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 XVIII, 1617–1620
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 XVIII
- Preface 9
- Documents of 1617–1618
- Letter to Felipe III. Andrés de Alcaraz; Manila, August 10, 1617. 31
- Trade between Nueva España and the Far East. [Unsigned and undated; ca. 1617]. 57
- Events in the Filipinas Islands, 1617–18. [Unsigned; Manila], June, 1618. 65
- Description of the Philippinas Islands. [Unsigned]; Manila, 1618. 93
- Dutch factories and posts in the Orient. [Pedro de Heredia]; [1618?]. 107
- Memorial regarding Manila hospital. [Unsigned]; Manila, 1618. 112
- Letter to Felipe III. Alonso Fajardo de Tenza; Cavite, August 10, 1618. 116
- Letters to Fajardo. Felipe III; Madrid, December 19, 1618. 150
- Filipinas menaced by Dutch. Joan de Ribera, S.J.; Manila, December 20, 1618. 161
- Documents of 1619–1620
- Philippine ships and shipbuilding. Sebastian de Pineda; [Mexico? 1619]. 169
- Royal decree regarding religious expelled from their orders. Felipe III; Madrid, February 19, 1619. 189 Page 2
- Proposal to destroy Macao. Diego Aduarte, O.P.; [Madrid? 1619]. 194
- Relation of events in the Filipinas Islands, 1618–19. [Unsigned]; Manila, July 12, 1619. 204
- Letter to Felipe III. Pedro de Arce; Manila, July 30, 1619. 235
- Letter to Felipe III. Alonso Fajardo de Tenza; Manila, August 10, 1619. 247
- Grant to seminary of Santa Potenciana. Juan Oñez, and others; Manila, 1617–19. 282
- Reforms needed in Filipinas (to be concluded). Hernando de los Rios Coronel; [Madrid?], 1619–20. 289
- Bibliographical Data. 345
- Plan of the city of Goa and its environs; photographic facsimile of engraving in Bellin’s Petit atlas maritime ([Paris], 1764), no. 29, from copy in library of Wisconsin Historical Society. 199
- View of the city of Manila; photographic facsimile of engraving in Spilbergen and Le Maire’s Speculum orientalis occidentalisque Indiæ navigationum (French edition, 1621), no. 18, facing p. 86, from copy in Library of Congress. 225
- Autograph signature of Fernando de Los Rios; photographic facsimile from original MS. in Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla. 343
The scope of the present volume extends from 1617 to 1620. The islands are still ravaged at intervals by the Moro pirates from the southern part of the archipelago. Even worse are the losses to the commerce of the islands inflicted by the Dutch; their ships infest the seas about Luzón, and those of the Moluccas, in which region they are steadily and even rapidly gaining foothold, and securing the best commerce of those lands. Corruption in the management of the Spanish interests in the Spice Islands renders them an expensive and embarrassing possession; and the new governor, Fajardo, finds the same influence at work in the Spanish colony itself, especially among the auditors and other high officials. The colonial treasury is, as usual, short of funds, and can do little to defend the islands from the Dutch; the Madrid government is unwilling to spend much more on the Philippines, although beset with importunities to save that colony, and Spanish commerce generally, from the insolent Dutch. The usual building of ships in the islands has so harrassed and exhausted the unfortunate natives that it is necessary to have ships built for the Philippines in India and other countries where timber and labor are more abundant. The trade of the colony with China is the object of much discussion, Page 5and proposals are again made to restrict it, as well as that with Nueva España, in order to protect the commercial interests of the mother-country. In the final document is a detailed statement, in vigorous language, of the abuses current in the administration of the islands—arbitrary and oppressive conduct of the auditors, corruption among officials, extravagant expenditure of public funds, lax enforcement of laws, burdensome exactions imposed upon the Indians, and Chinese, etc.; for these the citizens demand redress, prevention, and relief.
Andrés de Alcaraz, the auditor in charge of military affairs after Silva’s death, writes to the king (August 10, 1617). The ships could not go to Nueva España in 1616, because the Dutch were lying in wait for them; but the Acapulco galleon arrives safely at Manila, and brings money to relieve the general distress. Alcaraz makes ready, although in the midst of great difficulties, a fleet to drive away the Dutch. On April 14, 1617, this Spanish fleet has a battle with the Dutch squadron at Playa Honda. After a long and fierce contest, the enemy take to flight, having lost several ships and much artillery, and many of their men being killed or wounded. As soon as possible thereafter, Alcaraz sends supplies to the Spanish forts in Ternate; recalls Geronimo de Silva to Manila, to act as governor ad interim; and despatches pilots to meet the fleet that is coming from Spain via Cape of Good Hope. He criticizes Geronimo de Silva for his harshness and arrogance, already displayed in many ways. Alcaraz thanks the king for permitting him to resign his position as auditor and return to Spain; and explains why he has not yet vacated his office. He mentions Page 6the Philippine officials who have merited special rewards from the crown, especially those who were prominent in the battle of Playa Honda. Reënforcements of men have come from Spain, but with them was no money; and the treasury of the islands is entirely empty. Its debts are heavy, and aid is urgently requested. Through sickness and absence, there are no auditors of the Audiencia in active service, except Alcaraz himself.
A document unsigned and undated [ca. 1617] discusses the trade of the Spanish colonies with China and Japan. This trade advances the interests of religion in those heathen lands. Its character, methods, and results are described in orderly array of interesting facts—first in a general survey, then in details regarding each colony; and finally in comparisons between the commerce of those colonies respectively with China and Japan. Eastern India depends on this trade for its maintenance and preservation; and the customs duties therefrom cause larger profits to the crown than do those from the other colonies. This income will be greatly increased, for both Castilla and Portugal, if Nueva España and Filipinas be no longer allowed to trade with China and Japan. The writer (apparently one of the king’s councilors) suggests various expedients for attaining this end, and closes by urging the king to confine the Filipinas merchants to trade with Nueva España.
The events of the year from June, 1617, to June, 1618, are chronicled by some unnamed writer (apparently one of the Jesuits in Manila). The battle of Playa Honda deals such a blow to the Dutch power in the archipelago that the natives in some Page 7of the Malucas Islands rebel against it. A small English post is destroyed by the Dutch; and their ships that flee from Playa Honda go to Japan. Their adventures in that country are detailed. Some Dutch ships come again to the coast of Luzón, and plunder the Chinese trading vessels as they appear; the Spaniards cannot prevent this, as their galleons are laid up for repairs. A shipload of supplies for the garrison and the missions at Ternate is sent from Manila; the master of the ship, taking advantage of the absence on shore of part of the passengers and men, steals away with the ship and its cargo. The Jesuits secure a new supply of food for their mission, by soliciting alms. The islands still suffer from the depredations of the Moro pirates. The writer describes the special festivities in honor of the Virgin Mary, and the martyrdom of some missionaries in Japan. He then proceeds to relate the particulars of the murder of the Augustinian provincial, Vicente Sepulveda, by some of his own friars, and the punishment of the criminals. A postscript to this letter states that the ships sent to Ternate with supplies had been attacked by the Dutch; and part of the crew were killed and wounded, and much of the food lost. Other supplies, however, have been sent to Ternate from India. The prince of Tidore has become hostile to the Dutch. One Sequeira makes an unsuccessful voyage, and dies in Cochin. The new governor of the Philippines arrives at Manila in July, 1618.
Of nearly the same date is a descriptive account of the Philippine Islands, their inhabitants, government, products, etc.—including a statement of the number of Indian tributes in each island, which Page 8amount in all to 160,000. The writer notes various matters relating to the interests and social condition of the Spanish colony, especially the need of vigorous measures to punish the Moro pirates, who continually harass the Pintados.
Pedro de Heredia, a Spanish official in the Moluccas, furnishes to the king (1618) a list of the Dutch factories and forts in the Orient; from this, and the value of the products annually exported thence, it is evident that the Dutch have gained an extensive footing and prestige in the Far East, together with rich profits, while the Spaniards have lost the best part of their former commerce there. The king is urged to consider these matters, and take measures to remedy the present state of affairs.
A former steward of the royal hospital at Manila memorializes the Council of the Indias (1618) regarding the losses incurred by that institution through the mismanagement of its funds; and various orders conducive to the improvement of the hospital are thereupon given by the Council.
Soon after his arrival in the islands the new governor, Alonso Fajardo de Tenza, writes to the king (August 10, 1618) regarding the state of affairs there. He finds the colony suffering from various recent disasters, and much fear and uncertainty among the people. He implores aid from the king to maintain the Philippine colony and defend it from its enemies. He is endeavoring to make the most of his scanty naval torce, in the face of news that hostile fleets are coming to attack the islands; and has sent to Nueva España to ask for reënforcements and supplies. His predecessor, Geronimo de Silva, desires to go to Spain; but the Audiencia orders an investigation Page 9of his official conduct, especially in regard to the loss of the galleons. Fajardo recommends that more care be taken to provide suitably for an ad interim government of the islands, when such shall occur; and declines certain perquisites of his office. Much resentment against the Audiencia is felt among the people, since the best offices and incomes in the islands are appropriated by relatives and dependents of the auditors, who seem bent on exploiting the colony for their own profit, and oppress the inhabitants; and Fajardo asks the king to check their selfishness and arrogance. He is trying to correct certain illegal proceedings by the auditors in their recent government ad interim, and asks the king to suspend his confirmation of these until he can send further information thereon; he makes the same request in regard to other cases where certain persons are intriguing to obtain profitable appointments. He asks for skilled clerks and galley-masters; and, after recounting the injuries caused to the Indians by the building of galleys in the islands, he states that he will endeavor to procure vessels in Portuguese India. Some private persons in the islands are building ships, but the Indian labor employed thereon is paid and voluntary. Fajardo makes some suggestions for the better management of naval affairs. He also forwards the request of Manila citizens that encomiendas be granted for three lives; and asks for rewards for certain brave military and naval officers. The Audiencia finally compel Geronimo de Silva to furnish his residencia in person, and clear himself from charges made against him.
To the governor’s letter are appended several others, Page 10which concern Malucan affairs. Manuel Ribeyra, a Jesuit, states that the governor there, Gaviria, has fortified the Spanish posts in his care, which are in unusually good condition; certain supplies, however, are needed for them, as also a better class of subaltern officers. Gaviria is somewhat overbearing in disposition, but Ribeyra commends his ability. That officer himself writes to Fajardo, explaining why he cannot at present fill the governor’s order for a quantity of cloves. The Dutch and English are contending with each other in the Moluccas; and the former, it is said, are intending to attack the Spanish forts there soon. Gaviria has but few men, and some of these are unfit for duty. He needs a few galleys, as he has “only one rotten galliot”; also troops, money, and clothing. Gaviria thinks that the Dutch are being to some extent supplanted by the English; and that the latter will gladly unite with the Spaniards against the common enemy. He recommends the abandonment of the Spanish posts in Gilolo. A letter from the king of Tidore accompanies Gaviria’s letter, in which that ruler demands that Fajardo succor the Spanish forts promptly.
Letters from the king to Fajardo (December 19, 1618) give him orders regarding certain matters in the administration of the Philippine government. Offices shall be given to these citizens of the islands who deserve rewards for meritorious services. The alarming expenses of the Maluco establishment are not counterbalanced by any returns from the spice-trade there, and it is openly declared that the Spanish officials have embezzled what profits might have accrued therefrom to the royal treasury. Fajardo is therefore ordered to investigate this matter and punish Page 11those who may be guilty; and to take charge, for the present, of the conduct of the clove-trade at Ternate. The force of men there should be reduced, if practicable; and certain forts in Maluco should be abandoned. In these and other ways expenses must be reduced. The governor and the archbishop must warn the religious orders to cease their exactions upon the Indians. A separate letter warns the governor that expenses must be reduced to the utmost; and that he must maintain the colony on its own revenues, without aid from the government. He is advised to endeavor to open and work the mines in the islands; but in doing so he must not molest or injure the Indians. He should endeavor to enlist their aid in this undertaking, and the missionaries should use their influence with the natives.
The Jesuit Joan de Ribera writes to some high official in Spain (December 20, 1618), urging the importance of Manila and the Philippines, and the necessity of opposing the progress that the Dutch are making in India, Japan, and the archipelago, so as to preserve for Spain the rich trade of the East. Another most important consideration is the need of maintaining these islands as a center for religious labors among the heathen tribes.
A naval officer, Sebastian de Pineda, sends from Nueva España (1619) to the king a paper on ships and shipbuilding in the Philippines. He begins by describing various kinds of timber used for this purpose; then enumerates, the shipyards in the islands, and the wages paid to the workmen. Fourteen hundred carpenters were formerly employed at one time in the Cavite shipyard alone; but half of them were killed or captured by the Moros in 1617, many have Page 12died from overwork, and many others have fled to parts unknown because they had been unpaid for five years. Iron is brought to Manila from China and Japan, and wrought by the Chinese and Indian artisans; the Chinese smith “works from midnight until sunset,” and earns less than one real a day. Iron should be imported from Biscay, however, for some special purposes. Much useful information is given as to the material, quality, and prices of rigging and canvas. Pineda makes recommendations as to the shipment to Manila of various articles, showing how present expenses may be lessened, and waste avoided, in many ways. He states that the naval defense of the islands is quite inadequate, and they are consequently in danger of being seized by the Dutch. But it is at present impossible to build in the islands the ships needed there; for the natives are exhausted by the labors and exactions imposed upon them in previous years, and by the deaths of so many at the hands of the enemy or through the hardships of enforced naval service. Pineda recommends that the ships needed for the islands be built in India or Cochin, and that slaves be brought thence to serve on the Philippine galleys. Many Filipino natives are migrating to Nueva España, which should be checked. One reason for this is the fact that these Filipinos distil palm-wine, which will soon ruin the wine-trade of Spain in Nueva España. The incursions of the Mindanao pirates have also been a serious obstacle to shipbuilding in the Philippines; and they have rendered the use of La Caldera, as a station for the Spanish vessels, impossible, while they welcome the Dutch to their shores. Pineda recommends that the king proclaim that any one who Page 13wishes may wage war upon and enslave these Mindanao infidels, as thus only can they be subdued. He ends with a report on the measurements of the galleons in the islands in 1617.
A royal decree dated February 19, 1619, confirms the ordinance enacted by the dean and cabildo of Manila cathedral, refusing benefices and ecclesiastical dignities to religious who have been expelled from their orders.
The Dominican missionary Diego Aduarte proposes to the Council of the Indias (probably in May, 1619) a means to check the outflow of silver from Nueva España to the Philippines. Aduarte recommends that the trade of the islands with Nueva España be suppressed, and that their inhabitants be allowed to trade with Japan, selling in that country the silks that they buy from the Chinese. But the bulk of this trade is already in the hands of the Portuguese of Macao; in order that it may be monopolized by Manila, Aduarte advises that Macao be abandoned, and its inhabitants transported to other cities of India. This can be accomplished easily by a royal decree forbidding them to engage in the Japanese trade, which would compel them to go elsewhere. He enumerates the beneficial results of this measure, and declares that even without these Macao should be abandoned; for its people are lawless and irreligious, and are not even vassals of Spain, but of China. The Portuguese of Macao are needed in India, which country would be benefited in many ways by the measure proposed, as also would the kingdoms of Spain and Portugal. Moreover, they hinder, by their evil example, the conversion of the Chinese natives. Page 14
One of the Manila Jesuits writes (July 12, 1619) an account of events in the Philippines and in the neighboring countries during the past year. The city of Bassein, near Bombay, has been destroyed by storms and earthquakes. In China there has been a persecution of the Christians, and four Jesuits were expelled from the empire. Others remain there, who are preaching the gospel wherever they can. In certain inland districts, these missionaries have encountered a large colony of Jews, and a people who worship the cross, although they are heathens. The Tartars have invaded Chinese territory, and our writer copies the text of a memorial regarding this invasion, sent by the mandarins of Pekin to the ruler of China, detailing the defeats and misfortunes suffered by the Chinese. They complain of his neglect of public affairs, and his harsh treatment of a certain mandarin, and ask him to take measures to drive back the Tartars, in Cochinchina the recently-begun missions of the Jesuits are prospering. For the Japanese mission are coming a large reënforcement of Jesuit missionaries; but affairs there are so disturbed that they cannot enter the country at present. The writer recounts various omens and portents which are said to have occurred in China and Japan. In the latter country, a fierce persecution of the Christians serves but to display the steadfastness and zeal of both the missionaries and their converts. Several naval encounters between the Dutch and the English and Portuguese are narrated. Good news comes from the Moluccas: the petty king of Manados, with many of his chiefs, is converted to the Christian faith; Tidore and Ternate are at war; and Maluco is well supplied. Both Dutch and Spaniards Page 15are building more forts in those islands. Other European nations also are acquiring a foothold in the archipelago. The writer describes two remarkable comets which have been visible in Manila. A plague of locusts is destroying the grain-crops. In October, 1618, the Dutch again come to Luzón to plunder the Chinese merchant vessels; but they do not attack Manila, and in the following spring they depart from the islands, perhaps overawed by the forces of ships and guns which the Spaniards collect.
Pedro de Arce, bishop of Cebú, writes to the king (July 30, 1619); he praises Governor Fajardo, and asks the king to send more ships to his aid. The bishop asks permission to resign his see, and more salary as acting archbishop; recommends Pedro de Heredia to the king; asks that an ad interim appointment in the cathedral may receive royal confirmation, and that the Cebú church may receive a grant for repairs and further income. He requests that the ecclesiastical cabildo of Manila may be authorized to rule the archbishopric, in case of the death of the archbishop. It is reported that the Jesuits are endeavoring to oust the other orders from Japan, which Arce deprecates, advising the king to confirm the appointment of the Franciscan Luis Sotelo as bishop of eastern Japan. Arce’s requests regarding the archbishopric of Manila are seconded by various papers appended to his letter, embodying the opinions of the auditors and royal officials thereon, who support Arce’s claims.
A letter from Fajardo to the king (August 10, 1619) gives his report on various matters of importance. He has received certain reënforcements and supplies from Mexico, but urges that these be sent Page 16every year. He describes the last incursion of the Dutch in Philippine waters, and his military preparations by which they were obliged to retreat thence. His resources for defense are small, and he cannot depend upon India for aid, as the Portuguese there are themselves in straits; accordingly, the king must send a fleet from Spain for the aid of the islands. He has aided Ternate to the best of his ability, and will send more when he can. The governor there has resigned his post, after many complaints of his rule; Fajardo has made a temporary appointment, and asks the king to provide further for this post. The English in the archipelago are engaged in conflicts with the Dutch, and it is rumored that the former would like to ally themselves with the Spaniards to fight their mutual foe. Fajardo is perplexed regarding the king of Ternate, who is still held a prisoner at Manila; and asks for instructions. He makes various recommendations and requests concerning the appointment of certain subordinates, desiring to secure persons most fit therefor. He has attempted to correct abuses in the government, which he recounts in detail. Fajardo has been annoyed by constant quarrels in the Audiencia, but, with the somewhat reluctant aid of the old auditor Alcaraz, has been able to quiet them in part. He has found in both Alcaraz and the archbishop Serrano, most judicious and helpful counselors; but the other auditors are on bad terms with him, and one of them has a scandalous reputation, both public and private. A scandal has occurred in the seminary of Santa Potenciana, but the guilty have been punished. Conflicts of jurisdiction have arisen between Fajardo and the Audiencia, especially in regard to the trials of soldiers Page 17and sailors for crimes. The governor complains that retired officers refuse to serve in the regular companies; and asks that extra pay be allowed them as an inducement for such service. He asks for directions as to his sending the usual gifts to the emperor of Japan. The loyalty and bravery of the Spanish citizens of Manila are warmly commended, especially in the case of Juan Ronquillo and some others who are named. Certain intrigues and frauds have been detected, which are recounted. Fajardo recommends that more Jesuits be sent to the islands; he complains that the Dominicans are too ready to leave their work, but commends the Augustinians. A short document appended to Fajardo’s letter concerns the relative merits of the routes to Filipinas via Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn respectively.
A group of papers dated 1610–19 shows that an encomienda of Indians was granted to the seminary of Santa Potenciana for its support, in consequence of the destitution suffered by its inmates.
An important document is that sent—in two memorials, of 1619 and March, 1620, respectively—to the king by Hernando de los Rios Coronel, long procurator-general of the Filipinas, on “reforms needed” in the islands—of which he has been despatched by the citizens to inform the king. Accordingly, he writes (apparently at Madrid) a detailed statement of the “matters that demand reform.” Serious losses of life and property have been caused by the delays in despatching the trading ships from Manila; the governors should be compelled to send them at the favorable season. The officials on these vessels should be appointed from among the deserving Page 18citizens of the islands, and not be the relatives or servants of the governor or other royal officials. The citizens have been greatly defrauded in the assignment of lading on the galleons, and too much of this is granted to charitable institutions. The trading ships should not be used for any other purposes. The Manila authorities buy ammunition and other supplies in China, which, “in order not to anger the Portuguese in Macan,” they buy from them rather than from the natives, but the supplies thus cost three times their value; the agent who buys them should buy wherever he can do so to the best advantage, and directly from the Chinese. The royal ships should be built in India, and the burden of enforced service in this work should be removed from the Indians. Commerce from Japan to Nueva España should be stopped; and Spaniards should not be allowed to man Japanese vessels. An enemy can close Manila harbor to all vessels desiring to enter; another route to it should therefore be devised and made available. The Moro pirates must be prevented from harassing the islands, and the best means for this end is to proclaim that any one who will may capture and enslave those pirates. No royal official should be allowed to attend the session of the Audiencia in which a case concerning him is tried. When Filipino natives serve as soldiers, their families should during their absence be relieved from tributes and other impositions. The ecclesiastical affairs of the Malucas should be under the jurisdiction of Cebú, not of Goa. The commanders of the trading ships should not be allowed to carry on the trade that they now do; and the officials at Acapulco should be checked in making extortionate charges. Ignorant and inefficient Page 19men should not be placed in the ships as sailors. The common seamen therein (who are Filipino natives) are inhumanly treated, and many of them die from hunger, thirst, or cold, on each voyage. Slave women are carried on the ships, in spite of the royal prohibition; and thus arise “many acts offensive to God,” and much cause for scandal. No sailor or passenger (unless a person of rank) should be allowed to take with him more than one male slave. Numerous other abuses are mentioned, regarding the traffic in slaves, the treatment of seamen, and the overloading of ships. The Chinese at Manila are oppressed by the royal officials—who, moreover, appropriate their own household supplies of food from the royal storehouses at the lowest possible prices. Municipal officers and other leading citizens should not be compelled, as now, to live on their encomiendas. Flour, rigging, and many other supplies should be obtained in the islands, instead of being imported from Nueva España; a great saving of money would be thus effected. The oppressive acts of the friars toward the Indians should be checked; and no more orders should be allowed to establish themselves in the islands. The Chinese immigrants in Luzón should be collected in one community, and induced to cultivate the soil. No relative or dependent of any royal official should be allowed to hold a seat in the cabildo of Manila, or to act as inspector of the Chinese trading vessels. More religious are needed in the missions. The Chinese residents should be treated more justly, and relieved from burdensome exactions. The Japanese who come to Manila should be compelled to return to their own country. No more ships should be built by the natives, and they Page 20should be paid the arrearages which are due them.
The other memorial by Rios Coronel (March, 1620) is additional and supplementary to the former one. He asks that regidors of Manila be chosen by the Audiencia, and allowed some compensation for their services; and that the governor be not allowed to compel the cabildo to meet in his house. He blames the friars for transferring Indians from the encomiendas to settlements near Manila, where these natives are kept merely for the profit of the friars, and, moreover, become greatly demoralized. The grant of licenses to Chinamen to reside in the islands should be more carefully regulated; and they should in no case be allowed to sleep within the walls of Manila. The Japanese are also an undesirable element of the population, and their coming to the islands should be restricted. The “commons,” or reserve supplies of rice, contributed by the Indians do them no good, for these are plundered by the Spanish officials; and the number of these oppressors has been unduly increased. Other injuries are inflicted upon the natives, for whose protection the writer pleads; and these unjust acts are committed by both the officials and the religious. Rios Coronel objects to the practice in vogue of giving the Indians military training; and to the traffic in slaves from Malacca, which brings to the Philippines dangerous and criminal blacks. Public suits should be tried and decided in the Audiencia, and not sent to Mexico. The governors should not be allowed to treat the citizens with insolence; and should be obliged to send the trading ships to Mexico at the right season, in order to avoid the present frequent loss of property and lives in wrecked vessels. Another cause of these Page 21losses is the culpable neglect and recklessness of royal officials and governors. Various abuses in the equipment, lading, and management of the trading vessels are pointed out, with the corrective measures that should be taken. The fertile and healthful province of Nueva Segovia is neglected, and its population is decreasing; this should be remedied by the colonial authorities. Rios Coronel asks for the appointment of a competent and reliable shore-master to aid him in the equipment and despatch of the ships, and for more thorough inspection of what is done by royal officials in the islands; for the latter purpose he recommends a choice from several ecclesiastics whom he names. The Moro pirates still ravage the islands, and the king should permit them to be enslaved by any one who may capture them. The head-hunting Zambales and Negrillos of Luzón continually harass the peaceable Pampangos; and this can only be stopped by allowing the Pampangos to enslave these foes when captured. The Filipino natives have been almost ruined by the exactions of forced labor imposed upon them by the Spaniards, especially in the building and navigation of vessels. Rios Coronel says: “As I have seen personally, and as all the inhabitants of that country know, the galleys of the Filipinas are their destruction.” Rios Coronel describes the sort of vessel which should be used in the islands (one of which he has built at his own cost), and asks that such be furnished for the use of the colony. The garrison at Manila is insufficient and demoralized; and the writer makes various recommendations for improving its status. Many persons in the artillery service are incompetent; the writer demands a sort of civil-service Page 22test for those appointed to such places. He also asks for a competent artillery-founder. Better provisions should be made for the ecclesiastical government of the islands. He asks that silver bullion from Japan may be legalized as money in the Philippines; and concludes with the request that the religious and the officials there be compelled to treat the Indians more kindly. A letter by Rios Coronel, included in this document, is deferred to Vol. XIX.
Documents of 1617–1618
- Letter to Felipe III. Andrés de Alcaraz; August 10, 1617.
- Trade between Nueva España and the Far East. [Unsigned and undated; ca. 1617].
- Events in the Filipinas Islands, 1617–1618. [Unsigned]; June, 1618.
- Description of the Philippinas Islands. [Unsigned]; 1618.
- Dutch factories and posts in the Orient. [Pedro de Heredia]; [1618?].
- Memorial regarding Manila hospital. [Unsigned]; 1618.
- Letter to Felipe III. Alonso Fajardo de Tenza; August 10, 1618.
- Letters to Fajardo. Felipe III; December 19, 1618.
- Filipinas menaced by Dutch. Joan de Ribera, S.J.; December 20, 1618.
Sources: The first, and last four, of these documents are obtained from MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla; the remainder, from MSS. in the Real Academia de la Historia, Madrid.
Translations: The first and seventh are translated by James A. Robertson; the second, third, and fourth, by Herbert E. Bolton, Ethel Z. Rather, and Mattie A. Austin, of the University of Texas; the remainder, by Robert W. Haight. Page 24
Letter from Licentiate Alcaraz to Felipe III
The enclosed papers were taken from the ships that were going last year to Nueva España. Those ships were despatched to make the voyage by way of Yndia; but as the Dutch enemy was lying at the entrances of this bay with his ten warships, it was not possible for the ships to leave, for it would have been only to have fallen, beyond all doubt, into his hands. In them I inform your Majesty of everything occurring up to their date. In this I shall inform you of what is new. The coming of this enemy caused the anxiety which was the reason—inasmuch as we had heard for a long time that he was coming; and that he would wait to seize the Chinese and Japanese ships, and prevent their entrance into the city with food—that, in order to frustrate those designs, I, with the advice of the Audiencia and the council of war, resolved to prepare seven galleons and to equip them as thoroughly as possible, so that they could go out to fight that enemy. When about to set this plan afoot, obstacles began to arise, because there was not a single real in the royal treasury, on account of the non-arrival of the ships from Nueva España; and because the country was in great need, and had no income except that collected from the Page 25licenses of the Sangleys. These were collected with great effort and difficulty, but the sum was all spent in a few days in the repair of these galleons. When there was nothing more to use, the ship expected from Nueva España arrived. It had put in at Japon, and brought more than eight hundred thousand pesos for the royal treasury and for the citizens. It was regarded as a great mercy of God that He should help this afflicted land in such necessity and extremity, and that He should keep this ship from falling into the hands of that enemy. After this the repairs and preparations of this fleet proceeded with great energy, and although innumerable obstacles continued to arise because the wood, rigging, rice, and other things necessary had to be conveyed by long detours, all difficulties were conquered by God’s help. To Him recourse was always had, through all the religious orders and the religious, so that His [Divine] Majesty should be pleased to aid this [our] cause against those rebels to His church and sacrament, and to your Majesty, and disturbers of the common peace. These joyous causes furnished ecclesiastical and secular motive to request me, with loud and frequent acclamations of joy, to hasten as quickly as possible the preparation of this fleet. Notwithstanding that it was detained, they said that it could go out; for they were assured that, since we had so large galleons, that enemy would not dare to await it, and that the flagship and almiranta were alone sufficient to drive away that enemy and prevent the damages that were expected so close at hand. They said that the preparations that were intended to be made would be useless, for, when they were finished, then the enemy would have already Page 26gone to Terrenate, enriched with his booty from the Chinese ships; and that damage would result from delay, while great expenses would have to be met from the royal treasury. For my part, all these arguments, since they arose from loyal desires, without taking the trouble to show the irreparable injuries that would result from that course of action, caused me no care. I constantly attended to the repairing and preparation of this fleet as well as possible, including in it whatever your Majesty possesses in these islands. The reason that obliged me to lay great stress upon that enemy was that—since he knew that Don Juan de Silva had gone to Sincapura with a fleet of ten galleons, four galleys, and one patache—he, without knowing of the governor’s death, came to look for him with an equal number of warships. These were chosen from twenty-two vessels, and equipped with the best artillery and men of arms and war in them all; and he dared to come within sight of our walls and very confidently was coming with his great force. Consequently I considered it best to prepare an armed fleet which, being such, might be able to fight with his. Not of less consideration was the fact that we are in the view of so many barbarous nations, who esteem and extol him who conquers. Accordingly it was necessary to consider carefully not to place our reputation and credit in any danger, but that we should have as superior a fleet to his as could be collected, to go out to measure strength with the enemy; for in this case what was once branded1 could not be effaced. Page 27
The final reason that caused me to arm those galleons with the best forces that could he assembled was the consideration that the enemy should not go out victorious because your Majesty did not possess in this land the means with which we could construct a fleet in many years; and if we drove the enemy’s fleet away and punished him as his boldness and arrogance merited, he would have to lay aside his desire for returning to these islands, and would leave them quiet and peaceful, and free from the dangers that his coming threatened. With this resolution conquering great difficulties with the help of God, who always favored this His cause, the fleet of seven galleons, one patache, and three galleys was prepared. In order to man them with the rowers that were needed, the citizens, Sangley Christians, and some Indians lent two hundred and twenty-three slaves. And as one hundred and fifty slaves were still wanting to man them sufficiently, and because there was so little revenue in the royal treasury, I made efforts to have the Sangley infidels supply this deficiency, inasmuch as they were the most interested in avoiding the damages caused by that enemy. They excused themselves from giving persons to serve in the galleys; but offered to give the money to pay those hired rowers who were willing to go. For this purpose the Sangleys themselves made a contribution of one peso apiece from all who had any money, and gave five thousand pesos. This sum they delivered to a regidor for the pay of any slave or freeman who was willing to serve on this occasion, to each one of whom twenty-five pesos would be given. With this sum one hundred and forty-seven rowers were gathered. Some new slaves were bought with this money Page 28and the others were paid twenty-five pesos apiece. One thousand five hundred and forty-five pesos of the five thousand pesos happened to be left, and this amount was spent for another matter of equal importance.
In order to equip these galleons and galleys—and that very moderately—we needed one thousand infantrymen; but all the islands could only furnish six hundred paid soldiers. In order to supply this lack, three hundred and eighty men were provided from the citizens of this city, and from captains, alférezes, and sergeants on half-pay—the captains numbering thirty-four, the alférezes one hundred and six, the sergeants eighty, and the common soldiers one hundred and sixty. These men showed a willingness to take service on this occasion for honor. But to fulfil their obligations they had not the means with which to buy any arms, or other supplies which were necessary to them. The report spread that, if the money were not given to them so that they could equip themselves, they could not embark. It was necessary to find a remedy for the loss that might result from this condition, and the one that seemed most suitable so that they might serve your Majesty with single-heartedness, was to assign as a gratuity to each captain one hundred pesos, to each alférez fifty, to each sergeant thirty-five, and to each common soldier twenty-five. But inasmuch as the royal treasury had nothing wherefrom to supply these gratuities, and they could not be avoided, thirty toneladas of the freightage for Nueva España were distributed, and were divided among the citizens who had capital. Each citizen was given one pieza2 for twenty-five Page 29pesos. In this way six thousand pesos were raised, which, with the one thousand five hundred and forty-five pesos given by the Sangleys, amount to seven thousand five hundred and forty-five pesos. This money was given as a gratuity, with thirty-nine toneladas more and six piezas; figuring this at twenty-five pesos a pieza, all the help amounted to fifteen thousand five hundred pesos. This amount was regulated by giving to each captain fifty pesos and two piezas of the cargo; to each alférez, twenty-five pesos, and one pieza of the cargo; to each sergeant, ten pesos and one pieza of the cargo, and to each common soldier his twenty-five pesos.
To aid the seamen, who are a discontented class, there was no money. For after having aided the paid infantry, not a single peso was left in the royal treasury. Forty-six of the citizens lent twenty-two thousand seven hundred pesos and the treasury of the probate court [caxa de bienes de défuntos]3 lent four thousand. A moderate amount of aid was furnished to those men by that means. After that, naught more was left to be done toward the suitable preparation of the royal fleet. May God be praised, Page 30who favored this cause so greatly, so that your Majesty might be better served. It can be thoroughly understood that to attempt any of these three things would give anxiety even to him who had considerable power of management; for the departure of the fleet to fight with the enemy depended on very careful management; while, on the contrary, it must remain in port if all the expenses incurred in its preparation had been carelessly planned. But it happened as we could have desired. When all necessary arrangements had been made, the bishop of Zibu, who has charge of this archbishopric, gave his blessing to the royal fleet. The fleet took as patroness the immaculate conception of our Lady, who was conceived without the stain of original sin. It left the port of Cavite in charge of Don Juan Rronquillo del Castillo,4 on Saturday, on the eighth day of the month of April, one thousand six hundred and seventeen, to find the enemy, who was stationed at Playa Honda5 with six vessels. There, in the past year of six hundred and sixteen, he was defeated by Governor Don Juan de Silva. Three ships of the enemy were thirty leguas in advance, on the look-out for Chinese vessels, while the last of his ten ships had been sent to Terrenate. On Thursday, the thirteenth of the said month, our fleet sighted four vessels Page 31[of the enemy’s fleet]. They were lying by very carelessly, with two Chinese vessels that they had pillaged. Those two vessels ware carrying about three hundred thousand pesos’ worth of merchandise. One of them the enemy had begun to rob, although only slightly. It was impossible to attack them, for wind was lacking. Thereupon the enemy very leisurely weighed anchor, but did not leave the Chinese ships until the next day. Then as the two fleets were about to engage, they left their prizes, in order not to be hindered by them. They had already been joined by two other vessels. Our royal flagship had got to windward. Near it, at eight in the morning, was the galleon “San Juan Bautista” under command of Admiral Pedro de Heredia (but he was not admiral of the fleet). The other galleons were to leeward. As the enemy saw so good an opportunity, he maneuvered his six ships, placing them in good order. His flagship passed within musket-shot of one side of the royal flagship and discharged its artillery. Answering them with another, as good and better, many volleys were fired without missing one shot, because the pieces were fired at so short a distance. Another ship passed, with the same good order, giving and taking its heavy volleys. The four other ships of those which I said were there, did the same. It was the greatest gallantry that I ever saw; for our galleon gave all those of the enemy so many volleys that it displayed excellently its great strength—as well as the injury received by the enemy, since he attempted nothing more on that day. On our side five men were killed and eight wounded. The following day, Saturday, the fifteenth of the same month of April, the two fleets got ready to Page 32fight, and ours got to windward. Orders were given for each galleon to grapple with one of the enemy—flagship with flagship, and the “San Juan Bautista” with the almiranta of the enemy; while the galleon “San Lorenzo” and the patache were to aid whichever boat they saw needed help; the galley flagship was to aid the royal flagship, and the other two galleys the galleon nearest them. The enemy was awaiting us in excellent order; and, signaling the other vessels to attack him, our first galleon, named “Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe,” under Captain Juan Bautista de Molina, grappled; and then the royal flagship with that of the enemy; the galleon “San Juan Bautista” with their almiranta; the galleon “San Miguel,” commanded by Rodrigo de Guillestigui, with the ship that fell to its lot; the galleon “San Lorenço,” under Captain Juan de Acevedo, with another ship. As for the galleon “San Marcos,” under Captain Don Juan de la Vega (one of the best ships of the fleet), and the galleon “San Phelipe,” under Captain Sebastian de Madrid, these two did not grapple, although common report says that they could have done so had they made an effort. They fought a very fierce battle. The galleon “Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe” defeated its opponent, being aided by the galley under Captain Don Diego de Quiñones; and the enemy having shown a flag of peace, soldiers from our side entered it in token of victory. The royal flagship, after having been grappled for more than two hours—the battle being fought with great gallantry on each side, each firing heavy volleys at the other, and the galley flagship aiding on its side—was reported to be leaking badly from the effect of certain volleys which Page 33it received at its water line. This forced it to throw off the grappling-irons and go away; while the enemy’s ship refused to mind its helm, and, in a little more than half an hour, careened on one side and sank, without any of its cargo being seen. Forty or more men, among them the general, escaped in two lanchas. With great efforts they reached one of their ships. The galleon “San Miguel,” after having fought with great courage, set fire to its opponent, a vessel of eight hundred toneladas, laden with cloth which they had stolen. The fire caught the main-sail, which was so quickly burned that the sail fell, on the yard, into the waist of the ship. The ship continued to burn so fiercely that it could not be quenched. All the men took to the sea, some in lanchas and others swimming, most of the latter being drowned. This burning ship drifted to where our galleon “Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe” was stationed. Near it was the captured galleon, and the burning vessel coming down upon the latter, set fire to it; and this one began to burn so furiously that the soldiers who had entered it escaped with difficulty, while some were burned. And, since our galley was not so near now, all, both Spaniards and Dutch, were drowned or burned. Then the first burning ship passed on. The galleon “San Juan Bautista” having almost captured the enemy’s almiranta, the burning vessel bore down upon them both. Throwing off their grappling-irons with considerable difficulty, the fire forced them to ungrapple; and at once they separated, so that the fire might not injure them. Thereupon victory was declared, and the three hostile ships took to flight badly crippled. Their almiranta was so damaged that our Page 34people thought that it would surely sink. Those three vessels were pursued by the “San Marcos,” and “San Phelipe,” which were more to the windward, and by all the rest of the fleet. However, inasmuch as the royal flagship, the “San Juan Bautista,” and the “San Miguel” and “Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe” were hardly used and leaking badly, they turned shoreward after midnight. In the morning the “San Marcos” and the “San Phelipe” found themselves alone, and somewhat separated, and found no traces of the enemy. Although they should have kept together, they did not do it, but each vessel acted by itself. The galleon “San Marcos” went to a place where two ships of the enemy were pillaging two other Chinese ships. When the enemy discovered it, one of his vessels went to reconnoiter it, while the other stayed behind with the vessels that they were pillaging. They commenced to fight and the battle lasted more than three hours, at the end of which the Dutch vessel withdrew and joined the other ship. Next day—that of San Marcos—the [Dutch] ship that had not fought came; it is understood that it was reënforced with men. Firing a quantity of chain-shot, it did considerable damage to our rigging; and as our main yard had fallen, our ship did not mind its helm well. Consequently, our galleon sustained serious injury at the stern, upon which its commander came to a very imprudent resolution—namely, to go in toward shore and anchor in twelve brazas of water, and there fight with the enemy. This was so carelessly executed that, upon throwing the anchor, they could not find bottom, whereupon they grounded the galleon in four brazas of water. The entire crew went Page 35ashore taking some things with them. None of the enemy disembarked. As the commander thought that the enemy could burn them with his lanchas, he made another decision as bad as the other, and set fire to his vessel. Thereby was lost the hull of the ship, which was especially good. The artillery and anchors were all taken out and most of them are ashore. The commander appears to be very blameworthy; and the investigation to punish him according to his offense is now being made. This devolves upon Don Geronimo de Silva, castellan and governor of the forts of Terrenate, to whom your Majesty has granted the office of captain-general because of the death of Governor Don Juan de Silva, until a proprietary governor is provided. All the rest of the fleet returned to the port of Cavite. The bad treatment received by the galleons from the many volleys, the sailors, soldiers, and artillery aboard them, and the dead and wounded, your Majesty can ascertain, if so pleased, from the charts accompanying this letter.
May God give your Majesty many most happy victories for His honor and glory and the welfare of all Christianity. Such may be expected, since in a land so destitute as this, and by means so weak as these now, His Divine Majesty was pleased to destroy the greatest fleet from Olanda ever seen in these districts; and at a juncture when, if the fleet sent by your Majesty by way of the cape of Buena Esperança arrives safely, strong hopes may be entertained that it will drive that enemy from sea and land, because he has lost many men and ships, and more than ninety pieces of artillery. The best and largest of the cannon were taken from his fortresses, Page 36and he will have difficulty in replacing them. Although three pataches were prepared to take the usual help to the forts of Terrenate, the enemy did not allow them to sail from the port of Cavite. Considering the need and stress that the forts were in, and that they had only sufficient food to last until the end of September, as the castellan wrote, I ordered all the champans possible to be collected and prepared with great haste in Oton, eighty leguas from this city, and to be laden with rice, meat, wine, and other supplies. As champans are but insecure craft, and badly managed, inasmuch as they are manned by Sangleys, I sent some sailors to serve as pilots. Eight champans were prepared, of which six reached their destination, besides one despatched from Zebú. By all possible means I managed to succor those forts. They were made very happy by the help that reached them—for they were quite out of rice—and by the hopes that I gave them of the speedy sailing of a ship laden with food, clothing, and money. Thus the forts were provided sufficiently to enable them to await the help that was to be sent in the ship.
The viceroy of Nueva España despatched two advice-boats which reached these islands, early in February and in March. They brought your Majesty’s papers for Don Juan de Silva, which the royal Audiencia received. They contained the title of master-of-camp for Don Geronimo de Silva, knight of the Order of St. John, and castellan and governor of the soldiers of Terrenate; an order to Don Juan de Silva that the former be given the title of captain-general of artillery, and an appointment [with instructions], so that, in case of the said Don Juan Page 37de Silva’s death, it might be opened. On opening it, we found your Majesty’s grant to Don Geronimo de Silva of an appointment as captain-general, on sea and land, in these islands and in Terrenate. He was at Terrenate engaged in his duties there, for Don Juan de Silva’s statement to your Majesty, saying that he was ordering Don Geronimo to Manila to act as master-of-camp, and was sending Lucas de Bergara Gabiria to Terrenate, had not been carried out. With all possible haste I sent a galley to advise him of the grace bestowed upon him by your Majesty. In the boat I sent ten thousand pesos in reals, four thousand five hundred pieces of cloth, and what wine and rice it could carry for their sustenance going and returning, besides a quantity of jars of powder. Within twenty days I despatched the three pataches that were at the port of Cavite, since the enemy had now left the entrances to this bay; and with them I sent Don Gaviria to serve in the offices held by Don Geronimo de Silva. They carried more than three thousand baskets of rice, with wine, and meat; a quantity of clothing; six thousand pesos in reals; four eighteen-pounders, and a number of jars of powder; and balls, and many other things for the sustenance of those forts. The occupants of the forts have reported that that was the most substantial help that has been sent them for many years. May God be praised that He provided help for the great necessity of that presidio at a so needy time. Another royal decree was also received, in which your Majesty orders that pilots be sent by more than one way, so that they may go to await the royal fleet that is to come by way of the cape of Buena Esperanza, and give the general of it orders to go to Terrenate Page 38or to Manila—whichever place may be more suitable for his effective despatch. Having called a council of war, it was decided, the Audiencia concurring, that the fleet should come to Manila—because it would thus find accommodation in ports that furnish docking, shipyards, and materials—and join the galleons here; and chiefly because there is the means here for their sustenance, which cannot be had in Terrenate. Shortly after the twentieth of March, a galliot and a patache were despatched in which two pilots sailed, those most experienced in navigation. They came from España with General Rrui Gonçalez de Sequeira, and had gone to the strait of Sincapura with Don Juan de Silva, one of them as his chief pilot.
The said Don Geronimo de Silva reached the port of Cavite May seven, after I had had charge of the office of captain-general for fifteen months. These islands enjoyed during that time the greatest peace and quiet for many years, except for the war of the enemy—as disinterested persons will relate, to whom credit must be given. I hope that they will continue in that condition, and improve with the coming of that cavalier. I find certain objections [to him] in accounts, emanating from Terrenate, of the trouble experienced by the infantry because of the harshness of his temper and the ill-treatment that they have received in word and deed. During the first week after his arrival in this city he has manifested the same disposition toward several persons who made the expedition, in depriving them of certain military posts in order to bestow them upon his followers and relatives, who say that they are to be preferred to others. They feel so exalted over this office [of Page 39Don Geronimo], with which he is willing to provide them government posts, that they desire all persons to call him “your Lordship.” And because the first day of his arrival, Licentiate Madrid y Luna, auditor of this royal Audiencia, did not call him so, Don Geronimo sent him a message saying that since the auditor was his friend he should honor him by calling him “your Lordship.” He has not broached this subject to me, for he knows that I do not consider it fitting to occupy myself with these matters, which are immaterial and confer no authority; and that the office itself possesses enough dignity without trying to give it that which is not needful to it in order that your Majesty may be well served. He ordered an edict to be published that all the captains, army officers, and soldiers whose places have been abolished during the last ten years, should appear at the office of the royal accountant within a fortnight, under penalty of six years’ service in the galleys. That caused a great uproar throughout the city; for they declared that they were not his subjects. The captains—feeling angered because they were under no such obligation, but employing the mild and expedient measures of courtesy, so that there might be peace and the people become quieted—as soon as the session began sent the governor a message by the clerk of the Audiencia, petitioning that he consider the edict and correct the commotion caused by it. They requested that he would check future evils by suspending the effect of the edict, for those included in it were in the jurisdiction of the government; and it concerned the Audiencia not to allow injury to be inflicted on anyone, especially since this act was opposed to its authority. He replied that he was acting Page 40within his powers, and consequently he had ordered that measure. And although certain religious have, by virtue of their office, represented to him the difficulties that must result from the edict, as yet he has given no signs of regarding it with the consideration and reflection advisable to the service of your Majesty, and the peace and quiet of this community. He thinks that it is to be governed according to his will, and places no check on his own inclinations. If this is to be done, these islands will suffer until your Majesty shall provide such remedy as is advisable for your royal service. This royal Audiencia, performing its duty with what authority it possesses, will do its utmost; and it will not consent that he meddle in matters outside his jurisdiction. But all this must be with grievances to the community, and the people will live in disquiet and anxiety.
By one of the said pataches, I received three decrees from your Majesty. In one of them you were pleased to grant me acceptance of my resignation as auditor of this royal Audiencia, and permission to go to España. In another decree your Majesty orders the governor of these islands to give me accommodations in the vessels about to sail to Nueva España, in accordance with the quality of my person, and the offices that I have held. In the last decree your Majesty concedes me one year’s salary as a gratification for the many expenses that I shall incur in so long a voyage. Immediately upon receiving these royal decrees, I could have bid farewell to the Audiencia; but, considering that it was then in the midst of preparing the fleet, and since I had been employed in and had arranged what was Page 41advisable to your Majesty’s service, I thought that it would be very wrong to retire on such an occasion and flee the danger, and lift my hand from a matter of so great importance. After the expedition, I would have vacated my office and would have prepared to go to give your Majesty an account of many things of importance to your royal service, but I have neglected to do so, because there are no judges in the Audiencia. Licentiate Madrid y Luna is ready to go in one of the trading ships to serve in his position as alcalde of the court of Mexico. Doctor Juan Manuel de la Vega has been sick for four months, and small hopes are had of his recovery. Two new auditors are expected (who are known to be in Nueva España) on the ships of this year. When they shall have arrived, it will necessarily take some days for them to understand the affairs of government and the form of procedure of the Audiencia. Since I think that I shall serve your Majesty in this, I shall delay here no longer than is absolutely necessary for the Audiencia to fulfil its obligations, and so that your Majesty may be better served.
With the grace shown me by your Majesty in permitting me to go to España, I shall not enjoy my salary as auditor from the day that I shall cease to serve in this post. Consequently I shall not be able to live in accordance with the quality of my person and the posts that I have held. In remuneration of twenty-nine years of service (twenty-four of them in the Indias)—and no favors have been granted me for the offices of president and captain-general, and the successful outcome of the difficulties that I experienced therein—I petition your Majesty to grant me the reward of certain pensions equivalent to the salary Page 42taken from me, or what reward your Majesty may be pleased to order given me, which will be in excess of what my services can merit.
The persons who have served best on this occasion, and who merit rewards from your Majesty, are: first, the general Don Juan Rronquillo del Castillo, who assisted at Cavite, from the first of November of last year, in the repair and preparation of this fleet, until he sailed from the port with it and fought the flagship of the enemy and defeated and sank it—and, according to what the prisoners say, it will be incredible in Olanda that there is sufficient force in the Philipinas to have defeated this galleon; next, Captain Don Diego de Quiñones, for the service rendered to your Majesty by him in resisting the enemy—first, at his entrance to the town of Oton (where the Dutch disembarked with six hundred men); then, after killing and wounding many men with less than one hundred soldiers, and causing the enemy to retreat ignominiously after a stay of not more than twenty-four hours in front of the said town, Don Diego came at my orders to serve on this occasion, leaning on a crutch—for he was not yet recovered from a musket-ball that had passed through one thigh—and served as commander of a galley. He found himself near the galleon “Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe,” which was grappled to another of the enemy; and, with his aid, the latter was defeated.
Admiral Rodrigo de Guillestigui, commander of the galleon “San Miguel,” grappled with another of the enemy; and although another ship attacked him, and he received great damage from the artillery discharged upon him, he refused to leave his prize until, after fighting with great courage and valor, Page 43the galleon to which he was grappled took fire, whereupon with great haste he ungrappled so that the fire should not do him harm. The vessel that was burning was deserted by its men very hastily, some of whom embarked in the lancha, while others jumped into the water; and, the fire reaching the powder, the ship went down.
Captain Juan Bauptista de Molina, commander of the galleon “Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe,” was the first to grapple with a ship which, according to the prisoners who were in the battle, was in Piru, where it and another vessel sunk our almiranta. He fought as a good soldier until the enemy surrendered after a hard fight. While a captain and soldiers from our side were in the said vessel, that ship of the enemy’s that was coming down upon it afire, as the executor of divine justice, set fire to this one, and it was burned. That ship was burned because His [Divine] Majesty did not choose that there should be more spoils from that victory than the memory of the just punishment that He gave by His powerful hand.
Admiral Pedro de Heredia, commander of the galley “San Juan Baptista,” grappled with the hostile almiranta; and after fighting valorously, and having almost defeated it, because it was no longer serving its artillery or musketry, the burning boat charged down upon the two galleons and forced them to ungrapple for fear of the fire. Thereupon their almiranta got away with some difficulty, because it had so few men left to handle the sails. The men who escaped from the small boat of the burning ship were taken aboard that vessel, so that they had sufficient men to retreat; and our galleon could not return Page 44to attack the said almiranta, which left so badly dismantled that it is thought that it must have sunk. The facts will be learned with the first advice that comes from Terrenate.
General Francisco Bravo de la Serna, who came aboard the flagship that put in at Japon, gained the good will of the ruler where he put in, by his diligence, discretion, and sensible procedure, aided by the munificent presents that he gave to the king. Consequently the king received him as hospitably as if he were in your Majesty’s lands, giving him whatever he needed at moderate prices. When the general wished to leave, the king gave him permission, without his having received any ill treatment. That was considered a good outcome, and was all the more so because, when he reached these islands and learned that the enemy had taken the passage in order to enter the port of Cavite, he took the flagship to the most hidden place that he could find. Having made port in haste, he unloaded the silver and stored it inland; then, while anchored, he took ashore all the rest of the cargo. That was the compensation of these islands and the fund with which the fleet was prepared; and without it the galleons could not have been equipped. Therein is made evident the good service that Francisco Bravo rendered your Majesty. He also rendered service on this expedition; for he embarked on the flagship, and took with him twelve men at his own cost. His presence proved of great importance, for he attended to his orders with great energy, exactness, and labor, while his advice and counsel were among the best that the general had. The latter declared the same to me, and that Bravo should be highly esteemed for the manner in which Page 45he distinguished himself in your Majesty’s service on this occasion.
Licentiate Manuel de Madrid y Luna, auditor of this royal Audiencia, has aided me in this campaign, accomplishing those things with which I charged him. Last year, when that enemy came to this bay, he helped to cast the artillery; and he worked at it day and night, until they had cast so many pieces that they sufficed to put the fort of Cavite in a state of defense. Two of his brothers and one cousin have died in this land in your Majesty’s service—one in the Sangley insurrection, and two on this noble occasion. One brother was commander of the galleon “San Phelipe.” As soon as the battle began, he was wounded by a musket-shot and lived little more than one hour. It is considered certain that more would have been accomplished with this galleon; had not the said commander been killed. On that account, and for the good accomplished by his services in this royal Audiencia, the said Licentiate Madrid claims that your Majesty should grant him as a reward permission to marry some of his seven daughters and three sons in Mexico. That is the greatest wealth that he takes from these islands.
Captain Andrea Coello came from India in a patache in July last year with despatches from the viceroy. That enemy having come and taken position in the entrances of this bay, he offered to serve as ordered, whether on land or on sea, with his person, patache, sailors, and soldiers; for his profession was to serve your Majesty in war. He remained until the royal fleet was ready to sail in search of the enemy; and the said captain supported the sailors and soldiers with his patache and with the moderate Page 46aid given him. He took part on that occasion, and acted as an honorable and valiant soldier, attending with exactness to all his orders.
The viceroy of Nueva España sent a ship from the port of Acapulco, which reached the port of Cavite on June twenty-six. Aboard it were the bishop of Nueva Segovia6 and twenty-eight Augustinian friars; one hundred and forty soldiers and twenty convicts; one hundred quintals of powder, one hundred muskets, and one hundred arquebuses. Since the country was at peace, that proved a tolerable reënforcement. No money came for the royal treasury, which does not contain one single peso. From the money that is expected from Nueva España must be paid the twenty-six thousand seven hundred pesos lent by the citizens and the probate court account; besides other twenty-three thousand pesos due to the captains and the Japanese and Chinese merchants, for cloth and war supplies which they have delivered to the royal magazines. There is no royal revenue from which to satisfy those debts. The only revenue that can be collected now will be the proceeds of the Sangley licenses, and that will scarcely suffice for the very ordinary expenses. There will be no money with which to pay the salaries of the Audiencia, royal officials, and other persons; the stipends of the bishops and prebends of the church, and those given Page 47to the religious; the wages of the infantry of this camp and that of Terrenate; and the aid that must be sent to those forts for their ordinary sustenance. And then this is increased by the delay of the fleet which your Majesty has ordered to come by way of the cape of Buena Esperança because of the great expenses that will be thus incurred, and by the repair of the galleons in Cavite. The latter must not be abandoned, and are without masts, for only their futtock-timbers can be of use. It is all very difficult when so many things come at the same time, and there is no money with which to repair them. May God in His mercy provide a remedy for so many necessities. I shall do the utmost that in me lies. Although there is considerable to provide, I shall attend to the most needful, so that things may be maintained until the viceroy of Nueva España, upon learning of the wretched condition of these islands and those of Terrenate, may provide the aid that is necessary for their conservation. Accordingly I humbly beg your Majesty to send the viceroy orders that the succor asked from him be sent promptly. And should a case happen like the present, of no vessels going to Nueva España because they have to return in distress to these islands, [I beg you to order] that the viceroy do not neglect to send the money which is usually asked from him for the payment of the expenses incurred in these islands. Those expenses, like those of the war which are of so great moment, cannot be supplied if there is a lack of money, and it will not be well to fall again into such straits as those that we suffer at present.
The two auditors who were to come to this Audiencia, remained in Mexico, as there was no accommodation Page 48in the ship to enable them to sail. Their absence causes a conspicuous deficiency; for I am the only judge in the Audiencia, because the sickness of Doctor Juan Manuel de la Vega is of long duration, and few hopes are sustained of his recovery, according to the physicians’ reports. Licentiate Manuel de Madrid y Luna has determined to go to serve in the position of alcalde of the court in Mexico (which your Majesty has bestowed upon him as a reward), notwithstanding that I did not allow him to quit that of auditor of this Audiencia on account of the just reasons for serving therein—through the many affairs concurrent in it of justice and government, and through the great lack that all these would experience if they were in charge of only one person. Should it happen that I were to die, there would be no Audiencia nor any one to govern these islands—irreparable injuries, for which it is advisable to prepare the remedy beforehand. And although, besides these things, I presented to him many considerations that should oblige him to postpone his departure; and notwithstanding the requests and protests that I have made to him regarding the present injuries and those that might happen on his account; all this has not sufficed to move him from his purpose. He has answered me with the arguments which if your Majesty pleases may be seen in the accompanying testimony. Manila. August 10, 1617.
Licentiate Andres de Alcaraz
[Marginal note: “Take particular account of what is stated about his services, in order to reward him as may be fitting, especially for what he did on Page 49the occasions that he mentions which have been so advantageous to the royal service and to the conservation of those islands, which results from achievements as great as were the defeat and punishment of the enemy. In what concerns the persons of whose services he gives information, let attention be given to them in the Audiencia; and have them summoned so that they may know what knowledge his Majesty has of them, and what he has entrusted to their persons.”] Page 50
1 Spanish, se hierra; an allusion to the branding of convicts with a hot iron; that is, a defeat on the part of the Spaniards would be an irremediable damage to their reputation.
2 See Vol. XIV, p. 314, note 53.
3 The property of deceased persons was carefully guarded by law, as numerous decrees show; see Recopilación de leyes, lib. ix, tit. xiv, which contains twenty-five ordinances, devoted to “the property of persons who have died in the Indias, and its administration and accounts in the House of Trade at Sevilla;” and lib. ii, tit. xxxii, with seventy ordinances regarding “the courts in charge of such property, and its administration and accounts in the Indias, and on vessels of war or trade.” Two of these laws (ley xxii in the former group, and ley lix in the latter) give definite and unqualified command that the funds in the probate treasury shall not be used for any purpose whatsoever, even for the needs of the royal service; and another (ley lx, second group), dated December 13, 1620, commands that the proceeds of estates left by persons dying in the Philippines shall be accounted for and paid (to the heirs) at the royal treasury in the city of Mexico.
4 Juan Ronquillo was a relative of Gonzalo Ronquillo de Peñalosa. After the death of Rodríguez de Figueroa, he conducted an expedition to Mindanao in 1597 at Governor Tello’s order (see description of that expedition, Vol. XV). In 1617 he defeated the Dutch at Playa Honda, as above described.
5 Playa Honda (signifying “a low beach”) is the name of an extensive plain in Batalan or Botolan mountain, 1,847 feet high, on the coast of Zambales province, Luzón, to the northwest of Manila. In the text, this name is applied to a road or anchorage on that coast; its early name was Paynauén.
6 This was Miguel García Serrano; he made his profession as an Augustinian friar in 1592, at Agreda, Spain. Three years later, he arrived in the Philippines, where he was minister in several native villages, and held various important offices in his order, being provincial in 1611. Then he went to Spain and Rome; and, when the see of Nueva Segovia became vacant, Serrano was appointed to it. After ruling this bishopric for two years (June, 1617-August, 1619) he became archbishop of Manila. His death occurred in June, 1629.
Trade Between Nueva España and the Far East
Of the Trade of Eastern India, Nueva España, and Filipinas with Macao and Japon
Beyond a doubt Christian interests in Japon and China are sustained and prospered, after the grace of God, through the trade which your Majesty’s vassals carry on with those kingdoms; for the heathen there, being avaricious, are much pleased with the gain they derive from the goods carried to them, and from those which they sell to the Christians. Therefore, they allow the religious of Europe in their countries, because they know that, if they do not admit them, they will not enjoy this trade; for they see that principally on account of religion your Majesty’s vassals come to them with their ships and goods. This is shown by the experience of many years.
Although this trade may be profitable to your Majesty’s subjects and to your royal exchequer, it ought to be so carried on that not only may these interests be advanced, but also in such a way that Christianity shall not be injured. When any one of these interests is in danger, it is plain that it would be a less evil to lose something of the temporal [advantage from trade] than of the spiritual advantage resulting from Page 51the conversion of souls there. There is no doubt that your Majesty wishes it thus, as do all of your ministers, who are so anxious for the honor of God and for the progress of His holy Catholic faith.
Trade with China and Japon is carried on as follows: from Eastern India [to both countries] by way of the city of Macao, and entirely in the hands of the Portuguese; from Felipinas and Nueva España to China, by way of the same city of Macao; and [from Felipinas and Nueva España] to Japon by way of the various Japonese cities, principally Nangasaqui.
From Eastern India eight-real pieces and other things in which there is considerable profit are carried to China. From Macao, which is a Chinese city, silks and gold, upon which profits are large, are taken to Japon; while silver, which also yields profit, is taken to China. From China, copper, silks, gold, and other articles are transported to India. This trade is also remunerative. Since upon all these things import and export duties are paid to your Majesty, this trade is undoubtedly the means by which Eastern India is maintained; for through it are made possible the large expenditures for the fleets which the viceroys send each year against your Majesty’s enemies. Indeed, without this trade little could be done, because the [a word lacking; MS. worn] customs would yield little.
From Nueva España silver is exported to China, but little more; they do not carry silver thence to Japon, because there is no lack of it there. Some other things are taken to Japon, among them silks brought from China, but little else; for they have nothing in Nueva España useful to Japon, except these few articles. Page 52
From Felipinas they carry to China silver obtained in Nueva España, but there is nothing else to carry. To Japon they take silks which they buy in China, or which the Chincheos are accustomed to bring to Manila, which is unquestionably the metropolis of Felipinas.
From the trade of Nueva España and Felipinas with China and Japon less in customs duties are paid to your Majesty than from that of Eastern India with the same countries, because there is nothing upon which to pay them except the silks. Thus this trade is not so advantageous as that of Eastern India. Indeed, your Majesty’s profits will be much greater if this trade of Nueva España and Felipinas shall cease. This will be experienced not only by the crown of Portugal, but even by that of Castilla.
By the crown of Portugal this will be experienced because, if the people of Eastern India alone were to sell goods and to buy those of the Chinese and Japonese, they would obviously gain more and be able to pay higher customs to your Majesty; for when the sellers and buyers are many and different, all is to the advantage of the Chinese and Japonese, because then they sell and buy on their own terms. Under such circumstances your Majesty’s subjects have sustained great injuries, and many times have sold their goods for prices far below what they had cost, in order not to carry them home. From these circumstances, too, quarrels have arisen in China and Japon between the subjects of the two crowns—to the discredit of España and to the shame of Christians there who see discords among Christians and among subjects of the same king. The Portuguese, in order not to suffer these injuries, will abandon this trade: if Page 53they do so, Eastern India will be in great danger, especially now, from those who go there from the north. And your Majesty will even come to lose it; and this through not having wherewith to maintain the fleet by means of which it is protected and prospered, as has been shown by experience. In the same way your Majesty will lose the city of Macao which you have in China, for as it is in the territory of the king of China, it has no income other than through this trade.
This result will also be experienced by the crown of Castilla, because the trade of Nueva España with China serves only to carry thither silver which ought to come to España, and to bring from China the silks which might be sent from España. Whence great injuries to España follow, as is notorious, through the loss both of the silver of which it is deprived, and of the duties and profits on its silks. The trade of Nueva España with Japon is also unprofitable, because there are no goods on which to secure gain either going or returning, except what they may get from the silks which they carry from China, to Japon, and from some iron, copper, cabinets [escritorios], and similar articles. Indeed, on account of the before-mentioned disadvantages, it is easier to lose than to gain in this trade; and if it should be expanded your Majesty would suffer other disadvantages. This has already been seen on some occasions when it has been tried.
The trade of Filipinas with China may be hurtful in so far as the silver carried is concerned, because this might come to España. It is true, the silk trade with China is of some profit to Filipinas as a basis of trade with Nueva España—which cannot be dispensed Page 54with—to supply the things needed from there. But this silk trade might be substituted by carrying some of the gold of Filipinas to Nueva España to buy what is necessary from España, to which thereby would come more advantage; and by carrying also some of the silks which the people of Chincheo are wont to take to Manila. These are bought in this way more advantageously than when the Filipinas merchants go to China to buy, as has been seen during many years’ experience with the former method. But it might even be well to put an end to the coming of the people of Chincheo to Manila (many of whom live there by agreement), because they have already attempted to take possession of the city; and now, when the Hollanders are resorting thither, this should be more carefully watched. To prevent the coming of the Chinese, your Majesty might order the inhabitants of Macao to take to Manila the silks, bronze, and other things needed in Filipinas which the people of Chincheo bring. And everything will be more secure, the profit will be much greater, and all of it will accrue to your Majesty’s subjects if it be ordered that the Chinese shall not sell anything that the inhabitants of Macao have to sell.
The trade of Filipinas with Japon is very hurtful to your Majesty and to your subjects, since, as they carry in it nothing but silks from China, which the people of Eastern India and those of Macao also take to Japon, all the advantage lies with the Japonese; for, as they are in their own land, and have a larger number of articles to choose from, they buy where they wish and at their own figures, and they sell their own goods in the same way. All this is injurious to your Majesty’s subjects, and advantageous Page 55to that king to whom they pay so large customs duties. Sometimes the people of Felipinas and those of Eastern India have returned without selling or buying, in order not to suffer total loss. Thus results a great loss of customs which ought to be paid to your Majesty. And not alone do you suffer in your exchequer but also in your reputation, because the Japonese despise your Majesty’s subjects when they see the disorders that they create;1 and they lose [also] respect for your viceroys. When, in order to correct this impression, certain embassies are sent to those kings, they judge from this that your Majesty’s subjects have greater need of them than they have of your Majesty or your viceroys. This has been observed during all these past years, especially among the Japonese—who, being arrogant, proud, and warlike, think that everything depends upon them, and ask odds of no one. They, judging by the great number who go to Japon from Felipinas that they are necessary to the latter, have ever thought of making war upon these islands in order to conquer them for themselves. [In the margin: “And now that the Northerners are there, it is possible for them together to attack the forces.”]
From what has been said the plain inference is that your Majesty, who is king of both realms, ought to order that the trade be so conducted that what is gained by one be not lost by the other. You ought Page 56also to consider which line of trade will profit you most, and should enforce this one and prohibit the other by decrees issuing from both crowns, enforcing them through your viceroys, and imposing severe penalties upon violators of such decrees, and greater ones upon those who fail to require them to be kept. [In the margin: “This was ordained by the king, Don Felipe Second, grandfather of your Majesty, as the Council of Portugal will inform you.”]
From the foregoing it is easily seen that the trade of Eastern India is, from a temporal standpoint, the most profitable to your Majesty and for your subjects; and from a spiritual standpoint, for the maintenance and propagation of Christianity in China and Japon. This was proved in the years during which this plan was tried. [In the margin: “Conversion there has entirely ceased today because this plan has not been tried during recent years, and because of the severity of the present emperor of China, who even punished laymen for protecting the religious who went from Felipinas to China contrary to his commands.”]
It is plain, therefore, that the trade of Nueva España and Felipinas with Japon and China is unprofitable in comparison with that of Eastern India, not to mention the marked injuries already pointed out which it inflicts upon España, and which must be repaired and corrected lest greater ones be sustained. The trade always carried on with Nueva Page 57España is fully sufficient to maintain Felipinas. In this they carry gold and some of the silks which the Chinese merchants carry from China to Manila to be sold; and they might bring silks from Macao, should your Majesty now order it. In return they bring from Nueva España what they need for their own maintenance and growth (to make it unnecessary to go to Japon and China for the same). In proportion as this plan has been observed the welfare of both the Eastern and the Western Indias has been advanced; and the kingdoms of España have had great profits from them, through their carrying silver and bringing back merchandise. Now that the Hollanders are so powerful there, it is necessary that this be watched with the greatest care and vigilance, in order that what your Majesty gets from there may not be lost. Page 58
1 “At this time (i.e., late in the sixteenth century], also, political and religious war was almost universal in Europe, and the quarrels of the various nationalities followed the buccaneers, pirates, traders, and missionaries to the distant seas of Japan .... All foreigners, but especially Portuguese, were then slave traders, and thousands of Japanese were bought and sold, and shipped to Macao, in China, and to the Philippines. Hidéyoshi repeatedly issued decrees threatening with death these Page 7nslave-traders, and even the purchasers. The seaports of Hirado and Nagasaki were the resort of the lowest class of adventurers from all European Nations, and the result was a continual series of uproars, broils, and murders among the foreigners, requiring ever and anon the intervention of the native authorities to keep the peace.” (Griffis’s Mikado’s Empire, p. 254.)
Events in the Filipinas Islands
From the Month of June, 617, Until the Present Date in 618
Last year I informed you at length of the naval battle, and of the signal victory which our Lord was pleased to give us over the enemy, the Hollanders, who came to these islands with the largest force that has ever been here. They brought ten galleons well equipped with men, artillery, ammunition, and other implements of war. Of these ten galleons they lost three in the battle—one, the admiral’s ship, was sunk, and two were burned. Four of the remaining seven fled to Maluco, badly damaged. So many of their men were killed and wounded that, although they had set out with a large number, they arrived with scarcely one hundred. These were the messengers of an event most disastrous for them but fortunate for us. The other ships fled to Japon.
Until now the natives of the Malucas Islands had greatly favored the heretics; but, loving novelty and seeing that the power of the Hollanders had declined, they began to plan a revolt. When the Hollanders learned of this, they hanged in Machien, one of their best strongholds, a chief whom, it was understood, the natives wished to place at the head of the insurrection. But in other quarters they could not so quickly effect a remedy. In the island of Siao the people Page 59killed all the Hollanders who had seized their land, except three whom they handed over alive to our governor of Maluco for galley-slaves. The natives of the island of Vanda [Banda] dealt in the same manner with the Hollanders who were there, and gained the ascendency. In Ambueno some of the natives revolted. The Hollanders tried to pacify them by force of arms, but we do not know how the affair ended. All this, however, was not what most disturbed the Hollanders, but it was rather the fact that they saw that English ships had come and formed an excellent stronghold in Pullovay.1 Thus, when the Hollanders undertook to eject the English from that port, the two nations were engaged in as bloody warfare with each other as [each was] with us. From all these circumstances it seems that the strongholds of the Hollanders were about to fall; and that, if at that time it had been possible to go with a fleet to the Malucas, a great exploit might have been performed. By this means, as wrote the governor of Ternate, Lucas de Vergara Gabiria, everything might, perhaps, have turned in our favor. But it was not possible to do this as was desired.
As I informed you in my report of last year, two other galleons, called “Leon Rojo” and “Fregelingas,” had separated from the rest of the fleet near Page 60the coast of Ilocos, a province of the island of Manila, in order to plunder, to more advantage and with less risk, the Chinese who were accustomed to steer for that coast. For this reason they took no part in the naval battle. This was very fortunate for them, since, without loss of men or of artillery, they plundered nine [many—V.d.A.2] Chinese ships, laden with very valuable silks which the Chinese were bringing here to the city of Manila. When these learned of the destruction of their fleet, they made haste to return to Japon, where they arrived on the seventh of July, 617. On the way they overtook two Chinese ships loaded with silks. They captured them, and, as their own were full of the plunder that they had taken, they put seven men as a guard on each of the Chinese ships and took them thus to Japon. When in sight of Japon the ships were driven by a storm, and one of the Chinese vessels was separated from the other and from the two of the Hollanders. It made port in the kingdom of Satsuma. But the authorities of this place, learning that the ship was a captive, and disapproving of a thing so foreign to civilized intercourse, would not consent that they should remain in the port longer than four days, at the end of which time they forced them to Page 61leave. During these four days the Chinese who came in the ships, about thirty-four in number, went ashore and secretly bought some catanas, arms peculiar to Japon and not very different from cutlasses. With these they embarked for Firando, another kingdom of Japon. One night they suddenly fell upon the Hollanders [the seven who guarded the ship], and, in spite of their resistance, they beheaded them and threw them into the sea. The Chinese then loaded all their goods upon little fishing boats that they had provided for the purpose, and setting fire to their ship, fled with their property in different directions. In all of this they were very diligent and discreet. If they had not been so, the Hollanders who reside in that kingdom undoubtedly would have taken the ship away from them by legal process, because (as we shall see later) the Hollanders have things much to their liking at the court of the emperor.
The two galleons, “Leon Rojo” and “Fregelingas,” and the other Chinese ship, of which I spoke, arrived at Cochi [Kochi], a port of the island of Firando, one league from the port and city of Firando.3 Here they began in great haste to unload the galleon, Page 62“Leon Rojo,” with the purpose of going to look out for the ship of Macan. The Portuguese who reside in Nangasaqui, learning of this design, went to the governor of that city to complain of what the Hollanders were planning. He sent them at once to the Jeno4 of Firando with an order by which the Jeno was commanded not to allow any Dutch ship to go out in search of the ship of Macan commanded by the Portuguese. This precaution, however, was unnecessary, because our Lord prevented, by other means, the accomplishment of their purpose. On the day of the blessed apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, a furious storm overtook them while they were in the port of Cochi. The “Leon Rojo” ran aground and filled with water; the “Fregelingas,” through loss of mainmast and rigging, was badly shattered. The Chinese ship also ran aground, and silks of great value were injured by water. With infinite labor and expense they hauled off the “Leon Rojo,” and, as best they could, they took it to the port of Firando. They were compelled, however, to give it up and leave it here for lost, because the leak was so great that it was impossible to stop it. They took the Page 63“Fregelingas” also to Firando, where they quickly repaired it.
There remains to be told the fate of another ship, called the “Sol Viejo” [“Old Sun”], that fled from the battle of last year and was confidently believed to have foundered in the sea. In it, however, the Dutch general, Juan Rodriguez Lam,5 escaped. With only eighty men, who remained with him, he crossed to the coast of Camboja, and went to the port of Champan [Champa V.d.A.] in order to repair the damage that the ship had sustained here in the Felipinas. They were not able to go, as they wished, from there to Patam, where they had a factory, because the vendavals, which were contrary, had now arisen. Therefore, they were forced to put into Japon at the port of Nangasaqui, where they entered with two other ships of theirs. One of these, the “Leon Negro” [“Black Lion”], carried one hundred and fifty-five men, and twenty-eight pieces of artillery, all of cast iron; the other, the “Galeaça,” carried ninety-five men and twenty-four pieces of artillery. The Dutch general had met these two ships on their way from Bantan, where the Hollanders had another factory. The “Leon Negro” and the “Galeaça” had captured three Chinese vessels that were going to Bantan to trade with the Hollanders. To save the Chinese the trouble, the Hollanders had loaded all the goods of the Chinese upon their own ships, thus taking from them the great wealth of silk they were carrying, and leaving them only the hulks of the ships. [In the margin: “Not the least compensation Page 64was made for such great injustice and injury.”] Sailing, then, by way of Hermosa Island, these two ships had sighted the “Sol Viejo;” and, thinking that it was the ship of Macan, they were much rejoiced, and prepared to seize it. When they came a little nearer, however, they discovered that it was the “Sol Viejo,” in which was their own general, who had fled routed from the naval battle that took place in these islands. Distressed at the bad news [of their defeat in this battle], they together [with the “Sol Viejo”] directed their course to Nangasaqui, where they made port the first of July, 617. While these three ships were anchored within the bar of this port, news arrived that the ship of Macan was eight or ten leguas at sea. The governor of Nangasaqui prepared and sent a message to the Portuguese to the effect that they could enter the port without any fear whatever of the Hollanders. But, not considering this safe, they withdrew to another port near by, where they felt more secure. When the governor saw that, on account of the Hollanders, the ship did not enter his port, he commanded that notice be given to the Hollanders, in the name of the emperor, that they should go at once to their port of Firando, which had been assigned to them for trade with Japon. They disregarded this command and replied that they had come to Japon with no other purpose than to look for that ship, which they must take without fail. The governor responded with a second notification, and so they thought it best to leave unobstructed the entrance to Nangasaqui, and to go to Firando, where they joined five Dutch vessels—including the “Leon Rojo,” which had been abandoned. Page 65
As has been ascertained, these heretics plundered on the coast of Manila eighteen Chinese ships, besides the two which on their return to Japon they [the “Leon Rojo” and the “Fregelingas”] had carried with them as they were, loaded, and the three which the ships coming from Bantan [the “Leon Negro” and the “Galeaça”] had despoiled. This robbery caused much commotion in Japon. The brother of the ruler of Firando governed that state at this time, because of the absence of the latter, who had gone to court. He accordingly placed guards upon the Dutch ships as soon as they arrived, and commanded that no one should go to them or buy anything from them until the emperor should know of their arrival, which he reported immediately. The Hollanders, paying no attention to these orders, began to unload their cloth until they filled the warehouses of their factory, leaving the surplus in the ships. Much of this cloth was wet, because, as I said above, their vessels [the “Leon Rojo” and the “Fregelingas”] and that of the Chinese had been shipwrecked. As this was the rainy season, it was impossible to dry it; and thus, to their great sorrow, much was lost. They secretly sold everything that they could before there should come from the court any order that might be to their disadvantage. They made a large sum of money, and then in all haste they loaded a great number of the boxes of silk upon the “Leon Negro,” which they put in readiness for whatever might happen. They then despatched their messengers to Macao [sc. Meaco], the court of the emperor, to whom they presented four fine pieces of bronze artillery, which he prized very highly. They sent also thirty thousand taes of silver, each one Page 66equal in weight to ten Spanish reals, and many pieces of various kinds of silk, with which they gained the good will of the emperor and of the courtiers upon whom their prosperity and security in Japon depended. As a result of this, they were soon very successful in their negotiations, at which they were greatly pleased; for they were given permission to sell their spoils in the kingdom of Japon to whom and wherever they pleased, since they said that the Spaniards were their enemies and that the Chinese were going to trade with them [the Spaniards]. With the matter thus arranged, they returned to Firando, and, as they found themselves in such favor, the first thing that they did was to take back from the poor Chinese the hulk of the ship and some cloth of little value, which they had given them because they had feared that they might not be successful at court. And they did this in spite of the fact that the Chinese, with their good industry and hard labor, had drawn from the water the ship, which, as has been said, was stranded and submerged. The Hollanders carried this spoliation to such an extent that they took their very clothes from their bodies.
Having completed this very successful exploit, on the fifteenth of October they despatched for Holanda the “Leon Negro” with sixteen hundred boxes of changeable silk. Each box contained two picos of silk (each pico equals five arrobas); besides this, they shipped three hundred fardos of black and white mantas—all of which will yield a great sum of money, if it reaches its destination. In the ship “Fregelingas” the Dutch general returned to the strongholds of Maluco; he carried with him a great quantity of timber to repair other ships, and many provisions and Page 67munitions to supply their fortresses. The other two ships, the “Sol Viejo” and the “Galeaça,” warned us that they intended to come to the coast of Manila about April, in order to plunder at once the ships which come to this city at that season. This has really happened, because for almost two months two Dutch ships have been in the place6 [where they seized the ships from China. This has caused much apprehension in this city—V.d.A.] which last year furnished so powerful a fleet; for then it had galleons with which to defend itself. Now it has none, because six galleons were sent to other islands in order that the injuries that they had received in the late battle might be repaired. On the eleventh of October a furious hurricane overtook the ships and, [since they had been pierced by balls in the battle—marginal note in MS.; also in V.d.A.] they parted in the middle and sank in the sea. The twenty-four pieces of artillery which the galleons carried—four in each galleon—were lost with the ships. They were, however, neither very large nor of much value. Most of the people escaped by swimming, or upon some rafts; but as many as four hundred persons, including Spaniards, Indians, and Chinese, were drowned. And some of those who had escaped from the storm by means of the rafts perished from hunger out at sea, after the storm subsided. In this event the justice of God was evident, because it is said that that many had embarked upon these galleons with their concubines, purposely to live with them in the holds of the ships, without fear of either God or man; therefore our Lord permitted men and galleons Page 68to run aground. [Not only was the city deprived of these six ships, but] it must be added the information received from his Majesty that the fleet of galleons formed in Cadiz to come here, by way of the cape of Buena Esperança, had been sent toward Saboya [i.e., Savoy] to impede the expedition of Count Mauricio to that dukedom. This city, seeing itself thus deprived of the forces that it had and of those that it expected, resolved at once to build six galleons and some galleys; this they are doing with all speed. But as these ships have not yet been finished (and cannot be very soon) they were worthless to oppose these two Dutch vessels that have been along the coast of Ilocos, a province of the island of Manila, and have plundered at will everything within their reach. According to some, they have despoiled of silks and other merchandise twelve or thirteen ships. Thus only the smallest number escaped falling into their hands, and then only by the merest chance. However, on the night of the eighteenth of May, the Dutch ships were in danger of shipwreck. There arose a strong wind, a vendaval, which obliged them to take care of their own ships and to release the Chinese vessels that they had with them. Four of these, delighted at this good opportunity, resolved to flee, and as the winds were favorable, they set out on the return voyage to China.
The Dutch carried on this pillaging with little risk, and without fear, because they had learned, through some prisoners who had escaped, of the loss of our galleons. With these spoils they returned, I think, to Japon, where they will again be received as they were last year. And the worst of it is that they will delight in coming [every year to inflict as much Page 69more damage; and therefore the Chinese will not dare to come—V.d.A.] to this city with their ships, and commerce will cease. Everything will then be lost, because the prosperity of these islands depends solely upon trade with China. May God prevent this with his powerful hand.
In the island of Oton a strange thing happened this year. The ships that usually go with supplies to aid the forces of Maluco were despatched from the city of Manila. In one of the best of these embarked Manuel Riveyro, a father of our Society from the house of Ternate. He had come here to solicit and collect the alms which his Majesty orders to be given to the fathers who labor in the Malucas Islands. For many days, for years even, nothing had been given; and, as a result, Ours were suffering great privation. The father was very successful and collected from the royal treasury a large sum of money. Part of this he spent for very rich ornaments and for images for our churches; part for ship stores, and for gifts with which to aid the poor soldiers in those strongholds of Maluco, who suffer great want. These soldiers are materially assisted by our fathers who reside there, to the great edification and gratitude of the soldiers. With these supplies the father embarked in one of the ships, and arrived at Punta de Najo [Naso—V.d.A.], about eight leagues from the town of Arebalo, where the king’s ships go to take on rice and meat for the Malucas. At this town it was necessary for the father of our Society, and other fathers of St. Francis, to go ashore to obtain some things which they needed, in order to have them ready when the ship should arrive. Therefore they disembarked to go by land, and the ship anchored off the point. One day the Page 70master, who was called Juan de Ochoa Sarape [? Lara—V.d.A.], brought it about by deceit that the captain of the ship, Francisco Benitez, the pilot, and two soldiers who were not of his following, should disembark. There were on board also two mariners, a Galician and a Castilian, neither of whom had sided with him in the treason that he had planned with the others. He sent these down the hatchway for some ropes, and then took a lock and fastened the hatchway. Thereupon the traitors unsheathed their swords, drew their arquebuses and muskets, and lighted their fuses. Standing under arms, they cut the cables, and set sail, taking possession of the ship and of all the goods that it carried for the king, for the governor of Maluco, and for the fathers of San Francisco and of our Society, all of which, they say, might be worth more than thirty thousand pesos. The captain and the pilot, who witnessed this treason from land, embarked at once in a little vessel, and, coming near the ship, discharged three muskets, none of which did any damage. The traitors asked the pilot whether he wished to go with them. Seeing that neither he nor the captain was so inclined, they took them to land, and in their ship changed their course to Borney and Macasar. This treason was committed by twelve Spaniards, eight of whom were Biscayans and four Castilians. They made captain the master [of the ship] who was the author of the treason. Besides these [twelve Spaniards], there were on board this ship the other two Spaniards, whom, as I said, they were carrying as prisoners, as well as some Indians of this country who also were compelled to go. When Father Ribeiro considered how much labor it had cost him to get together Page 71the help he was carrying there for the fathers of Maluco, this disaster caused him some distress—all the greater when he thought of the hunger and need that they must suffer. But our Lord prevented this. The father started out to beg alms from the inhabitants of the town; and in a short time he got together an abundant supply of rice, wine, and meat for one year, for all responded liberally to relieve a necessity that had so moved them to pity. The father set, sail with all this in another ship, and we trust that, by God’s help, he is already in Maluco. This is the same vessel that had been despatched this year for Nueva España as almiranta. It left port so heavily laden that it was necessary to put back into harbor to unload part of the merchandise, so as to be able to make the voyage. This done, they set out a second time from the port; but they encountered such violent storms that, after sailing entirely around the island of Manila, losing the masts, and imperiling their lives, they returned to Manila on the seventh of October, 617. Afterward the vessel was utilized [for Ternate] in the manner indicated above.
From the Mindanaos there came persistent rumors that they were undertaking to set out with a large fleet to besiege the fort of Caraga which was in the same island, Mindanao, and held in check a province of that island. Its inhabitants do not now engage in robberies and hostile incursions by sea, as has been their custom. [Upon receipt of this news] two galleys were despatched from the city of Manila, in order that with the caracoas that were to be found in Zebu they might go to aid the fort. They left Zebu for Caraga, but before arriving there our fleet turned back, partly because notice was received that the Page 72rumor had not been true, and partly because the winds had arisen. These winds would have greatly endangered our ships upon their entrance to and departure from that coast, which is very bold.
But, although we have been free from these enemies this year, we have had to deal with others, the Camucones,7 a people who owe allegiance to the king of Burney, They are thieves who scour the sea, plundering everything within their reach. They are so cruel that they never imprison, but kill all upon whom they can lay their hands. These people came to the Filipinas this year with seven caracoas and seventeen ajuangas, vessels resembling large galleys, but not so strong; ordinarily they carry four hundred men at the oars. They did very little damage, however, for they must have heard that our fleet was on the sea, and therefore they soon withdrew to their own territory. Their withdrawal was also due in no small degree to the fact that when they once landed upon an island the native Indians, sallying forth, killed some of their men and put their heads upon poles along the coast in order to terrify the rest. It was the special providence of our Lord that our father provincial did not fall into the hands of these corsairs when he went to visit the Pintados Islands, for when they [the father and his crew] were not far from the islands, a strong wind came up ahead of them, which compelled them to remain sheltered in a small bay for more than fifteen days. Here the Page 73news of these enemies came to them, and therefore the father retired to Manila. It is certain that if that contrary wind had not arisen he would have gone forward, and would have fallen into their hands.
The devotion to the Immaculate Conception of the most sainted Virgin has greatly increased among all the people. As soon as the ship from Nueva España arrived, bringing the news of the elaborate demonstrations that had been made in all España in honor of this Lady, they began to place on all the corners and upon the doors of churches notices that read, “Praised be the most holy sacrament and the Immaculate Conception of the most holy Virgin, conceived without blot of original sin.” There was no lack of persons who tried to efface one of these notices that was on the door of the church of Santo Domingo, a fact which caused the people to burn with greater devotion to this Lady. It was arranged that for two nights there should be a procession of masked figures. In it a banner with an image of the Immaculate Conception was displayed; lamps were placed throughout the city; the cathedral bells began to chime; and the orders formed in line of march. One devout person placed on the corners eighteen images of the Conception of our Lady, with a legend reading, “Without blot of original sin.” Other pious people adorned these images with gilded ornaments and lights that burn all night. The children continually recited before these images, in loud voices, various couplets in praise of the Immaculate Conception, thus fulfilling that saying of David, ex ore infantium e lactentium [“out of the mouths of babes and sucklings”], etc.
Concerning the persecution in Japon, I can only Page 74say that with the death of Daytusama, who was the chief cause of the expulsion of our fathers,8 it was hoped that the persecution would cease or at least would abate. On the contrary it has increased under the new administration of his son, who is so hostile to the law of Christ our Lord that simply because of our holy faith he has martyred one religious from each of the four orders there. These four religious, among many others, had gone about secretly, as in England, with great labor cultivating that vineyard. This event occasioned much rejoicing in the hearts of all the people of this city, the laity as well as the religious. They talked of making fiestas and public rejoicings in thanksgiving that our Lord had adorned the four orders that are in these islands with four martyrs so distinguished. But in order not to further provoke to wrath the ruler of Japon, who had ordered their death, and for other reasons, it was thought best to suspend for the present all kinds of fiestas. Among those who suffered this fortune or fate was a father of our Society named Juan Bautista Tavora, a native of the island of Tercera. He died in company with a father of San Francisco. Afterward they martyred two others, one of Santo Domingo, and the other of San Agustin, and in order that Page 75respect might not be paid by the Christians to their bodies, the heathen threw them into the sea. The bodies of the father of our Society and the father of Santo Domingo were placed together in one box; those of the two fathers of San Francisco and San Agustin in another. These last were afterward found, but the first were not. The account of all that happened concerning this matter I will place in the relation of that province [Japon] where these most happy deaths will be related at length.
I will conclude this account with one of the most singular events that have ever happened in the world. Although it is discreditable to the Order of St. Augustine, it should be related here with all truth, because it is so public and will be so noised about through all the world. When Fray Vicente de Sepulveda,9 first cousin of Father Juan Laurencio, rector of the College of Mexico, finished his term of three years as provincial, the fathers of St. Augustine met in chapter in a convent near the city of Manila, to elect a new provincial. They chose Fray Geronimo de Salas,10 not without dissensions and discords Page 76between the two parties into which they are divided. This provincial died twenty days after his election. He died, as some say (and this opinion seems not without foundation, as we shall see further on), from poison that they gave him, and consequently his death was very sudden. By the death of this Fray Geronímo de Salas, Fray Vicente de Sepulveda returned to the office of provincial, as their regulations provide. It seemed to some religious who were not of his party that it was too much for him to govern three more years, so they planned to cut the thread of life for him—by means of poison, since this would not betray them. They gave it to him more than eight times in his food and drink—in his chocolate, and even in the wine with which he was consecrated. The poison was ground glass, and it resulted in eruptions over his entire body and in illness for several days, but it did not produce death. When the conspirators saw that their attempts so far had been unsuccessful, four of them planned to kill him with their own hands. The affair was so public that not only was the conspiracy noised about among the friars but also among the laity of Manila. Thus it came to the ears of the provincial himself, who had not lived as prudently as he should have done for the safety of his person. After this, he was very careful about his food and Page 77drink; he locked himself in at night, and entrusted the key of the apartment to only a few. He ordered one, who was the author of the treason (and he was the one that was suspected), that in virtue of his [the provincial’s] holy precept, he should not come into the convent of Manila, but that he should prepare to embark for Nueva España where they should take from him the cowl. Thereupon this individual, Fray Juan de Ocadiz—who was a native of Madrid, a priest, and one of long service in his order—formed an agreement with three others, all young men about twenty years of age, who had been ordained to preach. These were Fray Juan de Quintana and Fray Andres Encinas (both natives of Manila), and Fray Ignacio de Alcaraz, born in Nueva España in a place near Acapulco, called I think, Quatulco. Fray Ignacio was companion and secretary to this provincial, and so he had the opportunity of making a key to the apartment, by first making an impression of the key in wax. On the thirty-first of July, 617, the day of our Father Ignacio, at eleven o’clock at night, the four opened the door of the provincial’s apartment with the key that had been prepared for the purpose. The provincial heard the noise immediately, and suspecting what it might be, rose from the bed, and went shouting to meet them. At this juncture the three evangelists repented of what had been begun, and talked of withdrawing from it. But Fray Juan de Ocadiz, bolder than the rest, since he had already begun the work, told them that if they deserted he would have to stab them. Thereupon all four together attacked the provincial, threw him upon the bed, and held his mouth. The three evangelists held his arms and legs firmly, and Fray Juan de Ocadiz, Page 78putting his knees upon his stomach, choked with his hands. While the friar was choking him, the provincial begged for confession. Fray Juan said, “Father, repent of your sins, and in token of this clasp my hand.” The provincial took his hand, and the murderer absolved him, adding, “Trust, Father, in our Lord, who will pardon your sins.” Upon this he seized his throat, and finished choking him. Then with diabolical cruelty, in order to be more certain [that he was dead] they twisted his neck against the bed in such a way that they disjointed the bones, no that the head fell from one side to the other as if he had been a dead fowl. All this tragedy was committed in the dark, so they went for a light, cleansed the provincial’s body of the blood that had gushed from his mouth, changed his bed-linen and garments, and set everything in good order, that it might appear that he had died of some sudden accident. They did not take into consideration the many discolorations upon his body, or the twisted neck, that must soon give testimony of the hideous crime. Fray Andres Encinas took all the bloody clothing and threw it into the closets. The others closed the door from within, with a cross bar, and jumped through a little window. Although the provincial had given many loud cries, and other friars lived near the apartment, nothing was heard in the convent—a thing that seems impossible. After the crime was completed the bells rang for matins, for which it was now time. The murderers, or rather parricides, with great craftiness went to prayers. Morning came, and the hour arrived at which the provincial was accustomed to open his apartment; but he did not open it. They waited a little, but he did not come out. They Page 79knocked at the door, but he did not respond; they knocked louder, but in vain. The prior and the other friars, who were ignorant of the affair, determined to break down the doors. They did so, entered, and then beheld the crime, and saw that the provincial had been killed with violence. The prior, a certain Fray del Rincon,11 hastened to the president of the royal Audiencia and to Don Geronimo de Sylva, captain-general, in order that they might give him help of which he was destitute because there was so great a tumult in the convent. They soon came with men. First the president ordered that all the friars should go one by one to kiss the hand of the dead man, in order that he might note the countenance of each. Finally they buried the provincial, and every one can well infer what would be said of the whole order; for people will forget that in the apostolic college there was a Judas and in Heaven a Lucifer, and yet the other apostles and the angels did not fall on this account. Reports of the affair were transmitted to the bishop of Zebu, Don Fray Pedro de Arce, of the Order of St. Augustine, and at that time governor of the archbishopric of Manila. He imprisoned some and tortured others; and in a short time, and with little trouble, the criminals were discovered. He made all the investigations, prepared the case, and handed it over to the definitorio, which, as they said, had by right jurisdiction in the matter. The definitorio, which was composed of nine of the most prominent friars of their order, advised with Page 80the other orders as to whether, without consulting the pope, it could condemn the criminals to actual degradation and deliver them over to the secular arm. The Society [of Jesus] avoided, as far as it could, giving its opinion upon an affair that was of such moment, and that must create such a sensation. In the decision of the affair, whether wise or unwise, it was best for us not to interfere. The authors were examined, and upon the advice of wise and learned men the definitorio resolved to give the sentence. It was read to the criminals from the pulpit of the church of St. Augustine, on the nineteenth of September, 617, before all the people, who had congregated to witness a spectacle so extraordinary. Immediately they took from him the cowl, and left them with only some short cassocks such as are worn by clergymen. They delivered them to the bishop, who was already prepared for the degradation. He immediately began to degrade them, and then delivered them over to the secular arm. They were taken to jail by the strong guard of soldiers that had been in the church ever since the criminals had been removed from the prisons to hear the sentence. But it was possible to execute this sentence against three only, because Fray Andres Encinas had escaped the night before, in company with a lay brother who was guarding him. With chains and all, the lay brother removed him from the prison at twelve o’clock at night, and, placing him upon his back, carried him along an unfinished wall of the convent, with great danger to both of falling and killing themselves. He took from him the chains and, together with another lay brother of their order, they jumped from the wall and fled in great haste. On the twenty-second Page 81of September of the same year, 617, the secular tribunal pronounced the sentence of death upon the three. They were taken from the jail amid a great retinue of religious of all orders, who were assisting, and of soldiers who were guarding the prisoners. At ten o’clock in the morning they were hanged in the square before the largest assembly of people, I think, I have ever seen in my life. They died with suitable preparation. I am unwilling to omit the account of a very peculiar circumstance. Twenty years ago they were hanging in Madrid that Augustinian friar because he wished to make a pastry-cook king of Portugal, and to marry him to Doña Ana de Austria, the mother of Fray Juan de Ocadiz. She was watching the proceeding, and all at once she began to scream and weep. When asked the cause of this she replied that she fancied she saw on the gallows her son, who was an Augustinian friar. Followed by a large crowd they took the bodies of these three men who had been hanged, to the convent of San Agustin for interment, where they will remain with their provincial until God calls them to judgment. The friars then very diligently searched for the one who had fled, in order to execute upon him the same sentence. At first they did not find him. And afterward, although they might have captured him, they did not, because they did not feel obliged to revive the painful remembrances and cause to all, and especially to his mother and the relatives whom he has here, the grief and distress that the first three deaths occasioned.
Besides these there were found guilty in the affair Fray Joseph de Vides, a native of Mexico, who had been instructor of the novices; and Fray Pedro de Page 82Herrera, a native of Medina del Campo, who had been professor of theology, and who now was prior of a convent. As these two were not so guilty as the others the friars took from them the cowl, and sentenced them to six years at the galleys in Maluco; and to suspension [from mass] for one additional year, on account of the reverence that is due to so high and divine a mystery. They were handed over to the secular tribunal, and were put upon galleys. But in a few days they escaped, and embarked upon a small ship in company with Fray Andres Encinas and the lay brother who had freed him from prison. All four set out together upon the return to Malaca, in order to go from that place to Goa, España, and finally to Rome. Such is the unfortunate event which was reported last year to the pope, the king, and all the world alike. This year report will be made of the justice meted out to the malefactors.12 And as more than four lies will be written, I have thought it best that your Reverences should know the affair just as it occurred, nothing being added or omitted.13
Events at Ternate
Since this was written, advices came from Ternate Page 83that brought us some news which I will add here. The aid that was sent from this city to the Malucas Islands arrived, and those who carried it found in the passage two Dutch ships awaiting them, to prevent their entrance to our fortifications, and even to take the supplies, if possible. They made an attack and our people thought best to withdraw; but after some days they returned by another route, to land the supplies if they could. They again found the Hollander in the road and, being attacked a second time, they fought, made a great effort to pass, and succeeded—although the enemy so pursued one ship, the admiral’s, that it ran aground in the island of Tidore. Most of the people were saved, but some the enemy killed with musket-shots, and some, who threw themselves into the water, perished. Captain Alonso Martin Quirante, who was in our stronghold of Tidore, hurried out and prevented the enemy from taking anything from the ship.
Many of the provisions that were in the ship were lost, among them almost all of those that the father, as I mentioned above, was taking for our fathers. In the thick of the battle this father was the first to be wounded. He was struck on the arm by a splinter, but his wound was of little consequence. The soldiers, however, will not because of this loss be in want this year; for the English went [to the Malucas] with a shipload of rice to trade for cloves, and the viceroy sent six galeotas of provisions from India.
The above-mentioned captain, Alonso Martin Quirante, made an ambuscade, in which he killed twenty-one Hollanders and captured four. Of the enemy, twenty-five Hollanders and many of the Indians of their following deserted to our fortifications. Page 84Although the king of Tidore has always been very favorable to us, the prince his son has been very friendly and of much importance to the Hollanders. But our Lord has been pleased to destroy these friendly relations in this way. The Hollanders, for what reason I do not understand, hanged one and drowned four of the people of Tidore. On account of this the prince has been so opposed to them that he has sworn to avenge himself, and to do them all the injury that he can. And he will do this, without doubt, because he is very valiant.
So much for the Malucas. To this may be added the fact that the admiral Heredia had made, at his own expense, a beautiful, though not very large, ship with which to serve his Majesty whenever occasion might offer. Just as soon as it was launched upon the sea, it was overtaken by a storm so severe that it foundered and was lost.
I forgot to say that one [Marginal note—Sequeyra’s ship] of the two ships that were despatched last year for Nueva España, but did not arrive there, was separated from the other. It must be known that a certain de Sequeira, a Portuguese of the Order of Christ [del Habito de Christo], went in it as captain. He had come as general of the fleet which five years ago the king sent by way of the cape of Buena Esperanca,14 and he carried a cédula from his Majesty to the effect that they should send him back at once by the same route. Instead, they detained him four years in this city, much against his will. At last they sent Page 85him as captain of this ship in order that he might go to España by way of Nueva España. They loaded upon this ship goods of high value, although not a great quantity of them, because the vessel was small. He began his voyage with favorable winds astern, and when he had reached the latitude of more than 30 degrees, he saw that he might turn toward India; but, the brisas beginning to vex the ships, he ordered the return, and, arriving at these islands, disembarked some Castilians whom he carried but who did not wish to go with him. He steered for Malaca and India, in order to go, they say, to España upon the voyage which his Majesty had ordered. He arrived at Malaca and died, I think, in Cochin. Nothing more is known [of him], nor [is it known] what will be done with the goods that he carried.
The ships from Nueva España arrived very late, at the beginning of July. It was fortunate that the vendavals were very much delayed this season; for, if they had begun when they usually do, it would have been impossible for the ships to reach these islands this year. But God chose to bring to us the governor15 who was so much desired. A grand reception, with many costly triumphal arches, was prepared for him in Manila. But he embarked from the port of Cabite in a galley, and entered quietly into the palace through a postern gate near by, and therefore the whole reception fiesta was a failure. And when they desired him to go out of the city again, in order that he might enter with solemnity, he said that he did not wish them to carry him in procession as if he were a penitent, and so he remained there. Page 86
1 A small island—the name meaning “Vay Island,” Pulo being simply the Malay word for “island”—situated near the island of Banda. The English post thereon which is mentioned in the text was of little consequence, according to Richard Cocks—see his Diary, 1615–22 (Hakluyt Society’s publications, London, 1883), i, pp. 269, 274, 275, 292; he states that there were “5 or 7 English men in that iland,” and that they were slain by the Dutch and the natives. The editor of the Diary, E.M. Thompson, cites (p. 269) mention of this event in Purchas His Pilgrimes. The name Pulovay is also applied to a small island north of Achen, Sumatra.
2 This document is also contained in the Ventura del Arco MSS. (Ayer library), i, pp. 443–471. Certain variations occur therein from the text we follow, which is transcribed from the original MS. in the Real Academia de Historia, Madrid; and that of Ventura del Arco purports to be taken from the same MS. This apparent discrepancy probably arises from the two transcriptions being made from different copies of the same document. In the collection of the Real Academia more than one copy exists, in the case of certain documents; and there may be more than one copy of the one here presented. It should be remembered, in this connection, that in the religious houses in Europe manuscript copies of letters from distant lands were largely circulated, at that period, Page 61nfor the edification of their members (as we have before noted); and these copies were often not verbatim, the transcriber sometimes making slight changes, or omissions, or adding information which he had received later or by other channels. Our own text has been collated with that of Ventura del Arco, and variations or additions found in the latter are indicated as above, in brackets, followed by ”V.d.A.”—omitting, however, some typographical and other slight variations, which are unimportant. In the Ventura del Arco transcript there are considerable omissions of matter contained in the MS. that we follow.
3 For account of the arrival of these vessels in Japan, and various details regarding their exploits in the Philippines, see Cocks’s Page 62nDiary, i, pp. 259–281. The name “Leon Rojo” signifies “Red Lion;” and “Fregelingas” is apparently a Spanish corruption of “Vlissingue” (“Flushing”).
4 This word is written Tono in the Ventura del Arco transcript. The ruler of Firando (the local form of Hirado, as it is more correctly written) was then Takanobu, who became daimio—“king,” in the English and Spanish writers; but equivalent to “baron”—of that island. The name Tono Sama, applied to the daimio, is not a personal name, but a polite form, equivalent to “your Lordship.” See Satow’s notes on Voyage of Saris (Hakluyt Society’s publications, London, 1900), p. 79. Cocks speaks of this ruler as Figen Sama.
The “history of Hirado as a commercial port” up to 1611 is recounted by Satow (ut supra, pp. xliv–li).
5 This commander is mentioned by Cocks as John Derickson Lamb. The ship called “Galeaça” in our text is “Gallias” in that of Cocks.
6 Evidently Ilocos, as is shown by another mention near the end of this paragraph.
7 Name of the Moro pirates who inhabit the little islands of the Sulu group east of Tawi-tawi, and the islands between these and Borneo; but on the last the name Tirones is also conferred—derived from the province of Tiron in Borneo, to which these islands are adjacent. See Blumentritt’s list of Philippine tribes and languages (Mason’s translation), in Smithsonian Report, 1899. pp. 527–547.
8 “In 1611, Iyéyasu obtained documentary proof of what he had long suspected, viz., the existence of a plot on the part of the native converts and the foreign emissaries to reduce Japan to the position of a subject state... Iyéyasu now put forth strenuous measures to root out utterly what he believed to be a pestilent breeder of sedition and war. Fresh edicts were issued, and in 1614 twenty-two Franciscan, Dominican, and Augustinian friars, one hundred and seventeen Jesuits, and hundreds of native priests and catechists, were embarked by force on board junks, and sent out of the country.” (Griffis’s Mikado’s Empire, p. 256.)
The priests mentioned in our text were put to death in June, 1617, at Omura (Cocks’s Diary, i, pp. 256, 258).
9 Vicente Sepúlveda was a native of Castilla, and entered the Augustinian order in that province; he was a religious of great attainments in knowledge and virtue. He arrived in the Philippines in 1606, became very proficient in the language of the Pampangos, and was a missionary among them for five years. In 1614 he was elected provincial of his order in the islands. “Thoroughly inflexible in character, he undertook to secure the most rigorous observance of the decrees and mandates of the latest father-visitor, on which account he incurred the great displeasure and resentment of many. By the death of Father Jerónimo de Salas, Father Sepúlveda became a second time the ruler of the province, as rector provincial; but he did not change in the least his harsh and rigid mode of government. A lamentable and unexpected event put an end to his already harassed life, on August 21, 1617.” (Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 76.)
10 Jerónimo de Salas made his profession in the Augustinian Page 76nconvent at Madrid, in 1590, and reached the Philippines in 1595. He was a missionary to the Indians for some fifteen years, and was afterward elected to high positions in his order. “So exceptional was the executive ability of which he gave proof in the discharge of these offices that in the provincial chapter held in 1617 he was unanimously elected prior provincial. Most unfortunately, when so much was hoped from the eminent abilities of this very judicious and learned religious, an acute illness ended his valuable life; he died at Manila on May 17 of the same year.” (Perez’s Catálogo, p. 49.)
11 Alonso Rincon was one of the Augustinians arriving in the Philippines in 1606. He was minister in various Indian villages until 1617, when he was appointed prior of the Manila convent. He was sent as procurator to Spain and Rome in 1618, and returned to Manila four years afterward. He died there in 1631.
12 The Ventura del Arco transcript ends here; but it is followed by a note, thus:
Note by the transcriber: “The court of Rome was greatly offended at the just and proper procedure of the definitorio of the Order, giving them to understand that they should have concealed the crime and the criminals; but that, besides being against all morality and the necessity of making a public example of offenders, would have been impossible in this case, so notorious in Manila from the hour when the crime and the delinquents were discovered.”
13 Cf. the brief account of this tragic occurrence given by the Augustinian chronicler Juan de Medina, in his Historia (1630), which will be presented in a later volume of this series.
14 A fleet of five caravels arrived at Manila in 1612, which had come from Cadiz via the Cape of Good Hope; they were commanded by Ruy Gonzalez Sequeira, and brought reënforcements of nearly six hundred men.
15 This was Alonso Fajardó y Tenza; for sketch of his career as governor, see appendix at end of Vol. XVII.
Description of the Philippinas Islands
The governmental district of the islands commonly called Philippinas comprises seven principal provinces, not to mention many other islands and smaller provinces within its jurisdiction. Five of these principal provinces are in the island of Luzon, which is four hundred and sixty leguas in periphery and extends about from the thirteenth to the twenty-first parallel. One can travel two hundred leguas in a straight line on this island, for it is even longer than this. From east to west, between the Cape of Spiritu Santo (the first sighted when coming from Nueba España) and the bay of Manila, it is eighty leguas; and from south to north, between the same bay and Cape Boseador, in the province of Cagayan, which is opposite Japon and China, it is one hundred and twenty leguas. The capital of Cagayan is the city of Nueba Segobia, which was settled by Governor Don Goncalo Ronquillo de Peñalosa in fifteen hundred and eighty-one. The shape of this island of Luzon, taken as a whole, is more like a semi-quadrant than anything else, although there are many irregularities in places. Some parts are narrow, because of the numerous arms of the sea which bound and penetrate Page 87the island; but in some parts, principally those on the north side, the island grows broader and more spacious, as I will show in the proper place. In other parts it is rough, rugged, and not a little mountainous. When the island is considered as shaped like a semi-quadrant, the great bay of Manila lies in the angle, where the sides meet the city—which is in the center of the island, near the entrance to the same bay; and has as a port Cavite, a little more than two leguas to the south.
The first, of the five provinces in the island of Luzon, beginning on the eastern coast, is Camarines, which includes all the territory near the mouth of the channel of Capul. The capital of Camarines is the city of Cazeres, sixty leguas from Manila. It was settled by Doctor Francisco de Sande, governor of these islands, in fifteen hundred and seventy-four. He settled on the Vicor, a large and peaceful river, whose waters are very fresh and healthful, because it runs through many veins of gold, as do most or all of the rivers of these islands. There are in Camarines as many as twenty encomiendas, counting the four into which the island of Catanduanes (which is included in this district) is divided. The largest of these encomiendas does not contain more than fifteen hundred tributes; there are a few of one thousand; most of them must have from seven to eight hundred; while some have four hundred or even less. Among these peoples a great deal of gold was formerly obtained from the mines or placers of Paracali and from the island of Catanduanes. Camarines yields no rice, and it has not so good a food supply as other Page 88parts of Luzon, owing to the fact that Luzon is very narrow here, and in many places is rough and mountainous. It is believed that as much gold is mined now as usually, yet it seems a small quantity; for, although the Indians in general have more money than formerly, obtained through their [various] sources of income, they keep back the gold to work up into chains and jewelry, with which they adorn and parade themselves freely. They pay tribute in tin reals. The Camarines have become a very settled and tractable people through the religious instruction and careful teaching of the discalced Franciscan fathers, their ministers. They had been, of all the people of these islands, the most warlike and the most feared, as was shown by their resistance; indeed, one can hardly assert that they were conquered. The number of the inhabitants of this province can be but roughly estimated, as it is difficult to count them accurately. It is probable, however, that there are more than one hundred and fifty [thousand], counting the intractable black people who live in the interior of the country. Of this number some estimate that one-fourth are Christians.
Judicial offices of the province of Camarines1
With respect to royal jurisdiction, this province has these three offices:
The alcaldia-mayor of Caseres, which is ordinarily called the alcaldia-mayor of Camarines, because Caseres is the capital of the province, and has jurisdiction over the larger and better part of it; the corregimiento of Ybalon, which is at the mouth of the channel; and the corregimiento of the island Page 89of Catanduanes, which is also near the same channel mouth.
The province of Manilla
The second province [in the island of Luzon] and the principal one in importance and wealth, because of its extensive commerce and of the fact that it is in the center of the kingdom, is Manila. Within its jurisdiction are included other smaller provinces. These are the two lake provinces, Bonbon and Bay; and (the most important of all) Panpanga, which, at the outside, is not more than twelve leguas from Manila. This is an inundated valley, and yields a great amount of rice, owing to the richness and location of its lands, as well as to the wealth and superior character of its natives—among whom there are at present many who have aided and served as faithful subjects and friends, whenever opportunity has offered. In Panpanga your Majesty has as many as six thousand tributes in the four governmental districts and principal villages, among which are Betis, Lubao, Guagua, Mexico, and other smaller places. All the neighboring country, and particularly the royal magazines, secure their rice from this province [of Pampanga]. There must be in the province of Manila forty thousand tributes belonging to private individuals, and almost twenty thousand belonging to your Majesty. There must be in all more than five hundred thousand people, of whom one-fourth are Christians. In this, however, estimates vary. The adelantado, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, settled the important city of Manila in the year fifteen hundred and sixty-one,2 after having Page 90lived for six years in the islands of Zubu and Panay, of which I shall speak more in detail in another place.
The judicial offices in the province of Manila.
The offices to which appointments are made in the province of Manila, not to mention the judicial officers of greater or less importance who are maintained by the city within its walls, are as follows:
The alcaldia-mayor of the Parian or alcayzeria of the Chinese; the alcaldia-mayor of the coast near this city, its capital being the town of Tondo; the alcaldia-mayor of the Lake of Manila, ordinarily called Laguna de Bay; the alcaldia-mayor of Bulacan and Calumpite, one of the two alcaldias of Panpanga; the alcaldia-mayor of Panpanga, which includes the rest of the province; the alcaldia-mayor of Balayan and Bonbon, twenty leguas from Manila; the corregimiento of Mindoro and Baco, twenty-five leguas from Manila—which, although it is itself an island, is a division of this province for judicial and religious administration; the alcaldia-mayor of Calilaya, forty leguas from Manila; the corregimiento of Masbate, an island fifty leguas, or a little more, from Manila, between this island [of Luzon] and the Pintados.
Next after Panpanga comes the district comprising all of Sambales and Pangasinan. This, although here considered as a separate province, is under the jurisdiction of Manila in judicial and religious matters. Its natives are chiefly those called Negrillos. They are mountain Indians and are either very tawny in color, or black. They are so restless, so Page 91warlike, and so averse to trade and communication with other people, that up to this time it has not been possible to subdue them effectively. Although on different occasions they have been severely chastised, there is still no security from them. They are in the habit of making sudden assaults upon their neighbors, continually, and cutting off many heads. In this consists the whole happiness of these barbarians. These Negrillos belong to the same race of people as those who live farthest in the interior and in the most rugged parts of these islands. It is a very well established and common belief that they are the real aborigines; and that the rest of the Indians are immigrants who conquered them, and compelled them to leave the shores and plains, and to retire to the most isolated and rugged parts of the islands, where they now are. They are still so brutal and so averse to civilization that they scarcely deserve more than the name of men; for they often cut off the heads of their own fathers and brothers as a pastime, for no other reason than their natural cruelty and brutality. Very few of them have fixed settlements, nor do they plant crops; but they live upon camotes (a kind of potato), other herbs and roots, and the game which they hunt. They hardly ever come to the plains or coasts except to make assaults and to cut off heads. The one who has cut off the greatest number of these is most feared and respected among them. The skulls they keep in their huts as trophies, or to serve as jugs and cups in their drinking-bouts. There is such abundance of wild game in the province of Pangasinan that within a space of only twenty leguas over sixty thousand, and sometimes as many as eighty thousand, deer are Page 92killed every year. The Indians pay these deerskins as tributes; while trade in them is a source of great profit for Japon, because the Japonese make of them good leather for various purposes.
Ten thousand tributes. There must be in Pangasinan between ten thousand and twelve thousand half-pacified tributes, two thousand belonging to his Majesty, and the rest to private individuals. The capital of this province is a place called Binabatonga. It formerly contained about three thousand houses, or, according to other estimates, a greater number; but it now has only about two thousand. The province has some good ports. One is that of Agoo, commonly called “the port of Japon,” because it was the first port which the Japonese occupied in these islands [when our people first saw them here]. Another port is Bolinao, which is better than any other.
Judicial offices in Pangasinan. There is only one judicial office in this province, namely, the alcaldia-mayor of Pangasinan.
The province of Ilocos
Next after Pangasinan, toward the north, on the same coast, comes the province of the llocos, a people on the whole more settled and tractable; and although there have been some disturbances among them, they are now very peaceable. They are well supplied with provisions, especially with rice—a great quantity of which comes to Manila every year during February and a part of March, for at this time the winds are favorable for going from Ilocos to Manila and back again. The capital of this province is the town called Fernandina [now Vigan], which was settled by the master-of-camp Guido de Lavazares, Page 93who governed these islands in fifteen hundred and seventy-three, upon the death of the adelantado, Legaspi. This province must nave between fourteen thousand and fifteen thousand tributes, which are collected without resistance. Five thousand of them belong to his Majesty, and the rest to private individuals. There used to be in it, also, a great quantity of gold but the Ygolotes Indians diminished the amount for the reason given above.3 This diminution is quite noticeable.
Judicial offices of the province of Ilocos. There is in this province only one judicial office, the alcaldia-mayor of Ilocos.
The province of Cagayan or Nueva Segobia
After Ilocos comes the province of Cagayan, the northernmost portion of the island of Luzon, where there is a great deal of incompletely pacified country. It contains villages inhabited by a very strong and warlike people, who have given us much trouble.
Twelve thousand [tributes]. Between twelve thousand and thirteen thousand tributes are collected in the pacified portions of the province. Fifteen hundred, or a little more, belong to his Majesty, and the rest to private individuals.
The capital of this province is, as has been said, the city and port of Nueba Segobia, opposite and facing China and Japon, one hundred and twenty leguas from Manila. It is so near China that from Cape Bojeador, one of the points or promontories of Cagayan, it is not more than a seventy leguas’ journey to the Page 94nearest towns on the coast of Chincheo, a maritime province of that great kingdom. The greater part of the Sangleys who come to these islands are natives of that place. For this reason, and because of the natural restlessness of the people of Cagayan, there has been established in Nueba Segobia a regular garrison, sometimes with fifty, and sometimes with a hundred, or even more, soldiers, as necessity demands. Nueba Segobia contains the cathedral church and is the capital of the archbishopric of the province of Cagayan, just as the city of Caseres is of Camarines. There are then, in the island of Luzon, not counting the archbishopric of Manila, which is the capital of the kingdom, the two archbishoprics above mentioned. It must be noted that there are in this island many races and kinds of people, such as the Camarines, Camintanes, Tagalos, Panpangas, Sanbales, Ilocos, Cagayanes, and many others. They differ noticeably not only in language and in physical characteristics, but also in disposition and customs. But the Tagala dialect, that of Manila and the surrounding country, is a common language. It is spoken and understood everywhere, not only by the above-mentioned natives of the island of Luzon, but by the natives of all the islands. From this fact those who know something concerning the past of these people infer that the other nations of the archipelago have long carried on trade and commerce with Manila. Because the island is the center of an infinite number of nations and barbarous people, some heathens and some Mahometans; and because of its nearness to and trade with the rich and powerful kingdoms of Japon and China, as well as for other reasons that might be mentioned, Manila is considered of greater Page 95importance in this governmental district than can here be indicated.
Judicial offices of the province of Nueba Segobia. There is only one judicial office in Cagayan, the alcaldia-mayor of the entire province.
Province of Panay in the Pintados
The sixth province, one of those outside of Luzon, is the island of Panay, situated in the Pintados, one hundred leguas south of the city of Manila. It is more fertile, and yields more rice and other provisions, than any other province of the kingdom except Manila. Neither is there any province relatively more densely populated, for, although it is not eighty leguas in periphery, it contains thirty thousand of the most profitable and peaceable tributes in the whole kingdom. The capital of this island is the town of Arebalo, which was settled by the adelantado Legaspi in fifteen hundred and sixty-seven, and enlarged by Don Gonzalo Ronquillo in fifteen hundred and eighty-two. It is near the village of Oton and the port of Yloylo, the most southerly port of the governmental district. For this reason, and because of the fertility of this province, it is better fitted than any other for provisioning and sending aid to the Malucas Islands and to the presidios of Terrenate. This province is on the coast facing toward Mindanao, Maluco, and all the “islands of enemies,” as the islands to the south are designated. In religious instruction and ecclesiastical jurisdiction, this province is included in the bishopric of Zubu.
Judicial offices in the island of Panay. There are in Panay three judicial offices. These are, the corregimiento of Panay and Aclan, the rivers and principal Page 96settlements of the island; the corregimiento of the island of Negros, which is included in the district of Panay; the alcaldia-mayor of the town of Arebalo (commonly called the alcaldia-mayor of Otong) and including the purveyorship—the best and most important office of that province.
The Province of Subu and its jurisdiction
Forty leguas eastward from Oton, and one hundred and twenty leguas from the bay of Manila, is the island of Zubu. The capital of this province, as well as of all the provinces of the Pintados, is the city of Santissimo Nombre de Jhesus—celebrated throughout the kingdom, not so much on account of its good harbor as because it was the first town to submit to his Majesty; and because it is the first city which the adelantado Miguel Lopez de Legaspi settled and pacified in these islands. It is also noted because it is but half a legua from the island of Matan, where the famous Magallanes died fighting; and more than all else on account of the holy relic, [an image] of the child Jesus, which our fathers found there, which is now at the capital city in the convent of San Agustin, and has been signalized by some miracles that have occurred there. Zubu is a small island, and it yields but few provisions, because it is rugged and mountainous. But it has an abundance, of game, and secures sufficient [of other] provisions and supplies from the islands and provinces under its jurisdiction. These are: Leyte, Çamar, Ybabao, Bohol, and many other islands of lesser importance, besides that part of the island of Mindanao opposite Zubu which was formerly at peace—that is, all the country along the Butuan River, forty leguas from Page 97Zubu, and the coasts of Surigao, Dapitan, and Caragas, a little further from Zubu. Eight or ten years ago, all of these revolted from this province. There are in the provinces of Zubu and its jurisdiction, according to some estimates, over twenty thousand, and according to others, twenty-four thousand, very peaceable tributes. Three thousand of these belong to his Majesty and the rest to private individuals. To the two provinces of Zebu and Panay only is given the name Bisayas, but to all this group of islands taken together is given the name Pintados. The Pintados are now giving more trouble than any others in the whole governmental district; not because the inhabitants are restless (for none are more peaceable or more useful), but because they are on the frontier toward the seas of Mindanao and Maluco. The natives of Mindanao and Maluco—principally the Mindanaos and other allied tribes, the Sangiles, Joloans, and others of that region—have been emboldened by their great successes during the last ten years to infest the coasts of the islands (and especially of the Pintados, which are nearest to them), so frequently that they have kept the forces of the kingdom diverted [to that region]. They have been greatly aided by the artifice and craft of Silongan, their principal chief, and most of all by the remissness of our fleets. For these reasons they have harassed and are now harassing all the Pintados, where they have at different times robbed many places, captured many thousands of friendly Indians, burned and sacked the churches and barbarously profaned sacred things. And yet for these excesses they have neither made amends nor been punished, and since these Moros have power and courage to continue Page 98the war, many evil consequences result; for in spite of the pretended treaties of peace, which they are always promising but never keep, they persist in their offenses. [For instance], at the end of November, 1616, these Mahometan Indians, by the coming of the Dutch ships which reached this bay on the last of October led to think that our forces would be engaged, improved the occasion like good strategists, and burned three of his Majesty’s ships in the dockyards of Masbate. About twenty leguas from Manila, they burned some villages and captured many Spaniards; and what two galleys did let some other person tell his Majesty. We know their designs by experience, and the opinion grows that it would be well to punish them for once, with sufficient force to keep them sufficiently under restraint and subjection to make it possible to apportion the island [in encomiendas], and to establish in it fortified posts. This is the true way to prevent their disturbances. Since Mindanao is directly opposite the Pintados, and so near to Matheo and Terrenate; since it has so many encomiendas to distribute (as it is over four hundred leguas in extent); and since it yields gold, wax, cinnamon, and a great quantity of rice and other valuable products—great benefits would accrue to his Majesty by its pacification.
Judicial offices of the province of Zubu; three. Returning to the province of Zubu, from which I have been diverted by a discussion of the affairs of Mindanao, I may say that there are three judicial offices here. They are the alcaldia-mayor of Zubu, which is the principal office in the province; the corregimiento of the islands of Leyte, Camar, and Babao; and the corregimiento of Botuan, which is Page 99the portion of the island of Mindanao that used to be peaceful.
Summary of the tributes—160,000. Each tribute consists of a man and wife.
1 These italic sidebeads represent marginal notes in the MS. from which this document is translated.
2 So in the transcription, but apparently a copyist’s error of sesenta (“sixty”) for setenta (“seventy ”). See Vol. III, p. 153.
3 Evidently referring to the statement above (under the heading “Camarines”) as to the use of gold by the Indians for their ornaments.
Dutch Factories and Posts in the Orient
Account of the factories, and the posts garrisoned with infantry and artillery, that the Dutch enemies maintain in the islands of the East.
Item. From these factories are taken food and other provisions for Maluco, and a ship of a thousand toneladas of pepper every year.
Item. In the island of Caramandel they maintain two factories without a garrison. One of them is in the port and country of Achen,1 and the other in the same island, which is called Chambi. There is sent from these factories a shipload of a thousand toneladas of pepper, gold, and jewels.
Item. In Negapatan they have a factory, without a garrison; from it are carried cloths, which the Terrenate Indians of Maluco wear.
Item. In the island of Jor2 there is at present one factory, without a garrison; and 400 bares of pepper Page 101are shipped from it every year. A bare [i.e., bahar] is known to contain 600 libras.
Item. In Patane there is a factory, without a garrison; from it are shipped glazed earthenware, silk, and various drugs which come from China, and one shipload of more than 600 toneladas of pepper each year.
Item. In Cian [i.e., Siam] they have a factory, without a garrison; from it are carried jewels and various drugs of much value.
Item. In Borneo they have a factory, without a garrison. Thence are sent gold, jewels, and camphor.
Item. In Japon they have a factory, without a garrison. Thence are shipped military supplies and provisions for Maluco; and thus the Dutch greatly hinder the progress of Christianity in that country.
Item. In Macazar they had two factories; but have removed them thence because the king and the natives do not get along well with them.
Item. In the island of Banda they have a garrison, with artillery and troops. They gather there Masatrella nutmegs to the amount of more than 1,600 bares each year.
Item. In the island of Caramandel they have a fortress with a garrison and two factories, one called Masapotamia,3 and the other Petapulli; from them is carried cloth to trade and barter in Maluco. Page 102
Item. In the island of Bachan they have a garrisoned fortress; more than a hundred bares of cloves are shipped thence each year.
Item. In the island of Maquian they have three garrisoned fortresses; and 1,200 bares of cloves are gathered there each year.
Item. In the island of Mutiel they have a garrisoned fortress. From this island they ship more than 350 bares of cloves each year.
Item. In the island of Tidore they have a garrisoned fortress, and his Majesty has another. The whole island yields each year about 600 bares of cloves, of which half, or a little less, is secured by the Dutch.
Item. In the island of Terrenate they have two garrisoned fortresses, and his Majesty has one. The island yields each year more than 700 bares of cloves; and the profitable part of it is gathered by the Dutch, as they have friendly relations with the natives, while his Majesty obtains never a pound—although it is true that the greater part is lost through war.
From these islands—Bachan, Maquian, Motiel, Tidore, and Terrenate—which are the ones that Don Pedro de Acuña won back and left in peace and quiet, with an amply sufficient garrison to maintain them, the enemy enjoys and obtains each year nearly two million pesos in profit. The reason for this loss to us was that, on account of Don Pedro’s death, so many quarrels arose between his adherents and those of the Audiencia that they spent all the time in making war against each other with ink and paper. In the meantime the enemy fortified themselves in Malayo, and took possession of the island of Maquian, and those of Motiel Page 103and Bachan, and the other ports which they now hold, without its costing them a drop of blood. But this burnened us with much ignominy; for we—being occupied in wasting paper and ink in lawsuits, which have continued to this day—both by this loss and that other which first arose from the dismantling of a fort in Mindanao which had been built in the port of La Caldera, have given the enemy an opportunity to take possession of so large a part of these islands. And the worst is, that these factions are lasting to this very day, and are causing the many losses and the great expenses which your Majesty now incurs; and these hatreds will not be lacking, for they are so deeply rooted. It is for us to apply a check to them, for from them has sprung the loss of respect to whomsoever should have it, and thence have come to this court reports so sinister.
What is recounted in this relation is from the mouth of General Pablos Blancar, who was our prisoner in Terrenate. Being grateful for the good treatment which he had and received from my hand, he gave me this, assuring me that it was altogether true; and I even agree with what he said, for, being disgusted with his countrymen because they did not help him, and feeling grateful for the friendship which he personally received in my house, he told me—as it were, in payment for that, and by way of vengeance on his own countrymen—all that I have recounted. As for the failures to serve your Majesty on the part of our people, I have restrained myself in many respects, for they are more important than I can express; but I advised Señor Don Diego de Ybarra of them in the year 1617. I am certain of everything which happened there, as I was present there in person, Page 104and saw these things with my own eyes, being in those islands as captain and sargento-mayor, and governing them in the absence of Don Jeronimo de Silva.4 Page 105
1 Achen is at the northwest extremity of Sumatra, and Jambi is a state in the northeast part of the same island. Sumatra is the principal source of the black pepper of commerce. See articles “Sumatra,” “Jambi,” and “Pepper,” in Crawfurd’s Dictionary of Indian Islands. Negapatan is on the eastern coast of Hindustan, not far from Cape Comorin.
2 Better known by its modern name of Johor; it is the Malay state at the southern end of the Malayan peninsula, and the British territory of Malacca and the Malay state of Pahang lie north of it. The town of Johor was founded in 1511, by the Page 101nMalays who were then expelled from Malacca by the Portuguese. Johor was not an island, but part of the mainland: the text probably refers to one of the islands off its coast on which a Dutch post may have been located; some of these islands are still possessed by the Dutch.
3 Apparently a corruption of the name Masulipatam, a city on the Coromandel coast of India—not, as Heredia calls it, an island.
4 This last paragraph decides the authorship of this document, plainly indicating that of Pedro de Heredia, who filled the post he mentions in the last sentence, and captured the Dutch commander van Caerden.
Memorial Regarding Manila Hospital
Manila, 1618. Memorial for his Lordship Señor Don Fernando Canillo, president of the Council of the Indias for his Majesty, informing him of the injuries and losses which, during the seven years that I served as head brother in the royal hospital of his Majesty, were ascertained by me in that time, in order that they may be remedied in the city of Manila; and of the good which the brothers of John of God, are accomplishing in these regions.
1. In the time of Governor Don Francisco Tello, there was a steward who drew a salary of three hundred pesos, with a hundred fanegas of rice, and two hundred fowls, and lodging in the hospital. 2. Another succeeded him, who died owing three hundred pesos, which could not be collected. 3. The second was succeeded by the Confraternity of La Misericordia, and when they had left the administration there remained a surplus of three thousand pesos. 4. To this third succeeded a person who finally owed the hospital five or six thousand pesos. I believe that they could not collect this sum, because he died at that time; and God knows what evil the hospital suffered on account of the funds thus withheld, as the hospital building was burnt twice in one Page 106year. 5. The fifth successor, who was the owner of a horse, sold it to the hospital as a breed horse for the mares, so that the hospital might have a stock-farm. The price paid was four hundred pesos; but the horse was of no use for this purpose, and there was no need of him for any other use, so the said hospital sold him for one hundred and fifty pesos. This steward remained in office two years; and three years passed without his rendering any accounts, and I believe he never did so. He died, and may have rendered a good account in heaven. 6. The fifth steward requested from the sixth a tonelada from the hospital assignment of freight in the ships. He did not lade it, not having the means to do so; he sold it for six hundred pesos, and paid the hospital two hundred pesos. During my time the governors gave to the royal hospital of Manila eight toneladas for provisions and utilities. The city sold its toneladas at six hundred pesos, and sometimes more; and the hospital sold its space mostly at two hundred pesos, at twenty-five pesos a pieza. The hospital for Indians has two toneladas, and sells them at more than six hundred pesos each.
The hospitals which your Majesty has in the Filipinas Islands: the royal hospital, where the soldiers are treated; another in Gavite, where the sailors are treated; another for the Indian natives, [conducted by] the Franciscan friars; another for Sangleys, by the Dominican friars; another, by La Misericordia, for the mulattoes; another, at the hot springs,1 by the Franciscan friars; another in Cagayan; another in Cebu; another in Maluco; and another for convalescents, Page 107by the friars who are coming back from the Indias. The brothers of the blessed Juan de Dios will attend to the care of these hospitals, for they are greatly lacking in comforts for the sick. They will save all these losses to the treasury of his Majesty, and obviate the offenses which are committed against God.
|To the steward as salary||500 pesos|
|Collected from the encomiendas||200 pesos|
|200 more from the stock farm||200 pesos|
|From the collector of fowls||200 pesos|
[Endorsed: “The royal hospital at Manila. Send a copy of these clauses to the governor and Audiencia, so that they may name an auditor as inspector thereof; and let the senior auditor, if convenient, fill this office. He shall superintend and audit the accounts of this hospital, and bring its property into the most profitable condition. As for the customs and mode of life of the officials who are employed in this hospital work, if they have committed any unlawful acts let them be punished, if laymen, according to their guilt; and if they be ecclesiastics, let them be dismissed and sent to their own judge. Each year, one of the Audiencia shall be appointed, in turn, to take the hospital in his charge; and at Easter-tide, when the general inspection of prisons is made, the governor shall, on the day which he shall consider most suitable, visit personally and examine into the cleanliness and state of the bedding of this hospital and the others, so that all may be encouraged to the greatest diligence and charity. As for the appointment Page 108of a steward and other officials, they shall always be of the honorable and well-to-do persons of the city; and the office of steward shall last two years. If any persons shall be found so suited to the position that it will be necessary to compel him [to serve therein], this shall be done in the best possible manner, so that people may understand that, after the service of God our Lord this it is that has most weight with his Majesty, in order to employ them in other offices, according to the character and method of their management. Let there be placed upon the books of the accounts and proceedings of the hospital a copy of this decree. The Council, November 16, 618.”] Page 109
1 Evidently a reference to the hospital at Los Baños (see Vol. XIV, p. 211).
Letter to Felipe III from Alonso Fajardo de Tenza
Having left the port of Acapulco on April second with the two ships, men, and other things, as I wrote your Majesty from there, God was pleased to allow us to anchor in this port of Cavite on the fifth of the past month. One could esteem it a good fortune that although the season was so advanced there were as yet no vendavals in the channel [el Embocadero] of these islands; for we had suffered many light winds and even calms, and had waited for a ship that joined us, in order not to desert it, contrary to the advice of some. Thanks to His Divine Majesty who gave us so prosperous a voyage, not ten persons dying in both ships.
The events of which I found news here are indeed to be deplored. Not only was the small almiranta from Nueva España wrecked at Japon (news of which was sent in the ship of last year), but its flagship was also destroyed, having been burned on this coast with two other vessels, fragatas, which were with it; and I learned of the loss of the galleon “San Marcos” and the burning of two other ships which were being built in the shipyards, to which the Mindanao enemy set fire, encouraged Page 110thereto by the Dutch. I found, also that, of the squadron that was being sent to aid Terrenate, one boat was wrecked, while another mutinied—thereby casting shame on the Spanish nation and their loyalty, and even giving occasion for some to make comments and to say that the needs of this place, their lack of confidence in its relief, and the departure for another region, could furnish some reason for a similar act of desperation. Inasmuch as the number of people who have fled from here by divers routes, especially by that of Portuguese Yndia, has greatly increased; and considering how this evil report may harm, and how advisable it is to destroy it (although we nave a very pressing need of men), I have granted some licenses—the number I considered necessary and sufficient—so that it might be understood that they have left these islands, and so that the fear entertained by so many of coming hither might be dissipated. For the same reason, I have given certain orders for the payment of necessary obligations, giving two of these to the sailors who were here, and as they ire so few, the so small amount of money spent will create no deficiency. After our aforesaid misfortunes the six galleons that were to be fitted up at the shipyards were, while going there, overtaken by a hurricane, and were all wrecked, together with seven hundred persons whom, it is said, they were carrying—namely, natives, Sangleys, and Spanish sailors and shipbuilders, and some infantrymen—besides those who escaped, who were very few. Consequently, these islands were left without any naval forces and with few enough on land, by the above-mentioned disaster and the many private persons who died on the expedition to Sincupura or Page 111Malaca. The result was very great sorrow to the citizens, because of these troubles, and because General Ruy Gonzales de Sequeira carried an amount of property for them to Portuguese Yndia, where he died; while the enemy, coming unexpectedly, seized another very large quantity of property, which some say was in excess of two hundred thousand pesos, and others of three hundred thousand pesos. It is certain that the enemy freighted with riches two vessels, with which they came to this coast, lading them even to their small boats; and the same with some Chinese craft, with what they pillaged from the Sangleys of that kingdom. Thus was that so heavy loss caused to this community, which with two such strokes might fear its total ruin; on that account there has been no allotment of the lading space for Nueva España this year, since that of last year, and that trade is the harvest that sustains this country. Consequently it has become very necessary to encourage the citizens, seeking innumerable methods of consolation, and facilitating their protection for the future with what means we have. I am trying to notify and assure them that your Majesty’s reënforcements and protection will not fail them—adducing (and in good faith on my part) all possible reasons why we should promise ourselves and expect that relief, when your Majesty learns into how great ruin this country has fallen. For one cannot believe that your Majesty will permit the risking of what it is so important to preserve, both for the continuation of the conversion of these souls and that of so many as one may hope will be reduced to the pathway of salvation—a thing by which our Lord will be so well served; and for the reputation and even the Page 112profit of the treasury, which will not be slight, and which will follow by maintaining these islands. For if we had a fleet sufficient to be able to pursue the enemy, they could not maintain themselves from that day on which we would thus oblige them to divert their attention from their gains and trading, in order to join together for defense. It is quite certain that, in that case, there would be no one in this archipelago who would do anything to lessen respect for your Majesty’s arms. By doing that, a million per cent would be gained over what was spent on it. Otherwise, if the enemy enjoy in any quiet what they claim here, it would appear that they might disturb the peace of Portuguese Yndia, and even of some portions of the Indias of Castilla [i.e., the Spanish colonies in America], and other places. That would give reason for anxiety, because of the so great wealth that the enemy would thus obtain. It is quite easy to prove this statement, since with only their plundering and the profits from their business, and without their having any right or dominion in anything of importance, the enemy repair the expenses and losses of war, and make the gains that they are known to secure. Will your Majesty please have this matter considered, and have an efficient reënforcement of seamen and soldiers sent—all at once, or as soon as may be possible—so that having their arms in one fleet, aid may be thus given where and how it is considered most advisable to your royal service. To that I shall attend with what forces I shall have, whether many or few, as will be shown by their deeds—to which I refer, without promising more than the fulfilment of my obligations, with God’s help. In order to do thus, I have represented Page 113all the above, concluding with what is of most importance to this government, which is reduced, in my opinion, to three points: namely, the commerce of China and Nueva España; the protection and preservation of the natives; and having the sword in the hand, so that one may achieve what is needed and make all things clear. Taking this last point as a basis, Don Juan de Silva, my predecessor, must have built that fleet, for which he contrived some ships that he would not have built had it not been so necessary, as experience proved. For until his death, the enemy did not resolve to display the audaciousness that they have since shown here, nor even to conduct their commerce, except with great caution. If I could construct another fleet like it, I would imitate him; but he impoverished the wealth of these loyal vassals of your Majesty, the Spaniards, and of the wretched natives, to such an extent that many are now in the most dire need. Besides, the royal treasury is deep in debt, so that nothing can be extracted from it or from them, which may be worth considering in the present needs. This and the lack of iron and other materials oblige me to reduce the building force for five ships, that, I found, had been ordered to be built, to three, so that I should not run out of the necessary materials, and all of them be left unfinished. Then, in case that I have enough, those men could also build the other two. Besides, that is also important in order that those ships which are to sail to Nueva España in the coming year may be finished and equipped promptly. I would be very glad were that work further advanced, in order to hasten work on one ship that can be of help to me, equipping it, together with the flagship and another ship of your Page 114Majesty that is here, so that I may oppose the enemy, whom we are expecting, with three galleys, which can be manned by availing myself of borrowed slaves. However, according to the news received from the king of Tidore and from Yndia, there are eighteen ships which they say are being prepared in one place to come here, and fourteen in another. Although it will be possible for all to come together, and let them be what they may, preparing myself, I am ready with what resources I have for those that may come.
News from Terrenate advises us that they have sufficient food there to be able to await the reënforcements of food and money that I am preparing, to send them when the weather is suitable. To that the friendship of their neighbor, the king of Macaçar, is of not a little aid. With him friendship is being made, and I shall endeavor to preserve it, as I think it will prove of no possible harm but of gain now for many things. Galleys are especially desired there, for they now miss the advantage which they gained when they had these, since they now have but one small unarmed galliot. I think that from those that I shall repair here, and from two or three smaller ones that I intend to build, I shall send them a couple of these vessels after the occasion for which I am waiting; and besides that, I think it advisable for the service of your Majesty. I shall do it with great pleasure, because I hope that all the aid sent to those forts will make a brave show, for they are entrusted to Governor Lucas de Vergara Gaviria, of whose excellent zeal and management I have very good reports, and am well satisfied with him, although there are some who complain of his temper.
The vassals of the king of Mindanao who were Page 115formerly your Majesty’s subjects have for some years back been acting very insolently, and have been committing so many and so great depredations that already they are causing considerable anxiety. Consequently, it is necessary to undertake to restrain them, and to lay hands on them. I shall accordingly try to do so as soon as possible, and for that purpose I shall use the galliots which I have said that I intend to build.
I am writing to the viceroy of Nueva España, asking him to send me the aid that he is wont to send other years, in the quantity now necessary, and as is declared in a memorial signed with my signature and those of the royal officials of these islands. I have asked that the money sent be the amount that was asked last year, since that sent then did not amount to the sum generally sent in other years; while the occasion that obliged us to ask for it has not ceased, but rather the necessities caused by the disasters and losses above mentioned have arisen.
Because of the short time since I arrived here, and the many occupations that I have had in overcoming the hindrance of despatches, in arrears, and in attending to the preparation for many necessities that demanded it, and to the furnishing of these ships that are being despatched now to Nueva España—in which there were very many things to do, to which no beginning had been made—I have not been able to ascertain with certainty who is to blame for the wreck of the six galleons, and why they did not sail out to drive from the coast the enemy who were pillaging along it. Consequently, I shall leave that report to your Majesty for another occasion. However, I can send with this letter an information regarding Page 116this matter, the taking of which I entrusted to Auditor Geronimo de Legaspi, on the advice of the Audiencia. The Audiencia gave it so that it might be made secretly, on the occasion of a petition that was presented against Don Geronimo de Silva. That petition declared also that neither I nor any one else could be judge without a special commission from your Majesty; but that it was necessary to make the said investigation, in order to see by it whether it was advisable or not to prevent the said Don Geronimo from going hence to España, as he wishes and is resolutely undertaking to do. For that he assigns as a reason that he considers it a disgrace that one who has governed in this country, in the position and post with which your Majesty honored him, should remain here, removed from his office, and liable to ruin, and in danger of uncivil treatment—which one can fear who has so many rivals as he confesses that he has, because of having exercised his duties with integrity. I am trying to deliver him from that inconvenience. He insists on his intention, justifying it with these and many other arguments. As yet the writ has not been examined, and consequently I can not say whether he will go or stay.
Returning to the matter of the fault for the loss of the said galleons, I hold it certain that documents will be presented in your Majesty’s Council, written by the parties to whom that loss may be attributed; and that, if such should be the case, what each one would write against the other would disclose sufficient reason for need of your Majesty’s royal clemency. I confess that, as yet, with what I have heard, I would not dare to decide who is entirely to blame for it, or who is entirely free from that blame. For Page 117Don Hieronimo de Silva blames the government, by arraigning Licentiate Alcaraz—who, he says, had charge of everything; while the latter blames Don Hieronimo. At times one of them blames the royal officials, and some of the people blame them all, opinions being divided. My own opinion is that, whenever the government is divided, very great dissensions and evil results must happen. Consequently, I would consider it less troublesome, when there is no proprietary governor, for everything to be managed by the Audiencia; for even in affairs of war (which are those of which they can have least knowledge), if they were in charge of these they would endeavor to secure the advice of the military men, who would be best qualified to give it. But it would be far better and more expedient for your Majesty to retain in this camp and in the castle of Manila two military men of such standing and ability that, when the governor and captain-general is absent, they might succeed to those duties, and to those of the presidency, since no government can be worse than one divided. The exemplification of this can be seen in what has occurred here, if no others offer. On that account, and because of its importance to your Majesty’s service, I petition you that, if Don Hieronimo de Silva should go, you will please give this army a master-of-camp such as is advisable, appointing him from the persons whom I proposed for it at Cadiz, on the eve of my departure for Nueva España.
I have been told that Licentiate Fernando de los Rios Coronel, who left this country with power to negotiate its affairs, was, among other things, to petition your Majesty that a certain portion of lading Page 118space be given and assigned to the governor of these islands. Although I might be inclined to embarrass myself in this trade, in order to fulfil my obligations to your Majesty’s service, I would petition—as I do—that no opportunity or occasion be given, so that such governor may be humiliated and declared to be a merchant. For with a limited permission of lading space that may be given him, one can fear that the governor might stretch out his hand farther, and make that his chief occupation—since even without that permission the governor has sometimes cherished that covetous vice too much; and, by whatever path that vice comes and is allowed scope, it tarnishes all the other good qualities that a governor may have, and almost always hinders their use. But if, notwithstanding, your Majesty think it not a considerable obstacle, let it be conceded to him who shall succeed me, or to such others as you may please to give it. Thereat I will rejoice greatly, to have advantages added to this office which will oblige more persons of high standing to covet it, although I would not be satisfied with those whom this opportunity would incite.
In the Audiencia and assembly the question has been debated of writing to your Majesty about certain points, which have not all seemed so advisable to me as to those who proposed them. Particularly so is that of increasing the number of auditors to five, under pretext that we are generally in need of judges because of the auditors’ occupations or illnesses. But the reason appears but little sufficient to me, for the suits entered here can be despatched in a few days when the court is assembled, if the time is not wasted. I have seen much time lost in the court by striving to Page 119wreak their passions, with which these unfortunate inhabitants are greatly intimidated. This your Majesty will have learned by what, I am told, has been written by justices and regidors, and men of all estates, concerning this matter of the Audiencia; and some of them have petitioned me to write another of like tenor. They say that the reasons that move them to such a step are the oppression caused by the multitude of relatives and followers [of the auditors]; their appropriation of the offices and emoluments, to the injury of the meritorious; their hatred and hostility to those who unfortunately fall out with them; their trading and trafficking, although it be by an intermediary, since they, being men of influence, buy the goods at wholesale, and protect their agents. Many others who speak to me have represented their desire of living without so much encumbrance, esteeming it as thoroughly intolerable. Nor does it afford the advantage, mildness and suavity that are found in other tribunals and councils that are under the eyes of your Majesty, where one obtains strict justice, administered by upright and holy men—the people here considering that those who are farthest from meriting that name are those who are farthest from the presence of your Majesty and your royal counselors, because of the extent to which they forget to be human in their endeavor to be paid divine honors. Will your Majesty be pleased to have the arguments examined which are given on this matter by those who write and discuss it, and provide what is most fitting to your service. In what pertains to me, I do not petition you for anything in this matter, since in no respect can it be ill for me to have someone to consult, and who will relieve me in matters of justice. Page 120
During its government, the Audiencia appointed men to many posts that became vacant, and several offices for life to those to whom they gave them; besides many encomiendas—partly to those deserving them, and partly to some who do not deserve them so much as do others who, after serving well, were left without any reward. I do not understand how such a thing could be done, for in order to make those appointments needs not only the title of proprietary governor with that of captain-general and president, but also a special decree from your Majesty, such as I have and as other governors had. Although I am carefully gathering information of what was done in this matter (which all do not approve), and although I shall carefully do what is most advisable for the service of your Majesty, in accordance with justice and your royal decrees, yet I petition your Majesty to be pleased to declare your royal will—as was done in what provisions were made by the Audiencia of Nueva España, although they were made by many auditors and not by one alone, as here—so that we may all regulate ourselves thereby, without exceeding in any particular what pertains to it and what can be done.
Among other offices provided in the above manner was that of secretary of the registers, which is an office of importance. I entreat that your Majesty will be pleased not to confirm its concession, nor that of others of the same date, until you can be informed of the pros and cons regarding it; for it will either be advisable to sell those offices for the relief of necessities here (although I do not think that such sale would go far toward that), or else let the matter take its course as hitherto, so that there be certain Page 121offices with which men who have served may be, with these employments, rewarded and gratified. Well can your Majesty believe that I shall lose no occasion to do what I understand to be advisable for your service, both in this and in whatever else falls to me, and is in my power.
I shall now give Captain Luis de Contreras, whom I found filling the office of treasurer of the royal revenues here, one thousand two hundred Indians in encomienda (or a few more or less), and a pension of two hundred pesos as a gratification to another deserving man. With that the former will have received a goodly part of the income that your Majesty orders me, by a royal decree that he presented to me, to give him in unassigned Indians or in those of an encomienda which may become vacant. I could well wish that there were more Indians vacant than there are, in order to fulfil all that your Majesty orders me, and which the said Luis de Contreras merits by his character and good qualities.
Having seen the exactness with which I fulfilled the above, I am told that many are going about looking for decrees and trying to procure them now from your Majesty, in order to obtain like encomiendas and other posts. I entreat your Majesty to postpone granting those favors until you shall first be informed by your governor of these islands and your Audiencia; for not all of them will be so well employed as is the aforesaid, if I may judge from the methods by which I have heard that they are seeking them, as they procure papers by means of witnesses presented on their part, which make much of what in itself is nothing. Although the fiscal intervenes in the matter, it is to be noted that no one attempts to Page 122make investigations unless in some case when he regards the fiscal as quite on his side.
I am told that some persons here are trying to obtain the office of treasurer. Besides, that the present holder of it has not left it, I do not as yet know many who could fill the place to be left vacant by him in this charge, because of the many qualifications necessary—namely, trustworthiness, accuracy, system, and other qualities. Although I do not think that there is lack of a person in whom these will be found, still I think it necessary to consider carefully the one who should be chosen for this post, to be sure of it.
One of the things that your Majesty needs most in this county is intelligent clerks for the efficient administration of the royal revenues. And because it is certain that much would be gained by it, I petition your Majesty to send half a dozen of them, who shall have been reared in a good school. Your Majesty should not neglect to order the supervisor-general, Tomas de Ybio Calderon, to despatch one; and I trust that the person whom he would furnish may not be unsuitable. For authority to serve in the more important offices of this profession which should become vacant here, the inspector Diego de Castro Lizon would be quite suitable, and the two brothers, the accountant Francisco Beltran de Manurga and the inspector Matias Beltran de Manurga. Either of them is, in my opinion, a person as capable as is necessary for the said offices, as well as for things of more importance. I entreat your Majesty to pardon my prolixity in matters in which you have not asked my advice; for my zeal and desire for your royal service, and also for some one who may aid me therein, obliges me to do it. Page 123
Moved by the same cause, I again petition your Majesty—as I have done—to send me Admiral Jusephe de Mena with the reënforcements that are possible, or that you please, whether few or many; for in his person alone I shall have one who can help me very well. Galleys are of great importance to these islands, and not less for those of Terrenate and Mindanao, according to what I have as yet been able to ascertain. Although they are almost past use, I shall endeavor to place them in the condition and number advisable. But so that they may be of greater service, I need that your Majesty command to have sent to me a dozen good men, who understand galleys thoroughly, who may serve as captains, boatswains, and masters, who may teach those who shall serve in those posts to be proficient. For no one here thoroughly understands that calling except Captain Francisco Remanico, who I am told has labored very diligently in this matter, as well as in other affairs of your Majesty’s service. I also need two or three oar-makers who are good workmen.
The shipbuilding carried on in these islands on your Majesty’s account is the total ruin and death of these natives, as all tell me. For, in addition to the damage caused by it in withdrawing them from the cultivation of their lands and fields—whereby the abundance of the foods and fruits of the country is destroyed—many of them die from severe labor and harsh treatment. Joined to this is another evil, namely, that every Indian who takes part in the shipbuilding is aided by all the neighborhood where he lives with a certain number of pesos, on account of the small pay that is given them in behalf of your Majesty. Hence many are being harassed and worn Page 124out by these methods, and a great expense is being caused to your Majesty’s royal treasury. For although the cost of employing the natives seems moderate, their decrease is a very great detriment; while the planking, sheathing, and masts are so poor that they must all be renewed every two years, and sometimes oftener, when the only still useful parts are the futtock-timbers. But all the above can be found and made so much better in Portuguese Yndia that, considering the avoidance of the above wrongs and the bettering and more satisfactory price of the work, I shall try my utmost to avoid building ships here—sending to Cochin to have them built, or to buy them ready built; or sending wherever they may be found better and cheaper in those regions. If, when this should be negotiated, there should be some cloves to send on your Majesty’s account, the purchase of vessels, as well as that of slaves for the galleys, would be made very comfortably.
In the construction of ships that private persons are trying to build in these islands, about which the Audiencia is writing to your Majesty, I do not find so great an obstacle; for they take no Indian forcibly from his house and land for this task, and no Indian works at it unless he consents of his own accord to do so. That is done without oppression, and the Indian is wholly paid for his work, without the others having to contribute for it. For the smaller-sized ships some better woods are found, which, because they are small, cannot answer for the necessary uses to which they are put in the larger ships. Since I do not find any noticeable difficulty in this, I would consider it as very advantageous that leave be granted for the building of those ships, and for navigation among Page 125the islands and coasts of this archipelago, so long as they do not extend their voyages to Nueva España and Piru. From that it will result that the inhabitants will get some profit, and it will not be necessary to hold all the trade with Nueva España. It will not be unprofitable for your Majesty’s service to keep some ships here, so that, if need should arise, they might be employed and made useful with the seamen by whom they shall have been manned. Since it is necessary that whoever should have a vessel have paid and well-treated sailors, your Majesty would come to have all that at no more expense than that of the time while you would employ them; and these your vassals, the natives of this country, would have more relief from the burden; and surely it is pitiful to see the burdens that they carry, and what they endure.
The city has requested me to petition your Majesty to concede that the encomiendas be for three lives in direct descent, that is, to the grandchildren; and if not, that there be a succession for two lives, in the manner that is requested in their name; and also that they be excused from the necessity of getting confirmations of such encomiendas from the court there [i.e., in España], as that is a matter of great effort and expense to them. What I can inform your Majesty in regard to it is that I have heard that they have responded with very great love and loyalty, as excellent vassals, on all opportunities that have offered for your royal service. At present the encomiendas are liable to become vacant more quickly than in the past, even though they are granted for more lives, because of the danger of losing their lives through the more continuous occasions for war—to Page 126which nearly all of them go, each one according to his ability. Consequently, for this reason not only do I petition your Majesty to make them this concession, but also to honor some citizens who have been soldiers, and always are soldiers ready to risk their persons and spend their possessions in your Majesty’s service. This many have done, most especially Admiral Rodrigo de Guillestegui, who has responded to that and to all the needs that have arisen in the royal service. This relation has been substantiated by public rumor and reputation, without any dissenting voice. Since it seems just that services be rewarded, and advisable that those who render them should be honored, so that others may be encouraged, with such an example, to try to merit a like reward, I petition your Majesty to be pleased to have this matter considered, and to have him conceded a [military] habit that, he has told me, he wishes for his eldest son. By that it will be evident that services rendered here are also esteemed and rewarded by your Majesty with your free and generous hand. Inasmuch as I think that I am serving him in this I petition this for him.
He who goes as commander or head of the flagship this year is Don Antonio de Leoz, while Captain Juan Baptista de Molina—who has already served in that capacity before, and who has been castellan of the fort of this port—fills the post of admiral. They are men who have rendered much service to your Majesty; and for many years past they have been enrolled as citizens in this country, so that all the inhabitants here have applauded their choice.
It has not yet been possible to conclude the suits that I found docketed against Don Juan Ronquillo, Page 127commander of the galleons that last fought at Playa Onda, and against Don Juan de la Vega, upon and regarding occurrences in the fleet; consequently, I shall be unable to inform your Majesty of this matter until a later opportunity.
The departure of Don Hieronimo de Silva has been suspended, because certain witnesses, whom he calls his rivals, have accused him in the investigation that I said was being made in regard to him, in such manner that we have been compelled to come to this resolution. He is compelled to clear himself; and although he desires to do so, and to challenge the witnesses by making a counter-charge against them in such manner as he can, I do not know how he will manage it. For, on the one hand, he wishes a judge to try and admit his pleas; and, as for what he does not answer so suitably, he says that he is a religious of the holy order of St. John, and that all those who enter and take part in anything against him are excommunicated. He is seeking for this matter a judge conservator who may punish with censures; and yesterday the provincial of the Dominicans came to me to say that Don Hieronimo had nominated him. We are now halting at this point. Will your Majesty cause decision to be made as to what it is advisable to do; and whether the residencia of the said Don Hieronimo must be taken here, and who shall take it; and if possible to excuse me from it, I petition your Majesty to commit it to another, inasmuch as I have as yet done nothing touching residencia because I had not your Majesty’s license or order for it. Those who are plaintiffs against the said Don Hieronimo are complaining that I might do more for their satisfaction. He is also complaining and is Page 128angry because he is not to go now to España. Truly I have done what I could without failing in my duty to justice, and have endeavored to pacify each party. Had I not done that, they would have brought incriminating documents against one another, each one tarnishing the other’s reputation—as is wont to happen whenever there is any passion, even though it be with little cause. I confess that, in order to be surer of the relief for these obstacles, I would rejoice if there were some way so that Don Hieronimo may go; but the best means for it should be sought. In everything I shall proceed as I think is most advisable to your Majesty’s service.
The archbishop of Manila, I am told, is writing to your Majesty, petitioning you to command that his stipend be increased. Having considered the reasons that he gives—and that, even if there were no other than his residing here in the gaze of so many pagan nations and those of different sects, as the representative of the greatest ecclesiastical dignity—his desire for the means to discharge so many obligations as he has seems as just, for this reason and for the others regarding the archbishopric, as would be unjust my neglect to petition your Majesty for the same on my part, because of my ever-present obligations to represent to you whatever I think to be advisable for your royal service.
With this letter I send your Majesty the declaration of a notary who was prisoner among the Dutch, and a document written to me by a father of the Society, which came together day before yesterday from Terrenate; and also two copies of letters from Lucas de Vergara Gaviria, governor of those forts, and from the king of Tidore, which were received Page 129a few days before. Will your Majesty have them examined, for they contain the latest news from Maluco.
The two vessels that are being despatched to Nueva España are now able to set sail, and will do so (God willing), when the weather is favorable. They go well equipped for the voyage, and the lading well adjusted—more so than has yet been usual here. They carry excellent crews, artillery, sufficient arms, and good rigging, and a great quantity of that, in order to spare your Majesty the expense that is incurred in Nueva España—where each quintal [of rigging] costs, delivered in Acapulco, about fifty pesos; while here it costs only one-tenth as much. As great preparation has been made in the candles for the lanterns,1 and other things, for the same purpose of lessening the expense. And, while discussing this matter, I cannot refrain from again petitioning your Majesty, in order to fulfil my obligations and my desire for your royal service, to order that the clerks and the treasury employees that I have requested for this place be sent to me; for they are very necessary in order to aid more efficiently the service of your Majesty, whose Catholic person may our Lord preserve, as is necessary to Christendom. In this port of Cavite, and bay of Manila, August 10, 1618.
Already on this day (the above date) the ships are to leave this bay, because of the favorable weather that has come. All the pilots are of opinion that they will not be lost, and that our Lord will guide and convey them with all safety. It has seemed best Page 130to the Audiencia that a certain report be sent to your Majesty in this letter, of which it took charge, made against Don Hieronimo de Silva; consequently I am sending it in accordance with their opinion, since they are lawyers. Nevertheless, my opinion was that it should be suspended until the trial of the said Don Hieronimo, and the truth were known with certainty; and not to discredit him beforehand with depositions of certain persons, by whom he has been accused, without allowing him any opportunity to defend himself.
Don Alonso Faxardo de Tença
[Appended to the letter are the following letters on Moluccan affairs, mentioned by Fajardo.]
Letter from Manuel Ribeyra, S.J.
As I arrived from this voyage from Maluco ailing and crippled in one foot, I have not gone to pay my respects to your Lordship and to welcome you, in accordance with my obligations, to these islands, whither in a time of so great need our Lord has brought you for the relief of all of them. I give a thousand thanks to your Lordship for the so signal grace that you do me in ordering me to advise you briefly of the condition of Maluco, and of whatever I deem in need of reform, trusting that I shall only pay attention in this to the question how their two Majesties, the Divine and the human, may be better served; and that I shall proceed throughout truthfully and with integrity, as a religious of the Society, which I am. In order that I may comply with what your Lordship orders, I declare, sir:
That the forts of Terrenate, Tidore, Gilolo, Tafongo, Page 131and Payagi (which are all that the king our sovereign possesses in the Maiucas Islands) are in the best condition in which they have ever been; because for a year past, since Master-of-camp Lucas de Bergara Gaviria has been governing them, he has labored at their fortification, so that all are in an excellent state of defense. At present there is no cavalier in Maluco that is not built of stone, although until now many were built of fascines, and whenever it rained heavily they were washed down, and at times with the death of those in them. Besides that, he has had the island of Tidore and the post of Socanora fortified; this is very important, as the enemy try so hard to take them. Thus it is in security, and he has also enclosed and surrounded the two towns in the respective islands of Tidore and Terrenate, which were outside our forts, with two curtains of rampart which are very good and very strong.
Although our forts in Maluco have at present the artillery necessary for their defense, still that does not prevent the very great need that is experienced there for three or four good pieces of long range, so that they may be placed in Tidore, Don Gil, and Tomanira. Those are the three forts that we have on the three channels where the hostile ships generally enter and leave, without our being able as yet to do them any damage.
Not less necessary do I consider it that we should always have galleys in Terrenate; for lack of them our reënforcements this year were so hindered, and the flagship was lost.
Since no pay has been given the soldiers in Maluco for many years, and since all the food and clothing that is sent from Manila is very little, they are in Page 132great need. Accordingly it appears, advisable for your Lordship to aid them liberally, since they merit it.
In order that the soldiers in Maluco may not become desperate, and so that one may find men there who will offer to serve your Lordship in that camp willingly and gladly, it will be very advantageous for you to send one or two new captains with their companies every year, and to withdraw a like number.
Since operations in the forts of Terrenate arc carried on among Moros, and they know very well the dignity which each one has on his entrance into the country, we have seen by experience that it is a very great cause of trouble to give there the dignity of captain to those who entered as soldiers; for the natives do not esteem them as is right, and continually lose respect for them. Not only are all those who are now there of that class, but there are some among them of whom the Moros say—of one, that they have little acquaintance with him, and that in the markets, when he was buying fowls and all the other things used at his master’s house; of another, that they know that they insulted him. Thence arose the saying of the king of Tidore, that he wondered that such men were made captains of the king of España. To all this is added the fact that little dependence can be placed on them for any occasion where honor is concerned. Consequently, I judge that after accommodating such men here, it is advisable to give those posts to new captains.
All the infantry was giving as a whole great satisfaction, and throughout this year not one has gone over to the enemy, although that was formerly very common, and although the captains and other persons complain or the temper and harshness with which the master-of-camp, Lucas de Bergara Gaviria, treats them. I affirm, sir, that even so zealous a servant of the king ought to show some toleration; and, moreover, that can be remedied with a word from your Lordship. I remember also that last year, by his going to Terrenate, he resuscitated that country, and since then until now the soldiers have had food, obtaining all that is sent them from Manila. This, sir, is what I can briefly say of the condition of Maluco, which through His Divine Majesty, I hope is to make progress since the happy arrival of your Lordship, whose person may God, our Lord, preserve to us for long years, as He can do, and as is necessary to us. From this house of the Society of Jesus at Cavite, August 10, 1618.
The humble chaplain of your Lordship,
Father Manuel Ribeyra
Copy of a letter written by Lucas de Vergara Gaviria, Governor of Terrenate
On the eleventh of the present month I despatched the ship “San Buena Ventura,” in which I informed your Lordship of occurrences here. That same night the ship “Santa Margarita” reached this port from Manados with the cargo brought by the fragata “San Miguel,” which returned to those islands. This ship brought the orders that its commander says were given him by Francisco Rosales, master of the “San Miguel,” in which your Lordship orders a Page 134quantity of cloves to be prepared to send to Eastern Yndia, in order that it may be exchanged for the supplies necessary for the fleet; and that two thousand three hundred pieces of Chincheo cotton are sent for it. I answer that I have them, and assert that your Lordship ought to have that master punished; for he did not give those orders to the accountant, Pedro de Almansa, when he left the ship at Manados to come here. Had he done so, there would have been, notwithstanding the season, some cloves which could have been bought, although not all the quantity ordered, and although it could not have been done when they arrived. At that time the selling had already been finished, and the Spaniards who lived there had a great quantity of goods in their houses on account of the scant supply of cloves; for the harvest was not so great as was expected. Consequently, as soon as I received the order sent me, I ordered a factory [i.e., trading post] to be established, and your Lordship’s orders to be executed. However, these four months no cloves can be traded; for until the end of that time the trees will not bear. Consequently, although great efforts be made, we shall not be able to send to Yndia until next December or January. Besides that, there would be great delay in buying forty-five bares2 of cloves with Page 135cotton alone, which would be the amount at the prices current this year. In order that this may be done more quickly, it has been decided to put with them other kinds of cloth bought in Yndia, since these Moros wish to have a choice, some asking for one kind of cloth, and others for another. Thus all manner of care possible will be given to this matter.
Today when I was with the king of Tidore, he told me that he had heard sure news from the Ternatans that the natives of the islands of Vanda, together with the English who have a fortress there, had given poison to the Dutch who live there, from which many had died;3 that their commander Lorenço el Real, was very much reduced; that the Dutch had taken two English ships which were cruising about there, and had put the Englishmen in the galleys; and that the Dutch fleet is coming to these islands to Page 136the number of eighteen ships and two galleys. He also said that the fort of Ambueno was burned, where that fleet has stopped until it can be rebuilt; but that they consider it certain from what they write that they will be here sometime in the month of July next. I am putting these forts into as good a condition of defense as is possible with the few men that I have. For never were there fewer Spaniards in these islands; since, if occasion should arise, I have not twenty men with whom I could reënforce any fortress, without creating a notable scarcity in the others. It cannot be less, since last year only thirty soldiers came, whom I brought; while in the two companies of this year have come forty-six. A like number of sick and crippled men have gone to that city [of Manila]; while there are others here who have died; and many are sick, who with more reason would be occupying the hospital than the sentry-boxes, were not the necessity so pressing. Although, thanks to God, as they are provided with food, they get along reasonably well on the little clothing that has come, yet I am continually having their garments patched. Thus everything possible is being done to encourage and please them, and I think they are in that condition. I have, glory to God, as I wrote to your Lordship, rice in the magazines to last until the end of next April, with the precautions that I am taking, making use of that which came from Macasar. My greatest cause for anxiety at present is my lack of a galley or two in order to oppose to those that they say that the enemy is bringing; for I have nothing but one rotten galliot—and that without crew, as I have written—which is the vessel that I seized from Pedro Alvarez de Abreo. I am repairing Page 137it, in order to do what is possible with it, and to attend to the communication with these forts, which are situated at points so dangerous. Will your Lordship send me a galley or two as quickly as possible, in order that I may do this better, and work what harm I may to the enemy (for these boats are the necessary things in this island, as your Lordship knows; and the enemy, knowing this, are not afraid of us). I need also some money and clothes for these poor soldiers; and some cloth from Yndia, if there is any, in order to put it in the factories as agreed upon, at the account of his Majesty; and some men, since they are so necessary. Therefore with what the galley or galleys that may come can bring, since I have rice for the time above stated your Lordship will not need to be in haste to send me help in defective vessels. But then I hope, God helping, that the fleet will have arrived from Castilla, and that it and that of those regions will come, even though somewhat late, both to bring that aid safely and to achieve the results that his Majesty desires, since these Dutchmen are quite stripped of men; and although they have many ships, and those from Olanda, they do not expect reënforcements as abundant as hitherto. It appears that all the natives are already turning against them, and are continually supporting the English in these regions with greater forces. The latter are so very hostile to the Dutch, that they will hasten to profit by a very good opportunity.4 I regard Page 138it as certain, that in case that we wish to avail ourselves of the forces of the English, if our own are insufficient to destroy these Dutchmen, they will aid us in it very willingly, by short agreements that might be made with them. I know that this cannot be a bad thing for his Majesty, but very good. This English captain who is here has told me that if we wish to bring this about, his nation will do it. I advise your Lordship go that should necessity, perchance, compel us to undertake this, you may know what we are doing here about it.
His Majesty’s two fortresses in Gilolo, as your Lordship knows, serve only as garrisons for eighty soldiers, sixty of them Spanish. They are continually dying and falling sick, and because of our lack of men in these forts, which are of importance, those men would prove very advantageous here, while there they are of no use. Whenever the enemy may attack them in force, they cannot be succored by either sea or land. Consequently, I think, for these and other reasons, that it would be wise to withdraw them before the enemy oblige us by force to do so. Will your Lordship order this to be considered, and ordain what is most advisable. At present the enemy have two ships, as I wrote in my previous letters.
The surgeon sent by your Lordship for this hospital I am sending back, as he is useless here—both because father Fray Juan de Santamaria, a lay Page 139brother of St. Francis, is here, who attends to this with charity, willingness, and great skill; and because the former has certain defects or excesses that are not suitable for a country so short of the sort of thing that he specially cares about, and of which even the sick are in want. Consequently, he would do better in Panay or La Pampanga, and his Majesty would save six hundred pesos of salary.
Just now I learned from the king of Tidore that many Dutchmen were killed at the burning of the fort of Ambueno. Yesterday a ship arrived at the forts of Malayo from the Sunda. I suspect that it does not bring altogether pleasant news, for it entered very silently. All say that the fleet in Ambueno will come. However, it is said that the commander Lorenço el Real and other captains were killed in that fire, besides other prominent people. Consequently there are three of the enemy’s ships here now.
The ship “San Antonio el Chico” [i.e., “the little”] is going with this despatch, and the “Santa Margarita” will remain here. Further nothing else offers at present of which to advise your Lordship, whom may our Lord preserve with all possible prosperous estate. Tidore, June 30, 1618.
Lucas de Bergara Gaviria
As I have heard that Governor Lucas de Vergara Gaviria is giving your Lordship a long account of the condition of affairs in these islands, I shall not say more in this than to refer to his letter, and only to greet you in my own name, and tell you of the so great afflictions of these islands. Never have they been seen in such a condition, both because of the disastrous loss of the fleet of vessels that was expected Page 140here this year with a great force, and because not even one galley was sent, from three or four that are cruising about there, although it is known that some islands and forts cannot have communication with others except by means of galleys. For they are our succor from dangers, and protection to the besieged, not considering that one galliot here now is such that, rather for reputation and ostentation than for use, the governor preserves it. For that reason, the scarcity of succor, and the news of the loss of the fleet, the courage of all has been greatly moderated, while that of the enemy has been strengthened. And so when they heard of it, they were very glad and went out to collect their ships in order to attack these strongholds of his Majesty and my land. Although they come, as they have published, with fifteen or twenty warships and two galleys, I am very confident that they will accomplish nothing; because we are so well fortified and supplied with provisions which come from Macaçar and from those parts that the governor has protected. By the help of God’s favor, I am at present making an effort in this my city to resist the enemy by all ways. But it may be understood meanwhile that your Lordship should succor these forts promptly, with great liberality and urgency; for otherwise, if any thing be lost (may God forbid), let it be known that I have done my duty, since for many years I have advised this, and from now I give notice that this is not to be charged to my account. For since, when we were expecting a great force, not only it did not come, but only this little succor was sent, this people did not take it well; for they considered the failure as indicating rather the little power of the Spanish king than the present need of those islands. Page 141
I have received the chain and stuffs, although these were wet, and value them as is fitting. There is nothing else to say except this, may our Lord preserve your Lordship for many long years, as I desire. Tidore, May seventeen, one thousand six hundred and eighteen.
I, Pedro Muñoz de Herrera, who exercise the office of court clerk of the royal Audiencia and Cnancillería of the Philipinas Islands, at the order of Don Alonso Faxardo de Tença, comendador of Castilla, of the Order of Alcántara, member of his Majesty’s council in the states of Flandes, governor and captain-general of these said islands, and president of the royal Audiencia therein, had this copy made from an original letter. It appears to be signed by a character in letters said to be of Terrenate and of the king of Tidore. It is like others from the said king that I have seen. It is a true and faithful copy, and was corrected and collated with the said original letter, which his Lordship the governor said that the said king of Tidore had written to the governor of these islands. In order that that may be apparent, I gave, at the said order, this copy in the city of Manila, July twenty-eight, one thousand six hundred and eighteen. Witnesses at its transcription, correction, and collation were Ambrosio del Corral, Pedro de Belber, and Pedro Muñoz de Herrera, junior.
Pedro Muñoz de Herrera
We, the undersigned notaries, certify and attest that Pedro Muñoz de Herrera, by whom this copy is authorized, enjoys and exercises the office of court clerk of the royal Audiencia and Chancillería of Page 142these Philipinas Islands; and is held and considered as faithful and accurate; and entire faith and credit has been and is given to the acts and other despatches that have passed and pass before him, both in and out of court. Given in Manila, July twenty-eight, one thousand six hundred and eighteen.
1 Achotes [hachotes] para los faroles: A large wax candle, with more than one wick, or a union of three or four candles, which was used for the lanterns.
2 The bahar (from bahara, a word of Sanscrit origin) has long been in quite general use in the East. The word is found variously spelled, “bahare,” “bare,” and “vare.” Its value varies in different localities, there being two distinct weights—one, the great bahar, used for weighing cloves, other spices, etc.; and the small bahar, about 150 kilos or 400 pounds avoirdupois, used for weighing quicksilver, various metals, certain drugs, etc. John Saris, writing of the commerce of Bantam, says: “A sacke is called a Timbang, and two Timbanges is one Peecull, three Peeculls is a small bahar, and foure Peeculls and an halfe a great Bahar, which is foure hundred fortie fiue Cattees and an halfe.” Page 135n
At Malacca and Achen, the great bahar is said by an old Dutch voyageur to contain 200 cates, each cate containing 26 taïels or 38½ Portuguese ounces, weak; the small bahar, also 200 cates, but each cate of only 22 taïels or 32½ ounces, strong; while in China the bahar contained 300 cates, which were equivalent to the 200 cates of Malacca. Instructions to François Wittert, commissary at Bantam, gives the following table for weights: 1 picol = 2 Basouts or Basauts = 100 catis; 1 hare = 9 basauts = 4½ picols—which should have amounted to 600 Dutch pounds, but in the equivalent then rendered was only 540 pounds. Dutch annals also give equivalents in Dutch pounds as 380, 525, 550, and 625. Modern English equivalents in pounds avoirdupois for various places are: Amboyna, 597.607; Arabia—(Bet-el-falsi), 815.625, (Jidda), 183.008, (Mocha), 450; Bantam—(ordinary) 396, (for pepper) 406.780; Batavia, 610.170. See Satow’s notes on Voyage of John Saris to Japan (Hakluyt Society’s publications, London, 1900), pp. 212, 213; Recueil des voyages (Amsterdam, 1725); and Clarke’s Weights, Measures, and Money (N.Y., 1888).
3 Apparently referring to the hostilities in the preceding year between the Dutch and English at Pulovay, a small island near Banda (see ante, note 8). See list of Dutch forts in 1612–1613 in the Moluccas, in Voyage of John Saris.
4 A court minute of the English East India Company, dated November 12, 1614, has the following in regard to Dutch opposition to the English in the East Indies: “Yett he [i.e., John Saris] found the Dutch very opposite to hinder the English in their proceedings all that ever they might, as well by vndersellinge, contrarye to their promyse, at [sic] by all other means of discouradgement, makeinge shewe of waunte without any occasion.” Page 138n
(See Voyage of John Saris, p. lxiv.) Regarding the competition and hostility between the Dutch and English in the trade of the Indies, which often led to open warfare (as at Banda in 1617–1618), see Voyage of Sir Henry Middleton (Hakluyt Society’s publications, London 1855), and Kerr’s Collection of Travels and Voyages (Edinburgh, 1824), viii and ix. The attempts of James I of England to win alliance with Spain lend some color to the proposed English-Spanish alliance in the Moluccas.
Letters from Felipe III to Fajardo
The King: To Don Alonso Faxardo de Tenza, my governor and captain-general of the Philipinas Islands, and president of my royal Audiencia there. You already know that the preservation and maintenance of those islands in all peace and prosperity consists principally in the good government of him who has them in charge, by the equitable administration of justice, the furtherance of the public welfare, and the increase of my royal exchequer. Owing to my great desire that this should be secured, in such manner that what has been deficient there in the past may be supplied and the affairs of the islands more successfully managed in the future, it has seemed best to advise you that, since the citizens and inhabitants of those islands have suffered so many hardships and calamities, having been harassed by enemies, and on this account their property having been greatly reduced, you will exercise the greatest care in endeavoring to have them rewarded with the offices and other positions that are distributed in those islands, in accordance with their merits and services, so that in this way they may be consoled and encouraged. You will likewise see to it that the natives are well treated, so that they may not be annoyed or molested with new services and requirements. Page 144
The most important thing that presents itself is the great and excessive expenditure which is incurred by my royal exchequer in the islands of Maluco, for, according to information received, it amounts to two hundred and twenty thousand pesos; while I have not any profit in all those islands, for the Dutch enemies buy all the cloves and other drugs at a much lower cost, whence they derive great profits—as is evident from the forces which they use to get possession and make themselves masters of those islands. And it is the general opinion of zealous, unbiased, and trustworthy persons that my servants, captains, and other officials who have governed those islands, with a commission for their own profits and investments, have taken advantage of the opportunities and trade which they should have maintained and secured for my royal exchequer’s increase, and have charged to it all the expenses, they alone having received the profits, without considering that a large part of what the enemy gains is lost to my treasury through lack of faithful service. As this matter is so worthy of correction, and so necessary for the preservation of those islands and the aid of their expenses, I command you to apply to this evil the remedy which I may expect from your loyal zeal, showing yourself entirely disinterested in whatever concerns yourself and your senator, so that you may be an example for the rest. You are free to investigate the offense which any servant of mine may have committed in this matter, and this I order you to do. You will proceed against such persons in conformity with justice, and will punish them with great severity, applying to my royal exchequer all that may result from the fines that you may impose. You will exercise especial care and Page 145judgment in all ways and means that are practical and possible, to introduce the greatest possible profit and benefit that can be obtained from the trade in cloves, by such measures as may appear to you best, buying the spice for money or cloth, or in whatever way may be most convenient. If for this purpose it be necessary to provide money or cloth, you will do so as shall be expedient, conferring in regard to everything with the Audiencia, the royal officials, and other persons of experience, choosing the best and soundest course advised. For all this is necessary, and is undertaken in order to direct our energies to the defense of the islands, and to try to extirpate the enemy from them. If the latter end cannot for the present be accomplished by force of arms, yet this communication, trade, and bartering of cloves with the natives, and the employment of gentle but necessary means to secure their obedience, will diminish the strength of the enemy, which consists solely in the advantages that they possess. All this is hoped from your prudence, although in my royal Council of the Yndias the expediency of a factory or administration is being considered, and of one person who should have the management and responsibility of all in Terrenate, as may be best for the benefit of my royal exchequer.
As the number of six hundred infantry for the garrison of the fort of Terrenate besides the two hundred Pampangos who are also in service there, seems more than is necessary for its defense, considering that they do not go out into battle, you will take under advice whether this body can not be reduced to a smaller number at a less expense, without being greatly crippled. For the principal thing to be Page 146aimed at is the preservation and defense of that fort, and after that the sparing of my royal exchequer. You will order that the supplies and money for the soldiers be at your own disposal, with the sworn statement of a notary, for there is no royal official there; thus, as these troops will be effective, they will not be defrauded as they have been in the past. You will likewise try to abolish all the superfluous strongholds, both in those islands and in Terrenate; for those named in the memorial which accompanies this, signed by Juan Ruiz de Contreras, are not considered necessary. You will advise me when you have done this.
Considering the great expenses incurred for the reënforcements that are every year sent from Nueva España, and the great importance of avoiding the cost and adding to the funds of the exchequer, you will refrain, so far as possible, from demanding articles that can be found in those islands—namely, the products of either nature or industry there—or what can be brought from other regions with greater economy. For it is understood that in the past there has not been the reflection and good judgment in this matter that is right; but, on the contrary, the officials and ministers have made a profit from it. And since, by one of my decrees, it concerns you, by virtue of your office, to decide the affairs of war and government so as to have knowledge of them, and it has been learned by experience that if these powers be not rightly used much loss and trouble has resulted therefrom, I charge you implicitly that the decisions which you shall make, in the matters which may arise, be as reasonable and moderate as is necessary for good government and administration of justice, so that the Page 147improvement thus brought about may be recognized and become evident, to the satisfaction of those concerned; for the remedy that may be expedient will be applied in another way.
It has also been understood that the officials of my royal exchequer in those islands, in complying with an order of mine to the effect that in any emergency when it would be imperatively necessary to incur some new expenditure they should join with the governor and Audiencia there and discuss the matter, and the result of the voting by majority should be carried out, advising me thereof—with this opportunity many expenses have been incurred, and salaries and stipends increased unnecessarily, for private ends of individuals. Accordingly, I command you to see that the expenses be not incurred except in sudden cases of invasion by enemies, since otherwise results so much loss to my royal exchequer.
It has also been understood that the religious orders resident in those islands live and comport themselves with more freedom and liberty than is proper, conformably to their profession and regulations, and particularly so the Augustinians. It is also stated that occasional fees and dues that they levy for masses, burials, and suffrages [for departed souls] are excessive; and likewise that they erect buildings and church edifices and their own houses, although they have no authority to do so except with my express permission, or by asking it from the governor of those islands, and then only in case of urgent necessity. Under this pretense and others, they make allotments [of service] and new imposts, on merely their own authority, upon the Indians, who are distressed and overburdened. For the remedy of this, it has seemed Page 148best to charge you to maintain all the authority that you can, to prevent this from being done. For this purpose you will join with the archbishop, and both will summon the provincials; and, telling them the information that I have of this matter, you will charge them to make the reformation which is in every way obligatory upon them, since it is so greatly to the service of God our Lord and the public good, as may be seen. Madrid, December 19, 1618.
I The King
By the command of the king our lord:
Juan Ruiz De Contreras
Signed by the members of the Council.
The King: To Don Alonso Faxardo de Tenza, my governor and captain-general of the Philipinas Islands, and president of my royal Audiencia there. You were advised by a letter of mine, of the same date as this, of the arrival of your letters written at the port of Acapulco; and we answer this separately because the matter is a more serious one than can be treated of in connection with your government. It has seemed best to advise you of the state of affairs, and of what, as now appears, will be the only possible remedy for the preservation of all those regions.
You are well aware, through the information that you carried from España, of the embarrassed condition of my royal inheritance, wasted in the defense of our holy faith, and unavoidable expenditures to oppose its enemy and others who have attempted to cause its decline—whom it has been necessary to oppose, in order to preserve the faith, thus causing enormous expenses. As aid for the conservation of Page 149my kingdoms, it has been necessary and unavoidable to use the wealth brought by the people of Nueva España; but the supplies and expenditures drawn from my royal exchequer for those islands are so consuming and reducing that account and fund, to such an extent, and with so injurious effect, that it hardly comes in but it must be paid out. Considering that what is carried in exchange for the quicksilver1 is revenue derived from the same merchandise that was sent, while the receipts from the bulls for the crusade are (as you know) but moderately successful, you are accordingly informed of this in such detail, so that you may understand how assured is the loss that is set forth to you. This loss would become greater if the account were measured by the demands that are sent from Filipinas; for then the proceeds of neither the quicksilver, nor the crusades, nor anything else would be enough even for the maintenance of those islands and those of Terrenate, according to our experience thus far. The result is that we are compelled by necessity to choose [as we do] in order not to allow affairs here to go to ruin for lack of money, which is not to be thought of. For you are aware of what importance this is, being the essence and substance of the rest; and it neither ought nor can be supposed that we should not heed the expenditures for Filipinas that have been made from my royal inheritance, which amount to more than seven millions, as has been proved. If there were no other consideration than the mere protection of religion and of the persons who live in those islands, it would oblige us to consider Page 150the expense; but we must do so all the more in this state of affairs, as it means the continual remittance and expenditure of money, and all things cannot be attended to. The matter has given us anxiety, as you will understand, regarding this condition; and, after consideration of it, the following measures are proposed to you.
Since the income from the revenues which belong to me in those islands is considerable, you will try so to apportion it, and with such prudence, care, and system, that they may be maintained and made comfortable by it, since nothing more can be done than, by resigning any profit from them, to appropriate all the proceeds from that country to the islands themselves, without any profits whatsoever to another country. As for the measures to be pursued in executing this henceforth, no other rule can be given you more explicit than what you, the Audiencia, and the royal officials shall find it practicable and proper to apply.
It is likewise understood from thoroughly reliable persons who have come from those islands—religious, and others who have brought letters recommending them—that there are in those lands many well-known mines of gold and other metals, which, if they were sought out, would be of great utility and value; and that, if they were worked, their proceeds would be sufficient not only for the expenses there, but even for the aid of those here. These persons say that the reason why the mines have not been operated has been a lack of energy and diligence for the benefit and increase of the royal exchequer; and the fact that they had the treasury of Nueva España as a protection, and so accessible for all the expenses that have arisen. Page 151Accordingly I charge you very particularly that, with the fidelity and promptness that is requisite for so urgent a necessity, you will take measures to investigate this matter, and obtain from it as much profit as you can; for the peaceful products of the soil will always be certain, and it would be a great pity to lose what might aid in so urgent a need. For this purpose you will make an examination of all the mines that are or may be known, offering rewards and other advantages, honors, and gratuities as may appear expedient to you, in order that the mines may be discovered and worked, as they should be, making the diligent endeavors that are necessary in such an affair. In order that you may better manage it, it has seemed well to me to send you the two papers inclosed, signed by Juan Ruiz de Contreras, so that you can examine and consider them with attention and careful consideration, in order that your mode of procedure may be assured, since the facts in the case are already so. As the most important point that you will have to guard is that the Indians be not troubled or annoyed, and that no sort of injury, or service, or annoyance be inflicted upon them, you will avoid so far as possible these difficulties; and by prudent and cautious measures will try to gain their good-will, until you have acquired suitable knowledge of the situation and richness of the mines. It is also a matter of great importance that the religious who give instruction shall aid, as is explained in these papers—to which effect letters are being written to the provincials of the orders of St. Dominic and St. Augustine, which were sent to you with a copy of each, which they are to receive from your hand. You will talk with them at the same time, availing yourself of Page 152all means which may appear to you of use to persuade them that they will thus do a great service to our Lord; and that by so pious a work they will better the present condition of affairs, and aid the public cause. You must see that this is the most important part of your government, as if you were sent there for this and for nothing else. For greater satisfaction and surer success, I command you that as soon as you have received these letters you shall—with the aid of the notary-public of the royal officials, or of your secretary, as may appear best to you—compile a book, in which, after you have inserted these letters and other documents, you will enter the orders that you may give, and the decisions that you may make. Accordingly, there will be evident from them both the time that is gained or lost in the execution of your orders, so that with this guide you may govern to better advantage; likewise, exactly what has occurred in every matter will be clear to me. It would also be well if all the documents, letters, and other papers that you may have in relation to this subject were placed in separate files. In this book recapitulate the papers briefly, referring to the originals; and as you are aware of the importance of good counsel, you will try to avail yourself of the persons whom you may think most capable of giving it to you. If you think it well to convene any assembly, you will do so whenever expedient. In this way you may be advised not only of the importance of this matter, but likewise of the best means available for this country, so that, with your prudence, you may choose the most useful, and avail yourself of whatever benefits or funds may be secured from them. Madrid, December 19, 1618.
By command of the king our lord:
Juan Ruiz De Contreras
Signed by the members of the Council.
1 Apparently referring to the importation of quicksilver (via Manila) from China to Nueva España. (Sec Vol. XVII, p. 237.)
Filipinas Menaced by Dutch
As I think that this will be a service to the Divine Majesty and to the human, and a benefit to this new world—in the west, to the Philipinas; and in the east, to Yndia (whither I went some years ago on an embassy for Don Joan de Silva and this commonwealth of Manila, and took note of its temporal and spiritual condition)—I am resolved to write this letter to your Lordship, in whose hands our Lord has placed the preservation of this kingdom, and consequently the conversion of numberless souls; perhaps our Lord will choose that in this way may be attained that which numerous letters from these islands to the royal Council of the Yndias have failed to accomplish. Your most illustrious Lordship may rest assured that if his Majesty does not actually send a great reënforcement of military aid to these islands, they must be lost; and, besides, the royal crown of España will meet the necessity of defending itself, with greater expenses, from the nations who will make war against it from this direction. Although I am no prophet, I dare to assert that in these seas we shall see the bloodiest battles that have been fought for many years, and that they must result in great injury to the kingdoms of Nueva España [and España].
This discourse of mine is based on a syllogism. All Page 155nations of the world are moved by interest, which is the loadstone of hearts. We see men going down, as they have gone, into the depths of hell for silver and gold; no one can doubt this axiom, and it has no need of proof. The minor premise is this, founded on experimental knowledge—namely, that the greatest source of profit that has been known in our times, the best proved and the most certain, is this of Maluco and Philipinas, whither come the nations of the north, and all other nations who course over this wide sea of India as far as Maluco, where they find that brown gold that they call cloves, and the white silk of China. They barter for or rob persons of the cloves, as well as mace, cinnamon, pepper, and other drugs, which, when carried to their own country, are so much gold-dust. The silks and wealth from China they seize here at the passage to Manila, from various unarmed vessels; and from a people who let their hair grow long, like women, and know not how to defend themselves, so that those robbers have here a sure booty and prize.
I shall presently tell you of the great value of these things, when carried to their own countries; I am now proceeding with my account from the proposition that the greatest source of gain in the world lies in these islands. All the nations know well that they need not go to Nueva España to conquer it, or to plunder the silver in the mountain of Potosi, or to the islands of Salomon—which, although they were at one time famed for riches of gold, have proved to be enchanted.1 Florida, that it cost the French so dear Page 156to enter, is already deserted as useless; from Brasil no profits are obtained; from the wars of Flandes men gain nothing but bullets and glory. You may turn the needle to every point on the globe, and you will find that there is no place capable of so much profit as are these islands.
In order to reach them the foreigners have throughout all Yndia the ports of the heathen kings, which are more numerous than our own. The Dutch have factories in Currate [i.e., Surat], in Paliacate on the coast of Malavar, in the Jabas, and in Sunda, Achen, Macasar, and Maluco, where they are establishing themselves and obtaining a foothold. Above all, they have one in Japon, where they find all the supplies necessary for their voyages.
I shall tell you now of the culmination and result of their commerce. A single ship that arrives from these islands with cloves, mace, drugs, silks, etc., yields an immense amount of money; for they carry the goods that are shipped from these islands and from Eastern India through all the northern countries, and the kings give them free passage for their goods and remit duties. They have factories or correspondents in Olanda, Zelanda, Escocia, Ynglaterra, Yrlanda, Dinamarca, Norvega, Francia, Alemania, Alta and Baja Germania, Colonia, Baviera, Austria, Ungria, Boemia, as far as Transilvania, and in our kingdoms inland from Sevilla. This was stated by the Dutch General Blancorte [i.e., van Caerden], whom we held prisoner here. Page 157
From all this, the conclusion of the argument is that, as all the nations are moved by interest, and as the gains from these islands are so great, we shall have all the nations here; and indeed we have—not only the Dutch, but the English, who are a people of more ability than the Dutch have; and all these seas are open to the French, and to all other nations.
Who doubts that it costs the king dearly, in course of time, to reënforce us? For twenty years we have been hoping for the coming of a fleet and galleons, and none have come save a few small caravels brought by Ruy Gonzalez de Sequeyra to open up a way for trade to Sevilla; and eight galleons that were made ready for our aid, which put into Gibraltar, so that no aid has come for us. In the mean time the Dutch have new galleons every year, and the islands are already in the worst of straits. Your Lordship may believe that the governors—now, it may be, to show themselves better servants of his Majesty; again, to keep themselves longer in the government—have promised more than the land could raise. The truth is that the islands are utterly drained by the wars and the loss of the six galleons which Don Juan de Silva had built, and with other misfortunes that have been written to the king our lord at greater length. It is a marvel that Don Alonso de Faxardo has not died or become grievously ill with pain at finding these states so weakened, and his honor and that of the crown of España so jeopardized. If any one thinks that Eastern India can aid us, I have seen, and Don Geronimo de Azevedo, viceroy of India, assured me, when he gave me four galleons with five hundred infantry and ninety-two pieces of artillery, that he was giving all he had to give. And this was true, for he dismantled Page 158the forts to arm the galleons, and the latter were burned by the Dutch in the year one thousand six hundred and sixteen; so that we depend upon España alone for our aid. Although the great advantages that have been enumerated should be enough to cause this aid to be given, yet for the pious and so Christian heart of your Lordship I think it better to set forth the multitude of souls converted—who in the time of Don Francisco Tello, governor of these islands, numbered six hundred thousand baptized; and this city of Manila, small as it is, is the key to such great kingdoms as Japón, Coria, Great China, Sian, Patan, Camboja, the Xavas, Sunda, and Maluco, with which Manila is encompassed as is the center of a circle by its circumference. If your Lordship have any interest in its preservation, I hope, through the divine Majesty, that it will be kept, for the honor of the Lord himself. May He protect your Lordship for many years, according to the desire of your humble servant and chaplain. Manila, December 20, 1618.
Joan de Ribera,
rector of the college of the Society of Jesus at Manila.
1 These islands were discovered in 1568 by Alvaro de Mendaña; but for various reasons nothing was done to make them available as a conquest, and their location became so doubtful that many geographers disbelieved their existence, and even removed Page 156nthem from the maps. These islands were not rediscovered until late in the eighteenth century. See the Hakluyt Society’s publication of the narratives of Mendaña and others, Discovery of the Solomon Islands (London, 1901), with editorial comments by Lord Amherst of Hackney and Basil Thomson.
Documents of 1619–1620
- Philippine ships and shipbuilding. Sebastian de Pineda; .
- Royal decree regarding religious expelled from their orders. Felipe III; February 19, 1619.
- Proposal to destroy Macao. Diego Aduarte, O.P.; .
- Relation of events in the Filipinas Islands, 1618–19. [Unsigned]; July 12, 1619.
- Letter to Felipe III. Pedro de Arce; July 30, 1619.
- Letter to Felipe III. Alonso Fajardo de Tenza; August 10, 1619.
- Grant to seminary of Santa Potenciana. Juan Oñez, and others; 1617–19.
- Reforms needed in Filipinas (to be concluded). Hernando de los Rios Coronel; 1619–1620.
Sources: All these documents save one are obtained from MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla; the fourth is taken from a MS. in the Real Academia de la Historia, Madrid.
Philippine Ships and Shipbuilding
Relation by Captain Sebastian de Pineda, on matters relating to the Filipinas Islands—both the building of galleons, pataches, and galleys, and other means of defense; and various things regarding the preservation and safety of the said islands.1
In those islands is found a wood called maria,2 which is used to make all the futtock-timbers of all the galleons, galleys, and pataches; and all the knees and compass-timbers, of all sizes required. There is Page 161much of this timber from which to select, although, because of the ships built by Don Juan de Silva, the supply of it is now obtained from a distance. That wood is used only for this purpose, for the tree is short and not straight. Capstans of one piece, gears, and some stringer-plates [trancaniles] for the curved parts of the prows of vessels and the snatch-cleats for the wales, are also made from that wood. That said wood is very durable, and is of such quality that once a nail is hammered into it, it is impossible to withdraw it without breaking it; and when a nail is hammered into that wood it does not hole or chip. If a ball be fired into it of the size of eight libras or less, it does not pierce the wood; and if the ball is large, the wood is not splintered. On the contrary, the hole is stopped up at its entrance and egress with the chips forced out by the ball in its passage. That wood is very light, and has a very poor grain for working.
There is another wood called arguijo,3 which is very strong and heavy. It is a certain very tall and very straight tree, like the pine. From it are made the keels, beams, false keels, wales, mast heads [calçetes], and pumps, of whatever size required; for that tree, as above stated, grows very tall and straight. Gun-stocks, gun-carriages, and wheels for the artillery are also made from that wood. Page 162
There is another wood called laguan.4 From it is made all the planking and sheathing with which the galleons and galleys are planked. From those trees are made the masts, topmasts, and yards of the galleons and galleys. The said tree grows very straight and thick, so that the flagship galleon has its mainmast from one, that is seventy-two codos5 long and fifteen palmos in circumference, all in one piece.
The sheathing and planking hewn from the above-named trees for the sheathing of the ships is one palmo thick and three or four wide, and the shortest is twelve brazas long. These planks last a long time under water, as the ship-worms do not hole them; but above water they warp and rot, so that they do not last more than two years—and especially on the decks, if they are not calked during the winter. The greatest danger is that, on account of the haste used in their construction, time is not allowed to cut the wood at the conjunction [of the moon], and to leave it during a year to season, as is required; for if that is done, it lasts much longer. For of all the vessels built during the term of Don Juan de Silva, Page 163the galley which was longest in building did not take six months; and all the timber for them was hewn and put in place when green, for the vessels were being built while the wood was cutting.
There is another wood from which is made planking for the galleys, which is called banaba.6 It is a certain short tree, about four brazas in height. The galleys are sheathed with it, for the ship-worm bores into it but little. The planks are one and one-half palmos broad. There are but few of these trees, and consequently they are used only for the above purpose.
There is another wood called maria de Monteguas,7 which differs from the first wood of that name. From it are made timbers [latas] for the decks of the galleys, as well as oars for the said galleys. The latter are also made from another wood called guijo,8 but these are much heavier than those made from the wood maria, and last a long time.
There is another wood called dongon,9 which is very strong, and of a yellowish color. From it are Page 164made stringer-plates, chocks of the bowsprit, coamings of the hatchways, strakes and stanchions for the decks. If all these woods are cut at the conjunction and decrease of the moon, and seasoned, as above stated, for one year, the ship will last much longer; for if they are cut and not seasoned, one must tear up the decks every two years and put down new ones, for they are rotten. Likewise the planks along the sides must be changed, with the exception of the futtock-timbers and top-timbers made of the wood maria; for that wood, although cut and not seasoned, never rots, because it is always durable, in one way, without rotting.
There are many other kinds of woods which are also used for the above purposes.10
The shipyards of the galleons built during Don Juan de Silva’s term were thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, and eighty leguas from the city of Manila, in different places: namely, on the island of Marinduque, where the galleon “San Juan Bautista” was built, which is forty leguas from Manila; in the province of Camarines at Dalupaes were built “Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe,” and the “Angel de la Guardia” [i.e., “Guardian Angel”], fifty leguas from Manila; in the province of Ybalon at Bagatan Page 165were built “San Felipe” and “Santiago,” eighty leguas from Manila; in Mindoro was built the galleon “San Juan Bautista,” fifty leguas from Manila; in Marinduque was built the almiranta “San Marcos,” forty leguas from Manila; in Masbate was built the royal flagship “Salbador,” seventy leguas from Manila; in Cavite were built the “Espiritu Santo” and the “San Miguel,” two leguas from Manila, in the port where the fleets anchor; in the port of Cabite, six galleys; in the city of Manila, two.
Those who cut these woods and build these ships and galleys are Indian natives of the said islands. They are carpenters, who are called cagallanes or pandais in their language. Those Indians who are no more than woodcutters, and serve only as hewers and planers of wood, are paid each seven or eight reals a month, and are given daily rations of one-half celemin of rice. Those of better trades than the latter generally earn ten or twelve reals a month. Those who are masters—the ones who lay out, prepare, round; and make the masts, yards, and topmasts are each paid three or four pesos of eight reals a month, and double rations.
When a fleet was being prepared in Cavite there were generally one thousand four hundred of these carpenters there. Just now there are very few, for when the Mindanao enemies burned one galleon and two pataches in the past year, one thousand six hundred and seventeen, which were being built in the shipyard of Pantao, sixty leguas from the city of Manila, they captured more than four hundred of the workmen, and killed more than two hundred others; while many have died through the severe work in the building. And because, they have been paid for five Page 166years nothing except a little aid, many have fled from the land; and so few remain that when the last ships sailed from the city and port of Manila last year, six hundred and eighteen, there were not two hundred of those Indians in Cabite.11
The iron used in the construction of these ships and galleys is brought from China and Japon to the city of Manila. Don Juan de Silva sent patterns of all the nails, and excellently made ones were brought, and cost your Majesty but eight reals per arroba. Iron is brought in the rough and is wrought in Cabite, and costs your Majesty but twenty-four reals per quintal of five arrobas. There all the nails and bolts are wrought, as well as estoperoles,12 tacks [tachuelas], and everything else needed. The native Indians who act as smiths are paid twelve reals per month, and the Angley [i.e., Sangley] Chinese smiths twenty-eight reals per month, and their ration of rice, Page 167which is equivalent to one-half a Spanish celemin. Each of these Chinese works one arroba of rough iron into nails daily, and is paid only the said twenty-eight reals per month. That does not amount to one real per day, and they work from midnight until sunset, which is their workday.
The nails and iron shipped to the said islands from Nueva España cost your Majesty, delivered in the city of Manila, more than twenty reals of eight per quintal, while there they are made, as above stated. But notwithstanding the above, I assert that it is necessary to ship annually from Nueva España to the said islands two hundred quintals of rough and sheet and rod iron for some necessary articles, such as borers for the artillery cast in Manila, and rudder-pintles and rudder-gudgeons for the ships and galleys; for the iron of Bizcaya is more ductile than that of those regions [i.e., China and Japon] because it is as strong as steel. The other iron things above mentioned that are sent from Nueva España to the said islands are unnecessary, for their cost per quintal, when delivered in Manila, will buy four quintals in the said islands. The said two hundred quintals could be shipped on your Majesty’s account from Sevilla where it costs three or four ducados per quintal, and be carried by the flagships and almirantas; thus it would not be necessary to buy it in Bera Cruz, at nineteen ducados per quintal.
It would be of the highest importance to cover the ships with lead at Manila, which would obviate careening them every year. Don Juan de Silva neglected to do that, because he was always in haste to resist and attack the enemy.
Lead is also shipped from Nueva España to the Page 168said islands. More [than that amount] is shipped [however], because it is brought from China and Japon at cheaper rates. It can be worked in Cabite in order to lead the ships, and in that way your Majesty will save many ducados every year.
The rigging in the said Filipinas Islands is of two kinds: one, which was formerly used, is made from the palm called gamu,13 today used only to make cables, stays, and shrouds; the other is called abacá, and is a kind of hemp, which is sowed and reaped like a plant in Piru and Tierra Firme called bihau. Abaca is much stronger than hemp and is used white and unpitched. This abaca costs twenty-four reals per quintal, and is made into rigging in Cabite by the Indian natives, in the sizes and diameter required. These Indian ropemakers are furnished, in repartimiento14 in neighboring villages, and your Majesty pays them eight reals per month and a ration of one-half celemín of rice daily. A task is assigned to them, for they work from midnight and until the close of the next day.
The total cost per quintal of this native rigging is about fifty reals. That shipped from Nueva España, which is bought in Beta Cruz and delivered in the Page 169port of Acapulco, costs your Majesty two hundred reals per quintal. It generally reaches the said Filipinas Islands rotten, and is of no use. If your Majesty will order the ships to sail from Manila furnished [with rigging] for the return voyage, that would, in the first year, put a stop to shipping any [rigging to Manila].
The canvas [lienço] from which the sails are made in the said islands is excellent, and much better than what is shipped from España, because it is made from cotton. They are certain cloths [lienços] which are called mantas [i.e., literally blankets or strips of cotton cloth] from the province of Ylocos, for the natives of that province manufacture nothing else, and pay your Majesty their tribute in them. They are one tercia [i.e., one-third of a vara] wide, and as thick as canvas [angeo]. They are doubled, and quilted with thread of the same cotton. They last much longer than those of España. One vara of this cloth [lienço] costs less than one-half real. The thread of the same cotton with which they are sewed costs twenty reals per arroba. The cloth brought from Nueva España costs your Majesty, when set down in the city of Manila, six reals per vara. Also the thread shipped from Nueva España to sew the sails costs, set down there, six reals per libra. The thread made of hemp when used with cotton canvas [lienço] is of no use, and does not well endure transportation. The ships sailing from Manila to Nueva España carry sails for the return voyage and nevertheless have to make others in the port of Acapulco.
It is also the custom to ship pikes with their iron heads from Nueva España to the said Filipinas Islands. Delivered in the city of Manila, they cost Page 170your Majesty more than thirty-two reals apiece; but, with thirty-two reals, they can make forty pikes in the city of Manila. It is a weapon that is worthless in those islands, and it is not used in them. And even if they were used, there are shafts in the forests of those islands, and the native Indian smiths can make the heads.
A number of old pipe-staves and iron hoops are also shipped from Nueva España to the said Filipinas Islands. Delivered in the city of Manila they cost your Majesty a considerable sum of ducados. That expense can be avoided; for, when those staves arrive there, they are full of holes and rotten, and quite useless. The hoops alone serve in Manila to make nails and bolts from them, which thus come to cost fifty ducados per quintal. They can be made there for thirty-three reals. It is sufficient to carry those pipes that hold the water and wine in the ships.
For the ships’ supply of water, they generally make vats when the ships leave there [i.e., Manila], each of which carries thirty pipes of water. Further, there are many earthen jars, which are brought from China and Japon. Consequently, one can make the above articles there, and more cheaply, for much less money than what is paid there.
Flour is also shipped in pipes from Nueva España to the said Filipinas Islands, which they say is for making hosts. That is unnecessary, for the said islands have an abundance of flour, which is shipped from Japon and China so cheaply, that it costs sixteen reals per quintal in the city of Manila. That shipped from Nueva España costs your Majesty, delivered in the said city of Manila, more than eighty reals per quintal. Page 171
From Nueva España to the said Filipinas Islands are also transported in the [ships], habas, garbanzos,”15 and lentils, which are for the provision of hospitals, fleets, and convents. It serves no other purpose than to arrive at Manila rotten; and if any arrives in good condition, it does not seem so. For the provision of the fleets, a grain [semilla] is grown in that land [i.e., Filipinas] which resembles beans, and is very cheap. Consequently it is unnecessary for the ships to carry more than what they need for their voyage when they leave Acapulco.
A quantity of gerguetas16 are also shipped from Nueva España to the said Filipinas Islands. They are said to be for the use of the soldiers, but that is unnecessary, for that land has other kinds of cloth—both those that are produced there, and others that come from China—which are better and cheaper. If your Majesty will order that to be stopped, it will be of much importance to your royal treasury, and will increase it by many ducados; while it will benefit greatly the soldiers who serve your Majesty in those islands, for, when this cloth is delivered there, they are obliged to take it.
In the former year of six hundred and sixteen, seven galleons were stationed at the city of Manila and the port of Cabite, one of which17 came built from Yndia, and was bought in Pinacan for the service of your Majesty. The other six were built in the Page 172time of Don Juan de Silva, and Don Juan Ronquillo18 took them all when he sailed in pursuit of the enemy at Playa Honda. These said galleys were in the greatest need of being repaired—one because it was very badly used up in the fight, and another because its decks had not been changed for two years; while most of them were holed along the sides by seaworms and leaked badly, and all their masts, yards, and topmasts were rotten. Consequently, Don Geronimo de Silva, captain-general of those islands, was preparing to send them to be repaired (except three) to the island of Marinduque, forty leguas from Manila, in order to avoid the expense of hauling the wood, while awaiting the arrival of the ships from Nueva España in which Don Alonso Fajardo came last year (one thousand six hundred and eighteen), in order to repair the said galleys with that money [brought by those ships]. He also intended to hold them in readiness, in order to comply with your Majesty’s orders, sent by a despatch-boat, to keep them so prepared that they might join the fleet that was about to sail with reënforcements by way of the cape of Buena Esperança, to make the journey to the Malucas Islands and drive the enemy from them.
It was necessary to equip two of the said seven galleys so that they could come to Nueba España last year, six hundred and eighteen, with the usual merchandise. Consequently only five were left—or rather six, with that in which Don Alonso Fajardo arrived. Since the said Don Alonso Fajardo has reached Manila and finds himselt with only six galleons, it becomes necessary to build some more; for, if the fleet from España has not sailed and the enemy Page 173learn that Manila has but six galleons, they will go to the mouth of the port and repeat their performance of last year, unless they go to El Embocadero19 to await the ships from Nueva España with the reënforcements, for, in order that the loss of Manila and Maluco may be completed, nothing else is wanting.
As above stated, it will be necessary for Governor Don Alonso Fajardo to devise immediate means for building galleons and to repair the six at Manila. I regard the present building of ships in that country as impossible. For with the former ships and fleets, and with the depredations and deaths caused by the enemy in those districts the natives are quite exhausted; for, as I said above, in the former year of six hundred and seventeen the Mindanao enemy captured four hundred native carpenters and killed more than two hundred others. The year before that, six hundred and sixteen, in the expedition made by Don Juan de Silva to the strait of Cincapura, where he died, it was found from lists that more than seven hundred Indians, of those taken as common seamen (of whom more than two hundred were carpenters), died on that expedition. Before that, in the year six hundred and fourteen, the said Mindanao enemy captured in the islands of Pintados nine hundred odd Indians, of whom but few have been ransomed. In the shipbuilding and in the hauling of wood many have died. Consequently, on account of all combined, there is a lack of natives for the above works. Therefore your Majesty must order the said Don Alonso Fajardo, governor and captain-general of the said islands, that in case galleons are to be built, it Page 174should not be in the islands—on the one hand, on account of the short time that those woods last, and on the other because of the lack in that land of natives (occurring through the above-mentioned causes, and because those natives in the islands are serving in the fleets as common seamen and carpenters).
In order that, those islands might have and keep ships that last thirty years and cost the same as in Manila, or less, your Majesty must order the governor to order them built in Yndia in Cochim; for they can be built there very strong, and at less cost if the said governor sends men for it from Manila—both masters and other persons, who know the art of having them built. When built, they can bring a cargo of military supplies, lumber, and slaves from Cochin to Manila for the galleys of Manila, for the said slaves are valued at very little in Cochin. As common seamen the men used in navigating in those regions will serve, namely, the Lascars; and a ship of six hundred toneladas does not carry sixteen Spanish sailors, but negroes and Lascars (who are a Mahometan race), with whom navigation is performed throughout those islands and kingdoms.
Those islands have so few natives, that if your Majesty does not expressly order no vessels to be constructed in them, not any of their people will be left, for as a result the events that have happened in those islands for the last eight years, both murders and captivities, many of those who have been left, who are constantly coming to Nueva España, every year as common seamen in the vessels that regularly sail, remain in Nueva España. In the galleon “Espiritu Santo” which came last year, six hundred and eighteen, were seventy-five native Indians as common Page 175seamen, but not more than five of the entire number returned in the said galley. If your Majesty does not have that corrected, the same thing will occur every year, and should your Majesty not correct it, the following things will occur. The first is the great offense committed against our Lord, for many (indeed most) of those native Indians of the Filipinas Islands who come as common seamen are married in those said islands; and, inasmuch as they are unknown in Nueva España, they remarry here. Another wrong follows which is very much to the disservice of your Majesty and your royal treasury, which is caused by the said Indian natives of the Filipinas Islands who come as common seamen and remain in Nueva España; and if it is not checked in time, it will cause considerable injury to these kingdoms. This consists in the fact that there are in Nueva España so many of those Indians who come from the Filipinas Islands who have engaged in making palm wine along the other seacoast, that of the South Sea, and which they make with stills, as in Filipinas, that it will in time become a part reason for the natives of Nueva España, who now use the wine that comes from Castilla, to drink none except what the Filipinos make. For since the natives of Nueva España are a race inclined to drink and intoxication, and the wine made by the Filipinos is distilled and as strong as brandy, they crave it rather than the wine from España. Consequently, it will happen that the trading fleets [from Spain] will bring less wine every year, and what is brought will be more valuable every year. So great is the traffic in this [palm wine] at present on the coast at Navidad, among the Apusabalcos, and throughout Colima, that they load Page 176beasts of burden with this wine in the same way as in España. By postponing the speedy remedy that this demands, the same thing might also happen to the vineyards of Piru. It can be averted, provided all the Indian natives of the said Filipinas Islands are shipped and returned to them, that the palm groves and vessels with which that wine is made be burnt, the palm-trees felled, and severe penalties imposed on whomever remains or returns to make that wine.
Incited by their greed in that traffic, all the Indians who have charge of making that wine go to the port of Acapulco when the ships reach there from Manila, and lead away with them all the Indians who come as common seamen. For that reason, and the others above mentioned, scarcely any of them return to the said Filipinas Islands. From that it also results that your Majesty loses the royal revenues derived from those islands, inasmuch as all those Indians are tributarios there, and when absent pay nothing.
Among those Filipinas Islands is one called Mindanao which is more than one hundred leguas long. It is very densely populated by its natives, who are exceeding great pirates and hostile to all the other natives of all those islands subject to your Majesty. and chiefly to the Spaniards. They generally go in a certain kind of boat called caracoa on piratical expeditions, in which they commit signal depredations in all the ports and along all the coasts of those islands, killing and capturing the people of them, and burning and ruining the country. They have done that on many occasions, particularly in the former year six hundred and seventeen, when they allied themselves Page 177with the Dutch enemy, who came that said year with ten galleons to attack the city and port of Manila. The said Mindanao enemy came at the same time with ninety caracoas to the aid of the Dutch, and destroyed and burned many places along those coasts, and took many of their people captives. Among other things they arrived at the shipyard of Pantao with their fleet, where at your Majesty’s orders a galleon and two pataches were being built. These were more than half built, and the Mindanaos burned them and captured more than four hundred persons, besides killing more than two hundred others. After burning all the military stores, they proceeded on their voyage toward Manila, and went to within ten leguas of the port of Cavite, whence they returned upon learning that the Dutch fleet had gone on ahead.
Consequently, not only for the said reasons, but because of the lack of men among the natives in the said Filipinas Islands, it will be highly important for the conservation of the islands for your Majesty to order that no ships be built in them, since there are so many places, so well provided in everything, as have been proposed, to enable them to be built in Yndia.
On the route between Manila and the Malucas Islands is a port of the above-mentioned island [i.e., Mindanao], called La Caldera. There the boats put in to get water and wood. Formerly, before the alliance between the natives there and the Dutch enemy, the vessels, ships, and galleys put in there and went to get fresh supplies, both going and coming. Now not only are they not permitted to obtain the said supplies, but the vessel, galley, or patache, that puts Page 178in there to get water, is surrounded by their caracoas, and its crew killed and captured.
On the contrary, they give the Dutch enemy so friendly a reception that the latter always keep their ships there, lying there in wait until those of his Majesty, that carry the aid to the said Malucas, pass by.
In order to destroy that said island of Mindanao and its pirates, without the necessity of spending for it anything from your Majesty’s royal treasury, it needs only your Majesty’s orders to make slaves of the said Mindanao natives of that island—since they are infidels; and they have profaned the temples and committed many cruelties in your Majesty’s settlements along the coasts of those islands which they have captured—and your Majesty’s permission that all who desire may take up arms against them, both the natives of the said islands, and the Spaniards, at their own cost. Only with that will the said island be conquered and subdued, and the so many injuries resulting therefrom to all the said islands and to the. Malucas will be checked.
A report on the measurements of the galleons in the Filipinas Islands in the former year 1617 is as follows.
The royal flagship, called “Salvador” measures 60 codos along the keel, 12 in floor, 82 from stem to stern [i.e., length over all], depth of hold 19, extreme breadth 26, sternpost transom 12; lower deck 15 codos, upper deck 19, with the space between of 4 codos.
The galleon “Espiritu Santo” (the one in which Don Alonso Fajardo came last year 1618) measures Page 17950 codos along the keel, 10 in floor, 70 length over all, 17 depth of hold, 23 extreme breadth, 10 sternpost transom; lower deck 13 and one-half codos, and upper deck 17.
The galleon “San Felipe,” 50 codos along the keel, 10 in floor, 70 length over all, 15 depth of hold, 22 and one-half extreme breadth; lower deck 11 and one-half codos, upper deck 15, and sternpost transom 11 codos.
The galleon “Santiago” has the same measurements of keel, floor, over all, depth of hold, extreme breadth, and sternpost transom, and the same space between decks.
The galleon “San Juan Bautista” has the same measurements as “San Felipe” and “Santiago.”
The galleon “San Miguel,” 49 codos keel, 10 in floor, 68 over all, 18 depth of hold, 23 extreme breadth, 11 sternpost transom; the lower deck 14 codos, upper deck 18.
“Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe,” 46 codos keel, 9 in floor, 64 over all, 13 depth of hold, 21 extreme breadth; lower deck 9 and one-half codos, upper deck 13, sternpost transom 10 codos.
The ship [nao] “San Laurencio,” which was built in Yndia 23 years ago, measures keel 46 codos, over all 60, 12 codos depth of hold, 19 extreme breadth; and it has three decks, quarter-deck, and forecastle [castillo].
1 From internal evidence it is apparent that this relation is written from Nueva España, a thing which the reader must constantly keep in mind; also that it was written in 1619—probably in January or February, as it was considered by the Council in May of that year.
2 Delgado (Historia, pp. 418, 419) and Blanco (Flora, pp. 428–429) describe a tree called dangcalan, or palo maría (calophyllum inophyllum—Linn.), which is probably the tree referred to in the text. While generally a tree of ordinary size, it is said to grow to huge dimensions in Mindanao. Besides its use as above mentioned, an oil or balsam is distilled from the leaves, or obtained from the trunk, which has valuable medicinal uses, in both external and internal application. This oil sometimes serves to give light, but the light is dim, and to anoint the hoofs of horses. It blooms in November, the flowers growing in bunches of seven or nine each; and its leaf is oval and tapering. The wood is light, exceedingly tough, and reddish in color. It is very plentiful in the Visayas, and generally grows close to the water. It is known by a number of different names, among them being bitanhol or bitanjol, and dincalin.
3 Perhaps the guijo (also spelt guiso or guisoc; Dipterocarpus guiso—Bl.), a wood of red color, which is strong, durable, tough, and elastic; it produces logs 75 feet long by 24 inches square, and is now used in Hongkong for wharf-decks and flooring, but in Manila for carriage shafts (U.S. Gazetteer of Philippine Islands). Blanco says that this tree is much esteemed for carriage-wheels, and is also used for topmasts and keels. The Indians call it guiso, but the Spaniards have corruptly called it guijo. It is common in Mindoro.
4 Probably the lauan (also called lauaan and sándana; Dipterocarpus thurifera—Linn.), a reddish white or ashy wood with brown spots, used chiefly in the construction of canoes, and producing logs 75 feet long by 24 inches square (U.S. Gazetteer). Blanco says that this tree yields a fragrant, hard, white resin, which is used instead of incense in the churches. San Agustin, quoted by Blanco, says that the planks of the sides of the ancient galleys were of lauaan, for balls do not chip this wood. Delgado mentions two species: lauaan mulato, in color almost dark red; and lauaan blanco (white), which was used as planking for boats.
5 That is, the cubit; a measure of length equal to the distance from the elbow to the end of the middle finger. The codo real, or royal cubit, is three fingers longer than the ordinary codo. The geometrical codo is equivalent to 418 mm., and the codo real to 574 mm. See Velásquez: New Dictionary of Spanish language (New York, 1902).
6 The banabá (Lagerstrœmia speciosa—Pers.; Munchausia speciosa; Lagerstrœmia flos reginæ—Retz.) grows to a height of thirty to fifty feet, and varies in color from reddish white to dull red. Its flowers are red and very beautiful, and bloom in March. The tree is very common and used for many things, especially for ship and house construction, particularly the red variety. It is strong and resists the elements well. See U.S. Gazetteer and Blanco’s Flora.
7 Perhaps a colloquial name given by the Spaniards, or a corruption of the native name.
8 See ante, note 39.
9 Also called the dúngol and dungon (Sterculia cimbriformis; D.C.). It yields logs 50 feet by 20 inches square. It is pale reddish in color, and is used for roof-timbers and the keels of vessels. It is strong but does not resist the seaworms. It blooms in March and December. See ut supra.
10 U.S. Gazetteer mentions the various woods used for shipbuilding as follows: Yacal or saplungan (Dipterocarpus plagatus—Bl.), betis (Azaola betis—Bl.), dúngon, and ípil or ypil (Eperua decandra—Bl.), for keels and stern-posts; antipolo (Artocarpus incisa—Linn.), for keels and outside planking; molave (Vitex geniculata—Bl.), for futtock-timbers and stem-crooks for frame-work; banabá, for outside planking and beams; guijo, for beams, masts, and yards; batitinan (Lagerstrœmia batitinan), for keelsons and clamps; mangachapuy or mangachapoi (Dipterocarpus mangachapoi—Bl.), for water-ways and decktimbers; amuguis (Cyrtocarpa quinquestila—Bl.), for upper works and partitions; palo-maria, for futtock-timbers, masts and yards.
11 The offices of those in charge of the building of ships would seem, from the following law, to have been a sinecure in the islands. This law is taken from Recopilación de leyes, lib. v, tit. xv, ley viii. “The governors of Filipinas appoint persons to build the galleons or boats, who are wont to cause great thefts and injuries to our royal treasury, and on the Indians. For their occupation they are given ten or more toneladas of cargo in the trading ships, on account of being relatives or followers of the governors. Some have had as many as forty toneladas, and have filled them with gold at forty reals per tae, or seven and one-half castellanos—forcibly seizing it from the Indians at an unjust price, in order afterward to sell it at ninety-six reals per tae. Inasmuch as they are persons of influence, their residencia is never taken. We order that the residencias of such builders, and of the others who shall have received and had money from the royal treasury for shipbuilding or any other sea or land expense, shall be taken, at the same time as those of the presidents and ministers who are obliged to give them. In respect to the governors not employing their relatives and kinsmen, servants, or followers, or those of the auditors, in these matters or in any others, they shall keep the rules and ordinances.” Felipe IV, August 19, 1621.
12 Short, round-headed tarpauling nails.
13 Apparently another name for the palm-tree called by the Tagáls cauong (Arenga saccharifera—Labill.; Caryota onusta—Bl.), also known as negro cabo (“black head”). The leaf yields fibers that are long, black, and very strong; the cordage made from them is very durable, resisting even salt water. This is evidently the product elsewhere mentioned as “black cordage.” See U.S. Gazetteer, p. 72; Blanco’s Flora, p. 511. Concerning the abacá, see Vol. III, p. 263.
14 That is, the natives were drafted from their respective villages for public works—nominally for wages paid them, but in reality, as this document alone would show, kept in a condition of practical slavery. Cf. the royal decree of May 26, 1609 (Vol. XVII, p. 79), regulating the services of the Indians.
15 Habas: a species of bean. Garbanzos: see Vol. XII, p. 88, note 17.
16 Gerguetas, for jerguetas: a coarse frieze or other coarse cloth.
17 Our transcript reads at this point: ”quedaron en la ciudad de manila y puerto de cabite siete galeones los seis el uno de los quales.” We omit translation of the words ”los seis,” “the six,” as being apparently a lapsus calami.
18 See description of this naval contest ante, p. 37.
19 See Vol. XVI, p. 272, note.
Royal Decree Regarding Religious Expelled from Their Orders
[Note at beginning of document: “Church of Manila. Your Majesty confirms the statute made by the dean and cabildo of the metropolitan church of Manila, in the Philipinas, in regard to the expelled professed religious, of the orders not being admitted to dignidades,1 canonries, or curacies of Indians or Spaniards in those islands.”]
The King: Report has been made to me in the name of the dean and cabildo of the metropolitan church of the city of Manila of the Philipinas Islands, that in respect to my having ordered that ministers of instruction be men of good life and morals, as such is necessary for the good of Christianity, several religious who had been expelled from the orders were admitted as ministers of instruction because of the need in those islands for such ministers; and that as experience has since demonstrated the unsuitability of those men for the said ministry, they have refrained from employing such; and that, in order that the remedy may be efficacious and obviate the negotiations and methods of such persons to procure the benefices, they made a statute Page 181whose tenor is as follows: “In the city of Manila, on the eighteenth of August, one thousand six hundred and seventeen, while assembled and congregated in meeting, to wit, Bishop Don Fray Pedro Arce, bishop of the city of Santissimo Nombre de Jesus and its bishopric, and governor of this archbishopric, and the dean and cabildo Don Francisco Gomez Arellano, dean, and Commissary-subdelegate Gabriel de la Santa Cruçada, Archdeacon Don Juan de Aguilar, Precentor Santiago de Castro, School-master Don Rodrigo Diaz Giralthe, and Keeper of Relics Don Luis de Herrera Sandoval; Canons Tomas de Gimarano, Don Miguel Garçetas, Juan de la Cruz, and Alonso Garcia de Leon: Racionero Don Francisco de Baldes, and Medios Racioneros2 Tomas de Vega and Pedro Flores Benegas—the said bishop proposed with conclusive and sufficient arguments the great hindrances that, as the proved experience of all has shown, follow to all this kingdom from admitting to dignidades, canonries, and benefices professed religious who have been expelled from the holy religious orders as a penalty and punishment for their offenses, inasmuch as the abovesaid was prohibited by law and sacred canons established in a most Christianlike manner by the provincial Mexican Council. That council enacted a special decree expressly forbidding such appointments, and mentioning the many just reasons for their action, and the state of affairs in the Yndias demanding it, inasmuch as the prelates and venerable fathers who attended the council were very well acquainted with the Yndias. It is not the least consideration that the Page 182said expelled religious cannot reap a harvest in a century. Nor can they derive any advantages which will result in a real adjustment of their difficulties, so that thus with greater ease they, returning to their senses, may aspire to regain their habit and order which they before professed. [Such proceeding by the ecclesiastical authorities] will restrain the diligence and effort that other religious might employ in deserting their orders if they saw the said expelled religious given posts as dignidades. As they saw, and considered as assured, the great service they would be doing to God our Lord and to his Catholic Majesty who is incurring so heavy expenses to his royal patrimony in bringing each of the said religious to the Yndias—and these are the greatest consolations that he sends to these so remote islands, a plant which, because of its tenderness and newness in the faith, is shocked at the change that is seen in the habits [i.e., robes] of the expelled religious. This furnished a reason to his Majesty, Carlos Fifth, our sovereign of glorious memory, for the same prohibition; and he ordered that, as soon as the said religious were expelled from their holy orders, they be put aboard ship and sent to the kingdoms of Castilla, and not be allowed to remain or live in the Yndias. Therefore, having thoroughly examined, conferred over, and considered, they all unanimously and fully in accord resolved to enact a statute in this archbishopric in the following form and manner: ’We ordain that, now and henceforth, no one of the professed religious expelled from the religious orders now, or hereafter to be, established—whether from the religious orders now established in the Church of God, or from those which shall be established later—or the professed Page 183members of the fourth vow3 of the Society of Jesus, shall be admitted or appointed to dignidades, canonries, or curacies, of Spaniards or of Indians, throughout this archbishopric. Those expelled from the said Society of Jesus, and who shall not have taken the fourth vow, may, three years after their expulsion and dismissal from the said order, if they have given therein a good example in their lives and morals, and if they are of such stamp that they may be of advantage for the edification and welfare of souls, be admitted by the prelate, now or hereafter, to the benefices which are curacies of the Indians—but only outside of this city; and not to the said canonries, dignidades, or curacies of Spaniards or Indians within this city. And inasmuch as this holy Church recognizes that it is under obligations for many reasons to his royal and Catholic Majesty, the king our sovereign, as being his foundation, and that it will not be proper to enact or make any statute without his pleasure and order, they determined to go before his royal person and entreat him humbly to confirm the present, and consider it fitting, as a matter of so great importance to the service of God our Lord, and to that of his royal Majesty, and to the increase of this holy Church.
bishop of Santissimo Nombre de Jesus.
The archdeacon of Manila.
The schoolmaster of Manila.
Precentor Sanctiago de CastroPage 184
The treasurer of Manila.
Canon Tomas Gimarano
Canon Juan de la Cruz
Canon Alonso Garcia de Leon
Racionero Don Francisco de Caldes
Racionero Tomas de Bega
Racionero Pedro Flores Benegas
Alonso Ramirez, secretary of cabildo.”
And my royal Council of the Indias having examined the said statute, I have considered it advisable to have it confirmed and approved, as by the present I do confirm, and approve it. And I request and charge the archbishop of the said metropolitan of the city of Manila—the one now in office, and those who shall be archbishops hereafter—to observe, fulfil, and execute it, and cause it to be observed, fulfilled, and executed, completely, according to its contents. I declare such to be my will. Given in Madrid, February nineteen, one thousand six hundred and nineteen.
I The King
1 The prebends of Spanish cathedrals directly above the prebends of canonries; or, the incumbents thereof.
2 The racionero and medio racionero are prebendaries of Spanish cathedrals, ranking in the order named.
3 The fourth vow of the Jesuits binds to implicit obedience in going wherever the pope orders them to go for the salvation of souls. The other three vows are the same as those professed by other religious.
Proposal to Destroy Macao
The royal Council of the Indias has tried many methods to prevent considerable amounts of silver being sent to the Philipinas from Nueva Spaña; but those methods have been without result, as experience has demonstrated. One has occurred to me, and I think, God helping, that it will have good results. It is as follows:
The inhabitants of the said islands have no other means of support than commerce, and in the shelter of their trade is sustained all that church which now numbers so many faithful that it already has an archbishop and three suffragan bishops for its government. Inasmuch as that trade has hitherto consisted of Chinese merchandise with Nueva España, it has been, and is, necessary to obtain from that country the value of the merchandise in money, and to take the money there in order to make the investment of the following year. Trade is there [i.e., in the islands] like sowing in order to reap; and consequently, if the door were to be partly closed to this trade, the said inconvenience would cease. The door might be shut without any harm to the said islands, if another door were to be opened to them, which would be also as remunerative as the other, and would not be with his Majesty’s countries. In this way his money Page 186would not be taken away, for they could engage in that trade with Japon. In this same manner as the inhabitants of Manila lade the silks that they buy in that city from the Chinese, and send them to Nueva España, they should lade them to send to Japon, where there is a great consumption of these goods and much excellent silver with which to buy them. This would be a very good thing for the people of Manila; for, although the profits for any year might be less than those of Nueva España, still they would be more sure, because of the much greater frequency and shortness of the voyage. Furthermore, they would enjoy the entire proceeds from the returns for their goods. Of the returns from Nueva Spaña they enjoy only to the sum of five hundred thousand pesos—the amount that his Majesty allows to be sent annually to the Philipinas, and no more, although the value of the goods in Mexico amounts to much more. Besides that, this relationship with Japon would prove very beneficial to the Philipinas for their security; because the Japanese are those who are more feared in the islands than all the other neighboring nations, for they are very courageous and arrogant. Consequently they would prove excellent friends to oppose the Dutch, who are navigating those seas. Also by means of this trade the church of that kingdom, which is now so disturbed, would be made safe. By it would also be reëstablished the trade of the Indias with Spaña, from which so many profits would follow if that drain of money to the Philipinas were stopped; and it would be without hurt to those islands.
This trade between Manila and Japon has already been usual for many years, although in ships of Page 187small burden. It has been demonstrated by experience that if all the trade to Japon were theirs, all that country [i.e., the Philippines] could be very easily sustained without needing anything further from Nueva Spaña and Spaña than soldiers and the products of those countries. Consequently it would be sufficient for two small vessels to sail in that route of the South Sea. That would cost but little and that expense might even be met from the royal treasury of Manila.
But the greatest bulk of this trade is from the Portuguese of Macan, a town on the Chinese coast, which is about the same distance from Japon as Manila. All its inhabitants, in number about three hundred, support themselves by that trade; for, although they have other trade, it is of slight importance.
Therefore, it is advisable, in order to attain the said trade, that that town be abandoned, and that its inhabitants go to live in other cities of India. They can do that without much injury to their goods, since they carry them all by sea; and anywhere they have trade by way of the sea. In order to dismantle that town, it is sufficient for his Majesty to order that nothing be freighted thence to Japon, but only from Manila. Thereupon all the inhabitants would immediately pull up stakes1 and leave that place.
Although such a thing appears harsh, and seems like falling out with one saint to placate another, still it will seem an easy and very advisable measure to those who have seen that town, or know it close at hand—and there are several such persons here in this court. And even if it were not evident that the good Page 188results above mentioned would follow from it, this step should be taken as a policy of good government, as such a course is advisable for the service of God. For his name is blasphemed by the people of that kingdom of China because of that town of Macao—such are the deeds of its inhabitants; for they live as a people without any master, and are not under the control of his Majesty, for the dwellers in that town are not his vassals, but those of the king of China. They pay tribute to him, and are subject to his mandarins, but not to others. Consequently his Majesty does not derive one maravedi’s profit from it, while he incurs considerable expense; for he supports all its ecclesiastics out of his royal treasury of Malaca, for the honor of the Portuguese nation. For there they are so subject to those mandarins that, unless they kneel on the ground with both knees, they cannot talk to them; nor can they build one palmo of a wall, even in their own house, without the mandarin’s license, while [they practice,] besides, innumerable infamies. [The transfer of] those people will be for the welfare of the state of Yndia, because its fortresses are without soldiers, by reason of the lack of dwellers in their ports. For the Portuguese, being so eager for liberty, go to live in the lands where there is most liberty, as in that land of China and that of Vengala. There go most and the best of the soldiers of Yndia, who take service with infidel kings and fight in their wars. Thence it follows that India is lost, land and sea, while the Dutch have become masters of it; and through their efforts much of the commerce between certain ports has ceased. The consequence of that is that the public storehouses [at Macao?] have become very poor, Page 189on account of the deficiency in their usual supplies; and they do not possess the means to bear the expenses, either in war or in peace, for the food of laymen or ecclesiastics—nearly all of whom live on what is paid to them by the king. Consequently, were that town of Macan dismantled, at least that protection would cease; and they would settle in his Majesty’s lands, as is just, since the majority of them have gone to Yndia at the cost of his royal treasury. That would also be a matter of importance for the welfare of the kingdom of Portugal, since that country gains so much in having a quantity of silver sent to Spaña from the Indias, because of the large amount of it that oozes from the latter country into Portugal; and just so much more would flow thither as less is drawn off from Spain to other parts. Portugal does not enjoy one single maravedi of the fruits of the trade of that town, all of which are consumed in it and in China, where it is situated. Besides for the maintenance of Portugal’s state of Yndia, the helpful proximity of the Philipinas is of much more importance to it than one or two towns of that state, for it has been very evident, for some years past, how important are the forces of the Philipinas to cope with the common enemy of both states, namely, the Dutch. Those forces have been sufficient to defeat the Dutch more than once. Since money is what enables war to be carried on, it is advisable for both states that Philipinas have considerable of it, at so little expense to the state of Yndia as the possession of a town—at least, one of the importance and advantage which we have mentioned—and also at little expense to the treasury of his Majesty and of his kingdoms. Page 190
Only two objections can be opposed to this, but they are only apparent objections. The first is that two ships are wont to ply between Goa and China every year for cargoes of silk, which are afterward consumed in India. That is the chief trade of the Portuguese in India. Those vessels anchor at the city of Macan, and thus it seems as if [the abandonment of] that city would cause the lack, [of a port] there for this trade. But I answer that this is not so; for the Chinese would not deny the port to the Portuguese, since they do not deny it to many other nations who trade in their country without having a town of their own there. On the other hand, the Chinese use that town of Macan so harshly, that were it not for the large amounts that its inhabitants owe them for the goods that the Chinese have supplied to them on credit, the latter would already have driven the inhabitants of Macan out of their country. But the Chinese act thus toward the Portuguese, and treat them like negroes, so that they should go away [of their own accord]. That town is rather a very great injury to the Portuguese merchants who sail from Goa in the said ships—so much so, that they avoid trading with its inhabitants, who generally sell the goods that they have bought from the Chinese during the year, to the Goa merchants at higher prices than the Chinese themselves ask. For several years, the merchants in that region have been wont to go with all their silver twenty leguas up stream in small boats to the city of Canton, in order to trade with its natives, leaving their vessels in the port of Macan—the inhabitants of which are mocked and disappointed in the profit that they expected from the coming of the ships. Page 191
The second objection is that, were that town abandoned, all hopes for the conversion of that great kingdom—which seems to have made a beginning through Macao—would be crushed. But to that I answer, that Macao is rather the great hindrance to the conversion; for the infidels only see in that town evil examples. It is a great inconvenience to have the Portuguese so prominently before the Chinese, for the latter judge from them that all other Christians must be like those whom they see there. Besides the ministers of the gospel, who would have to conduct the conversion, cannot enter the interior of the country unless in native costume—as is done there by some fathers of the Society—and under protection of certain natives who conceal them. That can also be managed from Manila, in the return voyage of the Chinese ships, as well as from Macan.
Consequently, the suppression of that town by taking away its trade involves no injury, but rather the said advantages. And, if there were any difficulty, one should reflect which is the greater—to abandon a church like that of the Philipinas, with so great a number of the faithful, from which so much more may be expected, since there is hope that from the Philipinas it could extend to all that world (which is, beyond comparison, much more densely populated than this world of our Europa); or, in order to preserve the church, to use the lands of his Majesty so greatly to their injury; or to order three hundred inhabitants to settle in another region, and to abandon that location. May God give understanding to him who shall have to decide this matter. I pass over any other better opinion. I am of the above Page 192opinion, and affix thereto my signature. At Santo Thomas, etc.
Fray Diego Auduarte
[Endorsed: “Have this sent to Don Alonso Fajardo, so that after examining the contents of this paper—which was furnished by a competent person, who has spent considerable time in those islands—he may use what portion of it seems most advisable, in accordance with the present condition of affairs. The Council; May 26, 619.”] Page 193
1 The original is “todos alçaran luego de eras,” literally “all will immediately finish their harvesting of grain.”
Relation of the Events in the Filipinas Islands
And in Neighboring Provinces and Realms, From July, 1618, to the Present Date in 1619
These Philipinas Islands are surrounded by so many and various neighboring countries that they are like the center of a very beautiful circumference composed of cities, kingdoms and provinces. The condition of this district depends so much upon that of other places that it will not be inappropriate to relate briefly what has occurred this year in these other places, in order better to understand the present state of affairs here. And if the description of any places should not fulfil this purpose, it will at least serve to give an interesting notice of countries so far away. All that is written here is taken from relations and letters which our fathers have sent from various places, and from what I have seen this year in this country.
Of Eastern India
To begin with, the most notable of the events that have occurred in India is the destruction of the city of Baçani, a very beautiful city, and important as containing many Portuguese hidalgos. It was situated Page 194on the north coast, opposite the Mogors, with whom the Portuguese carry on war.1 It was very well built of stone, with seven good monasteries of various orders; but its great strength was not sufficient to defend it from the powerful hand of God, who chose to raze it to the ground. To accomplish this, He employed all four of the elements: the water, which fell in a great deluge from the heavens; the air, which broke loose in the most horrible and furious winds ever known; the earth, which trembled terribly; and fire, which, wishing to serve its Creator in no uncertain manner, shot out its tremendous bolts into the air and discharged them over the miserable city. With such powerful enemies all the buildings fell down—not one stone remaining upon another—except a chapel of our Lady of Health [Nuestra Señora de la Salud], and part of the convent of St. Francis, where some people took refuge. There were lost, in the river more than sixty vessels loaded with provisions, bound for Goa; and two others from Page 195Ormuz, one coming and the other going. This destruction took place on the seventeenth of May, 1618. The reason for it only God, with His unbounded wisdom, knows. All that we here can understand is that the sins of the city provoked His wrath, and that for two years past interdictions and censures upon it have been continuous. Even the day before this disaster occurred, God took from it (as He did another [?]) Father Rodrigo, of the Society, who was one of His zealous servants, and transported him to another and a better life. When news of this reached Goa, great demonstrations were made there to appease the wrath of God, that He might not afflict that city as He had afflicted Baçani.
Of Great China
In China, within recent years, a very severe persecution of Christians broke out; and on account of the enmity of a mandarin, who was the cause of this storm, four fathers were ejected from the residences of Sanguin and Paquin [i.e., Pekin]. One of them was Father Diego Pantoja,2 a native of Toledo, a noted religious, one of the most noted men who have been in China, and one who has learned most of the Chinese letters, sciences, and language. Upon reaching Page 196Macan from his exile, this father passed from this to a better life. There still remained in China eight fathers of our Society. These, with some others, are cultivating the vineyard of the Lord, maintaining in the faith those already converted, and bringing into it others, who, forsaking the false belief of idolatry, receive the water of holy baptism. In short, these fathers are promulgating the holy gospel. They write that they found, in one of the many provinces of that extensive realm, a people who worship the holy cross, and who are called Christians—although they are so only in name, for they are in truth heathen. They also found a synagogue of more than twelve thousand jews who live under the law of Moses.3
The Tartars, who usually are at war with the Chinese, this year invaded China on the north side by way of the border province of Lona [sc. Liao?].4 Page 197They routed the Chinese armies, made a great slaughter among them, took some cities, and destroyed many villages; and then, because the winter is so cold, they retired to their own country to remain till another year, when, they say, they will come with a great force. And although they fear that they are not possessed of everything necessary for this invasion, yet a short time before,5 a violent storm demolished for them that famous and strong wall, six hundred leguas long, which separated China from Tartaria. The events of this war and the state of the kingdom of China will be set forth in a petition, or memorial, which the mandarins presented to their king. Our fathers of Macan sent it to us, saying that the Christians of Paquin had sent it to them. The fathers put it into Portuguese; translated into Spanish, it reads as follows:
Memorial which the mandarins of Paquin sent to the king of China in the year 1618, when the Tartars invaded that kingdom.
This year, 1618, in the sixth moon, which is the month of August, the president of the council of war presented to the king a memorial for the defense [of the kingdom] against the Tartars, who entered by the north walls. He humbly begs of you, my king, that you give attention to this matter, and quickly open your treasuries in support of this war to raise soldiers and to collect supplies. The facts of the situation are, as I just now heard from the mandarins who are in the province of the north walls, that the Page 198Tartars assembled with the determination to seize this country of China. They say that on the day selected for battle they entered through the walls and captured some people, whom they sacrificed and burned at two in the morning before the pitched battle; and, while they were burning the sacrifice, great bombs and ingenious fireworks were discharged. They raised flags on the hills and proclaimed their own king as king of Paquin. Of soldiers who bear arms and other people there are thousands of thousands—they are indeed, innumerable. Each soldier carries several weapons. They entered by force of arms through the walls called Humbre. The mandarins entrusted with the defense of this part of the walls collected two armies [companias], ninety-six captains, and three hundred thousand men, and came to blows eleven times. In the first encounter our captain-general and thirty-seven captains ordinary were killed. Our captain called Chun entered valiantly on horseback into the ranks of the Tartars, killed five of them, and was then himself killed and mutilated on the spot. Countless numbers of our men died in these actions; some thousands were captured; and, in retreating from the battle, amid the confusion and tumult, more than a thousand more were killed. The victorious Tartar raised his flag aloft and his men cried out, “Our king of Paquin comes to take possession of Great China, which dared to resist him.” The Tartars, following up the victory, killed in various encounters more than six hundred captains and soldiers of repute. The inhabitants of the cities and towns deserted them and fled to the forests with their women and children. On the same day the Tartars took three cities. Page 199
When I heard this news I met with the Colao and the mandarins of the court to take counsel as to what should be done. And truly it seems that Heaven is assisting the Tartars, for how else could they kill so many thousands of men and take three cities in one day?6 We all say that this is a punishment from Heaven, like so many other calamities that are being suffered. For example, it did not rain during the whole of last year in the province of Paquin, and so the people went about almost dead. In the province of Xanto the hunger was so great that they ate human flesh, for which there was a public market. A great multitude of rats crossed the river. The fires of heaven burned all the royal palaces. A gale blew down the five towers. There were, also, in the heavens two suns, one swallowing the other—an occurrence, certainly, of dire portent. Another very extraordinary thing beside these occurred. We saw that man called Chanchain enter the palace to kill the prince, in which event the mandarin [illegible in MS.] wishing to speak to you, my king, in a rather loud voice, in order to show his fidelity. But you did not choose to listen to him, and, instead, you ordered him to be put in the jail, and in fetters, and sentenced to death, on the charge of having disturbed the soul of your mother, who had recently died. We, the mandarins, wishing [to aid?] him, beg you that you may be pleased to pardon him; because it would certainly be a great pity to treat as a rebel a faithful mandarin, who merely showed his love for you. Page 200
Moreover, the viceroys and the Chaiery of each province several times sent you memorials advising you of the calamities of the people, and begging that you be pleased to diminish the customs and impositions, a matter worthy of careful consideration. In the same way, all the mandarins of the court have often implored you, by means of memorials, that you should go out incognito to hear complaints for the good of the government of the kingdom, and to bring it into harmony with the will of Heaven. If you had done this, we would now find ourselves in a very peaceful condition, and our empire would last a thousand centuries; but oh king, as you neither listened to nor examined into what was proposed to you, it appears, rather, that you are sleeping at your ease in your palace. You act as if you did not notice what you clearly see with your eyes. Hence for a long time the mandarins have been very much troubled. We have seen rivers running with blood. Are not all these matters of evil portent? There are indeed, other disasters than the falling of the walls on the Tartar frontier. We often sent memorials asking you to order that they be rebuilt; and at last you sent two mandarins with two hundred thousand men to repair them. They went out last year in the ninth moon. While on the way, for some unknown reason, a quarrel arose among the men at midnight; and in less than two hours more than eighty boats and over seven hundred men were burned, besides the many who were drowned. All this augured evil. And thus we sent you a memorial asking that you should give audience on matters concerning the good government of the kingdom, according to the will of Heaven. You answered, “Now it is cold, now hot; Page 201I am indisposed and unable to do it; I shall choose another day to go out, or you may choose it.” We the mandarins, together, chose the seventh day of the same moon, which was convenient. You, however, did not answer favorably, but instead threw the memorial into the fire.
Furthermore, we learned from the province of Xansinque, this third moon, that a man suddenly appeared dressed in yellow, with a green cap [bonete], and a little fan of feathers in his hand. He called out, “Vanlle (which is the name of the king here)7 is a king without a government, although he has ruled a long time. He is always asleep in his palace, wherefore the kingdom is about to be lost. The men of the people must perish of hunger, and the great captains must die by the sword and the lance.” With this he disappeared. The viceroy, Chaien, and the mandarins were greatly terrified, and made vigorous efforts to find him and to learn who he was and where he lived, but they never found further trace of him.
And now, when we learn of the calamities of all the provinces, when from all of them we hear news of the great famine being experienced, and when we see that many renowned mandarins, captains, and soldiers have been killed in this war, we are well able to understand that this man was an omen from Heaven, and the whole affair causes fear. If you, our king, wish to go forth to encounter the Tartars you cannot do so unless you have several millions of men, and thousands of thousands of wagon-loads of supplies. We humbly beg that you undertake to release the above mentioned mandarin, who is so unjustly Page 202detained in prison. We also beg that you shall be pleased to open the treasuries to raise an army. If you do so, much of the trouble will be removed.
The new mission of Cochinchina, near China, where they formerly endured great hardships, is now prosperous, and there are good prospects that a splendid Christian community will grow up in that realm.8 The people there, induced by their false priests, had rebelled against our fathers, saying superstitiously that it had failed to rain because of the presence of preachers of the holy gospel. In this way they forced the king, against his will, to order the fathers out of the country for a time. But the fathers, in obedience to an order from their superior, did not leave until they had almost completely christianized a Japanese settlement which is there; and they so subdued these Japanese that, although formerly they had been very rebellious and had given much trouble to the king, they now became peaceable. The king was so pleased with this that he recalled the fathers with the same benevolence that he had formerly shown, and he gave them license to erect a church and residence at his court. Heaven assisted at the same time in behalf of the mission by sending abundant rain, thus leaving the superstition of the heathens confounded and mendacious, and the king despicable for this persecution. Two fathers Page 203of the mission and a lay brother went to a port of the same kingdom, Cochinchina, called Pullocambi, about fifty leagues from the court, at the request of the heathen governor there. He offered to satisfy them, and treated them so well that a beginning was made in that port of another residencia of the Society. It may be possible to build up a large Christian community in that place, since it is more quiet than Cochinchina, through its being less cursed by traffic and by people of various nationalities coming to trade. Thus there are six of the Society residing there, teaching those whom they have converted, and with much diligence learning the language of the land, without which they would not be able to accomplish much.
In treating of the affairs in Japon one would wish to begin with the coming of Fray Luis Sotelo, who, as soon as he arrived here, began to attempt so many things that he succeeded with none. He said to the bishop of Zebu (who is governor of this archbishopric) that he had secured bulls from his Holiness authorizing him to be bishop of half of Japon,9 but as they remained in the Council they were worthless. They even say (about which I am not certain) that he attempted to consecrate himself here, but he did not succeed.
Then he planned to establish a seminary of Japanese, and had many of them ordained, with what right or authority we do not know. Over this matter there was much contention. He had a church built for this seminary, and also took possession of Page 204various places, particularly in a suburb of this city of Manila. One day he quietly took possession of a house, placed a bell upon it, and said mass. Soon the governor and the bishop came and asked him what he might be doing. He responded that a smith puts his forge wherever he can in order to work at his trade, and that he was doing likewise. They drove him away from there, and now he is in one of his convents.
They are expecting in Malaca the bishop of Japon, Father Don Diego Valente,10 of our Society, native of Lisboa, and formerly head of the professed house at Villaviciosa. They say that with him are coming the procurators of Japon, Father Graviel de Martos and Father Pedro de Morejon; the father procurate of China, Nicolas Trigaucio; and a goodly number of members of the Society, who will have to wait in some other place because the condition of affairs in Japon is such that they cannot go there at present.
This year in Japon a great number of supernatural occurrences have been noted, particularly in the city of Yendo,11 which is the court of the emperor. First, in the river at Yendo they saw some very beautiful ships sailing against the current, a thing never seen there before, for the river is small, and navigable only by very small boats. Second, in the patio [i.e., courtyard] of the palace, one day there was seen an Page 205animal larger than an ox and smaller than an elephant, whose species none could tell, as they had never seen such an animal before. They tried to kill it with arquebuses and arrows, but it disappeared. Third, in a hall of the same palace a large greyhound was found howling pitifully. This the Japanese took for a bad sign. They asked who had brought such a dog there, but no one could find out, because the guards had been at the door all the time. They tried to catch the animal and put it out, but it became invisible to them. Fourth, in the quarter [vario, for barrio] of the Daimones,12 who are the nobles who serve at the court, there was heard a great clatter of arms, just as if a very bloody civil war were going on. They called to arms in the city, and every one responded. They went to the vario, but found everything perfectly quiet. Fifth, on the top of a hill near by the city they discovered some flags in the trees. They went to see what they were, but found nothing. Finally, when the emperor was about to go to Meaco, a comet like a handled catana [i.e., sword], with a very beautiful cross in its head, appeared above his fortress of Yendo. This caused him so much fear and consternation that he gave up his journey entirely. Many of these things will not be readily believed. Some of them I did not see, but credible persons from where they occurred report them as well authenticated.
The persecution of Christians in Japon is more bloody than it has ever been before, and has become as bad as could be imagined. It will suffice to say Page 206that in the city of Nangacaqui thirty bars of silver, each one containing about four ducados, are publicly offered to whomsoever may discover a religious. But just as tender plants, because of the cold of winter, take deeper root in the soil, these religious, because of their difficulties, plant themselves more firmly in the faith and bear more plentiful fruit. This has already been demonstrated. Indeed, during the last year more than fifty Japanese have nobly given their lives to the service of Jesus Christ; and almost two thousand adults have for the first time received the water of holy baptism, through the efforts of our fathers alone. These fathers, like good pilots, have not been dismayed by this great tempest On the contrary, there have been thirty-two members [of the Society] distributed throughout Japon, holding fast to the helm of this little craft, toiling lest the sea should swallow it up in so furious and destructive a tempest. Not less valor has been shown in this matter by the chief pilot, Father Francisco de Vera, whom our father general sent as visitor of Japon from one of the provinces of India. When he reached Macan and learned how cruel the persecution was, he determined—in spite of being almost seventy years old and afflicted by many infirmities—to go this year to Japon, to console and encourage the Christians and our brethren who so commendably labored with them there. His life has been a great source of edification and consolation to all. In order that his presence there should do no harm, he went very secretly and without company. He wears secular Page 207dress. The good father goes from house to house, under a thousand inconveniences and dangers, such as the other fathers also endure. What he has suffered and is still suffering in this way is very pitiful.
Some religious (although only a few) from the orders of St. Dominic, St. Francis, and St. Augustine, are also working laudably in the vineyard of the Lord. Some went to Japon this year, but the majority of them have not succeeded in this design, because most of the Japanese boatmen, although Christians, have been afraid to carry them. For the emperor issued a very stringent order that any boat which should carry religious should be burned with all its goods, and that those going in it should be put to death. Nevertheless, some Franciscan friars have gone, very secretly. Some time ago, in the city of Fixoxuna, Father Antonio and Brother Leonardo, both Japanese, were imprisoned for the faith. For this also, on August 16, 1618, they beheaded in the city of Meaco Fray Juan de Santa Marta, of the Order of St. Francis, and a native of Cataluña. He had been imprisoned three years in the public jail, where, in spite of the hard labor and bad treatment to which he was subjected, he continued to preach our holy faith to the heathen prisoners, some of whom received it and died in it.13
At midnight on December 13, 1618, they seized Page 208Father Carlos Espinola, procurator of the province of Japon, and his companion, Brother Ambrosio Fernandez. The same night they seized two other fathers, Dominicans, two of four who went to Japon last year. The other two returned to these islands. On the twenty-fifth of March, 1619, they seized the provincial and the prior of the Dominicans, Fray Francisco Morales and Fray Alonso de Mena. One of these Dominican fathers died in the jail. Thereupon the rest of the religious concealed themselves so effectively that the Portuguese traders in the country could not find any one to whom they might make their Lenten confessions.
Last year I wrote how one of the ships which were despatched from this city to aid Maluco resorted to treason, and took possession of everything. Thenceforth, as is well known, it went from one country to another and from one place to another. Finally it sailed, almost shipwrecked, to an island of Japon. When the Portuguese commandant learned of this, he sent to the ruler of the island to demand those robbers who had mutinied on one of the king’s ships. The ruler sent to the commandant, proposing to hang them; but some religious forbade it, whereupon he sent them prisoners to Macan, where, they say, the mutineers were punished.
The two Dutch ships which last year were plundering in these islands the ships that came from China, returned to Japon, after having loaded up with many silks which they had seized. They took with them three Chinese ships with rich cargoes, placing on each one a guard of Hollanders. But in a storm the Chinese fled with their ships, carrying with them the Hollanders that were on board, on Page 209whom they retaliated by drowning them in the sea. Thus the spoil [of the Dutch] was not so rich as was expected.
This year there went to Japon a patache which the Hollanders had captured in Maluco from the English, and on which there remained some English, badly wounded. They reported that the Hollanders had taken two ships from the English, and had cut off the noses and ears of all whom they had found alive. Upon hearing this, the English who were in Japon were exceedingly angry; and, as they were in good standing at the court, they went to complain to the emperor. The Japanese merchants also complained that because of the robberies which the Hollanders had committed during the last two years on the coast of Manila, they had lost the profit which they had usually drawn from the trade with Philipinas. They said that not only were the Hollanders of no advantage to Japon, but that rather they were very injurious, since they took from the kingdom large quantities of munitions and provisions for their fleets, and thus made everything dearer. It may be hoped that from these complaints will result the expulsion of the Hollanders from Japon, which will be very injurious to them, but very good for us.
The Hollanders felt keenly the loss of one of their large pataches which was coming from Olanda to Japon with thirty men, good artillery, more than fifty thousand pesos in money, and very rich jewels intended as presents to bribe the magnates of Japon. On the way, the patache encountered four Portuguese galliots which were coming from Macan loaded with goods. The Hollanders attacked the Portuguese, intending to seize a galliot; but fortune changed, Page 210and in the fight their ship was run down by one of the Portuguese vessels. When the Hollanders saw that they were lost, they themselves set fire to the powder; and those on board were hurled into the water, where they were despatched with pikes. The Portuguese rescued only a Japanese who had been to Olanda, and was on the ship coming back with the Hollanders.14
The island of Mindanao is one of these Philipinas; it is inhabited by Mahometan and heathen people, who make fierce war upon us. They sally out with their little fleets, repeatedly plunder the towns, desolate the fields, capture many Indians, and even Spaniards, and kill a great number of people. This year the Lord has been pleased that they should not be able to sally forth as usual, as they have been very much occupied in civil wars. And if the Hollanders were not so constantly engaging our attention, and we were to go there, they might be destroyed—as is asserted by a Franciscan friar who has been a captive among them for a long time, and has recently come from there.15 But we leave it to God; for He, with His most lofty providence, knows how to govern in His own way.
Of the Malucas
To begin with spiritual affairs, a wide door to the Page 211holy gospel has opened in the island of Manados, which borders upon that of Macacar; and it is hoped that through it will come a rich harvest. At present a father of our Society, named Father Cosme Prieto, is there. The fathers of Portugal, to whom the Malucas Islands belong, plan to send more laborers there. The king has been converted, as well as nearly all the princes of the kingdom; and only the queen persists in her heathenism.
The people of the island of Tidore, who long have been our friends, and through whom we are able to maintain ourselves in the Malucas, broke the treaties which they had made with the Terrenatans. They are engaged in war, and every day there are deaths on one side or the other. These circumstances are very advantageous for us, because the Terrenatans are warm friends of the Dutch and enemies to us.
All the aid sent last year from this place reached Maluco, without suffering any loss on the way, either from the sea or from the enemy, as has usually been the case other years. To furnish this aid five ships went laden with supplies, and with fifteen thousand pesos to pay the infantry. Hence our forces there are, for the present, well and even abundantly supplied, although there is some lack of men, because many have died of bebes, which is a disease of the legs very common in those islands.16
In 1619, ships went to Olanda loaded with cloves and drugs and other things of various values; we fear, therefore, that the power of these Hollanders will increase Page 212in these parts, because what they carry enriches them and enables them to send large fleets here. The enemy, the Hollander, built another fortress besides the ones that he had in the islands of Ternate; and we also built another in Tidore, and are building still another. We may thus be able to inflict much injury upon our enemies.
In Nambrino it happened that in a drunken revel of the Hollanders the powder took fire, and a large part of the fortification was blown up; but they have already repaired it. They say that in this accident nearly two hundred men were burned. The inhabitants of the island of Vanda are much of the time at war with the Hollanders, of whom they have killed many—notable among them the commander-in-chief—by poisoning the water that they used. It is said that they do not like the Hollanders, but prefer the Portuguese, with whom they have been friendly for many years. A Portuguese just now arrived from Maluca, fleeing from the Hollanders who had held him prisoner more than three years, and with whom he had been in various places. People say that at present the Hollanders are on very bad terms with the nations where they have factories. It is also said that there have come to them from Olanda six ships and a new governor.
With oil of cloves and drugs people go to the Malucas from almost all over the world; it is therefore believed that in these seas there must be for a long time to come some of the hardest battles ever seen, and that many in attempting to trade in cloves will have to encounter iron.17 Page 213
The French have a factory there.18 Three of their ships came and fought with the Hollanders, who took away one; the other two were sent to France with cargoes. Some galleons have also come from the English, who, according to report, now have fourteen. It is said that they have had a fight with the Hollanders, from whom they took away two ships. These two nations are unfriendly because of the above-mentioned injury which the English received from the Hollanders, and also because they are rivals. It is said that the English have an order from their king to the effect that if the Hollanders should be stronger than themselves they must join with us and harass them on all sides.
The Hollanders have seen that in their battles with us they have received much damage from our galleys; therefore they built two vessels of this class to bring with their fleet to these islands. But our Lord was pleased so to order it that, when coming from Amb[o]ino to Ternate, one galley sank with all the people, and the other ran aground, although the people were saved.
Of the Philipinas Islands
On the eleventh of November, 1618, at three o’clock in the morning, a comet was seen from this city of Manila. It had a tail, was silver-colored, with a slightly ashen tinge, and had an extraordinary form. At first it was like a trumpet, and then like a Page 214catan (which is a weapon peculiar to Japon, resembling the cutlass), with the edge toward the southwest; and at the end it appeared palm-shaped. The declination19 of the southwestern end was twenty degrees south. At first its length was equal to the whole of the sign of Libra, with which it rose. Eight days afterward, the declination of the southwestern end was twenty-four degrees and thirty minutes south. At this time the head was thirty-one degrees south, and the lower point, or end of the tail, eight degrees from the star called Spica Virginia. No star exhalation20 was seen, although some say that they saw a very small one. On the twenty-fourth of November another tailed comet appeared, even more beautiful and resplendent than the first. At its head [al pie] was a burning star. It appeared in the east. It had a declination of eight degrees, and it pointed southwestward to the sign of the Scorpion, which is the sign of Manila. These two comets lasted some three months. They write from Japon, Maluco, and India that they were seen in those places.
The devotion of the Immaculate Conception of the Holy Virgin has been notable in this city. This year great eight-day fiestas, with masks and illuminations, have been celebrated with much solemnity in the cathedral church and in that of St. Francis. It is Page 215feared that there will be much hunger in the islands during the present year, because the locusts are so numerous that they cover the fields and destroy the grain. May God help us!
In September, 1618, a ship was despatched from these islands for Macan primarily to carry needed munitions, although it did not neglect to take a quantity of money belonging to private persons, to be invested in merchandise. A few days after setting sail it was overtaken by a storm severe enough to drive it to the coast of this island of Manila; but, although the hulk was lost, the people and cargo were saved. Afterward another ship was sent on the same errand. It is known to have reached Macan and to be trading successfully in everything, particularly in the purchase of an excellent galleon that the Portuguese have there, and that we need for the fleet which must be prepared to oppose the enemy next year.
The Hollanders came to these islands with their fleet of five galleons to plunder the Chinese ships, as they have done in former years. The fleet entered the bay of Manila on the twelfth of October, 1618, and afterward continued coming and going. It went back and forth on these seas just as if it were at home. But its appearance caused so little disturbance that everything remained as quiet as before, which illustrates the force of habit; for being accustomed to seeing the fleet every year has brought it to pass that its advent now causes no uneasiness. Nevertheless, sentinels were placed on all the coasts, and the country was very well prepared. Thus there was nothing to fear; besides, the enemy does not wish to have us at too close range. On our side, only three galleons and four galleys were ready for use in the port of Page 216Cavique [sic], because not more than two years ago two of our finest galleons went to the bottom in this sea in a furious storm. What caused more anxiety was the shipyard where other galleons were being built. It was feared lest the enemy should go there to burn them. To prevent this, a little fort was constructed, and a large force of good infantry and heavy artillery was placed there to guard the construction. Therefore they said that there was no need to fear anything, or to doubt that if the enemy should come to the shipyard he would fail in his design to burn the ships. He did not attempt it, perhaps because he knew of the thorough preparations that had been made.
Early in November, when the enemy was in the mouth of the bay, a Japanese ship came here. When it reached Ilocos, a port of the island of Manila, it learned that the enemy was in the passage through which it must go to reach, this city. But as it carried a chapa, or license, from the Japanese emperor it feared nothing. For the Hollanders respect the emperor’s license in so far as it concerns them, and they give free passage in every part of these seas to all Japanese ships bearing it. So the ship continued on its way here till it met the Hollander, with whom it remained two or three days. The Hollander inquired if it carried munitions, which would be contrary to his wish. Although in fact the ship had on board a large quantity of munitions underneath a great number of sacks of flour, the question was answered in the negative. Thereupon the general allowed it to pass, and gave it an arrogant message for the governor. In this he said that his Lordship might well be preparing his fleet little by little, which he [the Dutch general] Page 217would await a long time; that he just now had learned that galleons were being built in the shipyards, but that the governor should not be disturbed; that, indeed, if it were necessary, he would go with his men to aid in finishing and launching them, just for the opportunity of fighting them; that this was what he most desired, as he had strong hopes of victory, which would be glorious in proportion to his Lordship’s nobility; and that he therefore would welcome the governor’s coming. This message the Hollanders sent with the Japanese ship. Later on, another Japanese ship came along; and, as it carried a chapa, it was able to enter. Then a Spanish ship, which likewise came from Japon, arrived; but, as it carried no license, it came by a different route, to avoid falling into the enemy’s hands, and took shelter in another port of the islands before coming to the city. A Portuguese ship coming from Macan did the same, and thus the enemy captured nothing.
Four Ternatan slaves fled to the enemy, at which the latter were much elated. When the slaves reached them the Hollanders were seen from this city to discharge some pieces of artillery. One morning later on, when the Hollanders wished to land upon a beach not far from Manila, to take some recreation, they sent these slaves ahead that, like house-thieves, they might spy out the land. Information had just come that the enemy were accustomed to disembark in that neighborhood, so two companies were sent to lie in ambush to deal them some blow. The slaves landed, and our men seeing them, attacked them, killed two, and captured the other two alive. From these we learned in detail the forces which the enemy had. When the latter saw that his scouts did Page 218not return with the information, he was afraid to disembark. If he had landed, he might well have expected us to have won a very signal victory. In the shipyard feverish efforts were made to finish at least one vessel in time for service this year. Nearly three thousand men—Spaniards, Indians, Chinese, and others—were employed in this construction. From this may be gathered what our missions must have suffered in the Pintados Islands, in the midst of which the ship was being built, since almost all the Indians who worked there were from our doctrinas. So large was the equipment, and so great was the zeal shown in the work, that early in March a very beautiful galleon was finished, which would mount forty pieces. Then the difficulty arose, where they could enter to join the other galleons and galleys in the port of Cabique, for the enemy remained stubbornly in the mouth of the bay. But as soon as he drew aside a little, notice was quickly given in order that they might bring in the galleon, and it entered on the twenty-fifth of April, with four galleys which had gone out to accompany it in.
On another occasion two other ships came to the enemy with provisions from the kingdom of Japon. They also carried a goodly number of Japanese, who left their country secretly. They say that if they [the Japanese authorities?] had known it they would have killed these men, because they came to attack us in company with the Hollanders. These now found themselves with seven warships, or rather with six, since they left one outside in order to plunder any ship that might come along. They entered this bay with great ostentation and pomp on the first of March, the second day of the Easter festival. The Page 219governor ordered that the galleys and the three galleons which were there (the fourth, the one from the shipyard, had not yet arrived) should with many pennants and streamers draw a little apart from the fort of Cabique. When the Hollander turned about to go out he noticed that our fleet was at hand, with all this bravery. Then he also displayed many pennants, and came again, signaling that he wished to fight, and then slowly departed. He went toward the coast of Ilocos, the place to which they come to attack the ships on their way from China. Now the galleon from the shipyard entered the bay, and the preparation of the entire fleet was completed. It consisted of four galleys very well manned, and four very handsome galleons. The flagship mounted more than forty pieces, the almiranta more than thirty, the third galleon an equal number, and the fourth as many as twenty. In addition to these there were two pataches, each with as many as a dozen small pieces.
While our armada, thus prepared, was daily in readiness to set sail, the governor sent out in two directions to reconnoiter the enemy. The news brought back by the spies was that the Hollanders had reached a village of Indians on the coast of Ilocos. They entered the church and committed a thousand sacrileges, particularly that of cutting off the nose of a figure of Christ. They found a large quantity of wine, delivered themselves up to it, and became veritable wine-sacks. They say that if twenty soldiers had been there at the time, they might have played grand havoc with the enemy. The Hollanders finally set fire to the place and withdrew to their ships. Only one remained on shore to sleep off his intoxication. When he awakened and saw that the ships had Page 220already set sail, he cast himself into the water—of which he had need, in order to water the great quantity of wine he had cast into his stomach. He saw that the ships were far away, and in order not to drown he was forced to return to land. Here the Indians caught him and took him to Manila. The Dutch ships put to sea and never again appeared. On news of this the excitement of the fleet ceased, although there was no lack of opinion that it would be well to pursue the enemy, because he was fleeing to China to plunder. Although all this was said on good ground, others (and a majority) said that whether the enemy were fleeing very opportunely or not, it was better for us to remain quiet with such a fleet as we had; that our fleet would be increased by the galleon expected from Macan, and by those which were being built in these islands, all of which ships combined would be force enough for next year; and besides this, the enemy had gained nothing, but rather had lost, through the expenses which he had incurred in maintaining a fleet so many months without recompense. This opinion prevailed, whereupon the matter was dropped and the fleet became idle; when, behold, mere goes forth a false report that the enemy is in these islands plundering the ships that come from China. Everything is again in commotion; the fleet again prepares itself, and goes out in the morning; but the truth becomes known that there is no enemy, and the fleet is quiet again. The basis of this false rumor was the fact that the enemy went toward the coast of China to plunder, and one day encountering a Chinese ship going to Japon, robbed it. The Chinese vessel came to these islands to seek aid; and at once arises the outcry that it must have been robbed Page 221in the Philipinas, and that there must be enemies here. The truth is confirmed by the fact that at this time a Portuguese ship came from Macan, but in all this coast encountered not a single Hollander.
It may be considered as certain that the enemy lost a large vessel with people and cargo in a severe storm. The foundation for this opinion is the fact that some days ago a mass of wreckage, such as maintop-sails, rigging, masts, etc., was found in the place where the Hollanders have been.
A ship came from China and reported that one day, after having left that country, it encountered four ships which pursued it; and that early in the evening one of them was gaining on it. The Chinese captain, who knew of some shoals near by, steered toward them, in order to go around them. The Hollanders, thinking that the captain was trying to escape to leeward, also steered in that direction, and at nightfall ran aground on the shoals. The Chinese heard many guns fired; but, without seeing or knowing more, came to Philipinas and gave the news.
1 Pyrard de Laval says—in his Voyage (Hakluyt Society’s publications, London, 1887–88), ii, pp. 256, 257: “When one is making a voyage from Goa, one says to which quarter one is going, whether to the south or the north coast. ’The north’ is from Goa to Cambaye, ’the south’ from Goa to the Cape of Comori.... From Bassains [Baçani of our text; the modern Bassein] comes all the timber for building houses and vessels; indeed, most of the ships are built there. It also supplies a very fine and hard free stone, like granite; ... All the magnificent churches and palaces at Goa and the other towns are built of this stone.” The editors of the Voyage add: “Bassein, twenty-six miles north of Bombay, was ceded to the Portuguese in 1536. It became the favorite resort of the wealthier Portuguese, the place being noted for handsome villas and pretty gardens. It was taken by the Mahrattas in 1739, after a siege of three months, in which the Portuguese, for the last time in India, fought with stubborn courage.” Bassein was captured by the British in 1780. The term “Mogors” in the text refers to some of the kings who were vassals of the Great Mogul (Vol. XVII, p. 252).
2 Diego de Pantoja, born in 1571, became a novice in the Jesuit order at the age of eighteen. Seven years later he embarked to join the mission in Japan; but on reaching Macao he was assigned as companion to the noted Jesuit missionary, Mateo Ricci, and the two founded the mission of Pekin. Being later expelled from the kingdom, Pantoja died at Macao in January, 1618 (Sommervogel). Ricci died at Pekin in May, 1610. In the archives not only of Spain, but of Italy, France, and England, are many and voluminous documents referring to the Catholic missions in China. The Jesuit missions there are very fully recounted in Lettres édifiántes.
3 See Henry Yule’s account of “Nestorian Christianity in China,” in his Cathay and the Way Thither (Hakluyt Society’s publications, London, 1866), pp. lxxxviii–ci; cf. pp. clxxxi–iii, and 497. Regarding the Jews in China, see ut supra, pp. lxxx, 225, 341, 497, 533.
4 In 1618 the Manchu leader Noorhachu invaded the province of Liaotung—now a division of the province of Sheng-King, and lying on the northern coast of the Korean Gulf; its southern extremity forms a long, narrow peninsula which terminates at the entrance of the Gulf of Pe-chili, and on it are the fortified posts of Dalny and Port Arthur, important strategic points commanding the entrance to that gulf, and prominent in the present war (May, 1904) between Russia and Japan. In Liaotung are also the important towns of Mukden and Niuchuang (Newchwang). In 1621 Noorhachu captured Mukden, and soon conquered the rest of the province; and, about twenty-five years later, his successors completed the conquest of China, expelling the Ming dynasty (which had begun in 1368), and establishing that of the Manchus, which still rules in China. For a detailed description of this conquest, see Boulger’s History of China (London and New York, 1900), pp. 97–125.
5 There is an apparent hiatus here; perhaps it should read “before the last invasion.”—Trans.
6 Boulger says (History of China, p. 107): “During this campaign it was computed that the total losses of the Chinese amounted to 310 general officers and 45,000 private soldiers.” Noorhachu defeated three Chinese armies, and captured the towns of Fooshun, Tsingho, and Kaiyuen.
7 A phonetic rendering of Wanleh (Vol. III, p. 228). See account of his reign in Boulger’s History of China, pp. 97–107.
8 The Christian religion was first introduced into Cochinchina (a kingdom founded in 1570, by a Tonquin chief) by Spanish Franciscans, in 1583; but little was accomplished for the conversion of the heathen until 1615, when both Franciscans and Jesuits entered upon that work. See Crawfurd’s account of the country, in his Dictionary of Indian Islands, pp. 105–112.
9 See letter by Bishop Arce, post.
10 This name is not to be found in Sommervogel.
11 That is, Yedo; then, as now (but with the modern name Tokiô), the capital of the Japanese empire. The Castle of Yedo, first built in 1456–57, was the abode of the Tokugawa Shôguns from 1591—when it was assigned to Iyéyasu, who greatly enlarged it—until the close of that dynasty in 1868. See historical and descriptive account of this edifice, by T.R.H. McClatchie, in Transactions of Asiatic Society of Japan, vol. vi (Tokyo, ed. 1888), pp. 119–154.
12 The daimiôs constituted, under the old feudal organization of Japan, a class of territorial nobility, who numbered about two hundred and fifty. Under Iyemidzu (1623–51) the daimiôs were obliged to live in Yedo half the time with their families; and, before Page 206nthis, those nobles had been in the habit of visiting the reigning monarch at the capital. For account of the daimiôs and their vassals, the samurai, see Rein’s Japan, pp. 318–328; and Griffis’s Mikado’s Empire, pp. 217, 321, 322.
13 For a narrative of the persecutions of Christians in Japan and the suppression of that religion there, with the causes of that action on the part of Japan’s rulers—Iyéyasu, Hidetada, and Iyemidzu, 1600–1650—see Rein’s Japan, pp. 304–311; Griffis’s Mikado’s Empire, pp. 252–259; and J.H. Gubbins’s “Introduction of Christianity into China and Japan,” in Transactions of Asiatic Society of Japan, vol. vi (Tokyo, ed. 1888); pp. 1–38—with supplementary information thereon by E.M. Satow (who reproduces Iyéyasu’s celebrated proclamation of 1614), pp. 43–62.
14 Cf. the account of these episodes (the maltreatment of Englishmen by the Dutch, and the loss of the Dutch ship) given by Richard Cocks in his Diary, pp. 51–76.
15 Probably alluding to one of the two Franciscans captured by the Moros nearly two years before (Montero y Vidal’s Hist. piratería, i, p. 154), but afterward ransomed by the Spaniards—Fray Domingo de los Mártires and Fray Alonso de la Soledad.
16 Apparently a reference to the beri-beri, a disease common in India and other lands of Southern Asia. A similar or identical disease, prevalent in Japan, is there known as kak’ké; see William Anderson’s account of this disease in Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan, vol. vi (Tokyo, ed. 1888), pp. 155–181.
17 In the text this is a curious double play upon words, which cannot be exactly reproduced in translation. The Spanish reads, Page 213ny que multos por dar en el clavo an de dar en la herradura—literally, “many in striking the nail will strike the horseshoe,” clavo meaning both “nail” and “clove.”—Trans.
18 Cocks mentions in his Diary (i, p. 268) the arrival of French ships at Bantam in 1617.
19 Spanish, amplitud ortiva, meaning an angle measured on the eastern horizon. The term amplitude, thus used (by English writers also), is an old one in astronomical terminology. In the description of the second comet, al pie refers apparently to the head of the comet, which is here called its foot because sometimes this point was nearer to the horizon.—Rev. Jose Algue, S.J. (director of Manila Observatory).
20 Referring to the ancient astronomical notion that a comet was an exhalation.—Harry T. Benedict (professor of astronomy, University of Texas).
Letter from Pedro de Arce to Felipe III
[Marginal note at beginning: ”That the governor there, Don Alonso Fajardo, attends with great assiduity to whatever concerns the service of his Majesty; and he has gained experience by the construction of the ships that he has built from the time of his arrival in those islands, so that the enemy has not dared await him. If he were to be aided with some fleet sent to him, very good results would follow.”]
Don Alonso Fajardo, governor of these islands, will relate fully to your Majesty the present condition of their temporal affairs. He attends with peculiar care to whatever concerns the service of your Majesty, as has been seen in the construction of the ships that he has built since his arrival in these islands. Had he not been so assiduous in that, the enemy who came to this bay and coast of Manila would have committed very great depredations. But since the enemy saw that the governor was getting ready very promptly, they thought it best to go away and not wait. He is a gentleman very zealous for the service of your Majesty, and one who serves your Majesty with special and very disinterested love and Page 223affection. I think that, if your Majesty will aid him with some fleet, he will, with that and what he has here, accomplish great results in your Majesty’s service. But the fleet here is insufficient to root out the enemy. Will your Majesty be pleased to send the aid which has for so many years been asked from your Majesty; for the profit that will accrue to your Majesty is vast in both the spiritual and the temporal.
[In the margin: “It is well.”]
[Marginal note: “He asks that his resignation of that bishopric be accepted, and that a certain income be granted him on which to live.”]
Last year I wrote your Majesty requesting you to be pleased to accept my resignation from my bishopric, and I send the same request in this letter to your Majesty; for I am worn out, and it is advisable for the security of my conscience—your Majesty granting me the favor to give me the means for my support, so far as that may not be in your royal treasury, because of the great difficulty of collecting from it. [In the margin: “It is provided for.”]
[Marginal note: “That Admiral Pedro de Eredia is coming to this court to report on the condition of those islands; and, since he is one who knows them thoroughly by experience, and is zealous in your Majesty’s service, credit can be given to what he says.”]
Admiral Pedro de Heredia is going to that court of your Majesty to report the affairs of these islands. He is a person on whose word your Majesty can rely, as he is a man of great integrity and greatly devoted to your Majesty’s service. He is experienced by sea and by land in these islands and in the Malucas, where he has served your Majesty a long time. He Page 224was the one who captured General Pablo Brancal [i.e., van Caerden], in those same Malucas Islands. He burned another of the enemy’s ships in Playa Honda, and defeated the enemy’s almiranta in the expedition made by Don Juan de Silba; while in Don Juan Ronquillo’s expedition he captured the almiranta, but let it go, in order that his own ship might not be burnt. He is one to whom your Majesty may entrust any undertaking of importance, because of his great courage and his devotion to your Majesty’s service. He is deserving of whatever favor your Majesty may be pleased to bestow upon him.
[In the margin: “It is well.”]
[Marginal note: “That by the death of Don Juan de Aguilar, who was precentor of the church of Manila, the governor appointed Don Miguel Garcetas to that prebend, who by his qualities deserves to have the appointment confirmed.”]
Because of the death of Don Juan de Aguilar, who was precentor of this holy church of Manila, the governor appointed Licentiate Don Miguel Garcetas to the same prebend. He came to these islands many years ago, and has held appointments of honor in them. He was treasurer of the holy church of Zebu, the chief church of that bishopric, and canon of this church of Manila; and is a man of good qualities and of good morals. He merits your Majesty’s granting him as a favor the appointment he now holds, and greater favors.
[In the margin: “It is well.”]
[Marginal note: “In approbation of Christoval Ramires de Cartagena, chaplain of the Audiencia.”]
In this city of Manila lives a respectable ecclesiastic, one Christoval Ramires de Cartagena, who of the many years since he came to these regions has been Page 225several minister in the islands of Pintados. For many years he has been chaplain of the royal Audiencia. While a layman he served your Majesty in the army; and since becoming a priest he has done the same. He merits honor from your Majesty, and favors in remuneration for his many services,
[In the margin: “It is well.”]
[Marginal note: “That the church of Cebu is in great need of ornaments and of repairs. He asks that your Majesty grant it some income, as has been requested at other times; and a cabildo with income, or some chaplains to serve it, for the divine offices are not suitably celebrated there.”]
I have often petitioned your Majesty to have the goodness to grant some income to the church of Zebu for ornaments and repairs, of which it has daily need; and to give it a cabildo with income; and if there should be no occasion for that, to supply it with some chaplains to serve it, for it lacks everything. The divine offices are celebrated very unsuitably, which the natives, both Christians and infidels, cannot fail to observe. May your Majesty for the love of God remedy this. [In the margin: “Have the governor, Audiencia, and royal officials investigate.”]
[Marginal note: “That it is advisable to show favor to this cabildo of Manila, so that in case of the death of the prelate, it may govern; as it contains competent persons; and because inconveniences result from the senior bishop coming to do this, as has been represented on other occasions.”]
I have also advised your Majesty—perceiving it, and, knowing by experience—that it is advisable to concede to this cabildo of Manila that it shall govern in case the prelate die; because it has persons Page 226of sufficient rank and ability for the said government. Besides, many difficulties exist in the senior bishop coming to govern, as he has no person to leave who is competent to direct his bishopric—as I have experienced at this time, while I have been governing this archbishopric of Manila, by brief of his Holiness and your Majesty’s decree.
[In the margin: “It is well, and what is advisable will be provided.”]
[Marginal note: “That it has been heard that the fathers of the Society are urging that the orders in Japon shall depart thence; but that it is not advisable that this be done, because of the great harvest of souls that they have gathered, and are now obtaining, through their instruction. [He also says] that it will be to our Lord’s service to have the consecration of father Fray Luis Otelo take effect, since the bishop of the western part is already consecrated; and since the king of Boso, although an infidel, is well affected to the Christians, and the two bishops are widely separated.”]
It has been heard here that the fathers of the Society are making strenuous efforts to have the orders leave Japon. That is not at all advisable, because of the very abundant harvest of souls that they have gathered, and are gathering, through their instruction and example, even giving their lives for the welfare of these souls. Accordingly, I think it advisable for your Majesty to protect this cause, for thereby will your Majesty perform the greatest service to our Lord. I think it will also be to His service if the consecration of father Fray Luis Sotelo take effect, since the other bishop, the one of the western part, is now consecrated. I am moved to say this Page 227because the king of Bozo,1 although an infidel, is well affected to the Christian religious, and has some in his kingdom. That kingdom is very distant from those regions where the other bishop lives. It will be advantageous to this community of Manila, for they will be able to trade and traffic in those districts, and get food and other necessary supplies from them for your Majesty’s fleets. Nothing else occurs to me of which to advise your Majesty, except that may our Lord preserve for many long years the Catholic and royal person of your Majesty for the defense and protection of His holy Church. Manila, July 30, 1619 [sic.]
Fray Pedro, bishop of Santisimo Nombre de Jesus.
[Endorsed on back: “Seen and decreed within.”]
[In the margin: “Have a copy of this clause sent to the governor, as to what pertains to the religious leaving Japon, so that he may investigate it. What is advisable in the other matters will be provided.”]
[Appended to this document is the following:]
Testimony of the resolution by the royal officials Ordinance. I, Gaspar Alvarez, scrivener-in-chief of the administrative and war departments of these Philipinas Islands for the king our sovereign, do certify truthfully to all who may see this present that, in a general meeting held by the president and auditors of the royal Audiencia and Chancillería of these islands for the government, together with the fiscal of his Majesty and the judicial officials of the royal treasury of the islands, on the fifth of this present Page 228month and year of the date of this present, among certain matters and questions discussed and determined in the said meeting, was the following.
In the city of Manila, on the fifth day of the month of August, one thousand six hundred and sixteen, Licentiate Andres de Alcarez, senior auditor of the royal Audiencia of these islands, who exercises the duties of president and captain-general of them, while in the houses where the Audiencia resides, called a treasury meeting to discuss matters advisable for the service of his Majesty. Licentiate Manuel de Madrid y Luna, Don Juan de Alvarado Bracamonte, auditor and fiscal [respectively], in the royal Audiencia, and the royal officials of the royal treasury—namely, Captain Pedro de Saldiernos Demariaca, factor; Juan Saez de Hegoen, inspector; and Alonso de Espinosa Saravia, accountant—having attended it, and being thus assembled before me, the present scrivener of the administrative and war departments, he proposed the following.
Petition. A petition was read from Don Fray Pedro de Arce, bishop of the city of Zibu, and governor of this archbishopric, which was of the following tenor. “Most potent Sire: I, Don Fray Pedro de Arce, bishop of the city of Sanctisimo Nombre de Jesus, and governor of this archbishopric by virtue of a brief of our very holy Father Paul Fifth, and a decree of the royal person of your Highness, declare that, in order to obey the said orders and fulfil my obligations in the common welfare of this archbishopric, I have come to this capital, and have left the comfort of a house that I had built, in the said city of Zebu, and have established myself with greater obligations for expenses in house and servants, in order Page 229to sustain some little of the greatness due the honor of the archiepiscopal dignity. I represent, as is well known to your Highness, that the expenses of this capital are excessive, for the rent of a moderate-sized house costs more than three hundred pesos and the ordinary food is very dear. For these reasons and others, well known to your Highness, and because the duties of the ministry are not lessened by the said government, it is in accord with justice that, since I bear the weight and obligations of archbishop, I be granted the salary assigned to his person. Therefore, I beg and petition your Highness to have the said grace conceded to me, in fulfilment of the said will of his Holiness and the royal person of your Highness. I ask for justice.
Fray Pedro, bishop of Sanctisimo Nombre de Jesus.”
Resolution. Having heard and examined the said proposition, and discussed and conferred as to what should be done, all unanimously and in accord, with one determination and sentiment, resolved, in respect to what the said bishop Don Fray Pedro de Arce petitions, that, inasmuch as he must reside in this city and archbishopric, if he fulfil his obligations to govern it, and must have a house and servants, and the other things required by his dignity; and inasmuch as he cannot do this with the salary of five hundred thousand maravedis that he receives in his bishopric: therefore the third part of the salary received and enjoyed by the archbishop Don Diego Vazquez de Mercado shall be assigned to him. He shall enjoy it from the day when he shall show by authentic testimony that he took possession in this city of the government of the said archbishopric. The official judges of the royal treasury Page 230shall grant warrants for, and pay to him, the third of the said salary, according to and as it was paid to the said archbishop, during the full time of his governorship of this archbishopric. That shall be received from them and placed on the accounts of the said royal official judges. Licentiate Andres de Alcazar, Licentiate Manuel de Madrid y Luna, Licentiate Don Juan de Alvarado Bracamonte, Pedro de Caldiernos de Mariaca, Juan Saez de Hegoen, and Alonso de Espinosa Saravia affixed their signatures. Before me:
According as is manifest by the abovesaid and as appears by the said original meeting, which is in the book of minutes and meetings of the treasury, which is in my office, and on leaves one hundred and eighteen and one hundred and nineteen of it, to which I refer, and by petition of his Lordship, the said bishop, I gave the present in Manila, August eleven, one thousand six hundred and sixteen. As witness at its drawing and revision were Christoval Martin Franco and Joan Vazquez de Mercado, citizens of this said city.
As is manifest and appears from the original testimony, that remained in the possession of the reverend Don Fray Pedro de Arce, with which it was corrected and collated, and is issued actually and really corrected and collated, and on petition of the said reverend person, I gave the present in the city of Manila, on the twenty-fifth day of the month of August, one thousand six hundred and sixteen, witnesses being Page 231Christoval de Saavedra, Blas de Rrosales, and Andres Estevan, citizens and residents of Manila.
Therefore I affixed my seal in testimony of right. Gratis.
Pedro de Valdes, notary-public.
We, the undersigned notaries, testify that Pedro de Valdes, by whom this testimony seems to be sealed and signed, is a notary-public of the number2 of this city of Manila, and that entire credence has been, and is, given, in and out of court, to the writs and acts that have passed, and pass, before him. Given in Manila, August twenty-five, one thousand six hundred and sixteen.
Diego de Rueda, notary.
Juan de Cabrera, royal notary.
Sebastian Samer, his Majesty’s notary.
Don Pedro de Arce, bishop of Cibu, declares that his predecessor, Don Pedro de Agurto, first bishop of that province, appointed and named canons and dignidades, although without any stipend, to serve in his cathedral church, without your Majesty’s order. By his death the said canons and dignidades claimed the right to govern in the vacant see of the said bishopric; while the archbishop of Manila also claimed the right to place a government there himself. Since many opposing ideas have been expressed among the theologians regarding this matter, I supplicate your Majesty to have the goodness to order what procedure must be observed in this, and whether such canons and dignidades constitute and hold the force of a Page 232cabildo, or not, so that, at any event, suits and dissensions may be avoided; and it will receive favor. [In the margin: “Have all the documents that bear upon this argument collected, and have the fiscal examine them all, and let action be taken according to his declaration. May 4, 619.”]
The fiscal declares that no other papers than this petition were brought to him. So far as can be judged from this statement alone, those who are referred to as canons and dignidades are not such, nor can they be such. In order to determine what further measures it it advisable to take, it is necessary that the governor and archbishop of Manila investigate the matter. Madrid, May 28, 1619.
As the fiscal says, and until they investigate, let a decree be framed ordering what the bishops must observe in appointing the canons, when they are not appointed by his Majesty and a cabildo is not formed. June first, 619.
Don Fray Pedro de Arce, bishop of the city of Cibu, in the Filipinas Islands, declares that, at your Majesty’s order, and for the welfare of his Lord, he came to govern the archbishopric of Manila because of the death of the archbishop, Don Diego Vazquez de Mercado; and inasmuch as the stipend given us by your Majesty is slight, and we have to keep a house and servants in that city with suitable dignity and propriety, he laid a petition before your royal Audiencia of those islands, which was then governing, asking that he be given the stipend given to the archbishop. Having called a meeting of the treasury, as your Majesty commands by your royal decrees, Page 233they voted to give him, as a gratification, the third part of the salary given the archbishop, as appears by the testimony that he presents. He petitions your Majesty to grant him the grace, because of his many expenses there, to confirm that action, so that the royal officials who shall pay it shall not be responsible for those expenses; and thereby he will receive favor.
[Endorsed: “Have the fiscal examine it. May 4, 1619.”]
The fiscal declares that, although the Audiencia and council of the treasury could not do this, and although they petitioned it, they ought to declare that it was to be understood if confirmed by the Council. Their motive may be found just; and did it appear so to the Council, then they might approve and confirm it. Madrid, May 28, 1619. [In the margin: “Let a decree be despatched in accordance with the fiscal’s declaration. June first, 1619.”] Page 234
1 “Evidently the modern province of Awa or Boshiû (its Chinese name), which is situated in the eastern part of Shikoku Island, in Tôkaidô or “the eastern sea-road.” See J.J. Rein’s Japan, p. 9.
2 That is, one of the fixed number of notaries assigned or allowed to Manila.
Letter from Alonso Fajardo de Tenza to Felipe III
In the vessels that I despatched from this bay to Nueva España last year on the tenth of August, I informed your Majesty of my voyage and arrival, and of the condition in which I found this country. By way of Portuguese Yndia I did the same in December of the said year, adding then what was new. What news I can now give is that, thanks to God, the said ships reached here on the return voyage on the third of this month, after a long trip of three and one-half months—and on the outward trip, the smaller ship spent less than four months, and the larger seven days more [than four months]. They have been among the most fortunate ships seen here. Glory be to His Divine Majesty for everything. These ships have brought two companies with one hundred and twenty-four volunteer soldiers together, thirty-four sentenced by justice to serve in these districts, thirty-two convicts for the galleys, three hundred and seventy-eight thousand five hundred and eighty-six eight-real pesos, in reals and in bars of silver, also arms, military stores, and other necessary supplies for the use of these strongholds and warehouses. Although the troops and money do not equal what was asked from here—nor what is extremely Page 235necessary, because of the very stringent need here of both men and money—according to what I have heard of the difficulty in collecting this aid, and the labor that it cost the viceroy of those provinces to expedite and send it, he is greatly to be praised for it. I am under obligations to him; but I find myself also obliged to entreat your Majesty to have him urged in vigorous terms, saying that you consider yourself served thereby, and to order him to continue it, doing the utmost possible in the reënforcements asked from here. He should also be asked to furnish those reënforcements in the same manner, in those years when ships do not reach Acapulco from these islands because of having to put back into port in distress, or from any other forced cause that prevents their voyage; for it is certain that even if no ship arrive there, the despatch [from Nueva España] should not be discontinued, because of its vast importance for the welfare of this community, and in order to bring provisions and reënforcements, as is usual and necessary. However much the viceroy be urged on, this country will not have what it needs, until your Majesty be pleased to have sent here the reënforcement of the fleet that was promised—adding to the men and ordering it to be provided with sufficient money for their sustenance and the execution of what must be done with the fleet. I trust in our Lord that, if it reach here safely, it will give us very good results. I offer on my part to procure those good results with its aid, as far as possible. I shall not again mention in detail the reasons existing as to why your Majesty should send us this aid, as they have been written so often by so many men, and are so evident and well known; and in order to Page 236conquer or conserve, or to make war in any manner, that reënforcement and money are needed. As there is so great a need of both these things and of small boats, as I wrote your Majesty in those letters that you acknowledged, I heard that the rebels of Olanda were coming to these islands with fourteen ships and a number of caracoas. These latter are the craft of our enemies of Mindanao, and they do the most harm to these natives. Although it appeared impossible to make sufficient preparation to resist them and prevent the depredations which were to be feared from so large a squadron, I resolved to exert my utmost efforts in order to attend to our defense, notwithstanding my lack of all things necessary for it that should have been sent me. Almost at the same time as the news, arrived the rebels. They had only five ships with high freeboard, to which were added two others, also large ones, a part of four vessels that we heard were to come from Japon—according to what was learned from that kingdom through the fathers of the Society, and by way of Terrenate, and from some prisoners captured along this coast, not far from here. The latter, landing in order to reconnoiter the country, so that they might land some Dutchmen on it, fell into the hands of a company that I had placed in ambush with the great desire to gather information and learn the designs of the enemy. In short, it was learned from those advices, and especially from those from Japon, that not only was it their intention to pillage the ships from China (whence proceeds the commerce that sustains this island) and commit the depredations of former years, but also to await the vessels from Nueva España, in order at once to conclude and finish everything. Page 237That obliged me to make the night day with my continual toil, so that the Spaniards who were scattered throughout these islands might be prepared and collected; and artillery cast, which was lacking to me for what was necessary (even a place where I could get the metal and the alloy). Then the workmen on two ships, the construction of which had been ordered, had to be urged to greater haste and all that was necessary supplied, so that either one or both of them could be finished in time to serve on the occasion then presented; and a ship of moderate size, which was the only one I found in this bay when I entered it, had to be repaired. The latter was so old that it was necessary almost to rebuild it. Also I did the same with a small patache and the galleon in which I came, and the Japanese vessel which also came with me from Nueva España. It needed not a little repair, and gave me a great deal of trouble with its owners, so that they should lend it. But finally they lent it, and now I have had it bought at a very cheap price. With it, and one of the new ones which were finished in time (which is the one now about to sail to Nueva España), and those above mentioned, and another new patache which I had finished from the bottom up—all together, they comprised two large vessels, two moderate-sized vessels, two pataches, and four galleys. They were repaired, and manned in great part with borrowed slaves and Dutch prisoners (for the Dutch inflict upon the Spaniards the worst of treatment). While this fleet was so far advanced that it could sail and fight in a few days afterward, the rebels entered for the last time into this bay, a thing which they had done eight times before. After staying a long time in the mouth of the bay, and seeing Page 238it prepared, and some craft ready and filled with men, it appears that they did not choose to try our arms or tempt fortune; for they sailed away and left their position, and went farther up the coast, until they passed the cape of Bolinao1—a district where they thought they would be safe from us, because we could not go there at that season without evident danger of being unable to return to this bay, because of having no longer a port to leeward, save those of Japon, where they have their factories. As soon as they left here, I sent some light craft after their ships, in order to ascertain where they were going, and to return to me with the information, being resolved to go in pursuit of them, and finishing my preparations for it. The news which was soon brought me was that, after taking the open sea, a storm struck them. According to that news, and the report by some Chinese of a junk that was plundered, and signs that were seen along the said coast, the enemy lost one of their largest ships on that coast. These Chinese met them on their way to Japon, so that they abandoned the islands. Although I should be better satisfied had my toil and ardent desire been employed in fighting and attaining some good result, with God’s help, still I have also enjoyed great happiness and give His Divine Majesty many thanks because our vessels have arrived here, and those of the Dutch have received less gain than loss, and have caused no considerable loss [to us]. Likewise the despatches that I sent to China were important for that, in which I advised the Sangleys when and where not to come, and when and where they could come. I also sent an order and money to Macan to buy a ship of more Page 239than medium size, which was there, from the chief commandant of that city. According to the letters in which I have been answered, the ship can arrive here soon. With it, those that I have here, the other new one (which is now finished), and an urca2 sent me by the viceroy of Yndia, I shall have seven vessels, counting larger and medium-sized ones, besides the large one and one patache which are about to sail to Nueva España, which can direct a good artillery fire. To them I shall add some artillery recast from burst pieces which, for lack of alloy that I sent to buy at Malaca, and which has now arrived, were not cast before. With this, I shall endeavor to get ready as soon as possible, for whatever time the enemy may come, or for whatever decision may be made, according to advices that we shall have of the enemy, and the measures that shall appear to be most advisable for your Majesty’s service. The viceroy of Yndia sent me the urca above mentioned, after I had sent him a despatch with the letters that should be sent your Majesty from there, begging him to send me for next year, and for the occasion that can be expected in it, some ships with sailors and soldiers, equipped and manned. I also sent money and an order that, if any good or suitable ship be found, it be bought; or that they should contract to have one or two built wherever most convenient—or in Cochin, because the wood is harder than that of this island. Don Diego Christino, chief commandant of that city, was charged with it. According to the reply of Captain Gregorio de Vidaño, whom I sent for that purpose, brought to me in the report that he has made me of the affairs of Yndia, it seems that that state is in Page 240need of reinforcements and special aid, as are we in this state of ours; only we, although few, are living in comfort, God be thanked, and if not with many forces, we are prepared and alert. Accordingly he returned with the said urca which the viceroy gave him. The latter sent me many offers of friendly offices in what might occur, and such as should be possible for him, with expressions of very great goodwill. I have believed them, for he is so gallant a gentleman, as is currently reported. However, I doubt their practical results, and would not like to find his aid necessary; for one can imagine that the inhabitants of that state would put difficulties in the way of it. That has already been demonstrated by experience. According to the little that can be hoped from India, and of what they write from Nueva España regarding the exhaustion of that country, and the impossibility of getting from it any of the reënforcements necessary in this country—as is evident from the so meager aid that has come here—the sending by your Majesty of the fleet that you have offered to these islands becomes unavoidable. You should see that the infantry contingent be in excess of two thousand men; that the contingent of sailors and artillerymen reach nine hundred—embarking them in such vessels as can come with comfort. It should be noted that ships for these regions and for the journey from España must not be less than five hundred toneladas, nor much greater than six hundred. Vessels of this burden, if new and strong, will be of very great service both for war and for trade and commerce with Nueva España; and each one will be assigned to the use most fitting to it, in accordance with its build. And if they carry efficient troops and Page 241artillery, a quantity of anchors and cables, capable commanders and sailors, and an order that the money for their sustenance be provided, they will be very welcome, whatever may be their fashion and build, as the restoration of this country will be certain. This is the only remedy hoped for. I have sent reënforcements of food, money, and other things, to the forts of Terrenate, with which, according to the advices received from that island, they are sufficiently provided until the regular time comes again to send them help, as it is the usual custom to do. When that time expires, which now is just the opposite of this voyage [i.e. to Nueva España], I shall try, with God’s help, to send, together with the ordinary help, two companies of infantry, with some other soldiers of those who have come this year from Nueva España. If I can increase it to a greater number, I shall do so, by changing some of the soldiers who have been there so many years, and leaving those that shall be necessary for the defense of those forts. I shall also try to send two galleys, as galleys are more important among those islands than among any other parts of the islands of this region. I would already have sent those soldiers, if the season had not hindered, after the Dutch had left here; and until then it was impossible to divide the forces which were being collected to oppose them.
I have had many loud complaints from the forts of Terrenate, written by religious and laymen, of the governor there, Lucas de Bergara Gaviria—not only of his asperity and harsh government, but of his lack of balance in other things. Since these complaints were so numerous, I was obliged to get the opinion and resolution of the members of this royal Audiencía; Page 242but at the same time came letters from Lucas de Bergara Gaviria, asking permission to resign his post. Consequently I was forced to seek some one to go there. After nominating for that post the master-of-camp, Don Geronimo de Silba, as one to whom your Majesty had entrusted that government, he excused himself from going there, with arguments that he advanced for it. Accordingly the master-of-camp, Don Luis de Bracamonte, was appointed in his stead. Although I consider the latter a man of so good qualities, that I know of no one here who is better than he, still—both because he goes with little desire to stay there (as he shows), and because the choice of the one who must go to those islands will be very much better if made by your Majesty’s Council—I beg you to be pleased to have the choice made, and to order that the person appointed for it go immediately to discharge his duties.
I do not altogether believe what is said and written about Lucas de Bergara Gaviria, as this is a country where accusation is practiced considerably, and even the giving of false testimonies; and in this way some men make themselves feared. Such men have even obtained in that way what they have not merited by other and lawful means. And notwithstanding that in the long time that elapses before the truth is established, the rival suffers, there is no one who will not [finally] bear the stigma [of his wrongdoing], and especially if any religious are dissatisfied. In such cases, there is nothing to do but keep patient, and to pray God for a remedy, for it is the most cruel persecution that is suffered. Seldom is a man so fortunate that with but little to give he can satisfy many claimants. As each one tries to favor his own Page 243client or clients, they all resent any other being preferred to them; and their eagerness or partiality does not allow the advantage of merits to be recognized, even if it be known. A good example of this was seen during the term of the good governor, Don Juan de Silba, who was discussed quite differently in writing and in the pulpits than he deserved. Consequently, by having heard these reports, I have resolved not to believe those which have been written of Bergara; but when the investigation that I ordered to be made comes, I shall advise your Majesty of what shall be considered as true, so that you may enact what is most fitting for your service.
I have not heard other Maluco news with the certainty that I may affirm it. However, those items that are considered most certain are, that the Dutch have a great number of ships, and although not more than enough men, they still have sufficient for them; and the number of men cannot be small if they can man the ships after leaving the necessary men in their forts and factories. Of this and other details of their and our forts, a long relation is given by Captain and Sargento-mayor Alonso Martin Quirante (who is one of the most trustworthy soldiers and one of the most experienced in those regions), so that it may be sent to your Majesty with this letter.
The English who go within range of the Flemish factories are having fierce engagements and wars with them, according to the news received. It has been learned from some that they [i.e., the English] wish to ally themselves with us, so that we may together attack the Flemish. Although I am not in relations with those people, they pledge that those who do not confederate with them they will not fail to Page 244regard as enemies. Meanwhile, there is no permission from your Majesty to trade here; nor do they render the submission due, and which should be assigned to them. Still, so that we may proceed in the service of your Majesty with greater certainty, I entreat that you will have sent to me the order that I am to observe in this, as well as toward some Dutch prisoners who are here; it does not seem proper for me to put them to death, as that would be in so cold blood, and it is even less so to trust in those who desire liberty for themselves and evil for us.
The king of Terrenate is also a prisoner here, and is causing expense to your Majesty, and anxiety to those who guard him. In my opinion, I do not know whether he can do us more harm, if he was in his own country, than that which his son is causing us, who possesses the country and has allied himself with the Dutch. On the other hand, the king might cause revolt among themselves and their vassals, if he tried to dispossess his son of the government, since the king is so offended and so angered as he is with the ill-treatment that he has experienced from his son. Will your Majesty ascertain what is most to your service in this, and order me accordingly.
I have been unable to make any investigation in the loss of the six galleons that had occurred when I reached this country, of which I immediately informed your Majesty. For, as Don Geronimo de Silba would have to be blamed for it, as the one who was captain-general on sea and land, and in the event of his acquittal, the blame must fall upon another, or he would remain guilty; and inasmuch as he is protected by the judge conservator with bulls from Page 245his order (that of St. John), to which likewise is joined the assertion that an order from your Majesty is necessary to make that investigation: for that reason, I have been unable to investigate it fully and specifically, but 1 shall fulfil whatever your Majesty shall command, on the arrival of those orders. If now I should try to make any investigation I could not do so, as I have heard so much different talk about it. In my opinion such and greater disasters may happen, without any blame resting on those who give the orders, or on those who execute them. Many such disasters have been seen to occur, thus in the sea, when it is excited by any violent storm—and more, since it is among islands, where there is no place for the ships to run free.
Don Geronimo de Silba has petitioned me to appoint him to the office of captain-general of the artillery, with the officials and assignment that it has in other districts. That has been refused him, inasmuch as there is nothing here for which or with which to add that expense. If I gave him the title, it was rather to fulfil your Majesty’s decree ordering it, than by any necessity of there being such an office. He is also talking of a journey to that court, if your Majesty will be pleased to grant him permission.
I petition your Majesty to appoint, for the third person who serves, one of such qualities and characteristics that he can succeed to this government, if a person for that should be lacking, and to the presidency, in case that your Majesty does not now wish the Audiencia to succeed to everything; for if they always avoid having more than one head, your Majesty’s service will fare better—and of that we have already had experience here, as in other regions. For Page 246the same reasons it would be advisable for such a person to be governor of Terrenate, and even the castellan of this castle; even if he should not have to serve for more than his duties there, and with his counsels, your Majesty would be excellently served. With that intention I have proposed to your Majesty the persons whom I know, in my opinion, to be suitable. Likewise other persons should be sent me for other purposes, chiefly for clerkships [officios de la pluma] and for the administration of the royal treasury. They should have been reared in a good school and have exhibited good qualities; and they should be of no other [than the clerical] class, because of the great importance of efficient care, method, and system in the handling of papers and accounts. That care and system signifies much in such employment, and even more when it is lacking, since a deficiency therein is more grievous. Inasmuch as the accountant, Francisco Lopez Tamayo, left the department of accounts because of his advanced age and his ill-health, I appointed Pedro de Lensarra as accountant in his stead. He came in the caravels with Ruy Gonzalez de Sequeyra. I appointed him here for this purpose for I thought him a man just and intelligent in the matter, according to what I have hitherto been able to learn; and I made more of his good qualities than of the jealousy exhibited toward him by some, who call him a criminal and blasphemer—but I am not surprised that it is rather unusual here to praise any person very highly. What I can say of him is that the way in which he fills his office has not as yet displeased me. On account of his report to me and that of the royal officials, in response to an order of mine issued for the correction Page 247of certain abuses, which I shall mention below, I instituted a reform in them as follows.
During the term of my predecessor a meeting was held by the president, auditors, and royal officials then in office (some of whom still hold their offices). In that meeting reasons were given, with precedents and instances, that were deemed sufficient for them to resolve to distribute among themselves and other officials of the Audiencia, and the archbishop of this church, three thousand five hundred fanegas of rice, at the price at which the grain is furnished as tributes to your Majesty. Since I saw that there was no royal order for it from you, and that no approbation of the resolution had come in so long an interval; and considering that that quantity, and much more which is added to it, is bought on the account of the royal treasury for the ordinary expenses and rations furnished by the royal treasury, which makes an assessment among the Indians in order to get it, and that your Majesty pays for what we take, at the rate of four reals, and at times four pesos—but more often without paying the poor Indians, because [the treasury] has not the wherewithal; [and considering that] for that reason of not giving those Indians the money and of the loss suffered by them—who, in order to comply with the assessment, have to buy at much dearer rates—not only resulted the harm in the loss of the money, but sometimes loss of liberty to some, as they have become slaves because of it: therefore, in order to reform so great an evil, I have enacted that this rice should not continue to be given to us, and that what has been received be restored, unless your Majesty shall order otherwise.3 I have enacted the Page 248same in regard to four hundred pesos that were ordered to be given to the government secretary every year, by a similar meeting of the royal treasury, and excusing him from securing your Majesty’s confirmation. Since his office is such that he bought it for seventeen thousand pesos at a time when it had no more perquisites than now, and not so many, consequently, that increased salary will cease and the money withdrawn on this account from the royal treasury will be returned to it. I have ordered that the money which is generally removed from the division of the accounts of probated estates [bienes de difuntos] here to that of Mexico, without any benefit from their property for the souls of the deceased or for the heirs, when distributed or invested by order of the judge of those estates [i.e., probate judge] shall be placed in this royal treasury. The necessary vouchers shall be given, so that an amount equal thereto may be delivered to the division of the accounts of probated property in that city from the money that has to be sent from the treasury of Mexico on your Majesty’s account to this treasury here. Thus will be avoided the expense of carrying that money to the port and the danger of the sea, while it has even greater conveniences, without any hurt to Page 249the heirs. And although it appears so just, as will be learned from it, persons have not been lacking to resent the limiting and lessening of the handling of the money. In regard to the accounts of the alms from the bulls I would do the same, if the agreements and conditions of their collection allowed, as it would have the same convenience as the aforesaid procedure, and would prove a very great blessing to the inhabitants of this community, by obviating the investment of this money and the space that it occupies in the vessels that carry it to Nueva España. Will your Majesty be pleased to ascertain whatever is most to your service, and that orders be given to me accordingly. In this matter, as in those above, there are not wanting some to oppose it.
Licentiate Andres de Alcaraz, senior auditor of this royal Audiencia, intended to depart this year with the vessels now about to leave for Nueva España, but has deferred his departure both because of his ill-health, from which he is recovering, and because I insisted strenuously that he do not leave this Audiencia until the other auditors of it become used to the despatch and customs of their offices, and until they are more in harmony among themselves; for since they are new men, and each one is self-confident in his own capacity and sufficiency, they have had differences of opinion, and partisans. Consequently for a year back there has been more wrangling here, in suits in the Audiencia, than from the time it was established. There would have been many more, had not Licentiate Alcaraz, notwithstanding his many excuses and his advanced age, been urged to attend it whenever possible, in order to avoid that wrangling and the scandal resulting from it. He has endeavored Page 250to bring them to agreement, a matter that caused him no little trouble, and excused me from much, for finally the displeasure of those who found that they could not do just as they wished, as it was not just, has been shared between me and Licentiate Alcaraz. Concerning him, I assure your Majesty that he is one of the discreet and sensible judges in your service; and less than his going to take part in what he deserves and in what can commend him to your Majesty’s eyes, could not console me at seeing him separated from me. For I do not know how one who wishes to rule aright can have anything more to his taste than such a counselor and one of so great experience in matters—such an one whom, until now, I have been unable to have. And since I was so assured of his good qualities, when I was about to embark in the fleet to fight the Dutch fleet, I persuaded the said licentiate Alcaraz, that if I died on that occasion, under no considerations was he to forsake this country and the Audiencia until your Majesty should have taken measures for all things. Although I gave clear reasons for it, namely the long experience of the said licentiate Alcaraz and other reasons, without thus touching on my distrust of the good government of the other two auditors—although I could perhaps give some different reason, if it were necessary—such was the spite that those two exhibited toward us, that Licentiate Alcaraz tried to avoid the charge of the government. At the end he conquered me and convinced me to have Don Fray Miguel Garcia Serrano, archbishop elect of this city, summoned to aid him in it; he was then absent from the city. The latter is one in whom, besides his qualifications of devotion, virtue, and Page 251learning, combine other qualities so good that they can commend him for governments more important than this. Accordingly he came to me at my request, and at the same entreaty he is staying, and is daily putting me under new obligations to him, the greatest of which is my seeing him so intent on and inclined to the service of your Majesty, both in whatever pertains to his own office and in what can aid me in mine. To conclude the account of what ensued with the auditors—Licentiate Geronimo de Legaspi y Echabarria and Doctor Don Albaro de Messa y Lugo—I shall say that whether for the causes here written, or because of restraining them and trying to reduce them to harmony and a desirable moderation; or because the correction of justice is also overtaking the members of their families (a matter on which I could debate by writing more); or, finally, whether it be by deductions from these things (which I know not), the two have so grudged their courtesies that they do not visit me since I have come from outside—although I have been careful to go to their houses oftener than was sufficient. Neither do their wives visit mine. Will your Majesty be pleased to have them advised that what they ought to do in this matter to another president than to me, be not lacking to me. In other things, I shall manage with the fitting mildness and delicacy, so that we all may proceed very conformably to the service of your Majesty. I hope for this, for on my part there is the desire and on theirs so many obligations. Very soon they will make a trial of the obligations that they have in their offices. In order not to neglect the fulfilment of my obligations and the discharge of my conscience, I assure your Majesty that I do Page 252not consider it advisable for your royal service that the present order be executed, ruling that he who shall be senior auditor shall exercise the office of captain-general because of the death of the governor; but [I recommend] that, in case your Majesty should have appointed no person for that purpose, the whole Audiencia, together with the archbishop, shall appoint him, and the appointee shall remain subordinate to the Audiencia, as are other captains-general, in the royal council of war: Thus may be avoided the existence of two heads, which occurs with the division of the departments of war and peace of the government, and the great inconveniences that usually result from it. And according to what I, as a Christian, believe, the inconveniences that could be feared, were Licentiate Geronimo de Legazpi to take this office (who in the event of the absence of Licentiate Andres de Alcaraz will be senior auditor), would not be few; for as yet he is a person who has not exhibited the capacity and qualities required for it. On the contrary a certain incontinence has been noted in his morals. With the scandal and bad example of that and certain inclinations in the administration of justice, and complaints from persons to whom he has failed to return money which he received from them to invest in merchandise or to pay to them here, he has become as disreputable as in other matters of his own private affairs. Since he allows one of his sons, the eldest one here, called Don Atanasió de Legazpi, to live so licentious a life, it is said of him that his father is making amends for the fault of his son’s bad rearing. He endures from his son much disrespect, even fearing him and following his will in unjust things. Hence it can be inferred Page 253that he who cannot govern his own son will illy govern so many others. Further, with such a counterpoise, and since this matter is so worthy of consideration, and so important to the service of your Majesty, and since it is not a matter on which I can take action here or which I can remedy, I could not neglect reporting it to your Majesty, in order that you may take those measures most suitable to your royal service.
Auditor Don Antonio Rodriguez de Villegas has just arrived in that ship from Nueva España, but he is in so poor health that he cannot attend the Audiencia except in any necessary case when Licentiate Legazpi and Don Albaro must have a third person. At such times he is requested to attend so that certain business may not be delayed. He has given many signs of prudence, wisdom, and good intentions. That is what hitherto we have been able to understand of him; and I promise myself that his person will be of great service to your Majesty from his good beginnings and the many good qualities that are found in him.
Licentiate Don Juan de Albarado Bracamonte, fiscal of this Audiencia, has served in it and in the office of protector-general of the natives and Sangleys of these islands, for eleven years, and, as I have thus far understood, with great satisfaction and ability. He has ever attended with peculiar care to the advancement of the preparation of the fleets that have been prepared during that time, and to all other matters of war and administration that have arisen. And according to my good opinion of him, I would entrust to him even many more things in matters touching your Majesty’s service, and also with my Page 254own affairs. As certain reports were made to me upon my arrival at these islands last year, that were opposed to his method of procedure, I endeavored to investigate them secretly and cautiously, and to ascertain the truth concerning them. And although his duties are so fitting and proper for the breeding of ill-will in those querulous persons against whom he has prosecuted cases, or in his subordinates, I have not found anything of importance that contradicts his rectitude and integrity. Those are the qualities most to be esteemed in the ministers of the Yndias. Consequently in consideration of his good qualities, capacity, and skill, I regard him as deserving the grace that your Majesty may be pleased to show him outside this Audiencia in that of Mexico or Lima, in which I think that your Majesty will be very well served.
A few days ago while I was in Cavite attending to the fleet which I prepared for the purpose that I have related to your Majesty, Don Fray Pedro de Arçe, bishop of the city of Santisimo Nombre de Jesus, and governor of this archbishopric, advised me that he heard that certain persons were losing the respect due the college of Santa Potenciana, of which your Majesty is patron. I replied to him that I would immediately come to this city to procure the most suitable remedy. Although I did so immediately without loss of time, I found that Licentiate Legazpi, resolving quickly upon such notice as he had, entered the said college and began to make investigations. He examined witnesses on whom he used tortures. Upon seeing this case already in this state, and considering the scandal and dishonor of that royal house and of the guilty persons, it was Page 255judged necessary for want of another remedy more honorable and private, to punish the criminals as an example. Accordingly, by employing great diligence, I had them arrested; and the master-of-camp, Don Geronimo de Silba, having judged one of them in the first instance, by name Captain Juan Lemoedano, and sentenced him to the gallows, he appealed to me; but I have not been able as yet to examine his case because of lack of the time necessary for it. The case of another, namely, Captain Don Fernando Becerra, against whom there is apparently less proof, has not yet been sentenced by the said master-of-camp, for he is yet hearing evidence in it. From the investigations of this, guilt is found against Don Juan Manuel de la Vega, ex-commander of the ships of this line to Nueva España (son of Doctor Manuel de la Vega, ex-auditor of this Audiencia), whom, according to the sufficient proof, I ought and do condemn to be beheaded and his head exposed to [public] view, and to the loss of one-half of his property. Nor is there any necessity, for this [severity], to collect the evidence in the suit brought against him for the loss of the galleon “San Marcos.” He was commander of that vessel when Don Juan Ronquillo fought with the fleet of these islands against that of the Dutch at Playa Honda. He appealed from this sentence to the royal Audiencia, where the case is now proceeding—very slowly, because of the superfluous justification that he is presenting. This has been an affair where it is desirable to manifest great rigor; for otherwise the other correction that I have tried to apply for the honor and defense of this royal house will not be sufficient. On the contrary it would be a damaging precedent, so Page 256that others might follow similar acts of audacity. In what pertains to me I shall always endeavor to do justice, although, with these appeals, it is impossible to do it in time, or with the energy that is necessary. Especially in war, and as is customary in it, is rigor at times necessary, and without any delays. Much more is it needed in this land than in others, as dissimulation and failure to punish are so usual in it. Thence result many acts of lawlessness, disobedience, and crime, which inflict great injuries. To restrict them, punishment is necessary, and without it no good government can result, even in peace, much less in war.
Certain doubts are wont to arise in the matter of jurisdictions, and the Audiencia and I understand differently one of your Majesty’s decrees which treats of those doubts, which was issued at El Pardo, November seventeen, six hundred and seventeen. In it your Majesty orders that the master-of-camp try all causes, both criminal and military, that touch the soldiers of the presidios, and the ordinary pay of these islands; and also of the others who may not be ordinary soldiers, if they shall have been levied for any purpose and have taken arms in their hands. The appeals of all are to go to the governor and captain-general. The Audiencia thinks that that should only be understood in regard to those who may be levied and assigned pay (as if, having that, there would be any difference between the recent and the oldest levies), and not in regard to citizens when (because of the absence of the regular infantry) they take up arms for the guard of the city, or to go out in emergencies, as many are wont to do. But I can not see how they could be ordered or how they would Page 257obey with the punctuality that war demands, if the punishment of offenses, disobedience, and other acts that are criminal in soldiers, were not in charge of the military judges. In Ytalia and Flandes, the Spanish soldiers have only one judge, namely, the commander of the army; for although the masters-of-camp judge in the first instance in cases, that is only exercised by them when away from the commander-in-chief. Will your Majesty please order this matter to be examined and declare your pleasure therein; also in what pertains to the soldiers of forts and the other paid men in them, for I do not know whether your Majesty has hitherto given the jurisdiction in the first instance to the castellans by special decree. Likewise I do not know whether it has been declared as to whom pertains the trial in the first instance of the men in the galleys who have a general or lieutenant, or of their soldiers; or to whom pertains the trial of those who are generally added to and embarked on the galleys from the companies of this camp.
It is also necessary to know who shall try in the first instance the sailors and officers of ships, and those who work at ship-trades, inasmuch as they have no commander or admiral, nor any lieutenant of mine, in such charge, to whom it is committed by any decree of your Majesty. The same doubt exists in regard to the artillerymen, who now have a general of the artillery, as your Majesty has ordered one to be appointed; and if, when that office is lacking or suspended, it [i.e., the right of trial in the first instance] is vested in the lieutenant or captain of the artillery, as it was before. I have written this so long and specific relation to your Majesty, as I desire that Page 258you may in each and every thing order what is most suitable for your service.4
I have found introduced here the custom that retired officers, upon finding themselves without office, even though it be that of sergeant, will not serve in the regular companies. Thence results a decided inconvenience, for when a soldier has once become skilful and known as a good man, and when he is admitted to greater obligations and made an officer, upon leaving that office, not only are his services lost, but even his person likewise, and he becomes corrupted, when outside of military discipline. Consequently Page 259instead of the companies continuing to increase their number of well-disciplined and old soldiers, those who by excelling most and being the best soldiers have been appointed officers, are daily leaving them, and there is a continual lack of those particular persons who are the masters and patterns in the companies for the new soldiers, of those who are trustworthy for matters of importance and opportunity, and of those who are generally the cause of the best results and the avoidance of ill. As causes for not continuing their services in the regular companies, they assign the fact that those retired are not given any preferments here, as in other districts. Will your Majesty have considered the question of Page 260whether it will be proper to give the usual additional pay in excess of ordinary pay to retired officers who shall have served in their offices in Flandes; and, before having those offices, the time set by the ordinance that treats of it—even though it be not the additional pay of Flandes, but that of España. By this method excellent soldiers will be kept and your Majesty will be very well served.
It has been the custom to send presents and gifts at your Majesty’s cost from this place to the king of Japon and to certain private persons, great vassals, and lords of the ports of that kingdom, every year when a ship was sent to that country for the necessary commerce, and the provisions which it sends to this country—inasmuch as it is the fashion not to deliver an embassy or message without taking a present. For some few years back we have neglected to send any. Some religious persons zealous for the service of God our Lord, and for the conversion of that nation and the salvation of its souls, and likewise for the welfare of these islands, desiring to have them as our best friends in all this archipelago, have considered and even say that it is well known that those Japanese have considered the decrease of the commerce, and attributed it to a disrespect for their friendship; and that consequently they were bound by treaty to prefer now that of the Dutch—whom they loved not a little, because they gave and continue to give them rich presents from what they plunder, since these do not cost them much. Having considered this matter and that there are certain conveniences in having friendly relations with that country, which has and gives to this country many necessary and useful things, and where our ships which ply Page 261between here and Nueva España are liable to put it in distress on both the outward and return trips when obliged by contrary weather as has been already seen and experienced—and on such occasions it has been important not to have them as enemies, for then the Japanese have given the crews of our ships a good supply of necessities, and have shown them a positive proof of good treatment in not seizing the so great profits and wealth carried on the said ships; likewise having considered the friendship that they have established with the Dutch, and the persecution there indicted on Christians and their ministers, the Spanish priests, who preach the holy gospel: I have esteemed it advisable to give a report of the matter to your Majesty, so that you may have it examined and considered, together with the written reports of certain religious, experienced in those regions, as well as that of the fiscal of this Audiencia, who also, I am told, discusses it. Will you order the procedure most advisable for your royal service.
I would not be fulfilling my obligations to the service of your Majesty and to this land, unless I reported as to the faithfulness of your Majesty’s vassals here. For although it is true that this region is a place of concourse, or a halting-place, for men of different natures, qualities, and characteristics, who come here for various purposes, many of which are not good, or are brought here, and who leave their impress (and that not little) in extending their vices—still there are, on the other hand, highly honorable and loyal vassals, who attend to your Majesty’s service with so great love and willingness; and since the former comprise but the very least part of the citizens of this city, who in all number less than five hundred, Page 262not only did I find many who offered themselves and their servants to take part in your royal service on the past occasion when the enemy came here, but also they loaned me their slaves for the galleys, and one hundred and ninety-five thousand pesos. With that I have met the expenses of this camp for most of this year and of the other troops whom your Majesty sustains in your pay. I also built new or repaired the ships, both large and small, and galleys, and from them collected a fleet. The enemy upon seeing that fleet in the port, although it was not completely ready, did not choose to await it, as above written to your Majesty—not even for the profits to be derived from the ships that they were awaiting from China and Nueva España, which would have meant no little blessing to them and no little harm to us, if they had returned for it. All that relief resulted from the aid of so good vassals, who, although paid from the money—as were the Indian natives also, who have worked and given the supplies apportioned to them for the above purpose—are even very deserving of reward from your Majesty, if you esteem their service.
In the above campaign, the most aid furnished me, by his person, followers, and servants, was from General Don Juan Ronquillo del Castillo. By his intelligence, assiduity, and labor, I was able to make the preparations that I did; and I do not think that it could have been done without him so well, with so incredible rapidity. Will your Majesty be pleased to have this considered in his behalf, on the occasions that arise for showing him honor and favor. That favor that I petitioned your Majesty to show Admiral Rodrigo de Guilleztegui last year, will be very Page 263well extended, for the reasons then advanced. Don Fernando Centeno Maldonado, who is serving in these galleys as commander of them, is a man who, by the honorable rank of his birth, has personal merits and good qualities—so that your Majesty may make use of him in his profession as soldier, or in any other thing, even though it be a position of great labor. He is the man for it, and one who will well use any honor that your Majesty may be pleased to bestow upon him. Many judicial inquiries [informaciones] are made here of merits and services; and although there are some among them of men who have merits, and who have not obtained their reward because of a lack in means to give it to them, or in the failure of their said inquiry to obtain it, the majority consist of the inquiries of men who are or could be ashamed. Of them what they claim might be advanced as a reason for their not deserving even what has been given them. Although it is always to be believed that the auditors, to whom the inquiries are entrusted, ought to make them, not only as judges, but as interested parties, so that sinister inquiries should not be sent to your Majesty’s royal Council to defraud your royal treasury and the merits of those who have served well, I assure your Majesty that I have heard that many inquiries have been made with less justification than might be advisable. Moreover, I am an eye-witness of the evidence taken so earnestly by Auditor Don Albaro de Messa in the assembly in the case of one Juan de Herrera, whose inquiry he had made. Because we did not detail so fully as he wished regarding [the reward] that we informed your Majesty could be given him, he refused to affix his signature after the opinion that he Page 264there gave in favor of Captain Alonso Estever, a valiant man who has served and serves very well. I do not know whether he has signed in his opinion of Captain Antonio de Esquibel, which he also gave to him at that time. In order that your Majesty may know with what passions they proceed in this, and on what this was based, and may see how little was the justification of this protegé of Don Albaro, namely, the said Juan de Herrera (who it is said came here as the servant of the factor Juan Saenz de Quen5—of which I am not at all certain, since he has been a soldier here, and even a collector of tributes and encomiendas, and once alcalde-mayor, when the Audiencia was governing; and after his services in these employments, he was found deserving of an encomienda of two thousand tributes, of being appointed commander in the Nueva España line, and of an allowance); because cognizance was not taken of this in its order, in the report, Don Albaro was made especially angry. There are also other and less justifiable inquiries, for there was an excellent notary, named Gonçalo Velazquez de Lara, who forged many inquiries and other papers; and who recently forged my signature, in order to defraud your Majesty of the fees from the licenses of the Sangley Chinese. I sentenced him to be hanged yesterday, so that he may do it no more, and that others might be warned.
The fathers of the Society of Jesus say that they need more religious of their order than are here. They have asked me to petition your Majesty to grant them the accustomed grace in this matter. Page 265What I can certify is that whatever aid and concession your Majesty may grant them will be well employed, for they are men who bear considerable fruit, and not as many of them return [to Nueva España] as of the other orders, particularly that of St. Dominic. Of the latter I have heard that more of them than I would wish have left the order,”6 for they are well regulated men and furnish a good example. Although they deny it, I have come to believe that it is not because of the strictness of their life, and that they can all endure it, if your Majesty will order something to prevent it. Of the Order of St. Augustine, I can tell your Majesty that I have heard that they have always applied themselves very earnestly to their charge of facilitating and executing all that has been, and is, necessary to be done in your royal service. In what I have experienced hitherto, I am under obligations to them to confess it, and of especial indebtedness and gratefulness to the provincial, namely, Fray Alonso Barahona,7 and to the definitors; Page 266and inasmuch as it is a matter that concerns the service of your Majesty, I have wished in this letter to mention it to you. I shall close at this point, acknowledging the receipt of only one letter that has come to me from your Majesty in these vessels that have just arrived. It is dated El Pardo, November twenty, one thousand six hundred and seventeen. Consequently with what I have written, I have nothing more to reply to it than that I shall do all in my power, as I ought and as I am obliged to do in fulfilment of its commands, and in all that concerns your Majesty’s service. May God preserve the Catholic and royal person of your Majesty, as is needed by Christendom. Manila, August 10, 1619.
Don Alonso Faxardo de Tença
[Appended to this letter is the following, to which the clause of the letter speaking of the fleet to be sent from Spain evidently refers.]
On August third, one thousand six hundred and nineteen, Secretary Juan Ruiz de Contreras ordered that Licentiate Antonio Moreno, cosmographer, and Captain Juan Media, be summoned to confer with Pedro Miguel, alias Dubal, a pilot, sent by his Highness, the most serene Archduke Alberto,8 to make a Page 267voyage to the Filipinas Islands in his Majesty’s service by way of the cape of Buena Esperanza or by the new strait of Mayre.9 In the presence of Don Lorenzo de Cracola, commander of the fleet, he was asked which of the two routes seemed the most suitable for the voyage of which they were conferring. He answered that that by the cape of Buena Esperanza was most suitable, if the voyage were to be made at the end of this year, because it could not be made by the new strait, as it was now very late in the year. He said that the season most suitable for that was any time in May; and that although, in accordance with the voyages that he has made, the Dutch sail Page 268from their country during any time of the year, he thought that this fleet should sail during the month of March, notwithstanding that he offered to make the voyage by sailing the last of November or the first of December, as above stated. He supposes that by making a way-station in the regions, and in the manner that the Dutch do, they would spend thirteen or fourteen months; and they would not make the time at all shorter by not having made the voyage by the open sea. He asserts that the voyage by way of the new strait is much longer, by at least one thousand leguas. He knows this as one who has made the voyage by both routes, and the last time by that of Magallanes, although not by that newly-discovered way called the strait of Mayre; and because he has gone to Filipinas and Terrenate twice by way of the cape of Buena Esperanza. He affixed his signature in presence of the above-mentioned persons and of Cornelio Smout (who came to España with the said pilot, having been sent by his Highness), and by Henrrique Serbaer, an inhabitant of this city of Sevilla, who served him as interpreter.
1 See Vol. x, p. 230, note 30.
2 See Vol. xvii, p. 145, note 44.
3 Recopilación de leyes contains the following law in regard to Page 248nthe rations of rice: “Inasmuch as the presidents and auditors of the Audiencia of the Filipinas Islands, and the officials of our royal treasury are accustomed to divide among themselves all the tributes of rice belonging to us in La Pampanga for the expense of their houses, taking it at the price at which the tributarios give it at the harvest, whence it happens that the rations given on our account are lacking, and that they must be bought at excessive rates; and as such procedure is very prejudicial to our royal treasury: therefore we order the president and royal officials to avoid it and stop so pernicious a custom, for thus is it advisable for our royal service.” [Felipe III, Madrid, December 19, 1618 —lib. ii, tit. xvi, ley lxxii.]
4 The following document, preserved in Archivo general de Indias with the same pressmark as Fajardo’s letter (see Bibliographical Data, post), was probably ordered to be copied as a help toward solving these doubts.
The King: To the president and auditors of my royal Audiencia of the Filipinas Islands. I have heard that, [the command of] a company of infantry having become vacant because of the death of Don Tomas Brabo, and my governor and captain-general of those islands, Don Pedro de Acuña, having appointed to it Captain Juan de Billaçon—who in order that he would accept had to be urged by the said Don Pedro, both because he was a very worthy and deserving man and one who had done many services, and because there was no one else to select, and because it was an occasion when a great number of boats were expected from China which it had been rumored were to come to attack the islands, to revenge the Sangleys who had been killed in the insurrection of the year six hundred and three—you issued an act, in which you ordered that the said governor should appoint the said company in conformity to the ordinance, and that in the meantime there should be no innovation in anything—just as if such a matter were the chief that should be attended to then, since it was an occasion in which the governor was toiling so arduously in fortifying districts and strongholds of those islands, raising ramparts, and making ditches in order to be as ready as possible for the awaiting of so great a multitude of men as rumor said were to attack those islands. Inasmuch as it is proper that matters pertaining to war be solely in the charge and care of the said my governor and captain-general, I have, after examination of the matter by my royal Council of the Indias, considered it Page 259nfitting to issue the present, by which I order you not to interfere and oppose the said governor in anything pertaining to war and government matters; and when any case arises, in which any doubt may exist as to the form and execution of it, it is my will that the orders of the said my governor be followed and obeyed, and that you advise me, through my said Council, of the doubt, and what shall be your opinion regarding it; so that after my Council has examined it, the measures most advisable to my service may be ordered and commanded. Given Ventocilla, November four, one thousand six hundred and six years.
I The King
By order of the king, our sovereign:
Juan de Civica
I, Pedro Muño de Herrera, who exercise the office of scrivener of the assembly of the royal Audiencia and Chancilleria of the Philipinas Islands, had this copy drawn and drew it from the original royal decree which is in my possession, by order of Don Alonso Faxardo de Tença, comendador of the redoubt in the order of Alcantara, governor and captain-general of these Philipinas Islands, and president of this royal Audiencia. It is a certified copy and is thoroughly revised and collated with its original. In the city of Manila, on the twentieth day of the month of August, one thousand six hundred and twenty, witnesses being Ambrosio Corrales and Pedro Muñoz de Herrera, junior.
Pedro Munoz de Herrera
5 In the preceding document, this name appears as Juan Saenz de Hegoen.
6 The original if read strictly requires the above translation. It reads ”porque son gente de mucho fruto y no se buelven tantos dellos como de otras Religiones y particularmente la de Santo Domingo que e entendido sean ydo delta mas de los que yo quissiera.” ”Della” should refer then to ”la” and thence back to ”religiones.” But the meaning cannot be that the religious left the order, but rather their brethren in the islands and returned to Nueva España or Spain. Fajardo’s language throughout this letter is loose and complicated, and it is possible that, ”della” refers to the word ”tierra” (“country”) understood, in which case the translation would be “have left the country.”
7 Alonso Baraona was a native of Quintanario, of the province of Bargos. He took his vows in the Augustinian college of Burgos in 1596, and was prior of the college of Santo Niño in 1607. He ministered in Dumangas (1608), Batan (1609), Jaro (1616), Aclán (1613), and Passi (1614); and became definitor ami prior provincial in 1617. In 1623 he was at Bay, and died, in 1626. See Perez’s Catálogo.
8 The cardinal archduke Albert of Austria was the sixth son of Maximilian II and Maria of Austria, and was born in Austria November 13, 1559. In 1570 he was sent to Spain, where he rose rapidly in Philip’s favor. In 1577 he received the cardinal’s hat from the pope and was made archbishop of Toledo by Philip in 1594. He was viceroy of Portugal from 1584–1595, when Philip, thinking to appease the people of the Low Countries, made him commander or regent there, and determined to marry him to his daughter Isabel. The sovereignty of all the Netherlands was to be left jointly to them and their heirs, and, in case of no issue, to revert to the Spanish crown. Philip formally abdicated his authority Page 267nover the Low Countries, May 6, 1598, and their marriage was solemnized jointly with that of Philip III, April 13, 1599, after Albert had renounced his cardinalate and archbishopric. He died July 13, 1621, after ruling his provinces humanely and generously, although unable to stem the current toward Dutch independence. See Moreri’s Dictionnaire.
9 Jacques (Jakob) le Maire (Lemaire), the Dutch navigator, and the first to double Cape Horn, was born at Egmond, and died at sea, December 31, 1616. His expedition to the South Seas was undertaken at the instigation of his father, Isaac le Maire, a well-known merchant, and the ships were to reach the South Seas by Magalháes’s or any other route. The two vessels were placed in command of Wilhelm van Schouten, and Le Maire was chosen director-general. The ships were equipped at the port of Hoorn, and set sail June 14, 1615, from the Texel. Passing by the south-eastern corner of Tierra del Fuego, they entered and passed through the strait that now bears Le Maire’s name January 24–26, 1616. Between January 27 and 31, they doubled the Horn, which they named for the port of Hoorn. October 28 of the same year after various adventures among the East Indian Islands, they cast anchor at Jacatra in Java, where the “Concorde,” the only vessel left, was sequestered as not having been sent by the Dutch East India Company; while van Schouten and Le Maire were sent to Holland to be tried, Le Maire dying as above stated. A relation of the expedition was written by one of the participants. See vol. iv, pp. 531–618, Recueil des voyages ... de la Compagnie des Indes Orientales (Amsterdam, 1725).
Grant to Seminary of Santa Potenciana
In the seminary for orphan girls, which was founded in this city by order of King Don Filippe, our sovereign and the father of your Majesty, four classes of persons are sheltered: the daughters of old conquerors and soldiers of these islands, who, as these have nothing to leave them, are left unprotected; the illegitimate daughters of Spaniards and Indian women (and they are numerous), every one of whom is ruined if she is not sheltered here, because of the great laxity [of morals] in the country; and all are taught and instructed until they depart married. Some married women who quarrel with their husbands are also sheltered there, until the trouble is smoothed over; and there are some poor widows. It is a work of great charity, and one that prevents great offenses to God. But it receives so little aid that the girls are in need. They are barefoot and almost naked, have wretched food, and live in very narrow, obscure, and damp, and consequently unhealthy, quarters. They are treated at the hospital. They have a church, so poor that it has no one to give it a shred as an ornament. The rearing of the girls suffers great injury from their being mingled with the married women, for there is no money with which to Page 270build them separate quarters. All of these things are causes that prevent them from living acceptably, and keep them under forcible restraint; while from growing up amid so great poverty and destitution of all things, they do not attract the attention of Spaniards, and lower themselves by marrying Indians. Consequently, all the good ends sought in their rearing are frustrated, and among those ends, the growth of the Spanish population in these regions. I consider myself as the chaplain of this seminary to advise your Majesty of all this (for I think that it is contrary to your royal pleasure and purpose), so that, as its author and only patron, you may correct that state of affairs. It can be corrected by giving the institution some more Indians in encomienda; by adding three more toneladas, in the distribution of the cargo, to the three that are given annually; by raising to thirty its twelve Indians of service, who bring it water and wood; and by ordering that ornaments be given to its church from the royal treasury, as is done to the other churches, and from the royal hospital the necessary medicines, at the written request of the physician and the rectoress. And at present, for enlarging and fitting up the house, your Majesty could give some alms. For its good management, your Majesty might aid the pious intent of Licentiate Hernando de los Rios, procurator of this city, to bring nuns to found a convent in this city, from which nuns might be sent every three years to govern this seminary; for through lack of persons who can be placed in charge of it, and who are suitable for that post, it is and has been managed by only one woman, although four are needed. If your Majesty wishes a more detailed relation of these and Page 271other things of this your house, Licentiate Hernando de los Rios will give it to you, for he is well informed of everything. Consequently I finish by entreating your Majesty to have pity on these poor creatures, who all continually pray for your Majesty’s health, which may our Lord preserve for many years. Manila, July 15, 617.
Very Potent Sir:
I, Diego de Castro, administrator of the seminary of Sancta Potenciana of this city, and its majordomo, declare that the encomienda of Indians was granted to the said seminary, as appears by the decree I present under oath, both to send before the king our sovereign for its confirmation, and to present to his royal Council of the Indias.
I beg and supplicate your Majesty [sic; apparently error for “Lordship”] to give me one copy or more of the said concession with the judicial comment of his Majesty’s fiscal, for the purpose above mentioned; and to return the original for a warrant to the said seminary, and for the sanction of the law in the whole matter.
Diego de Castro
In the city of Manila, in public session of the Audiencia, on August three, one thousand six hundred and seventeen. Give it to him, as he asks.
Pedro Muñoz de Herrera
I declare that I was summoned in Manila, August twelve, one thousand six hundred and seventeen.
And I, Christoval Martin Franco, chief clerk of the government and military office of these Philipinas Islands, declare that I do now despatch this matter because Gaspar Alvarez is prevented from doing it.
I ordered to be drawn, and drew, the copy requested by the above petition from the original concession which was presented for this purpose by Diego de Castro, majordomo (and so at present) of the said seminary of Santa Potenciana, and it is literally as follows:
[Marginal note: “Concession of encomienda.”]
Don Juan de Silva, knight of the Order of Santiago, governor and captain-general in these islands; and president of the royal Audiencia and Chancillería resident therein, etc. Inasmuch as the native towns of Guas and Libon in the province of Camarines have been declared vacant, because of the expiration of the period granted to General Don Juan Tello de Guzman, who held and possessed them, and his failure to establish a colony, as he was obliged; and since they are to be given in encomienda as his Majesty commands: therefore, considering the same, I place the said encomienda of Guas and Libon under the royal crown, together with their subjects, tingues, and mountains, according to and in the form and manner that the said general Don Juan Tello held and enjoyed it, so that the retreat of Sancta Potenciana may enjoy and collect forever the products and profits of the said encomienda. The pension of five hundred pesos received annually from the gambling-houses of this camp by the said retreat is repealed and suppressed, provided it be paid the amount due therefrom up to the day of this concession. In respect Page 273to the collection of the tributes of the said natives, the appraisement last made for that province must be observed, and it shall not be exceeded under any consideration, under penalty of the ordinances, decrees, and provisions of his Majesty, made for the Yndias. It shall be seen to that the said natives are well treated, and instructed in the matters of our holy Catholic faith; and in regard to that, it is charged upon the consciences [of the directors of the seminary] and taken from that of his Majesty, and from mine in his royal name. The Indians shall not be harassed or injured by the collectors who go to collect the said tributes, nor by any other person. Given in Manila, December twenty-seven, one thousand six hundred and ten.
Don Juan De Silva
By order of the governor:
The account of the concession of this other part was taken from the record-book of royal decrees and other papers of this accountancy of Manila. Given in that city, April twenty-eight, one thousand six hundred and eleven.
The above copy is faithful, and is accurately corrected and collated with the said original concession, which was returned to the people, and I refer to that. And the said petition and order I gave the present, witnesses being Juan Vazquez de Miranda and Don Francisco Veltran, citizens of Manila, where this is given on the fourteenth of the month of August, one thousand six hundred and seventeen.
Christoval Martin Franco
The seminary of Santa Potenciana of the city of Manila, where your Majesty has had the kindness to order the poor unmarried daughters of conquerors to be sheltered, and which your Majesty sustains and founded, declares that your governor Don Juan de Silva took from it a pension that it possessed for the aid of its support in the said city, and in its place, applied the products of the encomienda of Guas and Libon in the province of Camarines, and apportioned the said encomienda to your royal crown for the support of the girls and for divine worship. The seminary petitions your Majesty to concede it the grace of confirming that favor, since its service to God and to your Majesty is so great.
[Addressed: “To Secretary Santiago Florez.”]
[Endorsed: “The Council ordered, September 9, 1619, that the fiscal examine the matter.”]
The fiscal declares that this confirmation is not asked for within the four years, although the patent of the governor does not assign any period for obtaining the confirmation; neither does it state that a confirmation must be obtained. The work appears charitable and advisable, and consequently the Council can grant it what favor it pleases. Madrid, September 10, 1619.
On the 23d of November, 619, the Council, after consideration, ordered the governor and Audiencia, at the summons of his Majesty’s fiscal, to report on the value and advisability [of such grant]; and that for that purpose a decree of investigation be given in legal form. They shall cite especially what charitable works have been strengthened Page 275by other encomiendas; the disadvantages or benefits that may result from this; whether it is an estate that continues to increase or decrease; and what harm may result to the royal patrimony. Page 276
Reforms Needed in the Filipinas
Fernando de los Rios Coronel, procurator-general of the Filipinas Islands and of all their estates, declares that, inasmuch as all that community insisted that he come to inform your Majesty of the distressed condition which it has reached, and of what was advisable both for the service of your Majesty and that community’s conservation and advancement, he has come, for that reason, at the risk of his life, after suffering so great hardships, to serve your Majesty and those islands, for both of which services he has made this memorial of the most necessary matters that demand reform. Although he thinks that your governor, Don Alonso Fajardo, will remedy many of these things (inasmuch as that whole community writes that he is proceeding as its father), yet, since men are so liable to the possibility of death that most often the good lasts but a short time, and (as we all know by experience, for our sins), another may succeed who will inflict many injuries; and since before the complaints could reach your Majesty through so long a distance and the relief be sent, the men concerned might be dead: it is necessary to prevent the wrongs ere they come to be irremediable, as have been all those that have placed that country in so wretched Page 277a condition. He petitions your Majesty to examine this memorial with great consideration, for in [heeding] it consists the welfare and conservation of all the kingdom; for that country, being so far away, has no other remedy for its protection except your royal decrees. The first ten articles of the memorial were approved by your royal Audiencia, so that you may have no doubt of them. He did not inform the Audiencia of the others for just considerations, as was advisable—the city having given him instructions for most of them, which are those that he presents. In the authority that he has presented to your royal Council, the great trust reposed in his person has been evident; for he has served your Majesty and that community for more than thirty years, with so great a desire of acting rightly as is well known, and has never tried to further his own interests, as all [are wont to] do.
1. He declares that having obtained two decrees from your Majesty some years ago (while acting in this capital as procurator-general of the kingdom), with regard to the trading-ships, ordering that your governor and captain-general despatch them some time in the month of June, as the greater part of their success in the voyage consists in that, and as that country has no other fruits and harvests except that commerce, for its conservation and increase, and also for the increase of your royal treasury: not only have they not kept the said decrees but have even done the very opposite. Thence have followed very many great wrongs and annoyances; and that community is greatly exhausted for that reason, and your royal treasury deeply in debt. [This affects the community] not only in material possessions, but also in Page 278the loss of your vassals, many citizens and sailors having perished for that reason. Although it is believed that your governor and captain-general, Don Alonso Faxardo, will (as is judged by his method of proceeding), correct this matter, because he has entered upon his office with so good beginnings, still, as he is mortal, and as a person may succeed him who may not attend to this—as others of his predecessors have failed to do, as has been seen hitherto:
He petitions your Majesty to order that this command be observed inviolate. The most efficacious expedient would appear to be to place the governors under a heavy penalty, which they would incur whenever they did not observe it, and that it be made an important clause in their residencias.
2. Item: That your Majesty issued a decree in the year 605, granting favor to the citizens of that community, and ordering your governors that the posts in the trading-ships be given to the deserving citizens for their profit, and that many be rewarded with this. Inasmuch as this is very advantageous to your Majesty’s service and to the profit of trade, and inasmuch as the ex-governor always gave them to his relatives, and thus enriched them greatly, and the latter became very arrogant; and since, as this was the affair of the governor, no one dared to bring suit against them; and since this is greatly to the harm of the royal treasury, because they lade quantities of merchandise without registering it, and commit many illegal acts, and will continue always to commit them, for no one dares to speak plainly:
He petitions your Majesty to order the observance of the said decree by ordering the officials of your royal treasury, that should the governor appoint to Page 279such offices other persons than those whom your Majesty has ordered, no account be made of it in the royal books, that no salary be granted them, and that those appointed to these offices have their residencias taken at the end of the voyage; and that, until these shall be taken, they cannot be appointed to other posts.
3. Item: That your Majesty has granted to the citizens the toneladas of the said trading-ships, and that your governors allot these, to each one according to his rank and wealth. The citizens have been greatly injured in this, as happened in the year 613, when the governor despatched two small ships, and did not give the citizens one single tonelada; and under pretext of granting gratuities to retired officers, the citizens were obliged to buy space for their freight from those officers, at exorbitant prices. Further, he apportions a considerable number of toneladas to charitable institutions, so that they may sell the space and use, and the price obtained for it; and thus these toneladas are given to the great injury of the common welfare. The further disadvantage follows from this (besides defrauding the citizens of the reward given them by your Majesty) that the toneladas are sold to whomever will pay most for them, and they are bought for this reason by merchants who have companies in Mexico. Consequently, it is quite common for such men to own a great part of the said merchandise of the ships, and thus the citizens are deprived of the profits with which your Majesty has rewarded them.
He petitions your Majesty to order that these be not distributed at will, but that the orders given in this regard by your royal decrees be obeyed, and Page 280that the violation of your royal will in this be made a clause of the residencia, with the penalty that may be assigned to it.
4. Item: That your Majesty has ordered that four vessels be built for the trade, of 200 toneladas’ burden; and that two of them make voyages each year, while the other two remain in port getting ready for the next year.
He petitions your Majesty that they be not employed in other matters by your governors, unless it be an urgent necessity, as happened last year, when they went out to drive off the Dutch enemy who had besieged us. In such case the citizens themselves shall go out in them to defend the city, since the profit of the citizens is so necessary in order that that community may be settled, and have the sinews with which to defend and preserve itself. They shall not be sent to Maluco or any other district, since thus your Majesty is no less defrauded of your royal duties.
6. Item: It happens that your governor and captain-general has to send to Great China for ammunition and other articles very necessary for your royal service. In order not to anger the Portuguese of the city of Macan, the ships go to its port, although they could go to another. There they are compelled to buy through the Portuguese, and are not allowed to buy from the Chinese in the city of Canton, the Portuguese alleging that the Chinese would charge them excessive rates. But they, as we have experienced, buy the articles needed, and afterward oblige our agents to take them at excessive rates, reselling them to your Majesty to the great prejudice of your royal treasury. That happened in my presence when Page 281Don Juan de Silva sent Captain Francisco Lopez de Toledo for that purpose. He brought back the supplies at prices more than thrice their value. While I was acting as the said procurator in China, I bought nails for less than sixteen reals per pico, or five arrobas, and Toledo brought them hither at fifty-six; and other things after this manner, because the Portuguese compelled him to buy through them.
He petitions your Majesty to issue a royal decree, so that the persons sent on a similar commission by your governor may buy freely; and, where they cannot buy freely, they may make another port, where they can trade with the Chinese; and that the governor send an experienced and practiced person on this errand.
7. Item: Inasmuch as the ships built in the Filipinas cause your Majesty great expense, and have ruined and exhausted the natives; and inasmuch as your Majesty owes them a great sum of money from the time of Don Juan de Silva, for their personal services and things that he took by force from them: it is very advisable, not only for your royal service, but also for your royal conscience, to relieve them from so great oppression.
He petitions your Majesty to order your governors that they be prohibited from doing this, and that they send to Yndia to have the said ships built; for besides their incomparably greater cheapness there, one built there lasts as long as ten built in Filipinas, because the woods in Yndia are incorruptible. In this your Majesty will save a great sum of ducados, and the natives will be relieved of so much hardship. For that a decree from your royal Council of Portugal is needed, and it should be charged upon the governor Page 282of Filipinas to do this with the mildness and prudence advisable. If it is desired it can be easily effected, and it is of great importance. Of all this he has more minutely treated in clause 7 (which corresponds to this clause) in the memorial which he brings approved from Filipinas.
8. Item: He petitions your Majesty to do him the favor to order the viceroy of Nueva España1 not to allow a vessel to go thither from Japon (which is a most serious evil), and to order that gate to be closed; and, inasmuch as the Japanese do not know how to navigate without a Spanish pilot and sailors, to have an edict published forbidding such persons under severe penalties (which he [i.e., Coronel] does not declare, because he is a priest) from sailing in such ships to Nueva España. For that, in another guise, means to teach a barbarous nation how to navigate, and is rash, and opens the gate to many evils, for which afterward there will be no remedy. It will even be advisable to order father Fray Luis Sotelo not to go to Japon, for he was the one who began this, and it may be feared that he will further it.
9. Item: There is no entrance to the city of Manila except by the mouth of the bay, and the Dutch enemy is wont to seize that mouth, and not allow any ship to enter or leave—as has happened thrice, namely, the years of 10, 15, and 17—thereby placing the city in great straits. But it may be presumed that this can be remedied by opening up two rivers—one in Zambales, called the river of Tarla; and the other in Laguna de Bombon, where it was resolved Page 283in the former year of 17 that some one should go to examine it, because of their great need—although this was not effected on account of the success obtained in driving away the enemy.
He petitions your Majesty, for the reasons here stated, to order the governors to consider that matter and examine this matter, and to charge themselves with it, as it is a thing of so great importance; and, if it be feasible, to put it into execution with the mildness and skill that is advisable, without injuries to, or extortions on, the natives; and that they send for that purpose a prudent and competent person. For, if the Spaniards possess these routes, the enemy can do no harm to the city, nor prevent it from being supplied with all necessaries. Besides, this is of the highest importance for the service and accommodation of the mines that have been ordered to be opened; and it will avoid the loss of many Spanish and native vessels that are continually being lost.2
15. Item: Inasmuch as the Indians of the islands of Mindanao and others near by are declared enemies and are in insurrection, and have embraced the religion of Mahomet; and inasmuch as they have confederated with the Dutch, and committed incredible depredations on the vassals of your Majesty, both Spaniards and natives, and there is no security there:
He petitions your Majesty to charge your governor straitly to try to punish them, and to attend to that carefully, since it is of so great importance; and inasmuch as it will be of great help in facilitating this, to declare those people to be the slaves of whomever Page 284captures them in war, since through the greed of gain the natives will help willingly, and the soldiers will go much more eagerly. He petitions that you have your governor proclaim them as such, establishing the above facts with sufficient investigation, and justice on the part of your Majesty to order it; and that this be done quickly, since it is so advisable to your royal service and the security of your vassals.
16. item: That whenever any cause that concerns the governor or any of your auditors or the fiscal is to be voted on in the sessions of your royal Audiencia, he petitions your Majesty to order that such persons shall not be present at the meeting; for their presence is very undesirable, and the execution of your royal justice is obstructed. In regard to this, many disorderly acts have followed, as has happened when opponents have left the session, and even offensive words have been bandied.
17. Item: That your Majesty order that neither governors nor auditors send people thence to this court. That is very annoying, as has been seen in the one sent by Don Juan de Silva.
18. Item: Your Majesty is served by the Indian natives as soldiers in Maluco and other regions—who, as we know by experience, serve very faithfully; and so long as they are at the war, they cannot attend to their fields and sustain their households. And in the repartimientos which are generally made by the governors, both in personal services and in food, the chiefs and cabezas [de barangay], through whom the apportionment is made, practice great cruelty on the wives of those soldiers upon whom they make the said repartimientos, thus giving occasion for the Page 285women to sell their children, or to take to evil ways.
He therefore petitions your Majesty that such repartimientos be not made on women whose husbands are thus engaged in the war in your Majesty’s service, and that they pay no tribute until their husbands return—also making this concession to those whose husbands shall have died in the war; for not only will this be a service to your Majesty and to our Lord, but the natives will thus be encouraged to go to service willingly, and many wrongs will be avoided.
19. Item: That the jurisdiction of ecclesiastical affairs in the islands of Maluco is subject to Eastern India. Innumerable troubles result from the archbishop of Goa having to place ministers there, who, being of another nation and under another prelate, act very badly.
He petitions your Majesty to grant him the favor to decide that this jurisdiction be subject to the bishop of Cibu, who is the nearest one, and that ministers be provided thence—which can be done easily, as it is so near, while it is done very inadequately from India.
20. Item: In regard to the trading-ships between Filipinas and Nueva España and the numerous things worthy of reform (which is advisable both for the royal treasury of your Majesty and for the community, and for the avoidance of many death of the seamen), that which it is advisable straitly to charge and order your governor is the following:
That the accommodations given the commander be moderated, conforming to the capacity of the ships. We have seen them during those years laden by the commanders with a third of the cargo, because they are relatives of the governor, under pretext Page 286of having a dispensation of taking the space of fifty toneladas.
20 [sic]. Item: That the said commanders, admirals, and masters, give the residencia for their posts before being appointed to others, which your Majesty has ordered by a decree of the year 604.
Item: That the masters in the port of Capulco [i.e., Acapulco], in addition to the duties that are paid to your Majesty, charge excessive prices for the guards of the boxes, barrels, and other articles of merchandise, without anything being due them; and these fees were not formerly charged, because their office is given to them for that purpose, and that duty [of guarding freight] is annexed to it. He petitions your Majesty to order the royal Audiencia of Manila, or the governor, to set the price that they can charge; and, if they exceed that price, those aggrieved can make claim in the residencia.
21. Item: That your Majesty be pleased to order your governor to be careful, in the muster-roll of sailors and common seamen made out by the royal officials, that all such be efficient; for it happens that a ship may take sixty sailors, thirty of whom are men who have been named as sailors without any knowledge of their duties, but only by favor. Then in times of need there are not any to work, and the few who do understand it cannot attend to the work, which should be divided among so many. Consequently there is signal danger, because the voyage is so long and difficult.
22. Item: That it be ordered that the common seamen who serve in the said ships, who are always Indian natives, be all men of that coast, who are instructed how to navigate; and that they be made Page 287to wear clothes, with which to shelter themselves from the cold; for, because they do not, most of them die in high latitudes, of which he [the writer] is a witness. Inasmuch as the factor enrolls other Indians who live in the interior, and who do not know the art of sailing, and as they are a wretched people, they are embarked without clothes to protect them against the cold, so that when each new dawn comes there are three or four dead men (a matter that is breaking his heart); besides, they are treated inhumanly and are not given the necessaries of life, but are killed with hunger and thirst. If he were to tell in detail the evil that is done to them, it would fill many pages. He petitions your Majesty to charge your governor straitly to remedy this.
Item: That inasmuch as the kitchens where the food is cooked are not located in the first part of the forecastle, as is seen in [ships on] these seas, but in the waist; and inasmuch as at the first storm the sea carries them away, after which each one cooks his food in his messroom where he can make a fire (and it is a miracle from God that the ships are not burned)—he petitions your Majesty to order your governor to remedy that, since he is so excellent a sailor. The reason for that abuse is that the officials appropriate the largest storerooms of the ships.
23. Item: That slave women be not conveyed in the ships, by which many acts offensive to God will be avoided. Although that is prohibited by your royal decree, and it is also entrusted to the archbishop to place upon them the penalty of excommunication and to punish them, this evil has not been checked; and many sailors—and even others, who should furnish a good example—take slave women and keep Page 288them as concubines. He knew a certain prominent official who carried with him fifteen of these women; and some were delivered of children by him, while others were pregnant, which made a great scandal.
24. Item: That no sailor, and no passenger unless he be a person of rank, be allowed to take more than one male slave; for they load the ships with slaves who eat the provisions, and steal whatever they lay hands on, besides the risk that is run of a plague being started by them. He also petitions your Majesty that the fifty pesos paid as duty on each slave be moderated, and that these imposts be paid according to the tariff in España; and that these duties be paid in the port of Capulco—where by selling the slaves, their owners may have the wherewithal to pay the imposts; for it is a great inconvenience to pay them in Manila. For that reason, great deceits are practiced on the royal treasury now; for they take the slaves without being registered, because of the high amount of the duties, and are allowed to take them off at the port [of Acapulco] for twenty pesos. If the said duties were moderated, and paid in the port, no one would take them without registering them, especially since the said slaves serve and aid the sailors in their necessities, and your Majesty gives them no allowance of either food or water. Consequently in no part of the Indias is so large a duty paid.
25. Item: Inasmuch as the good treatment of the sailors is so important, in order that they may be inclined to go there, since there is so great need of them, he petitions your Majesty to order that good treatment be shown them, and they be given leave to take away their boxes in which they carry their clothing and certain small wares freely, without having to Page 289open them. For in this matter the guards practice many extortions on them, and take away their little possessions, and harass them so that many refuse to return, and many acts of oppression are practiced.
26. Item: Inasmuch as the officials of the vessels, such as commander, master, boatswain, etc., lade a quantity of merchandise beyond the share given them, and overload the ships by occupying the place of the ship’s stores in the storerooms and magazines; and inasmuch as this cannot be checked, as has been seen: there is no other remedy unless your Majesty order the clerk of the register not to receive on the register more than only the allotment of shares that your governor makes; for he proportions the cargo which the vessel can carry, in accordance with its need, and anything more only overloads the ship. But if these goods were not admitted to register, the officials would not dare to lade them, because of the great risk of their being seized as smuggled goods. Consequently great losses would be avoided by proceeding in the above manner.
Item: That neither your governor nor auditors and fiscal be allowed to act as godfathers to the citizens; for that involves very great annoyances, as that kingdom is so new, and as all make claims.
27. Item: That it is the practice or abuse that fowls are given to your governor, auditors, and other officials of the royal Audiencia at lower prices than are current; and that the governor of the Chinese is ordered for that purpose to allot the share of all [the Chinese], and each one is obliged to give weekly so many fowls at a certain low price, and he who does not give them is punished and fined. The worst thing is that on this occasion the governor of the Page 290Chinese steals as many more, at the same price. That amounts to a vast sum; for, since there is no other flesh eaten except beef and pork, these fowls amount by the end of the year to more than twenty thousand. In this way signal injury is done to the Chinese.
They also provide their houses with rice, which is the usual bread; and they take it as well as other things from your royal storehouses, at the prices for which they are given to your Majesty as tributes. It results that your Majesty’s treasury, in the course of the year, encounters a deficiency of supplies, on account of the great expense, and these must be bought afterward at very high rates. He mentioned this so that your Majesty should provide what may be deemed advisable; for it is a pity to see your Majesty’s treasury poorly administered, since it is so necessary there.3
28. Item: Inasmuch as certain regidors of the city have their encomiendas in the Pintados Islands and other districts, and as the governors, in order to annoy them, command them to go to live on the encomiendas, thus obliging them to leave their offices, to their own great loss and inconvenience; and as that is even the cause of their being unable to exercise their offices with freedom, in order not to anger the governor: he petitions your Majesty that, if your governor thus urge a regidor to go to live [there] in person, he may maintain in the said encomienda a soldier in his stead, since it is the same thing; and it shall be understood that he is under no further obligation. The same also is to be understood with the leading citizens of Manila. Page 291
29. Item: That your governor of Filipinas, in recent years, requested from your viceroy of Nueva España many kinds of supplies, such as rigging. One year they carried him fifty thousand pesos’ worth of it; but the freight charged for carrying it from one sea to the other alone amounted to a vast sum of money, and the rigging arrived at the islands rotten and useless. For ten thousand pesos, the Indians would make twice as much as what cost fifty thousand pesos. He sent for damask for the flag to the sea of Damascus; and six varas of it cost less than one in Nueva España. He sends for garbanzos, habas, biscuit, soap, and many other things, which cost their weight in money; and when they reach the islands, they are rotten and useless. Those things can be provided in the Filipinas with great advantages; and where your Majesty spends one thousand, they can be bought there for one hundred. And, as above stated, there are many other articles besides those I have mentioned—such as flour for the hosts, which in the islands costs less per quintal than does the freight alone for carrying it from the port of Capulco. He sends for preserves for the sick, who never taste them. All the above can be very well avoided, and it is enough to send money, and to order that these articles be provided there. Your Majesty would have saved in these last eight years more than five hundred thousand ducados; for those who have the handling of most of those things profit greatly from them.
29 [sic]. Item: Inasmuch as some religious commit great excesses in making repartimientos among the Indians for works that they invent for the natives; and also take from them their fowls, swine, and other food at a less price and inflict on the Indians Page 292great injuries and vexations, not only in regard to food, but also to increase their own profits:
He petitions your Majesty to order your governor, as protector [of the Indians], to check those excesses—and the archbishop as well, since he may have in this respect a better opportunity to check them; for some of the religious cause more injury to the natives than could be told here. It is extremely important that this evil be stopped, and that the religious be not served by the Indians, unless they pay the latter their just wage; and that, unless they have permission from your governor, they shall not make repartimientos on the Indians, nor make them serve on their works.4
30. Item: That there are four orders of religious in those islands—those of St. Dominic, St Francis, and St. Augustine, and the Society of Jesus—and they are well known there. On account of the trouble caused by other orders going there, and the necessity of having to make new allotments for mission work, he petitions your Majesty that no other orders may go there—even though they be the same orders in name, under pretext that they are of another mode of living; for Fray Luis Sotelo endeavored to introduce there the calced friars in the Order of St. Francis, while the people are well contented with the discalced friars. And the other orders should be made to understand that the land is very new, and does not need so many different kinds of religious.5
31. Item: Many Chinese marry native Indian Page 293women, and become Christians and live near the city of Manila. Their only occupation is as retailers of goods. If they were to be gathered into one place, in a location that should be given them where they could build a town, in order to cultivate the land and sow it (for they are excellent farmers, and there is so much fallow land that might be given them), not only would they be very useful to the community, but numerous troubles that follow, because they are hucksters and retail the food, would be avoided. This is especially desirable because in this manner they will become more domestic and peaceable; and, since the number of those born is thus increasing, the city will not have so much security as if they were collected together, nor can this be done hereafter so easily as now. He petitions your Majesty to charge your governor to do this, by the best plan that offers.
32. Great difficulty arises from the governors placing in the city magistracy relatives or dependents of his household, or those of the auditors. Because a certain ex-governor did that, nothing was enacted in the cabildo that he did not know, and of which he was not informed. Consequently the cabildo does not proceed with any liberty, nor does any one dare talk with Christian freedom, or defend the community in grave cases. He petitions your Majesty to order that such persons be disqualified to act as regidors, or as alcaldes or scriveners of cabildo (which has resulted in the same difficulty).
Item: Your Majesty granted favor to those islands and their inhabitants, so that they might be encouraged to work gold mines of which only the tenth part of the product should be paid for twenty years, which time is about at an end. He petitions your Page 294Majesty to grant that country favor for another twenty years, so that the operation of the mines may be better established.
33. In regard to the inspection of the Chinese vessels, when they come with their merchandise, your governor appoints an inspector. The ex-governor was wont to appoint a member of his household. On that account notable wrongs have been committed; but no one has dared to demand justice against the inspectors, because they are such persons. He petitions your Majesty to order that this post be filled by one of the alcaldis-in-ordinary—who, inasmuch as they understand the great importance of conserving that trade, and as it is a matter that grieves them, will show the Chinese good treatment, since it is incumbent upon those officials to consider the interests of their community.
34. Item: That the trading-ships that navigate to Nueva España have sometimes not been despatched, for personal purposes of the former governors, which is to the great injury of your royal treasury and of the citizens, since those ships are the sinews of that community. He petitions your Majesty to order your governor to prevent such a thing, so that, unless compelled by a very great necessity, the annual despatch be not neglected.
35. Item: He petitions your Majesty to order your governor not to exclude the regidors of the city from appointments in accordance with their merits, since they derive no profit from the city magistracy, and are serving the community.
37. Item: The maintenance of commerce with the Chinese, and the good treatment of those from that nation who dwell in those islands, are of so great importance that that community cannot be maintained without them (as they practice all the trades needed by a city), and it is advisable to treat them well. But your governor, Don Juan de Silva, after having levied upon them so great a tax as the annual payment of nine reals of eight for permission to remain in the country (which meant, however, to impose this tax on the citizens, since because of it all prices were raised), besides this made them render personal services, by which they were sorely vexed. He therefore petitions your Majesty to order your governor to treat the Chinese as well as possible, and to exempt them from those personal services, which are a greater burden on them than are the licenses. This should be done, also, since they are foreigners, and remain voluntarily; and, moreover, since there is so great need of the kind and just treatment and equity which should be extended toward foreigners for their conversion, inasmuch as the miracles which in those regions secure conversion are good examples.
38. Item: That about two thousand Japanese generally reside in that city; and that, as trading ships come annually, many Japanese remain there. But they are not only of no use to the community, but a signal danger, since they have three or four times placed the city in danger of being ruined. In this last encounter with the Dutch, Japanese went to them who gave them information; and on the day of the battle a company of them who fled from Manila went to help the enemy. He petitions your Majesty to Page 296show that kingdom the favor to order straitly that no Japanese remain there; but that those who go there every year must return to their own country.
39. Item: Inasmuch as the Indian natives have been so ruined by the past shipbuilding, and your Majesty is indebted to them, for personal services and things taken from them by Don Juan de Silva for your royal service, more than one million [pesos]: he petitions your Majesty to order your governors that now and henceforth they shall endeavor most carefully to avoid, as far as possible, harassing the Indians; and that they shall also avoid the building of galleons, since, as stated in another memorial, these can be brought from India at a much less cost to your Majesty; and that an effort be made to remunerate the natives for a part of the debt due them.
40. Item: He petitions your Majesty to command that a copy of the commercial decrees be given him, that he obtained formerly when he was in this court in this same office; for the last governor took possession of the decrees when the packet in which they were sent to the city fell into his hands, and refused to give them up, but kept them.
Most potent sire:
The procurator of the Filipinas declares that, having to descant upon the matters of that kingdom that need remedy and reform, both for the service of your Highness and for the welfare of that kingdom; and as he had considered and discussed them before leaving that kingdom; and considering his many years of experience, which best demonstrates what is needful for that kingdom’s prosperity: the first thing that occurs to him is the following. Page 297
First: That the cabildo of the city of Manila, inasmuch as certain of the regidors are appointed by the governor and at times from his own household, suffers very great troubles because they are unable, when discussing the common welfare in the said cabildo, to do it freely, or to advise your Highness of what is expedient, because those persons tell it to your governor. And, as is often necessary, if they have to write the truth of what is occurring, if it is against the governor, they know that he will hear of it, and will be angry at them, as has sometimes occurred; and he has even arrested them, and has spoken to them roughly and harshly. Inasmuch as the said governor is the soul of that community, and the one who must reward their services, and is even the cause that nothing but what he wishes is done and written; and inasmuch as many times certain prominent persons and leading men refuse to act as regidors, and those persons who would be very desirable to retain therein have left the cabildo:
I petition and supplicate your Highness that those who enter the said cabildo because of the absence or death of those who are now members be appointed by the entire royal Audiencia. Those appointed shall be nominated by the said cabildo and the said royal Audiencia shall select one of the two who shall be nominated; and your governor shall be unable to remove him, just as if he were appointed by your Highness. By this method this trouble will end, and a confirmation of this request should be sent.
Item: Inasmuch as the said regidors do not have any profits, and as, on that account, those who it is important should be regidors refuse to act: if they were assigned some just reward they would be eager to defend Page 298their community. This reward could take the shape of one-half tonelada for each regidor, in addition to his allotment in each ship. Consequently, they would be encouraged to work and would oppose the difficulties that arise.
Item: Will your Highness please grant me a royal decree that the governor may not compel the said cabildo to go to his house to hold their meetings; but that they always hold them, as is usual and customary, in the said city hall, so that they may freely discuss what is advisable for your Highness’s service and that of your community. For sometimes the governor has ordered the regidors to meet in his house to hold a session of cabildo, contrary to the privileges of the city.
Further, I petition your Highness to give me also a duplicate of the royal decrees which have been drawn for the last ten years in favor of that kingdom, so that, having them in its possession, they may be executed when expedient.
Item: When the insurrection of the Sangleys occurred, there were many houses near the walls, whence they did us much mischief until these were destroyed. Your governor, Don Pedro de Acuña, ordered that no edifice be built within three hundred paces of the wall. Will your Highness please to have the ordinance of your governor confirmed for the city’s perpetual defense.
Item; That the orders and monasteries have established several settlements about Manila, so that they can keep Indians in service for their own works, causing the said Indians to be reserved from personal services. For this purpose they depopulate the encomiendas, and bring the people to Manila, and those Page 299settlements become dens of thieves and vagabonds, and of hucksters and retailers who buy provisions at wholesale for their retail trade, and enhance their cost; and commit many offenses against God. I petition and supplicate your Highness to order that those settlements be broken up, that the Indians go to their own districts, and that only one dozen Indians remain for each monastery.
Item: Inasmuch as the care and vigilance that should be exercised toward foreigners is of great importance for the security of that kingdom, so that it may not again suffer a disaster like the last—especially toward the Chinese nation, with whom more risk is run, since they are very greedy and cunning, and are bribers who easily corrupt the judges with bribes and gifts: therefore, in order to remedy this now and henceforth, it is advisable that a competent, energetic, and disinterested person be chosen in that community, who shall have under his charge that duty of cleansing the country and giving licenses to those Chinese who are to stay, and he shall be accompanied by a regidor. Inasmuch as, were the appointment of such person in charge of the governor alone, it might, as it is an office of profit and honor, be given to some of his servants or followers, or as an investment, it is necessary that the selection of such person be made by the entire royal Audiencia and the cabildo of the city; since it is of so great importance, as it is the weightiest affair of that community. Since so many will take part in the election, they will cast their eyes on a person who is suitable for this post. To such person the most ample commission must be given, and he shall proceed as is the custom in war against Page 300criminals; for in any other way, were opportunity given for appeals and suits, he would accomplish no good. I know that from my own experience, as a person who had that duty in charge for four years, and who labored arduously in it.
Item: That your Highness order straitly that no person keep Sangleys in his house or allow them to sleep inside the city under any consideration (for in that matter I accept no person of that community); and that the said judge may punish such transgressors with heavy penalties, without any one being able to prevent him.
Item: It is fully as advisable that no Japanese be [allowed in the city], which is a great cause of trouble. For they are, on the one hand, a warlike race, and easily come to blows with the Spaniards, for they will not suffer ill-treatment. Consequently they have sometimes risen against us, and have seized arms. This has occurred because some soldiers have desired to harm or injure them, whereupon they, to revenge themselves, seize certain cutlasses that they carry, and begin to assemble together. They may place us in exceeding great danger. On the other hand, if we are careless in permitting them, many Japanese will come. We are in great danger, besides, lest some take to the highways, for among those who come from those kingdoms of Japon are many who have fled for crimes, and who have no right to return to their country. Likewise [it is advisable to restrict their coming] in order to preserve the friendship of the emperor; since, if we do not retain them in that kingdom, there will be no occasion for any event of treachery that should force us to break friendship with him. I petition Page 301your Highness to order this straitly, and that the said judge also have it in charge.
Item: There are certain depositories in the said islands called “commons” [comunidades], in which each Indian places one-half fanega of rice at the annual harvest season. Those commons were ordained with the object and purpose that they might serve the said natives in time of need, by relieving the poor and lending to other needy persons, who return it at the harvest. The plan would have been of great importance had that end been secured; but what actually occurs is, that the alcaldes-mayor sell the rice, or appropriate and loan it, and never return it. And between the stewards and the religious for feasts of the village (for they are those who have charge of the Indians of the missions), at the end of the year all the rice has been used, so that the needs of the poor Indians are not succored. That waste can well be avoided; and they regard it as another very large tribute. Therefore, it is advisable for the service of God and the welfare of those poor natives that your Highness order the said commons to be suppressed. If it be necessary to keep them, it is advisable that the governor of the Filipinas order that there be one reliable steward in each one, who shall have charge of the said depository; that no magistrate or religious put into or take out of the said commons; and that during any time of necessity the rice be lent to the poor; and at the harvest it be paid in kind. If this were to be put into execution, it would be of great importance, according to an opinion that I expressed on this matter in the Filipinas. If the above plan were observed in the commons round about Manila, some forty in number, there might be, as a result, one Page 302hundred thousand fanegas of rice or more on the occasion of any sudden need, which could be placed within the city very speedily; for, as the city has no depository, the greatest danger of the Spaniards, in case any enemy besiege them, lies in their capture through famine. With this the remedy would be secure, and at the same time the Indians would be fed and aided in their needs. When it was expected to place this plan in execution, the said governor sent three of his servants, with a salary of seventy reals to be paid by the commons. Those men, who consisted of judge, alguacil-mayor, and clerk, remained at each commons, balancing accounts and making investigations until all the contents were used up on their said salaries. Consequently, they established order or agreement in nothing, and all remained as before. For this reason, then, affairs are going to pieces; for men are not sought for the offices, but offices to accommodate whomever the governor desires.
Item: That many posts for alcaldes and corregidors have been created by making two such districts out of what was formerly one, so that the governor could accommodate persons to whom he was under obligations. That is much to the cost of the Indians, and [an offense] to God and to my conscience; for the multiplication of those offices means the multiplication of those who destroy the Indians and inflict innumerable injuries upon them. I petition and supplicate your Highness to order the said corregidors’ and alcaldes’ districts remade as they formerly were.
Item: That the governor be warned to endeavor to avoid, as far as possible, the injuries inflicted upon the natives in the cutting of wood and in personal Page 303services; for they sometimes draft them in the planting season or at harvest, so that they lose their fields, as I have seen. In addition to this, many times they do not pay the Indians, because there is no money in the treasury, which is continually short of funds. This often arises from the fact that they do not estimate and consider the needs of the Indians with the amount of money that is available; and consequently all the Indians complain. Finally, when the said Indians are paid, it is done by the hand of the chiefs or cabezas de barangay, who generally keep the money. Will your Highness be pleased to order the governor and royal officials to avoid the above grievances as much as possible; and when it is necessary for the Indians to perform any personal labor, which consists generally in the cutting of wood, to see that it be when they are not busied in their fields—for that can generally be avoided—and that they be paid the just wage, and that promptly. For acting in any other way burdens your royal conscience, since those who perform such service are very poor, and do not dare to ask for their pay, if it is not given them. Consequently they very often do not receive it. In this way are they much burdened by personal services.
Item: Considering the nature of the Indians, who are generally indolent and lazy—inasmuch as the religious have always forbidden them to pay the tributes in kind, insisting that they be allowed to choose for themselves in what they wish to pay it, consequently the rate of living has risen greatly. The country is steadily going to ruin because the Indians are not compelled to pay in kind; for they refuse to plant or cultivate, and all engage in mercantile pursuits, seeing that they can easily gain the ten reals Page 304which is the amount of their tribute. Although the effort has been made to remedy this by another way—namely, by official visits from the alcaldes-mayor, in order that they may rear fowls and plant fields, the result of that has been to strip them of their possessions. For when the alcaldes-mayor go to inspect them (that is, every four months), and do not find the fowls that they have ordered the Indians to rear, they sentence them to a pecuniary fine. Such is the Indian that he does not take warning from that, nor will he work unless he knows that he must pay the tribute in kind. Moreover, it often occurs that the justices themselves take from the Indian the fowls that he has reared; and then when they go to visit him and he does not have them, they punish him with stripes and fines. Thus they practice many injustices against the Indian; but, if he knew that he had to pay in kind, he would rear the fowls as formerly.
Item: There is one abuse very worthy of correction, which is, that the religious and alcaldes-mayor keep certain Indians in service, whom the village grants weekly, and who are called tanores. Those Indians have to serve for nothing, which is contrary to justice and their rights. This was introduced from the custom in Nueva España. Will your Highness be pleased to order that the said tamores [sic] be suppressed, or that they be paid for their toil. For they make use of such Indians, and manage to be well served at others’ expense. It is also the custom to give fish freely on Friday, at the cost of the village, to the alcaldes-mayor and also to the religious.
Item: That the royal Audiencia shall not try the suits of the Indians in the first instance; for all the cases are brought before the Audiencia, and the Indians Page 305spend all their substance with lawyers and attorneys, and even go into debt, for they are fond of litigation. And since suits conducted by audiencias last so long, the Indians spend all their substance, which means the ruin of the country. Since your Highness has ordered that such suits be tried summarily and orally, will your Highness be pleased to order that that decree be observed; and that the alcaldes-mayor and justices try in the first instance, and in the second in a case fully proven, so that the Audiencia may give sentence therein, and despatch the suits quickly.
Item: That, although your Highness has ordered that the Indians be not fined pecuniarily, your order is disregarded, especially by certain officials of the doctrinas [i.e., missions]. There is considerable abuse in this matter that deserves remedy. In some districts, also, very large fees are collected. Will your Highness be pleased to order this remedied, I mean the taking in some districts of these fees by officials of the doctrinas.6
Item: The governors have appointed captains, masters-of-camp, and all sorts of military officers among the natives. They allow them to have company colors, and finally are teaching them how to fight after our manner. That means, even if we should need the Indians, naught else than to awaken one who sleeps, until what he has practiced becomes his purpose.
Item: The Portuguese of Malaca carry to the islands many slaves—negroes, for the most part. Page 306Those are generally the worst ones that they have, and they are drunkards, thieves, and fugitives, who take to highway robbery; and they endanger the country considerably, because of their number. Will your Highness be pleased to order that no one of the said negroes or slaves be carried thither, when twelve years old or over, under penalty of confiscation; and that that order be rigorously executed.
Item: That when the governor or auditors leave their offices they give their residencias in person; for this is of great importance, so that they may have fear in giving the residencia.7 It it also advisable that public suits, both civil and criminal, be prosecuted and concluded in course of appeal and petition in the royal Chancillería of Manila; for it disheartens all to have to come so many thousands of leguas, or to send with so great expense and hardship. Consequently their grievances continue; and many, although they seek redress, have not the means to obtain it. The said governors, inasmuch as they represent your Highness, should treat the citizens with respect, and not use abusive language to them, nor insult and affront them—as they have often done, so that certain men have all but died of grief. The governors have Page 307even exposed the citizens to great danger, by not treating them well by word of mouth. Will your Highness please order the said governors to be very restrained; and, should any merit it, that he be punished as your Highness has ordered by your laws.
Item: Because of the increase of business in the city of Manila, and the number of inhabitants, it is necessary for the proper despatch of business to have one or two more notaries-public.
In regard to the prompt despatch and equipment necessary for your Highness’s two vessels that sail on that line with the trade and merchandise of that kingdom for Nueva España (which involves the most important affairs of that kingdom), the reform and careful management required by that despatch are very necessary and worthy of great consideration; for during the last ten years they have managed that just as they pleased, most often despatching the ships beyond the time when they were formerly despatched, and often poorly equipped and overladen. Consequently many vessels were wrecked with a great amount of property, in which your Highness has also lost much. And the citizens of Manila, when they might be very prosperous and wealthy, are, thanks to him who has despatched the vessels, very needy and poor—so much so, that they could not collect a gratuity to give me. Since it is a matter of so great importance, if your Highness be pleased to order the observance of the plan that I shall set forth in these articles, as a person who has so great experience in it, and which has been for some time in my charge, the necessary remedy will be applied in the following manner.
First, that the ships be despatched by the middle Page 308of June, and that this be an inviolable law; that a fine of six thousand pesos be imposed on the governor, to which your Highness shall immediately condemn him if he do not despatch them then. The reason why this is so necessary is because the vendavals generally set in at some time in the month of June; and if they catch the ship in the port, it cannot sail until that first monsoon passes. That usually lasts fifteen or twenty days, or one month. If they are caught outside during this weather, they can sail until they reach the district and altitude where they find the usual winds, with which they can make their said voyage easily. Consequently, they will pass Japon, which is the point where all the difficulties of the said voyage lie, with good weather. If the said monsoon ceases, and the ships are caught inside the bay, as a general thing another wind, the brisa, begins to blow, so that they are detained. Consequently, when they make the said voyage, and reach the neighborhood of Japon, it is already September or October. Accordingly it is necessary to run great risks, and they must suffer many storms, with which the ships lose their rigging, are wrecked, or have to put into port in distress. If they proceed on their course, inasmuch as they encounter the rigor of winter, and because of their high altitude and their departure from a warm land, many men die; their gums decay and their teeth fall out.8 If so great severity is not exercised, this matter will not be remedied.
Item: The ships sail very unevenly, and heavily laden, so that one-half the ship’s stores are left above Page 309decks; and as the sailors are unable to attend to necessary duties or to move about in the ships, in the first storm the stores are all carried into the sea; and the men left without necessary food, especially live fowls, which means their very life. On account of their heavy cargoes they are unable to set all sail or to resist squalls, so that they founder, put into port in distress, are wrecked, or are long delayed on the voyage.
Again they often sail poorly repaired, because of the fault of the shore-master [patron de ribera] who has charge of them. It is necessary to remove him from that post; but, although the city has tried to do so, it has been unable to secure redress. Thus, it is said, the ship “San Antonio,” which was wrecked in the year six hundred and four, carried rotten timbers throughout; and in it were drowned over three hundred persons. That said year of six hundred and four, General Don Diego de Mendoça made port in distress, and gave the information of which I present a copy here; he said that he was carrying rotten masts. Inasmuch as this matter is very long, it will not be discussed here; for, as I am a priest, it is not advisable for me to do so. In order that the neglect that there has been in this matter may be seen, never have the governors or royal officials investigated who has been the cause, or why the ships have put back in distress or have been wrecked; for that would mean to make a report against themselves. More than four of them would have been punished rigorously had they made reports, and had your Highness known the culprits.
Item: Inasmuch as the said ships sail so unevenly laden, the seamen do not have protection from water Page 310and cold. Consequently, they fall sick, and it has even occurred that they die and are frozen, which is great inhumanity. It is very pitiful to see what occurs in that navigation.
Item: The fireplaces in which the food is cooked are left above deck, open to water and air, where the first storm carries them off. It becomes necessary after that to make a fire in earthen jars in various parts of the ship, at a very great risk of all perishing and the ship burning—besides the fact that if it rains they cannot cook their food. For all this it is necessary for your Highness to order that the ships of the said line that shall be built shall carry the fireplaces under the forecastle, and as is the custom in this line of the Yndias; and that the storerooms of the officers of the ship do not occupy that space. The officers sell the storerooms to the passengers for considerable money, and stow goods in them, which is not among the least of all the troubles.
Item: That the freight and cargo that the said ships must contain be stowed in the first hold, and that between decks shall be only the ship’s stores, the chests of the sailors, the messrooms, rigging, sails, and all necessary supplies. They should carry even rigging for the port of Acapulco, since there is rigging at Manila which is very cheap; and then your Highness will not have to spend vast sums in taking it from San Juan de Lua to Acapulco overland, which is one hundred and fifty leguas.
Item: That all the passengers who shall come from Filipinas to Nueva España in the said ships should pay a fare of two hundred pesos if they have a berth or messroom under deck, and those who do not so have berth or messroom, one hundred pesos, as an Page 311aid in the expenses of the ships. This should be understood not on the outward trip [to the islands] but on the return trip.9
Item: That the sailors be not allowed to take aboard more than one chest of goods, of the size assigned by the governor; for there is the utmost confusion in this regard, and the sailors are allowed to carry two or three very large chests, larger than common. They overload and embarrass the ship; and, under pretext that they are carrying their clothes, they take those chests full of merchandise.
Item: That all the passengers shall carry swords and bucklers and arquebuses; and that the royal officials shall place on ship arquebuses, muskets, and lances for the sailors. Those weapons are cheap in Manila; and with them, and the artillery carried by the ships, the latter will be well defended. They need no soldiers for the return trip [to Nueva España], for rather the ships then carry too many people.
Item: No passengers or sailors shall carry with them slave women, a practice which gives rise to very great offenses against God. Such shall be regarded as confiscated in the port of Acapulco. This is very advisable, for many persons carry these women as concubines—not only the owners of them, but others in the ships. It is not right that there be any occasion for angering God when there is so great risk in the voyage, as I dare to affirm; and it is certain that, in Page 312the last ten years, while this has been so prevalent, many disasters have happened.
Item: That there has been great disorder in regard to lading the ships because it has been entrusted at times to very greedy persons, who, having but slight fear of God, sell the toneladas to, and lade for, whomsoever they wish. Thence it generally results that the goods of the poorest and most needy are left ashore, after the poor have invested their capital; and, after they have paid the duties to your Highness, they are left ruined. Consequently, the ships sail laden more with the curses of the poor than with merchandise. That is the greatest pity, and this evil is worthy of reform. Never has that been punished. The reform that can be established is, that the overseers who shall be appointed to assist in the said lading, be appointed by open cabildo; and should such persons refuse the post, they shall be compelled to accept it. If they are chosen in this manner, a mistake cannot be made in the election, since all are known. The governor shall confirm the choice, and he will thus be exempted from trouble and will be freed by this from the complaints that he generally incurs, because the blame is always laid on him. Certainly it belongs to him, since, he does not appoint those that he should, but whomever he wishes to advantage, who are at times his own servants.
Item: That the said ships are very ill provided with the ship-stores necessary for the sailors; and on that account the poor sailors spend their wages in buying provisions for the voyage. That is a great abuse, and for that reason the ships are also overladen. Likewise they should carry some fowls for those who fall sick, especially the Indian common Page 313seamen, who are treated like dogs. The Spanish sailors are more accustomed to provide such things for themselves. Inasmuch as that voyage is so long, and no fresh provisions can be obtained on the way, very many fall sick. For a remedy to that, God has placed, midway in the sea and on the voyage, an island that serves as an inn in the middle of their way, just as the Portuguese in their voyage have one at the island of Santa Elena, where they get fresh food. That island, which I call Rica de Plata, is large, and over one hundred leguas in circumference. Although some ships sight it in passing, inasmuch as its ports are unknown, no one dares to get fresh food there. It is thought to be inhabited, for some signs of habitation have been seen. It is very necessary that a small vessel sail from Manila to explore it, and that it look there for a good port, so that the ships can get water and wood, and reprovision. The exploration of it may be of the highest importance. It is necessary also because near that region the ships generally lose their rigging in storms, and they can be refitted and repaired there, and can continue their voyage without having to put back to Manila. I advised your Highness of that some years ago, as it is so important for that voyage I believe that a decree was sent to the governor in a former year10 to explore it; but that must be ordered again. A man of experience should be sent, so that he may display the prudence and make the exploration requisite, in accordance with the art and science of hydrography; and likewise so that he may live in Manila and examine the pilots of that line, and make faithful and accurate sea-charts. For that purpose I shall give Page 314him considerable enlightenment by giving him the documents on the demarcations, and the information that I possess, on which I have labored much in order to serve your Highness. Nowhere does your Highness need a cosmographer so much as in that land, for many things that arise and may arise.
Item: A plan occurs to me whereby the ships that have to sail in that line may cost your Highness less than half, and a vessel last twice as long, compared with those that are built in Filipinas. Likewise the Indian natives would be saved many hardships and annoyances in the cutting of timber, which they have to do for the building of the ships. This consists in the governor going from Manila to Vengala and Cuchin in India to buy the ships; for they sell them there made from an incorruptible wood together with a quantity of extra rigging made of cayro,11 which is better than that of hemp. With the rigging alone that can be imported from there, the cost of the ship can be saved. Thence Lascar sailors can be brought, who are cheaper and are very good seamen. All the Portuguese of those parts use them in navigating, and they are very needful in the Filipinas. They will come very willingly and will save your Highness a considerable sum. For that it is necessary to send orders to your viceroy of Goa, and to the chief commandant of Malaca, to protect the Lascars who shall go thither, and not to harm them.
Item: Your Highness granted a concession to Page 315the city of Manila of a decree ordering your governor Don Pedro de Acuña to assign to the cabildo of the said city seats in the cathedral, as was befitting the chief municipal body of that kingdom. As yet these have not been assigned, because the wives of the auditors sit inside the principal chapel, where the said cabildo generally sat—that is, opposite the seats of the auditors and governor.
I petition your Highness to have the said seats assigned, and to order the wives of the said auditors to sit elsewhere, since in none of the Yndias do the latter sit in the principal chapel, thus depriving the said cabildo of their seats.
Item: The royal magazines have very few muskets and arquebuses for the defense of that kingdom. I petition your Highness to be pleased to have a quantity of arms sent, and also to order that they be distributed among the citizens; and that the latter pay those who give them those muskets and arquebuses the price that your Highness shall have paid for them there, and the costs [of transportation].
Item: The province of Nueva Segovia, the most northern province of the island of Manila, which is very near China, is a very good and fertile land. It is becoming entirely pacified and quieted. There the Order of St. Dominic is in charge, and they are gathering much fruit. It is the best land in the islands and the most fertile. There, inasmuch as the climate is temperate, the products of this country can be produced, such as wheat, fruits, and other food. It lies in an excellent region, and has there a Spanish city, called Nueva Segovia, which gives name to the said province. It has but few inhabitants now, because the encomenderos of that district Page 316go to Manila and desert it. Will your Highness be pleased to order the said encomenderos to live in the said city, and your governor to make efforts to settle it, especially with people who will cultivate and sow the land, so that that district may retain its excellence. For that purpose it is very needful that the said governor appoint an alcalde-mayor for that district, who shall be a lieutenant-governor, and who shall keep his office for three-years; for [the usual] appointments as alcalde are for but one year, and one can learn to know the country but little in so short a time. It is necessary that the judge that shall go there (and so that an influential and satisfactory man might be able to go there) be given a good salary; and that that province and that of Ylocos, which lies next to Nueva Segovia, be subject to him. That is very necessary for the welfare of those two provinces, which are very far from Manila.
Item: Will your Highness be pleased to give me a good master shipbuilder, or authority to look for one, and another intelligent person as shore-master, to assist in the despatch and repairs of ships. He should be a Spaniard and not a foreigner, like the one there now; for in former times, when Doctor Antonio de Morga, your auditor, sailed out against a Dutchman who went to those islands, while two ships were being prepared to attack the Dutch, two holes were bored in one of them one night, and it began to sink, and the sails were taken out and hid in the woods. It was not discovered who did it, nor was any investigation even made. But one may readily presume that some enemy to us did it; and indeed we can not settle our suspicions on anyone. In order to investigate these and many other actions worthy of Page 317punishment or correction which have occurred there in these matters, and in others—for instance, that in other parts of those islands they gave that same Dutchman food, and there was some person who communicated with him; while it is even said that they showed him how to get out of a harbor that he had entered, and from which we considered it impossible for him to sail—and finally there are many things to correct and reform, and burdens to be removed from the Indian natives: for all these it is necessary for your Highness to appoint a person there to make official visits through the country. It is as necessary as the inspection itself that such shore-master be a disinterested person and a resident of that country; for if he is after money, he will do no good. Hence, if your Highness be pleased to appoint such an one, there are ecclesiastical persons in the Filipinas, as for instance the bishops, especially he of Çibu, Fray Pedro de Agurto, who is a saintly man; an ecclesiastic, the archdeacon of Manila, called Licentiate Don Francisco Gomez de Arellano, a most zealous servant of God, and a father of that community—one who seeks no money, but rather gives all his income in alms; also a Dominican friar, the commissary of the Holy Office, who is an excellent man; and another friar of the Order of St. Francis, called Fray Juan Baptista. These men, besides having experience in the country, and knowing what demands reform, are men disinterested and wholly competent and capable. Entire faith can be given to any one of them, with assurance. If the visitor be not one of the inhabitants there, it is inadvisable to send him, nor is it my intent to ask for him.
Item: For some years past, some Indians living Page 318near by, and our enemies, of the islands of Mindanao, Jolo, Burney, and other neighboring islands, have become emboldened and have gone beyond bounds. They are Mahometans, and have ruined those Filipinas Islands—pillaging and capturing the natives, burning the churches and images, and cutting the images with knives and destroying them, to the great injury of our holy Catholic faith. This has reached so shameless and bold a pass that no one—not only natives but Spaniards—dares to go among the said islands. Those enemies have rendered the said natives very liable to revolt, by coming daily to plunder them, and to carry off their possessions, and their wives and children captive; and in fact they have revolted several times, and taken to the mountains, saying that since the Spaniards do not provide for their defense, they will not pay tribute. Some, who are more loyal, say that, if they are allowed to carry arms as before, they will defend their country. After examining the cause of these troubles with great care, the following considerations have presented themselves.
First, that, according to the command of one of your Highness’s royal decrees, such men [i.e., the Moros] cannot be slaves. As they are a race from whom the soldiers can get no other booty, because the Moros do not possess it, they fight unwillingly. If the soldiers could make captives of them, they would become very eager, and that would be a great incentive for the soldiers to destroy them. There is less incentive for them to capture those people than to kill them, as they do now. Again it would be very useful to the said islands, for the natives would also be encouraged to go to war because of their eagerness Page 319to possess slaves to cultivate their fields. Therefore, will your Highness be pleased to order that those people be made slaves, since their enslavement is so justifiable and of so great service to God; or that this matter be committed to the royal Audiencia and archbishop and bishops to determine, inasmuch as they have the matter in hand.
Item: There are two other nations in the island of Manila called Zambales and Negrillos. They are a people who live in the mountains. They go naked, and are highwaymen; and their only ambition is to cut off heads, in order to swallow the brains. He is most valiant and influential who has cut off most heads. No woman will marry any one who has not cut off some heads. They are so inhuman and churlish a race that they do not care whether those whom they kill are women, children, or men. They obstruct the most needed road in the island, and occupy the best land. They are near the province of La Pampanga, which is inhabited by an agricultural people, who support Manila. They prevent the latter from cultivating their fields, for seldom can the Indians, whether men or women, go out to cultivate their fields, without their heads being cut off. Although the governors have often sent soldiers to punish them, scarcely have the latter ever killed one of them. For they run like deer, and have no village or fixed abode. They do not sow grain, but live on wild fruits and game. The most efficacious remedy will be for your Highness to order that they be made slaves of the natives of the province of La Pampanga; for with this, through their greed to capture these enemies so as to cultivate their fields, the Pampangos will subdue the country in a very short time, Page 320at their own cost. I petition your Highness to commit this matter, as above stated, to the Audiencia, archbishop, and bishops. This is a matter of great importance. Slavery, as practiced among the natives, is such that they are almost not slaves at all; and the system is of great benefit to the country. If this matter be not remedied by the above method, the many depredations that are committed will have no check.
Also, the reason why the enemies have become emboldened beyond their wont is for the lack in those regions of ships fit for that warfare. For that, it must be known that those people use certain light craft called caracoas. Those craft are short and undecked. They have one palmo, more or less, of freeboard; and they carry eighty or one hundred Indians who act as rowers, who use certain oars one vara in length. Each of these vessels carries ten or twelve fighting Indians, no more. They cannot take the open sea, except when it is very calm weather, nor do they carry provisions for even one fortnight. When we Spaniards used those craft, and others called vireys, which resemble them, they greatly feared us; for, since those craft were as light as their own, we made great havoc among those people. And finally—although at great cost to the natives who were drafted as rowers—those ships made the country safe; for they fought after the manner of those people. Those vessels are not used so much now, for in truth they cause great injuries to the natives. I do not know whether I can say that they even care any longer for the damage inflicted by the enemies, one reason being that they are badly paid and badly treated, while their wives and children are left to starve to death, Page 321and their crops go to ruin. The governors of the Filipinas, in their effort to avoid that trouble [i.e., of hostile raids] have built galleys there since the time of Doctor Francisco de Sande until now. As I have seen personally, and as all the inhabitants of that country know, the galleys of the Filipinas are their destruction. The reason is that the rowers are a weak people, and their food is not very nourishing. Accordingly, it has happened, even lately—during Don Pedro de Acuña’s term, when the galleys were best supplied—that the crew have continued to row a galley for six hours, and that two convicts fell dead, while the others stretched themselves on the deck exhausted; and even if the overseers killed them, they could not make them move. For that reason, and because the seas have strong currents between those islands, and continual winds, the galleys are of little use.
Another reason is that, since the galleys draw much more water than the enemy’s vessels, when the former try to make land they can cause no injury. Another reason is that the galleys are generally anchored in the river of Manila, and, when any necessity arises, before they can leave the port they have to get provisions for the crew. Often it is necessary to seek contributions of food from house to house, because there is none in the royal magazines. If the wind is only slightly contrary, which is generally the case, the ships cannot move, and when they finally begin to look for the enemy, the latter are at home, and laughing at us. Another reason is that the galleys are an intolerable burden, which it is impossible to sustain. They have so consumed the supplies, and so endangered the royal treasury, that other very necessary Page 322things cannot be attended to. Further, they cause the ships of the line, to be short of necessities and poorly equipped, because in attending to the construction of the galleys, they neglect the ships. And since there are many ship-worms there in the river, which eat the ships, it is necessary to rebuild them every year, and to be continually repairing them. Further, they are dens of thieves, who are always assaulting and plundering the Indians. In short, they are the destruction of that community; and hitherto have accomplished nothing, either good or bad, that is of any importance. Further, your Highness is under great expense with them in paying their many salaries. Consequently, as there is little cloth in the Filipinas with which to clothe so many, everything is, of necessity, going to ruin, where the expenses are not measured by the revenues. All the above evils can be corrected by ordering ships made according to the plan and model that I left with the governor at my departure; for, considering the said wrongs, and wishing to remedy them, I made a ship at my own cost, which has the following peculiarities, of which I give a description.
They are vessels that carry no more than seven oars to a bench, although larger or smaller ones can be made. Each one will cost your Highness two hundred and fifty ducados to build; and will with two-thirds as many or even fewer rowers, carry twice as many soldiers as do the caracoas. The men are protected from sun and shower in excellent quarters which neither the caracoas nor the galleys have. They carry food for six months, a thing which those other vessels cannot do. They are very swift sailers, so that there is no ship that can pass them when there is not Page 323a contrary wind that prohibits sailing. They respond so readily to the oar, that while testing that ship before the governor and all Manila, against the swiftest galley of all, I left the galley more than half-way behind. They carry sufficient artillery to destroy the vessels of all the enemies that we have there, except those of pirates when such should go there. For the latter it is necessary to have large ships; and it would be advisable to keep there a couple of fragatas like those built in Habana by Pedro Melendes.
Those ships above mentioned are not only useful for war, but can save your Highness many expenses in ships, in carrying food and the tributes; for, in the time while I had it, about two months, until after I had given it to the governor, it alone accomplished more than did all the other vessels. Consequently, a vast sum can be saved, and the soldiers will be more eager, if they find themselves in so advantageous a vessel. Also the natives will be spared injuries; and innumerable other benefits will follow, which, in order to avoid prolixity, I shall refrain from mentioning. Your viceroy of Nueva España had me make a model of the said vessel for the exploration of the sea of California in Mexico.
Item: The garrison soldiers of Manila are a cause [of the ruin of the country], for many are killed, and they are lessened in numbers; and they commit many vile acts, by which the Spanish nation suffers great loss of reputation among those pagans. Inasmuch as they are paid there in three yearly installments, the result is that, as soon as they have received their money, most of them gamble it away in their quarters, and then go about barefoot and Page 324naked. Many sell their arquebuses to the natives, which is a great evil. They have to go about begging alms and commit innumerable acts of meanness among the pagans themselves—who, in contempt, call them “soldiers.” Further, will your Highness be pleased to order your viceroy of Nueva España not to allow any mestizos or mulattoes to be admitted among the men sent as reënforcements to the Filipinas; for such men give themselves up to intoxication, and injure us greatly.
It is possible to remedy the needs of the soldiers in this manner. Your Highness has imposed a situado of two reals on all the tributes of those islands, in order to pay one and one-half reals to the soldiers and one-half real to the prebendaries of the church. This amount is paid into the royal treasury. As the treasury always falls short, and the Audiencia has to be preferred in the payment of its salaries; and as the galleys and many other things cause a shortage, eight or ten months or one year are wont to pass without the soldiers receiving any pay; consequently, one can imagine their sufferings. It will be very important to have that situado placed in a separate fund. Since there are three royal officials and in the said treasury two are sufficient if one of them performs two duties (as has often been done), the third official could take charge of that situado. He could purchase food at the harvests which would be cheap, and every week he could give the soldiers a ration of rice—the ordinary bread of that country—or wheat, which is also produced there, besides giving them in money one real per day. The amount still remaining could be paid to them every four months in order that they might clothe themselves. Page 325If their pay were increased by eight reals more, they could live well; and one-half of those who die now would not die, which is much more costly to your Highness. If your Highness is not willing to have the royal official to whose charge that duty must fall perform it there, a rich and very intelligent citizen should be charged with it; and in cases of need he should have to supply what will be often necessary.
Item: Manila lacks artillerymen—I mean men who understand artillery when need arises; for men are not lacking to take the pay of artillerymen, some of whom have never heard a gun fired all their life, but only enjoy that salary as a favor. Consequently your Highness’s revenues are spent uselessly, for such men are artillerymen only in name. I petition your Highness that artillerymen be made to pass an examination, or that on demand they furnish a certificate of examination; and that whoever shall pay their salary or order it to be paid [to incompetent men] shall incur a severe penalty; and that any person who shall apply for a position in the artillery service when one becomes vacant, shall, if a capable artilleryman, be preferred to the others, and that no posts shall be granted by favor to those who do not understand artillery.
Item: That camp needs a founder of artillery, who must be an efficient and good workman; for during the last fourteen years nothing else has been done than to spend your Highness’s royal revenues in salaries and making estimates of cost, and they have accomplished nothing useful. There is a good supply of metals and everything else necessary. It is extremely advisable that those islands have some one Page 326who understands founding artillery, in order to fortify the city.
Item: Inasmuch as that city is so far from your Highness’s eyes, and where journeys to and fro are made with so great difficulty, it is necessary for the good government of spiritual affairs, according to the customary method in Yndia, that, in case of the decease of the archbishop of Manila, his successor be appointed there; or that at least the senior bishop, or whoever your Highness may choose, shall govern the archbishopric. For, the first time when the archbishopric was vacant, that city was seven years without a prelate; and the second time, three or four years. In this matter, I must tell your Highness that you could avoid having so many bishops there—especially those of Caceres and Nueva Segovia, who are in that same island of Manila; for they have no churches of importance, nor even any place wherein suitably to keep the most holy sacrament. Neither do the bishops do more than to confirm, and for that a bishop in partibus12 would be sufficient. Considering Page 327that the royal treasury is poor and cannot attend to many other necessary things, it is very inadvisable to increase those expenses in other ways. And considering the future—for there might happen to be persons in those bishoprics who do not think of or profess the poverty and bareness now maintained by those who are there—that would be a great burden on the Indian natives, and of no use.
Item: That in the trade of the Filipinas with the kingdom of Japon, in exchange for the merchandise shipped there they carry silver to Manila; for Japon has quantities of silver, and many rich mines have been discovered. The said silver is of the quality required by law, its fifth is taken, and the Japanese emperor’s duties are paid as they are here paid to your Highness. Inasmuch as silver money is used in those kingdoms and districts only by weight—and thus the citizens of Manila receive it, while the same is usual in Piru and Nueva España, wherever there are mines, in buying and selling with pieces of silver Page 328marked by weight instead of being coined; and inasmuch as this is very useful to the citizens of Manila, since, if this trade increases as it is increasing now, it will not be necessary to trade at all with the coined money of Nueva España: therefore I petition your Highness to be pleased to allow the said silver to pass as it has always passed; and that table service and other articles may be made of it without new duties being demanded, since these are not due.
Item: That during the war with the Sangleys, when they revolted, the Indian natives about Manila and La Laguna de Bay, and especially those of the province of La Pampanga, fought with great valor against the Sangleys, and aided us with great loyalty and willingness. It was at a juncture when, had they joined the side of the enemies, the Filipinas would have been ruined. Will your Highness be pleased to order the governor to thank them for it in your Highness’s name. They will greatly esteem that, especially certain chiefs—as, for instance, Don Guillermo, who on that occasion was master-of-camp of the Pampanga Indians; and Don Ventura, master-of-camp of those of Bay. I also request that the governor be commanded to order the religious who have missions under their charge to treat the Indians well; for they are wont to lash the natives for slight causes, and equally with them even the chief Indian women. This is very necessary, both for the conversion and for good example, and in order to incline them to us and make them devoted to us. For they are a race, who, with little effort on our part and with reasonable treatment, will do whatever we desire. The same thing should be ordered to the alcaldes-mayor; and your Highness should Page 329order the royal Audiencia to have any injuries committed on the Indians rigorously punished—for, inasmuch as these have not been so punished, many troubles have happened.
Fernando de los Rios Coronel
(To be concluded)
1 The viceroy of Nueva España at this time was Diego Fernandez de Córdoba, marqués de Guadalcázar. He began his term October 28, 1612, and in 1621 was appointed viceroy of Peru.
2 The lacuna at this point—sections 10 to 14 inclusive—with some duplications and other peculiarities in numbering, are precisely as in the original document.
3 See the letter written to the king by Fajardo, August 10, 1619, ante. where this same abuse is mentioned.
4 See the royal decree following this document, which was probably issued in consequence of this section of Los Rios’s letter, and which will appear in Vol. XIX.
5 See the various letters relating to the controversy between the calced and discalced religious of the Order of St. Francis, in Vol. XX of this series.
6 An early law of Recopilación de leyes (lib. v, tit. viii, ley xxix) thus rules the taking of fees: “In the Filipinas Islands all the notaries and officials entitled to them shall collect their fees, according to, and in the quantity provided and ordained for our Page 306nAudiencia of Méjico, so far as it shall not have been altered by the laws of this book.” [Felipe II; Toledo, May 25, 1596, ordinance 61.]
7 The residencia of the governor was later ordered to be taken in accordance with the following law, found in Recopilación de leyes, lib. v, tit. xv, ley v: “The governor and captain-general of the Filipinas appointed by us, shall, as soon as he enters upon the exercise of his duties, take the residencia of his proprietary predecessor, or his predecessor ad interim, even should he not hold our special commission. But shall he have been so entrusted by us, he shall proceed by virtue of it, in accordance with law. In either case, he shall send a report of the residencia to the Council, as is usual.” [Felipe IV; Madrid, December 4, 1630.]
8 See descriptions of the disease called scurvy, in Pyrard de Laval’s Voyage (Hakluyt Society’s translation, London, 1890), ii, pp. 390–392; and Jesuit Relations (Cleveland reissue), iii, pp. 51, 53.
9 See the full and interesting description given by Pyrard de Laval (Voyage, ii, pp. 180–214) of the Portuguese trading vessels on the India line (naus de carreira), practically the same as the Spanish vessels described by Rios Coronel; and of their construction, equipment, crews, lading, management, etc. On p. 214 is an engraving of one of these great ships.
10 See decrees relating to this in Vol. XIV, pp. 182, 270.
11 This is the fiber obtained from the husk of the cocoanut; the word is of Indian origin, and from it is derived the English “coir.” See, with description of the manner in which this fiber is manufactured into rope in India, Pyrard de Laval’s Voyage, i, pp. 250, 285: ii. pp. 374, 443.
12 Obispo de anillo: a bishop in partibus (see Vol. VIII, p. 68). The Spanish dictionaries define obispo de anillo as auxiliary or suffragan, bishop. The Academy’s dictionary adds: “To these bishops the pontiff assigns one of the churches formerly owned by them, but now in the power of heathen.” Consequently the de anillo becomes equivalent to in partibus infidelium. A bishop in partibus is one consecrated to a see which formerly existed, but which has been, chiefly through the devastations of the followers of Mahomet, lost to Christendom. The creation of such bishops exists from the time of Leo X; but they existed de facto from the time when the first Christian see became vacant from hostile inroad or through the action of a hostile government. The Moorish conquest in Spain resulted in many of such bishops fleeing to the still unconquered parts, where they wandered from place to place, with no particular duty, but officiating as opportunity offered. This state of affairs led to great abuses, for a bishop whose see was in partibus would often enter some remote portion of the Page 327ndiocese of a more fortunate brother, and there exercise, in various ways, without the permission of the bishop of the diocese, his episcopal office. Clerks whom their own bishop would not have promoted to priests’ orders often received through the agency of these wandering bishops the ordination which they desired. A decree of the Council of Trent forbade that abuse. The title in partibus was often given in Protestant countries, where to appoint a bishop to a local see would have aroused hostility. Besides the vicars apostolic in a non-Catholic country, the vicars of cardinal-bishops, auxiliary bishops in countries where it is usual to appoint them, and papal nuncios, usually have their sees in partibus infidelium. They can attend general councils, and, since they are considered as truly wedded to the churches of which they bear the titles, they cannot be appointed to other sees except upon the conditions common to all episcopal translations. By a decree of the Propaganda, February 28, 1882, the formula in partibus infidelium was abolished, and non-resident bishops are to be known as “titular” bishops of their sees. See Addis and Arnold’s Catholic Dictionary.
Most of the documents in this volume are obtained from MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla; their pressmarks are as follows:
1. Letter from Alcaraz.—“Audiencia de Mexico; expedientes sobre el apresto de la armada que salio de Nueva España para las islas Filipinas; años 1612 á 1617; est 96, caj. 1, leg. 22.”
2. Memorial regarding hospital.—“Simancas—Secular; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y expedientes del gobernador de Filipinas vistos en el Consejo; años de 1600 á 1628; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 7.”
3. Letter from Tenza.—The same as No. 2.
4. Letters to Fajardo.—“Audiencia de Filipinas; registros de oficios; reales ordenes dirigidas á las autoridades del distrito de la Audiencia; años 1597 á 1634; est. 105, caj. 2, leg. 1.”
5. Filipinas menaced.—“Simancas—Secular; cartas y expedientes del presidente y oidores de dicha Audiencia vistos en el Consejo; años 1607 á 1626; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 20.”
6. Philippine shipbuilding.—“Simancas—Secular; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y expedientes de personas seculares vistos en el Consejo; años 1619 á 1621; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 38.”
8. Proposal to destroy Macao.—“Simancas—Eclesiastico; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y expedientes de personas eclesiasticas de Filipinas; años 1609 á 1644; est. 68, caj. i, leg. 43.”
9. Letter from Pedro de Arce.—“Simancas—Secular; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y expedientes de los obispos sufraganeos de Manila; años de 1579 á 1679; est. 68, caj. 1, leg. 34.”
10. Letter from Fajardo.—The same as No. 2.
11. Grant to seminary.—The same as No. 6.
12. Reforms needed.—“Simancas—Secular; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y expedientes del cabildo secular de Manila vistos en el Consejo; años 1570 á 1640; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 27.” Three documents are combined in this one; of these the first is in the original a printed pamphlet with MS. additions.
The following are obtained from MSS. in the Real Academia de la Historia, Madrid; all are in the collection “Papeles de los Jesuitas:”
13. Trade with the Far East.—“Tomo 15, no. 19.”
14. Relation of 1617–18.—“Tomo 84, no. 7.”
15. Description of islands.—“Tomo 84, no. 22.”
16. Dutch factories.—“Tomo 135, no. 34.”
17. Relation of 1618–19.—“Tomo 112, no. 55.”