserted on all sides without them, and that they were all leaving him, he came out of Buyahen with a large number of troops and went to the village of Dato Mindum; and there he cut off their path and kept them all hedged in. The sargento-mayor and the other captains, considering that since he was so bold as to take up a position where he was without fortification, he must have confidence in the number of his troops, and that for some eight days more or less the victories which God has given us up to now should not be spoiled, therefore put off attacking him till they should have a new order from me. Accordingly today, the twenty-ninth of the said month, I am sending Captain Ruy Gomez with forty soldiers more, and three hundred friendly Indians and more supplies. He has orders to attack the village. We should lose much if the troops came down the river without attacking Silonga; the more he has at stake, the more he will lose. For I know the worth and value of a Spaniard, and it is not a good thing to hazard them without a great deal of consideration. I hope, God willing, that if the enemy wait they will be badly beaten; and if they flee to the chiefs who wish to go over to our side, that will increase their wish and confirm them in it.
Thus far no fragata or other ship has arrived except that of the sargento-mayor which I sent back from here, and even if this had remained in Zebu, it might have brought word from the lord governor regarding the prosecution of this business. He comes here with no more knowledge than we have; the only thing of which he leaves us in no doubt is that he Page 64comes without the means to pay or succor these poor troops. If this be true, I am much astonished at it; and it appears to me that this is afflicting them too much and will give them an occasion to make trouble and rebel some day, taking one of the galleys and the artillery and going where they list, as has already been done in two cases. In the one case a barangay and four soldiers mutinied and went away, no one knows where. Although they took an officer, he had no power to prevent them, for they rose in arms against him. The best that he could do was to have them put him ashore and in this way he came back to this fort. The three soldiers who were posted on the galliot which was at Vutil conspired and took the small boat and fled. Your Grace may see, from the eve of the feast, what sort of feast-day may be expected, especially from troops suffering privation and hunger, who do not leave their arms day or night, working for others and receiving no pay. With so small a ration of rice they are ill sustained for any length of time; for the little meat and fish which was sent was so insignificant and arrived in so damaged a condition that there is not enough for eight days. Finally, on this ground of pay they would be justified in mutiny. They are seeking all about for food and clothes, which, if they had received the pay, they would not have lacked; and at the same time they could be commanded and obliged to serve and keep the regulations—which are every day broken, and we cannot punish them. Another band attempted flight a few days past, one of whom I hanged—although it weighs on my conscience now that I have done it; for, in a sense, they have excuse enough. Since I did not shirk it, I inform you of it now, to Page 65relieve my conscience, before God and his Majesty.
While writing this, word came to me from the captains who are up the river, that from the mountain ridge, from a creek called Malago, there had come a chief with several peaceful Indians. This is worthy of note, since they have come so late, without waiting for a suggestion, since they have never seen our faces, and since they have come many leguas, dressed in clothes of cotton and of medriñaque, which is a good sign. They say that there are many people in their country. I hope, through God, that soon all will render obedience to his Majesty, and that every day will give occasion for the report of more gains. May our Lord grant your Grace many years, and His protection, as I desire. The fortress of Tanpaca, January 4, '98. Your Grace's humble servant,
1 Food prepared from the sago-palm (see Vol. IV, p. 276).
2 Husk of the cocoa-nut (Retana's edition of Zúñiga's Estadismo, ii, p. 449*).
3 Ketchil, a Malay word signifying “little, young;” hence a young man of distinction, a son or brother of the Molucca princes: in Amboina it is the designation of the heir-apparent. Marsden's Dictionary, cited by Stanley, in his translation of Morga (Hakluyt Soc. publications), p. 59.
Report of Conditions in the Philippines
By Antonio de Morga
What is to be said of the condition of affairs in these Philipinas Islands is as follows:
Instruction and instructors of the Indians
1. The evil example set by the religious through their vices, indecent behavior, gambling, banquets, and festivities.
2. They trade and make a profit in their districts, from rice, wax, wine, gold, boats, fowls, cloth, and deerskins, to the great detriment of the Indians, as well as that of the entire country.
3. They deal openly in merchandise of the above-mentioned articles, as well as in those of China, in the trade with Nueva España.
4. They usurp the royal jurisdiction, hearing, according to the due forms of law, suits among the Indians. They have stocks, prisons, and place of detention, where they vex, whip, and otherwise afflict the Indians, compelling these to obey the laws they themselves make, rather than those of the king's magistrates.
6. They employ many more Indians than are necessary, who serve in many capacities without pay.
7. They levy many excessive fees for baptisms, weddings, and funerals, and then neglect to reserve the episcopal tax.
8. They erect large churches, houses, and monasteries for only one friar, or at the most for two. They often remodel and rebuild these edifices at a great expense to the royal treasury, encomenderos, and Indians.
9. They put forth strenuous efforts to oblige the Indians to bequeath at least a third of their gold and wealth to the monasteries, for which gifts they receive more honor at their death, so that others may be roused to do likewise. Those who do not thus give are buried like beasts.
10. In the churches alms-boxes and chests are placed, in which they compel both men and women alike to drop their offering each one singly, diminishing their property.
11. They insist on the continual formation of brotherhoods and erection of shrines, so that these may be endowed and adorned and may receive new alms—the Indians understanding no more of the matter than the display and ostentation of the offering.
12. Every monastery has, usually, a great many festivities, which are all attended by the friars throughout the whole province. These are accompanied by many Indians, for the purpose of bearing their hammocks, rowing for them, and acting in other capacities. Thus, year after year, the friars Page 68go from one village to another, dragging the Indians after them, and causing great expense.
13. The religious levy many contributions on the Indians for the expense of their festivities, for triumphal arches, castles, and dances. These entertainments are receptions which they compel the Indians to tender, as a welcome, to their provincials and priors, to whom breakfasts and dinners are given also. These festivities occur frequently, and are conducted with much worldly show and expense.
14. They are very careful to exact that all the Indian girls, especially the young and most beautiful, appear at the gates of the monastery every day. They converse with them, showing partiality to the handsomest among them. When a new prior arrives or any other person for whom the religious wish to make a special display, these Indian girls dress themselves carefully and call to see them. Besides this, there are other things which it would be offensive to tell.
15. The superiors commonly send young friars of but little education and no very good example to these curacies. Their conduct is such that the Indians hate them as enemies. Thus the Indians profit but little by the instruction, and acquire a distaste for the law of God and His gospel.
16. They generally spend their time disputing with the alcaldes-mayor. Especially if the latter do not coincide in all their opinions, they persecute and harass them, until they even compel them to leave the country.
17. They accept and encourage complaints and tales by private persons, even though they may be false and unjust; for this enables them to preach to Page 69and reprove the people and also the ministers of justice, so that they themselves may be feared and respected. And they do this with great indecorum and license.
18. By means of special study and persistent effort, they strive to participate in government affairs. They desire to have a hand in everything, and to take part in all matters, through the medium of conscience and theology, by means of which they interpret and pick flaws in his Majesty's ordinances. But rarely do they allow his orders to be executed, unless quite to their taste and liking.
19. Many of them undeniably have contracts with the factors, encomenderos, and known capitalists in the trade with España.
20. They are attended by a great following of Indian boys, who serve as pages and servants. These are well dressed, wearing liveries and gold chains. They carry their hats for them in the streets, while in the monastery they assist them in the cells. Each one, however, has his own special servant.
21. These servants, together with other Indians whom they have with them, who are taught to play on the guitar and other instruments, are made to dance, execute lively songs and dances, and to sing profane and immodest tunes. Thus they entertain their guests, setting a bad example to the Indians, without profiting anyone.
22. When they find themselves gainers in wealth, their principal thought is to try to return to España with their profits. This disturbs many here, for by divers ways and means they endeavor to obtain permission to carry out their design.
23. The orders send many each year, under the Page 70pretext that they are going on business for the order. They do not take into consideration that they are needed here, nor the expense to his Majesty in sending them.
24. The more spiritual among them try to go to China, Xapon, Camboxa, and other kingdoms, in order to preach the gospel, unmindful of their duties here, for which they were brought. This anxiety makes them restless, and they invent journeys and conquests which disturb the rulers and the Spaniards. All this gives rise to other objectionable things.
25. They will accept no curacy in any province, unless rich enough to suit them. They abandon the rest, so that there are many islands and provinces whose people ask for baptism but are unable to obtain it, for the lack of persons to administer it as well as to impart instruction and to live with the Indians to see that they do not apostatize.
26. Many of the religious treat the Indians very cruelly, just as if they were slaves or dogs. On failure to please, they are beaten, or subjected to any penalty that presents itself, on the pretext that they were remiss in attention to religious instruction.
Ecclesiastical judges and prelates
27. They meddle with the royal jurisdiction. Hitherto they have not been restrained, for they would immediately pronounce excommunication and offer other insults.
28. In the cases tried by them, they practice notorious coercion, insulting the parties to the case, executing all that they decide and determine, whether right or wrong—and all this without having any education, or having any person to guide them. Page 71
29. The religious have attorneys who speak both languages, and interpreters, whom they invest with authority, and from whom the Indians suffer innumerable offenses and many grievances.
30. Their officials and clerks collect excessive fees and do not keep to the fixed rate.
31. Although his Majesty had ordered no pecuniary fines to be imposed on the Indians for any cause or pretext whatsoever, they are compelled to pay fines of gold and reals, which decrease their property and estate.
32. Some of the judges are quite at variance with others, especially in regard to conservators; and they excommunicate one another and the town, with considerable offense and scandal. Bulls and briefs have been published, unknown to, and not passed or received by, the council.
33. When complaint is made of the excesses and crimes of any ecclesiastic or religious, their superiors do not punish them. On the contrary, saying that it does not befit the dignity of religion to say that they have committed crimes and that they have received punishment, they let the matter drop.
34. The ecclesiastics and religious quietly take away from and add to the instruction at will, and without the supervision of the governor and the ecclesiastical superior, contrary to his Majesty's orders. This occasions many difficulties. They do not allow the bishop to visit their curacies, for fear that the injustice of their action will be discovered.
35. Negligence and carelessness exist in making the laws, and more in enforcing them, in regard to Page 72matters pertaining to the care and advancement of this kingdom, and its good government—and especially to the royal decrees sent by his Majesty, most of which are suspended or not effectively observed.
36. Concerning provisions and all other necessities for human existence, each one is a law unto himself, does what he pleases, and sells as he wishes, without any fixed price, measure, or system. Hence provisions are growing steadily worse and dearer. The natives and Chinese trade, bartering and retailing, which, as above stated, results in the injury and high price of provisions, while the merchandise is adulterated or counterfeited.
37. The thorough efforts which are needed are not made to prevent the natives from becoming vagabonds and idlers; and to make them cease to be peddlers and traders for gain. They must be induced to cultivate the soil, make their cloth, and occupy themselves with their different kinds of work, as they did formerly. Then the land was more productive and they were better off.
38. It is necessary rigorously to restrict the Chinese from going about as they now do among these islands for trade and profit, without any system, robbing the country, enhancing the value of articles, and imparting many bad habits and sins to the natives. They also explore the ports and harbor entrances, and reconnoiter the country, that they may be able to work some injury when occasion offers.
39. It would be very advantageous forcibly to eject all the Sangleys who are scattered throughout the islands—namely, those who are protected by the alcaldes-mayor and the religious—because of the Page 73money that they take out of the country, and the injury they cause to it.
40. These Sangleys should not be allowed to have parians in certain towns of the islands, where there are but few Spaniards. The justices harbor them there for their own profit, and the harvests that they gather from them and their ships, as in Manila. This might prove very harmful and injurious, and renders it necessary that, at the very least, the ship coming to trade shall dispose of its cargo as quickly as possible, and return to China with all those who came in it.
41. It is only just that, when the Sangleys arrive with their ships, they should observe the proclamations issued which prohibit them from bringing many people. Penalties should be exacted, and when the Sangleys return they should take as many people as they can, thus relieving the country from the many here who are an injury to it.
42. We must endeavor to have them sell the merchandise brought by them from China freely to any person who wishes to buy; and we must see that no advantage is taken of anyone, either in their ships or on land, under severe penalties intended to prevent such acts—from which arise obvious injustice, and the increase of the price of their wares.
43. An order must be given to the Chinese to sail early for these islands, so that, during the month of May, their goods shall be sold, and their ships go on the return voyage. This is the best thing, both for the safety of their voyage, and the prevention of so excessive prices on their goods.
44. We must endeavor to have them bring good merchandise, not defective or spurious. As they are Page 74an unscrupulous race, they adulterate the goods, which they would not do if they saw that notice was taken of their action, and that the goods that were not up to the standard were burned.
45. All possible care must be taken to prevent their trusting their goods to Spaniards, for without knowing them, the Sangleys let them have the goods at an enhanced price, without personal security; and afterward the Sangleys tire themselves and us in trying to collect the money, so that credit is lost.
46. Action should be taken, so that these Sangleys should not be afflicted as at present by any judges, constables, and interpreters—who, by various pretexts and calumnies, cheat and rob them, and perpetrate much fraud, coercion, and bribery.
47. The great number of Sangley interpreters must be decreased. These serve for no other purpose than to commit innumerable acts of bribery, corruption, and fraud with the Chinese.
48. It would be much better for the Chinese who become Christians not to dress like Spaniards. The latter should resume their accustomed labors so that it might not be necessary for many Sangleys to remain in the country to perform the needful service. They should cultivate and till the soil, which they do not do at present, because of which arise many bad results.
49. Measures must be taken to enforce his Majesty's decree, under severe penalties, so that the royal officials, clerks, and guards who register and appraise the merchandise of the Sangleys in their vessels, shall not take the goods for themselves, or pick out the best, or give promissory notes. This is very unjust and oppressive. Page 75
50. The Chinese captains and merchants should be ordered, under penalty of being imprisoned and fined, to bring saltpeter, iron, and other metals, which they have refused to bring of later years, and of which there is great need.
51. When the Sangley ships are about to depart, they are ballasted and loaded with lumber. This should be prohibited, for they fell the trees for this, and in a short time there will be a lack of wood here.
52. All the Japanese coming hither in their vessels would better be sent back to Xapon. Not one should be allowed to settle in this kingdom.
53. Those already here should be banished to their own country, for they are of no benefit or utility; but, on the contrary, very harmful.
54. On departing, the Japanese are wont to take cargoes of silk and gold, which are merchandise intended for Xapon. This should not be allowed until the Spaniards have made their purchases, for it increases the price of silk.
55. The Japanese and Chinese strive to take many deerskins as merchandise from these islands to Xapon. They hunt for these, and buy them from the Indians and even the religious, who give and sell them. This traffic must be stopped, for it is very injurious to the country, as the animals are killed solely for their skins, and thus the supply of game will become exhausted.
56. The flour, biscuits, and wax brought from Xapon are suitable commodities for this country. Some persons have already become so keen in their plans to dispose of these goods that they buy them by wholesale, store them, and retail them. This must be prohibited, and an order issued to the effect that this state Page 76shall be provided and supplied with them at moderate rates.
57. It does not appear that the alcaldes and regidors of Manila use their offices to the good of the state, but each for his own private interests. They must be instructed in their duties, and punished for any negligence.
58. There is no system in regard to the provision of beef, for there is no one who is compelled to provide it. What there is, is not properly cleaned. It is not cut, divided, or weighed with equality and fairness. As the regidors and people in authority are the owners of the cattle, they weigh and sell them as they please, without observing any system.
59. There is likely to be a scarcity of rice, for the city does not make the necessary provision for it. Those who have this grain—the encomenderos—hoard it and make a profit from it, selling it to the Sangleys at high rates; and thus it becomes dear. The same thing is true of fowls. The rate fixed is not observed, and no one takes any pains to enforce it.
60. Fish is the most abundant and most general food supply. The Indians do not occupy themselves, as formerly, in fishing, but leave this work to the Chinese. These avaricious and interested people have raised the prices, an evil that must be restrained and checked.
61. The fishing is done with salambaos,1 and with Page 77fine-meshed nets; with which they block up the bay and kill the small fish. These nets ought not be employed, and the size of the mesh should be regulated so that the supply of fish will not be exhausted; for already experience has demonstrated that they are not so abundant as formerly.
62. We have gardeners and kitchen-gardens now. Although there were none before, yet the price of vegetables has increased beyond any former price. This occurs because of the lack of fixed rates, and because a man is kept on guard in the market-place to prevent robbery by the soldiers and other people. Now this man allows whatever price the Sangleys may name, which results to his profit; for they pay him for it, while he strives only to keep them satisfied.
63. Considerable trouble exists here in regard to the current silver money, because the Sangleys generally cut and clip it, and because they cut into many pieces the single reals for the trade in small articles, for which formerly they bartered with rice. This truly serious abuse must be corrected by an ordinance.
64. In both the conduct and dress of men and women, unwarrantable extravagance and license exist. Rich and poor, and chiefs and common people alike, all wish to dress in fine garments, have their wives carried in chairs attended by pages, have carpets in the churches, and many other unwarrantable luxuries, from which arise many difficulties. As far as possible this condition of affairs must be remedied.
65. In Manila the men are accustomed to gamble for enormous and excessive stakes; whatever of this sort is especially objectionable should be corrected. During the visits and intercourse of the women, their chief diversion is to play cards, and more commonly Page 78than is becoming to their station. Men are admitted to these games, from which might arise greater evils. This matter requires attention.
66. For very just and necessary considerations, the Sangleys have not been allowed to sleep in the city. This measure should still be enforced rigorously.
67. There are a great number of Indians, both men and women, in the city of Manila, who are vagabonds of evil life, living in the houses of the Spaniards. Their own houses they use for receiving the goods stolen by their slaves, and for their revelries. The Spaniards aid them, and thus waste the provisions. They are retailers and secretly buy up the provisions at wholesale. They commit other sins and do much harm, as is notorious. Therefore it is necessary that they be expelled from the city and sent to their villages and parishes, and made to work.
68. The country is becoming filled with black slaves and Cafres,2 brought by the Portuguese, and these are the worst that the Portuguese have. They do a great deal of damage, transgress the law, and will cause the ruin of this city and country; for they rebel at least every year, seize vessels, and take flight, committing many outrages and thefts. It is contrary to the law to bring these slaves, unless very young, but this law is poorly observed. It is advisable to take the measures necessary in this matter.
69. Large fires have occurred in the city of Manila, and are constantly occurring. Although many Page 79of the buildings and houses are of stone, still many are made of wood, or of bamboo thatched with leaves of the nipa palm. It was decreed that all be covered with roof tiles, but this law is not rigorously enforced. It is advisable to have this law observed, both to diminish the danger, and for the well-being of the city.
70. The streets of the city are in poor condition, and are very uneven. During the rainy season, they are almost impassable, and should be repaired.
71. In regard to the public works of the city—the cabildo's hall, the prison, and the slaughter-house—they should be constructed as soon as possible, for their absence causes great hardship.
72. The Sangleys are buying gardens, estates, and other country property, which may prove harmful. They are also establishing themselves in these lands, and in the houses of some of the orders, contrary to his Majesty's ordinance. The small size of this country may render this more harmful than in other countries.
73. Monasteries have occupied several of the streets of the city, and a portion of the space between the fortifications and the houses. This needs investigation.
74. In the offices and places of gain belonging to the country, the men employed should be selected with regard to merit and skill, and for no other reason. Especially if they are incapable, or excluded by royal decrees, should they be refused employment.
75. The same with regard to the provision for repartimientos and encomiendas of the Indians.
76. The people of the country wish to be maintained in peace and justice. They desire the punishment Page 80of all crimes, but object, on account of the newness of the country, to penalties which affect property, in the case of insignificant offenses.
77. It is requisite that, in the treatment of their persons, and especially of those who merit consideration, those who are in authority show the people respect, courtesy, and affability.
78. Those in authority must avoid having a great following of servants and retainers; and those that they do have they must pay and recompense from their own pockets, and must not bestow on them the offices or profits of the country. This is a very unjust proceeding, as there is not sufficient even for those who serve, because of the small extent of this country.
79. Those in authority must refuse to allow such servants and friends to trade and make contracts, and to buy goods at wholesale and to embark in commercial enterprises; because they exercise much coercion and inflict many wrongs—spreading the report that it is on behalf of those in authority. No one, therefore, dares to institute a suit against them.
80. The said relations, servants, and friends of those in authority ought not to be permitted to become regidors or city officials; for besides being incapable of filling such positions, and having no experience in the ways of this country, they only serve to deprive the others who fill these offices of freedom of action, so that no necessary measures can be enacted in their cabildos, if it is at all against the will of those in authority.
81. His Majesty's orders, contained in many decrees, to the effect that none but inhabitants of these islands should engage in trade here, must be put into rigid execution, as well as all else in them concerning Page 81the inhabitants, for this is the only salvation for the country.
82. In regard to the weight and cargo in the vessels sailing to Nueva España, it is essential that those in authority protect the citizens, since there is but one August and one harvest. They should strive to allow the citizens to pursue their occupations freely and leisurely, and to have the cargo loaded by those only who can justly do so.
83. Just as it is requisite to use restraint sometimes, in order to prevent the troops in this land from going on some enterprises, so likewise expeditions and pacifications must be arranged as a means of employing them; for as idlers they gain nothing, nor does the country receive any profit. At other times it is necessary to allow some to return to España, for thus others will lose their fear of coming to this country.
84. The hospitals, especially that for the Spaniards, ought to be greatly favored, as they are the asylums for all the needy. The same is true of the house of Santa Potenciana.
Affairs of war
85. Those in authority must not give the companies or other garrisons into the charge of their relatives, friends, or servants, especially if they are mere youths and of but little experience. This is a notorious wrong, since there are so many deserving men who are suffering and dying from hunger.
86. Every man in the royal garrison must serve in case of war, and none should be excused because of being a relative, servant, or friend, or for any other reason. There are many who are thus excused. Page 82
87. The captains and officers ought to be more painstaking in disciplining and drilling their soldiers, and in knowing what arms they possess, and whether they are in good condition. The men should be well treated, disciplined, and thoroughly under control. They should not gamble away or sell their clothes or arms.
88. When a soldier commits any crime for which he merits punishment, his captain must not hide or palliate the offense, in order to save him from prison or from being punished—as is done quite commonly, to the great injury of all.
89. It is indispensable that the walls and fort should be always kept in repair and garrisoned.
90. The same is true in regard to the artillery, of which there should be a good supply, but of which there is at present a great lack.
91. Warships ready for any emergency are needed; but at present we have none.
92. There are but few arms in the armory, and those few are rotten and out of order. This need is notorious; and all classes of weapons, especially muskets and arquebuses, must be made.
93. Carrying arms out of the country must be prohibited. This is done quite commonly by the Portuguese and by the natives, and is a proceeding which causes great injury.
94. Gunners are greatly needed, as we have but few of them, and these few do not understand artillery.
95. The artillery is badly mounted, and left exposed to sun and rain. The caissons and wheels are rotted and of no use. Balls and cartridges are all mixed up; besides, none of the other supplies are laid Page 83out so that they can be used when occasion (much more a sudden emergency) may require.
96. The gunpowder should always be well refined, and stored in different places, and not in one house, in order to prevent accidents. This should be done with the other ammunition.
97. The soldiers' lodgings at the garrison need rebuilding, as they are inadequate to the needs of the men, who will not then suffer their present necessities. Also this will do away with their disorderly conduct in the city by day, and especially that at night.
98. It is extremely necessary to adopt some system with regard to payment, so that the soldiers would not squander it in gambling. A portion should be retained and paid out each day for food and clothing. Through this lack of system much suffering has resulted, and many soldiers have died. Consequently many are unfit to serve.
99. The soldiers should be kept as busy as possible, for in Manila they give themselves up to laziness and vice. When most needed, they are found to be undrilled, and so unfit for their work. Especially should they be made to go aboard the vessels as often as possible, for in these islands it is very necessary that they go to sea and know how to fight on the water. In fact, this is generally the kind of fighting to be done here.
100. In the other cities and places of these islands, it is necessary that the magistrates and the officers of war should always be on the alert, ready themselves, and their Indians also, for any emergency that should arise. They should have ships that would inspire respect; because enemies or corsairs are apt to attack Page 84them, with whom they lose time and reputation by not hurrying to encounter them.
101. Expeditions and enterprises for pacification or conquest outside of the islands must be scrutinized very carefully. Before going on them, it must be understood and determined that those sent on such expeditions must give account and residencia of their duties and methods of procedure.
102. In respect to crimes committed by the soldiers, when these are slight offenses there is but little to register, or little judicial procedure to be observed; but when they are of greater import, and the penalty therefor is severe, it is just that the case be registered and substantiated so that the proper course of justice may be observed, and so that they may be prosecuted in due form of law.
103. As for justice, there has been much negligence in punishing public excesses and faults. Many things—and some of them of great importance—have been overlooked or covered up. This has led to other irregularities, such as reckless, continual, and fraudulent gambling, and concubinage.
104. From Nueva España many disreputable men, condemned to the galleys, are brought here, and allowed to disembark and go where they will, dressed and armed like the rest of the people. They are not often tried; and not only do they not pay the penalty for their crimes, but even commit other atrocities and crimes here.
105. The ordinary judges are lax in their duties, are not prompt in finishing the business of the advocates, and in fact, neglect this duty greatly. They do Page 85not patrol or visit suspected places, nor watch over the government, supplies, and civil affairs of their districts.
106. The chief aim of the alcaldes-mayor, corregidors, and assistants, is trade. They buy up by wholesale the products of the land, especially rice and other food supplies, exactly as is said above concerning the religious of certain curacies, and their interpreters and helpers.
107. They try old suits of which they cannot know the details, and stir up many suits and processes among the Indians, at great expense to the latter.
108. Neither they nor their clerks observe the schedule when levying the fees. In their own behalf they afflict and trouble the Indians with outrageous requirements, making them cut wood, serve as rowers, and perform other services.
109. The first thing that they do, on entering their provinces, is to lay hands immediately on all the property of the communities, and to use it for their own advantage. When their offices expire, they seldom return the property to the community.
110. If they collect any fines belonging to the royal treasury, or to expenses of justice, they conceal them, keeping no book or account sufficient to enable such fines to be demanded from them. The same is true of the tenths of gold.
111. It is not advantageous for these alcaldes-mayor and corregidors, or their assistants or friends, to receive the royal collections, for they perpetrate numberless frauds and cheats, both against the royal treasury and against the Indians; and there is no remedy for this, as they themselves administer justice. They hold the collections in their possession for a Page 86long time, trading with them, and the royal treasury is the loser.
112. They leave their provinces when and how they please, without permission of those in authority; and when others are appointed to their offices, they immediately depart, in order not to have their residencia taken. Thus they are not to be found in office, and escape being made to give satisfaction for the injuries that they have committed, and being prosecuted by justice.
113. They are not accustomed to obey the commands and orders sent them by their superiors unless these suit them; for this they must be severely rebuked.
114. Hitherto their residencias have been decided and taken with all mildness and little investigation, so that they have lost all fear, and dare to lead lives of carelessness and hypocrisy. Therefore it would be advantageous to take their residencias more strictly, so that they should live hereafter with care.
115. They do not watch carefully so that the religious shall not usurp their jurisdiction or meddle in matters that do not pertain to them; they do this in order not to have disputes and quarrels with the religious, lest they themselves should not be allowed to live and buy and sell as they please. This is a detriment to the public service.
116. Those in authority ought to refrain from asking or requiring the alcaldes-mayor, corregidors, etc., to supply them with provisions, or other things from their provinces, even when they pay for them; for, in the name of those in authority, they do the same for themselves, much more and with greater freedom, and to the greater loss of the country. Then they lay Page 87the blame on the one who ordered it, thus excusing themselves.
117. Many are haughty and disrespectful to the religious and ministers of instruction, always inclined to contend and disagree with them. This is also disgraceful and of little profit for any. Severe measures must be adopted in this regard.
118. They pay no attention to the schedule in the collection of their tributes, and usually practice frauds to violate it.
119. They collect tribute from minor Indians, and from the aged, the lame, the poor, the dead, and the fugitive—their oppressions in this respect being well known.
120. They employ the Indians in building houses and large vessels, grinding rice, cutting wood, and carrying it all to their houses and to Manila; and then pay them little or nothing for their labor. They use them also for their own work for many days without pay.
121. They themselves administer justice in their village, arresting and whipping their Indians during the collection of the tribute, besides committing other notorious acts of violence.
122. They pay but little attention to the instruction of the Indians or anything pertaining to it. They pay grudgingly the stipends of their curacies, as well as the money for the building and adornment of churches. In this regard they are at continual variance with the ministers, and the Indians are the losers by it.
123. Although not authorized to remain in their Page 88villages longer than to collect the tribute, they go to and live in them at many other times. This proves a great burden to the Indians, because of the annoyances, and the requirements of services and contributions with which they afflict them, and which constitute the only purpose of their going.
124. At other times they send collectors, who are very unworthy and have no compassion on the cause of the Indians, whom they afflict and maltreat worse even than do their masters, and do them more harm. In most cases, these collectors are not approved by those in authority, nor do they, bear permission from them.
125. They dispute and quarrel with the magistrates on slight pretexts, and incite their Indians not to obey them or listen to their summons. This they do quite commonly, whenever they fail to find the judges unwilling to shield them in whatever they choose to do in their encomiendas. If they act in harmony, it generally means more injury to the wretched Indians.
The royal estate
126. These encomenderos conceal in great part the amount of the tributes collected by them, and show only partial lists of the collections. Usually they retain the amount in their own hands for a long time, before bringing it to the treasury.
127. The most important thing here is the royal treasury, for on it all the people of the islands depend; yet it receives the least care and the poorest management.
128. There is little thought given to ensure its increase, or to prevent its decrease. There has been a Page 89great falling off in the matter of tributes, tenths of gold, and other taxes that belong to it. Some excellent provisions for its management were ordered in the past, but are neither carried out nor even considered.
129. The royal officials have no statutes for their guidance, beyond some decrees of the governors, which do not cover all the requirements of their offices.
130. The royal books are not kept with the requisite clearness and system. Entries are not set down with exactness, or at the right time. The officials commonly use loose memoranda, which may give rise to much loss, although it may not be fraudulent.
131. All the officials do not go over the work. On the contrary, many different matters are put in charge of one alone, such as the collections of the duties and other things, account of which is rendered to the treasury after a long time. In the meantime the treasury is the loser.
132. The officials very often receive royal property at their residences without passing it in to the treasury. They use it to suit themselves.
133. The notary of the exchequer is not present when money is paid to or from the treasury, and it is done without him, contrary to his Majesty's commands. This may give opportunity for wrong and fraud.
134. In order to accommodate individual debtors to the treasury, orders and notes are often received on account for the payment, and then they try to realize on them.
135. They have been seen to receive into their houses, from collectors and others who were bringing Page 90goods to the treasury, great amounts thereof, which they employ in their own affairs and needs, not depositing them in the treasury for a long time.
136. They have used the royal tributes of rice, wine, gold, and cloth in the same way.
137. The royal warehouses were entirely under the control of the factor for a long time, with less assurance of safety than if they were under the control of all three officials. Some time ago, they were put under control of all three, but these have entrusted the keys to three servants or followers. This arrangement, far from increasing the royal estate, is an excuse for them to draw pay from the royal treasury; and it does not satisfactorily fulfil the royal intention—namely, that these officials should carry the keys on their own persons, in order to avoid all damage and loss to the royal stores.
138. There is little interest taken in selling and administrating the goods in the storehouses before they are spoiled, as has been the case with much of their contents.
139. The timely use of rice and other supplies, and the cutting of wood for the ships is not considered. This necessitates greater cost and damage afterwards.
140. In the expenditure for repairing ships and other royal vessels made in Cavite, there has been spent much more than appears by Master de Ribera's statement, which was verified only by his word and oath. This is a very extensive scheme, in which there may have been considerable loss and fraud between the factor and Master de Ribera, because the expense has been very heavy and is not clearly stated. Page 91
141. Galleys, vireys, caracoas, fragatas, and other royal vessels have been lost because of inadequate shelter.
142. There are many places in which are employed sailors, gunners, calkers, coopers, and other seafaring men, who are superfluous, unnecessary, and of no service. They create notorious expense and are maintained in these employments on account of being servants, relatives, and friends of those in authority.
143. There are many sinecures and gratuities given by those in authority, which are enjoyed by officials, clerks, officials of the accounts, and royal officials—all without his Majesty's orders and contrary to his intention.
144. Many soldiers enlisted are excused from service for private reasons.
145. There are many more captains and their officers in the camp than is necessary. These cause a useless expense and waste, and this is a matter requiring reform.
146. Many draw salaries as commanders and captains of galleys, when there are no galleys; and some as knights of the city, who do not serve in its defense, and of whom there is no necessity.
147. The governors of the forts of Nuestra Señora de Guia and Santiago draw larger salaries than his Majesty ordered.
148. The consignments made by the king to his treasury are confused with other payments.
149. But little care is exercised in collecting all the royal dues from the vessels coming from España, because they are always laden beyond the appraisal. The same is true in regard to freight and the dues on Page 92the money coming from España, more of which always comes than the register shows.
150. The collectors sent to make the collections for the royal treasury and those of the tributes do not usually bring them in promptly; and they perpetrate many frauds and injuries, so that each time the collections are smaller. Sometimes it has been observed that they retain the money collected, and that with the knowledge of the officials themselves, because they are favorites of the latter.
151. Many times they delay making the final account of the debtors to the royal treasury, and fail to collect the balance of their debts, on account of private considerations.
152. There are many old debts that the treasury owes, the payment of which is unavoidably suspended. To cancel these it will be necessary to send to the treasury of Mexico for the deficiency, with the required authorization.
153. Likewise, as the salaries and expenses have already accumulated to a considerable sum, we must perforce send, each year, to the said treasury of Mexico for the means to pay it all when due.
The navigation to España
154. The giving of positions on the trading ships of the Nueva España route is a great detriment to the country. In the first place this advantage is enjoyed by those who have not served in this land, thus depriving of it those who have served.
156. Many of those in the naval and military service come here who are useless and troublesome. This is a great expense to the king, and all to no purpose.
157. The soldiers come naked, unarmed, and starving, because their captains have only tried to cheat them.
158. The ships return loaded with the investments of the officers of the ships. Besides their own goods, they have been entrusted with large commissions and trusts in Mexico, which they execute and fulfil to the great deprivation of this country. They receive excessive salaries all the time until their return to España, which might be dispensed with if they were officials of these islands.
159. After they depart for Nueva España with their vessels, then for greater comfort and the better stowing of their merchandise, they throw overboard the goods of our citizens, without any necessity. This they do without any feeling of compassion for the many whom they ruin. It makes no difference to them, for they are going where they cannot be proceeded against, and where it is impossible to follow them.
160. Usually those who come in those positions are relatives and servants of the viceroy of Nueva España. They are mere youths and have no experience in their duties. Innumerable frauds and injuries are perpetrated in the despatch of the vessels at Acapulco, of which I shall not speak in detail, for that one point alone would require a great deal of paper. Manila, June 8, 1598.
1 The salambao is a raft of reeds or bamboo; on which is erected an apparatus not unlike the mast and yard of a square-rigged ship. To one end of the yard is attached a net which may be raised from and lowered into the water. This contrivance is called by the natives timba. See full description of the salambao, and of other native modes of fishing, in Zúñiga's Estadismo (Retana's ed.), i, pp. 199, 200; and illustration of this apparatus in F. Jagor's Travels in the Philippines (London, 1875), p. 47.
2 “The black people or Caffares of the land of Mozambique, and all the coast of Ethiopia and within the land to the Cape de Bona Speranza.” ... “The Portingales do make a living by buying and selling of them” (Linschoten's Voyage (Hakluyt Soc. trans., London, 1885), vol. i, pp. 269, 277).
Recommendations as to Reforms Needed in the Islands
The inspection, as will be related
It is very necessary and important, Sire, that your Majesty be pleased not to entrust the inspection of encomenderos, magistrates, and collectors in this country to persons who, after the completion of their commission, must remain and live in the country as subjects—who, on that account, would be forced to proceed timidly and with a view to what might be done by persons who have been punished and feel resentment. Nor, after the inspection is finished, should the inspector remain among friends or enemies who have much or little property. Neither should he remain with those of whom there is any doubt. They are fortunate if they are such men as are suitable for this task, and if they proceed with rectitude, rigor, and example, and with zeal for the glory of God, the service of your Majesty, the welfare of this country, with a Christian and disinterested heart. Since the above qualities are clearly in accordance with the necessity and condition of affairs, Sire, it is very necessary that he who makes the inspection for reform should possess them. On the other hand, since it is very difficult to find such a man among the laymen in Page 95this country and region—where the majority of those who live or come here care only for their own plans and individual interests, the increase of their possessions, and other things of much harm (so that many suffer themselves to be led by others), and from which it is advisable that those who exercise so necessary and important a duty be free—I do not know, Sire, what remedy can be expected; because the governor is called upon to select fit inspectors from this country. This is something that never will be achieved; and this condition of affairs will be perhaps a cause of greater loss, ruin, and offense, unless your Majesty, with your most Christian and royal heart, shall be pleased to render this matter safe, and entrust the inspection to the prelates themselves, so that each one will make it every two or three years in his bishopric and district. In fine, Sire, considering the pain and grief that they suffer at seeing the great loss and ruin of things, and the wrongs inflicted upon this wretched people; and, on the other hand, their obligation to endeavor to set things right, in case there should be added the authority therefor, should your Majesty be pleased to grant the inspection to them—considering all these things, and also their experience of the conditions of the country (which is very important, since they are servants of our Lord and fearless men, who will not proceed with the same timidity and cautiousness as others), there is no doubt that they will be able to bring matters into a clearer light, to advise your Majesty, and to effect great reforms. At the same time the Indians will conduct their suits with greater tranquillity, security, and confidence, and at less cost. This is not much to ask, since your Majesty is pleased to entrust special Page 96matters and the inspection of a viceroy of Nueva España to a bishop; and the same should be done with those which are of so much greater importance, and concern so greatly the glory and service of God, and of your Majesty, the common welfare of these districts (rightly so favored by your Majesty), and the alleviation and consolation of their wretched people, whom God has placed under your Majesty's royal protection. It is true, however, that as far as this matter of inspection is concerned, I once suggested, among other matters, that it should be entrusted to specially chosen private persons; but, when I wrote to that effect, your Majesty had not appointed any bishops or audiencia for this country. Therefore it was what seemed perhaps most advisable, considering the condition of affairs, and the employment of the governor and his lieutenant-governor in the government and in matters of importance so that they could not attend to it; and there was no other more advisable method to be discerned. Even by this method it has always been very difficult to find men of such qualities as the case demands. However, now that our Lord has been pleased that your Majesty appoint prelates for this kingdom—a most useful thing for it—it is evidently most advisable that they should have charge of the inspection because of their experience and the great need of a provision for these matters. In very grave cases, they could be accompanied by some auditor, if necessary. And if your Majesty should not wish the prelates to make the inspection, at least the inspector should be no other than an auditor, and he should have a good salary with fees at the cost of culprits. This is essential to produce the desired effect. But this last method Page 97would cause greater delay and dangerous annoyances to the natives, because of certain reasons and causes vexatious to them; for the auditor could inspect in one year and summer but one province, and in that would not be doing little. The next year he would have to visit another province, and so on, until he had finished the whole country. But if the bishops act as inspectors inasmuch as they have to go through their bishoprics annually, each one in his own district, the inspection would be completed in one year, and very comfortably and conveniently, especially for the Indians. This would not be the case, were the inspection made by others. To give the reasons for the aforesaid, as ought to be done, so that your Majesty may be pleased to order it, much space would be needed; and there are many evidences and proofs that the present is the worst plan, because of the great offenses and annoyances it has caused, as is well known. And on the other hand this is what proves best how advisable is the latter method, and how necessary are such special expedients, even though they should be extraordinary, since the necessity and wrongs are so. I shall not go into details concerning this lest I go beyond bounds. But I shall only refer to one advantage in addition to the above, in having the bishops act as inspectors—namely, the respect that the governor will have for them, and his abstaining from interfering with them in some measures that may be desirable to adopt. If he were to attempt, by importunity or pressure of any kind, thus to interfere with other inspectors (as he could more easily, inasmuch as they would have to proceed with greater caution and obsequiousness), the result might be very harmful. Page 98
That there be fewer offices, and more extensive jurisdictions, and that there be no assistants. It is advisable to read this section thoroughly.
There is much to say why there should be fewer offices, because of the great vexations, offenses, and insults endured by these natives, as many of the offices are not properly exercised. They should be thus exercised; for since they are not, and since the Indians look upon those who are given and appointed as magistrates for them, and for their welfare and protection (who by right should be the best men), and behold in these same men so much license, wrong, and evil example, what can they think and believe about the others, and about the law that is preached and taught to them? since they see that it is not kept, but only broken over and over again by us, the very ones who profess it and teach it to them. It is apposite to mention that when one Cagayan Indian was trying to persuade another Indian to become a Christian, and was declaring the blessings to be derived from it, the latter answered to his arguments: “Bah! the Castilians have no better sense than we have; since they act as they do, and do not observe that law; say nothing more about it.” Or they say: “That law must be only for the fathers.” In this way great offenses and things displeasing to God follow, and offense to His law and gospel, so that it is held in odium and seems evil to these natives, just after it has been preached to them with so great moral example and sanctity of life—the true preaching that moves and converts this race. They do not recognize or know that the fault is not in the law, nor can it be attributed to it, but to those who do not observe it, because of their necessities—or rather their baseness, vileness, and greed Page 99which they excuse under the name of poverty and lack of support. Therefore, a great part of the reformation in this matter—which is so important, and demands reformation, but without having it—will be effected by having fewer offices and larger jurisdictions. This is advisable and necessary for the removal of many great wrongs—offenses against our Lord, and harm to the natives. But if the contrary is done, and things continue as at present, more troubles have followed and will continue to follow each day that this reformation is delayed; for it will be, as says the proverb, like rain upon wet ground. Following upon the continual oppression, grievances, and other injuries received because of the abuse, greed, and audacity of these wrongdoers, and the trifling punishment inflicted upon those who have perpetrated these misdeeds, and exhausted, as is notorious, the natives, the present injuries, although fewer, will be felt more severely, because of the distress, need, and wretchedness in which things are, and to which they have come. Our only hope is in the law and charity of God, and in the will of your Majesty constraining them to remedy the above, as well as in the tolerance and mercy of our Lord in preserving this country and island by saving therein those whom He has chosen for Himself. He has not chosen them for us Spaniards, by whose offenses, great greed, and evil examples, so contrary to the good of society and to the gospel, His Divine Majesty is not pleased; nor does He permit so many offenses for the sake of those who commit them, or to the end that there should be no amendment of them. But even if no attention should be given to anything but worldly gain alone, which we love so much, yet even to keep some of this Page 100wretched race, we must see to their way of life, so that they may not perish and die as happened to so great a multitude of people in Sancto Domingo. It is well to be warned by this example, and to notice how much diminished, reduced, and changed are things here now, and are tending to be, in comparison with their former condition—as is well known to those who have an experience of both past and present conditions. Therefore, if the Indians are not allowed to take breath, and do not receive some relief, they must necessarily feel the burden more and more each day; for we permit land, though it be arable and fitted to be sown and reaped, to lie fallow, and do not exhaust it year after year. How much more with sentient human beings; for either they will endeavor to be rid of the burden (as, without citing other cases, was attempted but lately in Cagayan), or they will perish under it, for it will compass their ruin, and we ourselves shall feel the want of them, as is plainly evident. This has been clearly manifested on the one hand, in the diminution of tributes, the great wretchedness, and the many deaths among the natives in Ylocos and other districts; and on the other hand in the scarcity and dearness of that which can least easily be dispensed with, and which is most essential—namely, rice and food supplies. Although these advance to outrageous prices from year to year, yet even so the necessary amount cannot be obtained, and there is a deficit both for your Majesty's service and for individuals, whether rich or poor; and, in short, for both Spaniards and natives. The latter are the ones who can endure the scarcity least, for among them result from it great want, slavery, sickness, and many deaths. Since things are come to Page 101such a pass, much heed must be given to the importance of reform, and to what may be feared if there is none. Therefore, in order that a reform be instituted, two things, Sire, are extremely needful: first, the wise appointment and choice of men for the offices—including with this what is by far the most essential point, and the absence of which is most felt, severe punishment for delinquent officials; and second, that the superfluous and unnecessary officials should be dismissed, for thus there will be fewer to plunder and offend these new and tender plants. These evil acts constitute a great hindrance to the increase of this harvest so pleasing to God, and so much sought after by your Majesty. The harvest would be greater, were there fewer evil acts and more virtue in these regions. Besides, if the offices were few it would be easier to find the needed few with the good qualities requisite for these offices than to find such persons to fill so many offices as there are at present. Then too, fewer abuses and injuries, and less ill-feeling among the natives, will result from fewer appointments and selections, because those who cause resentment among the natives will be fewer, particularly in regard to offices and tax assessments, among others; for as a result of the larger jurisdictions, there will be a smaller amount of relationship with the individual Indians. Also, the governor could furnish and provide honorably for certain men of merit and desert in certain of these offices, increasing their salaries from the extinguished offices, so that they may fulfil their obligations and carry out their orders with greater advantage and profit to themselves, and without harm to the natives. Likewise the curtailing of certain salaries will be advantageous to your Page 102Majesty's treasury, by reducing its standing expenditures and requirements.
The present salary of an alcalde-mayor is three hundred pesos, while a deputy receives one hundred pesos. If one hundred pesos were added to the salary of each of the former, these amounts would be sufficient for a moderate ease and competency, and would obviate the temptations of greed to men who are sensible and upright; and it might be easier to appoint and select such men, if there is pay and gratuity, so that those may receive a salary who have served, and not those who came to get office. Whoever not satisfied with this, wishes an office, let him change his manner of living and remove the obstacles so that an office may be given him; and if not, then let him attribute the blame to himself. It might even be a means to cause many, by consideration or desire of an office, to moderate and relinquish their excesses if there were a punishment for them, and a reward for well doing; and if offices among the natives were not bestowed upon those who commit excesses, even if they have served, but only to those who live in a Christian manner, without offense and harm to the natives.
Likewise, it is a very pernicious practice to provide offices in a haphazard manner, for services alone, or as a source of gain to those who get them simply by favor, and have no merits or have performed no service. This means giving office to one who has no capacity for its administration, and no judgment of matters. Some of them have never learned or been accustomed to do anything but fire an arquebus, and perhaps have habitually lived in great license and poverty. Such enter upon their offices unprovided Page 103with virtue, but in a state of need and ignorance, and with a greed for becoming rich; and this causes much grief, misery, and trouble. The result is that such a person has to try and hear suits and causes; and many of those which arise among these natives are wont to cause perplexity in their determination and sentence, even to some men of experience and judgment. Thus the office is heedlessly vested in one who does not know or understand how to grant, or deprive of, liberty and possessions by his opinion and judgment. And although there is a superior judge to whom appeal may be made, and who may undo errors and wrongs, it is not done, nor can it be done with the same ease. Appeal involves expense and trouble, and a long journey to Manila that the Indians must make to ask for their rights, obliging them to leave their houses and fields—a very troublesome and injurious thing for them. They are often unaware that appeal can be made; or they do not dare to go, or they look for no relief. So all this wrong continues.
On account of these reasons and arguments, it is advisable not to bestow posts among the natives as a reward for services alone, upon men who are lacking in the virtue and good example so necessary to all in these regions; and especially to those who should serve as magistrates, and hold offices in this country, where the Divine Majesty and your Majesty can be so well served, in case men fill those offices with some little uprightness and decency of life.
In what pertains to and in what I say upon the subject of deputies and to giving them a salary in addition, that is in case it is your Majesty's pleasure to Page 104have such officers. But it would be better not to do this, for it means two alcaldes-mayor and two notaries in one jurisdiction, since each of those officers has his deputy and other officials, all of whom have to eat, or rather to rob. Of a truth, it will be sufficient for the alcalde-mayor alone to be rewarded and to live commodiously in his office, if he does his duty. But if he does not do his duty, and has in addition a deputy and officials, and both have friends, all this is showered down upon the Indians, and they pay it, with their sufferings, because they have to supply the sustenance and gain of all. It would be much better for all that, if two hundred pesos are required for the needless deputies, one hundred of this amount should be given to an honest alcalde-mayor, while the other hundred would be saved for your Majesty's treasury. Above all, the great evils would be done away with which result from having deputies among a harassed and wretched race—and that, too, in so narrow jurisdictions that the alcalde-mayor is able to visit them alone, and go now to one part, and again to another. This would produce greater ease and convenience for the Indians for various reasons, which are not here stated in order not to prolong this subject. Therefore I conclude it by saying that the dismissal of the deputies, and the reduction of the number of alcaldes-mayor and corregidors, are most necessary for many reasons. There is only one objection that might be considered in this matter, but it is not for the service of God and your Majesty to abandon what is of so much import for this country on account of it. That objection is that there would not be so many posts and offices for claimants, and for the governors to provide and supply people with. But as for this, Page 105it has been said that for those who have served and merit reward there would be appointments and rewards—and for others too, in the offices left. Hence, even if the deputies be dismissed, and the number of offices be reduced, your Majesty has not suppressed opportunities or posts for rewards, but exchanged them; so that anyone who ought to receive a deputyship or corregidorship would have a better allowance and reward, and more gain, without so much trouble and loss—even for the very persons who hold them, because for many this reformation is a sentence. What your Majesty suppresses by this method and plan is only sins, offenses against the service of God and of your Majesty, and great wrongs inflicted on these natives. This is the most Christian and royal design of your Majesty. Whichever is most advisable should be enacted now; namely, that there be or be not rewards, at your Majesty's pleasure.
That there should be a city storehouse and granary
That there should be a city storehouse and granary, wherein should be stored annually thirty or forty thousand fanegas of rice in the hull, so that it may keep longer—which cleaned would amount to half as much—besides a quantity of wine, vinegar, and oil. At the very least, it is advisable to store the rice in this way, in preparation for a siege or the coming of an enemy, or for any expedition that should be undertaken. If these supplies are thus kept in store, the harassing of the natives on such occasions to obtain a supply of provisions will be unnecessary and will be prevented. Without this store, the demand Page 106might come at a time when the natives might suffer great wrongs and injuries, because such events are irregular, and might occur at a season when the natives have not enough for their own sustenance and for seed. This would cause great wretchedness, and would be the occasion of famine, disease, slavery, or mortality among the natives. Besides, the prices are not as a general thing so regulated, upon such an opportunity and occasion, as to do the natives no wrong in that matter also.
This provision will be of great advantage, convenience, and saving of time in making expeditions, besides serving generally as a source of food-supply for this community, in any necessity or famine that may arise, and as an aid to the Indians, when they are in need. This will be of great aid to them, and they will be profited and edified to find themselves aided and helped in their necessities and famines. This rice must be gathered at harvest time, as it is cheaper at that time, and can be obtained more easily and with less hardship to the natives, if sent in sacks from the districts having the best crops and where it is easiest to obtain it. And every year the rice in storage can be renewed with ease and profit, by selling it and buying other new rice at the season for it. On account of the little public property of the community, and the need in which it was, it has been impossible to do this; but now it has a great deal of public property that has been granted it, and an income with which to do this. The money will be better and more wisely spent on this than on other things not so necessary and advantageous to the common welfare, and to the service of God and of your Majesty. Page 107
Concerning collectors, and a protector of the Indians
It is also very advisable that the collectors of encomiendas be persons approved by the archbishop as protector of the Indians, and appointed by the governor. Your Majesty should order them very straitly to seek and appoint the men best qualified as collectors. If, on the one hand, such men are appointed, and, on the other, are registered and approved by the archbishop, a great and special blessing and the remedy of great wrongs, thefts, and offenses against our Lord and the service of your Majesty will result. These I shall not specify, lest I be prolix. Besides the above, it is very necessary that the lay protector of the natives be also chosen by the archbishop and governor, and that he may not be removed or disqualified from his office except for known remissness and guilt, nor allowed to keep it if he is guilty. He should have a good salary in return for his labors, his attention to the laws, and the necessity that he is under of opposing many influential men. And although the salary is assigned already, it is likewise desirable that he be very much favored in his office by the governor, so that he may petition and procure the good of the Indians with greater resolution and freedom. Above all, it is advisable that the chief protector be the archbishop, and each bishop in his bishopric.
Wages of the natives
It is also necessary and important for your Majesty to order the officials of your treasury to entrust and send the wages of the Indians, for any services for your Majesty ordered to be performed by them—such as the cutting of wood, the carrying of other Page 108things, and personal services performed by the natives, or given by them—to men worthy of confidence and trust. It should be sent to residents of the same districts where the services are ordered to be performed, particularly if the district is somewhat remote and distant. For if the pay is not thus sent, those who did the work suffer, and, as a rule, do not get it. The cause of this is, that those who perform these services generally live at a distance from Manila; and by not coming to the city, but waiting until they are paid, without leaving their homes, wives, and fields, they allow themselves to lose it. Many come too, but are not paid even then, which is the cause of great harm. Loss results also because generally certain persons perform the services, while others conduct the affair here. Since they thus remain at home without coming to Manila for their pay (as is the quite general practice), and send a chief to collect it for them, before the latter gets it and the pay is turned over to those who performed the service, a long time elapses, and they may even never get it. For sometimes the chiefs keep it, or give it for some pious object, at the instigation or persuasion of the religious, and to gratify the latter at the expense of another's toil and of the poor—who, although they would rather have their pay than give it away, do not dare to complain, as the chiefs, to whom they are very subject, are concerned in the matter. Thus in order not to offend them or the father, or for other reasons, it comes to pass that the poor wretches do not enjoy the fruit of their labor. In like manner, it is advisable for your Majesty to order straitly that the many who are conscripted for these services, expeditions, and ordinary works, from Page 109Tondo and the environs of Manila, at great cost and expense to them, be paid immediately; for their pay is due them for a long time, and is postponed and delayed for many days, to their great vexation, loss, and annoyance, and even to the extent of being a public offense.
That there should be a reward for old soldiers who have served and have no remuneration, besides others who are of rank, or who have served in other places, or who come to these regions to serve.
There should be something to reward old soldiers who are not remunerated, and are in need, besides the other persons enumerated above, who come here and, because of not having been here so long as others, appear to be excluded from the offices and advantages of the country. There are but few offices, while there are many to fill them, and as many offices as are sought can not be found, although the men appear to merit them. This is one of the very necessary matters in this country, and requires your Majesty's attention; or else, inasmuch as it is most important and of great moment, that God and your Majesty may be well served in this land, the governor might be empowered to appoint to offices those who should exercise them, as is most fitting. It is a great and necessary advantage for your Majesty to provide this in the manner and by the person most pleasing to you. I see very well that a governor must be appointed with liberal authority, not only in this, but in other matters that demand it. But, in this matter of remuneration and gratifications, it has occurred to me, that troubles might ensue if the governor were to distribute rewards and gratifications entirely as Page 110seemed best to him, and to whom he wished. Hence I say that, although it is advisable and necessary for your Majesty to appoint such a person, and very requisite that you should be able to trust that matter to him, besides many others, still in this case, the number of persons to be appointed might be assigned and limited. Thus he could not do more than is necessary and advisable, and might appoint only those who merit such advantage and reward by their services and good qualities, and not others in whom he finds any lack of these things, or whom he appoints from other less weighty and just considerations. And as to what quantity and from what fund these rewards and gratifications should be given, I think that they should be given from what is collected in Mexico from the duties and freight-charges on ships sailing from this country, which are never returned here. Your Majesty could command them to be brought here annually for this purpose, without any deficit or abatement; or the half of them, or the equivalent of that which is collected here, for the pay of the soldiers. In order to give these gratifications and rewards, in regard to the amount, I think that eight or ten thousand pesos annually would suffice. But it should be considered that there are many who have served, and that this country is already settled; and that many persons of rank, who have served in other places, are coming to it, or are to continue serving your Majesty here, and come for such continuation of service, and for whatever occasions are of great moment, importance, and need. And inasmuch as these opportunities are often postponed or delayed for good reasons, and are not offered immediately; and inasmuch as those who Page 111come, and almost all the others of this country, who are not already provided, always desire these opportunities—therefore it is needful and important to have the means with which to remunerate them. For if the contrary is done, many great troubles will follow, so that, finding themselves without occupation, and at the same time without any profit and sustenance, and no place whence to hope for it, they become querulous, low-spirited, and even desperate. From this condition follow many other evils—among which, with many that I do not name, is the one of affirming that to better their condition they must return and leave this country. This causes others to do the same thing, and not to come here, because of what they hear of the country. Accordingly this country, being thus defamed, is coming to be regarded as a place of exile and punishment for crimes; and, as to such a land, they are sending here men whom it would be to the good service of God and your Majesty to punish there, and never to let them set foot in a land where sanctity, virtue, and good example are so much needed. And so harmful are the many evils here in this new plant and vine of the Lord, that thus, Sire, it is advisable that there be rewards and gratifications, at the least to the sum above named, and in the form most pleasing to your Majesty, or in the following mode. Let your Majesty order ten posts to be provided, of the value of one hundred and fifty pesos apiece, for men of moderate rank who have served well, and are unmarried; another ten posts, of two hundred pesos apiece, for others who, besides having performed good service, and being deserving men, are in greater need because of being burdened with a wife and children and a Page 112household; and another ten posts, with three hundred and fifty pesos apiece, for other men, who have performed greater duties and services. Still another ten posts, with three hundred and fifty pesos apiece, should be set aside for men of rank and service, who are not remunerated or employed, and have served, in either these or other regions; and who come hither, as aforesaid, with the desire of continuing in your Majesty's service, and who are in need—either by reason of not having provision for so many, or because of the short time that they have spent here. These last complain much, and beg that something be given them, or that they be given employment, for they think that they are deprived of it. Therefore I beg that your Majesty will command this, as it is of so great importance, and a matter by which God and your Majesty will be so well served. Thus these men will be kept in hope, and come here willingly, with the resolution to serve upon all occasions that arise; while others will be incited to come to these regions, and to serve in them, by the knowledge of this provision. And if some of these men should go upon expeditions, or be given employment in other greater things, others will take their places and posts. In this way the governor will be able to provide and remunerate those for whom there are no judicial posts to be given. Also this plan will do away with annoyance to the governor, and even the danger that, if this plan be not followed, he might be persuaded or incited, by the importunity of claimants, to make appointments differently from what is advisable. It will be well to specify and note that such rewards and gratifications are not to be given only to those who have spent years of service in the country; for Page 113some have been engaged for the most part in making collections in the encomiendas and in services that can be paid and rewarded with very little, and perhaps they even deserve punishment rather than reward, for some of their actions. Thus the appointments should be given to those of the greatest merit.
That the soldiers' pay be increased, and that it be paid them punctually, three times a year, on the expiration of the time, and without any delay; and that, whether it be increased or not, an order be issued to give, as shall be declared, one meal per day to poor and wretched Spaniards and soldiers who are without it. From this follows what shall be declared in regard to it. It is advisable to read this entire section.
It is very desirable and necessary that the pay of the soldiers be increased, for they suffer the utmost poverty and want with their pay of but six pesos; for the country is so expensive and so needy that they can in no manner be fed or clothed as is fitting. This is necessary so that the spirit and honor of the soldiers may be kept constant, and so that they may not be debased and humbled to the low condition of becoming pages to women throughout the year. This fits the name of soldiers of your Majesty very ill, and many of them are now thus engaged. This is permitted to them and tolerated because of their poverty; for when it is seen and regarded close at hand, greater compassion and pity are felt for them. Another cause for connivance and gentle treatment is the danger that they may commit other greater wrongs in the way of theft and violence, to which need is wont to incline and constrain men—and there is enough of such things. Page 114
There is also danger of their flight and desertion for fear of punishment; and thus by being punished, the soldiery may be lost, and the forces lessened and made useless. [After making all allowances,] ordinarily there are plenty of them who require punishment, and more than get it, in proportion to the universal need and poverty. Because of these things, the raising of the pay is very important, as is also a provision for additions to it, so that the companies may be kept intact and respectable. For, if they have these, then respectable young men who are in this country, and who now are leaving it, will serve gladly. They now come usually on the footing of mercenaries, because of their small means, and finally leave the islands—only those remaining who are worthless and of no account, and even of them but few. In other districts where there is no lack and need of people as here, they ought to consent.
That the one hundred and fifteen pesos given to the soldiers in Mexico be reckoned only up to the time of their arrival at the port of Cavite, and that thenceforth their ordinary pay be given them.
This is as indispensable and needful as the matter of the pay and means of profit, and even more so; for if this be not done, it will be and serve for nothing else than to waste your Majesty's royal estate, without any results for the expense—namely, the colonization, increase, and defense of this country. Rather the very opposite in a certain way results; and to say so is no exaggeration, but truth. For they arrive at Cavite after a three months' voyage, and without a blanca1 Page 115in a new land, which is much less comfortable than Mexico, which they have left. Then in the space of nineteen months they receive not one real of pay or remuneration, until after they have served out the one hundred and fifteen pesos. This causes them to suffer such want and wretchedness that I can not tell it. So many evils and wrongs are caused that is a pity and shame to recount them. The result is that their need abases and lowers (or rather forces) many of them to commit thefts and other misdemeanors as bad, and worse, which I shall not name out of the respect due your Majesty. They also marry the Indian women, so that the latter may supply their necessities; but the Indian women themselves do not possess those things. And most usually there is great danger and risk of offenses against God, and of the discrediting of the Spanish name and nation.
One other great harm follows from the above, and it is of great moment. This is the slight credit and little esteem accorded to the soldiers by these Sangleys, Japanese, and other peoples—and, consequently or jointly with them, by ourselves—since they behold them naked, ill clad, and worse conducted. The behavior of some, as I have said, is of such a nature that out of respect I shall not name their vices; but their actions and manners are a cause for sorrow.
It results and springs from this need that the soldiers are a torment and a vexation to the community; and they become obnoxious to, and are little liked and less esteemed by, the inhabitants; for they are generally seen at the doors of the people begging for aid in their need and poverty. It is a grief to consider and see every one of these things—and the more so, as they are so just. And they are felt much more by those Page 116who, with love and zeal for the glory of God, care for and desire His service and that of your Majesty, the welfare and increase of these lands, and the reputation of our nation. Of a certainty this last is being ruined and lost more and more daily. The remedy for these evils is the increase of the pay, and provision for additions to it; and a decree by your Majesty that the one hundred and fifteen pesos be regarded as a gratuity provided until the arrival of the soldiers at Cavite. Only the half of this sum should be given the soldiers in Mexico for their clothes, while the other half should be kept back until their arrival at the said port, without giving them any of it. This will be of much greater utility than giving them all the pay in Mexico; for, if all is given them, most of it goes in gambling, and whatever is left is lost and wasted at sea. The captain of the vessel and crew becomes rich by means of the quantities of playing-cards and other schemes to drain the poor wretches of all their money. On this account they are wont to arrive at the port, naked, ragged, and in such a condition that it is a pity, shame, and grievous thing to see them. And if, beside this, they do not receive any pay for many months, let your Majesty consider and examine the tendency of such things, so that God and your Majesty may be served, this country increased and settled, and our nation esteemed. As things are now the rule is quite to the contrary; and matters are in such a state that respectable and honorable men have no desire to become soldiers, but only mestizos and the scum of the people enlist. In the year ninety-four a great many of these latter came hither. Would to God that they had no come in so great numbers, on account of both their Page 117poverty and their evil habits. All of this will be checked, or at least greatly remedied, by the course above mentioned, and by keeping back one-half of their pay. With that half, they could clothe themselves very comfortably, because at the time of their arrival, the Chinese have come here with their merchandise; and clothing is very cheap then, and to be had at moderate prices. In this way they will be well dressed when they come here, and will be considered, feared, and respected by these barbarians, and even by ourselves. Then too, your Majesty will have more soldiers; for, although they are not increased in respect to their number, this plan will succeed in taking from them the causes for which they so quickly desert, and their numbers are lessened. These causes are punishments, and in a certain manner, the sickness and wretchedness that they suffer—from which, together with the ordinary hardships and the recklessness of some, many die.
It is advisable to bring the arms here on the account of your Majesty, and not deliver them in Mexico to the soldiers; first that their pay may not be lessened, and second that the soldiers may not lose them on the way. Moreover, they will thus be brought from there, and delivered to the men here, in better condition; and there will be more weapons in this country. In conclusion, I assert that it is very desirable that your Majesty order your governor and royal officials, under very severe penalties, that this pay assigned by your Majesty to the soldiers for the purposes indicated, be strictly and inviolably kept separate in the treasury or in a separate account, and be paid to the soldiers every four months, on the very day when it is due; and that payment be not deferred or delayed Page 118for any reason or cause. For, if the requisite system and order be observed in this, there can be no lack of money; but, on the contrary, I think there will be a great superabundance, if it is not spent for other things. Will your Majesty order that this be not done for any reason whatever—unless, on some occasion, after the third due has been paid to the soldiers, it may be necessary to spend some of the money; but the pay shall be left sure and certain, so that it be not wanting or payment delayed. This would be a great injury, and would cause or create risk of many wrongs, and troubles of great consequence. I say once more, Sire, that it is very important and very necessary that your Majesty order this strictly under severe penalties, in order that it may be observed and obeyed promptly—without admitting, under any consideration, any excuses fof failure to perform it; for this would be greatly against the service of God and of your Majesty, as the cause and occasion of many wrongs, offenses, and evil deeds, as well as of wretchedness.
Whether the soldiers' pay be raised or not, it would also be a great relief and assistance in many cases of need (which are usual in this community), if your Majesty, for the love and service of our Lord and that of your Majesty, would at least be pleased to institute in the hospital—inasmuch as there is a hospital for soldiers, and the sick poor—or in La Misericordia, a separate lodging and quarters for needy well people. Those there who have not the means to obtain food, should at least be given one meal a day. By such a course many needy Spaniards and soldiers could be aided and relieved in their most pressing necessity, and would not die of hunger, or have to commit Page 119thefts or other evil acts, which cause their death and decrease. In this your Majesty and this country are heavy losers, on account of both the expense of bringing the soldiers here, and the want and need of soldiers. The above could be done at but little expense, by using for this purpose the said thousand pesos for gratuities that your Majesty orders granted annually, inasmuch as the amount of gratuity paid to one person does not exceed ten pesos. This sum is of no moment or great value, if spent in that way, and amounts to nothing at all. But if spent as suggested above, it will be of much more use to many, and those the most necessitous, and, in addition, to the service of God and your Majesty. And by adding eight hundred and twenty-five or thirty pesos more, from whatever fund your Majesty may be pleased, five pesos can be spent every day in the year on providing a good and substantial meal for about sixty people. In short, this would prove of great relief and assistance, and it can also be done by no means or method with more security, than by your Majesty's putting it in charge of the Confraternity of La Misericordia, if you are pleased so to command. It would be well even to grant a considerable amount; for everything the brotherhood puts hand to is to the great glory and service of God, and of your Majesty, and the welfare of all this land. It could attend to this also, which is of great importance. Will your Majesty command that the plan most in conformity to your inclinations be adopted therein.
In regard to the Seminary of Sancta Potenciana
The Seminary of Sancta Potenciana is a charity of great service to God our Lord, and the welfare of Page 120this community, for there are housed many orphaned girls and the poor daughters of those who have served your Majesty, and who have died, leaving daughters, and little or nothing for their support and assistance. They can be assisted and reared here, as is being done with many now in it. They live here in all virtue and under good instruction, in great retirement, and engaged in holy and devout exercises. Hence it results that the Divine Majesty of God our Lord has daily and continual praises, and your Majesty prayers, that are offered to Him for your Majesty. It only remains for your Majesty to protect and favor this charity, both by granting it some reward, as an aid to its support and expense; and by ordering that there be professed nuns in it, as is the desire of this community—and especially that the superior of this seminary be one. For this purpose it would be highly desirable for your Majesty to have sent from Nueva España three or four women of the sanctity, virtue, and experience requisite. They are necessary to begin so heroic and important a work, and to increase and further perfect it. By this God will be very well served, your Majesty rewarded by His Divine Majesty, and this community favored, consoled, and increased in spiritual blessings.
That the posts on ships which ply hither be given to men of this country
It is important to appoint men of this country, well qualified and sufficient for it, to the post of captain and other posts in the ships plying to this country; for being inhabitants of the country, and men who have to return and live in it, they will endeavor to procure its welfare, and will fear to commit the wrong Page 121of casting goods overboard, which is so injurious to this community. And especially is this injurious to its poor, who suffer all the greatest hardships and losses, as they cannot send their goods as can others who are more powerful and perhaps less deserving. The latter load their goods in a part of the ship which is safe from these risks; and it usually happens that the rich profit from the good sale that they are wont to have of the goods they send, while the poor are losers, because their goods are not loaded or are cast overboard. If the captain is not a man of much conscience, and only desires his own enrichment, and not the welfare of the country, and again, does not have to live here, but can return; and if he should commit any wrongs for any cause, and for advantage to his own goods, it would be in vain to go to Nueva España to beg satisfaction. If he were an inhabitant of this country, he would fear to do wrong, in that he might not pay the penalty afterward. Moreover, as men who do not live in this community have to be given an opportunity of gain if they are to accept these offices, it is better for the inhabitants of this country to make the profit, for they will take the offices very willingly without any salary, for the honor of the office and the advantage to their goods—both in having a place to load them, and in making a profit from them in Nueva España. Thus will be saved some salaries for captain, assistants, and other officers; and to give them salaries is more of a means of profit to those who fill the posts than an advantage or necessity, since we have citizens, as has been said, who will accept them without salaries. For these positions to be given in such a way that respectable people may come to this country, it is necessary that these officials Page 122remain in service here, instead of coming simply for their own interest and a right to space and cargo on the return voyage, in a country of so much worth, and so advantageous, but so hurtful if there is a lack of respectable people.
And in order that the vessels may sail in a proper state of preparation, and so that it may not be necessary to lighten them (as ordinarily happens, to the great loss of the poorest and most needy, as above said), it is especially important that the assessments and charges for lightening be divided proportionally among all the goods carried in the said vessels,2 so that, the losses thus being general, they will strive to avoid incurring them; and if some goods are more valuable the losses may be shared among all, so that they may be less oppressive and hurtful to the poor.
[On the back is written: “I entreat your Majesty, for the service of our Lord, and your own, to be pleased to read this paper and letter throughout; for it is important for the reasons I have adduced, and for many others. Will your Majesty pardon my boldness and prolixity, which are entirely born of an earnest desire, and of the necessity of bringing forward some considerations and arguments which bear upon these matters. Hence I was unable to shorten it, as I wished and ought to have done.”] Page 123
1 Blanca: half a maravedi, equivalent to nearly one mill in U.S. money.
2 A law dated 1556 provides that jettisons are to be reckoned as risks in common, and to be distributed among ship, freight-money, and cargo. See Recop. leyes Indias (ed. 1841), lib. ix, tit. xxxix, ley x.
Reception of the Royal Seal at Manila
This is a good and faithful copy of several instruments drawn in regard to the reception of the royal seal of the royal Audiencia and chancillería, which the king our lord has lately commanded to be reëstablished in the city of Manila of the Philipinas Islands; they are set down in the book wherein is recorded the establishment of the said royal Audiencia, and their tenor is as follows:
In the city of Manila of the Philipinas Islands, on the eighth day of the month of June of the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-eight, Don Francisco Tello, knight of the Order of Santiago, governor and captain-general of these islands for the king our lord, and president of the Audiencia and chancillería which was ordered to be established there, said that immediately upon the arrival of the last ships from Nueva España in this present year, on which came the honorable auditors whom his Majesty was sending for the said royal Audiencia, the licentiate Christoval Telles de Almazan, one of the said honorable auditors, informed him that he had brought and held in his possession the royal seal of the king our lord, which was given to him by the viceroy of Nueva España for this royal Audiencia; Page 124and the said auditor directed that an order should be given for the formal reception of it, with the authority and reverence which his Majesty directs and commands by his royal instruction and decrees. Accordingly his Lordship immediately gave notice thereof to the cabildo and regimiento of this city, and the other ministers of justice here, that they might provide and make ready all matters necessary for it. This day was appointed for the said reception, and, as the governor has been advised on behalf of the city that all matters are arranged and ready for the said reception to be immediately made, he commanded and commands that it be put immediately in execution, and that the royal seal of his Majesty be placed in the church of San Augustin of this city, within a coffer covered with velvet and gold, with the ceremony which is fitting, so that thereafter it may be taken thence to the royal buildings, to whatever place may be appointed and made ready for the said purpose. And for this end shall be called and summoned to the city all the companies of infantry, both paid troops and citizens.
Accordingly he has declared and ordered it, and signed it with his name.
Don Francisco Tello
Pedro Hurtado Desquibel, clerk of the court.
And promptly, without any delay, on the said day, month, and year, the following persons met in the royal building where the said governor and captain-general resides, to wit: Doctor Antonio de Morga, lieutenant-general and auditor of the said royal Audiencia; the licentiate Christoval Telles de Almaçan, and the licentiate Alvaro Rodriguez Çambrano, Page 125auditors of the said royal Audiencia; the licentiate Geronimo de Salazar Salzedo, fiscal of the Audiencia; and the cabildo, court of justice, and regimiento of this distinguished and ever loyal city of Manila. And these persons all came clothed in silk, and over that their Flemish robes of bright red velvet, lined with blue taffeta. And then came a number of the principal persons of this city, encomenderos, and citizens thereof. In the main plaza a squadron of Spanish infantry was drawn up by companies, consisting of the citizens of the city. Thereafter the said governor and captain-general, and the honorable auditors, and the officials of the city, and other persons came out from the royal buildings and went therefrom on horseback, with much music of clarions, flutes, and other festive instruments. They went through the streets leading to the said royal seal, which were hung and adorned with silks of all kinds, until they arrived at the church of San Agustin; and having dismounted they entered. Within the larger chapel was a seat of honor covered with bright red velvet, and thereon a cushion of the same, embroidered with gold; and on the cushion a coffer, adorned with red velvet and gold, and locked. All knelt, and having heard a mass, which was said with great solemnity and dignity, the said licentiate Christoval Telles de Almazan said to the said lord governor and captain-general that within the said coffer lay the royal seal, which had been delivered to him by the viceroy of Nueva España to be brought to these islands, as appeared by a testimonial thereof which he presented, together with the key of the said coffer. Thereupon the said governor, kneeling upon the ground, as were all the rest, took and opened the Page 126said coffer, and drew from it the said royal seal. He commanded me, the undersigned secretary, to read the royal decree and instruction of his Majesty, wherein is ordered and directed the formality that shall be observed in receiving the said royal seal. Having read this in an intelligible voice, so that it was heard by all, the said lord governor turned to the city officials, and other persons present; and, with the royal seal in his hands, told them that that was the seal of the arms of the king our lord, which represented, his royal person, and which all must respect and obey with due reverence and veneration, as they would their king and rightful lord. Having finished this, the said lord governor put the said royal seal into the said coffer, and locked it. He took in his hands the said coffer and carried it out of the said church with all the people and the said cabildo, carrying the said royal seal, which was covered with a pall of bright red velvet with gilded bars; in the middle of it were embroidered the royal arms. At the door of the said church stood a large gelding, well housed with a cloth of embroidered red velvet. On either side was an escutcheon with the royal arms, and upon the saddle rested a cushion; the said governor placed the said coffer thereon, and immediately covered it with a cloth of brocade, and the said horse was covered. The reins were held by Captain Gomez de Machuca, who was appointed chief alguacil of this court; he was covered with the said pall; and before him went the said lord governor and the said honorable auditors, and other principal people and citizens of this colony. Behind marched six companies of paid infantry, and many other people. They went to the cathedral church of this city, at the door of Page 127which stood the archbishop of these islands, dressed in his pontifical robes, with the whole chapter of the said church and other clergy thereof. When the said royal seal was taken down from the horse the said lord governor and captain-general held it in his hands and carried it, covered with the pall. Thus they went in procession to the chief chapel, and above the steps was placed a seat of honor; on this was set a cushion, whereon the said coffer was placed. And when this was done and the customary songs had been sung and ceremonies gone through, the said archbishop chanted certain prayers. Again they left the church in the same order, the said archbishop and the rest of the clergy accompanying them to the door. The said lord governor again placed the said coffer, wherein lay the royal seal, upon the said horse; and with the same pomp and ceremony, solemnity and rejoicing, they went to a hall of the royal building, where it was agreed that the royal seal should be placed temporarily, until the royal buildings which are being erected for this royal Audiencia are completed. Within the said hall were placed various carpets, and it was hung and adorned. A great canopy of red velvet was placed there with the royal arms, and within it another after the same fashion. Under the canopy stood a table with its cloth of velvet, and thereon a cushion of the same stuff, all bedecked with gold. The said lord governor placed the said coffer, wherein lay the royal seal, upon the said table, and covered it with the said cloth; and, with the said honorable auditors drawn up at one side, he presented a commission from his Majesty by which he was appointed president of the royal Audiencia, and which commanded the said honorable auditors Page 128to receive him in the said office; this was read by me, the present clerk of the court. And after this was done, the said honorable auditors kissed it, and made obeisance to it, and placed it above their heads as the letter and decree of their king and rightful lord. And they ordered that his Lordship, having placed his hand upon his knight's habit, should take the oath which his Majesty commands; which, having so placed his hand, he received, as follows:
Oath of the lord president. “Your Lordship swears by God our Lord and upon the holy gospel, as you are a knight, that you will exercise well and faithfully the office of president of this royal Audiencia and chancillería, and observe and comply with, and cause to be observed and complied with, the ordinances which his Majesty has commanded to be issued, and which have been issued therefor, in all respects and in all ways, without in any way violating them. Your Lordship also swears that you will keep secret the votes and the books of judgment, and other things which may arise, and will reveal them to no one without the permission and express command of his Majesty; and that you will strive for the fulfilment of justice to litigants, and for the welfare and increase of the royal exchequer, and for the good of the natives; and that you will do all other things which ought to be done in so distinguished an office, and as your Lordship is bound to do.” “I do so swear.” “If your Lordship shall do thus, may God our Lord aid you; but if otherwise, may He require account from you.” “Amen.”
When this was done, they left the said hall and sat in the chambers of court; and the governor ordered Señor Doctor Antonio de Morga to appear. Page 129He presented himself with his commission, which was read by me, the present clerk of court. When this was done, his Lordship kissed it and placed it above his head; and he was ordered to take the oath which his Majesty directs, which he took in the following manner:
Oath of Doctor Antonio de Morga. “Do you swear by God our Lord, and upon the holy gospel, that as auditor and judge you will obey the commands which publicly or privately the king our lord may give you, and will observe his royal ordinances, both those which are given by the royal Audiencia and chancillería, and those which may be given in the future; and that you will maintain the sovereignty, the territory, and the provinces of the king our lord in every way; and that you will not reveal the secrets of the royal judgments, or others which are to be kept; and that you will avoid in all ways and by all means any losses which might occur to the king our lord; and that likewise you will faithfully expedite and decide the pleas which may come before you in this royal Audiencia and out of it, conformably to the laws of these realms; and that you will not leave the path of truth and right either for love, hatred, ill-feeling, fear, gift, promise, or any other cause, nor receive favors or stipends from any grand council or corporation, for any plea which may be brought before you to determine?” He answered, “I do so swear.” “If you act thus, may God aid you; but if otherwise may He require account from you.” He answered, “Amen.”
In the said order the other honorable auditors and the fiscal of his Majesty were called, received, and put under oath, and likewise the other officials of the said royal Audiencia, each one taking the oath conformably to each of the offices. And when this was finished, in the form above stated, the said lord president gave a general instruction in the presence of all, in which he charged the said honorable auditors to strive for peace and harmony, and the increase of the royal exchequer, and to take care to attend punctually to their duties, and to keep the secrets of this royal Audiencia, whereby his Majesty would be served. In his name he thanked them, as well as the citizens and others present. He charged them with the respect which is due to the said royal seal, and to the commands of the said royal Audiencia; and asked me, the present clerk of court, to give a testimonial thereof. Forthwith he commanded the articles establishing the royal Audiencia to be read. As they were not new (for some of them had been read), he ordered that this cease; whereupon the said Audiencia rose from session for this day. To all which I bear witness.
Pedro Hurtado Desquibel, clerk of the court.
This copy is certain and truthful, having been corrected and compared with the said book from which it was copied. In order that this may appear, I have made the present copy at the request and command of Don Francisco Tello, knight of the Order of Santiago, governor and captain-general of these islands, and president of the royal Audiencia here, in the city of Manila, on the twenty-eighth of June of the Page 131year one thousand five hundred and ninety-eight, being witnesses
Alonso de Saavedra
Pedro Muñoz de Herrera
citizens of Manila, in witness of the truth whereof I have affixed my seal.
Pedro Hurtado Desquibel, clerk of the court.
Letters from the Archbishop of Manila to Felipe II
It pleased our Lord that three years after the time when I left Madrid I should arrive at these islands, where I came at the command of your Majesty, with many hardships and so broken in health and strength that I hardly had the vigor to undertake such arduous duties as confront me, which are worthy of much remedy. I shall try to gather up my strength until such time as your Majesty can appoint such a person as is fitted for this place.
I remember, Sire, that at my departure your Majesty said you were confident that I would take a load off your royal conscience. Surely, Sire, if, as I wish, I should find affairs in favorable condition, I would, sparing no labor to myself, strive to serve your Majesty so heartily that none of your Majesty's servants would have the better of me. But everything here is so run down that many years of life and very strong arms are necessary to put affairs into even a reasonable condition. It is only a month since I came to this city of Manila, and so I cannot give your Majesty an account in detail of the many things which must be remedied. But there are going to your court father Fray Diego de Soria, a Dominican, and a man Page 133of much holiness, learning, and very exemplary life, who has had much experience for many years in the affairs of this country, and to whom your Majesty should listen; and likewise father Fray Marcello1 of the Order of our Father St. Francis, who will give a full account of everything; for it is zeal for the honor of God and the service of your Majesty, and the desire for the remedy of these islands, which alone bring them through so many dangers by land and by sea. But all I have been able to learn in this little time is that everything is like a clock out of order, and even in such condition that nothing will go into its right place unless the powerful hand of your Majesty be placed upon it.
In the first place your Majesty has here a cathedral and metropolitan church, and there is not a village church in Castilla so ill served, so lacking in ornament as this—to such an extent that although the quality of the ornaments is inferior, there are so few that they have not even the necessary colors for the feast-days, although they are in a place where silks are so cheap, as they are here.2 Thus it is with all the Page 134rest, and it seems as if ecclesiastics had never lived in this country. It is served by four secular clergy alone, to whom your Majesty orders a salary paid. The rest, although they have the title of canons and canonates, do not serve at all, except in their allotments and curacies. Accordingly, even on an apostle's day there is no one in vestments at the altar for the epistle and the gospel, which is highly discreditable. I have asked the governor, conformably with what your Majesty charges him in the third clause of his original instructions, to provide for this matter. But either he is unwilling to listen to me, or, if he listens to me, he does not wish to do so. Your Majesty will know what is fitting, but it would be expedient to add four other salaries to the four which your Majesty pays—namely two canonries and two half canonries, the incumbents of which could be vested before the altar for ministration. I must inform your Majesty that no one will be found to take them if your Majesty does not increase the stipend; for this country is not now, as it used to be, a cheap place to live, but the most expensive in all the Indias, on account of the irregularity in its government. Everything has been left in the hands of infidel Sangleys, who rob the country and sell us things at their own price, without there being any one to check them or keep them in bounds; in return for this, they are able to gratify and keep content those who ought to provide for it. I do not wish to complain of my grievances Page 135to your Majesty, but to leave them in your royal hands. But, although our house is so small that we have only fourteen persons, it is impossible to live for half a year and provide for the rest, with the salary which your Majesty orders to be given to me. Your Majesty will be informed of this by those who are going there. If your Majesty desires that I should go about seeking money as alms, I shall do so, so far as that would not be derogatory to the pontifical dignity among these heathen. Again I say then, Sire, that your Majesty's church is so ill provided, that, in place of edifying the infidels and heathen who are here, it is a cause of scoffing among them. They say that, as they see the monasteries so richly adorned with ornaments that they have chalices of fine gold, their God must be greater than that of the secular clergy and of the friars; and they say other ridiculous things. And nevertheless there is no one to look after it, nor any one who is grieved over it except myself, who cannot remedy it. When I succeeded in discussing it with the governor and the officials of your Majesty's royal treasury, they shrugged their shoulders and said that, although your Majesty says in the instructions in general terms that this should be remedied, your Majesty does not point out how, or with what funds.
Besides this there is the little interest in spiritual things and Christianity among the laity. Sire, I wish, that I were in the presence of your Majesty to tell you by word of mouth of this matter, which is the most pitiable thing which has ever occurred or ever will occur to so Catholic and Christian a prince, and one on whom our Lord has showered such singular favors as to allow in his day the opening of the gate Page 136through these islands, for the bringing of the gospel to realms so great, and so far removed from all that is good. This I say, then, Sire, that it is a most pitiable thing that there is not a man in all these Philipinas Islands—Spaniard, or of any other nation—saving some religious, who make their principal aim and intent the conversion of these heathen, or the increase of the Christian faith; but they are only moved by their own interests and seek to enrich themselves, and if it happened that the welfare of the natives was an obstacle to this they would not hesitate, if they could, to kill them all in exchange for their own temporal profit. And since this is so, what can your Majesty expect will happen if this continues? From this inordinate greed arises the violation of your Majesty's decrees and mandates, as everyone is a merchant and trader—and none more so than the governor, who has this year brought ruin upon the country. There comes each year from Nueba España a million in money, contrary to the mandate of your Majesty, all of which passes on to the heathen of China. From here, in violation of your Majesty's decrees, cargoes are loaded for the Peruvians and the merchants of Mexico, without leaving room for those of this country—especially the poor, who are unable to secure any interest therein except for a wretched bundle which is allowed them as cargo. If I were to go into the multitude of evils which are connected with this, I should have to proceed ad infinitum. There are going to your court those who have themselves experienced them; and one of them even, for having preached with Christian zeal, was persecuted by the governor, who was the cause of this and of other great evils. His vices are so many and so low Page 137and obscene that if one were to seek faithfully over all España for a man of most debauched conscience, even the vilest and most vicious, to come to this country and corrupt it with his example, there could not be found one more so than he. A priest told me yesterday—Sunday, the twenty-first of June—that it was public talk that no woman had escaped from him with her honor, when he could accomplish her ruin; and that further, through his great and scandalous incontinence, he twice ordered the priest to marry him to his own niece, and used every means with the priest and Father Soria to secure a dispensation, although the latter showed him how little that measure profited. He has so tyrannized over this colony by his actions that, in order that nothing should be lacking, he has taken away the offices of regidor from honorable men who held them; and put his kinsmen, whom he brougnt with him from España, into the regimiento, so that information of his evil ways cannot be given to your Majesty in the name of the city; nor can they write to ask your Majesty that you should send a successor to him. Likewise he asked his regimiento, and also me (but may God deliver me from such treason!), to write to your Majesty that it was expedient that he should remain in this country, on account of the experience which he has here. Nevertheless, if such a letter should go, your Majesty would consider it suspicious; because it would be signed by some who would wish to see him undone, only because they do not dare to do otherwise; for he treats them like negro slaves when they swerve a point from his desires. About eight days ago he had called to his house all the honorable people, even to the master-of-camp and all the captains; and when they Page 138were before him, standing bareheaded, he treated them worse than he would his cobbler, speaking in these terms: “You don't realize that I can have all your heads cut off, and you think that I don't know that you have written to the king against me.” And this language, with the “vosotros,”3 he used for half an hour to the most respectable people in this country. In short, all his conversation and words are those of a vicious and tyrannical Heliogabalus. What I say now is nothing to what remains to be said, and which your Majesty can learn from those who are going there—who, as good Christians, will relate the truth. It would appear best that your Majesty should write to Nueba España, so that all the goods may be put on board there which are to be carried this year. Your Majesty would then see the shameful results which he has caused in this country. He sends therewith one of his servants even, who is called Juan de la Guardia, and also Diego de Montoro, a native of this country. And if by chance your Majesty's letter should arrive after the property had already been despatched, the said persons should be seized, and obliged to confess the truth. It is possible that in this way, and with the cargo for next year (when he says that he must enrich himself), a large quantity may be taken, to supply the various matters for which your Majesty must provide. Your Majesty may rest assured that during all the time that the governor may be in this post your Majesty's conscience cannot be at ease, but that it must be heavily loaded to bear with him. It would be very advisable to appoint a Page 139governor, not like the poor men who have been here thus far and who come to enrich themselves, but a man who will enrich the land with holiness and virtue. It should be a man whom your Majesty would choose among thousands—one of those who is not attempting to make your Majesty appoint him; but, on the contrary, one of those whom, so to speak, your Majesty asks. Your Majesty should not consider whether or not he is a knight or a captain, as there are plenty of experienced captains in the country, who, in case of war, would be better in leading an army than a number who could come from there. If it is possible, he should be a man of education and conscience. I should desire one of these men who would serve your Majesty without private interests, for whom, when the man had served your Majesty in this charge, you could appoint a church, one of the largest of España; as this post is most honorable and of greater importance for the spread of the gospel than is the Turkish frontier for its defense. On this account a person should be chosen who has no claim to private interests, for the gain which he would secure from the growth of the teaching of the gospel here is large enough. It is not fitting that your Majesty should entrust the residencia of the governor here to the Audiencia, or to any member thereof; but it should be made by the person who is to succeed him, if he be a person such as I have described. For there are many serious matters for which a Christian and impartial judge is necessary, to clear the conscience of your Majesty.
It would be very important for your Majesty to renew the mandate forbidding the governors and auditors to trade, with heavier penalties; for it is not Page 140observed, and from its violation there result great inconveniences. But, as it appears that the salaries appointed by your Majesty are not sufficient recompense for coming to such distant lands, your Majesty might decree that when the governors were such as they should be, and have abstained during their whole term from trade, at the time of their departure your Majesty would permit to be given them as large a cargo as they wish, and even an entire ship, so that they might be made prosperous. The auditors might be given, every six years, to each one the liberty of a cargo, so that in this way they would have what is needed to marry their children and maintain their households. For otherwise they are the causes of great losses; and, as they are involved in the same misdeed, they are not urgent in having the mandates and decrees of your Majesty complied with.
It is a great hindrance to the growth of the faith and morals of the natives that there is a continual communication with the infidel Chinese. Since they are coming to trade, it would be well that when they finish selling their wares they should leave the country; for from their remaining in these islands result many great inconveniences. In the first place, on account of their greed, they have taken to the cultivation of gardens and other real estate; whence it follows that all the native Indians live idle and vicious lives, without anyone urging them to labor. The Chinese have risen, by buying and selling and bringing provisions to the community, to be the retailers of supplies. From this it results that this country is so expensive to live in that where a fowl used to be worth half a real, or at the most one real, it is now worth four. Formerly a ganta of rice could Page 141be obtained for a quartillo or less. Now it is worth two reals, or at least one, and the same with other things; and, beside being retailers and hucksters, one Chinaman uses more food and wine than do four natives. What is worse than this is, that the crime against nature is as prevalent among them as in Sodoma; and they practice it with the natives, both men and women. As the latter are poor wretches and lovers of gain, and the Chinese are generous in paying for their pleasures, this calamity is spreading wide without any public manifestation. They tell me that during the last few years the Chinese have spread over all the islands. I saw them when I came into the channel. Formerly they were only in Manilla. If your Majesty does not command that this people must absolutely leave the country I fear that God must visit some great punishment upon it. Those who govern here deceive in regard to their status. Some of them are kept because the fathers of the Society say thai they need five hundred to cultivate the gardens which they have here, close by the city. They give each Sangley, for the portion of garden which he works, one peso and one fowl each month. Others are kept for other reasons; but all the work could be done by the natives if the Chinese were driven out, and the idle and vagabond were compelled to work.
In another letter I wrote to your Majesty of the necessity which obtained in this country of establishing the Inquisition, and today the reasons for this are stronger than then, as shown by experience and our inconveniences. Thus we have seen, within a few years, that two prisoners who were going to Mexico escaped from the ship “Sanct Philipe.” In the ships Page 142of last year, of three persons who went thither, two died. A negro who was being taken along as a witness for an accused man of this city died at sea. If it is thought best not to have salaries, the matter can be remedied by appointing two religious or ecclesiastic persons, and one of the auditors of the Audiencia—who, as they are advisers, can likewise carry on the suits. These, as they conduct the office of commissary (which is here the same thing as an inquisitor), would be able to hear the cases and would do so as a work of charity, and with zeal for the honor of God, until they could obtain, from the confiscated property, salaries for the inquisitors whom your Majesty may appoint. For it is easy to see that there is a great inconvenience in denouncing a person in Manilla and being obliged to send his case to Mexico, or to come from there with a decision as to whether to arrest him or not; and to confiscate here the property of heirs and send it to the Inquisition of Nueba España, with so great a risk of loss.
This is all at present that occurs to me to send to your Majesty. I fear I have tired your Majesty with so prolix and unpleasant a narration. I beg of your Majesty to pardon me and accept my wish, which is to succeed in the service of your Majesty. If there is a man in the world who has this desire, unmixed with interest, it is myself, who am desirous to be of some use so that your Majesty may learn by experience that I am more anxious to be the most insignificant servant of your Majesty, merely because your Majesty is who you are, than to possess all the treasures of the world. May your Majesty enjoy those of heaven after the many years of life which are necessary for his realms. Manilla, June 24, 1598. Page 143Sire, I kiss the feet of your Majesty, your humble chaplain,
Fray Ygnacio, Archbishop of Manilla.
Although I wrote another letter to your Majesty in which I give an account of the affairs in this country, I am obliged to write this one to give your Majesty an account of my own affairs, which cannot be successful unless regulated by your royal hand, from which I would receive death, if I deserved it, more willingly than life from another. It has come to my knowledge that the governor of these islands is writing to your Majesty and complaining of me. As everything which I shall say now is true, I beseech your Majesty to give it credit. If your Majesty should find that I do not tell the truth to the last word, I charge your Majesty to visit upon me a heavy punishment.
I brought with me from España a son of one of my nephews. He is a youth of great virtue and worth, with no manner of vice; and, desiring that he should choose for a wife someone who was his equal in worthiness, while coming on the ship my eyes fell upon a daughter of the licentiate Tellez de Almansa, an auditor who was coming out to this royal Audiencia of your Majesty. She is a very honorable and good woman, and as it appeared to me that that was what was fitting for the young man, rather than greater beauty or property, I made known my desire to a doctor of theology, who was traveling in the ship, in company with the said auditor, so that I might know whether her parents were favorable to my intentions. As he told me that they were Page 144pleased with it, but that the father reflected that he had no permission from your Majesty to marry his children, it appeared to me that, if she were to marry without the knowledge of her father, he would be free from the penalty of the law. I wrote to the said maiden a note, in which I desired to learn her wishes, without there being anything else in it which could offend anyone.
I gave her an account of the many good qualities and characteristics of the young man, and addressed her in these words: “And neither do I wish that you should attempt this without the permission and knowledge of your father, because I am not setting about to steal away or ruin the respect which I have for him, and have had all my life.” She answered me by writing that she was pleased at the choice that was made of her person, and that it should be considered with her father. I responded with a second note in which I thanked her for her good wishes and said that I would speak with her father. At the same time I summoned the auditor Almazan and told him how much I desired that that marriage should be consummated. He told me that he would accept it at once, if he dared dispense with the permission of your Majesty. The truth is, that I did not tell him that I had written to his daughter, and accordingly when someone told him, it appears that he resented it somewhat; but when the letters came to his hand, and he saw their terms, which were so unworthy of suspicion, he was appeased. All this came to the knowledge of the governor, after we landed; and, as he does nothing good, he made poison of the whole matter. Without seeing a letter or complaint against me, it appeared to him expedient to have a Page 145meeting of religious prelates for my case, and he did so accordingly. He called them together in one of our convents, named [San] Francisco del Monte,4 where he placed before them the letters without having examined them, and without displaying them; and, with the utmost ill-feeling and evil intention he asked their opinion as to whether it was expedient to write a letter against me to your Majesty. The religious took it ill, as they should so bad a speech, and did not answer his proposition, considering that he was so causelessly throwing suspicion upon the purity and integrity of their prelate, who had not even been twenty days in the country. All this came to my knowledge within two hours, and, as the matter was so serious, and so great an injustice had been done, I confess that I was much more exasperated than was fitting; and I uttered against him various harsh remarks—although all were true, and about things which were publicly told. I learned that he is writing to your Majesty against me, and I desire that your Majesty should not lack a true knowledge of the affair, which is, as I have said; and everything made less or more, your Majesty may believe, is not truth. Nor could any one, from any word or sign of mine, have understood an offense to God in that, or even a venial sin; and, if anything could be added without the suspicions conceived by his malice, or rather by his evil life and habits, the fault which I was guilty of was becoming too angry. But I assure your Majesty that I had more than reason enough—Page 146in the first place because he had stained that which is so important for prelates of the church, namely, purity; and, in the second place, because he did this at the time when I had just arrived at my archbishopric, and when I should have entered with great honor and reputation for virtue, especially among infidels. In the third place, he went before all the leaders of the religious orders, when everyone of them was free to conceive what opinion he would of me—and especially certain persons who, as they do not themselves live with becoming regularity, might conceive boldness, and not fear for their own faults because they saw the superior prelate brought before the public as guilty of similar ones. In the fifth [i.e., fourth] place, because he called together this conventicle while he was pretending to be my friend; for the day before he had been in my house, and talked with me about very serious matters, and at his departure, invited me to his house—for no one who would see what he did, or his dealings with me, would fail to have confidence in him, since he is a knight, and wears the habit of Santiago, and is governor for your Majesty of so great a realm; and I say that, as I am a frank and truthful man, I would have confidence in him, if he were a man worthy of trust. Since he first made advances, by asking me to do for him things which were good, what a wonder it is that so unreasonably he should molest a man. I confess that I acted in a manner unbecoming my position; but let him say what he will, I have said nothing which is not true.
Many men of sound judgment have wondered what object he could have in this assembly; and they can think of no other unless it was to intimidate me and Page 147close my mouth, so that I should not write against him to your Majesty any of the infinite amount which might be written. Likewise he had the same object in calling together the captains and leading men of this colony, to address them with such insolence as that which I have told your Majesty in another letter; for the expression which he used was: “You people [vosotros] do not know that I know what you have written to his Majesty against me; and that his Majesty sent me a command to have your heads cut off.” From this your Majesty will gather how the government must be conducted here, since the governor is going about seeking, by cunning and deceit, to frighten people that they may not write about his mode of life. I told enough of this in the other letter, and others are writing the same thing; but at present I shall only mention a few things. In the first place your Majesty should not inquire into the particular vices of Don Francisco Tello, but should picture to yourself a universal idea of all vices, brought to the utmost degree and placed in a lawyer; this would be Tello, who is your Majesty's governor in the Philippinas. He is not one of those men who accompany a vice by a virtue, and among many vices follow one virtue; but he has not even an indication of a virtue. And that he should not lack the sin of putting his hand upon the altars, he has now begun to commit simonies, and to live excommunicated, selling for money the presentations which he makes to the benefices conformably to your Majesty's right of patronage. This is so true that I have this week corrected one which he committed in the convent of San Francisco del Monte itself. Abandoned by the power of God, he paid for the evil which he had done against Page 148me with so great a vice. He received four hundred pesos, for the presentation to a prebend, which he presented to me that very day. He has become accustomed to do this, and says that he is going to write to España that he is going to this said convent, which is a heavenly garden, belonging to descalced fathers of much holiness. Although he has a house near there he is not content with it, but comes in and meddles with the convent, and with those who go to see it, for there is nothing which his hand does not profane. On Monday afternoon before St. Francis' day, this year, he left Manilla, saying that he was going to Cabite to despatch the ships. At night he left the road with a servant, having placed the horses within some chapels which are being built at the convent of Santo Domingo; and entered to sleep that night in the house of a married woman, the wife of an honorable man of this city, leaving guards at the door, for thus imprudent is he, although God permits that he is such a coward as not to enter into such evil acts without taking guards, and even sometimes arquebuses, to serve as witnesses of his sins—which are made public, to the scandal of all the people. Sire, I do not believe that I can live with this man; if your Majesty thinks that it is best for your royal service to keep him in this government, your Majesty must take me from this church. I wish nothing else, and even this place I do not merit; nor did I seek it, nor did it ever pass through my head that it was possible that at any time I should have to hold it. But I wish your Majesty to command me to return, to die in my cell in peace; for if I remain here I cannot conceal so many and so public offenses against God and against the service of your Majesty, without Page 149reprehending them with the same publicity as that with which they are committed. I trust through the mercy of God that your Majesty will see all this with Christian and Catholic eyes, and will provide a remedy fitting for the service of God and of your Majesty, whom may our Lord protect, for the long years which we need. Manilla, June 26, 98. Sire, I kiss the feet of your Majesty, your servant and chaplain,
1 Apparently referring to Fray Marcelo de Rivadeneira, one of the Franciscans who went to Japan with Pedro Baptista. Rivadeneira wrote a book, Historia de las islas del Archipiélago, etc. (Barcelona, M.DC.I), which describes the countries of Eastern Asia, and relates the history of Franciscan missions therein.
2 In the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla, is a document which contains the following statement: “I, Captain Joan de Bustamante, accountant and official judge of the royal exchequer of the Filipinas islands, certify that, according to the books, accounts, and papers of the office and records of the said royal exchequer, it is not, since the past year of fifteen hundred and eighty-one, when the cathedral church of this city was founded by Don Fray Domingo de Salazar, first bishop of these islands, up to the present year of fifteen hundred and ninety-nine, evident nor apparent that there have been given from the royal exchequer to the said church any bells, images, ornaments, chalices, candelabra, missals, Page 134nor choir-books for the service thereof; nor has there been paid over for that purpose any coins of gold, as appears by the said books and papers to which I refer. In certification whereof, and that this may be apparent, I have, on the petition of the dean and chapter, sede vacante, given these presents in Manila on the fifth of July of the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-nine.”
3 Vosotros: the familiar form of the second person plural of the personal pronoun; its use in this case was a mark of contempt for his audience.
4 The convent of San Francisco del Monte was situated at somewhat more than a league from Manila; and an estate was granted to the Franciscan order by Santiago de Vera, for the support of the convent. See Santa Inés's Crónica, i, pp. 531–534, for full account of its foundation.
Letters from the Bishop of Nueva Segovia to Felipe II
With my soul filled with a thousand afflictions, I write this letter to your Majesty, awaiting a certain consolation for this unfortunate community; since the man who is the only protector of all Catholic countries in the world, as your Majesty is, must be the more so of this land which is so thoroughly your own, since it is entirely the establishment and edifice of your Majesty. Your Majesty has a governor here, namely, Don Francisco Tello, who, if a fourth be true of all that is said of him by Christian, learned, and prudent men, and those in office in this community, both ecclesiastic and secular, is one of the worst men whom your Majesty has in all his estates. One thing I can say, and that is that neither on my way from Nueba Hespaña here, nor after my arrival, have I heard anything said which would indicate that this man is a good governor; but I have heard and hear every day increasing and innumerable evil acts, evil in the highest degree. During the time since I came here, which is already a considerable period, I have seen nothing good in him which would lead me, on any account or in any manner, to have any consideration for him. If your Majesty were Page 151pleased to desire to know particular instances, I am certain that there has been and is being sent to the royal Council of the Indias so much concerning him that the Council could easily inform your Majesty of matters concerning this wretched man; and I shall only relate two or three things, which everyone knows. The first matter (of which your Majesty must certainly have information) is, that this man married a woman between whom and himself there were two obstacles—in the first place, consanguinity; and, in the second place, relation by marriage. In her case there was still another obstacle, in that she had taken the vows in a religious order. Although there were so many and so impassable obstacles, they procured a dispensation in this [MS. torn] so that Don Francisco might marry her. [I tell your Majesty of this] for love of the common welfare, and so that he might not by his licentiousness destroy this commonwealth, which is enslaved, more so than any other in the world or even than any person, so much are all men subjected to the good or ill will of the governor—not only the principal persons, but all others. And further, Don Francisco would have it that this should be considered sufficient cause for giving so many dispensations, and in matters so difficult—namely his own unbridled incontinence and lust—rather than put a check to his vileness. God has permitted this blindness so senseless in a man, so that we may see in Don Francisco that, when God takes His hand from a man, neither his honor, nor his word, nor the fear of God, nor of your Majesty, nor the fact that he is placed in so public an office and is the minister of such a king as your Majesty, is sufficient to check him. If the chains and bonds of Page 152matrimony had detained him, the dispensation and past evil acts might be endured; but according to the report, although these are not matters which I can examine into, he is still continuing in these vile acts of his, as a man without God, law, or king.
Another instance: an affair characterized by covetousness, wrongs, and injustice, which are being perpetrated before the sight of God and all the world. This is the affair. There is here a vessel which is called “Sancta Margarita” which belonged to Captain Stevan Rodriguez. This boat he despatched this year to convey cloth and merchandise from this city to Mexico. There is a record of what this same ship took last time; and according to the register (which is here and in Mexico) the vessel loaded two hundred and fifty to three hundred toneladas; but this year there was not allotted among the citizens of the islands more than a hundred and sixty toneladas. All the rest, up to the said number of two hundred and fifty or three hundred, he has seized upon. This injustice and robbery is terrible, but the circumstance makes it even more remarkable that sin and greed and vices so blind a man that he considers everyone else blind; and thinks that they will not look at this ship and see its size, when it is present here; nor remember that, in this same ship, the same persons with the same merchandise laded ten times as large a cargo; nor does he consider that, at any rate, the registry of this same ship exists.
On the day on which I write this, which is the last of June, when the ships should have sailed days ago for Mexico, because they might encounter a wind which would make it impossible for them to leave this bay for a long time, and the voyage would be lost, Page 153or undertaken when the ships would be wrecked—during this time he is entertaining guests and making feasts and gambling. Certainly, Sire, considering the injustice and grievance which he is inflicting on the poor subjects and vassals of your Majesty, and considering him so taken up with these feasts, there occurs to me the history of Nero, when he set fire to Rome, and stood rejoicing while the street was burning and being consumed; or, as a learned and pious man said, it seems parallel with the idea which Nabuchodonosor carried out when he desired that the people should adore his image, and ordered that thenceforth there should be much music and feasting, so that the people, thus deluded, should not even think of him without at once committing an act of idolatry. Just so here all is feasting, so that in this way the people may be prevented from thinking; and that, thus deluded, they should busy themselves with this until the evil record be finished, and the ships depart.
How can I tell your Majesty of the affairs of war? Although we are every moment fearing some movement from Japon, this man will not build a single turret to finish the wall. He considers himself safe with a dark retreat which he built to retire to if the enemy should take the city; but if the enemy should take a single house of the city, he is as well fortified there as are the Spaniards in their retreat. For, with the cheap labor of Chinamen, they have built here so that every house is a fortress. God has granted to this country a Spaniard of great genius, good birth, and singular virtue, who came with Don Luis Perez das Mariñas. This Spaniard cast artillery very ingeniously at this post where I am at present, which Page 154is on the river in the middle of Manila. During all the time that I have been here I have not seen the governor go to examine this work, or have anything more to do with it than if it were in Constantinople. In short, his God is his belly, and his feasts, and the vices and sins consequent upon this. That his drink may be cold he uses from the warehouses of your Majesty an endless amount of saltpeter, which is difficult to procure. He expends an immense amount of powder in his feasts.
To fulfil my duty to God and His faith, and to your Majesty, and the fidelity of a vassal, which I particularly owe, through the obligation placed upon me by being bishop, I say that this man has no good in him; nor is there anything bad lacking, to make him in the highest degree a bad governor. Every instant that the remedy is delayed will bring on more surely the wrath of God by delivering us into the hands of Japon and other worse enemies or scourges. The only remedy is to appoint here the good Don Luis Perez Dasmariñas, a well-known knight, and proved to be just and discreet, with long experience in these lands—and, above all, with great respect for God and His laws and those of your Majesty. He is a friend of prayer, and believes in considering his affairs with God. He need not be embarrassed in coming here, nor come loaded down with persons to whom he is bound. And if perchance Don Luis should not be available—although it certainly appears that he is so, particularly since the coming of the Audiencia—for the love of God may your Majesty not send us a person who is so boastful of being a knight; but rather a nobleman, a prudent soldier, who will be alone, and neither greedy, nor brought Page 155up in the vices of Sevilla, nor with the braggarts there. It seems to me that I have said enough of this. Manilla, the last of June, 1598.
It is said that he is sending great presents, and will try in that way to maintain himself here.
Fray Miguel, Bishop of Nueva Segovia.1
After I had written your Majesty my grief at the condition of these islands, a number of Chinese, both Christians and infidels, came to me, all bewailing the grievous injuries that they suffer daily from your Majesty's officials and other Spaniards. They delivered to me two letters addressed to your Majesty, and written in their characters and language and after their manner; and I had these letters translated into Castilian characters. These people have no other protection than the Order of our father St. Dominic; and, as I am the head of that order here, they have recourse to me for protection, asking that I send the letters to your Majesty. I assure your Majesty that these wretched people are receiving so many wrongs and injuries, that there are no greater enemies of the immaculate Christian law than are many of your Majesty's officials here. Your Majesty has provided, and well, that the possessions of the Chinese should not be disturbed or the best of them taken away, inasmucn as this is one way of ruining both Spaniards and Chinese. But this order is not in the least observed. Your Majesty will credit me with freedom from any exaggeration in regard to the Order of our father St. Dominic. At present Page 156it is sending one of our principal friars, who is prior here at Manila, named Fray [Diego] de Soria. He knows more about these islands and countries than many even of those who remain. He will give you information of everything, if your Majesty wishes. Manila, July 5, 1598.
[Endorsed: “The bishop of Nueva Segovia, July 5, 98. Received April 6, 600. Bid the archbishop and governor to exercise great care in the fair treatment and instruction of these Sangleys; and let them see that no injury is done them, so that no harm may result to their settlement.”] Page 157
1 This dignitary was Fray Miguel Benavides, of the Dominican order; see Vol. VII, p. 234.
Letters from Francisco Tello to Felipe II
Last year I wrote your Majesty an account of the state of military affairs. What has happened since then is as follows.
The pacification of Mindanao was undertaken by General Don Juan Ronquillo, who fought with the enemy and eight hundred Terrenatans who came to their assistance. He destroyed and defeated them, killing a number of people. Just when the ruler of Mindanao had offered to make peace, Ronquillo received my order to retire with all his forces to La Caldera, as I did not know of the successful engagement. Before this he had written to me, after having conquered the enemy, that, on account of this success and the improvement of affairs, he would not, even if he should receive an order from me to do so, retire until affairs were more settled. However, when my order arrived, he was in some difficulties, and therefore left that place and retired to La Caldera, which is near. There he built a fort, and before he departed thence, he received my second order to remain at the river of Mindanao, the first place taken, and build a fort there. Not only did he fail to comply with this order, but he has returned with Page 158all the troops except a hundred men, leaving everything there exposed to danger. I reported this to the Audiencia, and after they had examined the papers thereof, I resolved to arrest the said Don Juan, accuse him, and after trying him, convict or acquit him.1 Affairs being in this condition, I sent aid to La Caldera, which was very necessary; and I wrote to the army, encouraging them to persevere in the service of your Majesty.
It is now eight months since the rising in the province of Cagayan. The country is in rebellion, but it is true that the encomenderos gave cause for the disturbance by oppressing the natives with tributes, and in other ways. The one who caused most harm in this respect was Don Rodriguez Ronquillo, who died while in prison for this cause. The addition of four reals to the tribute, which was collected last year, also helped to rouse the rebellion. When I considered the serious harm which might result from the uprising in the land, I sent the master-of-camp, Pedro de Chaves, with competent troops, in order that, by means of kind methods, he might reduce them completely to the service of your Majesty. I ordered also that the increase in the tribute be suspended; and this has been done and will be continued until your Majesty is pleased to order otherwise. I think that, until the affairs of this land are better established, say for six years, these four reals should not Page 159be collected; but your Majesty will provide according to the royal pleasure.
The master-of-camp arrived with his troops at Cagayan, and in conformity with my order he pacified that land; and Magalate, the leader of the Indians, was killed by some soldiers in ambush.2 This Indian had so much ability, authority, and shrewdness that he could have caused much damage if he had lived. The master-of-camp has now returned, and I am examining the papers which he brought with him. Although it is thought best to punish some of the subdued Indians, it is being done with mercy; for the bishop of Cagayan has told me that he holds a certain decree of your Majesty, whereby it appears that the war waged against those Indians at their conquest was not fully justified.
There have also been other uprisings of the Çambales blacks3 in Pampanga, but they have all been suppressed by the effective measures which are so necessary in this land. I have succeeded in pacifying an Indian by the name of Casilian, who is the chief of the Çambales; and I am trying to bring him to this city, and to change the site of his settlement, in order that we may have more security.
There is always suspicion of Xapon, and, according to the advices which I now have, those people desire exceedingly to come here, although it is difficult Page 160for them to do so by ship. Consequently, I am, and shall be, well prepared for them, with arms in readiness. Garrisons are always maintained in that part of the country by which they would approach, namely, in the province of Cagayan. I have great hope, God helping, that Japon will be subdued. Several prominent persons there, with whom I have friendship and communication, have written to me. I have replied to them, and sent them presents, as must be done with these people. The one who is most friendly is the general of Coria, named Gentio, who is close in the order of succession in the kingdom to the Conbaco.4 He wrote me that, although not a Christian himself, he is a friend of Christians. Having this good-will, he might receive the holy gospel, and I am trying to bring this to pass. This communication is secret, being without the knowledge of the Conbaco, who is very much hated in his kingdom, because of his great tyranny.
The ambassador Don Luis de Navarrete, whom I sent to the Conbaco, arrived there safely with the present which he took with him. The elephant was very well received, and they tell me that on the day when he entered Meaco (where the court of Japon resides), the concourse of people in the plaza was so great—because they had never seen elephants before—that seven persons were suffocated. When the ambassador had ascended to the hall, the king came out to meet him with thirty kings who were his vassals. My letter, a copy of which was sent to your Majesty last year, was then read in public. It was well received, and the king said that he would reply Page 161thereto. Then he wished to see the present which had been put in twelve boxes. Greatly excited and enraged by a picture of myself, which represented me armed and with a cane in my hand, he asked in a loud voice whether this were intended as a threat. He was answered in the negative, but that it was a custom of persons who held high offices to send their portraits as tokens of regard and friendship when embassies were despatched. Thereupon he was appeased, and ordered the picture to be placed in a large hall, and directed his wives and children to go to see it. After this the ambassador was invited to dine with him three times, and was finally dismissed with a present of twelve coats of mail, thirty lances, and two horses. The despatch has not yet arrived, but I fear that the ambassador has died, for he was very ill at Nangasaque. The information which I give your Majesty was gained from a letter of his.5
In compliance with your Majesty's orders, and after investigating the embarrassments of the royal treasury, I have cashiered two companies commanded by two of my relatives, thereby saving expenses to the treasury of more than two thousand pesos a year; but if you consider it best for your Majesty's service to extend the reduction somewhat, it shall be done.
Within this city I have made an impregnable refuge, which is bounded on one side by the sea and on another by the river; while on the land side one thousand armed men can, if sufficiently provisioned, defend it against one hundred thousand. I am uneasy, however, because Nueva España neglects this important Page 162post. The troops sent me from that country are useless, and the majority of them are unarmed. The captains deprive the soldiers of their wages, and I have a hundred such complaints. I have sent advices of everything to the Conde de Monterrey,6 in order that he may correct this evil, for the reparation thereof belongs to him. Your Majesty's service will be furthered by giving orders to this effect.
I beseech your Majesty to order that, for the use of the troops of this camp, eight hundred arquebuses, four hundred muskets, and three hundred coats of mail be brought from Spain; for the troops are unarmed and your Majesty is put to much useless expense. I should wish never to have been born if, on any occasion, this kingdom could not be defended for your Majesty, for lack of arms.
I have found here an invention of the Sangleys for founding artillery. It is easy of accomplishment, and as there is much metal in the royal warehouses I am having fifty pieces of artillery made, which will take a ball of one to three libras' weight, the size most needed here. After these are finished, I shall not fail to go to China to attack the Sangleys. May our Lord preserve the royal Catholic person of your Majesty as is needed by these kingdoms, and as we your vassals desire. Manila, June 17, 1598.
Don Francisco Tello
Your Majesty's royal instructions despatched in the year ninety-six were received in the month of May of Page 163the year ninety-eight. Your Majesty's commands will be fulfilled with all punctuality, in each and every respect; and the viceroy of Nueva España will be advised of what concerns him, in order that he may also observe your Majesty's commands. It is best for the service of your Majesty that the viceroy should punctually send the reënforcements supplied to this kingdom, and carefully attend to all other things pertaining thereto. I am very sorry to see the manner in which your Majesty's revenues are being wasted, and with so small a result; for the troops are in a wretched condition and without arms, and the captains try rather to rob them of their money than to secure good and serviceable troops. They are striving to deprive this last contingent, who are poor and unprotected, of the greater part of their pay. Owing to a misunderstanding, the viceroy also does something unsuitable to your Majesty's service—namely, he sends freight on certain ships which are despatched to these regions by private persons. To avoid expense to the royal exchequer, he makes entry thereof, and gives them license to carry a large sum of money.7 From investing this they secure four times its value in goods; and all this wealth they use, and lade on their ships, and they take away the cream of the trade from those who were born in this country. As a result, this land is poor, harassed, and wretched; and the Peruvians and Mexicans are rich and powerful, for it is they who are engaged in this Page 164traffic. By the methods above described, there can be no obstacle which prevents them from receiving the highest profits. Your Majesty will command orders to be given in this matter as is most beneficial.
The troops of this land, old and deserving soldiers, are in great need, for the encomiendas are in rebellion, and they cannot be pacified in many years. They are very poor, and beset with afflictions; and it grieves me to be unable to assist them. Although I have supplied several with temporary positions, I have been careful not to give them to any follower or relative of mine. There are many who are unfortunate, and the thousand pesos which your Majesty was pleased to command to be granted every year, with the condition that the additional pay given from it should not exceed ten pesos annually, is not used for that purpose. This is because there is no one to take the money, for it yields but seven reals a month, which can do no more than buy food for one day. The provisions in this land are as dear as those in Castilla. If your Majesty were pleased to have these thousand pesos and another thousand—which can be obtained from charges laid upon the vacant encomiendas—divided by the governor among twenty or thirty unemployed captains and deserving soldiers, they would then be enabled to buy food; and many very great excesses committed by them in trying to obtain food among the Indians would be avoided. As these are caused by their extreme necessity, they are to a certain extent excusable, for no one is willing to be left to die of starvation. This point is worthy of much consideration. I entreat your Majesty to have the goodness to examine it and provide what is most needful. Page 165
Although by right of my office I can proceed to punish the captains and soldiers of the land, and do so, there are, mingled with the good men, so many who are vile and vicious that the majority of the men are constantly informing on one another. This vice, as well as that of writing defamatory libels and letters, is very prevalent. This is a state of affairs very unfortunate for this land, and one by which our lord is very ill served; and great and serious misfortunes follow. If your Majesty were pleased to charge each of the auditors here, in turn, privately to investigate these cases and give the offenders exemplary punishment, a great part of the present difficulty might be remedied. I assure your Majesty, that one of the things which make me most dissatisfied and anxious to leave the country, is the matter above stated. Therefore I have petitioned your Majesty to grant me favor and license for it, as I hope for it from your royal clemency. Many times I have considered and been brought face to face with the great evil that is done in this land by the marriage of elderly widows with whomsoever they may choose. They are old and but ordinary women, as they were those who first came here. Their husbands pacified the best encomiendas, and died; and these widows are left with five or six thousand pesos of income. They marry and have married despicably and irregularly, and old soldiers, honorable gentlemen, and noblemen have been defrauded, who by their descent would have inherited and succeeded to these encomiendas. I have thought of a plan suitable to correct this evil, about which I have conferred with grave religious persons—namely, that the childless widow who shall marry after the age of forty years shall hold Page 166but a life-interest in the encomienda. Will your Majesty have this considered and provide accordingly, considering the extreme importance of it.
Your Majesty's treasury is greatly embarrassed, as I have noted in the letter pertaining to the royal finances. It occurs to me to declare here what may be done in this regard, should it appear best to your Majesty. The Chinese who come here to trade every year bring eight hundred thousand pesos and sometimes more than a million. During the ten days they spend here they gain more than a hundred per cent; and this year, according to the universal opinion, fully two hundred per cent. They find plenty of money and sell as they would in their own land. Each outgoing ship pays as anchorage five hundred pesos and the duties that are paid to your Majesty are only three per cent, as imposed by Don Juan Rronquillo. If your Majesty would increase the duties by another three per cent, it would not hurt them to pay that amount, and your Majesty's royal treasury would receive much relief thereby. The goods brought by these heathen Chinese are silks of little cost and value, the scum of what they have; and they take back in return gold and silver.
I humbly beseech your Majesty in respect to this point, as to all my other suggestions, to accept so much as may be best for the royal service, which my zeal but desires to further. May our Lord preserve your Majesty for many long years, as we your Majesty's servants and vassals need. Manila, June 19, 1598.
Don Francisco Tello
The report which by your royal instructions your Page 167Majesty commands me to send, as to the religious orders in these islands, the number of houses and religious that they contain, and the number needed—whom may your Majesty order to be sent, so that there may be sufficient religious instruction in the islands—will accompany this letter. It is sent with the promptness commanded by your Majesty, whose Catholic and royal person may our Lord preserve, as is necessary to Christendom, and as we your vassals desire. Manila, July 9, 1598.
Don Francisco Tello
[Endorsed: “Manila. To his Majesty, 1598. Don Francisco Tello. July 9.”]
[Instructions of the council: “Have the superiors of the religious orders of España notified to send useful religious to the Philipinas. Let the viceroy of Nueva España be directed by letter that he shall assemble the superiors of those religious orders, shall confer with them in regard to the annual selection and despatch of religious who are fitted to engage in this conversion, and shall direct them in the matter. Let a letter be sent to the archbishop of Manila asking for definite information as to the houses there, how they are distributed, how many religious are in each one, and how many would be needed in order to provide the necessary instruction; and let him be directed to see that there is no lack, but that the conversion shall continue to increase.”]
Report of the religious orders in these Philippinas Islands, of their provinces and houses, and of the religious whom they have and those whom they Page 168need from España,in order that there may be sufficient religious instruction in the islands.
St. Augustine.—The Order of St. Augustine, the first order to be founded in these islands, has occupied the provinces of Tagalos, Pampanga, Ylocos, and Pintados. It has in them sixty houses, with one hundred and eight priests and preachers, and fifty-three lay-brethren. They must establish more houses, both for the entries into new regions, and the new explorations which are to be made; and for the provision of sufficient instruction. To this end it will be necessary to send annually twenty religious to the order. These should come from Nueva España, where there are many religious. It would be at very much less cost to the royal exchequer to do this, and most sufficient for this country, because they have already made a beginning with the Indians.
St. Francis.—The Order of St. Francis has occupied the province of Camarines, where it has forty houses, with one hundred and twenty religious, twenty-three of whom are lay-brethren, and the rest priests, preachers, and confessors. They need fifty religious, both that they may have sufficient instruction, and for the houses that they are to establish.
St. Dominic.—The Order of St. Dominic occupies the province of Cagayan, where it has twelve houses, with seventy-one religious. For the houses which they are to establish in that province, and that the province may have sufficient instruction, they must have twenty priests sent to them annually; for they receive as many lay-brethren in the islands as they need.
The Society of Jesus.—The Society of Jesus, which is the last established, has twelve houses, which lie in Page 169the provinces of Pintados, and in the islands of Camar, Leite, and Babao. They have in them forty-three religious, of whom twenty-three are priests, preachers, and confessors, and the rest lay-brethren. For the houses that they are to establish, and in Mindanao, where these religious will have charge of the pacification, they will need fifty priests at one time, and annual help henceforth; for they are reaping a great harvest in this country. They have two colleges here, one in Manila, and the other in the city of Santissimo Nombre de Jesus, where Latin is taught to the Spaniards, and the Christian faith to the natives, who manifest a deep interest.
The superiors of these orders are religious of much ability, and among the other members of the orders are many excellent linguists, who are accomplishing much in the conversion of the natives, which continues to increase daily. Page 170
1 Morga says of this affair, in his Sucesos (Hakluyt Soc. trans.), p. 62: “Ronquillo was set at liberty on showing a private letter from the governor, which he had sent him separately with the first instructions, ordering him in any case to come to Manila with all his forces, because he wanted them for other necessities of the islands; and Don Juan said that on the strength of that letter he had not waited for second instructions.”
2 According to Morga, this chief was killed by some of his own followers, to gain the reward offered by the Spaniards.
3 Span., negros çambales. It is possible that y was omitted by some error; or it may mean the blacks who lived in the hill-country of the Zambales district. The Zambales were a Malay tribe; but, as we have already seen (Vol. VIII, p. 218), their revolt against the Spaniards in 1591–92 was in association with the Negritos of that region. As will be remembered, the Zambales surviving that revolt were placed in new settlements in other districts.
4 Another corruption of Kuwambaku, the official appellation of Hideyoshi, then ruler of Japan (see Vol. VIII, p. 262, and note 42).
5 Morga states that Navarrete, after sending the letter to Tello died at Nangasaki.
6 Gaspar de Zúñiga y Acebedo, Conde de Monterey, was viceroy of Nueva España from September 18, 1595, to September, 1603, when he became viceroy of Peru; he died in March, 1606, while in the latter office.
7 This statement is somewhat blindly worded; but Tello apparently means that the viceroy, to save expense to the royal treasury, sends government supplies to the Philippines on private ships; and, instead of paying the owners freight thereon, he permits them, contrary to the royal decrees, to carry money to the islands for investment, on which they make enormous profits.
Report of the Audiencia on the Conduct of Tello
Among other things which seemed advantageous to your Majesty's service was for this Audiencia to govern in accordance with the instructions and orders your Majesty gave us, and to request the president, Don Francisco Tello, to observe them on his part. We have notified him in writing that it is your Majesty's will that he shall use the seal of your Majesty's arms only to seal the decrees made and issued by the president and auditor of this chancilleria. We have notified him that he is not to use it, as he does, in issuing commissions for civil and military appointments. We have told him that your Majesty has granted this privilege, under special decree, to the viceroys alone. But he does not refrain from doing this, as we have reported to your Majesty in a special letter of the first of this month.
We requested him, also, to wear suitable apparel in the judicial sessions of the Audiencia, since hitherto he has come in wearing a short cloak, and a hat with colored plumes. We asked him to wear the same suitable apparel in conducting the deliberations of the Audiencia, and in the building and council-room and court of the Audiencia. Up to this time, Page 171when the aforesaid president has held the courts, he has done so outside of the building of the Audiencia, and in a chamber of the inn where he ordinarily resides. On these occasions he has not been properly attired, appearing sometimes with a colored cloak and sometimes without any.
It is urged upon the president also that when the deliberations are being held, the door shall be bolted, that he shall allow no one to enter, shall keep secret all deliberations, and shall cause to be observed the respect and dignity due to this place where your Majesty's person is represented—which he has thus far not done with the requisite propriety and exactness. From this have resulted several disagreeable occurrences.
But especially has the president been informed that, since your Majesty has resumed the civil and criminal jurisdiction of these islands in the Audiencia, so that he [the governor] may be less occupied and more free to attend to matters of state and of war, he should not take charge of imprisonments and suits against the inhabitants and natives of this city. They complain that very often he persecutes them severely for some grudge, or because he does not like them; and that, even when he arrests them, he does not try their cases, and neither condemns nor acquits the accused; nor does he refer the cases to the Audiencia, so that they may be tried there, in accordance with the demands of justice therein. Of all these cases, he has the right to retain jurisdiction only over the offenses of the soldiers. These he may try directly, as your Majesty has granted to him, as being captain-general. We have had some conferences on these points with the aforesaid president, and have used Page 172other means to induce him to do right, and not transgress your Majesty's will. We have not, however, found him entirely submissive to it, especially as to the requirement to cease proceeding entirely alone in whatever suit he chooses. In this way he has begun to persecute those who are not entirely to his liking, and often with little justification. Because it is very important to your Majesty's service, and to the welfare of those who live here that this should not go on, we shall continue the necessary precautions, so that without giving occasion on our part for a break or disagreement with the president, he shall be submissive to what your Majesty has decreed, as you desire. The important thing is to report to your Majesty the state of affairs here, so that you may provide definitely for what is to be done. We state truthfully that we are under obligations to your Majesty to interfere in no manner with the exercise of his governing power, and that of waging war—unless, under title and pretext of his office as captain-general, he shall prosecute and harass for his own personal grudges, and for objects which are not for your Majesty's service, the inhabitants, and those who are not soldiers, and have committed no offense, since this must not go unremedied. Whatever your Majesty may be pleased to decree in all this matter, we shall remain without anxiety and in peace; for our only aim is the fulfilling of your Majesty's will, and our desire the satisfactory accomplishment of the affairs of your Majesty's service. May God keep your Majesty. Manila, July 15, 1598.
Doctor Antonio de Morga
The licentiate Tellez Almaçan
Documents of 1599
- Letter to the archbishop of Manila. Felipe III; March 1.
- Letter from the bishop of Nueva Segovia to the king. Miguel de Benavides; May 17.
- Letter to Joan de Ibarra. Miguel de Benavides; May 22.
- Missions of the religious orders. Geronimo de Alcaraz; June 28.
- Military affairs in the islands. Francisco Tello, and others; July 12.
- Letter to the king. Francisco Tello; July 12.
- Ordinances enacted by the Audiencia of Manila. Francisco Tello, and others; June 1598–July, 1599. (To be concluded.)
Source: All of these documents arc obtained from original MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla.
Translations: The first, third, fourth, and sixth are translated by Robert W. Haight; the second, by José M. and Clara M, Asensio; the fifth and seventh, by Arthur B. Myrick, of Harvard University. Page 174
Letter from Felipe III to the Archbishop of Manila
The King: To the very reverend father in Christ, the archbishop of the city of Manila, of the Philipinas Islands, a member of my Council. As the information of which a copy is sent you with this has been examined in my Council of the Indias, which inquiry was made by the order of the governor of that archbishopric, concerning certain excesses of the teaching religious of the Order of St. Augustine in those islands, I have decided to send it to you; so that, in so far as concerns your jurisdiction over the occupations of the priests in the missions, you may correct the excesses mentioned in the said information, and whatever others there may be. You will remedy them in the form which most furthers the service of God our Lord, and myself. As to the other matters contained in the said information concerning the said religious—that it is understood that they are in league with the governor of those islands and the provincial of the said Order of St. Augustine, or he who may be in his place—you will discuss the remedy which is made necessary by events, as well in this particular as in general. Accordingly I charge and command you to do this, and to advise me of what you shall have done therein. Valencia, on the first of March, of 1599.
I The King
Countersigned by Joan de Ybarra
Letter from the Bishop of Nueva Segovia to the King
I have no doubt that by other ways your Majesty1 will learn of the affairs of Manila. Even to seek correction for them I would be unwilling to recall them to mind, were I not obliged to do so by the service of God and the welfare of my afflicted fellow men. With the fidelity which I owe to your Majesty, I must proclaim aloud before God and your Majesty everything in Manila outside of the monasteries, and declare what thing or what person is offensive to God, to your Majesty, and to his fellow man. God is severely punishing that city by poverty and losses of property. Such is the chastisement in spiritual affairs, that, after so many years had passed without a prelate or father to sympathize with and help the people, the archbishop who came last year fell into a profound melancholy; and when he had been here two months and a half God called him to Himself. He was removed from many misfortunes which could not be relieved; and before he had preached a single time, or given one call to his flock, the Lord took Page 176him. It was said, however, that he died of a poisonous herb which was given him; and they say that his symptoms proved it. Whether that is true or not, this land is such that it could be suspected and said that in so short a time they took the life of their prelate. In the temporal government, the death of the good licentiate, Alvaro de Çambrano, was very unfortunate for the poor and for persons of little influence. He was a pious man and one of noble purposes, and he died of grief, as may be deduced from a letter which he wrote me before his death. There is no doubt that the reason we do not die is because we have not grieved over matters with the charity and good zeal which were his.
Something has been done by the governor of these islands, Don Francisco Tello, in which the auditors also must have been concerned. A ship was sent from these islands to China, and, as I understand—your Majesty will learn the facts by other means—it sailed to a port very near to the town of the Portuguese. If God and your Majesty provide no remedy, this expedition will be the total destruction of what is held here by the crowns of Castilla and Portogal, with great offense to the faith, or the destruction of preaching and conversion. It is most difficult of correction, for there are interested in this matter first, the governor; secondly, the auditors; and thirdly, their followers and ministers. I hope, God helping, that all the good works which have been commenced here will not be abandoned for aught but the interest and profit of those who, according to right, should not regard their private welfare, but the common good, and the service of God and their king. In this I do not refer to the Page 177present auditors and governor, for I do not know what they have done of good or of bad in this despatch to China, but I speak of what is their custom and what is infallibly done by governors and auditors, unless they are people very much devoted to God's service. There are few if any persons that come who do not destroy this land, by sending much money to China. Of this there is no doubt, and every day more light is shed upon the subject. From this vessel sent to China is resulting the total destruction of the Portuguese town called Macan. Its sole support consists of the trade carried on there with the Chinese, exporting goods thence to Japon and elsewhere. By means of the friendly relations between the Portuguese and the Chinese, they succeed in buying the stuffs very cheaply, and by the little which is afterward gained in Japon and other places, these people are supported. Even should we go there, we have not that success in business, that concord among ourselves, or that patience and phlegm, and we seek greater profits. Necessarily, we must greatly increase the price of the goods—more especially as the Chinese are very shrewd traders; and on seeing our ship there laden with money, and knowing that it could not return empty, they may raise the prices at their pleasure. As the profits of the Portuguese are not so great that they can afford to suffer this, they must therefore give up that trade, and abandon that town, which has no other means of support, thus leaving the Christian Chinese to return to their idolatries and mingle again with the heathen.
From this great and evident wrong, follow others even greater; for whatever of Christianity there is in Japon, and the beginning which your Majesty has Page 178there is supported solely by the traffic of the Portuguese of Macan with Japon. When Macan is lost, Japon is destroyed. The other parts of India which have traffic in Chinese goods, and in goods which are carried to España—such as porcelains, silks, and chests—must lose very materially. The royal income of your Majesty must be greatly diminished, because all the duties from Chinese merchandise are collected in India. Then in conveying them to Portogal and from thence to Castilla you must also lose, for all these affairs are moved by but one wheel, namely, Macan. Not the slightest doubt can be entertained of the destruction of Macan, if ships from the Philipinas go to that port or to any other of China, unless it be very far away from Macan. Even in the latter case, Macan must receive serious damage. It will also be necessary for the Portuguese to fit out ships and try to capture what vessel or vessels go there from the Philipinas. That there will be war between us is not doubtful, but certain.
If the Portuguese must receive these serious damages, greater injuries must be suffered by the Philipinas and the unfortunate Castilians who have settled them, sustained them with their blood, maintained in them the faith of Jesus Christ, and fulfilled their duty to your Majesty by means of the continual labors of themselves and their descendants. If this is continued, the governor, the auditors, and their followers will send their property to China, and have the ship brought back full of merchandise for themselves alone; and consequently will supply the cargoes for the ships which sail hence to Mexico. Thus the poor vassals of your Majesty, who have nothing whereby to support themselves or their poor children Page 179except in this traffic with Mexico, must be left like poor Indians, only because the devilish avarice of those persons sent by your Majesty to govern and care for this land leads them to take for themselves all the profits thereof. At present—with much honor to your Majesty's royal crown and to the Spanish nation—the Chinese come with their goods to the Philipinas, and each Spaniard may buy and export goods; although even of this traffic, it is said commonly that there is nothing to be expected except thunderbolts from heaven to punish what is done, if report be true. But at last shame must check these injustices sometime, and not permit them to be done so openly. But if vessels are sent from here to China, the Chinese merchants will not come here, nor will goods from China be brought here; and should such goods come, the governor and auditors will export their own goods, depriving of space those to whom all the exportation is granted, according to the just and holy will of your Majesty.
Even were it only for the sake of not seeing the Spanish nation so defamed as it must be in China, and hated and scorned in these regions even by the school-children, the governor and auditors should not be willing to enter into a traffic so costly to the honor and reputation of our nation. Here we have no large armies to sustain us, nothing but reputation alone, and if they treat us as avaricious persons, there will not be an Indian who will not be insolent to the Spaniards on account of this, and more in proportion as we are always blinded by avarice. What must be lost by the holy gospel and the Christian law is evident; for sailors and soldiers will go hence in the ship—an ungodly people, guilty of sins of the flesh as Page 180well as other offenses, who know naught except to commit offenses against those with whom they deal. Moreover, the heathen cannot receive a very good example from the wars and enmity which will exist between the Castilians and the Portuguese. The Chinese who come here to Manila have some poor examples; but they also receive very good lessons from the religious, and in the churches, the holy ceremonies of the church, and in the life of several very good Spaniards, and even of some Indians. But when the ship of the governor and auditors, or any others, is sent there, the Chinese can have but the examples of soldiers, sailors, and impious people.
God knows what the import and export duties and incomes of your Majesty would profit and gain by the bringing of goods from China and exporting them to Nueva España, because everything has to pass through the hands of avarice, and of ministers who can do as they please here.
I do not know what can have been the reason for sending this ship to China and beginning an enterprise so prejudicial. In a general clause, however, of an instruction to the governor, your Majesty ordains that the governor may send to Japon, Macan, or other pagan countries, also to ports of the heathen and of the Portuguese in order to ascertain if they would like trade with us. But China is not mentioned by name in said clause; and the law of justice is that what is not conceded in particular is not understood to be granted in a general statement. The point under discussion was not only not particularly conceded by your Majesty, but had been expressly prohibited by a special decree. Not only did your Majesty ordain that no ship whatever should go from Page 181other Spanish possessions to China, but it is even decreed that the Chinese merchants coming here shall not take back Spanish money to China; and that merchandise shall not be exported from China on account of the Spaniards, but on account of the Chinese themselves. Even in the same instruction, in the two clauses immediately preceding the one to which I refer, your Majesty commands a thing incompatible with the sending of a vessel to China, which has been undertaken this year. Your Majesty decrees that all the goods coming from China should be sold at the pancada and that nothing should be bought on private account until after the pancada. The aforesaid decree would be futile if license were then to be given to send money to China, and also ships, to buy there the stuffs and merchandise for the Spaniards. It may be that there are those who represent that this has been done for the sake of opening a door to the evangelization of China; but such persons do not have as a profession the preaching of the gospel. The evident truth is what I state.
The sole correction for these evils, and for all the misfortunes of this land, is for your Majesty to send—besides a holy and learned archbishop, zealous in honoring God, your Majesty, and the common welfare—a disinterested and God-fearing governor, such as Don Luis Perez Dasmariñas, and, according to my information, Don Pedro Brabo de Acuña, who has been governor for some years in Cartagena in the Indias. But I understand that, at the receipt of these letters and other things, your Majesty will have ordered Don Francisco Tello to return [to España] and another governor will be provided. May God have granted light to your Majesty, and continue to Page 182give you light always, in order that your Majesty may be guided aright in a government so far away from the royal eyes as this, where the governors have so many opportunities to cause the destruction of the poor vassals of your Majesty. Tulac, May 17, 1599.
Fray Miguel de Benavides,
1 This letter was addressed to Felipe II; but of course its writer had not then received news of the king's death, which occurred September 13, 1598; he was succeeded by his son, Felipe III (Vol. 1, p. 353).
Letter from Bishop Benavides to Joan de Ibarra
May it please our Lord that this letter shall find your Grace and Señora Doña Catalina and your children enjoying all the grace of God and the health and contentment that I wish them, and which I every day beseech for them in my poor masses and prayers. I cannot write now in regard to the news which should come this year, because I am far from Manila, and the ships depart hence for Mexico when those from Mexico come, and sometimes earlier. I am writing what has occurred here to the Council, and as one who knows your Grace's zeal, I have no need to urge the necessity here of having a man come as governor who is known to fear God. Oh, my lord secretary, if your Grace could see some of this, and if I could cause the eyes of those lords to perceive the need of this unfortunate country, and the mighty things which depend on it, for the glory of God and the faith, and for the honor of the crown of Castilla! The king cannot settle a matter of such importance in the Yndias—and certainly I shall not err in expatiating upon it. There is need here of a man so moderate and disinterested, and so staunch a friend of the general weal—and in a word, so fearful Page 184of God and His judgment—as is fitting for the government of the Philipinas. But, as I say, by his discretion in matters concerning his Majesty, and his zeal for the service of God and the king, there is one who is qualified for it—that is, Don Luis Perez Das Mariñas; for it is necessary that the governor of this country be even more a preacher of the faith of Jesus Christ our Lord, and of His law, than are the preachers themselves. His life is an example of effort to conciliate to Christianity, or to keep at a distance the Chinese, Japanese, Sianese, Cambojans, and numberless other nations whom God has placed here. I have heard much good of Don Pedro Bravo de Acuña, formerly governor of Cartagena; and it seems to me that he, too, would be very fit for this country. Gomez Perez Dasmariñas brought with him a nephew named Don Fernando de Castro, of as good family as was his uncle, or even better. I have often conversed with him, and know much about him that is good. I know that he is a very moderate man, and has much fear of God; and he is well inclined to take advice when occasion arises. These islands and the king's exchequer would also gain much if this man were governor. He likewise has much experience on these lands and seas, as he has been several times commander on the voyage to Mexico, and went to China on the occasion of the death of his uncle, Gomez Perez.
I do not care to write concerning Don Francisco Tello, as when this arrives another will already have been appointed, and he will go to his home; may God guide him, and give him good fortune and penitence for his misdeeds. What I write concerning the great evil of having a ship go to China from these Page 185islands to trade—at any rate near where the Portuguese are, and even in all parts of China—is at present so true that, if this evil be not remedied, these islands must be ruined, and the Portuguese will be destroyed. The Catholic faith must lose much; and I hold it certain that there will be a war between us and the Portuguese, for they have sought to take up arms with less cause than this, or even have taken them up, against the Castilians there in Macan. In short, they will not allow themselves to be ruined, and that so evidently for merely the interest of the Castilians; but it is not for the interest of the Castilians, but that of the governor and auditors, and their retainers. The Portuguese know well, and so do we all, that this is not the will of the king nor of the Council.
I write also that it is necessary to correct the freedom, ignorance, and boldness of certain religious. I am still of the opinion which we all had at that time, that the brief which Father Alonso Sanchez secured from Gregory XIV, giving the bishop power to make visitations, in person or by any clergyman, of the religious and their mission villages, is certainly a most damaging one. Although no doubt some superiors of the religious orders deserve to have this put in execution at times, yet the religious orders are the walls of the church, and it is not well to treat them thus. But likewise it is necessary that the pope establish some order in the irregularity which your Grace will see described in my letter for the Council. Let the bishop keep his place, and the religious theirs; and let this divine work of preaching the gospel be continued, which is our greatest desire. If the captain of infantry tries to take up the duties of Page 186the master-of-camp, and the soldier those of the captain or of the general, it will go ill with the war. I am sending the Council the letter which I am writing to the pope—first, because I wish that the Council should see first what I have to say to the pope, that they should place it before the pope, and that everything may be done by his order. In this way everything will be regular, and, God willing, we shall achieve the desired result. In the second place I have not and do not desire any agent, because through the mercy of God, I solicit nothing for my private interests, but only for the service of God and that of my king. It seems to me sufficient to write what I think, to the Council, so that those lords may attend to it, since that is their affair; and they and their consciences will be excellent solicitors for the adjustment of the matters that I write about, and the zeal of your Grace will make up for my shortcomings and remedy matters here, for I promise you there are many.
Concerning myself I may say that I am well, thanks to God. Those who manage the royal exchequer have treated me according to my deserts. It is impossible for me to live unless this be remedied, for in this misery which has been decreed for me, they have through a whole year accorded me no more than one third, amounting to six hundred and some odd pesos of eight reals. The expense which I undergo is excessive, although I brought with me only one boy, and at most two persons. I have not even anyone to help me at mass, although in so new and unsettled a country. I am forced to go from one part to another; and, as there are no beasts of burden and everything has to be borne on men's shoulders, even if one Page 187is only bringing the articles necessary to say mass, it costs a great deal of money. I am in such a condition that I have not even a chasuble in which to say the ordinary mass. I have even worn shoes with holes, which showed the bare flesh, and perhaps there was nothing with which to buy others. I do not ask for more income; I only ask that the decree of his Majesty be obeyed in my behalf—that instruction shall be paid for in the same place with the tributes from that place. I would be satisfied if only that which was ordered to be given me were paid me in my bishopric, from the tributes and the treasury thereof, in the province of Ilocos; for that of Cagaian has nothing, and there are no established tributes there. For if the money goes to Manila, as the governor and auditors and royal officials are there, I too must go there; and it certainly is an indignity to the position of a bishop that they should thus treat him. What is done for a lay priest and a religious is not much to do for a bishop; and as the religious and the secular clergymen are paid where they labor and where the pay is needed, the bishop should also be paid where he labors and where he needs it. Beside this, as he is obliged to go there and return, he undergoes during the journey (which is on the king's account) danger from sea and from many enemies on land; and on the return, which is on my account, there are the same dangers and risks to be run, and I must pay money to bring it from a great distance, and through dangerous routes. All this would be obviated if only the said decree of his Majesty were observed in my case. But, as they say in Castilla, the gallows was made for the unfortunate.
There is some more money which the royal officials Page 188have not collected from me, which I owed, although they were informed of it by the bulls. They failed to collect from me other money—that which was lent me in España in the House of Trade at Sevilla, for my aid and outfit. I say that concerning this I am writing to the Council, asking them to remit me this debt, as it is certainly necessary. If those lords should consent to have this favor done me, well and good; if not, patience.
Although I have equal liking and respect for all the Council, as for Señor the licentiate Molina de Medrano, he best knows my heart and my soul, as he has had closer association with me. Although I am writing to his Grace, yet I do not know whether that letter will be so long; and accordingly I beg your Grace to communicate this to him. To Señora Doña Catalina, and to Señors Don Francisco and Don Christoval, and to Doña Magdalena, and to that other angelic child whose name I do not recall: may God keep them in life, and grant health to your Grace, as I, the affectionate chaplain of all your household, desire. Afulu, May 22, 1599.
Fray Miguel, Bishop of Nueba Segobia.
That letter I wrote to the Council, but it was blotted; and accordingly I send a copy of it, and send that to your Grace, so that you may show this if perchance the other one should be lost.
Missions of the Religious Orders
I, Geronimo de Alcaras, secretary of the chapter of this holy metropolitan church of Manila, and notary-public of the ecclesiastical jurisdiction, give witness and true testimony that, by the books wherein are recorded the decrees and other matters having to do with the government thereof, which are issued in this archbishopric, and which books are in my possession, it appears that on the twenty-first of August of the past year one thousand five hundred and eighty-seven, Don Fray Domingo de Salasar, who was the first bishop of these islands, gave permission and license to the religious of the Order of St. Dominic to found a church and convent in this said city of Manila. Likewise on the twenty-ninth of August of the year one thousand five hundred and ninety, the said bishop gave the said permission to the religious of the Order of St. Augustine to establish missions in the tingues of Pas, the encomienda of Tome de la Ysla.1 On the same day he also gave permission for the villages of Araya and Pinpin, of the jurisdiction of Candava. Likewise on the third day of the month of February of the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-five, Fray Christoval de Salvatierra, then director Page 190of this archbishopric, gave the said permission to the religious of the Order of St. Francis to establish a mission in the tingues of Cavite, on the encomienda of Diego Jorge. On the twenty-fifth of September of the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-six the dean and chapter of this said holy church, sede vacante, gave the said permission to the religious of the Society of Jesus, for the whole of the island of Mindanao. On the twelfth of February of the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-eight, the said dean and chapter gave the said permission to the said religious of the Society of Jesus for the mission village [doctrina] of Taytay. On the eighth of May of this present year of ninety-nine, the said dean and chapter gave the said permission to the said religious of the Society of Jesus for the village of Silan in the tingues of Cavite, because the religious of St. Francis had resigned that mission. Although I have examined with particular care the said books, I find in none of them that there has been given thus far permission for more houses than those above mentioned, all of which appears and is evident by the said books to which I refer. That this may be evident, at the command of the said dean and chapter I give this present, dated at Manila, on the twenty-eighth day of the month of June of the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-nine.
Geronimo de Alcaraz
The notaries who have below signed their names certify and bear witness, to whomsoever may see the present paper, that Jeronimo de Alcaras, by whom this report is signed in this other part, is secretary of the chapter, acting as vicar-general, and is master of Page 191school and licentiate, and as such entire faith and credit, in and out of court, is given to the reports and other papers which have passed and shall pass before him. That this may be apparent, we have given this present in Manila, on the twenty-eighth of June of the year ninety-nine.
Francisco de Olavide, notary to his Majesty.
Francisco de Valencia, notary public.
Joan Paz Dessotomayor, notary royal.
[Endorsed: “Testimony regarding the occasions upon which the ordinary of the Filipinas Islands has given his permission to the mendicant religious to found churches and instruct the natives of those islands.”] Page 192
1 See list of encomiendas existing in 1591 (Vol. VIII); this encomienda is there named Passi.
Military Affairs in the Islands
That the Phelippinas Islands are far distant from España and Peru, and in the midst of many enemies; and that they should be annually supplied with men and arms.1
I. Since these your Majesty's islands are very remote and distant from Nueva España and Peru, and much farther from Castilla, and surrounded by many large kingdoms inhabited by heathen, who are enemies of our holy Catholic faith—as, for instance, China, Cochinchina, Camboxa, Sian, Xapon, Maluco, and many others—to whom the Spanish name and valor are odious and hateful, and who watch for any opportunity to compass our injury and destruction, it is important to notice and guard against any danger or suspicion which may threaten us. For, by the entry to Manila which the Chinese and Japanese enjoy for the purposes of trade, and their understandings with the natives, it may be justly suspected that, allied with the natives of the land, with whom they are very friendly, they may attempt some great enterprise. The best defense against that lies in a large force of Spanish troops. Although your Majesty takes Page 193such particular care to send assistance every year, this camp not only does not continue to increase, but even is not maintained: first, because the number of men who come is not in proportion to those who die during the year, since the land is [in]salubrious2 and unhealthy, without reckoning the men wasted in the ... on punitive expeditions, pacifications, and ne[w dis]coveries w[hich o]ffer [themselves]; and further there is a lack of ... since, almost at the same time, occurred the expedition and pacification of Mindanao, the punishment and pacification of the presidio of Cagaian, the reverse for the troops in Çebu, the punishment of and raids among the Çambales, the presidio of La Caldera, and the expedition to Camboxa. Also the voyage from Nueva España wastes many men; because leave must necessarily be given to those who are married in España or to Peruvians—who are men very harmful to the commonwealth—besides others who did not come with the intention of living in it, or the desire of becoming citizens, but only to return with their property. In giving them leave, we take into consideration that there is ... of those who leave here rich ... few set their minds upon ... many to come ... voluntarily without any expense to your royal treasury, so that we are always in need of men. Those who remain here are exceedingly poor, so I beg your Majesty to order the viceroy of Nueva España to attend to this matter with the greatest punctuality. This year only seventy men came here; they were not serviceable men and among Page 194them all there were only three arquebuses. One thousand arquebuses, five hundred muskets with powder-horns and small flasks, and five hundred coats-of-mail and as many morions, should be sent to me from España, at prime cost, to be distributed among the unarmed men; and those left over would be stored in your Majesty's armory for future necessity, for at present the soldiers are unprovided with arms.
[In the margin: “Have a letter written to the viceroy of Nueva España, and this relation sent him ... much that he provide with care these ... useful, and endeavor to send settlers ...; and that for this object he perform and execute what is order[ed] in regard to the matter, with exactness and rigor, and aid in every way. Send directions to Don Pedro de Acuña to communicate with the viceroy in regard to the despatch there of all that pertains to the service of this matter; and that they prepare what will be advisable, in order to settle that country, taking care that the needful moderation be exercised in incurring expenses for his Majesty's exchequer.”]
Two workmen are asked for to cast artillery, of which there is considerable need.
II. A couple of artillery founders are very much needed here, because of the artillery cast in the islands—sometimes by Indians, and sometimes by Chinese—besides the great cost and delay, not even one piece out of four turns out good, although there is plenty of material, which I have caused to be collected with the greatest care. I beg your Majesty to send me these masters because there is a great scarcity Page 195of artillery for the defense and protection of this country.
[In the margin: “Endeavor to have these two founders sent; have them sought carefully, and ask the captain-general for them.”]
That a master-builder is needed to repair defects in the wall and the fortifications.
III. I beg your Majesty to have a master-builder sent me, because the work on the wall of this city did not have the necessary finish and foundation. In some places it has fallen. The fortifications were not built with the plan and in the form necessary for their purpose.
[In the margin: “Have some suitable person found to send.”]
That no more assistance is asked from Nueva España than is necessary; that the succor which has been ordered for this colony has been ill attended to; that there are fears of the Japonese who came this year, 1599, to plunder these islands; and that a relation of the state of Xapon is being sent.
IIII. In a royal decree, your Majesty orders me not to ask from here too much assistance of Nueva España, which shall be fulfilled according to your Majesty's orders. I assure your Majesty that nothing more than what is actually necessary is, or shall be, asked for from here. Mexico is not in close accord with us, because, although your Majesty has ordered that the customs and freights derived from the Chinese trade be sent from that country for the payment and assistance of this colony, it has not yet been done or observed. Now besides the men to Page 196whom I am pledged in La Caldera for the second ... the island of Mindanao and a check to ... the enemy in Terrenate from coming to ... the Pintados, your Majesty's vassals ... year Japonese have commenced to come ... almost within sight of Manila. Formerly not more than two or three ships were in the habit of coming, but this year seven piratical vessels appeared, who have done considerable damage; and nine merchant-vessels, who have entered Manila within four months. But, as it happened that the pirates came after them, as we suspected that they were not all of the same understanding and alliance, several investigations were made in regard to them, and their commanders arrested, although nothing of importance was found. I sent General Don Joan Ronquillo and Captain Joan de Alcega to attack the enemy with a galley and a galliot; and although they came within sight of them, they did not effect the desired purpose, because their vessels were not suitable, and heavy storms were threatening. I sent Captain Gaspar Perez to ... with some vireys and small ships; he had better luck, for, having met with two of the Xaponese ships, he overcame the one which awaited him, and killed the whole crew. He brought one Xaponese of this city here alive, who was executed in the sight of the Xaponese and Chinese. I also sent Captain Christoval de Azqueta with what ships were suitable. The enemy did not wait, but fled. I am quite certain that they will return the coming year with a large number of ships, and a large force of men, on account of the booty which they found aboard a Chinese trading-vessel that they seized on the high sea, and some robberies committed on the native Indians. Page 197
With the death of Taico Samar, the lord of all Xapon, the state of some affairs may be changed, but not the government—for this, they say, is well conducted. Although I have not declared him who governs an enemy, there is little to hope for in this affair of Xapon, because about one hundred thousand men, Xaponese soldiers, who were employed in the war with Corea, have returned to their own country, who are now idle and poor. Some of them may try to invade this land, which is so coveted by them on account of their thirst for gold. I have sent letters to Xapon on the two trading-vessels, advising the Xaponese of the arrival of the pirates, and requesting their punishment, and the prevention of any ships from leaving Xapon without permission. I also asked them not to send more than three Xaponese trading-vessels, for they are quite enough to supply this community with flour. A relation of the condition of Xapon accompanies this.
[In the margin: “Have the new governor directed to display great care in meeting expenses which are to be disbursed from his Majesty's treasury; to prevent any trouble which might arise from the presence and residence of foreigners there, even under the pretense of trading; that a welcome be extended to friends, and harmony with them maintained; and that ports and frontiers have their necessary defenses.”]
That on account of suspicions that the Chinese are bringing over corsair pilots and seamen, the conduct of the governor of the Sangleys in Manila was investigated.
V. On account of suspicions which arose a long Page 198time ago regarding the Chinese, and because the Japanese pirates brought Chinese pilots and seamen, I made some investigations ... Alonso Sauyo, governor of the Sangleys, but nothing of importance was discovered. . . .
[In the margin: “No reply to this.”]
That, as the galleys are not suitable for these seas, because of the tides, galizabras3 are being built.
VI. After having considered and discussed in special meeting the fact that galleys are not suitable for these seas—as may be seen by the fact that they are not ships that can stand the heavy tides, or enter the bays in pursuit of the enemy—and because of the difficulties which the religious put in the way of enlisting rowers, and the lack of skill among the latter—it was resolved to build four galizabras, well supplied with artillery and manned with crews. Three galliots in addition seems to be a large enough force to sweep this sea and make it safe, so that the Chinese merchants can go and come from their country with greater safety. These are being built in all haste.
[In the margin: “Have this entrusted to the new governor, so that he may take the necessary precautions, and advise as to what should be done and the cost of the undertaking.”]
That Gomez Perez had not manned more than three galleys.
VII. Although your Majesty has been informed that Gomez Perez had manned more than eight galleys here, the report made to your Majesty was false; Page 199for all that he did was to arm three or four galleys for that expedition to Maluco, and the crew were a few blacks who were brought at that time to him from the punishment and raids among the Çambales, and the rest were Indian seamen taken by force, at the cost of the encomenderos who accompanied him on the said expedition. The principal galliot he manned with a crew of Chinese, who killed him.
[In the margin: “No reply to this.”]
That the island of Mindanao is pacified, and a garrison maintained in La Caldera, and that report of the condition of the island is sent.
IX.4 In regard to the pacification of Mindanao, the undertaking has hitherto been carried on at the cost of the estate of Estevan Rodriguez de Figueroa; but now a judgment has just been handed down by this royal Audiencia against your Majesty, providing that it shall be carried on at the cost of your royal treasury, since that expedition was organized with prearrangement by your Majesty and complete justification. The present condition of affairs there is that Don Joan Ronquillo left the island, and it is now, in a state of pacification, for the natives acknowledged your Majesty's rule. But, because of the disposition of some of the chiefs, there is no security, nor have they come to pay their tribute. It is not in the necessary state of quiet and perfection, because, in order to attain that, it is necessary to maintain a garrison there of two hundred soldiers, whom I have not at the present time. The land produces but little, nor is there any great quantity of gold, although considerable wax and tortoise-shell is found. In some parts Page 200the people are poor, and I understand will not be able to pay tribute. In order to insure security for the Pintados, it is quite important that that island be safe and secure, so that the natives of Terrenate may have no way station there to rob the Pintados—who are your Majesty's vassals—as was done in the year 95, when one thousand five hundred Indians were captured. Considering that I lack men and force sufficient for the said purpose, I have posted in La Caldera, which is near Mindanao, one hundred Spaniards, under command of Captain Toribio de Miranda, a good leader, by whom that quiet and blessing can be effected, and Terrenate kept in check until, finding myself better supplied with men here, it could be completely quieted. A report of the condition of Mindanao will accompany this.
[In the margin: “Have the new governor directed to exercise great care to maintain the pacified regions, and to have the gospel preached, and in the ... in regard to the tributes to make necessary regulations, after consultation with the prelates, and according to his orders; and that he try to keep those who acknowledge his Majesty's dominion secure from receiving any injury from their enemies, and forward information of everything that is done.”]
That the province of Cagaian rebelled, but is now in greater peace and security than at any time heretofore.
X. In the province of Cagaian, which is one of the best and most fertile districts of the country, a rising among the Indians took place last year (1598) caused by the bad treatment of the encomenderos and collectors, and from the warlike nature of the natives Page 201of that province. The place being of so great importance, I sent the master-of-camp, Pedro de Chaves, with one hundred men to restore peace and punish them. He subdued and pacified them. Immediately after this, I sent Captain Diego de Chaves as alcalde-mayor to punish the Indians who were the instigators of the said rising, and he executed twelve of the headmen. Today the province is quiet, peaceful, and tractable by land and sea, so that a single soldier may go through it alone; while formerly it was necessary for ten or a dozen to go in company, and even then there was little security.
[In the margin: “Have ... master-of-camp notified to go upon the first occasion to fill his office.”]
That a relation of the expedition to Camboxa, and the state of that kingdom, was sent last year (1598), and it is now sent again.
XI. In a letter dated November 15 of last year (1598), which I sent your Majesty by way of Malaca, I gave your Majesty a detailed account of the condition of the kingdom of Camboxa with these islands, and the expedition which Captain Joan Joares Gallinato made to the country, by order of Don Luis Perez Dasmariñas. I also told you that the same Don Luis went to finish it in person at his own cost, with my concurrence and agreement, and at the advice of the royal Audiencia. The relation of the condition of that kingdom I sent to your Majesty with a copy of the agreements. Don Luis having left prematurely, and the winds being quite contrary, he made a harbor, and is now on the coast of China in the harbor of Pinal, near Canton—crippled, and without ships, arms, or munitions to continue his expedition. Page 202The admiral's ship of his fleet was lost on some shoals on the coast of Chincheo, and a fine crew of forty-five Spaniards were drowned. A galliot, which he also had with him, arrived at Cagaian, where the crew received all good provision. Repairs were made and the men supplied with what they needed. The vessel set out on its voyage to Camboxa, before hearing of the loss of Don Luis, and nothing else is known of it. Don Luis is continually sending from there for assistance in ships, men, arms, and munitions, of which there is a great scarcity. Although he has endured so many hardships, and hunger, and nakedness, when I consider on my side the straits in which I find myself, and the little assistance that I have had from Nueva España this year for the great dangers which confront us, and the number of affairs which it is necessary to attend to and provide, not only do I not think of sending him any help, but with the consent of the royal Audiencia, I advised him to return here so that I could avail myself of the men that he had there, for occasions which are expected in the future. He was not strictly ordered, considering the expense to his own estate, and the hardships which he has endured upon this expedition. When he arrives at Camboxa he will see whether the king there is in great need of his person and troops to defend him. After considering the state of affairs there, Don Luis will do whatever is most necessary for the service of God and your Majesty.5
That, considering that there are poor citizens who have served well, they should be given some support from the royal treasury, setting aside for it, a fund of two thousand pesos, besides one thousand pesos from saleable offices.
XII. Considering the distress of the troops here, and how little there is here for their support—and I assure your Majesty that this is an expensive land, although in the midst of plenty—and as it was seen that there are not enough encomiendas or offices for everyone, and that some of your deserving citizens, not being rewarded, do not fill them, it was the custom to give them false musters [plazas muertas], so that these people secured a living. Your Majesty has ordered this to be stopped, and this has been done. Also further, in regard to your Majesty's order to divide one thousand pesos of additional pay among the soldiers, there is no one who will accept anything, on account of its being so small a sum, as ten pesos a year, and I do not dare to exceed your Majesty's orders. I should be of the opinion that these thousand pesos and as many more, amounting in all to two thousand a year, should be distributed as a deferred allowance to old and deserving men, who can serve no longer. One thousand pesos is good, and may serve until another greater reward is given them. This may be under the title of pay, up to one hundred pesos, or whatever your Majesty may order. May God preserve your Majesty's Catholic person, as is needful to these kingdoms, and as we your vassals desire. Manila, July 12, 1599.
Don Francisco Tello
Relation of Mindanao
After Gomez Perez Dasmariñas saw that the sect of Mahoma was effecting an entrance into the island of Mindanao by way of Maluco, and that through the proximity and association of the said island with the province of the Pintados, this sect was sure to insinuate itself into the said province and others of the Philipinas Islands, he tried to remedy matters by giving the pacification of the island to Captain Estevan Rodriguez de Figueroa, of which your Majesty has been informed. He approved the said agreements, declaring what should be given to Estevan Rodriguez de Figueroa as a reward for this pacification. The said Captain Estevan Rodriguez de Figueroa left these islands in the month of April, in the year five hundred and ninety-five, with thirty-six ships, large and small, well supplied with artillery, and with two hundred and twelve Spanish soldiers, and one thousand five hundred Indians. On the twentieth of the said month, he arrived at the river of Mindanao, where are the largest settlements on the island, and where the king of the island resides. On the twenty-fifth he went ashore, leaving the master-of-camp aboard the vessels with a guard for the security of the fleet. Marching in the direction of one of the enemy's forts, they came upon an ambuscade in their path. Coming to a hand-to-hand conflict, Captain Estevan Rodriguez de Figueroa was wounded in the head by a knife-thrust, and died in two days without regaining consciousness. At this turn of affairs the soldiers, who had disembarked, retired to their ships Page 205without avenging his death. The captains and soldiers held a council and appointed as their captain-general, Joan de Lajara, master-of-camp of the said fleet, who disembarked with his men, and built another fort four leagues below the enemy's fort, where they remained several days without accomplishing anything. Finally, in the month of October, the said Joan de Laxara came to this city, saying that he had left the camp to come to ask for help for the men whom he had left there, for they were in great distress. Don Francisco Tello, governor and captain-general of these islands, thought that the said Joan de Laxara had done wrong in deserting his camp, when he was able to ask for help by means of letters, or by means of some other person. He imprisoned him for several days, and tried to find some one to take charge of it. Finding that the children of Estevan Rodriguez de Figueroa were infants, the eldest being four years old, and that the guardians could not take care of affairs of such importance and trust with the punctuality and readiness necessary, and aware of the danger encountered by the men who remained in Mindanao, he called a council of war of the most practiced and experienced captains in the land, to consider their resources. They were of the opinion that the said pacification thus commenced should not be abandoned, that those Indians who were acting so shamelessly should be punished, and that the said pacification be prosecuted at the cost of the estate of the said Estevan Rodriguez, which was pledged for it. With the requisite promptness, the said governor appointed Don Joan Ronquillo, general of the galleys, to finish the said pacification, giving him a sufficient force of men and war-material for the purpose. Page 206While he was preparing to make this expedition, Captain Toribio de Miranda was despatched before him, with news of the coming of Don Joan Ronquillo with assistance and a sufficient force to bring the undertaking to an end; and to encourage them by showing them how little hardship they still had to undergo, and that they should by no means stir from their position. Although this message was despatched with the greatest celerity, when he arrived at the port of La Caldera in the said island, which is forty leagues from the river of Mindanao, he met there the whole camp and fleet of Mindanao, which was coming to this city, after having burnt their fort. The said Captain Toribio de Miranda, with the orders which he bore, detained them and made them return to the river of Mindanao, where Don Joan Ronquillo arrived with his fleet and army after a few days; upon disembarking, he began to bring about some good results. At this time a fleet arrived from the neighboring Terrenate to help the Mindanaos, who had sent there for assistance. These were eight hundred men under the leadership of an uncle of the king of Terrenate, who entered the river of Mindanao where the Spanish camp was pitched. At a distance of two leagues from it he disembarked and built a fort and cavalier, without being disturbed. When this was discovered by the Spaniards, he was attacked by them by land and water at once, on November 15. They besieged the enemy's fort and fleet, and not only the whole fort but the fleet was won, with some artillery and the loss of many men on the enemy's side, without the loss of any Spaniards. In this encounter the general of the fleet from Terrenate was killed. This victory was a very important one, Page 207and with it the whole island of Mindanao lost courage and were awed. The island was surrendered peacefully, and is peaceful today. They acknowledged obedience to our sovereign, the king, whereupon the robberies and injuries which the Terrenatans were accustomed to commit in the provinces of the Pintados, who are your Majesty's vassals, have ceased.
Before these happy results, Don Juan Ronquillo wrote a letter to Don Francisco Tello, governor of the Philipinas, in which he told how far this conquest of Mindanao extended, and the distress of the camp for lack of supplies, unless he were continually assisted from these islands. For that island is quite lacking in them, and altogether of little profit or substance to his Majesty, as it is a poor and wretched land, lacking in everything; and, even when it is pacified, the natives there would not be able to pay tribute, on account of its great sterility. It would likewise be impossible to come to close quarters with the Indians, because they never stand their ground, and are able to inflict injury with safety to themselves, shooting arrows from the heights at the Spanish camp without any possibility of being attacked in return, because they flee immediately to the mountains. When the said governor, Don Francisco Tello, heard this, he called a council of war of the most practiced and experienced captains in the land; and, having read the letter of the said Don Joan Ronquillo, all were unanimous that, if the island of Mindanao was so fruitless and profitless, and the pacification would have to spread so far over it, the said Don Joan Ronquillo should be ordered to have a last fight with the natives of the island, and do them all the harm possible, without Page 208endangering the camp; and that, this done, he should strike camp, and go with all his men to the island of La Caldera. When he arrived there he was to build a fort, well supplied with artillery and provisions. He was to leave in it a garrison of one hundred men, in charge of a good leader, as a check for Terrenate and Mindanao. With the rest of his force he was to return to these islands, where, at this time, the province of Cagayan was in rebellion, whose people are the most warlike of the island. They had grave suspicions of Japon, and need of troops.
This order was sent immediately to Don Joan Ronquillo. When he received it, he had had the good fortune above referred to. He ought to have followed up such good luck and fortune, but failed to do so, executing his orders immediately, without at all finishing the task of calming the minds of several chiefs of the island, although he left it pacified, and they had rendered obedience to and recognized his Majesty.
Don Joan Ronquillo was also ordered to stop on his way back, at the island of Jolo, which is twenty leagues from the harbor of La Caldera. The king of Jolo rendered obedience to his Majesty many years ago, and, although Jolo is an encomienda, he has paid no more of the tribute than he pleased, having had but little intercourse with Spaniards, and the island not having been thoroughly quieted. Don Joan was to advise the king, and give him to understand the state of affairs in the island of Mindanao; and order him, as it was pacified, not to disturb it, warning him that he would be rigorously punished; that since he had done homage so long ago, he should continue it; that the Spaniards were settled on the Page 209island of La Caldera, whence they could quickly come if any quarrels should arise; and that they would maintain them in justice and defend them from their enemies. With this order the said Don Joan Ronquillo, leaving the said island of Mindanao in the condition above referred to and striking his camp, arrived, with all his armament, at the island of La Caldera, where he built the fort according to orders. Having mounted some artillery, and left a garrison of one hundred soldiers, with Captain Christoval de Villagra at the head of his men, well provided with supplies and munitions, he went to Jolo, where he gave the king of that island to understand what he was ordered. The king immediately rendered obedience again to his Majesty. This done, the said Don Joan Ronquillo, with the rest of his force, came to these islands, where investigations into his conduct were made by the said governor, because he had not entirely tamed the spirit of those chiefs, notwithstanding the orders which were sent him to strike camp, since afterward he had had such good fortune and an opportunity for it, had he remained—one fortnight more being all that was required—and as nothing had been risked, he could have done it.
Captain Christoval de Villagra, confident in the submission which the king of Jolo had made to his Majesty, sent thirty soldiers to the said island to look for supplies. When they arrived there they found there an uncle of the king of Mindanao, a brother-in-law of the king of Jolo, whom, because he was restless and rebellious, they banished from the said island. He treacherously killed thirteen soldiers; notice of this being brought to the governor, the latter immediately sent as governor of the said fort of La Caldera, Captain Page 210Joan Pacho, a person practiced and experienced in that land, to inflict punishment upon Jolo. As soon as he had arrived at La Caldera, he began operations, and left there for the said punitive expedition with sixty Spaniards, with whom he engaged the enemy. Finding the latter in a high place difficult to ascend; and at the time of the attack being overtaken by a rainstorm, and deceived by some Indian spies into the bargain, whom he sent to reconnoiter the enemy—from this combination of circumstances it happened that the said Captain Joan Pacho and nineteen soldiers were killed. The rest retired without securing any advantage or avenging themselves. News of this being brought to the governor, he sent Captain Toribio de Miranda, a good soldier, to take charge of that place, with orders not to make any entry, or inflict any punishment until he was ordered to the contrary. The latter is not permitted to be done until there is a better supply of men and money in the islands, because without these there will be a greater risk, for the king of Jolo is assisted by his brother-in-law. When there shall be a better supply of men and money, Miranda will be sent expressly to punish all the people of this island, and ravage it, because it is dangerous and of no profit.
The island of Mindanao is almost three hundred leagues in circumference. It is a land of slight elevation; although of good climate; it is sparsely settled, and its inhabitants very warlike and inclined to arms. Their only aim is to rob and kill. There is a scarcity of supplies in some parts, though cinnamon is found in some districts, and a large quantity of wax everywhere. Tortoise shells are also found. They weave cloth from medriñaque and some from cotton. All Page 211the inhabitants on the coast and the river profess the doctrine of Maoma, and those of the uplands are heathens. Although it cannot be maintained without assistance, still it is necessary to maintain it, in order to avert the injuries which on the other hand would be received by the islands of the Pintados. It would usually be necessary to bring an army for their defense, if the Spaniards should abandon the island of Mindanao, and the chiefs rebel.
[Endorsed: “Relation of the condition of the island of Mindanao, cited in section ix of the letter of July 12, 1599, concerning the war.”]
The State of the Kingdom of Camboxa in Relation to these Phelippinas Islands
The past year, one thousand five hundred and ninety-six, Don Luis de las Marinas, governor of these islands, sent Captain Joan Xuarez Gallinato with an armed fleet to the assistance of the king of Canboja, who had asked him to defend him from the king of Sian, who had threatened him; and the former offered to introduce Christianity into his kingdom and make friends with the Spaniards. When aid arrived at Canboxa, it appeared that the king had retired with his children to the kingdom of Laos, for fear of the king of Sian, who had occupied his kingdom; and that Anacaparan, military commander of Camboxa, had assembled the greater part of the people of Camboxa, who had remained. Having met the Sianese and recovered the kingdom, he was powerful enough to claim it and become tyrant. Some of the Spaniards who arrived at Canboja Page 212beforehand without their commander, on account of a storm which separated them on the way, although they were received with simulated friendship by Anacaparan, heard later that he was plotting to kill them. Provoked by this and other injuries which a number of Chinese, who had gone to the cities of Hordemuz and Sistor (the chief cities of that kingdom) in five trading-vessels, had inflicted upon them, and for which the tyrant refused to give them any satisfaction and justice, the Spaniards, who numbered about forty soldiers, attacked the Chinese and Anacaparan and his men, a numerous force, in his palace. They made so great havoc among them, that they killed the tyrant king and many of his men, completely crushing them. They took the Chinese ships, and without harm or injury retired to their own ships, defending themselves from a much greater number of warlike enemies and elephants who charged them. At this juncture the rest of the Spaniards arrived at Camboxa with their commander. Considering what had just taken place, and that the land was in rebellion and the legitimate king in the country of the Laos, he thought that it would be impossible to set foot there on account of the unfavorable condition of affairs. He started to return to these islands; but, as the weather was not suitable for the voyage, he coasted along Cochinchina, where he repaired his ships, and sent overland, to the kingdom of the Laos, Bias Ruiz and Diego Bellosso, well-known to the king of Canboxa, to acquaint him with what had taken place in his kingdom, so that he should descend upon it. Thereupon he left Cochinchina, where he had had some unpleasant encounters with the king and natives, in which, however, he Page 213sustained no loss. He reached these islands in September of ninety-six, with the flagship and part of his men. The other ship was crippled by a storm and made port at Malaca, and the rest of the men came in the following year from Malaca. When Blas Ruiz and Diego Bellosso reached the kingdom of the Laos, they found that the king of Canboxa and his elder son were dead, and that the younger, called Prauncar, alone remained, together with his mother and grandmother. This son, in company with Blas Ruiz and Diego Bellosso, descended upon Canboxa, with an auxiliary force of six thousand Laos. They found the country divided by factions, and that a son of the tyrant whom the Spaniards had killed had returned to reign over the greater part of it. There were many battles with these enemies of theirs, all of which—by the help of Blas Ruiz and Diego Bellosso, and about ten Spaniards, from those who had made port at Malaca, who joined them—were gained by Prauncar. These few Spaniards did marvels in the sight of all these heathens, so that Prauncar, the legitimate king, has recovered his whole kingdom, except one small province which still remained for him to subject. On account of this, and of the friendship which his father had had with the Spaniards, and the assistance which he had just received from them, he wrote to me by an ambassador of his, who came to this city, of the outcome of all these matters, asking me to send religious and Spaniards to settle his kingdom, make Christians, and build churches, offering every facility for it. At this time Don Luis Dasmariñas, having some knowledge of affairs in Camboxa, urged me to give him permission to go with some men at his own cost to begin the conversion of Page 214that kingdom, and its settlement by Spaniards. This expedition being proper, in my opinion and that of the Audiencia, because of its many consequences for the service of God and his Majesty—whence the so desired entry to the mainland could be begun, in order that the many heathens there may come to the knowledge of the holy Catholic faith, and submission to his Majesty—I made an agreement, regarding the expedition, with the said Don Luis, with the conditions and in the form which is contained in the copy which accompanies this, together with the letters which I am writing to King Prauncar. Therefore Don Luis Dasmariñas collected an armed fleet, well provided with men, arms, and supplies and other necessaries, and also some religious. He sailed with them from the harbor of this city, in the middle of September of this year. The ambassador, well-satisfied with so strong an expedition, left after him. I hope, our Lord willing, that he has already arrived at Camboxa, because the voyage is a short one, and that he is about to begin what we so much desire. I made a list of the men in these islands, particularly of the supernumeraries who had come from Nueva España. I found many, who on account of being lazy, and the land being too poor to support them, seemed to me suitable for this expedition, especially as this occupation of theirs from which so much good is expected, was to be made without any cost to his Majesty. I shall continue my account.
After Don Luis Perez Dasmariñas sailed from this city from the port of Cavite, with two moderate-sized ships and one fusta, with the said force, well provided with supplies, arms, and munitions, taking with him as admiral, Pedro de Beistigui, he went by Page 215way of Bolinao,6 to catch the tide from there, in order to cross with it to the mainland, above the shoals of Aynao [i.e., Hainan], near Camboxa. A few days later, news came to the governor from the alcalde-mayor of Nueva Segovia in Cagayan, that the fusta of Don Luis's fleet, in charge of Captain Luis Ortiz, had made port there, badly crippled by a heavy storm, which had separated them from the fleet, shortly after the departure from Manila. They followed the coast until they came to the bar of the said city of Segovia. It was preparing to sail again in search of the said fleet; this they did, after such repairs as were possible within ten days. After that, other news was received from the alcalde-mayor that the admiral's ship of the fleet was also lost in the same storm on one of the Babuyanes Islands, where the men, artillery, and clothing were saved; that the ship was lost; and that vessels were sent in which the admiral, his crew, and their clothing should be brought to the said city, which was effected. They brought the news that the storm had been very heavy and had lasted five days; and that the flagship, being a more seaworthy vessel, had put to sea and had been seen no more. An order was sent immediately to the alcalde-mayor of Cagayan to provide supplies from another ship, and other necessities for the admiral, so that he could pursue his voyage. It was done as soon as possible, with new instructions and orders from the governor to follow the course which Don Luis gave him in his instructions at the time of his Page 216departure; and that if he should arrive at Camboxa before his general, he was to execute the orders in his instructions for the undertaking, whereupon he left. Some months before Don Luis Perez Dasmariñas sailed from the Ffilipinas, Captain Don Joan Çamudio had sailed in a small but well-fitted vessel for China, to purchase iron, saltpeter, lead, tin, and other very necessary articles for the provision of the camp at Manila; because, for three or four years, the Chinese have not brought anything of this kind in their vessels. He encountered considerable resistance to his entry into China on the part of the Portuguese from Macao—who, hearing the news of his arrival, set out to find him, and tried many times to sink or burn his ship, and to show him other evil treatment. It was their intention to prevent the Spanish from coming to China or knowing anything about it or its trade; and this they tried to do with the greatest obstinacy and enmity. But affairs were managed so well with the viceroy of Canton, called the tuton, and especially with the laytao, or chief judge of that province, that not only were the Portuguese prevented from uttering their previous calumnies against the Spaniards—namely, that they were robbers and highwaymen, coming to make war on China, and other things of that sort—but the Chinese even assigned and gave to the Spaniards a port eight leagues from Canton, called Pinal; so that, from that time on, the Castilians of Manila and the Philipinas Islands, if they wished, could come there freely and securely to trade, and for any other purpose that should arise. They were allowed ingress into the city of Canton, and a house was given them there, in which to assemble by night or day. This very Page 217much astonished the Portuguese, because it was a thing that the Chinese had never done for them. Don Joan Çamudio and his men lay in this harbor of Pinar with their ship, busy supplying their needs, when they were informed that Don Luis de las Marinas, with the flagship of his fleet, had run before the storm spoken of above, had made the coast of China, and had landed near Macao; that the ship was so weakened that it sprang a leak there, and foundered, the crew, artillery, and munitions being saved, with a small part of the clothing that they carried. They also learned that the Chinese mandarins there gave the Spaniards a kind reception, from whom the latter procured a few vessels with which to get to Pinal, where they were informed that Don Joan and his men were; and that the Portuguese of Macao not only refused to help them in this matter, but also contrived to subject them to considerable inconvenience and ill-treatment, in order to complete their destruction. After this, Don Luis himself arrived at Pinal with his men and the remains of the shipwreck, by the vessels given them by the Chinese, avoiding the Portuguese of Macao who were the enemies of the Castilians. Don Luis, upon finding himself and his men in the harbor of Pinal, in company with Don Joan de Çamudio and his men, made known the particulars of his past loss, but did not lose his courage for continuing his Camboxa expedition, thinking that the other two ships of his fleet had gone on. Therefore he immediately sent to Canton to ask permission of the laytao to buy a ship in which to continue his journey. The Portuguese again opposed them, showing greater assiduity and uttering greater fabrications than they had done before with Don Joan Page 218de Çamudio—saying that they were corsairs, and that they had followed Don Joan to join him and make raids on China. But it profited them little, because the laytao of Canton ordered Don Luis and his men to enter the harbor of Pinal, where the other Castilians were, where they would be given whatever they needed. Don Luis de las Marinas was very much pleased and comforted at this, and continued in his determination, especially in securing a ship which he needed. He could not buy, nor anyone sell him one without the permission of the laytao, on account of strict laws against it. There was an abundance of cloth in this country, with which they immediately provided themselves, besides supplies and munitions. Don Joan de Çamudio accommodated him with some artillery, and other things that he had, of which Don Luis had need, so that now the only thing lacking was a ship. They brought every influence to bear on the laytao, but the Portuguese in Canton continually opposed them by every means.
At this time, the end of December, ninety-eight, Don Joan de Çamudio, having made haste from China, set sail from Pinal, leaving Don Luis de las Marinas and his men settled there, waiting for permission to leave China with their ship, regarding which they still had no definite assurance. In a few days Don Joan reached the coast of Luzon in safety, and entered the harbor of Cavite. He brought letters from Don Luis Perez Dasmariñas. From them and what Don Joan said, they were informed of what had happened to Don Luis and his flagship, and that he was waiting in Pinal, until he should secure a ship, so that he could continue the undertaking which he had begun. He requested assistance of arms, munitions, Page 219and other things which were lacking at Canvoja, to be sent him. The governor was much pleased with this news, which was better than he had hoped, because it was feared lest the fleet of Don Luis with all his men had been wrecked and drowned in the great storm they had encountered, because nothing had been heard of the flagship for so long a time. He immediately sent the things that Don Luis requested on a vessel, which was about to sail to the kingdom of Sian, in charge of Captain Joan de Mendoza y Ganvoa. A little later, in the month of May, some trading-ships came from China to this city of Manila, from one of which they received letters from Don Luis de las Marinas and his men, advising them that he had finished his preparations for his voyage and expedition; and that, after the departure of Don Joan de Çamudio from Pinar, he had again suffered greater vexations and persecutions from the Portuguese of Macao, but that the mandarins had silenced the latter, and had even inflicted the lash, regarding the matter as one which concerned the Chinese. He said that he would sail some time in March for Camboxa. He also mentioned other things they saw in China at that time.
In the middle of the month of June last, four soldiers, sent by Don Luis Perez Dasmariñas to Don Francisco Tello, governor of the Philipinas, came here in a small vessel, bearing advices that Don Luis was still at Pinal in some distress. He had bought a Chinese ship at Canton which seemed in good condition, in order to continue his voyage to Camboxa. Having embarked, he was already two days on his way after leaving port, when the ship began to leak in the stern, so that at considerable danger he was Page 220obliged to make port again, where he was scarcely able with great risk to arrive, The ship being of no use, he asked the governor to send him assistance in men, arms, and munitions, and also a ship from the islands, in order to prosecute his voyage. The governor, being suspicious of Japon, and having few men and arms, wrote to Don Luis, with the approbation of the royal Audiencia, that he was himself in great need of the things requested from him, and at present more than ever. Therefore he requested and counseled Don Luis, that since he found himself so exhausted, and with a so inadequate supply of all things to continue his expedition, and with no prospect of help now or afterward from the Philipinas, he would advise him to return to Manila and abandon the enterprise, since the voyage had turned out so unfortunately; and that besides that, there was great need of his men in the islands. Don Luis was not ordered strictly to do this, as he had spent so much money on this expedition. This message is being sent him by Captain Joan Tello, who will leave in about a week for Pinar, to continue the good beginning made by Don Joan de Çamudio in the province of Canton. I believe that for that very reason of having spent so much, Don Luis may wish to investigate the state of the kingdom of Camboxa. This may be done in such a way that we may attain what we so much desire, namely, the establishment of the holy gospel in that kingdom, which will be of so much importance. May our Lord direct this matter.
Don Francisco Tello
Depositions Regarding the King of Chanpan
Testimony: In the city of Manila, on the thirtieth day of the month of September in the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-three, Gomez Perez Dasmariñas, governor and captain-general in these islands for the king our lord, declared before me that he has been informed that the infidel king of Chanpa is responsible for many wrongs, assaults, and thefts committed at sea by his men and fleets, and by his orders, upon the persons and property of both Christians and Pagans, on the route to many trading-places of Christians—as, for instance, Malaca, Macan, Goa, Xapon, and other places. Many of them he has attacked, robbed, and deprived of life and property—causing them to enter his ports under his word and promise of safety; but afterward breaking it, and inflicting great cruelties upon them, to the great offense of God and injury of Christendom. In order to give the king our sovereign an account of what is going on, and that he may know the truth, the said governor ordered the following deposition to be made before me.
Joan de Cuellar
Testimony: Then, on this said day, an oath was received in due form of law, regarding the aforesaid, from Gregorio de Vargas. Being in the said city, and questioned about the matter, this witness said that, being three leagues more or less beyond the harbor Page 222of Chanpa, the king of Chanpa sent him a message, saying that he was a friend of the Portuguese (ten or twelve of whom he named), who were in his country building a junk. He also said that since the weather was very unfit to continue his voyage, he would better enter his port until the weather improved. Upon receiving this message, he entered with his junk, but he found that it was all a lie, for the king immediately took him prisoner, and seized his ship, with all its cargo. He found out that the statement regarding the Portuguese was all a lie, because there was not one of them there. He also found out that the king had captured many others by this deception, for many Christians told him that they were taken the same way. He knows that the king captures ships on the sea, and goes about robbing the neighboring kingdoms, impeding trade, commerce, and free passage, and disturbing the peace on the seas. He likewise compels the Portuguese Christians to sail on the said ships for the purpose of robbery. He is a pirate and thief, and a pagan who, in accordance with the teachings of his idolatry, has two hundred men killed, in order to bathe in their bile; and those by whom he has himself washed must be virgins. There is also a diabolical custom that, when a chief dies, they burn his body; his wife and his women are also burnt in the same fire. Because of this and other abuses and pernicious idolatries, and, above all, by the general injuries which he inflicts upon all travelers, on a route so general and so necessary as that for Japon, China, Yndia, and many other places, and for Çian, Patan, and Canboja (which is the key to all that region), this witness thinks that it would be a very acceptable service to God to go to attack him Page 223and to clear the sea of those tyrannies and robberies, and take from them their land and their harbor, which will be much to his Majesty's purpose for great designs. The said witness declares that the king has a great deal of artillery, which he has seen, moreover, with his own eyes. The other things he has heard said by captives. This is all that he knows, and it is true, according to the oath which he swore. His age is thirty-seven.
Signed, Gregorio de Vargas
Jhoan de Cuellar
Testimony: Then, on this said day, the oath was received, regarding the aforesaid, in due legal form from Diego Belosso, at present in this city, who swore in the name of God and by the sign of the cross, under which charge he promised to tell the truth. Being questioned regarding the matter, this witness said that he knows it must have been ten years ago that a junk belonging to Don Jhoan de la Gama was lost on La Barela, which is an island lying near Chanpan, where there were many Portuguese Christians and those of other nations, and a cleric who was going in the said junk from Macan to Malaca. The said people disembarked, where this same king of Chanpan captured them all, distributed them as slaves, and otherwise ill-treated them, even forcing them to carry timber. Captain Roque de Melo sent an embassy to the said king of Chanpan, asking him to return the people whom he was holding in captivity for ransom, or in any other way. The king ransomed some, but refused to ransom others, so that more than half of them remained there. He also said that those who Page 224went to that country were forced into slavery. This witness knows all of this to be true, because he was at Malaca at the time. He also heard it said that the king who was then reigning had ordered the execution of his own father. Being in Canboja about six years ago, this witness heard that a junk which was on the way to Canboja from Çian ran aground at Chanpan in a storm, where, in like manner, all the Portuguese and others who were aboard were captured and robbed of their merchandise; but that their junk was resold to them, and the crew ransomed. This witness also knows that a Portuguese, whom the king of Canboja, according to his custom, had made a nobleman of his kingdom, was, while aboard a trading-vessel, struck by a storm so that he put in at Chanpan, where the king of Chanpan ordered his execution, because he knew that he was a nobleman in Canboja. The others who were with him he made captives. This deponent, while in Canboja, saw some of the Portuguese who were captured in Don Jhoan de la Gama's junk, which was lost there. They were deprived of all their toes by order of the said king of Chanpan, because they had once escaped, but were caught again. About ten years ago, while this witness was at Malaca, he learned that a vessel coming from Canboja to Malaca, laden with munitions and supplies for the fortress at Malaca, went ashore near Chanpan, and many Christians, who were on the vessel, were captured. The king of Jor [Johore] being at war with Malaca about five years ago, the said king of Chanpan sent him aid, and otherwise assisted him considerably; so that with the assistance which the said king of Chanpan lent him, they put many Portuguese and other Christians to death. Captain Page 225Francisco de Villegas being at Chanpan, with a ship and some men, the king made them embark upon his own ships to rob and plunder with him. They went to Canboja, where they captured a large number of people, because when the latter saw bands of Portuguese coming, they thought that they were friends. The king is an obstacle to both trade and general commerce, for quite commonly he is wont to coast with his fleet, along Cochinchina and Canboja, doing considerable damage to the merchants going from Canboja and Çian to trade, to Malaca and other neighboring places—as Patan and China, for instance—without sparing anyone whom he meets. The said king of Chanpan is guilty every year of murdering many of the people of his own land, to possess himself of their bile, in order to bathe in it. The latter the witness has heard from people who were captives there, and who saw him commit these and many other abominations. He has also heard it said that when any noble or chief dies, the king orders some women to be burnt alive, with terrible cruelty, with the body of the deceased; for, according to their religion, the dead are burnt. Lastly it was about a year ago, when Gregorio de Vargas and his companion Blas Ruiz escaped from Chanpan to Canboja; they said that their ship had been stolen from them in Chanpan, with all their property aboard it. Their captors even ordered no food to be given to them. Considering all the above, it is the opinion of this witness, that it will be a great service to God and his Majesty, to attack the said king of Chanpan, and put a stop to so great abominations and tyrannies as he ordinarily practices, since he is in the path of all the vessels going to those coasts—where he Page 226has seized a large quantity of artillery and arms from those lost there. All that he has said, this witness has heard from persons who had been captives there, and he affirms it to be true and the extent of his knowledge, according to the oath which he has sworn. He has no other information. His age is thirty-four.
Signed, Diego Veloso
Jhoan de Cuellar
Testimony: On this said day was received an oath in due legal form, concerning the aforesaid, from Pantaleon Carnero, under which charge he promised to tell the truth, concerning anything asked of him regarding the subject aforementioned. This witness said that, when he was in Macan in the former year of ninety-two, he heard it said there by many persons that the king of Chanpan robbed Sebastian de Araujo of a junk which he had built there, and a culverin which he had mounted on it; and that he ordered the murder of two Spaniards aboard the junk, and the captivity of the others. He afterward ransomed them for gold and other things which they gave him. He subjected them to great annoyances and ill-treatment, until one night, when they had an opportunity, they fled, without finishing their ship, and left their property behind them. This witness has also heard it said that about ten years ago, he seized a junk, belonging to Don Juan de Gama, who went ashore there in a storm. He captured the crew, and robbed them of all their belongings. Another junk from Canboja bound for Malaca, while Captain Roque de Melo was there, was captured by the said king of Chanpan, with all its crew, and the merchandise Page 227that they had with them seized. The said Rroque de Melo sent the king an embassy, asking him to ransom the men whom he had taken prisoners on the said junk. Half the crew was ransomed, but the others were kept by the king. This witness has heard it said that some of the prisoners who remained there escaped, but were caught again. The king ordered their toes to be cut off because they had escaped. The said king of Chanpan is a very great pirate, and usually goes about with a large fleet, robbing and assaulting all the ships possible, making prisoners of all their crews, along all those coasts, which he can do because he is on the regular route. This witness has heard it said that the said king has a large store of artillery and other arms from the vessels that he has seized. It is the opinion of this witness that, since the damage which the said king of Chanpan does every year to the trading-vessels of Canboja, Çian, Patan, China, and other neighboring places, is so great, valuable service would be done to God and the king our sovereign, by attacking and crushing him as so dangerous an enemy, and thus ensure the safety of that route. This witness has also heard it said that the said king of Chanpan is so cruel, that every year he orders the death of many of his own people, in order to bathe in the bile of those killed. This has actually been witnessed by many persons who have been captives there, from whom this witness has heard it. Everything that he has said he knows to be the truth, according to the oath he has sworn. His age is twenty-two.
Signed, Pantaleon Carnero
Testimony: On this said day an oath was received for the further investigation of the aforesaid, from Fernan Caravallo, at present in this city. He, having sworn in due legal form, promised under this charge to tell the truth regarding everything he knew. When questioned concerning the subject aforementioned, this witness said that he is a citizen of Macan, and that there he has heard it said by many persons, sailing on trading-ships from Macan to Malaca, Canboja, China, and other countries, that the king of Chanpan is a very great pirate, usually cruising about with a large fleet, assaulting the merchants whom he meets and robbing them of their ships, imprisoning their crews, and stealing their property; and that he does them great violence and injury. About five years or so ago, Sebastian de Araujo, an inhabitant of Macan, sent some men to Chanpan to build a junk there. When it was almost finished, the king of Chanpan seized it, and imprisoned the said men who were building it. Two or three of them were killed; and for those who remained in captivity, the said Sebastian de Araujo procured ransoms. Some fled with the said ship, when opportunity offered. Witness has also heard it said that the king has seized many other Portuguese ships that have gone ashore there in storms, and others that he deceitfully causes to enter his ports by offering them a safe harbor, but whom he afterward imprisons, robs of their goods, and treats with great cruelty. All the above this witness has heard said by certain persons who have been in captivity there. It seems to this witness that it will be a matter of the greatest importance to attack the said king of Chanpan and crush him, because he is in the route of the vessels where he does a great deal Page 229of harm, because all the trading-vessels from Malaca, Canboja, Çian, Patan, China, and other neighboring countries have to pass by that place. It will be a great service to God our Lord, and to his Majesty, to remove so great a pirate from the vicinity. Everything that this witness has said is the truth, and what he has heard said concerning the things asked him. His information goes no farther. His age is about thirty-seven years or so.
Signed, Fernan Caravallo
Jhoan de Cuellar
1 These italic paragraphs are a part of the letter itself. The matter included in brackets and preceded by the words ”In the margin” is remarks written in Spain.
2 The letters or words in brackets are conjectural readings, the original being illegible or worn in many places. When no conjectural reading is given, the break is indicated by leaders.
3 A sort of vessel with lateen-rigged sails, used in the Levant trade; the name is of Arabic origin.
4 Thus in original—apparently a misnumbering of paragraphs.
5 See La Concepcion's account of Dasmariñas's unfortunate expedition (Hist. de Philipinas, iii, pp. 231–277).
6 Bolinao is the name of a cape at the northwest extremity of the peninsula of Zambales, Luzón; also applied to a narrow channel between that cape and the small island of Santiago. The submarine cable from Hongkong formerly landed here, but now reaches Manila direct.
Letter from Governor Don Francisco Tello
1. This recounts that on all occasions the state of affairs of these islands has been reported, and was not enlarged upon because no instruction had been sent nor has been up to the year 1598, on which account many things pertaining to the service of his Majesty, and of importance for this country, have failed to receive attention.1
As I have at various times written to your Majesty, you ordered me to come here and serve in this country, without giving me the royal instructions of despatches to that end. Accordingly many things of importance which your Majesty commanded me to attend to were left undone at the time I came. When I arrived in these islands I wrote to your Majesty at length of those things which could be managed in spite of the short time I had spent here. These despatches were lost in the ship “San Phelipe” which Don Luis Perez Dasmarinas despatched in the year 1596, and which was lost in Xapon. The next year, 1597, I awaited the royal instruction of your Majesty in order to govern my action by it; but neither did that come, until the past year, 1598. I govern Page 231my action according to that of Gomez Perez Dasmarinas, my predecessor, and with that I have stumbled through various matters. In the past year, 1597, I wrote at length to your Majesty describing the condition of the country and that of Japon, together with the state of the expedition to Mindanao, and all other things which seemed expedient. I also wrote that I had married Doña Tomasina, my relative, and the daughter of Doctor Horosco, president of your royal Audiencia of Guadalaxara—humbly beseeching your Majesty to approve of this, since Doña Tomasina was not a native of this country; and I had not gone beyond your Majesty's intentions, for you gave me permission to bring my wife to this land. As she died on the way I married Doña Tomasina, whom I brought from Mexico. In the past year, 1598, I received the royal instruction of your Majesty and other royal decrees which were mentioned therein, at the time when the ships were being despatched. Those things which could be done at that time, considering the short time before they left, I attended to then. I have in everything worked for the service of our Lord and your Majesty, conformably to the pious zeal and spirit with which I am serving you here; and I have carried out those things entrusted in your royal service to my predecessor.
2. That it is expedient, in order to realize the results of the great expense in these islands, that religious should be sent each year to gather the harvest which should be taken from it; and that an account should be sent of the Indians here, both Christians and infidels, and a memorandum of the religious.
As the holy intention of your Majesty, in the expenses which from your patrimony you incur in this Page 232country, is principally the conversion or the heathen here, and the establishment of the holy gospel in place of their idolatries, there is no better means than the teaching of the Christian doctrine and the presence of its ministers. That your Majesty may have a fuller report of it, I am sending an account stating how many Indians are pacified, and acknowledge the royal name of your Majesty in these said islands; the number of Christians and infidels; and how many are taught and how many to be taught—not only in the encomiendas under your royal crown but in the private ones. Accordingly I beg your Majesty to be pleased to further this, appointing each year, as usual, religious of exemplary life, so that they may bring with more love and gentleness our holy Catholic faith to the Indians; for certainly as much as a good minister edifies, finding fault injures. With this goes the memorandum which your Majesty ordered me to send, of the religious in these islands and those whom it will be necessary to bring from España each year. Those who are here are assigned as well as was possible, so as to give instruction to all. The mission villages are in some confusion and the orders somewhat mixed with one another. This could not be remedied as it should have been, owing to the untimely death of the archbishop, which occurred on the fourteenth of August of the said year of 1598.
3. That the bishop of Camarines has not come, and that the other two arrived in the year 98, and did not bring bulls for the partition of their bishoprics, and that they are getting along well.
The bishop of the province of Camarines2 did Page 233not come, and therefore it is being ecclesiastically governed by the chapter of the cathedral of Manila, sede vacante, as has been done hitherto. The bishops of the city of Nueva Segovia and of Cebu arrived in these islands in the past year of 1598, as I wrote to your Majesty. They did not bring bulls from his Holiness nor decrees from your Majesty, directing the division of their bishoprics. Each one has therefore taken what seemed best to him: he of Nueva Segovia took the territory beyond the province of Pangasinan, and he of Cebu took possession of the island of Panay, saying that his bishopric included all the province of the Pintados. The chapter of this holy metropolitan church, sede vacante, held otherwise, and the case was brought before this royal Audiencia. Its decision left the bishop in possession, to avoid disagreement, until your Majesty should command that the partition be definitively made. He is at present in this city celebrating confirmation in the place of the archbishop, and will officiate at the obsequies of the king our lord, of glorious memory. The bishop of Nueva Segovia is in his church. They are men of holy life and fulfil their duties well.
4. That to finish the work on the great church entirely, there is needed a tower and sacristy; and that these are not built, for lack of money, which is being raised by various alms and grants.
The work on the great church of this city would have been completed some time ago, but for the lack of money; and, with the tower and new sacristy which Page 234are being built, it will be finished in all points. The work is of stone, moderately elaborate; when the means are at hand it will be continued to completion. I manage always to help it with various alms and expedients, and at present I am assigning it two toneladas for the chalices and ornaments, which sell at two hundred pesos. That you may know how the fourteen thousand ducats which your Majesty, in your royal instructions, ordered me to assign it, has been spent in it, that sum was given toward the building and ornaments; I have ordered that the accounts be rendered, and when they are settled I shall inform your Majesty of their substance.
5. That, in accordance with a royal decree, inspection has been made of the great church, and it has been found very poor in ornaments; and that two prebends and two half-prebends have been erected.
In accordance with a royal decree of your Majesty, directed to the archbishop and myself, your Majesty directed us to make a visitation of the church, inspect the ornaments which it has, and give our opinion regarding the dignities and prebendaries which it would be expedient to have there, and with what stipend. The said visitation was made, and we found the church very poor in ornaments; and your Majesty is informed that for the time being it would be sufficiently supplied with two prebends and two half-prebends, which we established—the prebends with a stipend of two hundred pesos per year, and the half-prebends with a hundred and fifty. I await your Majesty's approval.
6. That the hospitals are in good condition, and are being helped with alms and grants; and there has been incorporated, in that for the Spaniards, the Page 235Confraternity of La Misericordia; and that possession has been taken of that for the natives and the accounts audited, a sworn statement of which goes with this.
Your Majesty orders me, by a clause in your royal instructions, to provide carefully for the hospitals. In fulfilment of this I have inspected them, and have ordered the auditors to do the same in their turn. They are in very good condition, each one having two apartments of its building finished in stone, with its work-room, stewards, nurses, and two Franciscan religious for each, who live in the hospital. At the royal hospital for the Spaniards I have incorporated the Confraternity of La Misericordia, which includes the richest people of this country. It has more than a thousand eight hundred and sixty pesos of income, and I am adding five hundred more for eight years, making in all two thousand three hundred and sixty, besides which they have a farm for raising cattle. The accounts of these funds are kept, for the superintendent, by him who enters in his place each year. The royal hospital for the Indians has five hundred pesos of income, two hundred pieces of cloth from Ylocos, one thousand five hundred fanegas of rice in the hull, one thousand five hundred fowls (which your Majesty presents to them), and a farm for breeding cattle. I am aiding both of them with various alms and grants, and, as I have informed your Majesty, I regularly assign to that of the Spaniards eight toneladas, which are worth eight hundred pesos each year; and to that of the natives four, which are of proportionate value. I took possession of that of the natives in your Majesty's name, according to the royal patronage, and Page 236audited the accounts, a sworn statement of which will go with this.
7. That the seminary for the training of girls is in good condition, and the building finished; but it has little income, and will have to be reduced to a convent of professed nuns, and its income somewhat increased.
The Seminary of Santa Potenciana is in very good condition; for not only has the church been finished for some years, but it has a capacious building entirely of stone, in which some thirty women are leading a religious life. Most of these are the maiden daughters of honorable men; others are poor mestizas, and still others have been left there who have husbands or fathers absent on your Majesty's service; there are also a few older women. They have a superior who is a woman of quality, and who lives a very exemplary and pious life. All of them intend either to remain there in the service of God, or to leave married, and in a bettered situation—as several have done and are now doing (thanks to the good name which the institution has), which is the holy intention of your Majesty. They have a director and a confessor who do not live in the building, as no apartment has been built for them. For two months past the holy sacrament has been administered there. These women, thus secluded, celebrate the divine offices with singing, and with as much veneration and as fittingly as if it were a convent of nuns founded forty years ago. It has four hundred pesos of perpetual income and as much more temporarily from a shop in the Parian of the Sangleys; but this is not enough to maintain it, and so they are in great need. I contrive to help it with alms and various grants Page 237wherewith it may be supported. I have tried to reduce it to a convent of professed nuns and have done my best with the viceroy of Nueva España, to have him send me two religious women, of pious life, from Mexico to found it. He answers me that there is no one who dares to go to these islands, on account of the difficulty of the journey and the inconvenience of the ships. I beseech your Majesty that—as this work is so important to this commonwealth, and in order to place in a better position here the daughters of honorable men who have not the money to marry them, on account of the depreciation of the encomiendas and property—you may be pleased to order the viceroy to be diligent in coming to our aid by enabling these religious to come; and that you will give to this seminary an income adequate for its maintenance, or give me permission to apply to it some repartimiento of Indians.
8. That Captain Don Luis Perez and the fathers of the Society are establishing a seminary for the natives; that this had not been done earlier because the income assigned to it has not been furnished; and that the work should be furthered.
Don Luis Perez Dasmariñas, according to an order which he had from your Majesty, agreed with the fathers of the Society of Jesus that they should establish a seminary for the natives, where they might be taught civilized ways and instructed in religion; and that he should give them the wherewithal to erect a building, and a thousand pesos of income for its maintenance. To begin the work, he presented to the said Society six hundred pesos, and the income was put in the treasury of the fourths. When I arrived here I confirmed these negotiations, according Page 238to the royal decree of your Majesty in which you gave me the same orders; and likewise the royal Audiencia, being petitioned to confirm them, did so. This work has ceased because enough money has not been furnished for it, and because the income is not sufficient, owing to the fact that the said treasury of the fourths is much embarrassed. If it be your Majesty's pleasure, it would be well that this holy intention of your Majesty be furthered, so that the Indians may learn the Spanish language in an orderly manner, and in this way be better instructed. For this it will be necessary to give the said Society the means to build the said seminary, and the thousand pesos of income each year in perpetuity, from the royal treasury of your Majesty, or else a repartimiento of Indians, as soon as one becomes vacant—your Majesty giving me permission to apply it in such wise that, besides this instruction, education and a living may be given there to a few poor students, who will be learning the language at the same time. When they are ordained they will act as ministers of instruction, and will make it unnecessary for so many ministers to come out here at so great cost to your royal estate.
9. That measures have been taken for the execution of the royal decree brought by the bishop of Nueva Segovia in regard to rendering submission; that difficulties have begun to arise in its execution, and that information concerning them is sent.
From the hand of the bishop of Nueva Segovia I received the royal decree of your Majesty in which you ordered me, by the best and most gentle methods possible, to compel the natives of these islands to render submission to your Majesty (this ceremony having Page 239been neglected at first), so that the tributes which they pay may be collected with more justice. I was ordered to join with the archbishop, bishop, and other prelates, the superiors of the orders, in its execution. I acted accordingly, having the said royal decree read to them, and the intention of your Majesty explained, for the greater peace of your royal conscience. Havings conferred and consulted in regard to it, the said committee came to a decision regarding the matter, which your Majesty will order to be examined by the authorized copy which I am sending. This is what has been done since then, in virtue of their decision. Instructions and directions have been sent to the alcaldes-mayor and to the religious in all the provinces, that by the gracious methods which your Majesty directs, submission shall be rendered to your Majesty. In the province of Ylocos, in the diocese of the bishop of Nueva Segovia, this was very well done; and submission was rendered to your Majesty. Likewise the whole district of Manila, a mission of the Augustinian fathers, has rendered submission. La Laguna, in charge of the Franciscan fathers, has not so easily yielded; for the natives there have asked a year's time in which to answer; and I have left La Laguna in this state, until I should give an account of it to your Majesty, as you direct me. The same thing will be done in the other provinces which ask delays. Thus far I am not informed of what has been done. Things have always been as they are now, without there being any scruples; and, when these islands were conquered and subjected, they were placed in obedience to your Majesty with just as many requirements as the other parts of the Yndias. Your Majesty has lost here many troops Page 240and much money. It is more than thirty-four years during which they have had the true knowledge of God our Lord, and of His holy gospel law, by virtue of which your Majesty has possessed this country and collected tribute from his vassals—who have received great benefit in being such; for in the time when they were heathens they were subjected to many tyrannies, imposed upon them by the chieftains whose subjects they were, who took from them their wives and property during their lives. Now they are secure in all these things, and much benefited in spiritual and temporal goods. They are in no wise oppressed by the collection of the tribute; and if the effect of this royal decree must continue and be in operation as provided therein, there will be many difficulties, such as have already commenced with the seeking of delay. Your Majesty will hold nothing securely, and for the same reason will have no justification for possessing this land. I am sending your Majesty a copy of the instruction and directions which are ordered for the execution of these measures, and one of the answers by the natives of La Laguna; so that, seeing these difficulties, your Majesty may be pleased to order a review of this affair and a determination of what is most expedient for the service of your Majesty. In the meantime I shall put matters into the best state possible.
10. That two sermons have been preached on the bulls, and that very little alms have resulted; that at present they are considering how to preach to the Indians and that no doubt they will succeed, when it will be necessary to send more bulls, according to the memorandum of the treasurer. Page 241
Before I came to these islands the first preaching of the bulls concerning the holy crusade had commenced; and last year occurred the second, which is now in progress. I have written to your Majesty my sentiments in this matter; and now I say again to your Majesty that, although the bulls which are preached here and disposed of among the Spaniards are very necessary for them, the alms proceeding from this source, allotted to your Majesty, are of very little importance, because there are not many people here—for the Spaniards do not amount to two thousand, and of these there are very few who are not exceedingly poor. The proceeds of the first preaching, when reckoned up, do not reach two thousand pesos; and that these alms might be of more importance, I have considered how the bulls might be preached to the Indians. I have found that in the time of Don Luis Perez many difficulties arose, as it was said that they are a people only partly and newly converted, and that with the bull their present simple mode of life would be ended. For this and other reasons I did not resolve last year to have the crusade preached to the Indians. At present I am considering this more seriously, and the preaching will doubtless be begun at the pressing demand which the fiscal has made in your Majesty's name, although with a small number of bulls, because few have come from Mexico. I wrote to them to send more than usual, and gave an account thereof to the royal Council of your Majesty for the holy crusade. I am sending a memorial which will go with this, concerning the bulls which are necessary, with their kind and value, both for the Spanish people and for the natives, that your Page 242Majesty may provide according to your pleasure.3
11. Establishment of the royal Audiencia.
Last year I wrote how this royal Audiencia was founded, and sent an account of the reception of the royal seal; and how there were in the Audiencia three auditors, Doctor Antonio de Morga, the licentiate Telles Almasan, and the licentiate Alvaro Çanbrano, the licentiate Salasar as fiscal, the licentiate Padilla as reporter, and a clerk of court; and how the licentiate Don Antonio de Ribera Maldonado, the first auditor, had remained in España.
12. Death of the licentiate Çambrano on the fourteenth of March; and in his place is proposed the name of the licentiate Salasar, fiscal of this royal Audiencia, and for the office of fiscal the licentiate Padilla, reporter.
On the fourteenth of March of 98 the licentiate Page 243Çambrano died, from an attack of malignant fever. In him your Majesty lost a good servant. Since his place must be filled, it will be well provided for in the person of the licentiate Salasar, your fiscal in this royal Audiencia, a person who, besides his broad and deep learning, is worthy of whatever favor your Majesty may see fit to grant him; and the office of fiscal will be well filled by the licentiate Padilla, reporter of this royal Audiencia, who is a man of learning and justice, and is diligent in your Majesty's service.
13. That the auditors remaining are doing well.
The two auditors who remain here are faithful subjects, and attend punctually to the service of your Majesty.
14. That the auditor Maldonado has not come from Nueva España.
The licentiate Don Antonio de Rivera Maldonado, who was expected this year, did not come. He wrote me that he had not received his instructions.
15. That the ecclesiastical authority had usurped the royal jurisdiction, and that this was corrected on the arrival of the royal Audiencia.
Before this royal Audiencia was reëstablished, the ecclesiastical authority had usurped the royal jurisdiction; and I was several times excommunicated for defending it by not allowing them to raise their secular revenues, of which I had already given an account to your Majesty; and so they were raising them everywhere without my being able to help it. Since the coming of the royal Audiencia, several acts have been passed for correcting this, which are effective.
Don Gonzalo Ronquillo, during the time of his governorship, founded a Parian for the Sangleys within the limits of the city, so that of those who come for commerce, a number of artisans of all trades might remain in the country, for the service of the commonwealth. Gomez Perez Dasmarinas, finding it too thickly peopled and with too many houses for the security of the city, removed it outside, to the place where it now stands. Its growth has increased to such an extent that more than three hundred houses of wood and cane have been built, and in them are more than three thousand Sangleys. This Parian is most injurious for this commonwealth, because the people who live in it are of no use except to raise prices in the community, all the provisions being consumed there; and they commit many offenses against God our Lord. In it there are many hucksters. There is no way to remedy all this except to be rid of it altogether; for, besides what has been mentioned, it will be a saving to this city of more than a hundred thousand pesos each year, and the country will be more secure. For, having no buildings in which to store the cloth, they will sell it through the streets or in their ships, as they used to do before they had a Parian; and, to get away quickly, they will offer it at more moderate prices. I have considered this affair with the royal Audiencia; and, having their opinion, you will do in regard to it what is most fitting for the service of your Majesty and the maintenance of this country.
When I arrived in this country the royal buildings were demolished, and there was no place for the Audiencia to meet, nor for the residence of your Majesty's servant who governs here. I therefore used all my efforts to erect royal buildings which should be substantial, and they have been built, and are at present finished off with hewn stone. There are three suites of apartments: one toward the street, in which the Audiencia meets, and where the royal seal is; a second toward the sea, where I live; and the third is situated in the middle, where resides Doctor Morga, auditor of this royal Audiencia. It will be expedient to continue work on this building until it is made large enough for the rest of the auditors and officials of the royal Audiencia to live in. I assure your Majesty that they suffer inconveniences in coming from their homes to the Audiencia and its sessions, in so intemperate a climate; and if they lived together they could attend better to the service of your Majesty. To put this work in the state in which it is, ten thousand pesos, which was its cost, were borrowed, as there was no money in the royal treasury, from the funds of the fourths; and I wrote to Mexico to send me that amount in order to pay it back. This has not been done, and I beg your Majesty to order the viceroy to send that sum of ten thousand pesos, since it was spent in a work so important for the service of your Majesty; and to send as much more to continue the work, if that already used be considered well spent.
18. That houses of stone were built for the cabildo and in them was placed the coat-of-arms which your Majesty granted to this city.
I also found this city without houses for the cabildo Page 246and that the regidors with great inconvenience and little dignity were going about seeking the houses of citizens for the meeting of the cabildo. At the expense of the city funds I have built some good stone cabildo buildings on the plaza here, and in them is placed the coat-of-arms which your Majesty presented to this city. With these and other buildings which have been built during the time I have been here, or are now being erected, this city is much improved in appearance.
19. That the powder-house being too near and in an unsafe position, a vault was made in the fort of Santiago, where it is now kept.
I found the powder-house in an unsafe place, and as it is so necessary to guard and preserve the powder, I ordered a vault of stone to be made in the fort on the point called Santiago, where it was put and is now kept with entire safety.
20. That it is necessary to establish religious instruction in the Ladrones; and, as it cannot be sent from here, I have written to the viceroy asking him to order the officers of the ships from Nueva España to leave ministers there.
As the royal instruction which I received had not been brought here when I came to serve your Majesty in this government (as I have before explained), what your Majesty ordered in one clause of it, that on the passage by the island of Ladrones ministers for religious instruction to those Indians should be left there—such persons as I might select—has not been executed. Accordingly I have considered it with the royal Audiencia here; and, together with their opinion, the intention of your Majesty was communicated to the viceroy of Nueva España, so that he might Page 247carry it out, by ordering the officers of the ships which shall come in the year 600 to leave there a couple of religious and ten soldiers as a guard. But as the ships arrived here from a different direction, and the voyage was a difficult one, the will of your Majesty has not been carried out. I believe this will be a work very important for the service of God our Lord and your Majesty; for in the year 1596 a religious of the Order of St. Francis, with a sailor, who were passing by the islands of Ladrones, disembarked from the almiranta “San Pablo” in the boats of the Indians of those islands, more than three hundred skiffs having come alongside of the said ship. The Indians took them on board and carried them to land where they remained during the period of a year, up to 1597—when, as the ships from Nueva España were again passing on their way to these islands, having as commander Don Lope de Ulloa, the said religious and soldiers [sic] arrived alongside the ships in the boats of the Indians, and were received on board. When they arrived here, the religious gave an account of what he had seen in the islands of Ladrones, saying that there were many islands thickly peopled with Indians, who are men of good stature, and strong. They are a tractable and kindly people. They regaled him and his companion, and showed them much respect. The land abounds in fish, rice, and camotes. They are heathen; but if the religious would enter there with love and tactfulness they would teach them. I hope in our Lord that He and your Majesty will be served in bringing those heathen to a true knowledge of God.
For the reason mentioned in the preceding clause, I have not been able to get farm-laborers from Nueva España, as your Majesty ordered by a clause of his royal instruction, so that the cultivation of the soil might be introduced into this country, by associating the farmers with the natives, so that the latter may be instructed in farming according to our usage. As soon as I understood the will of your Majesty, I sent to ask farmers from the viceroy; and he answered that he would send them another year.
22. That a demand has been made to have the horses and mares brought over, as ordered, and that the viceroy has been remiss in this.
In the same way a demand has been sent to the viceroy regarding the horses and mares which your Majesty also ordered brought from Mexico; and I wrote to your Majesty that this was not done.
23. That rewards for services have been made in accordance with the order of his Majesty in clause 17 of the royal instruction.
In the matter of rewards for services, I have tried to have them given to the most worthy and capable citizens, in accordance with clause 17 of the royal instruction of your Majesty (as you may see if you so please by the account which I am sending), not only in the encomiendas in repartimientos of Indians but in other offices of importance. Although I have done this with all possible care and justice, there are so many claimants, and so little material—and each one expects to be, by right, the most favored—that there must needs be complaints, which is one of the annoyances of this government.
With this will go the report which your Majesty ordered to be sent concerning the Spaniards who serve your Majesty in this country, whether with or without encomiendas; and of their characters and ages, and other details about them.
25. That two new ships have been built, of five hundred and one hundred and fifty toneladas respectively; and that they departed in good condition, and are at present making a voyage.
As there are not enough ships to ply between here and Nueva España I have built two—one of five hundred toneladas, and the other of one hundred and fifty—which were completed; and both are making voyages this year to Nueva España.
26. That three ships came from Nueva España; and that one of them, which belonged to his Majesty, was given to an administrator by the viceroy, and that he sent a decree giving directions to the royal Audiencia, under penalty.
Three ships came this year from Nueva España, two belonging to private individuals and the other to your Majesty. Your Majesty's ship, called the “Santa Margarita,” was given to Joan Pardo de Losada, as administrator, by the viceroy of Nueva España. Since the viceroy did so, he may have had an order therefor from your Majesty. The royal Audiencia considered the fact that the said Joan Pardo brought a decree from the viceroy ordering the governor and the royal Audiencia, under penalty, not to meddle in the affair which he had decreed; and saying that the penalty would be that supplies would not come as agreed. Accordingly the original was Page 250retained, in order to give an account thereof to your Majesty; but, in so far as regards the execution of his charge, he was not hindered. It seemed best to me to give an account thereof to your Majesty, so that in the future you may provide what may be most expedient in the matter.
27. That the viceroy of Nueva España kept back the money of citizens of those islands to the great damage of this country, the licenses being given to Peruvians.
Your Majesty has ordered that the viceroy of Nueva España should each year give licenses to citizens of this state for five hundred thousand pesos, the money to be brought here in return for their merchandise which they export hence. It happened that this year's sale of the goods that went over last year was profitable; and the said viceroy, although he was under obligation to execute that order, did not do so. He assigned to the citizens only two hundred thousand pesos in licenses, and the balance, making the sum of five hundred thousand, to Peruvians, on condition that they should become citizens in these islands for a certain time—thus keeping back from the citizens three hundred thousand pesos, which has brought about disastrous injury. For not only were they prevented from availing themselves of their own property, but the Peruvians to whom were given, in their places, the said licenses, being wealthy people, came loaded down with money to be registered—although the fiscal of your royal Audiencia and another royal official, who went to inspect the ships, could not find any proof, as the money had all been taken out before they arrived at the fort. When they arrived here, finding much cloth in the possession Page 251of the Chinese and not considering its price, they spent their money. When the citizens came, as they could not lade the share which had been assigned them, since no money had come therefor, the Peruvians freighted the ships; and the profit which, through your Majesty's gracious aid, the citizens of these islands should have had, was enjoyed by the Peruvians. May your Majesty order this to be investigated, and direct in regard to it what may be best for your royal service and for the maintenance of this country. As the licenses to lade their cloth in the ships which are going to Mexico—being one of the profits and rewards which we have in this country to give to deserving citizens—is a matter which always gives rise to complaint, no matter how justly the distribution is made, in order to avoid this and to proceed as justly and satisfactorily as is generally possible, I have ordered during the whole time I have spent here that, first of all, the ship should be gauged for its tonnage by persons chosen by the city—men who are intelligent, conscientious, and disinterested, and otherwise competent for the said gauging. The allotment has been and is still made as justly as possible.
28. That the persons appointed to lade the ships did not keep the order which was given them, breaking it to the injury of citizens, and were arrested.
This year were appointed, to direct the lading of the new ship “Santo Toma,” Captain Gaspar Perez, the alcalde-ordinary, Captain Juan de Arsega, and Captain Christoval de Asqueta, a regidor of this city. They were given the usual order to lade according to a list, beginning first with the men who are most deserving and have been longest in the country. Page 252As they did not keep the order which was given them, and laded after their own fashion, I have arrested them. The citizens of this city have brought in complaints of them and many claims have been filed against them. I am receiving testimony thereof, in order to punish them according to their crimes. I have always tried, from the day I entered, to govern as your Majesty was pleased to command me, and to protect this commonwealth and the poor in it, even with my own property; and it is well known in these parts that I have done this so far as lay in my power.
29. That a port called El Pinar, has been opened at Canton, where Spanish ships may go with safety to trade with China, for which there is a chapa [i.e., “passport”].
By clause 21 of the instruction for my government, your Majesty gives permission for certain citizens of this island to trade—if that seem best to me, and with the consent of the royal Audiencia—in the neighboring kingdoms where trade and traffic with these islands is permitted. With this basis, and the knowledge that the Chinese do not resist the coming of the Spaniards as they have hitherto done, and considering the importance of the opening of this port in that country, so that the preaching of the holy gospel might enter there, which is your Majesty's desire, I determined last year to give a license to Don Juan de Çamudio to go (in his own vessel, at his own expense) to the province of Canton, and establish in the best way possible his enterprise; and to bring certain metals and other articles which we were lacking, for the royal stores of these islands. He made the voyage and carried out this mission. Besides this, he opened at Canton a port for the Spaniards in China, which Page 253is called El Pinar, although he was greatly opposed by the Portuguese of Macao; and the Spaniards were left there to go to trade in Canton—a house being given them inside the city, and a chapa to come back and settle there whenever they might wish to. With this despatch and some merchandise, the said Don Juan came back to these islands well content.
30. That a ship is being sent to Canton, to follow up the good beginning made there by the Spaniards.
This year, in continuation of the beginning which Don Juan Çamudio has made in China, I have agreed with the opinion of the royal Audiencia that it was therefore best to send another ship, well equipped with artillery and arms. This vessel will sail very soon, and has for captain Joan Tello y Aguirre; and it will cause no expense to the royal exchequer. I hope in our Lord that a way is about to be opened up for what is desired for so great and powerful realms.
31. That the king of Sian, desiring trade for his realms with the Spaniards, sent an embassy to them, which was well received; and that he treated Joan Tello very well, and opened a port at the city of Odia.
After my arrival in this government I received a letter from the king of Sian, a copy of which will go with this. In it he told me of his desire for commerce and trade with these islands of your Majesty. Seeing how well disposed this king was, in the year past (1598) I despatched Captain Joan Tello with an embassy for the king in answer to his, indicating great esteem for the friendship which he offers me, and for his desire for the trade of the Spaniards in his kingdom. I offered him in the name of your Majesty the closest friendship. Captain Joan Tello Page 254made the voyage, and, having fulfilled his embassy, made an agreement also that a port should be left open for trade, so that the Spaniards could go there and settle freely, and be exempt from taxes. They brought in their ship ivory, benzoin, and stone for the citizens of this city. He came back here with the response of the king of Sian, a copy of which will go with this. I have understood, indeed, from Captain Joan Tello that the king of Sian has in his house a religious of the Order of St. Dominic, who was sent from Malaca to administer the sacraments to the Christians who come there from India on their commercial voyages. Seeing what a good opportunity and opening there was to begin preaching the holy gospel in that kingdom, I sent another ship this year, very well supplied, having as captain Joan de Mendoça, with an embassy to the king beseeching him to consent to have sent from here four religious of the said order, for if they also were with the one who was residing there, it would further much the end which was sought; and asking that he would admit these religious. Once settled there, they will succeed in obtaining good results. Captain Joan de Mendoça is now expected, and whatever news he brings on his arrival I shall communicate to your Majesty. May God further these affairs, as they are especially for His service and for the advantage of the royal crown of your Majesty.
32. That the city of Cebu sent a ship to Castilla, in the year 1597, which was lost on the sea.
Your Majesty having granted the city of Cebu authority to despatch a ship to Mexico, it did so; and the ship left Cebu about two years ago, carrying merchandise both for the citizens of that city and of Page 255Manila, which was considered best; but, from the time when it left until now, there has been no word of it. It is thought that it was lost, which is no slight matter for this country, coming in addition to the loss of the ship “San Phelipe”—with which, and the retention of their money which the citizens of Manila have suffered, and other hardships, this commonwealth is hard smitten, as is the courage of its people. If there is any way in which to resuscitate it, it will be for your Majesty to give permission for the citizens thereof to despatch a ship of three hundred toneladas to Peru every two or three years, with the products of this country; they will not undertake to carry anything more than flagstones, ivory, and other things which are not carried from España, and this will not cause any loss to the royal customs duties of your Majesty.
33. That it brings much damage upon this colony that the officers on the voyages are appointed by the viceroy of Mexico.
I have already advised your Majesty of the irreparable injury resulting to this commonwealth from the appointment of the officers of the ships on this voyage by the viceroy of Nueva España; for they come here provided with money on commission, and when they have arrived here they invest it; nor is there any way to prevent them from lading the ships as soon as they have left the port. This they effect by placing their cloth in small vessels six or seven leguas away; and then they take from the ship the cloth belonging to the citizens, and lade their own, from which results great injury to this country. This was done even by Don Antonio Maldonado, son of the licentiate Maldonado, auditor of Mexico, who unloaded Page 256on a beach a great deal of cloth belonging to citizens here. This would not happen if the officers were appointed here; because those appointed would give bonds before they left, and, as they must come back and render an account, they would not commit these evil acts. Your Majesty will be pleased to order what is most expedient.
34. That a sworn statement is being sent of the execution and fulfilment of the decrees.
I am sending your Majesty a sworn statement of the decrees which have been put into execution, besides those which are being carried out; and the same will be sent next year.
35. That it is customary on feast-days that the city banner should be brought out, and that the royal Audiencia should be present, and the standard-bearer should walk at the left hand of the president; and that this custom was opposed by an auditor.
One of the principal feast-days which is kept in this city is that of the apostle St. Andrew, in memory of the victory which was on that day won against the Chinese pirate Limahon, driving him from the land when he had already hemmed this city in. On that day the city brings out its banner, and goes to vespers and mass at Santa Potenciana. In the time of the former royal Audiencia, they used to go with the pennant to the royal houses with the city officers, and from there the president and auditors set out to the festival; and the president had the standard-bearer at his left hand, and the senior auditor at his right. I am informed that the same thing is done in the city of Lima and that of Mexico. I have had this custom observed here; but the licentiate Almazan, auditor of this royal Audiencia, has denied that the standard-bearer Page 257or any other person should be stationed with the royal Audiencia without special permission from your Majesty, whom I beg to be pleased to command in this what shall be done. In the meantime, it will be continued as hitherto.
36. That public feast-days are celebrated with veneration and dignity.
I assure your Majesty that the other public feast-days, such as Corpus Christi, that of the patrons of the city, and the like, are celebrated with the utmost veneration and dignity in this land, where we are in the sight of so many heathen.
37. That it is expedient that the Indians be punished with some moderate fine of money, and not in rice.
Your Majesty has ordered that the Indians shall not be punished in money fines; but as they all, in their perverseness and evil disposition, are more afraid of the punishment of taking from them a real than of a hundred floggings, the desired results do not follow, and they do not plant, raise animals, and do other things tending to the production of supplies, and to the common good. It would be well for your Majesty to give permission for the imposition of moderate fines in money. It is particularly unfitting that the chiefs should be flogged, and in regard to this the royal Audiencia has commenced to take some action. May our Lord protect the Catholic person of your Majesty through many happy years. Manila, July 12, 1599.
An account of the religious orders which are in these Philipinas Islands; the provinces, houses, and Page 258religious contained in them; and the ministers whom it is necessary that his Majesty should have sent, in order that there may be sufficient religious instruction in the islands.
St. Augustine—60 houses; they have 163 religious, and ask for 20 each year. The Order of St. Augustine has occupied the provinces of Tagalos, Pampanga, Ylocos, and Pintados. Being the first established in these regions, they occupy the whole country. They have in the islands sixty houses, which contain from two to three religious each—one hundred and eight being priests, and fifty-three lay brethren. They will have to establish more houses—not only for the newly-entered countries, but that there may be sufficient religious instruction in these islands. For this it is necessary that your Majesty send each year twenty religious. These might be brought at a less cost to the royal estate from Nueva España, where there are many of them; and they would do very well, as they are used to instructing Indians, and have already come half the way.
St. Francis—40 houses; they have 120 religious, and need 50. The Order of St. Francis has occupied the province of Camarines, and has there forty houses, and one hundred and twenty religious—ninety-seven being preachers and priests, and twenty-three lay brethren. They need fifty religious.
The Society of Jesus has 12 houses and 43 religious. The Society has twelve houses, and occupies the province of Pintados, in Leite and Ibabao. In them are forty-three religious—twenty-three of these priests, and the rest lay brethren. They will occupy many houses. Religious of the Society have gone to the pacification of Mindanao, where they will administer Page 259instruction and establish more houses. They have need of fifty religious.
St. Dominic—12 houses; they have 71 religious, and need 50. The Order of St. Dominic has occupied the province of Cagayan, where there are twelve houses and seventy-one religious. They need fifty religious, in order that there may be sufficient instruction in the province of Cagayan, where they must occupy a number of houses. Those sent should be priests, because all the lay brethren that are necessary are being received in the islands.
In all these four orders there are persons of much learning and many accomplishments, and good linguists who instruct the natives, among whom they have achieved great results. In the houses of the Society of Jesus there are two colleges—one at Manila and the other in the city of Santisimo Nombre de Jhesus—in which religious of very exemplary life teach Latin to the Spaniards and give instruction to the natives.
Copy of a letter written in the past year (1598) concerning the erection of prebends and half-prebends of the cathedral church at Manila. Cited in clause 7 of the governor's letter of July 12, 1599.
In accordance with what your Majesty orders me in his royal instruction, we, the archbishop and myself, made a visitation of the cathedral church, which is greatly lacking in all necessaries, and particularly in chaplains, which is noticeable on feast-days. Accordingly it seemed advisable to institute two prebendaries, each with a stipend of two hundred pesos per year; and two half-prebendaries, with a hundred Page 260and fifty pesos of stipend each per year—to be paid in the same manner as the other canons. I beg your Majesty to have this approved, since it has been done in conformity with your Majesty's order to provide whatever was necessary. We are considering from what source the other necessaries can be provided, as, outside of the royal exchequer of your Majesty, there is at present no other fund; and the royal treasury is in great need, between the mortality of the natives and the taxations of Don Luis Perez de las Marinas; the yearly income has diminished by more than fifteen thousand pesos. We shall try our best to order affairs in the best possible way. May our Lord protect the Catholic person of your Majesty, as we your servants and vassals have need. Manila, the twelfth of July, 1598.
Statement of the accounts received from the director of the hospital for the natives. Cited in clause 8 of the letter of the governor of July 12, 1599.
The accounts which the lord president, governor, and captain-general of these islands, Don Francisco Tello, knight of the habit of Santiago, ordered me, the accountant Bartolome de Rrenteria, to audit from the seventeenth of September of the year ninety-eight, when the said lord president was at the royal hospital for natives of these islands. He inspected and took possession thereof in the name of your Majesty; and ordered me, the said accountant, to make in his presence an inventory of the income and property belonging to the said hospital, and I did so, as follows:
It was found that the said hospital has, through the bounty of your Majesty, five hundred ducats each Page 261year, paid from the fund set aside for such purposes by the royal exchequer; one thousand five hundred fanegas of rice in the hull, one thousand five hundred fowls, and two hundred pieces of cloth from Ylocos; and a further grant of four toneladas, to be sent each year in the ships of your Majesty or others, without duties or freight charges. Likewise there was found, as property of the said hospital, a farm for cattle, with a thousand head; ten mares, four colts, and one horse; six men slaves with five married slave women, and three other unmarried women and two unmarried men; and four hundred pesos, in coin. Besides this, Antonio Valerio, steward of the said hospital, has put in charge of me, the said accountant, a quantity of money received from various persons. The said Antonio Valerio has also rendered an itemized account of the whole thereof, from the first of September of the said year ninety-eight to the end of December of the same, and the expenses in that time amount to five hundred and thirty-seven pesos and one tomin; he likewise rendered another account in this year of ninety-nine, from the first of January to the end of April thereof, and the itemized expense account amounted to seven hundred and fifteen pesos and four tomins, as appears by the book which is in my possession. Besides, all necessary provision was made for divine worship in the said hospital. The said hospital has a house of stone, amply adequate, with three halls and apartments, and everything necessary and pertaining thereto. The said steward has no further account to give, because by command of his Lordship the accounts are audited every four months, and he will give what is lacking at the end of August of this year. That this matter may be Page 262understood, I have given this, at Manila, on the second of July in the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-nine.
Bartolome de Rrenteria
Copy of the instruction given to the alcaldes-mayor of the provinces and to the religious, for the Indians to render submission to the king our lord, and the measures taken in La Laguna. Cited in clause 10 of the governor's letter of July 12, 1599.
The King: To Don Francisco Tello, knight of the habit of Santiago, my governor and captain-general of the Philipinas Islands, and president of my royal Audiencia, which I have ordered reëstablished in the city of Manila in the said islands; or to the person or persons in whose charge the government of them may be. Fray Miguel de Venavides of the Order of St. Dominic, bishop of Nueva Segovia in those said islands, has given me certain memorials and accounts of affairs, and of measures suitable for their improvement, and for the security of the consciences of the confessors, of the encomenderos and soldiers, and of other persons, particularly in regard to what affects the spiritual good of the Indians, and the obligation which rests upon me to further it. As these are matters important to conscience and reduced to two points, I directed that, for the consideration of them, certain theologians, grave and eminent persons, should meet with the president and members of my Council of the Yndias. What they agreed upon was reported to me, and I now give you its substance and the conclusion which has been reached. The first difficulty was whether the faith must be Page 263preached to the heathen by poor preachers, provided only with the support of God according to the gospel, and what has been provided by the ordinances concerning discoveries; or whether the said preachers must enter escorted by soldiers bearing arms. And the question on the second point was, whether tribute should be levied upon the infidels who are not opposed to the preaching of the gospel and are not enemies; nor is there any other just cause for waging war against them, except solely to maintain the Spaniards. “Supposing that these tributes are imposed and levied primarily with the obligation of giving instruction, and maintaining justice to those who are subjected, they should not be levied on those who are not subjects and have not received the faith.” Having examined the said ordinances, it appears that what is provided in them is in conformity with the precepts of the gospel and with the justice necessary to the service of our Lord, and to the promulgation of His faith in newly-discovered countries. The bishop admits this, merely complaining of the lax execution of the decree, and the great liberty which the captains and soldiers take in interfering with the Indians and taking from them their liberty and property. Since my will has always been and is that the said ordinances should be observed, and whoever has violated or acted contrary to them in the past has displeased me, I order you that from now on you shall see to it that they be observed and carried out, inviolably. And to this end I have ordered to be sent to you—printed, and on separate sheets—the clauses which treat of the order to be observed in preaching in newly-entered countries, and how the tributes are to be levied; and the care with which, in both matters, Page 264you are to proceed—all being directed toward the good and contentment of the Indians, and their best condition, preservation, and civilization. And this you shall again cause to be published, adding penalty of death, perpetual banishment, or confiscation of property to any or all transgressors, according to the degree of their guilt. This you will execute inexorably, under penalty that, besides considering you lax in your duty, I shall have you punished with all rigor—and this infallibly, since you know my wish; and in these scrupulous matters the peace of my conscience rests upon your discharge of duty. In order that proper means may be taken in these matters you will meet with the archbishop and the newly-appointed bishops, and the superiors of the orders; and you will consider the measures to be taken to satisfy the injuries inflicted, and whether the tributes collected from the infidels contrary to the said ordinances can conveniently be restored. And if this cannot be done without great difficulty you will advise me thereof; and in the interval while advising me and while I am providing what appears to me to be best, everything shall remain in the same condition, with the peace and propriety with which I hope that you are governing both spiritually and temporally—as I charge you all to do, each in what concerns him. Likewise you will confer with the said superiors and religious, and bring it about that they shall undertake to remedy by love all which shall be found to have been done through force and fear; for, according to what the bishop tells me of these Indians, they are well disposed (not only in spiritual but in temporal matters), freely to render me submission. Done at Madrid, on the eighth day of the month of Page 265February in the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-seven.
I The King
By order of the king our lord:
Joan de Ybarra
In the city of Manila, on the fifth day of the month of August in the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-eight, the above-contained decree was proclaimed by Francisco Rodriguez, public crier, in a loud and clear voice, many persons being present, at the regular session of the Audiencia. I certify this.
Gaspar de Acebo
In the city of Manila, on the fourth day of the month of August in the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-eight, the governor and captain-general of these islands, Don Francisco Tello, in accordance with the royal decree of his Majesty, dated at Madrid, the eighth of February of the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-seven—which treats of certain difficulties suggested by the bishop of Cagayan4 in the Council of the Yndias and to the royal person—assembled at the royal buildings the bishops of these islands and the provincials and superiors of the orders thereof, in consultation upon the said decree. The said governor having read to them the said royal decree, and certain ordinances treating of discoveries and pacification, exactly as is contained in the said decree, and they having heard what his Majesty orders, and having consulted thereon, a decision was reached in the said meeting as to Page 266what the governor and captain-general should command in regard to the ordinances which his Majesty sent him, and which were publicly read, as hereinbefore stated, with the heavy penalties which the aforesaid decree provides against transgressors. For the future they understand that our Lord's service demands that, by peaceful means of love, all the Indians should render voluntary and free submission to his Majesty the king of Castilla, our lord; and they offered that by themselves and the religious, and the other ministers under their control, all efforts should be made that this might be accomplished in a short time. As regards restitution for the past, it seems best to them that what can be easily effected by pious works and other means should be done; and as for the rest this means would be taken, that the religious should gain over the Indians by love and gentleness, and that they should grant the natives freedom from tributes, which were levied in times past, while they were infidels. Therefore the following persons have affixed their signatures.
Don Francisco Tello
Archbishop of Manila
Fray Miguel, Bishop of Nueva Segovia.
Fray Pedro,5 Bishop of Santisimo Nombre de Jesus.
Fray Bernardo de Santa Catalina, provincial.
Raymundo de Prado, vice-provincial.
Fray Joan de San Pedro Martir
Joan de Rivera
This agrees with the original, which remains in my office:
Roque Loino de Caceres
In the village of Lumban, province of La Laguna de Bay, on the thirteenth day of the month of June of the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-nine, by command of the alferez Gregorio Ponce de Leon, deputy of the alcalde-mayor of the said provinces for the king our lord, and father Fray Antonio de Nombela, definitor of the Order of St. Francis in the said islands, and guardian of the said convent and village—before me, notary-public of the said provinces for his Majesty, were gathered all the governors, chiefs, headmen, and lords of barangay, and most of the timaguas and common people of all the villages of said provinces, whose names are as here follow.
Don Hernando Larogajon, governor; Don Francisco Volor, Don Phelipe Paguilagan, Don Mateo Umanguil, Miguel Manaycon, Simon Paniça, Phelipe Damian, Don Gaspar Culiao, Bartolome Maconan, Bartolome Parahan, chiefs and lords, heads of barangay of the village of Bay, and several of their timaguas. Governor Don Juan Halimao, Don Diego Caya, Domingo Sati, chiefs and lords of barangay of the village of Tableco, and several of their timaguas. Lieutenant-governor Domingo Labaulon, Don Francisco Meglilo, Don Antonio Tobantahel, Don Joan Lagban, Miguel Bati, headmen and lords of barangay of the village of Pila la Grande, and Page 268other chiefs, with common people, and several of their timaguas. The governor of the village of Nacarlandos, Marcos Brigilon; his lieutenant, Lorenço Manile; Domingo Pasdeyaen, Lucas Mandig, Don Pablo Caranblin, Joan Manglas, Domingo Malapas, Mateo Madhanay, Nicolas Magpisie, Antonio Magsibo, Fruian Lionan, chiefs, headmen, and lords of barangay of the said village, and many other chiefs and timaguas. The governor of the village of Mehay, Don Joan de Mendoça; Don Esteban Luvas, Don Pablo Magbres, Don Diego Magpalo, Damian Paoaviandes, Laramas, Don Antonio Dato, Diego Malapeg, Don Lucas Tunuguli, Jusepe Vale, chiefs, headmen and lords of barangay, and other chiefs and timaguas of the said village. The governor of the village of Saloanij Guilinguilin; Don Juan Puhaban; the lieutenant, Don Francisco Caraguen; Don Francisco Bala, Don Pedro Banguig, Don Diego Limetig, Don Alonso Goor, Don Joan Pile, Don Diego Bagnor, Don Bentura Ulay, Don Christoval Rarac, Don Christoval Banguis, Don Diego Daolor, Don Antonio Quilala, Don Joan Ligno, Don Pedro Alimango, Don Francisco Dales, Don Francisco Danga, Don Luis Guinton, Venito Laquer, Marcos Abal, chiefs, head men and lords of barangay, and other chiefs, and timaguas and common people of the said village. The lieutenant-governor of the village of Panguil, Don Miguel Boag; Don Andres Talamindor, Francisco Valor, Don Juan Mabaylo, Don Agustin Labrian, Don Francisco Laguin, Don Pedro Pazhan, Don Andres Guilla, Don Andres Ama, Don Luis Lanvan, Don Lorenço Apon, Don Phelipe Panindo, chiefs and lords, heads of barangay, and other chiefs and timaguas of the said village. Page 269The governor of the village of Paoil, Don Joan Lagary; his lieutenant, Don Miguel Manduga; Domingo Pansas, Sebastian Palangan, Don Joan Valoban, Don Alonso Bulanvel, chiefs, lords, and heads of the said barangay, and other chiefs, common people, and timaguas of the said village. The governor of the village of Sampablo, Don Lorenço Lansapao; Don Agustin Magapan, Joan Masquiles, Don Antonio Calapar, Luis Lapipir, Pablo Mandol, Ventura Pilapan, Pablo Casyl, Joan Moage, Francisco Mayas, Pablo Caylo, chiefs, lords, heads of barangay, and other chiefs, common people, and timaguas of the said village. The lieutenant-governor of the village of Santa Cruz, Joan Abalasaval; Gaspar Tosol, Joan Bago, chiefs and lords, heads of barangay, and other chiefs, common people, and timaguas of the said village. The governor of the village of Pililla, Don Joan Yavi, Don Luis Abalo, Don Phelipe Bognor, Don Agustin Magcanayon, Don Pedro Canayon, Miguel Togui, Antonio Mabanta, Lorenço Lagasia, Bernardo Sampaga, Diego Manira, Martin Cosso, Juan Tangui, Lucas Ayog, Don Luys Calyas, Clemente Lagnig, chiefs and lords, heads of barangay, and other chiefs, common people, and timaguas of the said village. The governor of the village of Moran, Don Francisco Laquiao; Don Luis Limetig, Don Pablo Sosil, Don Francisco Baro, chiefs and head men, lords of barangay, and other chiefs, common people, and timaguas of the said village. The governor of the village of Lunban, Don Juan Burlon; his lieutenant, Don Joan Alaman; Don Agustin Mamija, Don Marco Ral, Don Rodrigo Pananbo, Don Phelipe Tangui, Don Ventura Marlangaley, Don Alonso Bineg, Don Alonso Page 270Posolan, Don Agustin Asum, Don Alonso Tindig, Luis Aveij, Don Diego Laval, Don Diego Gaddola, Gonçalo Lima, Don Francisco Pirangaran, Don Pablo Caliox, Alonso Paraorao, Don Diego Lahacan, Don Gonçalo Magcoli, Antonio Puragti Habanpoli, Don Juan Bambin, chiefs and lords, heads of barangay, and other chiefs, common people, and all the timaguas of the said village and government. Don Agustin Baticio, Don Marcos Manalo, Don Agustin Sandi, Pedro Cabasao, Dionisio Magsubey, Don Tomas Bagsit, Alonso Sancabo, chiefs of barangay of the said province.
And all having assembled and come together thus, both the chiefs and the timaguas, with the said Franciscan father guardian, Fray Antonio de Nombela, as interpreter, they were given to understand why they had been called together and were assembled. They were told how God our Lord had granted them great kindness and grace in keeping them under the evangelical faith, which remains in His holy church, in the apostle St. Peter and his successors, who are the pontiffs, bishops, and confessors who in His name administer instruction and point out the way to heaven. Our Lord had liberated them from the blindness and tyranny in which they were as subjects of the devil—who not only caused the damnation of their immortal souls, which are to be cared for, but likewise harassed their bodies and consumed their lives.
What is still more weighty, the most cursed and perverse sect of Mahoma had begun, through its followers and disciples, to spread and scatter through some of the islands of this archipelago its pestilent and abominable creed; but the true God was pleased Page 271at that time to bring the Spanish people into these islands, which was a cure and remedy for the mortal sickness which the said Mahometan sect has already commenced to cause in them. Besides this, the Spaniards had freed them from the tyranny with which their kings and lords were possessing themselves of their wives and goods, which was the greatest injury which could be inflicted upon them. They were also reminded of the great favor that God our Lord had granted them in giving them for their king and natural lord the Catholic king Don Phelipe, our sovereign, to maintain them and keep them in peace and justice, with much gentleness and love. Our lord might have deferred the conquest of these islands, and it would have been made by other kings who are not so Catholic, as a punishment for the idolatry which they practiced; then they would have fallen into greater blindness and sin than before, and they would not have been so rich and well-provided as they are, nor would their property have been so safe. All this is greater advantage than they had in olden days, while they were infidels. All this was declared to the above-named persons, so that, in conformity with his will and pleasure they might render submission to his Majesty, and acknowledge him as such king and natural lord; and this, notwithstanding what they may have given by word or deed, for the greater justification of the tributes enjoyed and being enjoyed, which they have given and paid, and henceforth may give and pay, both to his Majesty and to his vassals. And this writing is evidence in all times that of their own will and pleasure they have rendered the said submission and acknowledgment to their said king and lord. All the said Page 272governors and chiefs, lords of barangay, and their timaguas who are present, having understood through the interpreter the address which has been made to them in the name of his Majesty, said together and unanimously—and not only for themselves but for their subjects, descendants, and successors in the dominion and lordship of their barangays—that they recognized and held themselves fortunate in having recognized our lord; and this because he has granted them the favors mentioned, and greater ones, since the king our lord is more Catholic and Christian than other kings of the world, and under his temporal laws they have lived and are living in great security of life and property, comfort, and peace, and with more liberty than they ever thought to have, since they are free at present from all the tyrannies to which they were subject in the time when they were infidels. Therefore, in answer to what was asked them, as it was of so great importance they sought for a delay, as the time is so short, and they had not conferred and communicated with all the chiefs, nor informed those of their villages of the resolution; and so they separated, saying that there would be enough time from now until the departure of the ships in the coming year, one thousand six hundred, and that information about this negotiation could be sent then to his Majesty. This they declared, and those who could do so signed their names, also the said father definitor and guardian, and the said lieutenant, as I certify. The witnesses were father Fray de Ponto, guardian of the convent of Mahayhay; father Fray Tomas de Miranda, father Fray Bartolome Ruiz, father Fray Alonso de Santana, Fray Bernardo de Asincion, Don Francisco Page 273Bagua, Don Heronimo Aroppora, Francisco de Nombela, Gregorio Ponce de Leon.
Joan de Ribera, notary-public
Copy of the letter from the king of Camboxa to the governor of Manila. Cited in clause 27 of the governor's letter of July 12, 1599.
Copy of a letter from the king of Sian.—I received the embassy of your Lordship with the greatest pleasure, and for a long time past I have desired to have a firm and true friendship between us. From now on I beg that your Lordship will keep this, and this kingdom of mine shall stand by it. And your kingdom and this kingdom shall be friends, and particularly your city of Manilha. This shall be my duty and yours for I have always looked to and upon you to keep the firm friendship. The king of Portugal alone will take arms in his hands, for in these times there are some troubles arising from the captain of Malaca, Daroca Fiaon. For this I have pledged my word to the renewed friendship, as before. As for the Portuguese, whatever your Lordship asks or orders shall be done in this country. I am very fond of you, and this leads me to keep for you all those who may wish to live in this my kingdom; I shall permit it, for I shall receive all as I have been seen to receive these, and as Captain Juan Tello said that ... I have received what your Lordship sent me; and by the same person I will send a ring to your Lordship ... which your Lordship will value. At Acibi Pacos, outside of my city. May 5, 1598.
I, Gaspar de Acebo, notary-public of the government of these Filipinas Islands for the king our lord, certify to those who may see these presents that the governor and captain-general of these islands, Don Francisco Tello, knight of the habit of Santiago, in fulfilment of the decrees and instructions of the king our lord, which the aforesaid Don Francisco holds for the good government of these islands, has been fulfilling and executing them in so far as was expedient and for the service of the king our lord. The decree which arrived here relating to the pancada [i.e., purchase in gross] of the merchandise and cloth which come from China, directing that it should be bought by one person, and that six persons should go with it and dispose of the goods in Nueva España for the citizens of these islands—being put into execution by the said governor, was carried to the royal Audiencia of these islands in course of appeal by the citizens thereof, in which court the suit is in progress.
Likewise the said governor, by virtue of his instruction, inspected the cathedral church of this city, conjointly with the archbishop Don Fray Ygnacio (whom may God keep); and in the presence of me, the said secretary, inspected the ornaments of the said church, the plate, and other articles of the service of divine worship. They ordered the treasurer of the said church and the former stewards of the said cathedral to render accounts, so that the property and income of the said church might be known.
Item: By virtue of a royal decree, obtained by the petition of the late bishop of these islands, Don Fray Domingo de Salazar, when any canonry or Page 275prebend in these islands was vacated, the governor might, as these islands are so remote from the kingdom of España, present the person who should to him appear fitting for such canonry or prebend. This has been carried out and executed thus far by the said governor.
Item: The royal decree is being carried out and put into operation which directs the establishment of schools in which to teach the natives the Spanish language. The said schools are in charge of the fathers of the Society of Jesus.
Item: By virtue of a decree of the king our lord, dated in Madrid the eighth of February of the past year of ninety-seven, in which is directed the order to be followed in bringing the natives of these islands to render submission to the royal crown, and in publishing the ordinances for newly-discovered countries, these were published in this city; and the order to be observed in bringing the natives to render submission was provided for by the archbishop (whom may God keep), Don Fray Ygnacio de Santibañez, and the other bishops and provincials of these islands, conjointly with the said governor. They have begun to carry this out in several provinces of these islands.
Item: The said governor has ordered to be fulfilled and executed the clause of the instruction which directs that duties shall not be levied upon the Chinese or other nations in the neighborhood of these islands, as they bring provisions and military stores to provide this camp.
Likewise, in fulfilment of another clause of the instruction, the said governor took possession, in the name of and for the lord our king, of the hospital for Page 276natives which is situated in this city, and ordered accounts to be rendered of the property and income of the said hospital.
Item: In accordance with a royal decree which deals with the fact that the chiefs of these islands are being employed in governorships, and directs that they be honored and favored by the magistrates, this has been done and is being done by the said governor, Don Francisco Tello.
Item: In regard to clause twenty-seven of his instructions, by which the said governor is ordered and commanded to reduce the number of encomiendas and villages, and ordains that they be in places convenient for the administration of the holy sacraments to the natives, this is being carried out without harshness, in those regions which are at present prepared for it.
Item: Likewise some of the royal decrees and clauses of instruction which were given to the said governor Don Francisco Tello have not been carried out. In these it is ordered and commanded that certain things are to be done for the good government of these islands, conjointly with the archbishop thereof. As the latter died soon after his arrival in this city, they were suspended, without any action or consideration being taken of them, because the said governor was commanded to communicate and act with the said archbishop.
In proof of the truth of what is here related, by the request and command of Don Francisco Tello, knight of the habit of Santiago, governor and captain-general of these islands, I have given the present, dated in the city of Manila, on the fourteenth day of the month of July of the year one thousand five hundred Page 277and ninety-nine. I have therefore set my seal hereto in witness of the truth.
Gaspar de Acebo
We, the notaries-public and royal who sign here, certify and bear witness that Gaspar de Acebo, by whom this instrument is signed and sealed, is secretary of the government of these islands; and to the instruments and documents which are drawn before him entire faith and credit is given, in and out of court. That this may appear we have given the present in the city of Manila, in the Filipinas Islands, on the fourteenth day of the month of July, of the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-nine.
1 The paragraphs in italics which accompany the sections of Tello's letter are apparently brief summaries thereof, made by some clerk for the use of the Council of the Indias.
2 Referring to the diocese of Nueva Cáceres (also known as Camarines). It was offered successively to three Franciscans, two Page 233nof whom declined the honor; the third, Fray Pedro Bautista, was already a martyr in Japan when the royal decree arrived at Manila. The office was finally conferred (1600) upon Francisco de Ortega, O.S.A. Benavides was the first bishop of Nueva Segovia, and Agurto of Cebú.
3 A grant of graces, indulgences, and dispensations awarded by the Holy See to the faithful of either sex, inhabitants of Spain, Portugal, their colonies, and the kingdom of Naples. The condition requisite for the enjoyment of these favors is the contribution yearly of a small alms for the support of divine worship and maintenance of institutions of beneficence, as hospitals, asylums, and the like. Among the privileges granted are absolution from reserved cases, commutation of vows, exemption from abstinence and fasts, and so on. In former ages the alms thus contributed were employed in battles against infidels and heretics. The document empowering the recipient of the above favors to make use of them must be printed on stamped paper, and sealed and signed by the commissary-general apostolic delegated therefor by the Holy See. The dispensation must be renewed yearly. Moroni—Dizionario (Venezia, 1840), v, 283–285—states that, from the revenue thus received from the Crusade sales annually, the following amounts are turned over to the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in the Vatican, for its support, viz.: by Spain, $12,000; by Portugal, $4,000; by Brazil, $2,000; by Naples, about $700. (See Ferraris—Bibliotheca, art. “Bulla Cruciatæ.”)—Rev. T.C. Middleton, O.S.A.
4 Another appellation of the diocese of Nueva Segovia, which comprised the province of Cagayan.
5 This was Fray Pedro de Agurto, bishop of Cebú; his official appellation in the text is derived from the name of the capital city Page 267nof Cebú. Agurto was a native of Mexico; he became a friar in the Augustinian order, in which he filled many important posts. He took possession of his diocese of Cebú on October 14, 1598, and died at Cebú on the tenth anniversary of that day (1608).
Ordinances Enacted by the Audiencia of Manila
An act decreeing that the Sangleys who are arrested shall pay their creditors within six days, or have their services sold for debt.
In the city of Manila, on the thirteenth of June, one thousand five hundred and ninety-eight, the members of this court, the president and auditors of the royal Audiencia and Chancillería of the Philipinas Islands, while inspecting the prison, declared that, whereas, both in the royal prison of this court and in that of the jurisdiction of the alcaicería [Chinese market] many Sangley prisoners are arrested for debts of long standing, who, by not having the means to pay, or for their own purposes, being thus assured of their sustenance, allow themselves to remain in the said prisons, without making any payment: therefore, since it is advisable to remedy this evil, on account of the great expense incurred by the Confraternity of La Sancta Misericordia for the sustenance of the aforesaid prisoners, and in order that the creditors may be paid, they ordered, and they did so order, that the said Sangleys imprisoned for debts past due be notified that they must pay their creditors within six days, being warned that, if they do not, their services will be sold to anyone who will give enough to satisfy and pay the creditors, and to Page 279the amount of their debt; but if they cannot be sold, or if the creditors wish to take them to the amount of the debt, they shall be delivered to the latter in chains, in order to serve out the amount of the debt. If the said creditors refuse to receive the prisoners, they shall be notified to give them food in the said prisons at their own expense; and, on failure to do so, the prisoners will be set at liberty. Thus they voted, ordered, and decreed.
Pedro Hurtado Desquibel
An act decreeing that notaries, whether public or royal, shall be present at the review of charges against prisoners.
In the city of Manila, on the thirteenth of June, one thousand five hundred and ninety-eight, the president and auditors of the royal Audiencia of the Philipinas Islands, while making a general review of the charges against prisoners in the royal prison of this court, ordered, and they did so order, in consideration of the fact that the notaries, both public and royal, were not present at the said review with the records of the suits against the prisoners, for which reason the review was hindered, that the notaries should all be notified, collectively and singly, to be present at such review of charges, with the suits that they shall have, in order to report upon them—under penalty of a fine of four pesos for the first offense, to be given to the poor of the said prison. For the second offense they shall be rigorously punished. Thus they voted, ordered, and decreed.
An act decreeing that the prison warden shall maintain a stricter watch over the prisoners.
In the city of Manila, on the twentieth of June, one thousand five hundred and ninety-eight, the president and auditors of the royal Audiencia of the Philipinas Islands, on the occasion of a review of charges against prisoners, declared that, whereas it has come to their knowledge that many of the prisoners in the said prison leave it to eat and sleep, and go to their houses and about their business, and that those who are ordered to imprison them fail to do so, so that from the aforesaid there has been, and is, a great deal of disorder, and that the warden thereof does not fulfil and observe his obligations: therefore, as it is advisable to remedy the aforesaid evil, they ordered, and they did so order, that Baltasar Martin, warden of the said prison, be notified that, now and henceforth, he shall under no consideration permit any prisoner in his charge, during the time of his imprisonment, to leave the said prison for eating, sleeping, or any other matter outside of it. Prisoners who are ordered to be imprisoned shall not be released except by order and command of the judges by whose orders they are arrested. The aforesaid warden shall observe the obligations of his office, being warned that, if he shall act contrary thereto, he will be proceeded against with the full rigor of the law; in addition to which, the penalties for not exercising his said office in accordance with his bond and pledge shall be executed against him. Thus they voted, ordered, and decreed.
An act decreeing that there shall be no hucksters.
In the city of Manila, on the twenty-fifth of June, one thousand five hundred and ninety-eight, the president and auditors assembled in this royal Audiencia and Chancillería declared that, whereas in this said city of Manila all sorts of provisions have become very dear, on account of the disorder that has existed, and does exist, through having allowed many Sangleys and native Indians to go through this city and five leagues round about it, trading and bartering the said provisions—as, for instance, rice, wine, fowls, swine, cows, buffalo, game, eggs, geese, kids, cocoanuts, bananas, pullets, capons, fish, olive-oil, vinegar, and other provisions that are gathered and raised within the five leagues, or are bought from outside from the other provinces, islands, villages, and hamlets—and act as hucksters and retailers of these provisions: therefore, as it is advisable to provide the necessary remedy in this matter, in order that the said disorder be avoided, they ordered, and they did so order, that no person—Spaniard, Sangley, native, or of any other nation, quality, and rank whatever—shall trade or barter, now and henceforth, in the said provisions, or in any of them, in this said city or within the five leagues of its jurisdiction. No huckster shall buy or retail for his own trade or profit any of the above things, under any condition, under penalty of confiscation of everything thus found in his possession which he has bought or traded for—half to be applied to his Majesty's treasury, and the other half to go to the informer or constable who exposes him, or to the judge who gives sentence. Besides this, any person who shall be discovered not to have fulfilled this obligation shall, if he be a Spaniard, Page 282for the first offense be imprisoned twenty days in the common jail; and for the second he shall be banished for six months from this city and the five-league circuit of this court, to a prescribed residence. If he be a Sangley or an Indian, he shall for the first offense be given one hundred lashes; and for the second shall serve in his Majesty's galleys, or at the forge, or in the powder-house, for a period of two years without pay. Those who obtain the said provisions by cultivation and labor within a circuit of five leagues, or who bring them from outside this city to sell them therein, may sell and bring them freely, so that it be not to the said hucksters or retailers; and provided that they bring them first to the public square of this city, or up the river in their vessels, in order that the inhabitants and dwellers in this city may be provided with whatever they may need, for the time and space of two natural days. These being passed, whatever they cannot sell they may carry away, and sell in the other towns within the said five leagues. Likewise, they ordered that no person shall go by way of the sea or the river or by highways whence come the said provisions, to take or buy them from those who should be bringing them, before the arrival of the latter with them in this city, within the five leagues, under penalty of one hundred lashes; and that the alcaldes-in-ordinary, the regidors, and other officials of this city, and the alcaldes-mayor of Tondo and Bulacan and their assistants, shall take especial care for the execution and enforcement of this act in their districts, being warned that they will be punished at their residencias, and will be charged therewith; and warning will be given to those who take their residencias that their punishment be executed. Page 283Thus they voted, ordered, and decreed over their names, and that this act be proclaimed in this city and the suburb of Tondo.
Doctor Antonio de Morga
The licentiate Tellez Almaçan
The licentiate Albaro Çambrano
Before me: Pedro Hurtado Desquibel
An act decreeing that no one shall embark for the purpose of leaving these islands, without permission.
In the city of Manila, on the first of July, one thousand five hundred and ninety-eight, the president and auditors of the royal Audiencia and Chancillería of the said islands, being assembled, and considering a petition presented by the licentiate Geronimo Salazar y Salzedo, his Majesty's fiscal in the said royal Audiencia, declared that, whereas many people who go unpunished by the royal justice for murders and other crimes that they have committed, and others for owing money to the royal exchequer, and for bringing suits against the royal treasurer, and who have other legitimate reasons for not being able to leave this city, absent themselves from it in order not to be punished, or to pay what they owe, and go to Nueva España and other places, favored and assisted by generals, admirals, captains, masters, and other officers and persons of the ships sailing from these islands, whence results much harm and trouble; therefore, in order that the aforesaid evils be remedied, and that this may not be so henceforth, they ordered, and they did so order, that no general, admiral, captain, master, or any other officer or person, on whatever vessel sailing from these islands, for Nueva España or any other places whatever, shall receive, assist, protect, or conceal, Page 284in any manner, any person of any rank or condition whatever, so that he may embark on such ship or ships—even though he may go thereon as captain, master, pilot, sailor, or in any other capacity—without securing permission in writing from the governor and captain-general of these islands, drawn up with the necessary conditions, and in the usual form. If it should happen that the said person or persons embark so secretly that they do not allow themselves to be seen by the officers of the said ship on which they are, until it is under sail, as soon as they allow themselves to be seen, the captain of said ship shall be informed thereof, in order that he may make investigation of it, ascertaining and assuring himself how and in what manner, and when and how, they embarked and where; who helped and protected them therein, and who saw them embark; and for what reason they secretly embarked. The said officers shall arrest the person or persons who shall have embarked, together with those who shall have given their favor or assistance. They shall be found guilty in conformity with the aforesaid, and placed in irons, so that at the first port where they arrive, they may be handed over, with a copy of the investigations which shall have been made, to the justice thereof, who shall keep them prisoners. On the first occasion of the sailing of any ship, he shall send them as prisoners to this city under a sufficient guard, to the royal prison of this court, delivering them to the warden thereof, and taking his testimony in the matter, delivering also the original of the said investigation. They shall send a complete and authentic copy of all the above to the fiscal of the said royal Audiencia, in order that such persons may be punished as their Page 285offenses demand. They ordered unanimously that no person, of whatever rank or condition, for any cause or reason whatever, shall leave this city, to go beyond these islands, or to leave them for Nueva España, or any other places unless he has permission in writing from the said governor, with the necessary conditions. Likewise, it shall be understood by the captains, masters, pilots, sailors, and other workmen on any ships whatever, in the manner aforesaid. In order that this act be exactly enforced, it shall be publicly proclaimed in this city and the port of Cavite. Copies shall be made of it and affixed to the doors of the royal houses, so that it may come to the notice of everyone, and no one may plead ignorance of it, so that one and all may observe it in the manner aforesaid—under penalty of a fine of five hundred pesos of common gold, to be applied to the use of the royal treasury and the interests of the royal exchequer, to which sum they hold them condemned as soon as they disobey this decree, besides the deprivation of their offices. This penalty is to be executed without any favor. Thus they decreed, ordered, and ordained.
Doctor Antonio de Morga
The licentiate Tellez Almaçan
An act decreeing that one of the auditors shall have charge of reviewing the charges against prisoners every two months.
In the city of Manila, on the fifth of August, one thousand five hundred and ninety-eight, the president and auditors of the royal Audiencia of the Philipinas Islands, being assembled, declared that, whereas there are many prisoners in the royal prison of this court, whose numbers are constantly increasing, on Page 286account of arrests for vagabondage and other criminal charges: therefore, in order that the cases of such prisoners be settled and despatched with all promptness, the charges against them reviewed during the week, and their cases substantiated and decided, and that the order and system requisite to the quick and efficient despatch of their affairs may be observed, they ordered, and they did so order, that now and henceforth, an auditor of this royal Audiencia shall, during the months assigned to him, review the charges against prisoners, at such times and in such wise as he may deem proper. The cases of such prisoners as are in the prison must be definitely substantiated and concluded, without any prisoner being able to escape, or any case to go unsettled. He shall then refer them to the court of this royal Audiencia, in order that they may be examined and decided therein. In the aforesaid examination, he shall take particular care to follow the established practice, so that there may be suitable method and system, in order to avoid long imprisonments and delays in the cases. To execute the above, full authority and power was delegated in due legal form. They ordered the licentiate Christoval Tellez de Almaçan, auditor of this royal Audiencia, to begin his months from today; then, consecutively, the other members of the Audiencia. Thus they voted, and ordered it to be registered as an act, and signed the same.
Doctor Antonio de Morga
The licentiate Tellez Almaçan
The licentiate Albaro Çambrano
An act relating to the breeding of fowls.
In the city of Manila, on the second of October, one thousand five hundred and ninety-eight, the president and auditors of the royal Audiencia of the Philipinas Islands declared that, whereas in the instructions which have been given to the alcaldes-mayor of the provinces of these islands, the latter have been charged and ordered to take particular care that the natives thereof shall raise fowls, in order both to pay their tribute, and to keep the land supplied with necessary food; they are, however, informed that, although the said alcaldes-mayor take particular care in the execution and enforcement of the said instructions, the said natives do not breed the said fowls, because no pecuniary penalties are exacted from them—whence it results that they have none wherewith to pay their tribute; and there is a very considerable lack and scarcity of them in this city, so that they are worth three or four reals apiece, and then scarcely to be found; therefore, to remedy this loss, they ordered, and they did so order, the said alcaldes-mayor, now and henceforth, to reward any of the said natives who raises the number of fowls that is called for by the said instructions. The Indians who will not raise them can be and shall be fined one toston, which is to be applied equally to the support of the two hospitals in this city, those for the Spaniards and for the natives; but no other fines or costs are to be collected from them. They shall keep a book with an account and a report, in which they shall enter the said condemnations in legal form—wherein they shall take great care and diligence, so that the provisions of this act may be better enforced. In order that the said natives may not pretend ignorance, the said alcaldes-mayor, Page 288upon receipt of a copy of this act, authorized by the present notary, shall have it proclaimed in the villages under their jurisdiction, with the number of fowls that must be raised, so that the said penalties may be imposed with more rectitude and justification. By this act, they so voted, ordered, and decreed, and they ordained that this act be inscribed in the book of this royal Audiencia.
Doctor Antonio de Morga
The licentiate Tellez Almaçan
The licentiate Albaro Çambrano
Pedro Hurtado Desquibel
An act relating to slavery.
In the city of Manila, on the second of October, one thousand five hundred and ninety-eight, the president and auditors of the royal Audiencia and Chancillería of the Philipinas Islands declared that, whereas they had been informed that in the province of Pampanga were many native slaves, divided among many masters—one slave often serving ten masters, more or less—whence resulted great disservice to God our Lord, on account of the vexations, troubles, and great injuries received by the said slaves in serving so many masters; and whereas they had ordered Benito de Mendiola, alcalde-mayor of the said province, to inform himself regarding what should be done in this matter in order to repair such wrongs; and whereas the latter, in a petition, presented before the aforesaid Audiencia, has informed them that no satisfactory division of the slaves is made among the heirs, and that on this account they may be appraised at the common value and appraisal, and when they are sold Page 289the purchase-price should be divided among the heirs; and, if after being appraised, one of them retains a slave, he should pay the other heirs for their share: therefore, because the said opinion seemed a fair method of procedure, they ordered, and they did so order, the said alcalde-mayor of Pampanga, now and henceforth, to take particular care in such cases to observe the said plan—so that such slaves shall not have so many owners, nor endure, or be vexed with, the service of so many masters, whom they cannot serve without considerable trouble. It often happens that they run away from their masters, or are ill-treated and not supplied with food and other things necessary to their life. The said alcalde-mayor shall be advised to execute and enforce the tenor of this act, being warned that, if he shall not do so, vigorous proceedings will be instituted against him. By this act, they so voted, ordered, and decreed, providing that this act be entered in the books of this royal Audiencia.
Doctor Antonio de Morga
The licentiate Tellez Almaçan
The licentiate Albaro Çambrano
Pedro Hurtado Desquibel
An act decreeing a proper regulation of supplies.
In the city of Manila, on the fifteenth day of the month of October, one thousand five hundred and ninety-eight, the president and auditors of the royal Audiencia of the Philipinas Islands, being assembled, declared that at present there is a great lack of provisions in this city, and that those that are to be had are so high-priced, that there is general suffering. It Page 290is thought that, unless this be regulated, the trouble will increase in the future.
Buffalo meat. Therefore they ordered that a contract should be made with ten Indian arquebusiers, from among those who have permission to hunt, so that what buffaloes they kill shall be brought for public sale at the city slaughter-house; and there shall be there every day the meat of at least one buffalo, which is to be weighed out and distributed to the citizens.
The natives and Sangleys must raise fowl and swine. Item: They voted and ordered that, now and henceforth, all the natives of these islands, and the Sangley gardeners who reside therein, shall raise fowl and swine, as they are ordered, under penalty of a fine of four reals apiece—three of these to be applied to the use of the hospitals of this city, and one to the alguazil-mayor or judge who executes this decree. To that end, the necessary orders shall be despatched, directed to the magistrates, charging them with the enforcement thereof, and warning them that especial attention will be paid to their observance of them, when their residencias are taken.
That the natives shall bring their provisions for sale to this city. Likewise, they ordered the said alcaldes-mayor and magistrates to be charged and ordered to procure and give orders, each one in his jurisdiction, to the Indians to come to this city with fowl, swine, wine, rice, olive-oil, vinegar, and other provisions which they may have, to sell in this city, for the provision thereof. They are to come directed to the president, so that he may have some one commissioned to distribute the provisions without injury to their owners, and at their full value. Especial care is to be taken in the execution of this. Page 291
That pork shall be sold in the public square at a counter, by weight and assize. Further, they ordered that, neither in this city nor its suburbs, nor in the Sangley and native settlements, shall any person offer for sale or sell, a dead hog or parts thereof, in the streets or in their houses, unless it is brought to the square or the Parian, or any other place that shall be assigned therefor by the magistrate. There it shall be sold publicly at a counter, by weight and at fixed rates, under penalty of confiscation of whatever is found on sale in any other way—which shall go to the alguazil or judge executing this decree—and twenty lashes applied to the seller.
Price at which hens, chickens, and capons shall be bought and sold. Item: In order that the dearness of the price of fowls may cease (for they are the principal sustenance of this land), and because it is just that there shall be a common and general price for all, they ordered that no person—Spanish, Sangley, native, or other, of any quality, rank, or condition whatever—may sell or cause to be sold in this city, or within a radius of five leagues thereof, hens, capons, and chickens, whether of their own breeding, or of their income, profit, or property, in any way whatsoever, at a higher price than the following: a laying Sangley hen, two and one-half reals; a Moro hen, two reals; a male chicken, one real; a pullet, one and one-half reals; a Sangley capon, three and one-half reals—under this penalty, that whoever shall be found selling at a higher price shall lose the fowls which are thus sold, which shall be divided into three parts, among the hospitals of this city, and the informer or the judge who shall execute this decree. At this price those who have fowls shall be obliged Page 292to give them to anyone who would buy. The justices are charged and ordered to take care to have this scale observed and enforced in their jurisdictions, with the utmost strictness. It shall be proclaimed and published therein, that no one may plead ignorance thereof.
That provisions shall be allowed to be sold freely. Further, they ordered that all provisions shall be freely offered, and those who bring them shall sell them at their pleasure and free will: and no person in this city, or its suburbs and settlements, shall dare to take by force, or against their will, from the Indians or Sangleys, what they bring to sell, or cause them any injury or molestation therein, under penalty of being severely punished.
That those who sell fish and other provisions shall maintain the fixed rates. They also ordered that those who sell fish and other provisions, shall abide by the fixed rates which are established, under the penalties imposed for the violation of them. This act shall be publicly proclaimed in this city, and in the Sangley Parian, and in the settlements of Tondo, in order that all may know of it.
Don Francisco Tello
Doctor Antonio de Morga
The licentiate Tellez Almazan
The licentiate Albaro Çambrano
Pedro Hurtado Desquibel
An act relating to the importation to this city, from the neighboring provinces, of fowls, swine, and eggs, for the ordinary allotment.
In the city of Manila, on the seventh day of the Page 293month of December, one thousand five hundred and ninety-eight, the president and auditors of the royal Audiencia and Chancillería residing in the said city, examined the petition of the protector of the natives of these islands, presented in the name of the inhabitants of Tondo and its district, in regard to their ordering that this city of Manila should be provided with the fowls and swine necessary for its sustenance, from all the provinces and villages of this neighborhood, allotting among them equitably what each one is obliged to furnish, so that no one be overburdened; but, since all this has been thus done until now, the said village and tributes of his Majesty are being depopulated and growing smaller. The said Audiencia having likewise seen the want and necessity which has existed, and exists at present, of the said fowls, swine, and eggs, for the sustenance of this city—although, to remedy the difficulty, the said president and auditors have enacted other ordinances and acts—they declared that, in order that the provisions of the said act may be better fulfilled, and with greater ease and convenience, and less vexation to the natives, since the inhabitants of each one of the villages of these environs know what assistance they owe, they [the Audiencia] ought to order, and they did so order, that, now and henceforth, the alcaldes-mayor of these environs of Manila—namely, those of Tondo, Pampanga, Bulacan, Laguna, Mindoro, Balayan—shall be under the obligation of providing this city from their said districts with the fowls, swine, and eggs necessary for its sustenance, at the time and in the quantity and order following.
First, the year shall be apportioned and divided as follows for each alcalde-mayor: That of Tondo, the Page 294first three months of the year—January, February, and March. That of Pampanga, the next three months—April, May, and June. That of Bulacan, the next two months—for the inhabitants of Bulacan, July and August. That of Laguna, the next two months—for the inhabitants of Laguna, September and October. That of Mindoro and Balayan, the next two months—November and December.
They are charged and ordered to take particular care to be punctual in entering upon their months without awaiting any other orders, and to send to this city each week, until their term is finished, to the person who shall be nominated and appointed, three hundred laying hens—the fourth or third part of them pullets, at the rate of four small ones or two large ones for one laying fowl—and likewise two thousand eggs, and the number of swine that he may consider proper, and that can be produced. And the said person, as soon as he shall receive them, shall distribute them all in due order and form, to those persons and in the manner ordained and ordered, paying immediately those who brought them, according to the scale imposed by this royal Audiencia—advising the natives that during Lent, in place of fowls, they must send eggs.
In order that this act may be better enforced, and that nothing may arise to obstruct or hinder its fulfilment (inasmuch as it has been ordered, by other acts, that all the natives shall raise the said fowls and swine, under certain penalties), the said alcaldes-mayor are again charged to exert all care in this matter, so that the natives may easily furnish what is assigned to and ordered from them. Furthermore, there shall be no Sangleys (whether infidels or Christians), Page 295or native chiefs or timaguas, excused from undertaking the said breeding, and furnishing the said allotment, since it is important for their own welfare, utility, and profit. The said reservation shall be observed in regard to everything else therein contained; and they ordered all the said alcaldes-mayor to issue letters and royal decrees, with this act inserted therein, in order that the provisions herein contained may begin to be observed from the first of January of the coming year, one thousand five hundred and ninety-nine, beginning with Tondo and continuing with the other places in the said order. And the said alcaldes-mayor shall be notified that, just as care will be taken to reward them for the care and diligence that they shall exert in its fulfilment, in like manner those who do not observe it will be punished; and orders will be given to take especial account in their residencias of the carelessness or neglect observed by them in this. Thus they decreed and ordered, and affixed their signatures.
Don Francisco Tello
Doctor Antonio de Morga
The licentiate Tellez Almaçan
The licentiate Albaro Çambrano
Pedro Hurtado Desquibel
An act ordering the auditor last appointed to audit the accounts of this city for the past year XCVIII.
In the city of Manila, on the nineteenth of December, one thousand five hundred and ninety-eight, the president and auditors of the royal Audiencia of the Philipinas Islands declared that, whereas the king our sovereign, by one of his royal ordinances, Page 296ordains and orders the aforesaid, that one auditor of this his royal Audiencia shall each year audit the accounts of this city; and that they shall commence with the last elected, and that each year they shall continue with the rest of the auditors in their turn: therefore, in conformity with the said royal ordinance, and in order exactly to enforce its provisions, they ordered, and they did so order, that the licentiate Albaro Çambrano, auditor of this royal Audiencia, beginning the aforesaid, shall immediately audit the said accounts of this city for the past year of ninety-eight, ordering and providing therefor whatever is necessary. To that end, and for any act connected with and concerning it, they gave him power and full commission, as far as is required by law. In future years the other members, in their turn, shall continue to audit the said accounts annually, as is here declared. Thus they voted, and ordered it to be registered as an act, and signed the same.
Don Francisco Tello
Doctor Antonio de Morga
The licentiate Tellez Almaçan
The licentiate Albaro Çambrano
Pedro Hurtado Desquibel
An act decreeing that the residencias of the faithful administrators of this city shall be taken every two months.
In the city of Manila, on the nineteenth of December, one thousand five hundred and ninety-eight, the president and auditors of the royal Audiencia of the Philipinas Islands declared that, whereas the king our sovereign, in one of his royal ordinances, Page 297ordains and commands that the said president and auditors shall take a residencia every two months of the faithful administrators of the city in which this his royal Audiencia shall reside: therefore, in order that the said royal ordinance may be exactly enforced, and his Majesty's royal will observed and enforced in everything, they ordered, and they did so order, that from the first day of January of the coming year, one thousand five hundred and ninety-nine, and thenceforth, the said decree shall take effect. They appointed therefor the licentiate Albaro Çambrano, auditor of this royal Audiencia, to take the said residencia of the said regidors and faithful administrators who have filled the said offices, and to take from them an account of how they employed their time in the past, and up to the said day. This shall be done in due form, and in conformity with the law. And they gave him power and full commission therefor, as far as the law required. In the future, the said residencia shall continue to be taken every two months by the said auditors—the licentiate Tellez Almaçan, and Doctor Antonio de Morga, each in his turn, and in the aforesaid manner, to succeed the licentiate Albaro Çambrano. By this act they so provided, ordered, and appointed.
Don Francisco Tello
Doctor Antonio de Morga
The licentiate Tellez Almaçan
The licentiate Albaro Çambrano
An act decreeing that the auditors shall keep a record of the suits concerning the royal exchequer.
In the city of Manila, on the nineteenth of December, one thousand five hundred and ninety-eight, the president and auditors of the royal Audiencia of the Philipinas Islands declared that, whereas the king our sovereign, in one of his royal ordinances, orders and commands the aforesaid to keep a record of the suits and affairs of the royal exchequer; and that on Thursday of each week the senior auditor, his Majesty's fiscal, the royal officials, and the notary of the royal treasury shall hold a meeting: therefore, in order that the provisions of the said ordinance may be strictly enforced, they ordered, and they did so order, that the said record be made. And considering that Thursdays are days for judicial decisions, and that on this account they cannot attend to the aforesaid matter, the said meetings shall be on Tuesday afternoons in the royal offices—at which shall be present Doctor Antonio de Morga, the senior auditor of this royal Audiencia, his Majesty's fiscal, and the royal judicial officers, together with the notary of the royal treasury, according as the king our sovereign orders and commands in the said ordinance, exercising in everything requisite and necessary care and expedition for the increase and preservation of the said royal exchequer. By this act they so declared, ordered, and decreed.
Before me: Pedro Hurtado Desquibel
An act decreeing that an account of the resources of his Majesty's exchequer in these islands be sent to the royal Council of the Indias.
In the city of Manila, on the nineteenth of December, Page 299one thousand five hundred and ninety-eight, the president and auditors of the royal Audiencia and Chancillería of the Philipinas Islands declared that, whereas the king our sovereign in one of his royal ordinances, orders and commands the aforesaid president and auditors that the official judges of his Majesty's exchequer shall send in account to his royal Council of the resources of his exchequer in these islands, with their signatures affixed, together with those of the aforesaid president and auditors: therefore, in conformity with the said royal ordinance, and in order that its provisions may be strictly enforced, they ordered, and they did so order, that the said official judges shall be notified to give orders immediately to have a true report made, with entire clearness, and without any reservation, of the resources of his Majesty's estate in these islands, and under their charge, and of their disbursements and expenses. As soon as the said report is made, copies in duplicate shall be sent to the king our sovereign, in his royal Council of the Indias, by the first ships sailing from these islands for Nueva España, in the form that his Majesty orders and commands. By this act they so voted, ordered, and decreed.
Pedro Hurtado Desquibel
An act decreeing that a book shall be prepared in which are registered the citizens of these islands, with their merits and services.
In the city of Manila, on the nineteenth of December, one thousand five hundred and ninety-eight, the president and auditors of the royal Audiencia and Chancillería of the Philipinas Islands declared Page 300that, whereas the king our sovereign, in one of his ordinances, orders and commands the aforesaid president and auditors to prepare a book wherein to register the inhabitants and dwellers in these islands, and inscribe their merits and services, and the rewards and remunerations which have been given them in recompense—a copy of which shall be sent him in his royal Council of the Indias, so that, when they ask for rewards, they shall be given what they deserve: therefore, in order that the royal will of the king our sovereign be strictly observed, enforced, and fulfilled, they ordered, and they did so order, the said book, for the said purpose, to be made immediately; and when all that his Majesty orders and commands in the said royal ordinance is finished and completed, copies shall be made in duplicate and sent on the first ships leaving these islands for Nueva España, to the king our sovereign in his said royal Council. By this act they so voted, ordered, and decreed.
Pedro Hurtado Desquibel
An act decreeing that the treasurer of the royal exchequer shall collect all the fines that are in any wise imposed by this royal Audiencia.
In the city of Manila, on the nineteenth of December, one thousand five hundred and ninety-eight, the president and auditors of the royal Audiencia of the Philipinas Islands declared that, whereas the king our sovereign, in one of his ordinances, orders and commands the said Audiencia, that the treasurer of his Majesty's royal exchequer in these islands shall collect all the fines that are in any wise imposed by this royal Audiencia, which are to be applied both Page 301to the use of the royal treasury, and to the courts and other judicial expenses; that the chief alguazil of this court shall have charge of executing them; that whatever the said treasurer collects, he is to present immediately to the officials of the royal exchequer; that the aforesaid officials shall place it in the chest with the three keys; that they shall enter in a book all that they may collect from such fines, placing on one side the fines for the royal treasury, and on the other those of the courts; that the aforesaid officials shall take care that charge of them is given to the said treasurer; that the latter, at the end of each year, shall audit the said fines; and that then a succinct report of them shall be sent to the royal Council of the Indias, signed with his name and the names of the other officials, together with the certification of the court notary of this royal Audiencia, of the fines that shall have been imposed: therefore, in conformity with the said royal ordinance, and in order that its provisions may be strictly enforced, they ordered, and they did so order, that the official judges of his Majesty's royal exchequer in these islands be notified to observe and enforce thoroughly the provisions of the said royal ordinance of which mention is here made, in toto, without failing in any point, each one in matters concerning him, just as is here declared. Nor shall the said fines be expended, under any consideration, otherwise than shall be specified by this royal Audiencia, under penalty that whoever shall order them otherwise disbursed shall repay the amount from his own pocket. By this act they so voted, ordered, and decreed.
Before me: Pedro Hurtado DesquibelPage 302
All documents in this volume—translated from either the originals or transcriptions thereof—are obtained from MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla; their pressmarks are indicated as follows:
1. Letter from Morga, June 30, 1597—”Simancas-Secular; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y expedientes del presidente y oidores de dicha Audiencia vistos en el Consejo; años 1583 á 1599; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 18.”
2. Administration of hospital.—The same as No. 1.
3. Letters from Tello, 1597.—The same as No. 1—except letter of June 22, ”Simancas-Secular; cartas y espedientes del gobernador de Filipinas vistos en el Consejo; años 1567 á 1599; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 6.”
4. Letter from Ronquillo.—The same as No. 1.
5. Report by Morga.—The same as No. 1.
6. Recommendations as to reforms.—”Simancas-Secular; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y espedientes de personas seculares de dicha Audiencia vistos en el Consejo; año's de 1565 á 1594; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 34.”
8. Letters from the archbishop, 1598.—”Simancas-Secular; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y expedientes del arzobispo de Manila vistos en el Consejo; años de 1579 á 1679; est. 68, caj. 1, leg. 32.”
9. Letters from Benavides.—”Simancas-Secular; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y espedientes de los obispos sufragáneos de Manila; 1598 á 1698; est. 68, caj. 1, leg. 34.”
10. Letters from Tello, 1598—The same as No. 3 (June 22).
11. Report of the Audiencia.—The same as No. 1.
12. Letter to the archbishop.-”Audiencia de Filipinas; registros de oficio; reales ordenes dirigidas a las autoridades del distrito de la Audiencia; años de 1597 á 1634; est. 105, caj. 2, leg. 1.”
13. Missions of the religious orders.—”Simancas-Filipinas; descubrimientos, descripciones y poblaciones de las Islas Filipinas; años de 1582 á 1606; est. 1, caj. 1, leg. 3|25.”
14. Letters from Tello, 1599.—The same as No. 3 (June 22).
15. Ordinances by the Audiencia. The same as No. 1.