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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 XIX, 1620–1621


Contents of Volume XIX



  • Autograph signature of Alonso Fajardo de Tenza; photographic facsimile from MS. in Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla 165
  • Title-page of Memorial y relacion, by Hernando de los Rios Coronel (Madrid, 1621); photographic facsimile from copy in Library of Congress 185


The documents in the present volume cover a wide range. In greater or less detail are discussed affairs in the islands—civil, military, and religious, in which all the various ramifications of each estate are touched upon. Reforms, both civil and religious, are urged and ordered; and trade and commerce, and general economic and social conditions pervade all the documents. The efforts of Dutch, English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish in eastern waters are a portent of coming struggles for supremacy in later times. Japan, meditating on the closed door to Europeans, though still permitting the Dutch to trade there, continues to persecute the Christians, while that persecution is, on the other hand, lessening in violence in China. The piracies of the Moros endanger the islands, and allow the Dutch to hope for alliance with them against the Spaniards; and the importance of the islands to Spain is urged forcibly.

A letter addressed by Los Rios Coronel to the king (probably in 1620) urges that prompt aid be sent to Filipinas for its defense against the Dutch and English who threaten its coasts. To it he adds an outline “treatise on the navigation of Filipinas,” which sustains his demand by forcible arguments. The rich Oriental trade amounts to five millions of pesos a [10] year, which mainly goes to sustain the Dutch and their allies, the enemies of Spain, whose commerce they will utterly destroy unless some check is placed on their audacity; and the effectual method of doing this is to deprive them of that trade. An armed expedition for the relief of the islands is being prepared by the king; it should be despatched via the Cape of Good Hope, and all possible efforts should be made to drive out the Dutch and English from the Eastern seas. Los Rios proposes that for this purpose loans be asked from wealthy persons in Nueva España and Peru; and that the vessels needed be built in India. He makes recommendations for the routes and equipment of the vessels, both going and returning; and for the seasons best for sailing.

A letter from Francisco de Otaço, S.J. (January 14, 1620), mentions various arrangements for the despatch of more missionaries to the islands, and laments the recent loss of a fleet sent to the aid of the Philippine colony. A royal decree of May 29 in the same year orders the governor and Audiencia to correct the religious who have levied on the Indians exactions of forced service.

The Jesuit chronicler of events in 1619 continues the record for the year ending July, 1620. Some account of the war waged by the Chinese and the Tartars is given. The persecution of the Christians in China has slackened, and the authorities of that country are more favorable to the Jesuit missionaries there. But in Japan the persecution continues, and the college at Macao is crowded with Jesuits who are disappointed in their efforts to enter Japan. Letters from Jesuits in that country enumerate many martyrdoms, of both missionaries and their converts, [11] and describe their holy zeal and faith in suffering death. The authorities and influential men of Japan consider it well to harbor the Dutch there, and even talk of conquering the Philippines, in order to get rid of the Spaniards; but it is rumored that they also contemplate the expulsion of all Europeans from Japan. In the Malucas “there is constant strife between the English and the Hollanders,” and the French are obtaining a foothold. Portuguese India has but inadequate means of defense against the Dutch and other foes. An interesting and picturesque account is given of the religious fiestas held in Manila to celebrate the festival of the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary; the chief features are processions, dramatic representations, dances, fireworks, etc.—to say nothing of the bull-fights and masquerades of the laity. Fearful earthquakes, with considerable loss of life, have occurred in the islands, especially in Ilocos and Cagayan of Luzón; they are ascribed to the influence of the comets seen in the preceding year. The commerce of Manila is increasing; rich cargoes arrive there from all parts of the world; and Manila is a magnificent city, surpassed by few in Europe.

A letter from the Franciscan, Pedro de Sant Pablo (August 7, 1620), calls upon the king to abolish the repartimientos of forced service and supplies levied upon the Indians for shipbuilding and other public works by the colonial authorities. He recounts the oppression, cruelty, and enslavement caused by this practice; and in the name of both the Spaniards and the Indians he asks that the repartimientos be commuted for certain payments of money, in proportion to the means of each household. [12]

The Audiencia of Manila send to the king (August 8, 1620) a roll of complaints against Governor Fajardo. They accuse him of abusive and violent language toward the auditors, and arbitrary conduct in both sentencing and releasing prisoners; and of granting certain illegal appointments and privileges to the friends and relatives of himself and the royal officials. His conduct of an expedition made ready to repel the Dutch from the islands is sharply criticised; covert attack is made on him as defrauding the treasury by the sale of Indian orders, and allowing reckless expenditures of the public moneys; and he is blamed for failing to enforce the regulations as to the sale of the Chinese goods.

Fajardo sends a long report of affairs to the king (August 15, 1620). The coming of the ships this year was delayed; and by storms and an encounter with the Dutch both were wrecked—but on Philippine coasts, which enabled them to save the rich cargo. As the Dutch failed to secure this prize, they have lost in prestige, while the Spaniards have gained accordingly. A marginal note here, apparently the reply of the Council of the Indias to this clause of Fajardo’s letter, censures him for allowing the ships to leave Manila so late, and warns him to send them hereafter promptly, and not overladen. He is also directed to remonstrate with the Japanese officials who are aiding the Dutch with arms and other supplies; and to strive to break up their friendship with the Dutch. Fajardo proceeds to say that he is equipping the ships for both the outward and return voyages with various supplies, to avoid the greater expense of buying these in Nueva España; and for the same object is asking the viceroy of that country [13] to make no unnecessary repairs on the ships. He complains of the reckless and arbitrary proceedings of the officials in charge of the ships at Acapulco. He is advised by the Council to send them a detailed statement of all matters in which unnecessary expense can be avoided. Fajardo recounts his difficulties with the viceroy of Nueva España over the appointments to offices in the trading fleet, and with the pretensions of certain Philippine residents who claim rewards and appointments without meriting these. He complains that the troops just arrived from Nueva España are mostly “boys, mestizos, and mulattoes, with some Indians;” the viceroy is directed to send better and more effective soldiers to Filipinas hereafter. Fajardo is uncertain how far he can depend on aid from the viceroy; and he proposes that those troops and supplies be sent to him from Spain by way of Panama, enumerating the advantages and economy of that plan over the present one. He thanks the king for sending aid to Filipinas by the India route, and asks that such aid be regularly provided for some years to come; while he states in general terms what he has accomplished during the last two years with the limited public funds of the islands. He has equalized the pay of the soldiers at Manila and Ternate, and has sent large reënforcements and supplies to the latter region. Fajardo complains of the opposition and intrigues of the religious. He desires the royal appointment of a governor for Ternate, and the adjustment of certain difficulties connected therewith. He is informed that this appointment has been already conferred on Pedro de Heredia; and is advised not to allow the religious to interfere in purely secular matters, especially in those [14] which concern the conduct of government officials, and to warn the religious orders to refrain from meddling with these matters. Dutch pirates infest the China Sea, plundering the Chinese trading ships when they can; but Fajardo is able to save many of these by warning them beforehand of the danger, and he has been able to keep them in awe of his own forces. He has begun to have ships built in Japan for the Philippines, which can be done there more conveniently and cheaply; the Council would like to provide thus ships for the South American colonies.

The governor has many annoyances regarding the Audiencia, which circumstances compel him to endure as best he can. He is directed to check trading by government officials, and to punish those who are guilty; and to do all that he can to obtain funds from the islands for their expenses, by opening the mines of Luzón and trading-posts in the Moluccas. In answer to his complaint that the auditors meddle in judicial proceedings in the military department, he is informed that they must observe the laws already enacted for such matters; and is ordered to punish severely anyone who shall obstruct the course of justice in the islands. Fajardo recounts various other annoyances experienced at their hands—they claiming authority to restrict the Chinese immigration, and the right to appoint certain minor officials; and he regrets that the auditors should be all new at one time, and so ignorant of their duties. He suggests that the king avail himself of the abilities of Archbishop Serrano, in case of his own death or other emergency requiring an ad interim governor; and describes the character of Auditor Rodriguez. The [15] trials of persons involved in the scandal at Sancta Potenciana have not pleased the governor, some whom he regards as guilty having been acquitted. The official inspection of the country, especially for the sake of the natives, Fajardo has committed to Auditor Mesa, but the latter is unwilling to undertake it. The Council order that no auditor shall shirk this important duty. The governor mentions in detail various minor matters, showing anxiety to act as the home government shall approve. He has been ordered to reduce military salaries, but objects to this, and enumerates the amounts paid to each officer. Directions for arranging this reduction are given by the Council, as also for the governor’s management of expenses, etc., Fajardo makes recommendations as to certain crown encomiendas, at present unproductive. This is approved by the Council, who order him to prevent any unjust collections. He commends certain officers as deserving rewards, and exonerates many of the religious from the blame of harassing the Indians. He is able to maintain amicable relations with the orders, especially by allowing the religious to transact certain secular business for him; but he finds them domineering and self-willed, and suggests that they cannot be kept in order without some change in their present mode of government. He is advised to check their arrogance, especially in their open and public censures of their superiors, whether ecclesiastical or secular. He relates his difficulties with Pedro Alvarez over the countersigning of Sangley licenses. He has sent an expedition to attempt the opening of mines in the Igorrote country—an undertaking in which he has received the support and countenance of the religious [16] orders. He commends the Augustinian Recollects as not meddling in governmental affairs that do not concern them, and offering to take distant missions. The tributary Indians are peaceable, and appreciate with gratitude Fajardo’s efforts to relieve them from taxes and wrongs. One of their burdens has been the erection of many churches—of which there are thirty, almost all of stone, in Manila and its immediate vicinity alone. The Council order that no religious house or church be hereafter erected without the permission of both secular and ecclesiastical authorities. At the end of Fajardo’s letter are added certain comments and directions by the Council. They are inclined to send reënforcements, supplies, and merchandise to Filipinas via Panama, as Fajardo suggests, but direct the vessels to return to Acapulco instead. Illicit participation of government officials in trade shall be severely punished. The official visitations recommended by the governor are to be made, and the auditors are commanded to serve in this duty.

A letter from the king to Fajardo (December 13, 1620) answers previous despatches from the latter. He commends Fajardo’s proceedings in discontinuing certain grants, and orders him to be careful in making his reports, to maintain harmony in the Audiencia as far as possible, to investigate the conduct of the auditor Legaspi, to correct with vigor the scandals at Santa Potenciana, to enforce discipline in the military department, and to maintain friendly relations with Japan. Felipe returns thanks to the colonists for their loyalty and services in public affairs, and to the Augustinian order in the islands for their zeal in his service.

A document of especial interest and value is the [17] Memorial (Madrid, 1621) of Hernando de los Rios Coronel, long procurator-general of the Philippine Islands. Introducing the work with a statement of his coming to Spain as an envoy from “that entire kingdom and its estates,” he begins with an historical account of the discovery and settlement of the islands, and the growth of the Spanish colony. The earlier historical matter in Part I of the Memorial is presented to our readers in synopsis, as being largely a repetition of what has already appeared in our former volumes. In chapter vii Los Rios gives some account of the government of Juan de Silva, especially of the latter’s infatuation for shipbuilding, and its baneful effects on the prosperity of both the colony and the natives. He recounts the disastrous attempt to expel the Dutch by means of a joint Spanish and Portuguese expedition (1615–16), and its ruin and Silva’s death at Malaca. Then he describes the opposition to Silva’s schemes that had arisen in Manila, where, although, he had a faction who supported his ambitious projects, “all desired his absence.” Los Rios cites part of a letter from Geronimo de Silva to the governor, blaming the latter for not going to Maluco, where he could have secured the submission of the natives in all those islands; and urging him to do so as soon as possible, as that is the only means of preserving the present foothold of the Spanish. The Dutch fleet there sets out for Manila, and, hearing in Mindanao of Silva’s death, they concert plans with the Moros for ravaging the Philippines. Part of the Moros are defeated on the coast of Panay, but they meet with enough success to embolden them to make further raids; these go unpunished by the Spaniards, and thus the [18] islands are being devastated and ruined. The Christian and friendly Indians are at the mercy of these cruel foes, from whom the Spaniards do not defend them; accordingly, they demand freedom and arms, that they may defend themselves against the invaders. All would revolt, were it not for the influence of the missionaries, especially the Jesuits.

Los Rios makes complaint of the apathy, negligence, and blunders exhibited by the governors of the islands in regard to their defense from so many enemies, supporting his position with detailed accounts of the damages thereby suffered in raids by the Dutch and Moros, and failures to achieve success that was within the grasp of the Spaniards.

In the second part, Los Rios discusses “the importance of the Filipinas, and the means for preserving them.” He enumerates the reasons why the crown of Spain should keep the islands, indicating a curious mixture of worldly wisdom and missionary zeal; and refutes the arguments of those persons who advocate the abandonment of the Philippines, or its transfer to Portugal in exchange for Brazil. Los Rios explains at length the desirability of retaining Manila, and its importance and desirability as a commercial and military center, and a check on the ambition of the Dutch. He then asserts that the money sent to the islands by the Spanish government is mainly expended not on the Philippines, but for the defense of the Moluccas; and he enumerates the resources of the former, which but for that diversion would support them without aid from the crown. He then enlarges upon the great wealth which is found in the islands, especially in the gold mines of the Igorrote country; and urges upon the king the necessity of [19] developing these mines, and of converting the Indians of that region. He asks that the governors sent to the Philippines be better qualified for that post; praises Gomez Perez Dasmariñas as being the best governor of all who have ruled there; and describes the qualifications needed for a good governor. Los Rios considers the measures that should be taken for growth and preservation of the Philippines. He recommends that a fleet be sent to aid and reënforce them. If that cost too much, eight galleys should be sent to Ternate—a proposal which the writer urges for many reasons, explaining in detail the way in which these vessels could, at little cost, be made highly effective in checking the Dutch. They could be manned by captive Moros and others taken in war, or by negro slaves bought at Malacca. The third measure is one which he “dare not write, for that is not expedient,” but will explain it to the king in person. Again he insists on the necessity of a competent and qualified person as governor of the islands, enlarging upon the great power and authority possessed by that official, and the consequent dependence of all classes upon his arbitrary will or prejudices. Los Rios cites various instances which prove his position, and expressly states his good opinion of the present governor, Fajardo. He would prefer to see the Audiencia abolished. A special inspector is needed, with great experience and ability, and authority to regulate affairs and redress all grievances in the islands. The immigration of Chinese and Japanese into the colony should be restricted; and the Mindanao pirates should be reduced to submission. The opening already made for commerce and friendly relations with the king of Macassar, and for preaching [20] the gospel there, should be at once improved, and Jesuits should be sent there as missionaries. More care should be exercised to despatch with promptness the ships to Nueva España. More attention should be given to the garrisons, especially those in the Moluccas, to keep the men from discontent; and measures should be taken to encourage and aid new colonists to settle in the Philippines. The late restrictions on the possession and enjoyment of encomiendas should be removed. A letter from Lucas de Vergara, commandant in Maluco, is here inserted. He recounts the losses of the Dutch in their late attack on Manila (1617), and their schemes for driving out the Spaniards from the Moluccas; also his own difficulties in procuring food, fortifying the posts under his care, and keeping up his troops who are being decimated by sickness and death. He urges that the fleet at Manila proceed at once to his succor, and thus prevent the Dutch from securing this year’s rich clove-harvest.

In the third part of the Memorial, Los Rios gives a brief description of the Philippines and the Moluccas, with interesting but somewhat desultory information of their peoples and natural products, of the Dutch factories, and of the produce and value of the clove trade. He describes the custom of head-hunting among the Zambales, and advocates their reduction to slavery as the only means of rendering the friendly natives safe from their attacks. The numbers of encomiendas and their tributarios, and of monasteries and religious, in the islands, are stated, with the size and extent of Manila. All the natives are now converted, except some tribes in Central Luzón. Los Rios describes the Malucas Islands and others in [21] their vicinity, and enumerates the Dutch and Spanish forts therein; and proceeds to state the extent and profits of the spice trade. He closes his memoir with an itemized statement of the expenses incurred by the Spanish crown in maintaining the forts at Tidore and Ternate. These amount yearly to nearly two hundred and twenty thousand pesos.

In an appendix to this volume are presented several short papers which constitute a brief epitome of early seventeenth-century commerce in the Far East—entitled “Buying and selling prices of Oriental products.” Martin Castaños, procurator-general of Filipinas, endeavors to show that the spices of Malucas and the silks of China, handled through Manila, ought to bring the Spanish crown an annual net income of nearly six million pesos. Another paper shows the extent and value of the trade carried on with Japan by the Portuguese at Macao; and another, the kind of commerce maintained by those enterprising traders with the countries of southern Asia from the Moluccas to Arabia. All these enumerate the various kinds of goods, the buying and selling prices of most articles, the rate of profit, etc.

The Editors

September, 1904.


Documents of 1620

Sources: All of these documents, except the second, fourth, and eighth, are obtained from the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla. The second and fourth are from the Real Academia de la Historia, Madrid; and the eighth from the Archivo Historico Nacional, Madrid.

Translations: The second and fourth are translated by Herbert E. Bolton, Ethel Z. Rather, and Mattie A. Austen, of the University of Texas; the eighth by Robert W. Haight; and the remainder by James A. Robertson. [25]

Reforms Needed in the Filipinas (concluded)

Aid against the Dutch requested


Hernando de los Rios Coronel, procurator-general of the Filipinas Islands and of all their estates, declares that he came the past year to inform your Majesty and your royal Council of the Indias, in the name of those islands, of the desperate condition to which the Dutch enemy have brought them. Desiring that your Majesty understand the importance of the matter, he gave you a long printed relation in which he discussed points important for their recovery from the enemy and the expulsion of the latter from that archipelago. Your Majesty, upon seeing it, ordered a fleet to be prepared; but that fleet was so unfortunate as to be lost before beginning its voyage. Although your Council of the Indias is discussing the formation of another fleet to sail by way of the Strait of Magallanes, or by the new strait [i.e., of Le Maire], it cannot, if it leaves here any time in July (which is the earliest time when it can be sent from España) possibly arrive [at Filipinas] until one and one-half years from now—or a little less, if it has no bad luck. Now considering the watchfulness of the enemy, and the forces that they [26] are sending this year, namely, forty ships, which have left Olanda—whence can be inferred the importance to them of making themselves masters of those regions, since they are so persistent in their efforts, and incur so heavy expenses—he [i.e., Los Rios] advises you for the discharge of his conscience, and his obligation, and his duty as a good vassal of your Majesty, that there is urgent need that, notwithstanding the relief that your Council of the Indias is about to despatch by way of the straits, other help be furnished from Nueva España and Piru; of both men and money, and to employ this [aid from España] with as great care as the gravity of the matter requires, and to realize the fact that, were it lost, both Eastern and Western India would be endangered. They would be in great danger, as would also these kingdoms; for it would mean to permit the enemy to become so powerful and so rich as all know who are aware of the wealth of those regions. Besides, it would mean the extinction of whatever Christian element is there, and would shut the doors to the preaching of the gospel, which your Majesty and your ancestors have procured with so great glory and so many expenses. [That relief of Nueva España and Piru should be prepared] also, for if the relief [from España] should suffer an equal disaster with the last, and that country could not be succored, it would all be lost.

I petition your Majesty to order that this matter be considered, as a matter of so great importance; and that your president of the Indias call a conference of those most experienced in the Indias, so that they may discuss what measures can be taken most fitting for the relief of that country, and as speedily [27] as possible, where he [i.e., Los Rios] will also declare the measures that occur to him.

[Endorsed: “To the president of the Indias. Examined, in the meeting of April 7, 620.”]

Treatise on the navigation of Filipinas, reduced to four chapters


Your Majesty orders me to declare my opinion in regard to the navigation from España to the Philipinas and Malucas Islands, from them to España, the mutual navigation between those island groups; and the seasons suitable for such navigation. In obedience to your royal order, I declare, Sire, that the propositions cover four principal points, each of which I shall explain in order. [The original document contains a marginal abstract of each of the four points that follow; but these abstracts are here omitted.]

First point. This point contains in brief the substance of all the others. In explaining it, I declare that the navigations from these kingdoms to those islands are so worthy of consideration, and so important, that no others in the world at this time are equal to them. For the drugs, fragrant gums, spices, precious stones, and silks that the Dutch enemy and their allies bring thence—obtained partly by pillaging, and partly by trading in their forts and factories which they own throughout that archipelago—amount, as they do at present, to five millions [of pesos] annually. It has been stated how paramount is this undertaking to any others that can today be attempted; for besides the spiritual injury inflicted by those heretical pirates among all that multitude [28] [of heathen peoples] (which I think the universal Master has delivered to your Majesty so that you may cultivate it and cleanse it for His celestial granaries), it is quite certain—since the enemy are collecting annually so large a mass of wealth; and since the sinews of war consist in that, both for attack and defense—that they are acquiring and will continue to acquire those riches daily, with greater forces. And, as they continue to increase in strength, their ambitious designs will also extend further. In the same degree as the enemy grows stronger, it is certain that our forces will continue to decrease—and so much that, if relief does not arrive there in time, the day will come in which not one of your Majesty’s vessels can be placed on the sea, because of the many that the enemy will have there. Inasmuch as there is no one in the world today who can oppose the enemy except your Majesty, they hate our interests with all their strength, and will attempt to destroy and ruin them by all possible methods.

The method of preventing all those most considerable troubles is the one that your Majesty is attempting, by despatching the eight vessels that you are sending under color of reënforcements—and would that it had been with a fleet of sixteen vessels, each one of which would carry three hundred sailors and soldiers and be very well armed with artillery. For with that the rest [of the enemy’s forces] would be driven away, and that crowd of thieves, who are becoming arrogant and enriching themselves—so much to the cost of our holy religion, of your Majesty’s reputation and prestige, and of your most loyal vassals, by disturbing your Majesty’s most holy designs—would be forced from those seas and even from these. [29] For it is very certain that if that [trade] be taken away, the enemy would have no resources with which they could preserve themselves; while if your Majesty has all that profit—as beyond doubt, God helping (for whose honor it is being done), you will have it, by encouraging your royal forces and by enforcing your holy purposes—all the heads of that many-headed serpent of the enemy will be destroyed.

Inasmuch as it is proper for us who, like myself, are zealous for your royal service, let us hasten on that service, by as many roads as God makes known to us. I declare, Sire, that in order to encourage those most loyal though most afflicted vassals whom your Majesty has now in Manila, it is advisable for the present reënforcement to be sent; and that its route be by the shortest path and the one of least risk—namely, by way of the Cape of Buena Esperança; not only is the weather more favorable in that route, but it passes through less longitude.

I mention the weather, for from this time on the weather is favorable, as was determined in a general council of experienced pilots of all nations that was held at Manila by Governor Don Juan de Silva. [I mention] also the longitude, because the time taken to go by the above route is known—namely (to one who follows his course without making fruitless stops) seven months; which, counted from the first of December, places the arrival there at the end of June.

Some one may object to all this by saying that the intention is to import this relief into Manila, so that all that region may not be lost; and that, if it shall go by that route [i.e., of the Cape], it runs the risk of meeting the enemy and of being lost, and incidentally [30] that all that region [of Filipinas] will remain in its present danger, and even greater, because of your Majesty’s resources being wasted, and the necessity of getting together a new relief expedition—but [such objector would say], if this relief be sent by another route all those troubles will be obviated and the purpose attained. I answer that objection by saying: First, that eight vessels are not so weak a force that they should fear those of the enemy who, on their homeward trip—inasmuch as they do not fear along that route any encounter that will harm them—come laden with their goods, in great security, and carelessly; and they have at best only two or three galleons, while our eight galleys, ready and prepared for fighting, not only have nothing to fear, but can from the start expect the victory, in case they meet the enemy. Second, for this reason, if once our galleons cause the enemy loss in the chief thing that takes the latter there, namely, trade, they will have to diminish their forces, and will lose credit with their backers. Hence I infer that not only should this route and [possible] encounter not be avoided, but that express orders be given to the commander of this relief expedition to follow the routes taken by the enemy and to reconnoiter their chief factory of Batan, which is not fortified. For if God permits him to find and destroy that place, many and very important results will follow: First, that immediately word will be passed to all those nations—who love changes and cry “long live” to the conqueror—and they will lose the little affection that they have for the enemy at present; while they will incline toward and join us, turning against our enemy, as they have promised. Second, that our soldiers, [31] flushed with the beginnings of victory, will be worth after that for other victories just twice as much; nor will they be without military discipline for the first victory, for the Spanish infantry begins its military duty from the day when it establishes its camp, and daily becomes more valuable. Third, inasmuch as when the vessels of this relief expedition reach Manila, they will necessarily arrive there in need of rest, and already the enemy will be warned to resist whatever sally they try to make, that which will now be made against them with eight vessels cannot later be made against them with many more. Fourth, because, on the journey they will lay down the complete and fixed route that should be taken by that course, so that your Majesty’s fleets may go and come as do those of the enemy. Fifth, because the enemy are at present not only not sending any fleet to those regions, but are obliged to collect their forces in order to resist those of your Majesty in their own territory, because of the expiration of the truce.1 Consequently the attempt must be made to inflict all the damage possible on the enemy during these years, until they are driven entirely out of the Orient and your Majesty becomes lord of it all. For if that result be once accomplished, the fruits of that victory will allow sufficient fleets to be maintained, both in these seas and in those, for the defense and conservation of that region and much more. Moreover, in order to check the enemy and to remove completely from their eyes this illusion that has given and gives them so strong a belief that your Majesty’s forces are exhausted by the large sums that you have spent in [32] protecting our holy religion, I declare, Sire, that an effective plan occurs to me whereby this matter may be concluded without the expense of one single maravedi from your royal treasury. This is, that loans be asked from the rich and wealthy persons in the provinces of Nueva España and Peru (for there are many such), until you have two millions [of pesos]. Your Majesty can prepare a large fleet with that sum, and will finish with the enemy once for all. The vassals of those kingdoms will give that loan cheerfully if you ask it, proportioning to each one the amount in accordance with what he can give without inconveniencing himself. For they are also greatly interested in this matter; and the payment will be easily made, if the result be thus attained. With that money, it would be best to go to Yndia to build the fleet; for there it can be built better and at a less cost than anywhere else.

Second point. In order to return from those islands to España, it will be advisable to come but lightly laden, and well provided with arms, in order to withstand any encounter with the enemy; and that they follow the same route that is taken by the Dutch, or by the fleets of Portugal, for by no other route can the voyage be made so quickly as by that route—considering that, if one wishes to come by way of Nueva España (which is the shortest course except that by the Cape of Buena Esperança), the voyage from Manila to Acapulco will last five or six months, even with favorable weather. Arrived there it is necessary to cross from one sea to the other over one hundred and sixty leguas of very bad road, and then to sail for another three months before reaching España; and the vessels must wait from January, the time [33] when they arrive from Philipinas, until June, when they embark for España. In all more than thirteen months will be spent in the voyage. In case that one should prefer to come not by way of Nueva España, but by the Strait of Magallanes or that of Mayre, the delay is equal or greater, and the food will of necessity spoil and the men die; for the food of Manila, as that is a hot country, very soon spoils and rots.

Third point. The voyages from Manila to Terrenate are three hundred leguas, or a trifle more or less; and those from Manila to Malaca a trifle more than four hundred.

Fourth point. The seasons required for those voyages are as follows: To go from España to Philippinas it is advisable to sail from España after the sun passes the equator in the direction of the Tropic of Capricorn, namely, from September twenty-third on; for, since one must mount to thirty-five degrees of latitude in the southern hemisphere, it is advisable to be in that hemisphere when the sun by its presence has put to flight the furies of the winds of those seas, since even with that care that Cape of Buena Esperança bears the reputation of a stormy headland: In order to return, one would better, for the same reasons, sail from Manila during the time when the sun is still in the southern hemisphere, if he has to double the Cape.

The suitable time to sail from Manila to Terrenate is when the winds in those seas are blowing from the north (because Manila lies almost due north of Terrenate), namely, during November and December. The same season is suitable to sail to Malaca, as Manila lies almost due northeast of Malaca. For that [34] voyage the brisas that set in in January are also favorable. The return trips from Maluco and Malaca to Manila are during the season of the winds from the south and the vendavals, which generally begin, the winds from the south by the middle of May on, and the vendavals during June, July, and August, etc.

I petition your Majesty to deign to honor this humble service as such, by the benignity of your royal sight, so that I may gain strength to serve you to the measure of my desires.

[Endorsed: “Juan de Sigura Manrrique. Have each point abstracted, so that it may be attended to in the Council.” In another hand: “Abstracted.” “Examined.”] [35]

1 The twelve-year truce between the States-General and Spain, signed in 1608.

Letter from Francisco de Otaço, S.J., to Father Alonso de Escovar

Pax Christi, etc.

I have been urging Father Figueroa about the efforts to be made in regard to that grant of money, and he always replies with regret that other measures must first be taken in Sevilla, as he has written to your Reverence. For my part, I must bring this matter to a head; for I have been much grieved by what your Reverence recently told me to the effect that they will charge to that poor province the four hundred ducados paid for provisioning the fathers. Your Reverence may be assured that I cannot permit the departure in the fleet, if the cost is to be charged in this way. I supposed that the going of Father Bilbao and his companions would be at the expense of his Majesty, as it has always been.

I am now writing to Father Simon Cota that I have received that amount from your Reverence; and although by means of your order I have paid the debt already contracted, and have also funds to defray immediate expenses that cannot be avoided, yet, for the needs that are certain to arise in the future, I shall require help to the amount of more than two thousand reals, because it is better that I should have too much than too little. And things are so expensive [36] in all this country of Spain, that to collect and convey the fathers to Sevilla will cost even more than the sum I estimate. Your Reverence will kindly send the amount to me at the time and in the manner most convenient.

Sad was the news that yesterday came to this court concerning the loss of our fleet,1 and such has been the grief that I do not know how to describe it to your Reverence. The president wept like a child, more especially because, to make this news worse, other bad news came from Flandes at the same time; this information was that the Hollander was setting out, or had already set out, with his twenty-five galleons. The president himself told this. He already considers our possessions in Philippinas and Yndias as lost; for it seems as if courage has deserted these men, and that no means for further aid remain. May God our Lord forbid this, and encourage them, in order that they may take heart in this difficulty, that valor and fortitude may be shown in the cause of God our Lord and of the king, and that the enemy may not prevail. There is no lack of people who are already encouraged, and are seeking remedies and forming plans. Your Reverence will kindly inform [37] me of such plans as may occur to you, for those who are trying to give courage in this emergency desire light on all projects.

The loss of our fleet is known here only in a general way. Your Reverence will please give me all the particulars, and inform me whether our Lord took our fathers unto Himself, which we much fear from the reports. Still, because their death has not been verified or related in detail, the masses which should be said in this province for Father Bilbao, in the other two provinces for their two fathers, and in the province of Philippinas for all three, have not been ordered. I, for my part, have many to say for them if dead—or if alive, in case our Lord has spared them. It has also been said that the cargo of the flagship floated ashore. I hope that our boxes of books which were in it were spared, for, so far as such things are concerned, I feel the loss of them greatly, although their loss is not to be mentioned in connection with that of our fathers. If the Divine Majesty has chosen to inflict this heavy blow upon us, supra modu, sed domini sumos et iustos est et rectu iudiciu eius.2 Such a fleet, and so well adapted for the grand service of God! And those three apostolic men, going with such zeal—if in such a cause, they have already ended in a death resembling martyrdom, blessed be the Lord! From here the authorities [38] sent some person, I know not whom, as comissary to recover what was lost from the flagship which ran ashore. Your Reverence, being near, will know whether any particular measure is necessary for our interests, etc.

When your Reverence remits the money spoken of above, do not send it through our Father Figueroa. For, although he assures me that the last order is good, since it has been acknowledged, yet he asks for forty days’ time, which is very long. I say this because to your Reverence I may speak freely and confidentially, for you know the good father. I have already determined not to trouble Father Figueroa about my own money, because I drew it for my private expenses, and it must be used in this way only, as I told him before I went to Rome. He now charges to me items of expense not conformable to this arrangement, although justified from his standpoint—for the good father is a saint and most faithful in everything, though not very prompt or skilful in accounts and correspondence, as is well known. Because I have written at length, and more especially because I am so disturbed by grief at the news, I close this letter to your Reverence. May God guard your Reverence as I desire.

The [word illegible in MS.] procrastinate here, and indicate that we are bound to have contests and wrangling with our fathers, wherefore there is much to fear lest they delay me, and frustrate my plans to go with a few [religious]. Now, too, with what has befallen the fleet, I think that these lords must perforce undertake the preparation of another large one, to go via the Strait, and that people there will desire us to come. I am prudent and on the lookout, [39] and will promptly inform your Reverence of everything; for to you I always look for advice, light, and strong support in the Father. Madrid, January 14, 1620.


Francisco de Otaço [40]

1 This squadron was sent for the succor of the Philippines, in December, 1619; but soon after its departure it encountered a severe storm, which compelled the ships to take refuge in the port of Cadiz. Learning of this, the royal Council sent imperative orders for the ships to depart on their voyage; the result was that they were driven ashore and lost on the Andalusian coast, January 3, 1620, with the loss of one hundred and fifty lives. Among the dead was Fray Hernando de Moraga, O.S.F., who had come to Spain some time before to ask aid for the Philippine colony and the missions there. A council assembled by the king, after discussing the matter, recommended that Spain abandon the islands as costly and profitless; Moraga’s entreaties induced the king to disregard this advice, and to send a fleet with troops and [29n] supplies, in which embarked Moraga with thirty friars of his order. See La Concepción’s account, in Hist. de Philipinas, v, pp. 474–479.

Another letter from Otaço, dated February 18, 1620, says: “There has been a very heated discussion (which still continues) regarding aid for the Philipinas, between the lords of the Council and all the procurators and agents of those islands.”

2 Translated: ”[This blow upon us], beyond measure, still we are the Lord’s and He is just, and His judgment is upright.”

Decree Ordering Reforms in the Friars’ Treatment of the Indians

The King: To the president and auditors of my royal Audiencia which resides in the city of Manila of the Philipinas Islands. I have been informed of great transgressions committed by certain religious in making repartimientos for their works on the Indians; and that the religious take, for their support, from the natives their fowls and other food at less [than the just] price, and practice on them injuries and annoyances for their own gains. And inasmuch as it is advisable to correct this, by ordering that the religious shall not use the Indians, unless they pay them their just wage; and that, except by license of you my governor, they shall not make repartimientos on the Indians or oblige them to render service: therefore, my royal Council of the Indias having examined the matter, I have considered it fitting to have the present issued, by which I order you to attend to the above matter in the assembly of the Audiencia there. And in what concerns my royal patronage, my royal fiscal of my Audiencia shall prosecute as he may deem best, so that those impositions and injuries may cease. The visitors and corregidors of the districts shall take especial care to [41] prohibit them, and shall reform those who shall be guilty. By virtue of the contents of this my decree, you shall despatch an order to the said religious, so that they shall, under no circumstances, inflict such injuries upon their parishioners. This likewise do I charge upon the archbishop and bishops of those islands, and on the provincials of the orders therein. Issued in Madrid, May twenty-nine, one thousand six hundred and twenty.

I The King

Countersigned by Pedro de Ledesma, and signed by the Council.

[Note at beginning of MS.: “Procurator for the Indians of Philipinas. To the Audiencia of Philipinas, in respect to redress for the wrongs committed by the religious on the Indians.”] [42]

Relation of Events in the Philipinas Islands and Neighboring Provinces and Kingdoms, from July, 1619, to July, 1620

In the same style and order in which I last year reported the various events in the Philipinas Islands, and in neighboring kingdoms and provinces upon which the welfare of the Philipinas depends, I will now write what has happened this year. There have not been so many and various warlike occurrences as in former years, for it has been somewhat more peaceful here. I will relate briefly what has happened as occasion may require.

Of Great China

Although last year I gave an account of the war which the Chinese were carrying on with the Tartars, I will now return to this point, because we have received letters from our fathers in China. To begin with the earliest events, there was in the province of Teatum,1 one of the provinces of Great China adjoining Tartaria, a powerful eunuch who collected taxes in the name of the king, and who had some [43] seventy servants in his following. They committed a thousand robberies and tyrannies among the people. The mandarins who governed that district reported this to the king. He ordered them to bring the eunuch in custody to Tiquin, where he is still in prison. The eunuch’s servants were hunted by the mandarins in order that they might be given the punishment they deserved for their crimes; but they, with many other Chinese, fled to the Tartars, whom they begged and persuaded to invade and destroy China, offering themselves to serve as guides. It was not difficult to induce the Tartars to do this, since for other reasons they were already angry with the Chinese. So they planned that these Chinese traitors and some Tartars should go with concealed weapons, and in the guise of friends, to a certain place. They went there, and one night suddenly seized their arms, killed the greater part of the soldiers, sacked the place, and, pretending to flee, withdrew with the spoils. They left a great number of people in ambush, in the woods. The Chinese viceroy of that district, learning of the affair, immediately sent a large body of soldiers who are always on duty there. The troops pursued the Tartars, but unexpectedly fell into the ambush and were completely routed. When the Tartars saw that they were victorious, they returned to the fort and destroyed it. When this was learned in Paquin the mandarins came together to discuss with the king some means of redress. As the king did not wish to see them he simply ordered that they should consult among themselves and then report everything to him. Now the Tartars sacked and destroyed some other smaller forts, as well as one very important stronghold called Sin Hon [i.e., Tsingho]. [44] From this point they made their forays through the whole of that district, and sacked a large part of it.

The decision reached in the consultation by the mandarins was that the king should order all the noted captains who were not holding office, and who had retired to their homes, to come to the court; that a large number of soldiers should come from all the provinces to lend aid and to meet the demands of the occasion; and that the mandarins who were for various reasons at their homes should come to the court of Paquin. All this was soon carried out by the king’s order. He likewise commanded that heavy taxes should be gathered for supplying the soldiers; that a large number of horses should be collected; land that the tuton, or the viceroy of that district, should be imprisoned. He sent another viceroy in his place with extensive powers, even with authority to put to death the chief captains who, on account of their fear, were contemplating flight. He sent other mandarins of great executive ability and prudence to help the viceroy; and, in order to prevent excitement among the people, he ordered that the students [letrados]2 [45] of the district should not come that year, as usual, to the court for examination and graduation as licentiates, but promised them their degrees for the following year. In addition to this, he ordered that the news from Leatum should not be divulged to the people. Although the gates of the city of Paquin and those of the royal palace had always had a strong guard of soldiers, he doubled the guard and closed the gates at sunset. And although, according to the custom of the Chinese, people could enter wearing spectacles and a mask, now, as a greater precaution, when one came through the gates of the city they made him show his face, in order that they might know whether he was a friend or not, and in order that enemies might not come into the city unperceived. All this has been brought about by their fear. The king likewise ordered that four hundred thousand soldiers should be stationed at different places and posts of the province of Leatum to impede the passage of the Tartars. The Corias, who were subject to China, sent the king seven hundred horses as a present, and ten thousand infantry to help in the war.

The western Tartars, hearing of the good fortune of the eastern Tartars, came upon invitation to the aid of the latter, but were defeated by the Chinese. Another neighboring nation also came for the same purpose, but they were bought off by the Chinese with a great amount of silver, and so they returned to their homes satisfied.

Finally, the best captains joined together to act upon this matter. But their efforts were quite unsuccessful, because, when they entered further into the interior of Tartaria than was safe, the Tartars, [46] awaiting a good opportunity, fired into them on all sides, wounded and killed the most celebrated Chinese captains, and destroyed almost all of the army that was there last year, 1619. It is a common saying in China that all the brave people died at this time, and that if now the Tartar should come he would meet with no resistance, and that he could easily make himself master of everything. It is estimated that the total number killed, part of whom died by the sword, part from unbearable cold, part from hunger, and part from lack of other necessaries, reaches three hundred thousand. But this loss is insignificant to a people who are so numerous as the Chinese are today.

At the beginning of that year, 1619, the king of these Tartars—who is even now styled king of Paquin, just as if he had already conquered it3—sent to the king of China a memorial of complaints against the Chinese, reciting in it reasons for his revolt (for it must be supposed that he was formerly in a certain way subject). These reasons I will briefly state. 1st, because some years ago the Chinese had killed his grandfather; 2d, because, when he was at war with the northern Tartars, the Chinese aided them against him; 3d, because the Chinese had often gone into his country to plunder, and had captured some people, and, when he had made complaints of this injury to the mandarins of Leatum, they had contented themselves with degrading [acortar] the delinquents, whereas they well deserved death; 4th, because the Chinese had broken up a marriage for which he was making arrangements with the northern [47] Tartars, a rupture which he deeply felt; 5th, because the Chinese had destroyed the grain-fields that his people had near the great walls, the strong ramparts that divide the two kingdoms, and had driven off a great quantity of stock that his people also had there; 6th, because the Chinese had induced other Tartars, his enemies, to write him some very offensive letters; and, 7th, because in different wars the Chinese of Leatum had aided his enemies, although this was without the knowledge of the king of China. Wherefore he asked that the Chinese king should order the people of Leatum to be punished as their crimes merited, and threatened that if this were not done he would take the punishment into his own hands, as he had, indeed, already begun to do.

The king of China made no answer to this memorial, for both he and the mandarins think that they have not broken any of the agreements entered into with the Tartars, and that all that the Tartars say is false—except that they admit that they killed the Tartar king’s grandfather, but only because he had been caught robbing in the Chinese territory. It is known that since this occurred bloody war has gone on between these two populous and powerful nations; that the Tartars have always gained the advantage therein; and that if they had so desired they could have come to the very gates of the court of Paquin, since fear has taken such hold upon the Chinese that they have closed all the gates of the city, except one which they use, and have made another wall completely encircling the one that was already around the city.

The persecution against the Christians and against our Society which has been going on in China during [48] the past years is now mild. Hence people are being converted to Christianity as formerly; and our fathers are safe, for a great mandarin presented to the king a memorial in our favor, in which he refuted the calumnies that a powerful enemy of ours had launched against us, and that had been the cause of this persecution. And, although the king made no answer, by his silence he consents to our fathers’ remaining in China, for it was asked in the memorial that our fathers should not leave that kingdom; and since the mandarins know that the king has seen the memorial, and that he tacitly consents to it, they also, are satisfied with it. As this same memorial has been circulated throughout the whole of China, everybody has learned of our innocence and of the excellence of the law of God, which was dwelt upon at length in the memorial. Accordingly, as they inform us from here, a great number of literâti and mandarins have become friendly toward Ours, and wish them to spread the holy gospel to the most interior parts of China. Hence it is believed that from this time on our holy law will take deeper root in this kingdom.

The bishop of Japon, Don Diego Valente, of our Society, came this year to Macan, where he is detained because of the bloody persecution in Japon. Because of the persecution, also, Father Matos,4 who went to Rome as procurator and took a number of our men for Japon, left part of them in India; while ten who went with him to Macan have been detained there. [49]

Father Nicolas Trigaucio5 went to China as procurator, and returned this year with some of Ours. Some of them, for reasons unknown to me, he left in India, and seven he took with him to Macan.

Of the members who came with these two father procurators, five died during the trip over, after leaving Lisboa. But if the persecution continues in Japon as it is at present, they will not be missed. Indeed there will be too many of Ours, for even now there is so great a number in Macan that it is often said that there is not standing-room in our college.

Of the Kingdoms of Japon

I will begin my account of the affairs of this kingdom with the cruel and bloody persecution against Christianity which is now at such a height, and in which they put so many to death for the faith that, to me, it seems a picture of what happened in the primitive church during the early persecutions by the emperors. What I have said may be realized from part of a letter dated in Nangasaqui October 14, 1619, from Father Matheo de Couros,6 provincial of Japon, to Father Valerio de Ledesma, provincial [50] of these islands. Translated from Portuguese into Spanish it is as follows: “In regard to news from Japon I will not write you at length, since I understand that the father visitor has done so. In temporal affairs everything is quiet. Persecution of Christians has been and is very severe in Meaco, where almost sixty are prisoners for the faith. Five or six of these Christians died in prison there, thoroughly resigned to the divine will. In this city of Nangasaqui there are twenty-eight imprisoned for Christ, in three prisons. In Omura seven religious are imprisoned, four of the Order of St. Dominic, one of the Order of St. Francis, and two of our Society. With them are imprisoned ten other Christians. Of the inhabitants of the same city of Omura three were martyred—Lino, Pedro, and Thome—the first, because when he was guarding the prison in which the religious I have mentioned were confined, he allowed too much food to be given to the holy prisoners, as he was a Christian at heart himself; the second, because from time to time he sent food to them; and the third, because he carried the food. All three were promised their lives if they would renounce our holy law; but they chose rather to die, in order that they might live forever in heaven.”

In another letter dated November 10, 1619, the same father writes: “On the sixth of October, Meaco offered to heaven the richest gift that has ever been seen in that great and populous city. The gift consisted of fifty-four Christians, who were burned alive for the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have already written how there was in the public prison at Meaco a large number of the faithful, [51] incarcerated because they would not bend the knee to Baal. Nine of these died in the prison on account of the excessive labors and hardships which they suffered there. They died thoroughly resigned to the divine will, and rejoicing in their happy fate. When the emperor came to the court of the Dayri,7 the metropolis of the whole of Japon, they told him of the imprisoned Christians; and since he is an implacable enemy of our holy faith, he ordered that they should all be burned alive. Thereupon twenty-six stakes were set up in a public place in front of the temple of Daybut, a large and magnificent building, at a distance from the river that flows by the place. On Sunday, the sixth of October, they took the holy prisoners from the jail, not sparing even the tender young girls nor the babes at their mothers’ breasts. They marched them through the principal streets of Meaco, accompanied by a crier who announced that they had been condemned to be burned alive because they were Christians. Most of the soldiers of Jesus Christ were dressed in white, and their faces were so happy and so resolute that the power of the divine grace which upheld them was plainly shown. They encouraged one another for the trial, and with great calmness bade good-by to the friends and acquaintances whom they met along the way. From time to time they proclaimed aloud that they were dying for the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. When they had come to the place where they were to offer [52] their lives to the Lord as an acceptable sacrifice, they appeared more joyful, as does one who is about to gain the eternal reward. Two by two they were now tied to the stakes, the women with their babes in their arms. Some of our daiicos—people of our Society like lay brothers, who aid us in preaching8—as well as other Christians who went to the place to encourage the martyrs, were present. But the servants of the Lord showed such remarkable strength that they really encouraged the spectators. When the wood was finally set on fire, the majority of these fortunate martyrs turned their eyes toward heaven, and, without moving them in the least, remained in this posture after death. During the first few days a strict watch was kept over the blessed bodies to prevent the Christians from taking them away, but through the efforts of our fathers who live in that city some have already been recovered.” So far I quote from the father provincial. To this I will add some points taken from other letters and relations.

The above-mentioned father provincial is a strong pillar in Japon, and an excellent interpreter. He is director of the Christian community there, by virtue of a brief from his Holiness, which arrived last year, and in which, it is ordered that in default of a bishop in japon the provincial of the Society who may be in office at the time shall rule that bishopric and Christian community. Therefore, although the bishop has come; the provincial has governed up to the present time, and continues to govern, because, as I have said, conditions in Japon do not admit of the [53] bishop’s going there, since it is feared that the situation may be aggravated and persecution increased thereby. Consequently his Lordship is now in Macan.

About two years ago our father general appointed Father Francisco Vieira as visitor of Japon. He is a man already past sixty, and, indeed, is nearing seventy; but in spite of this he is so vigorous that when the persecution was at its height he, with great courage, went from Macan to Japon. He was often in imminent danger of being imprisoned. He took refuge in Canzuça, a place in the lands of Arima, where he abode in a hut of straw. Here, on account of the hardships he endured, he was frequently attacked by a kidney disease which caused him great pain. Once he had so violent an attack that he sent in great haste to get holy oil in order that he might take the holy sacrament. Again the same disease, accompanied by a severe pain above the heart, attacked him with such violence that he could scarcely breathe. So he determined that extreme unction should be administered to him; but, remembering that he had a written signature of our holy father, he placed it with great devotion over his heart and commended himself to the saint9—through whose merits the Lord caused the pain to be assuaged within an hour, and he became entirely well. From Canzuca the father visitor went to Nangasaqui, to take ship to return to Macan. He was kindly received, and with due precaution taken into the house of a [54] certain Portuguese. But still he ran great risk of being imprisoned by the servants of the heathen president, who were searching for another religious, named Fray Bartholome Gutierrez, of the Order of San Agustin, who was wearing the Spanish dress. They suddenly entered three Portuguese houses, and the father visitor scarcely had time to retire from one house to another. In short, the labors and dangers that he suffered in Japon were great. But they had no power to turn him from so glorious an undertaking until he had been there fourteen months. During that time he had visited all the Christians and all the posts that are ordinarily visited during times of peace. He had to visit Macan, where most of our fathers were taking refuge from the persecution; the missions of Cochin China, and of China, where there was also persecution, were likewise under his charge. Moreover, the bishop of Japon and the two procurators of China and Japon, who were returning from Rome, had arrived at Macan. For all these and other reasons he was obliged to leave Japon with great grief in his heart, and even with copious tears. Accordingly, on the twenty-sixth of October, 619, he embarked in a patache which went as flagship of five galeotas. He finally reached Macan, where, a few days after, on Christmas eve, he died. Father Geronimo Rodriguez, who was there, and who had been appointed by our father general in the private assignment, succeeded him in office.

Father Carlos Espinola, of our Society, is still in prison, waiting each day for the crown. It has incurred to me to insert here a letter which he wrote to the father provincial of this province of Filipinas. It reads as follows: [55]

“The Lord so ordained it that at midnight after St. Lucia’s day I was made a prisoner, together with Brother Ambrosio Fernandez, my companion, and Domingo Jorge, a Portuguese at whose house we were seized. The soldiers told us that they wished us to go on board a ship that was about to sail for the city of Manila. On the one hand I regretted this, because I was being driven from Japon, and was losing a good opportunity to give my life for the service of God, which for many years I had desired to do. On the other hand, I was delighted because His most holy will was being fulfilled in me. We made a very different voyage [from the one promised], for we were carried from Nangasaqui to this prison of Omura, in company with two religious of St. Dominic and three of our Japanese servants. They took us through some of the streets of Nangasaqui and finally embarked us for this place, handcuffed and with chains about our necks. It was daytime, and all the city turned out to see the spectacle and to take leave of us with cries and tears. Father Fray Thomas, of St. Dominic, and father Fray Apolinar, of St. Francis, with six Japanese, had already been here for some time. Here we are in great concord, just as if we were of the same religious order. And although there is no lack of suffering, because the house affords us but poor shelter, and although at times the guards will not allow anything to come in from outside except the little given us as rations (which is just enough to starve on), yet at times it is ordered by the Lord, in His fatherly care, that in the gifts sent us by the devout we have more than we could desire. Above all, suffering for the love of God, and the expectation of the happy fortune that [56] may befall us, makes it all easy to us and hardships a source of joy. I am most content with the favors received, and, although I fear that because of my sins—because I have not worked in this vineyard as I should have done, and because of my great ingratitude for the many mercies that the Lord has bestowed upon me—I have been driven from Japon as useless, still I console myself that I have come to be manacled and imprisoned in the service of God, which is no small mercy. I also trust that His Divine Majesty, who in awarding these crowns sometimes does not consider the merits of men, but in His infinite mercy bestows them generously, will consider it right to reward this poor beggar as well as these holy religious that deserve more than I. I beg that your Reverence, in visceribus Iesu Christi, will help me to give due thanks to the Lord, quod dignus factus sim pro nomine Iesu contumeliam pati,10 and to obtain for me my profession for this novitiate with holy sacrifices, etc. From this prison of Omura, March 5, 1619. From your servant in the Lord,

Carlos, a prisoner for Christ.”

This ends the letter of Father Carlos. I have nothing to add to it except that this Domingo Jorge, whom he mentions therein, was burned alive, in November, in Nangasaqui, because he sheltered preachers of the holy gospel in his house. Brother Leonardo, a Japanese who had been imprisoned for three years, and four others, were burned with him. After this, eleven other Japanese were beheaded. Later on, in January, 620, Brother Ambrosio Fernandez, a [57] Portuguese who was the companion of Father Carlos Espinola, died in jail from hunger, and excessive cold, and the hardships and discomforts of the prison, and thus gained the martyr’s crown. He was seventy years old.

Although so many in Japon have thus become blessed martyrs, two persons bent the knee to Baal and miserably recanted for fear of torture. A Japanese religious who was in Rome and Spain, and who is now an apostate, did the same thing. He often says that when he was in Madrid he knew that certain religious were persuading the king to conquer Japon, but that our fathers dissuaded him from this. He adds that, although it is a fact that religion is our primary motive for entering Japon, yet it is our intention through religion to prepare matters for conquering the country. With this and other lies this apostate has done great harm to Christianity. The governors and principal men of Japon are so thoroughly convinced of our evil intentions that they say that one of the principal reasons for keeping the Hollanders in Japon is for their own greater security and to annoy us. They even have begun to discuss the possibility of conquering the Filipinas, in order not to have the Spaniards so near. On the other hand, it is said that in Japon they are thinking of driving out all Europeans from that kingdom—Spanish, Hollanders, Portuguese and English. If this is done it will not be possible for any of our fathers to remain there. At present they escape notice among other Europeans by wearing European dress—I mean that of Castilians and Portuguese; but if the Europeans are driven from Japon this will no longer be possible. [58]

Passing from spiritual affairs to those temporal affairs of Japon that concern these islands, let me say that on the twelfth of July, 619, there arrived at Firando, a port of Japon designated for the trade of the Hollanders, four of their ships, which, as I informed you last year, have been off the coast of Manila. When our fleet prepared to sally out, the Dutch ships withdrew in good order, carrying with them a great many sick, beside the large number who had died from disease and from an infection which they say was given them in Bigan, a village on the coast of Manila. Since this is not known here, it must be their own imagination. Many of their people were drowned, also. In one ship which sank suddenly many people were drowned, among them a large number of Japanese, who were brought from Japon in the service of the Hollanders. These ships plundered nothing but three Chinese vessels of little value, which were coming to this city. A ship and a patache were sent from this coast of Manila to Maluco. It is well known that the ship was lost on the same coast by running aground, although the Hollanders hide the fact. The patache, driven by contrary winds, soon put into harbor. It reached Firando on the fourteenth of July; and as soon as it secured munitions, provisions, and people was sent to wait for the Portuguese galeotas which were going from Macan to Japon. But it was the Lord’s will that it should not find them, and so it returned to Firando. On October 3, however, it was sent to Pulocondor [i.e., Condor Island], opposite Camboxa, with thirty men, fourteen pieces of artillery, munitions and provisions, to search for the crew and artillery of a ship that the Hollanders lost there. [59]

On the twelfth of October of the same year, 619, another ship, greatly injured and with its crew wounded and crippled, came to the same port of Firando from Patane, on the further side of Malaca. It, with two other Dutch ships, had fought, in the port of Patane, two English ships that were there. Although anchored and unprepared, the latter fought to the death, over the anchor-ropes. The smaller English vessel, seeing that it could not defend itself, and that there was no help for it, blew itself up by setting fire to the powder. The larger ship, when nearly all the crew were dead, and the general himself had been killed by a ball, was overcome and boarded by the Hollanders. They say that they secured two hundred thousand pesos in that ship. It may be true, but I do not vouch for that. Two Portuguese had gone from the shore, on the preceding day, to see the English ships. They were seized by the Hollanders, who carried them to Japon in the ship which I mentioned, together with some Englishmen. When the prisoners reached Firando they formed a plot and escaped to land in that kingdom, where all the world is allowed.

The quantity of munitions and provisions which the Hollanders secure every year from Japon for supplying all their fortifications is very great, and therefore if they were not harbored there, it would be a great injury to them and of much benefit to these islands.

Of the Islands of Maluco

With the lure of the cloves and drugs which are found in these Malucas Islands, more and more ships from foreign nations are continually coming to them; [60] The French have built a factory in Macasar and have at present four ships there. Between the English and the Hollanders there is constant strife. In Jaba and Sumatra the English have twenty galleons; the Dutch general set out for that place with sixteen galleons which he had collected, but it is not known how the affair has ended, although it is known that there has been war between the two nations.

This year Don Luis de Bracamonte was sent from this city of Manila as governor of the military posts in Maluco. He took with him two galleys and four or five pataches, loaded with a great quantity of supplies and more than two hundred infantry. When the galleys and the pataches had entered our fortress of Terrenate, one of them, called the “Sant Buena Ventura,” remained behind as rearguard. A Dutch ship well supplied with artillery attacked it, and in sight of our own fortress overpowered it. Our galleys then sailed out and attacked the Dutch ship; but the wind arose, and thus the enemy had an opportunity to take shelter under their fortress at Malayo. This victory was felt by us, because the enemy took from the patache a quantity of money, three thousand fanegas of rice, and other provisions and munitions belonging to his Majesty. The worst of all is that they took over one hundred men—Spaniards and Indians—and the capture cost them nothing. May God remedy this by giving us some great victory by means of which the loss may be repaired.

On the way from India to Maluco two Portuguese galeotas encountered and conquered a good Dutch ship loaded with cloth and other merchandise; the Hollanders themselves escaped in the batel [i.e., launch]. In the same way, one of our pataches took [61] from the people of Terrenate a ship loaded with provisions.

Of Eastern India

When Don Alonso Fajardo, governor of the Filipinas, saw the necessity for having a strong fleet here for such troubles as might arise with the Holland enemy, and that the impossibility of preparing it here was as great as the necessity for it, he sent Captain Vidaña to Eastern India to arrange with the viceroy that he should send us some galleons to help us in the defense of this archipelago. At the same time he sent the viceroy a very rich present, consisting of various articles of great value. In return, the viceroy sent a very costly present to our governor, and also an urca, which may prove very useful when occasion arises, for it mounts twenty-four pieces of artillery. Thereupon the captain returned to Filipinas, because India will have little power to defend herself against her enemies, even without dividing her small force with other kingdoms.

Of these Filipinas Islands

I will begin a discussion of this year’s events in these islands with an account of the solemn fiestas of the immaculate conception of the holy Virgin. Let me say that these fiestas have been such that in the grandeur with which they have been celebrated, Manila has not been inferior to places in Europe and America. They lasted nineteen days. Leaving aside the celebration by the laity—the bull-fights, masquerades, etc., and the many illuminations and fireworks which took place every night, and for which the Chinese are very famous—I will describe only [62] the ecclesiastical part. The festivities were held [as a rule] in the cathedral. On the first day, which was Sunday, December 8, they were celebrated there with great magnificence. In the afternoon there was given a drama on the beauty of Rachel. On Monday the religious of St. Francis held their fiesta in the same church. In the morning one of the grandest processions ever seen in this vicinity set out from their house for the cathedral. First came the whole force of Manila in perfect order, the arquebusiers and musketeers firing their pieces at intervals. Next came a rich standard bearing the image of the conception of the Virgin, and at her feet Escoto11 on his knees, inscribed, Dignare me laudare te, etc. After the standard, which was borne by the father guardian, came a lay friar called Fray Junipero—who, like the other, is regarded as a holy and simple man; he was dancing, and calling out a thousand silly phrases about divine things.12 Now followed banners, crosses, and candlesticks. After these came on floats eight saints of this order, so richly adorned that the people did not know whether to marvel most that there should be so large a quantity of gold, jewels, and precious stones in Manila, or that the fathers should have collected so many of them. These saints were accompanied by eight groups of Indian dancers—one with each saint, and each with its own device. One represented canons, one cardinals, another pastors, etc. The last sang while dancing. The intercalary stanza was: [63]

Now we can speak aloud,
   And without fear;
We can cry aloud to all the world,
   Without misgiving.

The dancers repeated this aloud three times, and then danced with their timbrels in their hands until they were exhausted. Last of all came the most holy Virgin of the conception. The procession reached the cathedral and the fiesta was held. In the afternoon they presented a very devout drama, on the martyrs of Japon.

On Tuesday the fiesta of St. Augustine began. In the morning this order likewise had a very grand procession, in which the soldiery led, as on Monday. There were many dancers, etc. In the afternoon there were balls, Indian dances [mitotes], and a thousand other lesser amusements.

On Wednesday we of the Society began our festivities; and, although we had no procession, as is our custom, the celebration at night was by no means inferior. On the contrary, there was burned a great quantity of illuminations—rockets, bombs, and other fireworks. Our people played a thousand musical instruments. During the day we held mass, in our impressive manner, and then had a sermon; and in the afternoon we presented a remarkable drama on the conception. All the people said they had never seen anything like it.

On Thursday the fiesta was again held in the cathedral. In the afternoon there was another drama, about the sale of Joseph.

On Friday the Augustinian Recoletos began their fiesta. In the morning there was a great procession. First came all the soldiery—not only the regular [64] troops, as was the case on former days, but all the companies composed of citizens of this city as well. Master-of-camp Don Geronimo de Silva, who was on horseback, commanded the troops. After the soldiery followed a very fine procession. In the afternoon was presented the drama of the Prince of Transilvania, in which they brought out our father assistant, Alonso Carrillo, in a long taffeta robe and a linen frill with points. In order to announce who he was, a person who took part in the drama said, “This is one of those who there are called Jesuits, and here we name Theatins.”13

On Saturday there were two fiestas. One was held in the cathedral, as the preceding ones had been, while the other was at our house—where it seemed expedient to hold it in order that the cathedral and the religious of St. Francis should not monopolize the entire celebration, and acquire such a right for the future. That night there were many more illuminations and fireworks than there had been on the previous Wednesday. At nightfall our collegians of San Joseph formed a procession remarkable enough to have appeared in Madrid. At the head were three triumphal chariots. In the first were the clarion-players; in the second the singers, singing motets and ballads; and in the third various musical [65] instruments—harps, guitars, rebecks, etc. Next came the standard of the immaculate conception, carried by Don Luis Faxardo, a student and a brother of the governor. At his side came Don Geronimo de Silva, master-of-camp and general of the artillery, and Don Fernando Centene, general of the galleys. Then came the alcaldes, the regidors, and other gentlemen, all on horseback and very richly dressed. These were followed by all the collegians, also on horseback two by two, wearing their usual robes of brown silk with facings made of fine scarlet cloth, and with shoulder-stripes of lace. Their caps were a blaze of gold and precious stones. About their necks they all wore many chains and jewels. Each of the prominent nobility of the city had ahead of him, as a body-guard, six or eight servants, with large tapers of white wax in their hands. They carried staffs having upon them large placards with various pictures, letters, and hieroglyphics, all appropriate to the occasion. Next came a very prominent collegian carrying a staff. Upon it was a placard with the oath (which they took the following day) always to defend the immaculate conception of the most holy Virgin. Finally came a very beautiful triumphal chariot drawn by two savages, and decorated with many arches of flowers and gilded figures [66] of angels. In the midst of these and among a great number of lights went, enthroned, a beautiful carved figure of our Lady of the Conception. Before the chariot was a band of clarion-players. They followed eight children dressed in silk garments and carrying silver candles. They represented angels with candles in their hands, singing and reciting in praise of the Virgin. After the chariot came Original Sin, tied with a chain, and so well made up for his part that he became a mark for the blows and pinches of the people. Next day there was another very magnificent fiesta, in which a dance was given by more than sixty Japanese, who danced and sang to the accompaniment of various instruments, according to their custom.

After this, on Sunday, the Order of St. Francis began their eight-day fiesta. Another was held at the port of Cavite, in which, as in Manila, all the orders took part—except one, which during all this time did not leave its house, enter the cathedral, nor display illuminations. About this there was no lack of gossiping in the city.

The effects of last year’s comets have been very frightful this year, especially in two provinces of the Filipinas, Ilocos and Cagayan—the former of which is entirely under the instruction of the fathers of St. Augustine. The earthquakes in Ilocos have been so violent and so continuous that the people have gone about with severe headaches, as if seasick. At noon on St. Andrew’s day, in the village of Batano, the church, the house, and the granary (a very substantial one) fell because of the vibrations. The friars cast themselves from the windows and thus escaped with their lives, although they were badly [67] injured. In Dinglas a large portion of the church fell, and the prior of the convent leaped through a window. In Sinai the church was overturned Great cracks have opened up in the ground in which men fall, but only one has lost his life in this way. In the mountains of Bigan two distant ranges came together and caught between them two heathen villages. All the people were buried, only one man escaping. In the province of Cagayan, which is included within the island of Manila and which is under the instruction of the fathers of St. Dominic, the earthquakes were even more horrible. On the same day, that of St. Andrew, it seemed that the prophecy of the Evangel had come true. On the following day, which was the day of Judgment, the earth tossed the people with such violence that men were not able to keep their seats; and they walked about as dizzy and as dazed as if they were intoxicated. In Nueva Segovia, the capital of that province, the church was demolished, as well as a part of the convent, which was a very handsome and substantial structure built entirely of stone. The religious there were injured, although all escaped in different directions with their lives; only two boys perished. The same thing happened in the church of St. Vincent of Tocolano, which also had very strong walls. Many other temples and stone buildings in this province likewise fell; but in order to make my story short, I will not mention them separately. Large forests were overthrown; great springs opened up; rivers changed their courses; and many other very strange things occurred.

The island of Jolo was at one time subject to the king [of Spain], but some years ago it rebelled; and [68] now its natives, in company with some other enemies of ours, the people of Mindanao, go about with little fleets committing robberies upon these seas and doing all the damage in their power. This year they set out with only three caracoas, ships something like galleys. But when they discovered that an armed fleet of caracoas, which had been equipped in the city of Zebu, had set out on the eleventh of November in search of them, and that another fleet had set out from Oton on the same quest, they returned to their own country, having committed almost no damage except that they captured some three Spaniards—of whom, they say, they killed two.

This year there was completed in these islands one of the strongest and most remarkable galleons ever built here. It was at once equipped, along with another very large galleon, two [smaller] ones, and a patache. In March, 620, this fleet set out for the port where they are accustomed to go to watch for the Chinese ships that bring merchandise to this city. They went to protect the Chinese; for, although it was not known that there were Hollanders there, it was thought best to take timely precaution, lest they come to commit robberies, as they have done in previous years. The galleon which went as admiral’s ship sprang such a leak that it was forced to return to port, but when it had arrived there the rest of the fleet continued their journey. They were in this place [where they meet the Chinese] until the beginning of May, when they returned to Cavite. Don Luis Fajardo, brother of the governor, went as general of the fleet, and, as he was very young, other captains, brave and experienced in war, were assigned to him as companions and counselors. [69]

The number of ships which have come this year to these islands from all parts of the world with rich merchandise has been great. Some four or five have come from Japon, although some of them were lost on the coast of Manila with all their large cargoes. Some of the Japanese in them were drowned, but others escaped to land. From Macan ten Portuguese ships have come with much valuable merchandise.

Last year the governor of the Filipinas sent to Macan to buy a very handsome galleon which was there. Those who went for the purpose bought it, loaded it with merchandise, and left Macan for the Filipinas on July 2, 619. They encountered such violent storms that at the end of two months, after having been in great danger of shipwreck, they returned to Macan without masts, and with a large part of their merchandise so wet and rotted that it was worthless—damages frequently sustained under such circumstances. They once more equipped themselves, and this year left Macan in the month of May. They had a very difficult voyage, but at the end of more than twenty days they succeeded in making port in Cavite, on the seventh of June, the first day of Pentecost. The galleon is a very fine one, and it will be very useful when occasion arises. It brought much very rich and valuable merchandise.

From Great China also have come many ships with silks and other merchandise. All these goods have been necessary, and indeed they have not even sufficed to supply the lack of merchandise which, because of the wars of the past years, has been very extreme in this city of Manila. There have been, moreover, some losses. If the wars with the rebellious Hollanders should entirely cease, the wealth [70] and grandeur of these islands would be remarkable. Indeed, in spite of these wars and the losses that have been sustained, Manila is a very grand city; and there are few cities in Europe that surpass it in trade and traffic, for almost the whole world comes to these islands.

Since writing this, I have learned that a large junk (a certain kind of ship) set out from Japon with a large quantity of provisions and munitions of war, and with five hundred infantry, whom the Hollanders were bringing to supply and reënforce their strongholds in the Malucas. But God was pleased that they should run aground on the coast of Japon, where everything was lost, and nearly all the people were drowned. A galleon likewise set out from Japon with a Dutch patache to come to these coasts, to steal whatever they could, as they have done in years past. But God frustrated their attempts by running the galleon aground on Hermosa Island, which is between Japon and this country. It is said that all those on board were drowned. Although this is not known surely, it is a fact that many were lost.

May God confound their arrogance, in order that this land may raise its head; and that the faith of Christ may be spread throughout many provinces and kingdoms into which the holy Evangel would enter were it not hindered by these heretics, who have hitherto been such a stumbling-block and so great an obstacle in these parts.

It has occurred to me to write this to your Reverences as a consolation to many people who wish to know about affairs here. May God keep all your Reverences, to whose holy sacrifices and prayers I earnestly commend myself. Manila, June 14, 1620. [71]

1 So in the MS., but apparently a copyist’s error for Leatum, the form given in later pages; apparently a phonetic blunder for Liao-tung, the name of the province where the contest between Russia and Japan is now centered (May, 1904).

2 W. Winterbotham gives, in his View of the Chinese Empire (London, 1796), ii, pp. 6–8, an interesting account of the “mandarins of letters,” the chief nobility of the empire. He says: “There are only two ranks in China, the nobility and the people, but the former is not hereditary ... China contains about fifteen thousand mandarins of letters, and a still greater number who aspire to that title ... To arrive at this degree, it is necessary to pass through several others; such as that of Batchelor (sie, or tsai), of licentiate (kiu-gin), and of doctor (tsing-tssëe). The two first, however, are only absolutely necessary; bur even those on whom the third is conferred obtain for a time only the government of a city of the second or third class. There are eight orders of [these] mandarins ... In short, the whole administration of the Chinese empire is entrusted to the mandarins of letters.”

3 Referring to the Manchu chief Noorhachu (see Vol. XVIII, note 63). His grandfather was named Huen.

4 Gabriel de Matos was born at Vidigueira, Portugal, in 1572, and entered the Jesuit order at the age of sixteen. He spent twenty years in the Japan missions, and later was provincial of [41n] Malabar; and he filed in January, 1633, either at Cochin or at Macao (according to differing authorities).

5 Nicolas Trigault was born at Douai, France, in 1577, and became a Jesuit novice when seventeen years old. As a student, he made a specialty of Oriental languages, and in 1610 entered the China mission, of which he was long in charge—meanwhile becoming versed in Chinese history and literature, concerning which, as well as the Jesuit missions there, Trigault wrote various books and memoirs. He died November 14, 1628, at either Nanking or Hang-tcheou.

6 Matheo de Curos was born at Lisbon in 1568, and became a Jesuit when fifteen years old; three years later, he left Europe for Japan, where during many years he occupied high positions in his order. He died at Fuscimo (Fushimi?), October 29, 1633.

7 Dairi (“the great interior”), an appellation of the mikado of Japan, also of his palace in the city of Kiôto (anciently called Miako), The temple referred to is the Daibutsu (“great Buddha”), located not far from the palace. See Rein’s Japan, pp. 442–470, for account of Buddhism and other religions in Japan, and description and plan of Kiôto.

8 Cf. Jesuit Relations, (Cleveland reissue) xxvii, p. 311, and xxxv, p. 277 (and elsewhere), for mention of these helpers (Fr. dogiques) in the Jesuit missions of New France.

9 Probably referring to St. Francis Xavier, who had been, seventy years before, so prominent a missionary in Japan and India. The word “saint,” however, is here used by anticipation, as Xavier was not canonized at the time of this document. That ceremony was performed, for both Xavier and Ignatius de Loyola, on March 12, 1622; they had been beautified on July 27, 1609.

10 The two Latin phrases read thus in English respectively: “in the bowels of Jesus Christ,” and “that I may be counted worthy of suffering reproach [or ignominy] for the name of Jesus.”

11 This is a reference to the celebrated scholastic Duns Scotus.

12 The text reads thus: Junto al estandarte que lleuoua el Pe Guardian yba un fraile lego llamado fr. Junipero y es tenido por sto sencillo como el otro vaylando y diciendo mil frialdades a lo diuino.

13 The Order of Theatins was founded in 1524, by St. Cajetan of Chieti or Teate (whence Theatinus) and three others, one of whom later became Pope Paul IV. Their vows were very strict, for they were even forbidden to solicit alms. They were the first congregation in the Church of regular clerics or canons regular (clerici regulares or canonici regulares). On account of the early renown for piety which they acquired, it became usual to style any devout person a Theatino or Chietino. They were also sometimes called Tolentines, from the name of their principal church dedicated to St. Nicholas of Tolentine. Their dress being similar [57n] to that of the Jesuits, they were through ignorance often mistaken for them. The term was also applied to some of the Jesuits who had been in Florida and afterward went to Manila; to the Jesuit missionaries in Japan; and to the first Jesuits in the Philippines. Paul IV wished to unite his order with the Jesuits, but his request was not acceded to by St. Ignatius Loyola. The Theatins were never widely known outside of Italy.—The editors are indebted for this note to Revs. José Algué, S.J., Manila Observatory, E.I. Devitt, S.J., Georgetown College, and T.C. Middleton, O.S.A., Villanova College. See also Addis and Arnold’s Catholic Dict., pp. 792, 793.

Compulsory Service by the Indians

Opinion addressed to his Majesty by Fray Pedro de Sant Pablo, preacher and provincial minister of the province of Sant Gregorio of the discalced religious of the Philipinas Islands, of the Order of the seraphic Father St. Francis, for the increase and conservation of the said states of his Majesty, by reason of the building of ships and repartimiento1 for the service of his Majesty.

The native Indians of the Philipinas Islands enjoyed great temporal prosperity and peace until the year 1609, when Governor Don Juan de Silva established in these islands the shipyards for constructing the fleets that he built. For that purpose he imposed the very burdensome taxes, and made repartimientos among the natives of the said islands—not only personal, but for wine, oil, timber, and other supplies and materials, in the greatest quantity. That has remained and been established as a custom. Those materials and supplies have been taken by some without payment, while others have paid the [72] fourth or third part of the just and current value. Hence his Majesty owes them a great sum, but he cannot pay it, nor has he the money to pay it in these islands. When personal services are commanded, the Indian, in order not to go to the forests to cut and haul the wood, subject to the cruel treatment of the Spaniard, incurred debt, and borrowed some money at usury; and for the month falling to him, he gave another Indian six or seven reals of eight at his own cost, in order that the other should go in his stead. He who was taxed as his share one-half arroba of oil went, if he did not have it from his own harvest, to the rich man who gathered it; and, not having the money wherewith to buy it, he became the other’s slave or borrowed the money at usurious rates. Thus, in the space of ten years, did the country become in great measure ruined. Some natives took to the woods; others were made slaves; many others were killed; and the rest were exhausted and ruined: all of which is evident from the summary of the account that I send his Majesty with the present. There can this truth be seen and recognized. In order that the injury committed may be more clearly evident, it is to be noted that these Indians are in the depth of poverty, and have no possessions of value. Neither do they inherit anything save a little plot of land which they sow with rice—not to sell, but only for what is necessary for their families. Their houses are built on four posts; their walls are of bamboo and thatch, and are very small. Such was the spoliation committed on a people so poor and wretched that they would say: “Father, I will give the king twenty reals of eight annually, so that they will spare me from repartimientos;” but, having [73] investigated, all their property is not worth an equal sum. This granted, request is made, by the common opinion and consent of the governor, Audiencia, bishops, orders, the Spaniards, and the Indians themselves, for permission from your Majesty for the following:

The Indians of all these islands are willing to contribute annually to his Majesty all the aid that may be necessary, and what they are able to contribute, for the defense and conservation of these islands, the building of ships, and all other things needful, in the following manner. Every household and family will give, each year, such a sum as may be ordered and as shall appear necessary, in this manner. The Indians living at Manila, inasmuch as they have more property and money, will give one or two pesos per house; and those more remote the half or third part of that sum, or the fraction that shall seem advisable, inasmuch as they are less established and are very poor. This sum shall be collected and placed in one depository, which shall be in common for all the islands, and shall be in charge of a faithful person; and it shall have three keys. This money having been collected, whenever his Majesty may need one, two, or three vessels, more or less, in these islands, and shall choose either to buy them in India or to build and construct them in these islands, he needs fifty thousand pesos for that purpose. After first taking from his royal chest and treasury the usual sum, the balance and remainder—which is generally levied from the Indians at very low rates, or without paying them at all—let him get from that chest of the common fund of the Indians. Then the sum given by his Majesty and the aid furnished by the Indians [74] can be put together, and those boats built or bought without making repartimientos among the communities of the Indians. If common seamen be needed, then a proclamation can be issued to see if there are any volunteers who will sign the register; and surely there will be many, as usual. The number lacking [to serve as volunteers] shall be paid from that fund [i.e., the natives’ chest] and from what his Majesty usually gives them. The same shall be done if soldiers are needed for Terrenate, or rice and any other supplies. Thus will everything necessary be provided, and that without delay; and the country will not be harassed or the Indians afflicted.

Supposing that from the sum given this year by the Indians, there should be a surplus, because of no war or shipbuilding, then that sum would be kept, and the following year there would be no repartimiento nor would the amount be again collected. And supposing that the sum that was collected should be insufficient because of the many expenses of that year, then the Indians would be again asked for what should seem necessary. If this were done with due system and method in using the chest, and in a Christian spirit, each Indian would be saved, besides his discomforts, persecutions, and afflictions, more than fifteen or twenty pesos; his Majesty would be served better; and many mortal sins committed by the officials—who rob the Indians on one side, and on the other defraud his Majesty’s treasury—would be avoided; for (as has been experienced) the alcaldes-mayor or judges who go to get rice and the other things belonging to his Majesty send it by the quantity of five hundred baskets at cheaper rates. They get another equal amount for themselves, for [75] which repartimiento is made among the Indians at the same prices [as for the king]. Many deaths among the Indians in the shipbuilding would also be avoided; for, supposing that ships are to be built in the islands (which must be avoided as much as possible), they can he built by the Chinese for pay. Consequently the Indian will live comfortably, and will feel more love toward the Spaniard and his king, and will attend better to his soul and the service of God. He will become a man of worship and devotion; while in temporal affairs he will become more prosperous, and will have something with which he can be of use to his Majesty in case of any necessity.

Prostrate at your Majesty’s feet, I desire to beg one thing, in which lies the wealth and prosperity of this land, or its destruction. Your royal Majesty can remedy it—although it be at the loss of his office to the governor of these islands; for in no other way is there any relief, either with royal decrees or orders from your Majesty—or in any other way—by your Majesty ordering the said governor that the ships sail from this port for Nueva España by St. John’s or St. Peter’s day;2 for they can do it, as they used to do. In this way no shipwrecks will occur, just as there were none before. The losses and shipwrecks caused by not observing this cannot be told, I will mention as an example only the case of the present year. Inasmuch as they sailed late, two hundred and eighty persons died in the flagship, and all the rest arrived in a dying condition. They were over seven months just now on the return trip, after their escape from the Dutch enemy [76] then assembled where they fought. Because they were not able to enter the channel to go to their usual port, as they were late, and because the winds contrary to them had begun, they were driven ashore and there the two hulls of the ships were wrecked. There was the one noteworthy thing, namely, that with only six pieces they fought the enemy, who had three ships. The loss was immense; besides the hulls, a great amount of property was lost—more than four hundred thousand pesos—and it was a miracle that everything was not lost. Written in this convent of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria, at Dilao, outside the walls [of Manila], August 7, 1620.

The most unworthy servant of your royal Majesty,

Fray Pedro de San Pablo, provincial minister. [77]

1 The preachers of Charles V said to the Council of the Indias, in speaking of the repartimiento system in America: “We hold that this most great sin will be the cause of the total destruction of the state of Spain, if God does not alter it, or we do not amend it ourselves.” See Helps’s Spanish Conquest, ii, p. 56.

2 St. John’s day is June 26, and St. Peter’s June 29.

Letter from the Audiencia of Manila to Felipe III


At the end of last year, 619, this royal Audiencia reported to your Majesty a portion of the numerous excesses and imprudent acts of Don Alonso Fajardo, governor and captain-general of these islands. For that purpose it despatched, by way of Yndia, Captain Pedro Alvares, government and War secretary of this kingdom, with the same document that is herewith enclosed. Although this despatch was attempted twice it did not succeed, because the governor, suspecting it, exercised great vigilance to prevent it—as in fact he did, a certain sailor revealing it while confused. But, although he made no little investigation and practiced extortions to verify the matter, he was unable to ascertain who the person was, or why he was going, because the matter had been managed by a priest. And although a long relation can be made here of his objectionable acts, we shall, in order to excuse prolixity, touch on only a few of them.

He continues his careless way of living with so little modesty and caution that scarce can there be found any action in which is manifested the circumspection, gravity, and prudence required by his office. [78]

In regard to the little esteem (or better, the great contempt) that he shows toward this Audiencia and its auditors, both in the court room and in other public acts and meetings, what occurs is incredible. For without any occasion for it, he shows that he delights in making use of all the abusive terms that can be imagined. And, in order that it may be seen that this statement is not exaggerated, we shall mention here some particular instances. During the feast of the cross which Auditor Don Antonio Rodriguez made this month of May at the convent of St. Francis, Auditor Don Alvaro de Mesa went to that convent after the governor and the Audiencia were in the church, and the royal carpet had been spread, immediately upon his arrival; the governor thereupon told him that he was a dirty, impudent fellow, and that he vowed to God that the first time when Don Alvaro should neglect to accompany him, he would take him by the collar and fling him out of court. This he said with so much heat, disturbance, and passion, that it was observed throughout the church. When the auditors went for him on Easter day to accompany him to prison inspection, they advised him with all courtesy (warned by what had happened on other inspections) to be kind enough to allow the Audiencia to oppose privately the releases, when these were undesirable, that he intended to grant by his authority. To that request he answered in great heat and fury that he vowed to God that if any auditor contradicted him in the releases of prisoners that he thought best to make during the inspection, he would break his head with a club; and, after dashing out his brains, would scatter them about the walls of the prison. Consequently, [79] in order to avoid greater evils that might result to the disservice of your Majesty if his conduct should not be overlooked until your Majesty hears of it, he is allowed to continue his releasing [of prisoners] here during prison inspection, and out of it, at his will, without considering that they are imprisoned by the Audiencia, or the gravity of the crimes, or any other of very weighty circumstances. And so that [it may be seen] that we do not deceive ourselves in attributing to him these excesses in pardoning as being extreme, the same thing occurs in his sentences and punishments. For he thus executes his sentences, however rigorous they be (notwithstanding appeal, and without taking the trouble to present the criminals before the Audiencia), as if he were absolute lord of them, as is said to be the case in Japon. Consequently he follows and lets loose all the passions to which his taste inclines him, just as if he did not have to give account to God and your Majesty.

One Gregorio de Saldaña, a sailor—against whom was executed a sentence of stripes and condemnation to the galleys, without allowing a report of his appeal to be made to the Audiencia—having presented a certain memorial of the frauds and trickery which he declared had been practiced against the royal treasury and the natives of these islands by the sargento-mayor, Estevan de Alcaçar (brother-in-law of Don Juan de Alvarado, fiscal of this Audiencia, for he had married the latter’s sister), in the building of a galleon under his charge, about which there have been public clamors, an investigation was begun by Auditor Don Antonio Rodriguez, and the said frauds were declared by Saldaña, for which purpose [80] the latter was taken from the galley. The governor took the cause away from the auditor and pigeonholed it,1 without being willing to allow any more investigations to be made upon it. On the contrary, to prevent that, he remanded the sailor from the prison where he was to the galleys, and thus prevented him from obtaining his appeal, as it was a matter that touched the said sargento-mayor—to whom, for himself and for his brother-in-law the fiscal, he has granted permission, as is said, for extortions on the Sangleys in the office of chief warden of the Parián. He has exercised that office for more than a year, succeeding to Gonzalo de Ocampo, who married a cousin of the said fiscal. Ocampo held the said office for two years, and the said sargento-mayor is now sending him as admiral of the vessels about to be despatched to Nueva España, with the title of general for the return trip, without taking his residencia—notwithstanding that he was declared by an edict of Governor Don Juan de Silva to have fallen into condemnation and to have incurred the loss of his encomienda and all of his property, because many others who were prepared for the expedition of Sincapura ran away, in imitation of his example. That edict or proclamation is in force today, for the royal Audiencia alone declared null and void all that which was enacted after the edict. Although the governor has been advised of this in writing, no reparation has been made; for, as it is a matter that touches the fiscal, he defies the laws entirely. A few days ago Juan Cevicos, an ecclesiastic and presbyter, presented to the royal Audiencia a decree [81] of your Majesty directed to the audiencias. In it you prohibit offices of justice to the sons, brothers, or brothers-in-law of auditors and fiscals, under penalty of a fine of one thousand pesos in gold. He petitioned that, in observance of it, the said sargento-mayor Alcazar should not exercise the office of warden of the Parian of the Sangleys, or Don Fernando Centeno,2 general of the galleys, also a brother-in-law of the said fiscal, that of alcalde-in-ordinary of this city. The Audiencia ordered that the decree be obeyed; and that the said governor be informed, so that he might appoint someone to fill the office of the Parián. He was so angered by that, that he expressed himself in unmeasured language; and especially, in the meeting held July 23, did he treat the auditors very harshly, chiding them for having meddled in his government. And inasmuch as they had ordered him by an act to fulfil the said royal decree, [he said] that the Audiencia had exceeded their authority, since such action did not belong to their duties. He told them not to show thereafter similar discourtesy, for he vowed to God that he would proceed against the auditors, and would not allow his office to be taken from him before he had exercised it. He paid no attention to the said royal decree and act, or to the ordinance of the Audiencia that prohibits such appointments, because he [i.e., Fernando Centeno] was an encomendero; there is, besides, another very great objection, namely, that the fiscal his brother-in-law has hitherto been protector of the same Sangleys, until now when [82] he leaves it for the post of admiral. Luis Rivero having appealed from the sentence of death passed by the governor, and orders having been issued by the Audiencia that he should appear to state his case (inasmuch as he had presented himself to the Audiencia), and that the warden of the prison should not deliver the prisoner under penalty of two thousand ducados—of which the warden himself took notice, and refused to deliver him over—the sargento-mayor went with a detachment of arquebusiers and, after taking away the keys from the warden, took the prisoner out by force and executed on him the sentence of death. Auditor Don Alvaro de Messa having proceeded against the warden by commission of the Audiencia, the governor suppressed the case, and handled the auditor with rough speech. Without being ordered by the Audiencia, on his own authority he takes the prisoners from the jail and mans the galleys with them, even though their cases are actually pending at the time in the Audiencia; and it has been impossible to conclude them, notwithstanding that it is the Audiencia that causes all criminals to be taken from jail and placed in the galleys for which authority is granted them. He suppresses the secular offices of justice at will, before their time-limit expires, without awaiting the opinion of the Audiencia, or even communicating the matter to them. He sends out investigators whenever he wishes, although that is the proper business of the Audiencia. He appoints followers and kinsmen to posts of justice, in violation of your Majesty’s decrees. He removed the former reporter, who was exercising that office so that he might be given a post as alcalde-mayor (which was the usual practice), [83] and appointed a reporter without an order from the Audiencia. He does the same with other offices which fall vacant, although the contrary is the custom. In the session of July 23, while vote was being taken upon a certain petition presented by Captain Pedro Alvarez, government and war secretary of these islands—which related the insults put upon him by the governor and the master-of-camp in proceeding against him in a certain cause, which is declared by acts of trial and revision to be outside of the military jurisdiction—and after Auditor Geronimo de Legaspi de Hecheverria had uttered his vote and opinion that a writ of your Majesty should be despatched against the said master-of-camp, since the acts of trial and revision were incorrect, so that in fulfilment of such writ he might be prohibited from trying the cause, under penalty of two thousand ducados and warnings of greater: the said governor replied on the instant, with his usual heat, that he vowed to God that he would choke and skin the throttle of that auditor who should sign such a decree. “Why must he be subject to three licentiates, each one of his own nation, and to have come to such a pass that a bandy-legged graybeard should order him?” At this rate, blustering and snorting, he did and said things that made him seem out of his senses. The said Pedro Alvarez also mentions in the said petition other insults that have been shown him on account of taking away the licenses of the Sangleys and other perquisites of his office; and concludes with requesting the Audiencia to inform your Majesty of what is the truth in this matter. What the Audiencia has to report concerning it is that, besides, the governor and the master-of-camp [84] refused to obey the acts of trial and revision of this Audiencia, in which the said Pedro Alvarez is declared not to be included in the military jurisdiction. Supposing that he were, no guilt results from the allegation with regard to imputing to him the purpose to go from these islands by way of Yndia to España, so that he could be arrested justifiably; and yet he has endured more than one-half year of prison closely guarded, and fearing (not without reason) new annoyances, he has retired into the convent of St. Francis. In respect to the licenses of the Sangleys—which he says should be attended to before him, and states that the governor has taken them away from him—although as yet no further statement than the said petition has been presented to the Audiencia, it appears that Governor Don Juan de Silva declared, by act of November twelve, six hundred and twelve, that the issue of the said licenses (which are given to the Sangleys who remain annually in this city and these islands for their service) was annexed to and pertained to the said governmental office, in accordance with its title; and he ordered that then and thenceforth the issues of these licenses should be made in the said governmental office. In conformity with that order, Secretary Gaspar Alvarez (uncle of the said Pedro Alvarez, by whose resignation the latter succeeded to those offices) countersigned the said licenses from thenceforth until the year six hundred and eighteen, the first year of the administration of Don Alonso Fajardo. The latter began to take the licenses away from the said office last year, six hundred and nineteen, when the said Pedro Alvarez began to exercise it. In regard to his right to the conduct of other [85] business, despatched by the corresponding secretary, the most authentic thing that we can now report is that the grudge held by the governor against the said Pedro Alvarez is well known, for he shows it on every occasion.

He allows no testimonies to be given to the parties [in suits] in any case that does not suit him, even though the Audiencia order it. Neither does he permit the causes to be prosecuted, for he takes and keeps them in his possession as long as he chooses. And inasmuch as the relation of all that occurs after this manner would mean that it would never end, we avoid it—likewise considering that from the above statements, and from his often having said publicly that it would be best not to have auditors or friars (of whom he talks scandalously) in the Philipinas, the rest can be inferred.

In respect to military affairs, in addition to what the Audiencia formerly wrote to your Majesty: after our fear here that a number of Dutch ships would descend from Japon—as we were advised from that kingdom—to await the Chinese ships along our coasts, a fleet was prepared to go out to attack them. After very considerable sums had been spent on it, it was despatched at the beginning of March, consisting of two galleons, one patache, and one galley—so ill-prepared that the almiranta galleon began to sink in the port. A few days after it had left this bay, it returned to port, because the pumps could not lessen the water, at great risk of the vessel’s foundering. Thereupon the effort was made to prepare another ship to supply its lack; but so great unreadiness was found everywhere that that was impossible. In its stead sailed the other galley that had been left [86] behind. Finally, as they did not meet the enemy, the loss was less regretted. The fleet returned to port. Although, because of a second warning received from Xapon that two Dutch ships and one patache were surely coming to our coasts, it was considered by many to be advisable that the fleet should go to El Embocadero to secure the safety of the ships from Nueva España, that was not done; but on the contrary the ships were immediately unrigged. That was a signal error, for within the few days necessary for its arrival at El Embocadero it would find the enemy’s said two ships and one patache there awaiting our ships from Nueva España, and those ships of the Dutch would be taken or sunk. But this kingdom was relieved from the loss of this failure; and through God miraculously extending to it His mercy, the silver and soldiers aboard our ships (the flagship and the almiranta) escaped capture by the enemy. That capture would have meant the total ruin and destruction of these islands. There was no little danger of losing ships and merchandise by running aground. Inasmuch as the governor will inform your Majesty more fully and minutely of this event, the Audiencia will avoid doing so. We will only assure your Majesty that not only was no preventive measure taken by the said governor for which thanks should be given him, but also the preconceived idea of those who are soldiers has been confirmed—namely, that they considered him but little fit for so great matters, because they had seen the way in which he proceeded in the preparation of the fleet that he made ready, and with which he did not assail the enemy last year, as well as in the despatch of the fleet that he made this year to protect [87] the Chinese ships. In the former matter, not only did he equip the fleet so poorly, as above stated, but, leaving in Manila the master-of-camp, the sargento-mayor, and captains of high standing, he sent as commander his brother, Don Luis Fajardo, a lad fifteen years old. He gave the latter (as it were, for his tutor) Admiral Juan Baptista de Molina, who was then alcalde-in-ordinary of this city; while Don Fernando Centeno, the fiscal’s brother-in-law, remained as commander of the galleys, to whom the rod of alcalde-in-ordinary was given in the stead of Molina, who had served in that capacity as citizen alcalde. Without receiving pay as such, and although his galleys went on the expedition, he remained as alcalde ad interim.

In respect to the despatch of ships to Nueva España, although—on account of those of the preceding two years that have been in his charge having sailed late—the governor had published that this year they would sail very early, they are now in Cavite. It is believed that he will cause them to await his letters in Mindoro, which is thirty leguas from Manila, all the month of August or but slightly less. Yet it is certain that, without changing things from their usual course, the ships could now be out of the channel. However, it appears that all that may be a mistake, and that God is permitting it in order to compel the inhabitants of these islands, after losing faith in human, to turn to divine means.

In regard to greed for gain, no good rumor is current; and it is said that of the loss therefrom no little share falls to the royal treasury in paying orders that are bought at less than the fourth of their face value. Consequently at the same time while not [88] one real of advance pay thereon is allowed to the owner of the order—which is issued to him for his sweat and toil, or to his wife and children on account of his death while serving your Majesty in the war—it is sold for one-fourth or a less part of its face value, and that is paid in full to its purchaser by the governor’s decree. A vast sum has been used up in this, for the money brought from Nueva España, that derived from the Sangley licenses, the loans of citizens, and that from other sources, have been spent in less than one year. In order that it may be seen that there is no way in which he does not endeavor to accommodate the fiscal, while the royal treasury was without one single real, and in debt many thousands to citizens who lent it money after the beginning of this year, the governor issued a decree in the month of June (but without it, notwithstanding an order may be issued, he has ordered that nothing be paid) that a definite warrant for three thousand and ninety pesos (of which some Sangleys had made him a gift for three or four years) be given to the fiscal from the duties of the Chinese ships. But it was not advanced immediately, because the officials of the royal treasury considered that the Sangleys who made the gift were not legally parties [to such a transaction]. As these things are so public, and the citizens are so vexed with loans and ill-treatment, they resent these things greatly.

The same irregular procedure that was followed last year in regard to taking the merchandise from the Chinese at their own weighing was experienced this year. Although the governor issued a proclamation ordering all persons who should have the merchandise in their possession to return it immediately, [89] so that it could be sold freely, and imposing severe penalties, they did not comply with it; as has been evident from its results, that edict must have been only to caution or amuse, for they only sold openly those goods that they were unable to sell privately without these being taken from them. And then—when, with the delay of the ships from Nueva España, and the fear of the danger that they ran of being captured by the Dutch; and the city, with having invested its share, was drained of money—those who had retained the said goods in their possession made lower prices with the many Chinese than those prices at which the goods that were allowed to be sold had been given. In consequence there were public murmurs from all classes. One Gonzalez, the governor’s barber, and a prime favorite, whom he has made inspector of the Chinese ships—which because of their late arrival remained this year for the most part on the coasts of these islands near China, from fifty to one hundred leguas from Manila, sending their goods thither in small boats—went there and bought and brought back a large consignment. Consequently that transaction, other things similar to it, and the appointments—or, as some say, sales—of offices and posts in the ships from Nueva España in violation of your Majesty’s decrees, are not well endured or well spoken of, in regard to either his acts or his methods. May our Lord preserve and prosper the royal and Catholic person of your Majesty, as all Christendom desires, and has need, etc. Manila, August 8, 1620.

Licentiate Hieronimo Legaspi de Cheverria
Licentiate Don Alonso Messa y Lugo
Doctor Don Antonio Piso de Villegas [90]

1 Span., La puso en el cofrecillo secreto del acuerdo; literally “placed it in the secret drawer of the assembly.”

2 In 1621, the flagship of which Fernando Centeno was commander, “Nuestra Señora de la Vida,” was wrecked in Isla Verde. See Colin, Labor evangélica, p. 159.

Letter from Fajardo to Felipe III


1st. While anxious, as may be understood, over the delay of the ships from Nueva España, and the anticipated rise of the vendavals with the so great fury with which they began this year; and fearing on that account some disaster, or their making port in distress at Japon, where also there is cause for fear; and while considering the hardship that might result to this country from any one of those things: we had news that three ships of the Dutch rebels were awaiting our ships between the channel of San Bernardino and the Cape of Spiritu Sancto, where the latter had to come. Consequently our anxiety deepened, knowing that this country would necessarily be endangered if those ships were driven from its coasts, with the men that we have for its defense, at such a season that, if they left the strait, they could not possibly return here this year; or, if there were a failure to act, the people [of this city] must remain not properly cared for, much less contented. Although it was evident that we might go out at a time when we could be of [no] use, and when the aforesaid danger would not happen to the ships, with all the resources at my command, I had the galleys and light craft manned, so that they might go out immediately with what advices and orders [91] seemed advisable. While preparing the ships, which were almost ready to go out, for whatever might arise, and in the midst of that anxiety, God was pleased to do us the favor of freeing us from it by the news that I received of our ships. That news, thanks to His Divine Majesty, was most favorable, when one considers what might have come. The news was that the flagship—a large galleon, and, as its actions showed, not a very good sailer—happened to encounter, without its consort (which was a bark), the three Dutch ships. These approached the galleon, and ordered it to strike its sails for Mauricio. Captain and Sargento-mayor Don Fernando de Ayala, warder of the port at the point of Cavite (whom I had sent out in order that he might return as commander of the said ships because the person who went as commander from here was to remain in Nueva España—namely, Don Luys Fernandez de Cordova, a relative of the viceroy of that province) answered them, as a valiant cavalier and soldier, with his artillery and firearms. He continued fighting and defending himself all that day and part of the night, until under cover of its darkness and a heavy fog that settled down, pursuing their voyage, the Spaniards left the enemy with the intention of running upon the coast of an island of the strait, called Ybabao. Our Lord guided them to a port, where a ship was never known to have entered. There they anchored, and fearing that the wind with which they entered might shift to that which generally prevails in that season and with greater fury, they determined to run the said ship into the mud, and to cut away the mainmast, in order to render them less liable to drag, and to leave the port again [92] and encounter the enemy. Accordingly, all possible haste was displayed in disembarking the men, and the silver and reals of your Majesty and of private persons, and the most valuable goods; but scarcely was that done when the storm, coming down upon the ship, drove it upon some rocks. There it foundered and sank, although in a place so shallow that but little of the ship’s cargo was lost. For they continued to take out and use many things, except the articles of luxury. Although no use could be made of the ship’s hull, as it was entirely ruined, the resultant loss is almost nothing, and inconsiderable when one thinks what it might have been, and what this event has gained in advantage and reputation for these islands, and for your Majesty’s arms herein. For, although your Majesty, thanks to God, has had excellent successes in the islands, still it has all been by superiority of ships and men; and there is nothing, according to common opinion, so fortunate as this event, considering what the enemy will have lost in all the aforesaid respects among all the nations with whom they have relations—especially with that of the Japanese, who place their honor and ground for self-praise in war. It would appear that they will not be well esteemed there, nor even pleasantly received by their creditors—with whom, as we understand here, they were indebted for about three hundred thousand ducados for their preparations and the relief of their forts, having assigned to the creditors their pay from a good prize that they were to make, which must have been this galleon.

Then, in order that everything might turn out well, our Lord guided the patache—which was coming as almiranta—without its meeting an enemy. However, [93] from the severity of the weather, the same thing happened to them as to the flagship; but they lost no cargo, for that vessel was so small that I bought it for not more than one thousand pesos.

Although some think that those ships did not have a more satisfactory voyage because they left Acapulco April 4, in my opinion that could not have been avoided; for they reached that port late because their voyage thither was long and troublesome. Notwithstanding that they had been despatched, they would have found, when they arrived, vendavals already in these islands, as these commenced so early, as I have said. Although the viceroy wrote requesting greater haste in those despatches, yet because they are sent late from there, they also arrive late here, even if no such events happen as the above. It is almost impossible for the ships to leave here early, if the arrival of those from Nueva España is delayed, unless no opportunity be given the inhabitants to receive their share of money and letters, which is a thing that they would feel keenly.

[Marginal note: “War. What you say in these sections is reduced to three points. Firstly, the thanks that you give and should have given to our Lord for the good success of the flagship, and the same has been done here. May He be praised for all, and thus it is to be hoped, in His divine mercy, that He will be in all other events; for the just end and cause to which all is directed is His holy service and the extension of the holy Catholic faith. The second main point is of the utmost importance, and is regarding what has been written you, with the remonstrances required by the case—namely, that if the flagship and almiranta sail late, it is impossible that they can be [94] despatched early from Nueva España; and although we have written to the latter country, giving the method that is advisable to be used in that voyage and despatch, they always excuse themselves for the late sailing of the ships by the risk of vendavals, as the violence of the weather is an unavoidable difficulty. We have also written to you that the only cause of the delay is the waiting to lade those ships with the commerce of Manila—which are detained for personal ends, by awaiting the merchandise from Japon, China, and the Orient. That is poor management; and the welfare of private persons must not have more force than that of the public. For the customs duties received on departing and returning are not at all to be considered with the great danger of bad weather, in which everything is risked—especially since the only cause for the commerce between Nueva España and those islands is not the benefit of the merchants, nor the lading of Chinese cloth, but the maintenance, succor, and payment of the military and of the ministers who assist in the service and defense of that country. If you should one year cause the ships to sail on time, those at Acapulco [los terceros] would be warned by it for the future, and would understand the diligence that they must use in their despatch. It is said—and let this serve as caution and warning to you—that the chief officials who have in charge the despatch of the flagship and almiranta are those most interested, as figure-heads for third persons, in what is laded. The third point is, that when those vessels (not only of trade, but of war) sail, and since their risk of enemies is at the departure and return (but most on the return), you are advised to take warning not to let the [95] ships be so overladen that because of that they go ill equipped with seamen, and even worse defended. In conformity with this we have written to the viceroy of Nueva España; and have stated that it would be a less disadvantage to increase the number of ships than to overload those that are sent—to say nothing of the damage done to the hull of the ship by carrying so heavy a cargo. Also you are advised, on account of what you say in this section—since you say that the Dutch get help in boats, money, ammunition, food, and men in Xapon—that it would be well, since there is so continual communication between Japon and our government [in those islands], that you endeavor—through an embassy, or in any other way—to negotiate with any king of those of Xapon, or with the person who is the cause of that [aid to the Dutch], and tell them that those enemies are pirates, and that they violate the laws of nations and the public peace. Finally, since you have the matter in hand and know the importance of separating the Japanese and Dutch, you shall do this with such energy and skill as your prudence admits, doing all that you shall deem necessary and useful to attain that end.” In another hand: “A letter is being written to the viceroy of Nueva España, sending him a copy of his [i.e., Fajardo’s] clause, and what answer is made to it; and advising him, as here above stated, that an order has been given so that they shall endeavor to have the despatch of the flagship and almiranta of Filipinas attended to promptly and seasonably, as is necessary for their voyage. Accordingly he shall again issue orders to that effect, and advise us of what is done in this matter.”]1 [96]

2d. I am also writing to the viceroy not to waste time and money in making unnecessary repairs on the ships, and those for which their captains and commanders do not ask; for that is of use only for those who have slaves who act as calkers and as other kinds of mechanics, in which they sometimes gain more in such works than they are worth.

In the same way [I have requested] that he shall not furnish rigging and other supplies unless they are requested; for I am sending the vessels from here already provided, for both going and coming, with everything necessary (even the candles), in the endeavor to avoid the expense caused to your Majesty in the past with such outlays as have been made, and with the things brought here. This can be very well avoided, because there have been certain articles that can be obtained here for one-tenth as much as they cost in Nueva España, both rigging and other things that are not needed; while ammunition and arms are so extremely necessary. Of these, on the occasion that I have mentioned, there was known to be a very [97] great lack. The mistake must have been occasioned by my saying, in regard to the arms that I requested, that powder-horns were unnecessary here (as is the fact). But it was not to be understood by that that the arquebuses and muskets for arming the infantry should come without powder-horns. That appears to have been the understanding, for on the said occasion not thirty pairs of them were found, and very little powder. All that resulted from those who despatched those ships not paying attention to what their commanders asked, while they supply them at times with what they do not need or request; and other things those persons furnish at their own pleasure, with no care whatever except for the bulk and lump—obliging the masters to receive them on faith, and even on appearances, according to what is observed here. Those who have made those voyages think strongly that the standards of measure there should be somewhat less. I hope for a reform in all this, through the good management and zeal of the viceroy, and that he will set a limit to what those who attend to these despatches at the port of Acapulco have done—as also to the vexation and trouble caused to the sailors and workmen of those ships by examining so minutely the wretched belongings that they carry in their little chests, and by treating them with more severity in this than appears advisable for men so necessary and who work so hard.

[Marginal note: “In the letters that were written you, in the next to the last and the last despatch before this one, that discussed this reform and the avoidance of expenses which were made and caused in Nueva España for those reënforcements, you were directed to try to give special and minute information [98] as to what you have there, and of its cost; and advised that, if prices are so much more advantageous than those of Nueva España, those expenses might be avoided. The same thing has been written to the viceroy, while the royal officials there [i.e., in Filipinas] have been notified to send a detailed report of the matters of that sort [in which expense] could be avoided. If that has not been done, you shall do it; and with it those in whose charge are the despatch and provision of the ships and the supplies, shall be convinced, and the losses and expenses repaired. Since you have abundance of all kinds of rigging and sea-stores, and they are obtained so advantageously in the ports and regions of your archipelago, provision shall be made only in the smaller firearms—that is, outside the situado. And inasmuch as the Council should have the information that is desirable in regard to these matters, you shall always send us a copy of what you write upon them to the viceroy and royal officials, so that observance of what is enacted in this regard may be demanded from here, and that the account may be somewhat better regulated. The other things that pertain to the excesses that you mention in the preparations in Nueva España have been written to the viceroy, as per the enclosed copy, so that redress may be provided in what is so just.”] [Here follows a note, on a separate piece of paper.2]

3d. And inasmuch as I am not confident that the viceroy will be willing to admit that the appointments of offices and officials of these ships from these islands do not concern him, when those who are appointed complete the exercise of their duties on their [99] arrival at Nueva España—as, for instance, Don Francisco de la Serna, who is going this year as commander; and Don Luis Fernandez de Cordova, who was commander last year, as they commenced to exercise those offices from the time of their departure from those provinces and are returning in those functions through courtesy, and for just considerations—the viceroy undertakes to appoint men to those places, refusing to understand as he ought what your Majesty has ruled and ordered in this matter. On the contrary, in order to establish himself in this pretension, he has suppressed the appointments that I sent last year. Indeed, although he deprived Don Fernando de Ayala of his appointment, he did not make another appointment, but said that he was satisfied for that time with that act of jurisdiction. He said that he would send me another as commander of the ships—a young man, like those whom he sends as captains of infantry. That would have resulted in the disinclination of people in this country to send what is of so much importance [i.e., their cargoes to Nueva España], with the supplies and artillery which I sent—very differently from the usual practice, in charge of a man of action and valor, who has fought very often. I cannot see why the viceroy should wonder at a thoroughly satisfactory person being appointed and sent from here, in order to return in such a post, since for a matter of so great consideration, value, and importance, it does not seem much or hurtful that each ship should always have a captain, like those whom your Majesty appoints in the flagships and almirantas of the trading-fleets, with the same preëminences and the right of succession to the responsibility and management [100] of them, in case of the death or absence of their commanders. For it would be a misfortune, in case of their absence, for the relief or the ruin of these islands to depend, on the occasion of a fight or other emergency in which there is need of a leader, on the direction of a pilot or a master, when suitable provision can be made without any considerable increase of expense to your royal treasury. If your Majesty be so pleased, and will give me authority for it, I prefer to do this, even if, in order to give them some pay, that of the commanders and officials be curtailed; or by seeking another plan and supplying them something with certain accommodations in their vessels, as might be done better here. The men levied in Mexico and those provinces might be delivered at Acapulco to those captains, thus saving the pay granted to the infantry captains and officers. For most of the latter are not usually very eager in their service, while their persons and the troubles that they bring are of no little embarrassment to the governors; and perhaps it would be advisable to do away with their banners and distribute the men among the old companies. That has not been done at any time, both to place the aforesaid persons under some obligations, and because they bring the pay for one year already paid to them. I petition your Majesty to order this matter to be examined and considered, and to command me what I am to do in regard to it and to order the said viceroy, in accordance with the above, to refrain from annoying with that pretension the respectable and deserving inhabitants who sail [on the ships] with appointments to such offices. For there are men here who have merits and are old residents of [101] the country, to whom these employments might well be given; and others who, although they are not of so much prominence in this country, have been and are engaged in the service of your Majesty. Consequently, both for that reason and because of their qualifications, no one ought to be preferred to them—although there are, besides the aforesaid persons (who are numerous), a much greater number of others who demand everything, without right, reason, or justification, and assert that they deserve it. They must believe this, by the way in which they get angry about it; for it comes to such a pass that they do not treat one another well, as we have just experienced. For I appointed Captain and Sargento-mayor Esteban de Alcazar admiral of these ships that I am despatching—a man of many years of service (some in Flandes), and more than fifteen years of residence in this country, whither he came as captain of an infantry company. He has also served in Terrenate, and reënforced those forts with the supplies that he took in his charge, in consideration of which your Majesty confirmed him in an encomienda, without debarring him therefrom because he was a brother-in-law of the fiscal. That relationship, however, no longer exists, because there is another fiscal, a man young in years and of little judgment, without services, merits, or any other qualifications to support his claims, not even for the office of government notary, which an uncle of his resigned. This man has tried to oppose my choice; he has had the audacity to demand the place, trying to disqualify the appointee with a suit brought by my predecessor, from which the royal Audiencia freed and acquitted him. Although I am certain [102] that he [Esteban de Alcazar] is one of the most deserving of those who might be employed in this, I have chosen to send a sworn testimony in the form of a report (in duplicate), so that your Majesty, if such be your pleasure, may order it to be examined. Although any one might resent having to furnish an exoneration when there is no cause for the accusation, there is much more to resent here in the accusations which some are wont to write without any justification, and without the matter being known; for, by reason of the long time that must elapse before one comes to have notice of it and the truth of the matter is made known, he has already suffered much in darkness from an evil and unauthentic relation, and this is the truth.

According to the news received here of what has come in the said ships, the aid in silver and reals that has come on your Majesty’s account amounts to three hundred and fifty-two thousand pesos; while the supplies that I asked both this year and last come to less than one-third of the amount that was generally brought in several former years—for I am very careful not to exceed what is actually necessary and unavoidable, in order to save the so excessive expenses which were generally incurred in this; since other expenses are not wanting that render that saving very necessary.

The infantry does not amount to two hundred men, in three companies. If these men were that number, and Spaniards, it would not be so bad; but, although I have not seen them, because they have not yet arrived here, I am told that they are, as at other times, for the most part boys, mestizos, and mulattoes, with some Indians. There is no little [103] cause for regret in the great sums that reënforcements of such men waste for, and cost, your Majesty. I cannot see what betterment there will be until your Majesty shall provide it, since I do not think, that more can be done in Nueva Spaña, although the viceroy must be endeavoring to do so, as he is ordered.

[Marginal note: “Have the orders held by the viceroys regarding this collected. All that he says for the benefit of the treasury is good. Thus I am trying to do on all occasions. In regard to the quality of the soldiers, have the viceroy of Nueva España informed that they must always be men who have served, and of the quality desirable. Those who were boys might be kept in presidios, and in places where there is not so great need of experienced soldiers. By placing them in other companies and in diverse services, they might supply the lack of other persons. Have a letter written to the viceroy of Nueva España, and a copy of this section and the answer to it sent to him. Have him advised to try, at the levy of these soldiers, that no places be given to any but persons who are suitable and useful for the Filipinas, for the contrary becomes a useless expense.”]

4th. I wrote to the viceroy last year that if, in any year in the future—through any misfortune, or for any other cause or obstacle that might prevent it—no ships from this country should reach those provinces, he should try to send what aid he could, as is usually requested, especially that of money; so that in case of such a lack, the need should not increase, or the danger caused when ships of this commerce do not sail. According to his reply, it seems [104] that the viceroy does not dare assure it, because he doubts whether he can find ships in the ports of that country for that purpose.

Desiring to find some plan for the greater facility and less cost of sending these reënforcements, it has occurred to us here and has been considered a reasonable and feasible means and expedient to have them come by way of Panama. If your Majesty would be pleased to keep there one of the two ships that leave these islands for Nueva España, that would have very good results, if no obstacles thereto arise which we have not considered here.

The advantages are, that what infantry your Majesty pleases can come from España divided among the vessels of the trading fleet of Tierra Firme, that go to Puertovelo or Nombre de Dios. Their passage and the transportation of their food would not cost much, and the owners of the vessels might even carry them free for the concession of the register or permission for the voyage. If they left in due season, nothing would be lost, nor any soldier either, in the short passage which must be made, in order to embark at Panama from Cruces, a distance of five leguas. One can reach that place in boats by means of a river. In the same way, all the things shipped here from España can be transported, thus saving the vast sum generally incurred by the freight charges and carriage of the goods in Nueva España. This expense is caused by the long and dangerous road to Acapulco, and the rather long space of time from the arrival of the trading fleet at the beginning of September until the departure of our ships at the last of March—both in what the infantry consume and waste, and in those men of it who are lost. [105]

There will also be another advantage if your Majesty should be pleased to locate there [i.e., at Panama] the reënforcements of money and provisions for these forts. For if the ships from this country, by any misfortune or other occasion for delay, should not arrive, as many ships as were needed could be obtained there, ready, in which to send the ordinary and even extraordinary succor that your Majesty might despatch; while in Acapulco there would be no such facility, or even possibility, in addition to the long and most costly voyage of the ships despatched thence. And, according as the despatch from Panama is considered and regarded, our ships, even if they should arrived there one month later, would leave the port earlier, and much earlier than from Acapulco, since the journey thence here is so safe and short, as experience has already demonstrated.

By dividing this commerce, and by one ship going to Acapulco and another to Panama, one would think that, if the vessels’ were not more nor larger, the export or sale of Spanish merchandise would not be checked; for inasmuch as Mexico would be abandoned in order to go to Panama, the former country would come to have need of España, and would consume as much and perhaps even more than the amount that was not used in Panama because of the departure of the ships of this country. It is almost a certainty that no innovation would have to be experienced because of the way in which, it may be understood, the Mexican merchants have communication with those of Peru and all the Indias—avoiding the royal duties on what is smuggled. If each ship went publicly by permission from [106] your Majesty to that region, as I have said, the increase of duties would be very great, and there would be no difficulty in the way, according to the understanding here—which, I have understood, is also the opinion of this city. They petition it from your Majesty, and I do the same, with the desire that I have and ought to have for you royal service and the welfare of this country. I find myself daily under new obligations to this country, which the inhabitants lay upon me by the willingness with which they respond to the service of your Majesty with their possessions, persons, and lives, as I have experienced from many on the occasions that have arisen. According to the limit of my understanding, and that which I have been able to grasp with it in this particular, I regard the aforesaid as so important to your Majesty’s service that, considering the matter in case that it should be necessary for the ships to go together, I would regard it as more advisable for both to go to Panama rather than to Acapulco—although I think that the said division is better, and the advantage of the reënforcement of men, and that which that country [i.e., Nueva España] can give easily; for thus results service to your Majesty and good to this country, and apparently not a little benefit to the commerce of España. For the products and merchandise of España that are esteemed here would be bought and imported in a much greater quantity with the saving of the freight charges overland, which are so excessive from Vera Cruz to Acapulco. The cost of those articles is also increased by the profit of the merchants who buy and retail them in that country [i.e., Nueva España]. If the merchandise were relieved from so high prices [107] as it reaches to in this manner, and if the goods can be so easily passed on from owner to purchaser without resale, the shipment here of a great amount of the said merchandise and products, and of money less that quantity, is certain.

Likewise, in addition to the above, if the enemy should station themselves on that coast [i.e., of Nueva España], to await the ships that sail to Acapulco (as they have already done at other times), where they have captured some of those that have sailed hence, not only are there not ships at hand ready to go out to fight with them and to prevent them from making such attempts, but not one patache in which to send advice of it out to sea; while in Panama and on its coast that danger would be more easily averted because there are plenty of ships and seamen there. Will your Majesty be pleased to have this matter examined and considered so that, after understanding the pros and cons, what is most advisable to your service may be done.

[Marginal note: “Note of what was decreed, on a separate paper.”3]

5th. We are very happy at the good news that has arrived here of the favor that your Majesty concedes, to all of us who live in this country, of sending us reënforcements of soldiers and ships by the Cape of Buena Esperanza; and I more happy than I could express, because of my great desire for it and my great regret over its lack, in order to demonstrate effectively the desire that I have always had, and have, of employing myself in your Majesty’s service. May His Divine Majesty so well manage it that, if life does not fail me, I shall, with the protection of God, [108] endeavor to employ it to my very utmost—without my promising more at greater length, for we can promise much from the hands of His Divine Majesty, but from our own but little. In order that the successful end of such intents may be better attained, at the best time, without there being any lack, I petition your Majesty to the utmost of my ability that the sending of this help, together with troops, be continued for some years—by way of Panama, or by whatever way your Majesty may please—so that the forces which might be assembled with such a fleet as is above mentioned might not be weakened so soon because of the many men that die here; and that the provision of money be in proportion to the men, and for the same time. I trust that, with the above, the cost and trouble incurred will succeed, without my endeavoring to excuse myself from it, or failing to economize and well administer the revenues as well as other things. The results certify it; for, with less money than has entered the royal treasury for many years, I have accomplished so many works, and have built or bought, in two years only, as many boats, provisions, and war stores as was done during many years in the past, and at a much less cost. For I have paid for all these, and of the arrears of debt a very large amount—as, if time allowed, could be seen by the official statements that would be sent to that effect. However, I shall try to do that on another occasion. I have come to say this, because your Majesty charges me to be very careful of your revenues, and as I have a bit of vanity in it, which seems to me not to be the most harmful vanity. I desire exceedingly that the manner in which I manage this matter be known, for there is [109] a great difference in faithfulness, in good administration alone.

[Marginal note: “Council. You have already been informed in another letter that God was pleased to let the reënforcement be lost because of a bad storm. Nevertheless, all possible care is being taken to prepare another. May our Lord be pleased to direct it, since it is so important for the things of His service. By the despatches that you will receive from the hand of the castellan Pedro de Heredia, you will understand about the two hundred infantrymen, with which your present need will be supplied, until the more important aid is made ready. Inasmuch as you are advised of other things touching this matter in the despatch of the said castellan, nothing more will be told you of it, as I refer you to what it contains.”]

6th. For this purpose, very acceptable aid has come to me with the arrival of the factor, Diego de Castro Lison. For the favor that your Majesty granted him in this—both to him and to me—I kiss your royal feet with the humility and acknowledgment that is fitting.

It seems to me that with the commission borne by the above-mentioned, it will be very well if, during his execution of it, he be relieved somewhat of the many onerous duties of the office of factor; and for that purpose I shall endeavor to give him the aid and leisure that should appear necessary. If the treasurer—who has not yet arrived and whom I do not know—is such as I believe and have proved the factor to be, I shall have no need of carrying memoranda in my pocket of what is paid into the royal treasury, as I have done sometimes, even constraining [110] this present treasurer so that he might ordain that those warrants for whose despatch and payment he did not have my decrees should not be honored. Consequently, I would not be sorry to see here two or three men for the accountancy of this treasury and for that of Terrenate; but, although the governors are accustomed to make that appointment, I cannot find many to choose here.

[Marginal note: “It is well. With the arrival of the treasurer and that of the treasury accountant, he is relieved of his anxiety about the matter of accounts.”]

7th. I have equalized the pay of the captains, officers, and soldiers here and at Terrenate, by increasing that of some and diminishing that of others, as your Majesty has ordered. In order that they may have an equal amount of work, and comfort also, I am having part of them changed every year, so that their exile may not be perpetual, nor desperation compel them to go over to the enemy, as many have done. Accordingly, for this reason, and so that the smaller and larger boats, in which the reënforcements are conveyed, may go and come in safety, I cause some infantry to go in all of them.

[Marginal note: “Council. It is well. You have already been informed in regard to this, and it was referred to your prudence and better judgment, as you are the one in direct charge of affairs. You shall give licenses and shall arrange for the passage of the soldiers from one part to the other in the manner most advisable.”]

8th. The last reënforcement that I despatched this year has been the most abundant that has entered those forts since their recovery, especially in money [111] and men; for there were almost two hundred and fifty Spanish soldiers, besides the Pampangos and pioneers, and the men of the two galleys and four ships in which that reënforcement was taken. Of the latter only one small patache was lost, which is considered miraculous here because of what has happened on other occasions. But I, although not neglecting to give thanks to God for it, cannot be well satisfied with the result, until I can ascertain whether the galleys could have gone more quickly and efficiently to the aid of the patache—although I am told that when they sailed there was sufficient wind so that they could not fight with a galleon carrying heavy artillery. I shall endeavor to inform myself of it, and of what the person in charge of the patache did, and what he neglected to do; and, punishing the guilt that I shall find, I shall inform your Majesty of everything. I do not see how the master-of-camp, Don Luis Bracamonte, who had charge of that reënforcement, can entirely clear himself; for after I had appointed captains and private persons to whom the ships could be entrusted, he committed the one that was lost to an accountant, one Don Alonso Fajardo de Villalobos, when neither he nor I knew that man sufficiently to entrust such a ship to him. But until I have heard the reasons on which he based that action, I do not dare to blame him.

[Marginal note: “What investigation you make in this will be very suitable. You have also well understood the matter, and reason on it in such a manner that there is nothing to add to what you propose, except to await your reply with the suitable execution of it, for the good example that must emanate from it in similar matters.”] [112]

9th. I believe that your Majesty will already have learned of the occasion for sending the said master-of-camp to those places, by letters that I sent via India. By them will be seen the causes that preceded, and the pressing efforts made by the castellan Lucas de Vergara Gaviria, in order that he might be permitted to come here. A son of Doctor Quesada, ex-auditor of Mexico, a man respected for his learning and integrity, went to take his residencia. I gave him charge of one of the companies that I sent to those places and which had to be reorganized in them, for that purpose, and because of his rank, the services of his father, and his wish to follow a military life. When the residencia and acquittal are made, I shall inform your Majesty of that also. It will have so much that is good or evil, as the religious shall have aided or opposed him; since their friendship is the greatest advantage here, and their hostility the greatest evil. For if they desire to grant honors, even to one who does not merit them, the documents, vouchers, and negotiations are drawn up as may be desired; and the governor has to give in payment what they demand, even if he be unable. If he do not act thus, woe to him; for they reach him in conversations and pulpit in his most vulnerable spot, his honor. Consequently, as I know that to be usual here, I am resolved not to credit what they have written of Lucas de Vergara Gaviria; on the other hand, I am meanwhile not sure of the contrary. I consider him a good soldier, although he has something of the harshness of temper that is reported. I also wrote to your Majesty when I informed you of his coming and of the departure of Don Luis de Bracamonte, asking you to be pleased [113] to send a governor for those places, for Don Luis said that he would remain there only until the arrival of your Majesty’s appointee—a thing that was self-evident, even had he not said it. Had it not been for placing a captain before one whom your Majesty had honored with the title of master-of-camp, I would have given those forts in charge to Captain Don Andres Perez Franco, to whom your Majesty, while he was alferez, granted thirty escudos’ pay to induce him to come with me; and I would trust him not only with those forts, but also with other things of importance that your Majesty has in these parts. But I considered the above facts, and his few years as captain, although he has spent many in service; and, on account of his popularity and the excellent proofs of his integrity and valor (as your Majesty can learn from the soldiers of Flandes who know him), I am not sorry—although I would be glad to have him in Terrenate—to detain him here, as he is one whom I value most highly. He has aided me in all that I am doing in your Majesty’s service, and in the fulfilment of the duties of my office—which he aids in the building of ships and in the repair and equipment of them, in all the works and the despatch of ships that are carried on at the point of Cavite, and in whatever else arises, very much to my satisfaction and to that of all. That is not inconsiderable, and I assure your Majesty of this on account of my obligations to your royal service, and to inform you of those who aid in it, rather than through my goodwill and affection for this gentleman, although these are great. His mode of procedure constrains me to it. Although I have relatives here, I shall not inform your Majesty of them, as long as they do not [114] merit my doing so by their time and experience here.

If a governor is to be sent for Terrenate, your Majesty will not forget those persons whom I have proposed for that post. They are Captains Don Diego de Salcedo, Joan Gonçales Corrilla y Santander, who were among the men of best judgment in Flandes when I was there, and of whom I would rejoice to hear news. But if, in another man, to such qualities were united some experience as a sailor, or a taste for naval affairs, he would not be worse for that; for very gallant deeds might he done among those islands.

[Marginal note: “The points mentioned in this section are reduced to two. First, you will already have learned about the appointment of Pedro de Heredia as governor of Terrenate. It is thought that you will be well satisfied with his person, and that he will suitably conduct the public service. Concerning the other persons of whom you advise me, and especially of Captain Perez Franco, I am informed of his good qualities. So long as nothing offers here in which to occupy him, you shall take charge of his person, and shall employ him for what you think him suitable, for the reputation of generals consists in their efficient choice of persons, giving to each office what concerns it and what it needs. The second and chief point is concerning the religious who through their favors and friendships affect the standing of officials, and by altering the truth impose blame on the latter or injure their reputation—reducing [public] affairs to their own methods, which has pernicious and evil results. Since you see that, and have experienced it, as you say, it would be your own fault if you did not remedy that matter. [115] I leave it to you to do what is most fitting. What occurs to us to advise you is, not to allow any religious to make charges or prove the innocence of any government official, unless it should be in some very special and particular case, in which his act may have occurred with the knowledge of such religious, and can be investigated in no other way. You shall observe the same rule in official investigations, in which if the religious do not form a part of the court, certainty may thus be felt that affairs will proceed with sincerity and truth, as justice requires. This that is told you, you shall impart to the Audiencia in your meeting. You shall endeavor to have the same course followed in the case of the government agents and other persons who shall conduct similar investigations. Inasmuch as the interpositions generally made by religious are usually effective, as well as the means by which they intimidate some and encourage others, you shall take measures, immediately upon receipt of this, to inform the superiors of those religious, so that they may be warned and advise their subordinates of it, so that they may not perplex themselves or meddle in any case of these secular judicial proceedings, or with claims of third parties. For their occupation does not consist in this, but in the contemplative life, and in the exercise of the spiritual activities; and, moreover, the gravest disadvantages to the service of our Lord result from the contrary course. You shall advise me of what you shall do and what you shall have put into execution, so that I may know what occurs.”]

10th. I have had no other advices of anything new, or of matters of greater importance, in those forts [of Maluco] than the above-mentioned entrance [116] of the reënforcements. From the people sent thither, and from those who wrote me from Japon, I have learned that the reënforcement was very timely; for the Dutch had crews of Japanese, whom they hired with the intention, as was understood, of attempting with them some deed of arms in that place, or something else that would have meant evil to our forces and fortifications.

I was also advised from Japon that a squadron of Dutch ships was to sail thence to run along these coasts, in order to hinder the commerce of the Chinese ships, awaiting and robbing them on their way. In order to obviate this mischief, I prepared two strong ships, one patache, and two galleys, with which to make the said coast safe. I gave warning to China; and thus, in consequence, many ships and merchants of China, thanks to God, have arrived in safety. That squadron is in charge of Admiral Joan Baptista de Molina, a man who has served many years, and who has served here with especial courage and good fortune. And since every one in this country considers that he is the one who deserves most, and in order to avoid the punctilios of those who hesitated in embarking and in taking charge of those vessels—desiring, perhaps, under pretext of this to remain ashore—I gave out that the squadron was to be in charge of Don Luis Fajardo, my brother. Thereupon all followed him, and he obeyed the orders of the said admiral, Joan Baptista de Molina, like the meanest soldier of those who embarked with him. The enemy must have heard of it, or they must have had more important business to look after, for they did not approach these coasts. On the contrary, it has been learned that they lost one of their large [117] vessels (than which never better sailed), at the head of the island of Hermosa; and that, for the last two years, they have obtained nothing from this coast beyond the destruction of what had been made for equipment of our vessels, and the loss of the ships that have been wrecked. I am thoroughly convinced that opportunities will not be lacking in which, coming to blows, they will lose more, if God help us; for their attachment is strong to the profit that they claim from these pillagings, as well as from those that they made in former years.

Had not the Dutch been so embarrassed by the so ruinous wars that they have had with the English, beyond doubt a greater number of vessels would have come here. According to what I have just heard from a Spanish pilot, whom the Dutch held prisoner, and who escaped from the ships that fought with us, those two nations [i.e., the Dutch and the English] were negotiating a peace, in order to be able to come here with a great number of vessels, or for other advantages to them. If the ships that I am awaiting with the reënforcements arrive, by God’s help, I shall not care when the enemy comes.

[Marginal note: “It is well. Through your diligence and zeal for the affairs of my service, I hope that our Lord will grant very good results in everything, since the expense and care incurred by those regions are known.”]

11th. That ship that I bought at Macan has come, with some freight charges and duties on goods that it carried. That goes a good way toward aiding the cost of its purchase and the expense [of maintaining it]. The price was eleven thousand pesos, with sails, rigging, seven anchors, and four good [118] cables. I am satisfied with it; and it appears at least to be made of better woods than those here. It was made in India, and its burden is more than six hundred toneladas of the Northern Sea.4

Contract and agreement have been made to build another ship in Sasima [i.e., Satsuma?] a province of Japon near here. I am assured that it can be built there very well, and it will be strong and of good timber, and very well-proportioned and suitable as is needed for this line and trade with Nueva España.

[Marginal note: “Since the counsel that you have taken in this matter is very prudent; and since you have been advised in your despatches (which you have already received) as to what you shall do; and since the benefit to the royal treasury and the quality of the vessels is so well known: you shall continue the same plan for the vessels that must be built, since, as you have seen in other despatches, the vexations to the natives occupied in this shipbuilding and the heavy expenses incurred by that construction, are thus avoided. Since you already have plans for the factory at Terrenate and for the cloves and drugs that you may get at Terrenate and its adjacent islands, it will be a very efficacious means, in order that the vessels may be cheaper, to send the cloves and drugs where they may have greatest value, so that with that profit the vessels may be built more cheaply. After you shall have more fully established that advantage to the royal treasury, you shall endeavor to put into practice the building of some boats for the service of the South Sea in Callao, Panama, and the other ports of Tierra Firme. This alone I [119] refer to you, so that you may endeavor from now on to lessen as much as possible the profit [made by others] in this, both in material and construction.”]

12th. The vessel that went to Goa with a quantity of cloves, which I had traded for in Maluco and sent there on your Majesty’s account (as will be done whenever possible), arrived safely; and in the same way, was despatched and returned here (thanks to God), bringing slaves for the galleys and other supplies for the magazines, and the provisions and articles necessary for your Majesty’s service.

[Marginal note. “It is well. In this way continue. In every despatch that you shall send, you shall not advise in general terms of matters like this, nor summarize; but shall send a copy of the list of what cloves and drugs you shall have or obtain in trade; their cost, as well as the expense of sending them; the price and method of sale; the transfer that was made, and in what articles and at what price. And in order that we might have as exact information and account of it as is advisable, you shall inform us, especially and in detail, of all the aforesaid, so that things of this kind may not be furnished from Nueva España or any other region.”]

13th. I thought that I would send them to those kingdoms, so that your Majesty might see some cloves from Maluco. Although they are not cheap, they would be a product not often seen in the ports of Castilla, and not often carried from here. But the majority of the auditors opposed me, thinking perhaps that an oral or written relation would be sent with them not greatly to their favor. However, the one that I have already given your Majesty is not favorable to them. I suspect that they have learned [120] of it; but I am not sorry for that, as I consider it correct. Or [their opposition may have been] for other reasons, and for private ends. They do not desire me to achieve success, and I would not wonder at that so much, if I alone were the interested party. But where your Majesty and your royal service are concerned, such a thing appears incredible of any one who has a good heart and soul, and is under the obligations of honor. Therefore I would be ashamed even to think this, were there not many other causes like that mentioned, that are similar to it. I could send an account of them in authentic documents, had I more time and fewer occupations. But having to attend to these, not only can I not do more than I am doing in this, but I cannot even attend continually to the Audiencia, or consider many things that they have tried and attempted in it contrary to the authority and preeminences that your Majesty has given to this office. Many of them I must swallow, in order not to fail in the affairs of your Majesty’s service—which could not be conducted as their importance demands and compels, if one were to give much attention to these matters which concern personal grudges. For if one did that, he could necessarily attend to nothing else, because as the auditors here have few important matters that oblige them to close application, they must apply the greater part of their time to devising petty tricks on the president in order to vex and weary him, until [as they hope], not only will he allow them to live according to their own inclination, but also their relatives and followers shall, in whatever posts they desire, be employed and profited. And since harmony has never been seen here without this expedient, [121] one would think it easy to believe such a supposition. Regarding what your Majesty writes in this matter of posts being given to the relatives or followers of the auditors, there is not much to amend. Perhaps that is the reason that some are ill satisfied and to such an extent that they show it not only by inflicting annoyances on the persons who aid me in the obligations of my office and in your Majesty’s service—because they know that I esteem such men for that reason, and see our gratefulness for it—but in doing whatever can cause injury, and also in any acts of discourtesy, which are much to be regretted. Such has been the demonstration that they made by public act when, the chairs of this Audiencia having been carried in order to go to one of the sermons and festivals to which they go here; and the chair of my wife, Dona Catherina Maria Çambrana y Fajardo, having been placed behind them—just as is the custom in other places, and as was continued here, without exceeding in anything what is permitted to the wife of a president—the auditors voted that my wife’s chair should be placed outside, or that they would not take theirs, as did Doctor Don Alonso de Mesa and Doctor Don Antonio Rodriguez. It is a matter whose telling even causes me shame. Were it the resentment and sorrow of another, I could set it right, by the mildest and most advisable method possible. But as it is my own affair, and a matter akin to vanity (from which I believe myself quite free)—for when I have finished the public acts of pomp and display in my office, I return to that of sailor, which is the chief thing of this government—I lay it before your Majesty, so that you may be pleased to provide in this matter and in other [122] things touching auditors, as may best suit you. [I ask that your Majesty act] without greater inclination to one side than the other, since this office is yours, not mine; and since I shall live in the same manner with or without it, without coveting greater honors than your Majesty (may God preserve you for us) has granted me and grants me in employing my services.

[Marginal note: “After considering what you mention in this matter, it is reduced to the following points. The first and more essential is that which you mention (although in ambiguous terms) regarding the trading of the auditors and government employees there, for which reason they prevented the sending of the cloves. The testimony that you send of it does not concern this matter, but only that of the goods and money that were to be sent to Terrenate for trading. That indeed was done in accordance with your opinion. The opinion that you shall hold in matters so worthy of reform you must always send to me distinctly and clearly expressed; for if there are such officials who commit illegal acts—not only in trading, but in hindering the profit of the royal treasury—it is advisable not only for the greater security of the treasury, but also for the administration of justice, that such persons be punished with the rigor that the case requires. Consequently, you shall do this, sending me information of what is done in this matter. If any proven guilt results you shall sequester the property of offenders, in order to assure the judgment. In accordance with this, we are writing to the Audiencia, advising it of what it must do. In order that no official may have any cause to think that you, of your own accord, are trying [123] to prove him guilty in a matter so grave, you shall be accompanied, in whatever concerns the sequestration of goods, by the archbishop resident there, in whose person we have the necessary confidence. The second point is that you will have been informed of all the things that concern the advantage of the royal treasury. You shall accordingly declare those things in the tribunal of the treasury and in the assembly. This reply by letter will be your authority, so that you shall need nothing more special than this for whatever may be to the benefit of my royal treasury, and shall procure that benefit by all and any justifiable means. The third point is—as you have been informed and instructed in other letters concerning the purpose of the factory at Terrenate—that all the benefit received from the islands of Maluco by the enemy is by way of barter; and that so vast profits are obtained by them in this that these enable them to be on the offensive and defensive, and convey to their own country the wealth that we see in the Malucas, the value of which is evident in the armies and other expenses that are incurred. From this example, since the expenses of my royal treasury are so heavy—inasmuch as the trade is carried on only by conquest and force of arms—everything is reduced to expense, and nothing to gain. In order to make profit you are advised that the factory of Terrenate should barter and negotiate, in order that the profit obtained by the enemy might follow, and more if possible. And if the natives of those islands see that their property is not taken from them, and if they are paid in the ordinary form, they will grow fond of us and become converted to our friendship. From that it will be possible to pass to other objects, the chief one being [124] the evangelical preaching. Consequently, setting aside the universal gain that might come to the royal treasury for the gain in a specific case, the chief thing, and one which you are to push thoroughly (or rather two things), is the operation of mines and of factories for trade. Fourth, that since you have already experienced the utility that follows from sending those cloves to the East, and using this merchandise for other purposes and trade, you shall continue to do so. You shall always send the detailed account about which you have been advised, of everything that will be of importance in this matter. Whenever any case of doubt occurs to you in regard to the ceremonious observance due your office, send the proposition that you shall have made in the assembly, together with what resolution shall have been made regarding it, so that after examination here, just measures may be ordered; for in no other manner could any decision be reached without depending on the Audiencia. In order to gain time, letters are being written to the Audiencia ordering them, in accordance with what has been done at other times, to maintain with you, in the condition of affairs at present, the amicable relations and the respect due your office and person; and to observe toward you and your wife such ceremonies as have been observed hitherto, and as are the custom. When there is any doubt about the matter, I shall be consulted, so that, having examined it thoroughly, I may provide what is advisable for the public peace and for decorous relations between the president and Audiencia. (Note for a separate paper.)”5]

14th. Although it is my desire to restrain myself [125] in this particular, in order not to drag on this letter to greater length, and for other considerations, certain of my obligations move me to say the things that I cannot avoid, because I have heard that the auditors claim that your Majesty should take from the office of governor and captain-general and president, the declaration and trial of suits that concern government and war—which your Majesty conceded to him, on account of those which were being tried then, and the disadvantages that were experienced in leaving them to the Audiencia. This is a matter from which—even if it pertained to them, by opposing what your Majesty has ordered in this matter—it is impossible to dissuade them, seeking in such things any pretext or excuse to meddle in them, and to embarrass and hinder me in the exercise of my office. Thus have they endeavored to do in many things, especially in one trial, begun here by the master-of-camp against various persons employed for wages in marine works (who were under the military jurisdiction) because of a conspiracy and desertion that they had planned, and which they were ready to execute if they had any one to get their pay for them for that purpose. This occurred at a time when I, because of a pressing need then of men for your Majesty’s service, was compelling the master-of-camp and Aclaras to restore all those to their places who for ten years back had been removed from them. In their guilt Pedro Alvarez, war and government notary, appeared to be implicated. One of his friends, an ecclesiastic, named Joan Çevicos, tried to prove himself leader of this affair, in order perhaps to clear him and the auditors, according to what I understand and many believe. In complaisance [126] to Doctor Don Alvaro de Meso, or for other objects, the auditors took it into their heads that the notary of war did not belong to the military jurisdiction; and that the master-of-camp had not the right of first instance in his cause, but that it belonged to me, in order that appeals might go to them. Without what I declared, in accordance with your Majesty’s royal decree (which I presented), being sufficient, they hindered me so in it that it was impossible to administer justice. At last, as I thought that the notary’s imprisonment had been long enough—although during his trial he had no guards who could levy costs on him—at the news that the men and possessions of your Majesty and of private individuals that we desired from Nueva España were in safety, and that the enemy were waiting, I released him (in part as a demonstration of the thanks due our Lord), among other prisoners who had not been tried, and who had no one to plead for them, whom I also released. Such, then, is the end of that affair.

[Marginal note: “Let them observe the laws and what I have commanded by the decrees that I have given. Advices are being sent to the Audiencia in accordance with this.” In another hand: “Have letters of this tenor sent to the Audiencia, so that they may observe the decrees of enforcement [lo acordado]. Let it be noted that since the distance from those islands to these kingdoms is as is known, and the delay and obstacles in the replies and receipt of letters is the same and in some cases greater, it is commanded and ordered that he who shall be guilty of opposing what is ordered for the good government of those islands, both in military and in civil matters, will be punished with the severity and example [127] that the case requires; for it is not right that he who merits it be unpunished in matters of such importance, involving loss and delay.”]

15th. Also the auditors claim the right of trial and jurisdiction in the lawsuits of the seamen. That has come to such a pass that when I ordered that a sailor, one Luys Rivero, should be hanged for an atrocious murder that he had committed—of whose trial and of what passed then I enclose a sworn statement—they actually ordered that he be not executed. That happened on a day when I had left this city, on account of having ordered that on that same day a retired sergeant be beheaded, who had deserted while under pay and after receiving help, and had abandoned his colors at the time of the embarcation; and in order to avoid the intercessions and importunities that they lavish in order that justice might not be done. But this is only a pretext of mercy, since punishment, when deserved, is the greatest mercy—especially in this country, where the punishment of offenses was so forgotten or almost never administered. For that reason, and to lessen my grief over the execution by being farther away from it, I left the city and went up the river. The proceedings of Doctor Don Alvaro de Mesa, in procuring the obstruction of what he and his associates had ordered, were of such nature that some clamor might have occurred, had not the people been satisfied at the justification of the case, and had they not had some confidence in me, mixed with sufficient respect not to lose it on similar occasions, even in my absence.

[Marginal note: “Let what is provided in the preceding section be observed, and whatever pertains to your office. Thus shall you declare in the assembly, [128] and in like cases. Let the Audiencia observe the decrees and ordinances given that order the captain-general to try military persons and their criminal causes, just as and in the form ruled by the said decrees. Let the Audiencia report why it prevented the execution of the sentence against that man.”]

16th. If for such things, and others like them, the Audiencia petition (as they are doing) for power to convoke the people, since as yet has not happened, and, God helping, will not happen what they suppose can occur—namely, that I will hinder them from the exercise of their duties and the execution of such of their provisions as concern them—let your Majesty determine whether their demand is well directed. Let your Majesty also consider the evidence and rectitude that I have, other than they have, for having the greater authority in matters touching the Sangleys and their Parian; since for this they give as an argument that it would be advisable for them to have that jurisdiction, in order to expel and drive out of the country those whom it will need for its quiet and security, so that no other insurrection might happen, as in the term of Don Pedro de Acuña—as if that did not even more concern the governor and captain-general. They had resolved, a few days before, in the Audiencia, that my reason for ordering certain Sangleys to be expelled should be explained before them—although I had told the auditors before that resolution that those Sangleys and others were known to be wandering and lazy people, without any trade or any other manner of living than that of sowing discord, causing uneasiness, and stirring up disturbances; and that they had other customs that were harmful and injurious to them and even to [129] us. I told them that in order to cleanse the country of such people, who are wont to disturb it and even to endanger it on such occasions as those of insurrection, I had ordered them to go to their own countries. Notwithstanding all this, the auditors persevered in the said resolution. From that one can see what good results are attained with the intention that they show by such a demand; since the most certain thing is, that they wish to have the authority over this people, who are wont to be useful and even profitable to him who devotes himself to them.

[Marginal note: “Let the ordinance of the preceding section be observed.”]

17th. The said auditors also claim the right to fill the offices of the minor officials in the Audiencia and others, which may be filled in the interim until your Majesty grants them. These appointments usually belong to the president. In order to make those appointments I took the depositions that I enclose herewith; while they base their claim for this on a certain act of introduction which they had made in regard to this, at a time when there was no president. In the absences of the president, and during the government of the Audiencia, they have disused or destroyed many preeminences and decrees in favor of the governors and captains-general and president. Finally, they seek all the methods of opposition that they can find, so that, if one were to judge without looking for the best object, it might be thought that they are trying by this improper method and means to pass more speedily to better employments. I do not know whether there is more than to add the assertion that, when I called a council and asked their opinions, in order that an entrance might be effected [130] into the province of the Igolotes Indians6 (which is situated almost in the middle of these islands), and that it might be pacified and reduced to the obedience of your Majesty, for the greater service of God and the welfare of its souls—and, what is more useful, the operation of those mines (of which I shall inform your Majesty in due time)—Doctors Don Alvaro and Don Antonio opposed me; and the latter did so by a method that did not satisfy all, proposing greater doubts as to whether it could be done or no, as one can see clearly by the testimony. I am persuaded that, if his wishes and inclinations were not so biased and so ready not to become a good associate, even in what is just, many of the things above mentioned and that I could mention would be avoided. For that and complete harmony, it would be of great importance if all the auditors were not new, as they are. They make more trouble than even arises from the ignorance of their duties, since that does not prevent them from presuming that they know everything. For lack of another and better remedy—and one from which no trouble would arise—it would not be bad for those who come here to fill such places to be started [in their duties] and to be taught methods and usages by the auditors of Mexico, at least during the time while they are detained there; for it is a pity to see their deficiencies in this regard, and even more the qualifications that I have mentioned in this and other letters. The eye that was left to us in this Audiencia, whereby we could see and direct ourselves to the light, God chose to take from us, by the death of Andres de Alcaraz. We [131] were left with very great grief at the loss of so wise and prudent an associate, and at his not having had so great prudence at his death (at which time one needs more) as he showed during his life and government, and in governing himself; for he died without receiving the holy sacraments. However, one who was sick so long, it is believed, would have often received communion, since at the end he did not do so. Neither did he dispose of his possessions, which were not few. Of that Doctor Don Alvaro de Mesa, probate judge, will advise and inform your Majesty. May God keep him in heaven, as we scarcely doubt He will.

[Marginal note: “This section is answered in the preceding ones. With your prudence you shall try to direct affairs so that the service of God our Lord shall be accomplished, and that the good results that are demanded shall be secured by your person.”]

18th. With this reason, I again represent to your Majesty and lay before you, as I have done at other times, that I may die; for even if my subjection to death were not so natural, and more liable to accident, as in one who holds offices exposed to the dangers of sea and war, I suffer at times from lack of health; and no matter how poor may be the head, it leaves a lack in any body. Your Majesty has no auditors here who can govern, even in affairs of only justice and peace; for at times they prove deficient therein. Had Don Hieronimo de Silva been absent at such a time—as he has told me that he desires and has requested leave of your Majesty for it—I do not know to whom I could leave the charge of military matters, who would bind himself to such [132] trouble (and even impossibility) as would be the necessity of obeying, pleasing, and satisfying such leaders.

Until your Majesty shall appoint persons to the government of Terrenate or to the position of master-of-camp of this place, who, in such case [i.e., the death of the governor], might act in this capacity—providing for it by the usual methods and appointments, or as might be more pleasing to your Majesty—I cannot find here any person whose ability for this is equal to that of the archbishop. He is a man of force, system, and executive ability; and, in my opinion, he will lose nothing of the authority and preeminences of the office, or of the jurisdiction and power that your Majesty might grant him; for I regard it as certain that he would not err in his government through having less knowledge than the auditors, and in it would make arrangements for greater efforts and aid to military affairs and those who engage therein. The latter would be advantaged by him, for even in this, although it is not his profession, I consider him as having more decision and effective energy than the said [auditors] have.

And that it may not appear that I am in every case speaking of them in general terms (my intention being to tell the plain truth, without reserve or any other consideration than the telling of it), I declare what I believe: namely, that if Doctor Don Antonio Rodriguez—who is the latest auditor, and has not much health or maturity of years—had resided here longer I would trust his executive ahility in preference to that of the two others here, whom I do not consider very capable, for the reasons explained in other letters and in this; for as has been seen by experience, [133] he shows himself to be a man of greater knowledge and prudence, and of great sagacity. However, for a long time there have been rumors (and not few) that he has been the one who has disturbed the minds of his associates, writing, advising, and counseling them secretly. But by his not approving the object of such things, and by his keeping aloof from the others, for that reason and something of this having been well understood, I do not consider it as certain or sure; and in other things outside of this (except that it seems to me that he is anxious to grow rich quickly) I consider him as a man of good method, very prudent and well informed, and one who takes pride in appearing to be a good judge.

[Marginal note: “Council. May our Lord be pleased to grant you health, so that, having finished your term of office and fulfilled the hopes that are entertained of your service, you may be promoted to better things. Although what is advisable is decreed in this matter, you will accordingly take all the care possible in it. It is to be hoped, in our Lord, that He will give you the health that you desire and the fortunate success that is so important.”]

19th. Consequently, I have requested him to take charge of the cause of one Joan Mohedano who was arrested ten days ago for the accusation made against him of having entered the seminary of Sancta Potenciana; and because there are so few here who could act as judges—some not having authority to try this cause, and others having been refused therein—it has not been possible to finish it hitherto, which Doctor Don Antonio will do.

[Marginal note: “It is well. Take special note [134] that such crimes and acts of sacrilege as this demand their punishment in the presence of our Lord. Accordingly it is advisable, and I order and charge you, that in this crime and in others similar—may God forbid their commission—you shall show yourself, as shall the judges who take charge of these causes, as severe and rigorous in judgment, and prompt in their despatch, as the cause requires. You shall advise me fully, in a short account, of what should be done in this matter, and the sentence and execution of justice therein.”]

20th. As for the other two causes similar to the above, of which I have also informed your Majesty, I remitted that of Captain Don Fernando Bezerra to Licentiate Legaspi; for certain persons, on seeing justice done in this land, say that it is not justice, but only passion, while others say that it is cruelty. Accordingly he concluded and judged it, and freed him. For the same reason, I committed to him the appeal to the Audiencia in the other cause of Don Joan de la Vega. While the latter, on my conscience, was more than guilty enough to suffer decapitation (to which I sentenced him), the same auditors so managed the cause that at last they did the same thing; they set him free, and condemned Captain Lucas de Mañozca, formerly alcalde-in-ordinary of this city—who aided me in this cause and others to the service of your Majesty—to the sum of five hundred pesos and other penalties, and caused him to suffer a considerable time in prison, and to spend for other particular objects much time and money.

[Marginal note: “You and the Audiencia have already been answered in regard to this matter, as [135] to what must be done. Now you are ordered to send a copy of these processes and acts—so that, having been examined, the satisfaction that is proper may be obtained—and of the justice that has been administered in like matters.”7

21st. I am accustomed at times, for the sake of greater assurance, to refer to the Audiencia certain causes and matters that are of importance to your Majesty’s service and the obligation of my office—some, to one of the auditors, who consults with me in them; and in some, according to their nature—to ask them for their opinions. They are generally accustomed to excuse themselves from all of these, if they do not care to attend to them, and arguments or reason do not suffice for it. I cannot tell how they are to be compelled to act if reason does not move them, or unless your Majesty be pleased to order a reform in this matter, with the orders that concern each one, and what is to be done both in the above and in the declaration of jurisdictions—concerning which I wrote to your Majesty quite fully in letters of last year.

[Marginal note: “Observe the ordinances according to the despatches that have been sent you regarding this.”]

22d. I have committed the inspection of this country—which your Majesty ordered to be made by one of the auditors for the consolation and relief of its miserable natives, and of which no memorandum exists as to when it must be made—to Doctor Don Alvaro de Mesa, as he is in better health and more suitable for that purpose than are his other associates. Although he resisted (even saying that [136] I could not appoint him), and even gave me other excuses, I think that he would do it after the conclusion of this despatch of ships, had not the commissions come for the residencias that your Majesty has entrusted to him. Consequently, when he concludes these, if there is nothing else to hinder, or another associate who may then be regarded as more suitable for it, he will have to do it. Yet I petition your Majesty to have him advised of his obligation in this matter.

[Marginal note: “These inspections are very essential, since they are based on the relief of miserable persons, and in no way can the condition of affairs be fully ascertained unless by means of these inspections; and the most advisable measures can hardly be well understood, if the condition and facts of what ought to be remedied and can be bettered are not known. Hence I again charge you to pay especial attention to these inspections. The Audiencia is commanded to observe the orders that you shall give in your capacity as president, so that each auditor, when it concerns him, may observe his obligations and go out on the inspections.”8]

23d. On receiving your Majesty’s despatch, in observance of your royal order that was directed to me, I gave his despatch to the fiscal, Don Joan de Alvarado Bracamonte, ordering him to refrain from going to the Audiencia and from the exercise of such office, and that he get ready to embark. He did so, and when he was ready for his voyage and had placed on board what he had for it, and while he was making his farewells preparatory to embarking: he was arrested by the judge of his residencia, [137] in order that he might give bail for the claims and appear before the judge; and the property found to be his was sequestered. Thereupon, what he had aboard ship was taken ashore. I communicated to the Audiencia your Majesty’s royal order to embark, that he had received. It appeared right for him to give bail. That and other things were referred to the said judge, to whom I also showed the decree, so that he might facilitate the preparations of the said Don Joan and act according to justice. But it must be that he could not do so until now; for yesterday, when I had come from Cavite, and the ships had sailed—even being outside the bay, since they are not seen inside it—the notary of the residencia came to me to say that the judge had now remitted the imprisonment and removed the guards with whom he had arrested the said fiscal. As if now there were any resource for his embarcation; or as if one could send him, with his goods, household, and sea-stores, overland on the shoulders of Indians, in order to intercept the ship at the landing-place where these letter packets go out! I am sending a statement of the time when I was informed of it, lest the matter should be forgotten, or in case he should not choose to make this report. As I know him, and here are now recognized the unjust complaints that he makes, that the Audiencia have hindered him in part from the exercise of his commission, I deem it advisable that the truth be recounted, without leaving it solely to his relation; for I am sure that he has not been restrained in anything, and that in this regard the Audiencia has proceeded with circumspection and particular care, as they also know him. Although to all there his ancient hostility to us was [138] apparent, for which reason the fiscal challenged his judge, the only provision made in the matter was that he be accompanied as should be deemed advisable by the acts. From them likewise will be apparent the certainty of the guilt of which he has been accused.

[Marginal note: “Have this section filed with everything touching the causes of this fiscal; and should there be any letter from the latter that discusses this point, let a report of it be made when this section is examined. Have the governor answered, that we are advised of this; and that he will be answered in a separate letter regarding this particular.”]

24th. Answering the letters and decrees that I received from your Majesty just now, in those matters that I shall not have answered and satisfied in the course of this letter, I declare that I have done or arranged most or a great part of what your Majesty orders in them. For I have always been careful to do all that I knew with certainty; or should consider to be advantageous to your Majesty’s service, the efficient management of your royal treasury, and the welfare of this land, without halting therein because of the lack of such royal commands and orders, but not exceeding those given to this government. Consequently, when I received the said letters, I had already suppressed the repartimiento of rice, a thing so unjust and harmful, as they informed your Majesty and as I wrote last year.

[Marginal note: “In regard to what you say in this section, you are to note that, for the better understanding of the correspondence that is maintained with you, you observe in the future the order [139] that is always followed. You shall always advise us of the receipt of the despatches, with the day, month, and year of their date, and also the dates of your receipt of them. In its order you shall insert the section written you; and, after answering it, you shall go on to the next, observing the same order. By that means, what you have received and what you have answered to that particular case can be separately and explicitly ascertained, and although, with your good prudence, you shall have enacted certain things beforehand, which are already executed, in whole or in part, at the time of their ordering, or you shall have been intending such action, yet you shall advise us of what is ordered and of its fulfilment. That concluded, in a separate letter you shall report, as you are doing, of the other matters that it is advisable should be understood, in the department and office to which your correspondence goes, of what is ordered you, and what you have done, and the notice of what you say, so that you may be answered and what is advisable be provided.”]

25th. In the same manner, I have reduced the pay that it has been customary to give, of all those who came here with me.

[Marginal note: “It is well.”]

26th. In Terrenate there are four salaries of thirty pesos. Those who enjoy them are men of service and merits, both for aiding the governor and for their ability to enter and supply the lack of any captain, or to be entrusted with any post or affair that demands such a person. I am ignorant of the assignment and origin of these salaries, and by whom they were made. I shall inform myself of it from the documents of those forts, and ascertain what people [140] are sufficient for them. I shall give your Majesty a full account of everything, so that you may take what measures you deem best.

[Marginal note: “It is well. Observe what is ordained.”]

27th. The expense incurred in Terrenate, both in the pay and in the reënforcements and other extraordinary demands, is of such nature that it is very heavy, although according to the account, not very adequate; and as yet I have not made it so large as your Majesty has been informed. It is a fact that, without that drainage of men and money, the expenses here would be much less; and we would get along and live with very small expenditures, and much better. But it must also be considered that if the enemy enjoy Maluco in quiet, their profits and gains would be very great; and I think they could consequently succeed in whatever plan they wished, and whatever they did would result well. But because they do not possess it, there is war—in which he will prevail and succeed better who has more tenacity and force, especially on the sea. He who will remain lord of them will be lord of many profits and riches, which can be taken from these districts. Inasmuch as this is a matter that demands a more orderly and full treatment, in regard to experience and certain well considered relations, I shall not involve myself further in it, until I shall be able to do so with these necessary conditions. But I shall endeavor to do it as soon and as much better as possible.

[Marginal note: “It is well. Endeavor will always be made to reënforce and protect those islands and your government with the forces possible. But [141] as these are limited, and consumed in so many diverse occasions and armies in Germany, Flandes, and Ytalia, and other places, it is highly advisable, as has been written you, to be careful in your expenses and in the accuracy of their account. It is also desirable that you endeavor to work the mines of the country, and to carry on a factory and the trade of cloves and drugs as much as is possible, so that you may sustain yourselves and may not prove so expensive, as has been represented to you in preceding clauses.”]

28th. I shall also endeavor to tell your Majesty what I shall ascertain and hear about the duties on the cloves of Terrenate and the factory, taking for that the depositions of the Audiencia and of the royal officials—which I shall not do now, for want of time. In the opinion that I asked from them some days ago in regard to sending [a vessel] to trade for cloves on your Majesty’s account with goods and money that I had for that purpose, Don Alvaro opposed me so strongly in everything, that one would think that he considers that the risks are mine and that it is done on my account (as if the gains were mine), rather than for your Majesty’s service. However, I sent the goods necessary for this trading, because of the gain that results from it and its investment to the royal revenues and the provisions brought from India.

[Marginal note: “Council. You have already been answered as to this.”]

29th. If it is true, as has been said in regard to these despatches of ships from Terrenate, India, and Nueva España, that the relatives and followers of him who made and managed them have profited, [142] now, thanks to God, things are run more openly and honestly, at least in so far as I have authority, and in matters that I can prevent or remedy. That I do, in such manner that well do my condition and that of my servants attest it; for the latter live on the rations and clothes that I give them now, and they will do so until they be entitled to more as citizens, and not by serving me, or by other merits. Consequently, I can affirm that the offices that my predecessors have given to the citizens, in fulfilment of your Majesty’s orders, I have granted in the same manner; and have even given them others to which they had no right, either by custom or royal decree.

[Marginal note: “It is well, and I trust that you will govern yourself in all matters as I expect from your person.”]

30th. In regard to preferring one’s relatives, I have thus far not done anything that is not strictly in accordance with your Majesty’s service. Two companies are under one of my cousins and a cousin of my wife, because of their many years of service when I gave those companies to them. One of them I entrusted with the office of alcalde-mayor in a place where he was, for an interim of four days. Outside of that I remember nothing more in this particular.

I shall not neglect to tell your Majesty what occurs to me in this matter, so that you may take what measures in it are deemed fitting: namely, that eight out of ten of the influential men that come here come with the governors, and the other two in various ways and through various causes, and with honorable intents. Of those other and common men who came [143] to retail what they bought there [i.e., in España], those who established a place in order to gamble, and those who came under sentence (and these men are numerous), some, because of having acquired money, try to imitate the men of rank and merits here. Of a truth there are many of the latter to esteem, and I shall do it, employing each one as he deserves and for what he is suitable. For that reason, however, it is not advisable that the number of the influential, good and useful men should not continue to increase. I assure your Majesty that not a few of those whom I brought with me were such, and some of them of qualities no less excellent than those above mentioned possess. I believe that their deeds will remain and testify as to that.

[Marginal note: “Observe in this matter what has been written you; and whenever there is any occasion for any of these persons to be employed, advise us of their qualities, and answer will be made regarding them. In the meantime, furnish a good example, in your good life, discipline, and manner of governing, so that the other people, imitating you, may live as is proper and may obey and observe the commands given them.” In another hand: “It is well.”]

31st. The deeds of Don Luis Fajardo, my brother, will, I trust in God, judging from the road that he is taking, merit not only the honor and favor that your Majesty has given him, with the pay of thirty [pesos?] that he now enjoys (for which we both kiss your royal feet in all humility and acknowledgment), if not even greater favors, such as we his brothers receive and his father received.

[Marginal note: “It is well. In everything [144] that pertains to you, account of your person shall be taken, as well as just remembrance of the services of your father.”]

32d. In one of the letters and decrees of your Majesty, to which I am replying, was a memorial signed by Joan Ruis de Contreras, concerning posts, pay, and other things which were represented to your Majesty as unnecessary. Because of it you ordered it to be sent to me for the restriction of those things. I shall endeavor to observe it with the circumspection and consideration that is advisable to the service of your Majesty, consulting on the matter with the Audiencia, the master-of-camp, and the royal officials. Whatever expense they shall find that can be reduced will be reduced. If I believed that it could be done throughout without any disadvantage, it would all be done. But for greater justification I shall make this effort; and if your Majesty shall yet order, notwithstanding what seems best here, that it is more advisable to retrench everything, that will accordingly be done. Security will at least be given for the salaries that are not reduced, by the persons who should enjoy them, so that they would be returned if your Majesty did not consider it fitting; or if not, I shall pay them, although I should not do so willingly. Inasmuch as the salaries of those of all the posts and offices were not stated in the memorial I shall do so here.

The sargento-mayor of this camp and city of Manila receives forty ducados of ten reals each per month.

There are three adjutants, two of whom receive pay of twenty-four ducados per month; while the other serves in the ordinary post of soldier, waiting [145] until one of the two paid offices becomes vacant, and on account of meriting more. All are necessary.

The captain of the guard receives twenty-four ducados of ten reals per month.

The companies have their two drummers and the ordinary additional pay but not all of them.

The reduction will include the companies that lately came new, as that is more proper, in order not to cause the old colors to be disbanded. But they will not be greatly restricted, if the captains and officers with their staff have brought a year’s advance pay from Nueva Spaña.

The castellan of Manila enjoys eight hundred pesos per year, or fifty-three ducados of ten reals, and three and one-third reals per month. If he has an encomienda, in addition to this, as your Majesty has been informed, it is a very small one.

His lieutenant receives twenty-eight ducados of ten reals.

The other lesser officers and soldiers receive the pay of those of any company of the army.

The commandants of the forts of Nueva Segovia, the town of Arebalo, and the city of Cibu, receive each thirteen ducadoes of ten reals, plus three and one-third reals per month. Will your Majesty decide, according to the clear statement of this relation, what you desire to be reduced, and the reduction will be carried out, in accordance with your royal order; and the said effort will be made immediately, in order to assure this expense, as it certainly shall be reduced from now on.

[Marginal note: “Join to this section what was written to him, and bring them here this afternoon. What you write in this section has been caused by [146] some misunderstanding. In order that you may understand it better, and that what is advisable be done, three points are to be noted by you. The first is in regard to the number of men who have the title of officer. If such offices are those of the old men—that is, those offices that were introduced, and which have always existed, since the creation of the infantry [there], and which have always been filled by such men—there shall be no innovation. In case that other and supernumerary offices shall have been added, this is what you are to reduce, because this number of officers is costly and only serves for expense and the ambition that there be many to command, and that the infantry be in charge of many superiors. All that is contrary to good military discipline. Such is usually tolerated in temporary armies when they go out on a campaign, because of the special achievements and undertakings in which they are occupied, all of which is usual in the training of the militia. In the reductions ordered or made in the armies of Flandes and other places, this order has always been observed. The contrary is bad government, and means debt where there is no revenue, and causes the accounts to be always in arrears and to be never entirely paid—especially to the common soldiers, to whom the officers are always preferred. The second point concerns the pay, and what was ordered you by a section of the letter of December 19, 618, and what is contained in the relation of the secretary Juan Ruis de Contreras. The pay of the ordinary officers shall not be entirely suppressed but only lessened and reduced in accordance with the old list; and the increase of pay that has been granted them shall be reduced for the just causes contained [147] in the despatches where this is ordered to you. In this consideration, also, you are ordered, by virtue of what has been given you in the said despatches, that if, besides what there might be of this reduction of pay, you should find any pay, even though of those long in service, that is not strictly necessary, and that will not detract from the necessary defense, it shall also be lessened and reduced, cautiously, as is advisable, in order that the service be made effective, that as much expense as possible be avoided, and that there be sufficient revenue with which to pay the active and serviceable soldiers. The third point is what you mention concerning consultation with the Audiencia and with other persons, in order to avoid difficulties. If this cannot be secured in executing what has been ordered you, and in the rest, it will be advisable that you speak clearly and not in ambiguous and general terms—especially stating what those difficulties are, what injury they cause, and whether they concern the public, or only the private affairs of certain interested parties. For to the latter no attention is to be given, since it is certain that every one is working for his own interest and profit. Whenever these reductions have been made in armies and militia, they are resented at the beginning. Everything is assured, as is advisable, with good management and the execution of what is ordered. Hence I again charge you most earnestly that, inasmuch as this matter of the expenses and revenues of those islands is paramount and cannot be overlooked, you shall endeavor to preserve whatever is possible, paying heed that the expense of what you shall take upon yourself does not prove of greater harm than what you are trying to remedy thereby.”] [148]

33d. I shall endeavor to have the same done in all the expenses that should be increased, when their utility and necessity should not be clear and evident, if they are not approved and confirmed by your Majesty. I shall exercise constant care that the expenses do not increase in the treasury sessions. I have also tried and shall try to lessen the expenses of the articles that are generally requested from Nueva Spaña, and that can be avoided; for never have fewer things been requested than now, as will be seen by the enclosed certifications.

[Marginal note: “It is well.”]

34th. The most considerable and valuable part of the abundant aid that your Majesty was informed was given me in Nueva Spaña, when I came here, was the soldiers; and of them the most and best, and those who made the best appearance, were the men that I brought from Spaña. The greater part of these, or nearly all, came aided and helped with my money, and even with the plate and silver pieces of my household. I do not know that notice of it should have been given to your Majesty, for one should not charge to you so slight a service to whom all his possessions, his blood, and his life are due. Consequently, I am not surprised that this should have been passed by for another.

[Marginal note: “It is well.”]

35th. The number of tributes will be placed in the titles of the encomiendas, what they pay, the value of their products, and in what district they are located, as your Majesty orders.

Your Majesty has some encomiendas apportioned to your royal crown, some distance from here and in a district where their products cannot be used. [149] That is the most serious thing; for the collectors generally defraud [the royal officials] by saying that it was a bad year, and that they collected in money. If they confess to have collected something in kind, they say that it was too great trouble to bring it; and they sell it there, as they wish—perhaps selling it at retail to one who immediately returns it to them, and, besides this, harassing the Indians. On account of the distance, that is not often discovered, and less often can it be proved. And so that your Majesty might have much greater benefit from another equal number of tributes, I think that, as the encomiendas of private persons of La Pampanga and those in other districts near here, which yield a good harvest in products, continue to fall vacant, they should be exchanged for the said distant ones; for the latter will not be unsuitable with which to reward services. If they have a private person as encomendero, the Indians will be much better treated, and the tributes will be well collected and administered, with more justification and mildness. The tributes near here will result well for your Majesty through the profit on those paid in kind, which can come from this bay overland and by rivers, straight to the door of the magazines. It would be better for your Majesty to have charge of them than the encomenderos, for they are so near the Indians that they never fail to gather in a harvest of some kind—either in services, or some other thing. Being so near the governor, no collector would dare to treat the Indians badly. For the above reasons I think that I shall place this in execution as opportunity offers, unless I am so strongly opposed in this as in other things, that I would be embarrassed in it—although I cannot see [150] what arguments they would have for doing so.

[Marginal note: “Council. This scheme and method of management that you present is excellent, and thus you shall do. In the council of the treasury, you shall always continue to deliberate on what could be of greater advantage to my royal revenues. Thus shall you do and advise, since it will all be so proper and justifiable, as I expect from you. You have noted one matter of unjust government, namely, excess [in the collections.] Accordingly, you ought to censure and punish it, and not permit any officer of justice or collector, whether for himself or for third persons, to be able to collect in public auction, or secretly outside of public auction, any products or articles that are owed by tributarios, landlords, Indians, or debtors. For great frauds are wont to ensue in that, and the laws punish and prohibit such acts as you are advised. For greater justification in the matter, the above shall be set forth as a clause in the patents made out for each one of these collectors, with a penalty of four times the amount of any excess that they might obtain.”]

36th. All the letters and decrees directed to this royal Audiencia, and your Majesty’s orders therein, will be punctually fulfilled, although in the sale of offices, the city declares that it has sent a petition to your Majesty with representations of the justice in not diminishing here the little that there is with which to reward services. However, those that might bring a considerable price will be sold, and likewise those that might cause no great difficulty.

[Marginal note: “It is well. In these matters of difficulties, you shall observe the order written to you in the preceding section.”] [151]

37th. I have heard that some of the reports of services and merits that are generally made by order and officially, which your Majesty commands and orders to be made, as is fitting and as is ordered, have been too much exaggerated and favored by the opinions of the Audiencia. By this new system, and by what I am attempting and shall attempt to fulfil, I hope this will be corrected—although since the making of these reports is usually divided among the auditors, each one appears to be favorable to his own client. If they agree in their opinions, this difficulty would scarcely intervene.

Among the reports made and despatched this year are three, seemingly most justifiable. One is that of Captain Francisco Moreno Donoso, a man of honorable character, and who, as I have understood, has fulfilled his obligations as he should—both in peace, where he has been esteemed and honored; and in affairs of war that have occurred and have been entrusted to him. If your Majesty be pleased to occupy him in one of the posts that he desires, and of which the Audiencia expresses its opinion, my opinion is that he deserves it, and will give excellent service.

I cannot refrain from saying the same in the second report, that of Admiral Rodrigo de Guillestegui, for many reasons, especially those that have moved me to what I have written your Majesty in other letters, because of his honored abilities, services, and merits.

Admiral Joan Baptista Molina has no less, but as much as he who deserves them most. He is an old soldier, having served from his youth, and is as obedient and attentive as when a youth. He deserves [152] thoroughly what is said in the opinion, but I would be sorry to have him go from here before me, for I am glad to have the aid of soldiers who have always professed the trade of arms. On that account your Majesty should not neglect to concede him the favor that he requests, for he has also deserved it, as appears from his papers.

[Marginal note: “It is well. In these relations and reports made by the Audiencia, charge them in the assembly that they try to make them with the exactness and integrity that the case requires. Inasmuch as the importunity and presumption of the parties necessitates at times that unsuitable things be said or done, the remedy for that will be for you to send—in a separate letter, that treats only of this matter—an annual relation of the persons who have had their reports taken under color of remuneration for services. You shall say of each one whatever offers; and here the necessary secrecy will be maintained. Although you have been informed at length regarding this matter, inasmuch as it is an essential point you are again charged with it.”]

38th. On finishing the present despatch, I shall do what your Majesty orders me to do, together with the archbishop, both of us summoning the provincials of the orders who reside here, and charging them with the reformation of the matters contained in the section that treats of this.

He who made such a relation to your Majesty might have made it more complete by saying what is so true, that there are in these orders (in which also there are those of every sort, as in all countries), religious so virtuous and exemplary that if laymen did not divert and engage them in their affairs, [153] they would, I believe, work miracles. But they are so importuned that many cannot stay in their cells; nor do those who go to their cells to disturb them leave them until they negotiate with them what they desire. It might easily happen that any one who had received an unmerited favor from their hand, gave pay for it by such a relation, which is the one practiced here. The relation that I can make for your Majesty is, that there are among them men very pentitent and of most exemplary life, and of great utility for souls; and also others who render vain any merits in one who does not fulfil their command and will. If it has been said that they distress the Indians, this is not to be believed of all of them, for most of them at most times respond with great charity and love to the defense of the natives of their districts, even when the latter are of such a nature that almost all do not care to have this protection.

In what pertains to your Majesty’s service, according to what I have experienced, I can say that thus far all the orders—each one in what concerns it generally—have often responded well, for which I render them many thanks. The fact is, that since that does not keep them satisfied in all matters (for that is impossible), I have found the secret for this particular, namely, to refer everything to the religious of the district where such [i.e., personal, by the Indians] service is rendered to your Majesty, making them masters and intermediaries in the pay, which takes precedence of all else, as I have done. Everything is executed in a wonderful and perfect manner; but without this expedient, there is nothing to hope, but rather the reverse. For anything that the religious do not wish cannot be done, by any [154] means or method; for no one has any influence without them, except themselves. In my opinion, and that of many, they are lords in the temporal and spiritual affairs of the Indians, both men and women, and even of the Spaniards. There is no one who can oppose or who does oppose them, for there is no one from whom to obtain redress, not only in such things, but in regard to the complaints of Indians. For the provincials and superiors have before their eyes the end of their offices, and the necessity of their returning to be inferiors. Consequently, so long as your Majesty furnishes no remedy—either by your order that some superior should be sent who would not have to remain here afterward without acting as superior; or by giving authority to the bishops of those districts over the ministers of the missions—it must continue forever as hitherto. Well might Maestro Don Fray Diego de Guevara tell the little rigor that the provincial of St. Francis displayed toward certain friars who lost respect for him—among whom was one who went for the bishop with a sword and dagger, as if the right of each one was to lie in such armor. I have heard that he drew up a testimony in order to give your Majesty an account of it, and also of what little need there is for a bishop in his bishopric.

I can also tell what happened to me with this same provincial, when, on the arrival of the morning of holy Thursday, I freed Pedro Alvarez, government notary—who is said to be some relative of his, and who was arrested on the charge of that desertion of which I have already written your Majesty in the present letters, telling you that I would have recourse to the judge who tried his cause. He succeeded in [155] making the provincial resolve, and decide obstinately as to what he had to do for him, or had to preach of me, just as he pleased. He fulfilled it, as a man of his word. Although it was not much, it was so uncertain, that his conscience obliged him, according to what the other religious say, to retract it publicly in another sermon. This is Fray Pedro de Sant Pablo, one of those considered here as a most holy man. I think that he must be one.

As appears, by his protection and by that of Fray Joan Baptista of the same Order of St. Francis, Pedro Alvarez resolved to have me told that, unless I determined to give to his office the distribution of the Sangley licenses, he would write [information] against me. That threat did not give me any anxiety, but such audacity made me angry, as did the fact that those fathers had given hospitality in their house for it, if not for my being a magistrate, at least for what I represent, and since this is the royal patronage. But the latter is here regarded by them as nothing. Then they draw copies of what my predecessors in this government thought.

[Marginal note: “Ecclesiastical council. In regard to this matter of the religious, in another section what has been written you is the order that you must observe; and to the Audiencia, so that they may order that in no case shall religious be admitted as witnesses, except in the manner ordered. The same has been said in regard to the insertions, so that like things or matters may be embarrassed in no manner. Thus shall you fulfil the order. In accordance with this, general letters are being written to the provincials of the orders, which will be given them by your hand. In regard to what you say here of the [156] sermons, and that the religious reserve approbation or reproof, with censure or gratefulness, for the persons whom they wish, this is prohibited by different general laws, councils, orders, etc. In some of their own special rules, a penalty is assigned them, among others, of reserved excommunication9 to the [MS. holed]lation. Thus shall you be advised of this, so that you may govern yourself according to the matters that arise; and you shall inform those fathers. You shall endeavor to avoid the trouble caused you by what you say in this section, and shall reduce matters to plain and open terms, so that what you say at the last shall not contradict what you say in the beginning. Have general letters written to all the provincials of the orders, who already know that it is forbidden under the most severe penalties by divers councils, canonical rules, orders, laws, etc., and by our decrees, for preachers to censure the government in the sermons that they give to the people or in conversation with private persons, or to speak evil of their ecclesiastical or secular superiors, by censuring their management or action, in order that the people or private persons may not cast discredit on their superiors and be scandalized. Neither shall they meddle or interfere in secular affairs; but shall continue in their seclusion, and in the observance of their vows, as they are obliged. Inasmuch as it has been learned that, contrary to the tenor of all this, and to the serious harm of the administration of justice, many religious and preachers, and others who [157] hold special offices transgress against the above rules, from which results odium cast on the religious, factions, the intimidation of justice, the reduction of affairs to their way of thinking and to their will, and other great annoyances, which they cause continually under pretext of insertions, importunities, and impositions hidden under the name of charity: I charge and warn you to take particular care that the religious of your order and you, in what concerns you, observe the aforesaid, and they likewise. They shall not transgress in proceedings of that sort, for such things being so, it will be necessary to use other and more special remedies, as has already been called to your attention by the said decrees despatched to the viceroys, audiencias, and governors of their districts. I expect from your devotion, and from your obligation for the continued kindness that is shown you, that you will endeavor to inculcate the reform and proper method of procedure in this that is required for the good government of those islands, and the preservation of the public peace.”]

39th. In order that your Majesty may know what this Pedro Alvarez demands, I shall relate it here as briefly as possible, referring you to the report made concerning it (which is enclosed with the licenses of the Sangleys), since these licenses have been given in writing here, many years since10 the imposition or tax of the eight pesos, for distribution by different persons to whom the governor committed it, or whom he appointed. Of these the Sangleys paid two reals for the cost of the document, whether printed or written. The notary, judge, interpreter, [158] and other agents who made this distribution, according to the order of the judge himself or of the governor, were ordered to distribute them. In this the government notary never had any hand, share, or participation. Many years after the payment of the eight pesos which were collected for it, and slightly before the death of Don Juan de Silva, Gaspar Alvarez, then government notary, petitioned the governor to allow him to countersign them after the former had signed them, in order to get hold of it. This is the same thing that his nephew demands now. Don Juan, who was under many obligations to him, and was by nature very liberal, did not hesitate to concede it to him. Consequently, Gaspar Alvarez countersigned the licenses by declaring that he did so. I do not know why so special a commission as this should belong to the government notary—especially when, because he may be busy or for just reasons, the governor does not sign them, and entrusts them to a trustworthy and qualified person who signs them. For if this had to be given to the charge of the government notary, although from the division of the two reals he would get only the third, which would amount to five hundred pesos, besides another four hundred that he demands annually from the royal treasury, by arguments that moved them at a meeting of the treasury to concede them to him—but which I abrogated because it did not seem proper, as I have advised your Majesty before now, from which has resulted that anger of his—the whole would amount to nine hundred pesos of sure income, which means a principal of eighteen thousand pesos, although it only cost seventeen thousand, for which your Majesty sold the office to him. The office [159] yielded [MS. holed: last?] year, without counting these nine hundred pesos, more than two thousand five hundred. In other matters pertaining to this, I refer to the report that, as above stated, in enclosed herewith.

[Marginal note: “It is well. Have the fiscal examine this section.” In another hand: “It was taken to the fiscal.”]

40th. I had already made a beginning in what your Majesty orders to be done in the opening and working of gold mines, as I was desirous of obtaining such an order by authority, with excellent news. What I can impart of it is the news written me by Captain Garcia de Aldana, to whom I entrusted it.11 Consequently, I am sending his letter and a copy with this, and his duplicate, in which he adds that they have greater hopes than those that we promised ourselves from the mines, since we had to continue the entrance into those provinces, and endeavor to enjoy the fruits of our labor, with the pacification and reduction of so many people to the service of your Majesty, and their souls to the service of God (which is the thing of chief importance). If all cannot be obtained at once, it is well to have already made a beginning, and that it shall continue to advance. Touching the gold, it cannot be little, since those Indians who are called Ygolotes do not extract more than what they need for trade and barter—for cattle, salt, and iron—with our peaceful Indians with whom they trade. One year ago, from that province alone, according to the report here, the latter brought for sale to this city about twenty thousand [160] taes, each of which is equivalent to a peso of ten reals. When we secure efficient management of these mines and the duties from them, it may be that they will help in many expenses. That I shall do this with as great energy and force as possible, there is no doubt. The fathers of the Order of St. Dominic have assisted me greatly in this; and those of St. Augustine, in this and in whatever has offered in the service of your Majesty. For what I owe in all this, and in order to declare the truth in all things, I certify this to your Majesty.

Although the fathers of the Society have no missions in those provinces near there, they supported very well by writing and speech the reasons and just rights that we had for making this entrance, so that no one doubted them—not even the members of the Audiencia, as I have written to your Majesty in this letter. What I can say of the Jesuits and their devotion, system, procedure, and prudence, and their gain of souls, is that they differ in no wise from what they are and do in those kingdoms [i.e., España and Portugal], and in those where they exert themselves in the conversion of new Christianities. For that reason, and because they do not return [to Europe] daily, as do others, it will be a good thing for your Majesty to grant them the religious that they request.

The discalced Recollects of St. Augustine also help toward the same end of the pacification of the said provinces. I have known naught but humility among them in all things hitherto, and they do not meddle with the government of what does not concern them; nor do they do anything else outside their profession—offering to take charge of certain missions [161] on the entrance into Ytuy, which lies on the other side next the missions of the Ygolotes. I bear them in mind and will try to act in concert with them by this same path, God helping. May His Divine Majesty, as He is able, bring it to pass so that they may know Him as their God, and your Majesty for their as well as our king.

[Marginal note: “Ecclesiastical.”]

41st. Thanks to our Lord, this country is peaceful and prosperous in other things. The native vassals are orderly and full of courage, and those who were living in the forests have been reduced to their settlements and missions, being very confident that their possessions will not be taken from them, and that no repartimiento or [MS. holed: edict?] will be made among them, or that any other service will force them to flee or to be made slaves, in order to make them render service, as has happened to innumerable of these poor wretches; for they hope that what I have done hitherto to relieve them from so many burdens will be continued. If I avail myself of their services in any unavoidable and necessary labor, I do so, by paying them beforehand, saving the money from other things for it. Consequently, they now rather desire the opportunity to earn money by their services or the products of their fields, which now they reckon and hold as their own. I trust that, with divine favor, this will go daily from good to better, and that everything will succeed in the same way, until acts of injustice to these poor wretches will be avoided. Although I was taking delight in doing thus, now I am very happy, for I have learned what your Majesty desires, and that you commit this to me.

They and we are so well supplied with churches [162] that inside this city and about one legua around it, there are thirty of them, unless I have counted wrong; and of those not three are of other material than stone, nor are there as many others that fail to cause expense to your Majesty and labor to the natives—and this in one legua about the city as I have said, in a semicircle, which is even not entire, for the other half falls within this bay. I have not resolved before now to inform your Majesty of it, because I hesitated, on the grounds that our Lord would be just so much better served by the increase of churches, and these Christians would be better governed. But since your Majesty is discussing the limitation of this, I cannot refrain from answering you with the plain and naked truth. Well do I know that this and the other things that I have related have not [MS. holed] me, because I am already advised of it; and [MS. holed] resolution and execution of many, among whom are some who have issued a proclamation [for the services of the Indians?], while it was prohibited, for anyone in the world, not only of their profession but also for seculars, to issue one. But considering as surely slight any peril that will result, if revenge is to be taken on truth as truth, while, on the contrary, the neglect to tell the truth will result in great risk, I am convinced that I am doing my duty in this.12 If they should say that I am a very good governor, your Majesty does not excuse me from my residencia for that reason. If they should say that I am very evil, I petition you to hear us all, and that you will pardon me for saying this which was unnecessary. [163]

[Marginal note: “Ecclesiastical government. You mention some things in this section which it is advisable for you to understand thoroughly because of their gravity and for their better management, as follows. What you say of the good treatment of the natives, and of the burdens and evils that come upon them, is excellent. Endeavor that what you think best be carried out in regard to their services, relieving, consoling, and comforting them by good works, equity, and administration of justice, taking their cause ex officio against the more influential and powerful who [MS. holed: oppress?] them. This, being to the service of our Lord and good government, will give a most effective example and method for the reduction of the rest of the natives of those islands, and their incorporation into the Catholic church and our government. Accordingly endeavor to do what you have so thoroughly understood, and live with the prudence that the matter necessitates. Inform yourself by all means of what is being done, and of the fruit that results from it. No church or convent, not even a chapel, ought to be, or can be, founded unless concurrent with your permission, and that of the Audiencia, together with that of the ordinary. You shall demolish and reduce to its former state what should be done in violation of this, for the contrary is disobedience, spoliation, and offense; and it is not proper that reward, or permission to contradict what is proper, should follow from such assumptions, and that the insolent shame by their license those who are obedient and modest. The number of churches that you mention seems great, and there is excess in that, about which it is proper to be cautious. For few churches, well served and endowed, [164] are advisable and are sufficient, while from a great number of them signal disadvantages arise. You shall take note of all this, for religious zeal, when unaccompanied with the knowledge and prudence necessary, becomes excess and disorder, and a matter for troubles, which will be avoided by seeing that the churches are established in the manner above mentioned.”]

42d. One of those of this profession, named Pedro Leussara, has been arrested on the petition of parties whom he has greatly offended, by word and writing, in the most vital part of their honor—and without proof, as will be seen by the writ. In this matter, if natural inclination frees from guilt, he will have to remain free.

[Marginal note: “It is well.”]

43d. A ship just now in from Malaca brings as news that it was known there that the Dutch and English were already allied; but when the relief that we are awaiting arrives, I hope, with Divine favor, for better results. May our Lord give them to us, as He is able; and may He preserve the royal Catholic person of your Majesty, as Christendom needs. Manila, August 15, 1620.

[Marginal note: “War. It is well. You have already been advised concerning this.”]

44th. While about to direct these despatches, so that they might cross over to Mindoro—where the ships generally stop in order to lighten and get sailors for their voyage—I am told that the ships had not even been able to double the island of Fortuna, because of the violent head-winds, which have continued there with so great force; and also that [MS. holed] from China, which, although it is more than [167] one month since they left, have not had the weather to enable them to get entirely free of the shoals and promontories of this bay, which is in [MS. holed] the greatest difficulty. I trust, God helping, that the weather will moderate, for the sake of all.

Don Alonso Fajardo de Tença

[This belongs to the second section: “Have a letter written to the viceroy of Nueva España, enclosing a copy of this section, and advising him at the same time of what is being written to the governor. Having informed himself of these disorders and lack of good management that have been observed in the government agents and persons who take part in that despatch of ships, he shall be advised that he must investigate and punish it. What results from that is being awaited for public example, which is so necessary, and for the better despatch of those ships. Inasmuch as both the remedy and the punishment are to be included in this investigation, you [i.e., the viceroy of Nueva España] shall endeavor to procure the execution of this with the earnestness demanded by the matter. In the future very trusty men shall be appointed, namely, men who do not commit the offenses and disorders so strongly prohibited. The vessels particularly shall sail very lightly laden, and in the order mentioned in the preceding section. Inasmuch as I understand that what the governor notes in his letter about sending unnecessary and costly things has been remedied, you are again charged to send a detailed relation every year to the Council of everything sent [to Filipinas], so that we may know what articles and products are sent, their prices, and whether they contain any things mentioned [168] by the governor. It is a serious matter, and one that heavily charges your conscience and the reputation of the officials—who in that matter are aware that it is declared that in order to burden the royal treasury and to give advantages to third persons, opportunity is given for such actions. The service that you would perform would be very grateful to us, if you would advise us immediately of the condign punishment of any official guilty of such an offense; for it is a great offense for those who are placed in offices to protect the royal treasury, and to benefit the public cause, to convert the exercise of their offices into all manner of wrongs like this.”]

[Note to section 4: “Have a copy of this section sent to the [India] House of Trade. State that although the matter there mentioned has always been considered harmful to the general commerce of these kingdoms; and although the silver which must come here from Peru would in great part, if not all, be taken to Eastern Yndia, and delivered to our enemies, whereby two wrongs would ensue, since the Filipinas serve only as a station and bridge: still we have considered whether adjusting the matter in the following manner would be a suitable expedient, and one that would avoid all the troubles mentioned. That the reënforcements be sent straight to Filipinas from Panama, since it is a road so sure and favorable; and also, as pointed out in this section, one could take the merchandise from España that would be useful and valuable in Filipinas, with which the blessing of this trade could be enjoyed; and that the soldiers could sail from España until they should disembark for the short journey from Chagre River to Panama. In order to avoid any silver from Peru [169] being taken in these vessels on their departure to Filipinas and so that the merchandise of those islands might not be brought to Peru on the return trip (which is forbidden), it shall be ordered that the return trip of those ships be to Acapulco, as now—prohibiting them under any circumstance from returning to Panama, Callao, or any port of Tierra Firme; and so that these boats should not remain [idle] in Acapulco without making a voyage, they might be used for the voyage to Peru, because of the permission that has been decreed for the preservation of mutual correspondence and trade between Peru and Acapulco. They shall advise us of their opinion, so that all expedient measures may be taken. Likewise have all the matter bearing on this in the Peruvian secretarial office collected, so that, upon the arrival of the relation from Lalasa, the most expedient measures in all things may be taken, and the [present] section of this letter answered.”]

[Note to section 13, which these decrees concern: “Have a letter written to the Audiencia telling them that inasmuch as it has been learned that some government officials, both lawyers and clerks, notwithstanding the prohibition decreed by royal acts, laws, and decrees—forbidding them to trade or engage in business, buy, sell, or lade vessels, themselves or through intermediaries, under the penalties contained in the said laws, acts, and decrees against all the aforesaid—secretly and clandestinely, under cover of intermediaries, make confidants of certain persons, so that, by means of the said trade, they not only become rich but prove an obstacle to the benefit of the royal revenues, besides causing other evils which are not mentioned because they are well known: for [170] the correction of all this it has been commanded and ordered that if any of the said officials should be guilty of like transgressions, the president and governor and captain-general of those islands shall investigate and verify the aforesaid and send us a report, so that, after examining it, justice may be meted out and the fitting remedy applied. When the said investigation shall prove guilt, we have ordered the said president by an act, to sequester property, and to be rigorous in the sentence of this execution, according as we decreed it, and in the form ordered. In order that you understand this, this decree is despatched.” In another hand: “Despatch a decree to the Audiencia, so that if there should be any mutual doubt—whether any on the part of the president toward the Audiencia, or on the part of the latter toward the president, concerning the matters of ceremony that must be observed toward the said president and governor and captain-general of those islands and his wife—in such case, the claims of each side shall be considered with the modesty, gravity, and promptness that are desirable; and I shall be advised of the result, so that after examining it I may decree what is expedient. And inasmuch as time spent in such matters is not only the loss of time necessary for other things, but also the causing of certain rivalries harmful to the common welfare; and inasmuch as under this pretext they are accustomed to revenge themselves for certain causes of anger: in order to avoid disturbances from persons who are obliged to give so good an example, I thus also order and command, and desire that you understand that, together with decreeing what shall be expedient in such matters, I shall order that he who [171] shall be at all guilty of this, or who should violate customs or make any demonstration at public celebrations that is observed, or who leaves the body of the church or the public place where he ought to be, be punished severely and exemplarily; for that very thing serves as a scandal to the public, and a bad example to all, and these acts would arouse mutual enmities, to the harm of the royal service.”]

[Note to section 20: “Have a letter written to the Audiencia saying that inasmuch as letters were sent to them in regard to these matters in the despatch of a former year, on such and such a day of such a month and of such a year, a section to the following effect (here insert the section). And now it has been learned by a letter from Don Alonso Faxardo, present governor of those islands, that those criminals have been set at liberty; and, in order that what happened in this matter may be understood, it is ordered that you send a copy of the records, together with the part of the fiscal, with a memorial collated by him of all that results from the deed; so that, having examined it, the expedient measures may be taken, and that the condition of everything may be understood. The memorial and the records which shall be remitted shall be communicated to the governor, so that if there should be anything of which to advise, he may do it.”]

[Note to section 22: “Have a letter written to the Audiencia and a copy of it sent to the governor, in which mention shall be made that although it has been ruled by royal ordinances and decrees, and by other divers letters and orders, as to those things which must be observed, and the official visits to the natives in all and whatsoever parts where there are [172] missions and where justice is administered, this is not obeyed with the exactness required by the case; and on that depends the relief and compensation of the poor, and the punishment of those who live licentiously, or make bad use of their offices. The visits were introduced for the consolation and relief of the natives—not only on that account, but in order to ascertain the characteristics of each region, and the products and articles that can be produced in them and carried in case of need to any other region; and in order to take what measures may be advisable for justice and good government. It has been learned that this has not been done with the exactness required, and that on account of the personal occupation and toils that generally accompany it, you excuse yourselves and state other objections, in order not to make those visits; but I order you to busy yourselves in them, in accordance with the order that shall be given you by your president, Don Alonso Fajardo, who shall advise me of what shall be done in this. You shall take very special care to send a minute copy of the findings for the districts visited; for thus it is advisable for the good government and for the information that must be had of affairs there; and so that what has been ordered for the benefit of the natives may not be converted into mischief and burdens for them, especially since that land is pacified. It is ordered to you that, in going to make the said visits, you observe the order decreed, avoiding followers and retainers. And in order that we may have the satisfaction necessary from this, when you send a relation of the said visits, you shall send one of the men whom the visitor took with him, and an account of what occurred in this.”] [173]

1 One may see in this and subsequent marginal notes of this [88n] nature, in this and in other documents, the possible working of the Spanish government offices. The memoranda thus made on the margins of the document by the council or government representative in the king’s name, evidently formed the basis of the various decrees and orders despatched to the colonies, in regard to points brought out in the document that needed legislation. The document would probably be then turned over to the clerk or notarial secretary, who would have the decrees filled out properly, and in the stereotyped form, from these memoranda. Lastly, they would receive the king’s signature (rubrica). Each of the marginal notes on this and other documents, when made by king or council, is generally accompanied by a rubrica, which attests its legality. These notes often consist of two distinct parts, one of matter to be addressed to the governor, in which the second person is used; the other, directions to clerks in regard to what should be done on points called up in the document. These distinct parts have each their rubricas.

2 See this note at end of the document, p. 167.

3 See this note, post, p. 168.

4 See Vol. XII, pp. 53, 54, “four hundred short toneladas of the Northern Sea, which amount to three hundred [of the Southern Sea].”

5 See this note, post, p. 169.

6 The report of this expedition, which was effected, will be given later, in a document of 1624.

7 See a further note to this section, post, p. 171.

8 See a further note on this section, post, p. 171.

9 The reservation signifies that absolution from the said censure is reserved exclusively to a superior, as the prior of a convent, a provincial, or general, or even to the supreme pontiff himself. See Addis and Arnold’s Catholic Dict., pp. 135, and 717 and 718.—Rev. T.C. Middleton, O.S.A.

10 The original reads “despues” (“since”), but the sense seems to require “antes” (“before”).

11 An account of this expedition will be presented in a later document.

12 The words lacking in the above, due to the dilapidation of the MS., render it impossible to translate this passage clearly.

Letter from Felipe III to Fajardo

The King: To Don Alonso Faxardo de Tenza, my governor and captain-general of the Filipinas Islands, and president of my royal Audiencia residing there. The letter which you wrote me on the tenth of August of the past year has been received and examined in my royal Council of the Yndias; and the resolutions adopted in regard to the matters discussed therein will be explained to you in this.

You say that Francisco Lopez Tamayo, on account of his many years and ill health, has left the office of accountant which he occupied, and that you have appointed in his place Pedro de Lenzara, as he appeared to you a suitable and intelligent person. In filling this office you have used the care and attention which the matter demands; accordingly the appointment will remain with [him as] a person competent for this employment.

You inform us that in a council held in the time of your predecessor, which consisted of himself, the auditors of the Audiencia there, and the officials of my royal exchequer, it was decided to give, distributed among them and the archbishop of the metropolitan church of that city, and other officials of the said Audiencia, three thousand four hundred fanégas of rice at the price at which my tributes are given to [174] me; and when you saw that they had not my order for this, you ordered that the said grant of rice should not be continued, and that what had been received should be restored if I did not decree otherwise. In this order, and in discontinuing the four hundred pesos which were given to the governor’s secretary, you have done well, and this action was advisable, and conformable to justice; and you are to understand that, if there are other affairs of this kind beside those which you have pointed out, they are to be corrected, and an account of everything given to my fiscal, so that in respect to them he may fulfil the obligation of his office.

You have done well in having ordered that the money from the treasury of property of deceased persons in that city—which used to be taken to the treasury at Mexico without benefit in the property for their souls or their heirs, being divided or invested by order of the court having the jurisdiction in such matters—should be placed in my royal treasury and be paid in the said treasury of Mexico from the money which on my account is to be sent to those islands. What you have decreed in regard to this is just and expedient; and as for what you mention in regard to the proceeds of the bulls, you will do the same if the circumstances and conditions of their collection allow of it. You will act according to previous directions.

You say that the licentiate Andres de Alcaraz, my auditor in that Audiencia, wished to go to Mexico last year in the ships which left those islands for Nueva España; and that, he did not do so because he was sick, and because of your urgent request that he should not desert the Audiencia until the other [175] auditors thereof should become proficient in the despatch of business and the duties of their offices, on account of the lack of harmony among them. As it is fitting that those things which you mention in general terms should be explained in detail, you will advise me what they are, and in regard to what persons, since as president of that Audiencia you are in duty bound to give the information, so that, having been considered, provision may be made according to justice; and in the meantime you ought to correct and warn them in such manner that all shall be peaceful and that scandal shall cease—for this is the sole cause of bad government, of justice losing its prestige, and of those who are appointed to remedy evils being the authors thereof. In order to do away with this, I have had letters written to the other auditors (a copy of which is sent you), warning them that they must be subject to your person, and maintain the respect and ceremony due to you by virtue of your office. Of the rest which you mention in that clause I have been informed.

As for what you say in regard to not considering it expedient for my royal service that the order which I have given should be executed which directs that, on the death of the governors of those islands, the duties of the office of captain-general should be exercised by the oldest auditor of that Audiencia; and what seems best to you to provide in this matter in order to do away with the difficulties which might be feared if, the licentiate Andres de Alcaraz being gone, the licentiate Jeronimo de Legaspi should enter upon the said office, as he is the next oldest auditor, considering the scandal and evil example with which he and his son, Don Antonio de Legaspi, [176] are living: may God be pleased to grant you health, so that this thing will not happen which you wish to anticipate; and for this office there are always persons appointed, and therefore you need not be anxious about this. Since you show so much dissatisfaction with the said licentiate Jeronimo de Legaspi, and he and his son have conducted themselves ill, you will make such investigation as seems most fitting to you; and with the results thereof you will prefer charges against him, together with his answers thereto, and send them to my Council, so that, having examined the documents, they may provide a remedy. I send you a commission for this with this letter, and you are warned that your principal duty as president is to watch and be attentive to the method of procedure of every one of the officials who are dependents of this government. With which I charge your conscience, and warn you of the account which you have to give to our Lord therefor, that you may proceed in a manner not to intimidate justice, nor to propose anything which shall not be purely for the service of His Divine Majesty, and the relief of your conscience and mine. Accordingly, let it be noted that you favor your friends with commendatory reports, or injure those who are not so well disposed to you by accusing or censuring them; for, considering that there is no other person there in whom this trust can be placed except yourself, this warning is necessary.

You recount the service of the licentiate Don Juan de Albarado Bracamonte in the office of fiscal of that Audiencia, and the confidence that you have in him. As I have decreed what has appeared to be expedient in regard to this man, and you will have heard thereof, I have ordered him to be investigated on account [177] of the continual complaints I have received in regard to him. I warn you, as in the preceding clause, that you shall proceed in these reports as justly and cautiously as is necessary, considering the account which you must give to God of them; and before you make them you should consider them with the great attention which I confidently expect from you, on account of the injuries which would follow if this were not done, both to the welfare of the people and to yourself.

What you say in regard to the affair at the seminary of Santa Potenciana, and the investigations which were made in regard to it by the licentiate Jeronimo de Legaspi, concerning the persons who were guilty, and the state in which its lawsuits were, may be reduced to three points. The first, which concerns the seclusion which ought to be maintained in this seminary, is of the gravest importance; and it is necessary that there should be special care exercised in regard to its prudent management, its reception-rooms, and doorkeepers, and especially the porters. To this end it would be desirable to inspect the said seminary often, and that its superior should place only approved persons on guard in the house and residence of those who are inmates, so that it may be as well secured and safe as is right; and that with its inmates, if they are guilty, the measures provided for by the sacred canons and councils should be taken. For it is not right that a house of prayer, seclusion, and retirement should be an offense, and scandal, and a cause for sacrilege. As for the secular persons concerned, I charge and order you to inform them that the crime which they have committed is one of the greatest [178] which cry out before God our Lord, defy justice, and offend the nations and the public cause. And a severe example must be made of them, not only in the maintenance of justice but in the prompt despatch of the suits and cases of those who were implicated in so vile a deed; accordingly you will advise me fully, at all opportunities, of the condition in which they are, and of the execution of penalties, and of the corrective measures that have been applied to the said seminary. The second point concerns the complaint which you present in regard to the appeals from your decisions which are interposed. This is so well provided for by the laws that merely by commanding that these be observed you will have at your disposal all that can be used for good of justice and of your government; for, in spite of the appeal of the parties, you can execute the sentence when the guilt of the accused and the gravity of the case require it. It cannot be presumed that the Audiencia will hinder you in its execution in such cases; for what is permitted to an ordinary judge could not justly be hindered in you, being the person that you are, and the head of that government. Accordingly, for the fuller justification of the case, I have ordered that the letter which goes with this be written to the said Audiencia, and by the copy [sent to you] you will be aware of its tenor. The third point concerns the lack of obedience in military matters, and the hindrance to punishment therein. This evil will be charged to you if you do not exercise in it the most thorough vigilance, in punishing not only insolent and lawless acts, but even the appearance of them, and all that would approach either possible or actual disobedience. For you know that without such strictness [179] there can be no military discipline, nor any successful result; and the arms which are borne for the defense of the commonwealth will be turned to its damage. Accordingly you must treat such cases summarily, in such manner that there shall be no delay permitted in the punishment of the act, so that it shall not cause an evil example or scandal. As for what you mention concerning appeals in this regard, a decision is sent in the said letter to the Audiencia, as you will there see.

You inform us that the king of Japon and several private persons—great vassals, and lords of ports of that kingdom—have usually had presents and valuable articles sent to them from your city at my expense, every year when a ship went to that country; and for several years this has not been done, and various religious persons have considered the matter, and say that those Japanese have observed this, and attributed it as a lack of esteem for their friendship; and this has aroused them to resentment, and to prefer the friendship of the Dutch, on account of the many presents which they give to the Japanese from the spoils they have taken. You say that since there are some advantages in retaining friendly intercourse with that country, and for other reasons, you give me an account of this that I may order what is most fitting for my service. This consists in the measures suggested by your own prudence, with the information that you have of the present state of affairs, and the ordinary relations with Japon; and to whom, how, when, and in what quantity it is best to make these gifts, in such manner that they shall only serve to win back their friendship, and not appear a regular and settled thing, in the manner of an acknowledgment [180] [i.e., of subjection to them]—for that, in the course of time, might be troublesome in other matters. Accordingly, examining into this in conformity with your obligation for the benefit of my royal estate, you will do in this matter what, considering the time and occasion, you shall judge suitable for the interests of our religion, which is introduced into Japon, and for peaceful intercourse and friendship, and the greatest benefit to the traffic and commerce of those islands.

All you say in regard to the affection with which the citizens of that city came forward to serve me on the occasion of the last year—offering not only their persons and servants, but lending the slaves that they have and a hundred and ninety-five thousand pesos—is very gratifying. To these persons in especial, and to all generally, you will show this reply, that they may understand how grateful I am for their loyal service and fidelity; and that on occasions which may arise for their advancement and benefit in property, they will be remunerated, as will be seen in future. As to what you say in regard to Don Juan Ronquillo no resolution will be adopted in regard to him until the termination of the suit in which he is engaged. The affair will be settled as soon as possible after the arrival of the papers, and on that will depend what shall be done with this person—of whose service and their good results I am well informed, and for which I wish to show him favor. In regard to Rodrigo de Guilestegui you will advise me more fully in what way provision can be made for him. I have been advised of the good qualities and merits which you say are displayed in Don Fernando Centeno Maldonado. You mention likewise how little [181] justification there is for some of the informations which have been made by that Audiencia concerning the merits and services of those who claim that I should favor them. This has been so understood in my Council of the Yndias; and, for its remedy, you will so conduct this matter in the session of the Audiencia that no information shall be despatched, notwithstanding that it shall have been reviewed by an auditor, without its being again looked over by the whole Audiencia in its entirety—you being present as president, governor, and captain-general—and in no other manner; and each one giving his opinion, even if he alone should think that the merits of the person are insufficient because, on account of favor or by other means, they are presented when not based upon adequate services. In the case of Gonzalo Bazquez de Lara, notary, what you have done is proper; and you will advise me in detail of the execution of sentence in this case, as you know the great evils which this would cause in the future, and which have come from it in the past, and how important it is to purge the commonwealth of such persons.

The orders of the Society and St. Dominic have been provided with the persons whom their superiors asked for, as you will be aware; thus your suggestion in regard to this has been carried out.

Since you say that the Order of St. Augustine has taken in its charge with great zeal to facilitate and execute all which has been and is necessary to accomplish in my royal service—and especially Fray Alonzo de Baraona, the provincial, and the definitors have done so—it will be very desirable that you should therefore confer with them, and likewise with the provincial and definitors of the discalced [Augustinians], [182] and give them to understand my gratitude to them. You will especially express to them the pleasure which I have experienced in learning their good reputation for procedure, religion, and prudence, and suggest that they should continue this, as I trust they will; and say that I shall always remember, both in general their order in those islands, and themselves individually, as they shall see by the results. And you shall take care to encourage them to the preaching of the gospel, and the benefit and enrichment of souls, so that the public welfare shall not suffer for lack thereof; for it is my intention to aid them so far as possible; and the affairs of those islands, although they lie so far distant from my court, are very near to my thoughts. I trust through our Lord that, He lending you His divine favor, and you meriting it by your good government, you may put all in such good order that it will be preserved and advanced, and the enemy shall lose more.

There are none of your letters which have not been answered, and the same may be said of those from the Audiencia, the officials of my royal estate, and other officers. Madrid, December 13, 1620.

I The King

By command of the king, our lord:

Pedro de Ledesma [185]

Memorial, y Relacion para sv Magestad

By, Hernando de los Rios Coronel. Madrid: Fernando Correa, 1621.

Source: This is translated and synopsized from the copy of the original printed work owned by the Library of Congress.

Translation: The translation and synopsis are made by Robert W. Haight and James A. Robertson. [187]


And Relation

For His Majesty, of the Procurator-General of the

Filipinas, of what it is advisable to reform, and of the wealth contained in them, and in the Islands of Maluco.

In the year 1621.


By the widow of Fernando Correa. [189]

Memorial and Relation of the Filipinas


I, Hernando de los Ríos Coronel; an ordained priest, and procurator-general of the Filipinas Islands, Maluco, and all that archipelago, declared that, about thirty-two years ago or more, I went to the Filipinas Islands, where I lived a considerable time in the military habit and exercise, and as a citizen of the city of Manila, but with greater desires than strength to serve your Majesty, and endeavoring to give indications of this to all the inhabitants of that kingdom. On that account, they charged me with, and loaded upon my shoulders, in the year 1605, the weight of their cares and troubles. I came to this court, where I prostrated myself many times before the royal feet of his Majesty who is in heaven, and gave him an account of those things. I returned to that kingdom in the year 1610, to give account there of myself, and of my mission, undergoing many hardships and perils. Although such might have been avoided, and I could have made stipulations for my comfort and rest, as I had opportunity to do in your royal Council of the Indias, I confess that I know not what interior force and natural inclination has always induced me to prefer the service of your Majesty, [190] and the welfare and increase of that kingdom, to my own rest or comfort—which, in order to follow your service, I have never regarded as important, or given it any care. Inasmuch as times change affairs, and considering the many casualties caused by the enemy from Olanda, things have come to a very different pass from that in which I then left them. For that reason, that entire kingdom and its estates resolved that I should return again to confer with your Majesty and your royal councils concerning what was most advisable for your royal service and the welfare and relief of that land. And although I found that I needed some rest in a corner, and it was a severe trial for me to consent again to undergo more arduous labors, and difficulties so much greater as are the gravity of affairs in those islands and the multitude of the enemies with whom the seas are infested, yet that desire and inclination [for your Majesty’s service] had so much power over me that I postponed all my rest.

I offer your Majesty this relation, which, when I came to this court about three years ago,1 I gave to his Majesty who is in heaven, so that he might be informed, as was desirable, of that kingdom so remote from his royal eyes. I felt now that I was obliged to present it to your Majesty, and on this occasion I have taken the opportunity to extend it to greater length, and to give your Majesty a fuller account—being encouraged to do so by seeing the glorious beginnings that your Majesty has given to your monarchy, [191] on which, in the name of that kingdom, I give your Majesty a thousand congratulations, and may you enjoy it very many years, with the greatest happiness and increasing prosperity. I have written this relation with entire exactness and truth regarding all the facts that I have collected during so many years—and thus as well as was possible to me—without considering any human respects, which are what usually obscure such mirrors, in order that they might not give the light that is desirable in such an account. I relate, then, what has occurred in Filipinas, from the time of their first discoverers; their tendency toward, advancement; and the mildest and most advisable measures for the attainment of admirable ends. I trust, through God our Lord, that, if this child and offspring of my intellect has the good fortune to pass before the royal eyes of your Majesty, it will be of great importance to your royal service.

[The present book is divided into three parts. Part first, consisting of ten chapters, is a short résumé of Philippine history from the earliest discoveries until the naval battle at Playa Honda with the Dutch. The second part, consisting of seven chapters, deals more intimately with the needs and resources of the islands, and the importance of their conservation—that is, of matters that fell particularly to Los Rios in his capacity of procurator-general. The third part, in five chapters, relates to ecclesiastical matters in the Philippines, and contains brief remarks on the Moluccas. The first six chapters of part first are here only synopsized, with some extracts, as they deal with matters rather fully presented heretofore in this [192] series. All the remainder of the book is translated in full.]

Part First

[Chapter I treats “of the first discoverers of the Filipinas, and of their location.” In rapid survey Los Rios sketches the expeditions of Magalhães, Loaisa, Villalobos, and Legazpi, although wrongly placing the latter’s death in 1574 instead of 1572. The location of the islands is briefly described and the names of some of the principal ones given, among them “Mindanao, which is the largest, and with which we are at war, although it had formerly rendered your Majesty homage.” Continuing his narrative, the governorships of Guido de Labaçares (whose death is wrongly stated as occurring in 1575), Francisco de Sande, the two Ronquillos (who are mentioned as brothers), and Santiago de Vera, are lightly mentioned. Limahon’s expedition against Manila (wrongly ascribed to the period of Legazpi’s governorship), and Sande’s expedition to Borneo are particularly mentioned. The latter sacked the Bornean king’s city “with but little justification.” In his time also the Chinese trade begins to be steady. Gonzalo Ronquillo de Peñalosa on coming to assume the governorship, according to the terms of his contract, brings a number of colonists, “who were called rodeados2 because they had come by way of Panama ... He was a peaceful man, although—because he had brought two sons with him, besides other relatives, whom he allowed to live with considerable laxity; and because numerous complaints had been written from the city to his Majesty— [193] his Majesty, seeing the great trouble experienced in preaching the gospel, the evil example that those sons and relatives furnished, and the harm that this would cause unless it were stopped, removed Ronquillo from his governorship, and sent the royal Audiencia to govern, and as governor and captain-general its president, one Santiago de Vera.” On the latter’s arrival he finds Diego Ronquillo governing because of Gonzalo’s death. An Indian, in snuffing the candles on the latter’s catafalque, accidentally sets fire to some rich draperies. The fire remains unnoticed and smoulders until, the friars in attendance having left the church, it bursts into flame, and the city is entirely burned, and the site of the fort, Santiago, becomes a lake. Tomas Vimble (Candish), who captures the Santa Ana near California in 1587, sets all its crew ashore, with the exception of a priest whom he hangs. Alonso Sanchez’s voyage to Spain and Rome as procurator-general is influential in the suppression of the Audiencia and the election of Gomez Perez Dasmariñas as governor. Sanchez “wrote some treatises about the justification of the kings of España, and their right of title to the Filipinas, which merit that time do not bury them, although they exist in the archives of the Council of the Indias. He seems a prophet in many of his statements in those treatises.”3

In Chapter II some of the leading events of the term of Gomez Perez Dasmariñas are noted, and his unfortunate death. Such is his activity and care “that he alone aggrandized that city more than had all his predecessors, or his successors to this time.” [194] Negotiations are opened with Japan, and the embassy from Camboja begging for aid against Siam is received at Manila. “I believe,” says Los Rios, “that if he had done it, it would have been a great stroke of fortune, and your Majesty would justly be lord of that kingdom and of Sian, which is very wealthy. That is the only thing in which I believe that Gomez Perez erred.”

The succession of Luis Perez Dasmariñas to the government of the Philippines, and the designs of the Chinese to capture the islands, form the subject matter of Chapter III. By virtue of his father’s will and a royal decree empowering the latter to name his successor in case of absence or death, Luis Perez takes over the command from Pedro de Rojas, who has been elected by the city, with which “all the city received great happiness, both because of what they owed the father, and the love that they bore the son, of whose heroic virtues much might be said.” The Chinese send a vast fleet to Manila in charge of a number of mandarins, in order to conquer Luzón, because they fear the Spaniards, and “would much rather see us very far from their kingdom than to have the gain derived from us ... The governor received the mandarins and their embassy, who pretended that they came to trade, and asked us not to receive the Japanese in our ports, who are their mortal enemies; and taking farewell of them with a good countenance, he sent them to their own country. The next year one of those mandarins returned disguised, in order to act the spy, but as I was inspecting the ships, I noticed and arrested him; but such is the cunning of those people, that he was able to clear himself, so that it seemed [195] better to the governor and to Doctor Antonio de Morga, his lieutenant of justice, to allow the mandarin to return to his own country.”

The expedition to Camboja by Gallinato, and events there, and the arrival of Mendaña’s ship at Manila are told in Chapter IV. Blaz Ruyz, Diego Veloso, and Pantaleon Carnero, having seized the vessel on which they were being carried as prisoners to Siam from Camboja, arrive at Manila, and induce the sending of the three vessels under Gallinato.4 The latter, however, is blown out of his course as far as the strait of Sincapura. The other two vessels under Blas Ruyz and Diego Veloso reach Camboja, but the ship of the latter is wrecked on the coast. “A relative of the legitimate king was then ruling, one Nancaparan Prabantul,” whom their arrival does not please. The trouble with the Chinese follows, of the three thousand of whom, the Spaniards kill five hundred, and the consequent embassy of Blas Ruyz with forty men to Sistor. The king’s refusal to treat with them unless they make reparation to the Chinese, and his evident preparations to seize their small body of men, lead to the attack on the palace, the killing of the king and one of his sons, and the flight to the Spanish ship, leaving three killed—one Indian, one Japanese, and one Spaniard—but with many wounded. Gallinato’s arrival at this juncture puts an end to affairs there, and all depart for Cochinchina, where Blas Ruyz and Diego Veloso go to find the legitimate king of Camboja at Laos, “crossing those kingdoms for more than two hundred leguas, through territory where [196] a Spaniard had never been seen ... I have related this event because of the many fictions that were told here about Captain Gallinato, who, although a good soldier, did nothing else in the kingdom of Camboxa. Of it Fray Diego Duarte, a Dominican, now residing at Alcala de Henares, procurator of his order in the Filipinas Islands, who was one of those who were present at the death of the king of Camboxa—and not the least important one there—and Captain Don Miguel de Xaque de los Rios, now at this court, are witnesses.” The arrival at Manila of “Doña Isabel Varreto,” wife of “Alvaro de Amendaña,” is chronicled. The discovery that they attempted to make from Peru can be made better from the Philippines, and at less cost, because of its proximity to those regions.

Chapter V treats of events during the term of Francisco Tello, the main part of the chapter being devoted to Louis Perez Dasmariñas’s ill-fated expedition to Camboja. Tello “began to govern with forbearance, although one thing that he did before reaching the city seems to have presaged the evils of the future.” This was in his detention of the ship bound for Nueva España, until he could reach Manila and make a report to the king. As a consequence the vessel, sailing late, experienced so great storms that it was compelled to put in at a Japanese port, “and King Taycosama took their goods away from them, and it was the cause of the martyrdom of twenty-six Franciscan religious, and of the ruin of Manila ... Don Francisco began his government, in amusing himself with his authority and abundance, and in neglecting to despatch the ships on time; of which he should have taken warning [197] by the loss of which he had been the cause, in the wreck of the galleon ‘San Felipe’ as above stated. But he did not amend his ways, and for that same reason other vessels were wrecked later—one called ‘Santa Margarita,’ which was wrecked among the Ladrones Islands; and another called ‘San Geronimo’ which was wrecked at the island of Catanduanes,... and another which sailed from Cibu, called ‘Jesus Maria,’ which was seen no more. And the worst of all was that such neglect became so firmly established, that it would not have been remedied later, and the same troubles would have occurred, unless we had made use of two royal decrees that his Majesty, King Don Felipe Third, conceded to me in the year of 68;5 and on account of that neglect great need has come upon that kingdom.” The expedition of Oliver van Noordt is very lightly touched. Luis Perez Dasmariñas fits out an expedition of three ships for the relief of Camboja at his own cost, and Los Rios sails in the flagship. Misfortune follows them, and the flagship is lost on the Chinese coast. Such is the hatred of the Portuguese at Macao to the Spaniards “that as soon as they heard of our disaster, they issued an edict that no one should aid us under penalty of confiscation of his property, and three years in the galleys.” Los Rios with eight men lands in order to seek a pilot, and after various adventures is granted audience by the Chinese, who offer asylum to the Spaniards and rebuke [198] the Portuguese. Continuing, a short description is given of Macao, which has about five hundred Portuguese inhabitants; its duties and other gains, however, belong to the Chinese monarch. The principal occupation of the inhabitants is the raw-silk trade with Japan. For the benefit of trade and religion, Los Rios thinks it advisable to depopulate Macao and suppress it. Indeed the hate of the Portuguese goes so far that they attack the remnants of Luis Perez’s expedition as it is about to return home. All their hostility they clinch with “a royal decree given more than thirty years ago, in which your Majesty6 orders Castilians not to go to that port to trade. It is very important for your Majesty to order the Portuguese not to use that decree for the evil that they do us—not only those of us who go there to trade (which was the reason of its being granted), but also to those of us who make port and arrive there wrecked.”

Events of Pedro Acuña’s government occupy the sixth chapter. “Don Pedro was a restrained and absolutely uncovetous gentleman, and lived temperately. He was affable and open to all; but signal disasters occurred during his term. The Indians of Mindanao ruined those islands, carrying away many captives and quantities of wealth, burning churches, and injuring images, to the great loss of our prestige. Also more than twenty thousand Chinese revolted in the city; and because the warnings of the archbishop and many other persons were not believed, the remedy was not applied in time, which would have been easy. However, although we prevailed against [199] them (with evident miracles), the kingdom was ruined.” This neglect of Acuña results in the massacre of Luis Perez Dasmariñas and more than one hundred and fifty men, only one of the company escaping. To neglect Los Rios charges “the greatest ills” that have happened in the Indias. The expedition made to Maluco by royal command succeeds well. The victory reacts on the Spaniards, however, because of the ill-treatment inflicted by the latter on the king of Ternate, whom they take captive to Manila; and the Moluccans ally themselves with the Dutch. Los Rios begs that good treatment be given to the captive king, who is still in Manila, who, although well treated during Acuña’s life, is afterward neglected and uncared for.7 Los Rios asks that good treatment be accorded to the king “for the sake of your Majesty’s reputation with those nations; for they will think that you order your ministers to inflict that ill-treatment.... Don Pedro de Acuña died when he was beginning to open his eyes, and to govern very acceptably to all. It is rumored that he was poisoned, although I cannot persuade myself of that fact.” As governor ad interim the viceroy of Nueva España sends Rodrigo de Vivero, who governs until the arrival of Juan de Silva, when he sets sail in the ship “San Francisco,” but is wrecked at Japan, because it sailed late.]

Chapter VII. Of the government of Don Juan de Silva, and events with the Dutch.

On the death of Don Pedro de Acuña in the year 606, your Majesty sent Don Juan de Silva to govern.

Upon his arrival at that kingdom, he was given [200] an opportunity to put his wishes into effect. A Dutchman arrived there with four ships and one patache, and, having stationed himself at the entrance of the bay of Manila, remained there six months, capturing and pillaging all who came to the city. Don Juan de Silva had no ships ready to go out to drive the Dutch from that port; but, with the stay of the enemy, he set to work to repair four ships that were there, and to finish another that was being built in a shipyard. He made haste, and used the iron gratings from the houses of the citizens for the nails that he needed, which the people gave willingly, as well as whatever else was necessary. Further, he also cast five large pieces of artillery, with which, and with the artillery in the forts, he made ready and equipped five ships with high free-board, and three galleys, and manned them with the most valiant of the soldiers and citizens, among all of them more than one thousand men being Spaniards alone. He found the enemy very careless, his ships filled with wealth from many rich vessels that they had pillaged, belonging to the Chinese which were coming to Manila, laden with the merchandise that came yearly. He found only three ships, and attacking and grappling with one of them, it was blown up because of a fire that unfortunately caught. The other two surrendered, although the victory was not bought cheaply, for many people were killed. It had been stated two months before that that victory would be gained on St. Mark’s day,8 as happened, and, as he recounted one night, had been told to him. But who would say that that victory was to begin his perdition, and so many troubles as I shall relate? [201]

Don Juan de Silva was made very rich by that victory, for the fifth of the booty which your Majesty conceded to him was worth more than two hundred thousand pesos, as I learned from his own mouth. Besides that, the victory induced in him thoughts for great undertakings, and he did not stop to compare the wealth of that kingdom with his designs. He discussed building a fleet to go to Terrenate, and put the matter into execution. Although he was greatly opposed by the entire city—and especially by the royal Audiencia and royal officials, who judged from their experience that the plan was not advisable—yet he acted in defiance of them, and left Manila with his fleet, leaving the natives grievously burdened with taxes, your Majesty’s treasury indebted to a vast amount, and the city without artillery. He went to Maluco, and not only did he not accomplish any good result, but he even returned with little reputation derived from that expedition, as all had foretold.

He desired to correct that mischief, and determined, without any one’s counsel, to build seven galleons, which, with the three that he had, would make ten in all, and also six galleys. That was an undertaking disproportionate to the possibility of his forces, and innumerable evils resulted from it, just as they generally result to him who does not proportion means to ends, and who does not measure desires with strength. When he fought at Playa Honda with the Dutch, as he grappled he recognized the advantage that the larger ships had over the others. Consequently, he determined to build his ships so large that they should be superior to any ship that the enemy would bring. For that purpose [202] he made them of one thousand, one thousand five hundred, and nearly two thousand toneladas. He began to make arrangements for putting his desire into execution, and at the same time to write to the viceroy of India to send him ten more galleons and six galleys, so that the forces of both governments being united, they might at the same time complete the expulsion of the Dutch from the archipelago and seize their forts and factories. That idea would have been very commendable, and the most efficacious means of all, if he could have carried it out as he conceived it. I believe that, in order to facilitate that, he wrote to your Majesty, whereupon this court was filled with hopes. But to place it in execution, he had as much foundation as will be seen here. The forces of India are so few, that, although Silva was told that the viceroy could not send him six ships—and those that could go would be poorly equipped; and that if he did send them, the coasts of India would be left unprotected, which were daily being infested; and, besides, that they knew by experience—the little love that the Portuguese bear to the Castilians and that he should not trust in them—still by sending money to build galleons and for the men, of which at least one-half million [pesos] would be necessary, the viceroy would send that fleet. Don Juan de Silva was without funds; on the contrary, the royal treasury was deeply in debt from the expedition to Maluco. Still, in order to forward his designs, he sent his master-of-camp, Christoval de Azqueta, with pledges and securities made out by the royal officials, binding your Majesty’s royal treasury in order to get the money there from merchandise, and paying interest on them—a transaction [203] which was considered ridiculous to those who knew India. He gave the master-of-camp sixteen thousand pesos which he borrowed in gold from the inhabitants of Manila, in order that he might bring back some necessary things. The master-of-camp sailed in a ship accompanied by forty Spaniards to indicate his authority. As yet, not one of them has been seen; and it is considered certain that all were drowned, since no further news has been heard of them. On the other hand, Silva wrote to the viceroy of Nueva España that he was building that fleet, and requested money, men, and ammunition from him. He despatched so late the ships, which had arrived on time, that although the viceroy made his utmost exertions he could not perform the friendly offices that Silva desired.

He began to place the said galleons on the stocks, and, as they were so large, scarcely could he find the necessary timbers in the forest. Consequently, he had to have them sought under great difficulties, and by penetrating the thicker recesses of the woods. There having found them, it was necessary, in order to drag and carry them to the shipyard, to depopulate the surrounding villages of the Indians, and to drag the timbers with immense labor, hardship, and cost to the Indians. The masts of one galleon cost the Indians, as is affirmed by the religious of St. Francis, and as I heard declared by the alcalde-mayor of the province where they were cut—namely, La Laguna de Bay—the labor of six thousand Indians for three months to drag them over very rough mountains. They were paid by the villages at the rate of forty reals per month apiece, but were given nothing to eat, and therefore, the wretched Indian [204] had to look for food. I shall not relate the cruel and inhuman treatment of the agents, and the many Indians who died in the forest. Had those galleons been of moderate size, and twice as many, they would not have cost one-half as much. Neither shall I tell your Majesty of the Indians who were hanged, those who deserted their wives and children and fled exhausted to the mountains, and those sold as slaves to pay the taxes imposed on them; the scandal to the gospel, and the so irreparable wrongs caused by that shipbuilding; and with how great inhumanity they passed sentence on and executed on the poor Indian not only what was necessary, but also what the lawless greed of agents took from him. In short, the hardships, injuries, and harm inflicted upon the Indians were vast, and there was no remedy for it. And hence those ships had so disastrous an end; for all were wrecked in a storm, and all those in them were drowned forty leguas from the city—divine permission, which is so offended at injuries done to the poor, exacting those lives in order to make reparation for such wrongs. Now more than one million [pesos] is due to the Indians and there is no hope of recompense. From that may be inferred how great should be the trustworthiness and Christian spirit of those persons who are to govern the Filipinas, since they have no one to restrain them for the injuries that they commit. Besides the said wrongs, those that I shall now relate were no less.

When he discussed building those ships, three years before that fleet should be taken out, he ordered all the soldiers of the islands to be collected, and the forts and important posts to be abandoned, especially a fort in the city of Cibu. He took all the artillery [205] and carried it to Manila, which was the cause of the Mindanaos destroying those islands when they learned that, without any one opposing them. He also ordered that no one leave the city without his permission, under serve penalties. On the one hand, he kept the men there desperate, who could not go out to find food; and on the other, gave them nothing. Therefore, many men fled through those surrounding kingdoms. And, when he most needed sailors, more than two hundred of them fled because of ill treatment and because they were deprived of one-half their rations. He imposed many taxes upon the Indians, with great oppression to them on account of the food that was ruined because it was not needed so early. As a result, he brought the country to the extreme of poverty, even worse than if the enemy had sacked it.

On the other hand he sent to Japon for metals with which to cast artillery, and for saltpeter for powder; and they brought him what he had sent to ask. In two years he cast one hundred and fifty large pieces of artillery; but he had no master who understood it, and consequently the pieces were so poorly made that none of them stood the test. I saw twenty pieces out of thirty-six burst at the first shot, as the gunner, one Pedro Castaño, who is in this court, will tell; consequently they did not dare to test the cannon with the royal test. There was an excellent founder there, named Don Diego de Prado, who had made considerable artillery in Lisboa. Silva refused to accept him, but on the contrary let him go to España by way of India, although he should have diligently looked for him. He is a friar here now, named Basilio. They were unable to get a piece [206] that could be used, although they tried in various ways. They continued these efforts until certain Japanese built some ovens, in their own fashion, and made some bellows which forced in a great quantity of air. Those produced better artillery, although some of these pieces also burst, for they did not hit upon the alloy of copper in accordance with its quality.

Don Juan de Silva persisted in his intentions; and, seeing after two years had passed that the master-of-camp Azqueta had not arrived, and that it must be believed that he had been drowned, he sent a father rector of the Society of Jesus, named Juan de Ribera,9 and Captain Don Diego de Miranda, a Portuguese, to Goa, so that, in his name, they might ask the viceroy for the said galleons; and they did so. Although with great objection and opposition from the city of Goa, the viceroy gave them four galleons and four galliots, with very few and badly disciplined crews. What took place in India in regard to that matter is a pity. Your Majesty needs to make many reforms there, because of the danger of losing that country through the poor discipline of the soldiers, as they themselves confess, and warning of this has been given in many memorials.

They started for Manila, and arrived at Malaca and at the Strait late and in bad weather. The commander did not dare pass on, although he was urged and pressed to do so by the rector of the Society. Matters came to such a pass that the commander told the father that he would put him below decks, and the soldiers tried to kill him, for they said that he was going to drown them. Thereupon they remained, [207] and returned to Malaca, advising Don Juan de Silva that they were there awaiting his order.

Don Juan de Silva learned the news of the galleons and determined to send a patache to Macan, and as its commander, Pilot Juan Gallegos, in order to purchase some ammunition and to go thence to Malaca. He ordered the four galleons to await him in the Strait, saying that he had resolved to pass there, and that all would go together to attack the factory of Xava, the chief factory of the enemy, which had no fortress; thence they would go to Banda and to Maluco. That would have been a very suitable idea if it could have been executed during the season for navigation. Juan Gallegos went to Macan, and thence to the Strait of Cincapura, where he found six Dutch galleons and one patache. They seized him, and learned from him of the coming of Don Juan de Silva with so large a force. They did not dare await the latter and so left the Strait. Shortly after Don Juan de Silva arrived, two ships of Goa came from China with the goods and merchandise from India, which it was our Lord’s will to save in that way.

Before the enemy happened to seize the patache of Juan Gallegos, they had negotiated with the king of Hachen, a country located in the island of Samatra, near the Strait, in regard to uniting with them to attack Malaca with more than four hundred craft, that would hold more than forty thousand men. That king fought with the galleons, and his presence there was of great importance. He burned one galleon, but returned without accomplishing any other exploit, although he carried a quantity of large artillery. After the king had gone, the Dutch arrived. [208] What they did was to burn the three remaining galleons in the river of Malaca. Then they went to the Strait, where they captured Juan Gallegos, as above stated. The Portuguese gained little reputation—or to say better, lost much—in not defending themselves. But since it is not my intention to meddle with another jurisdiction, I shall not discuss that.

Don Juan de Silva left Manila with ten galleons—larger than have been seen in Europa—and four galleys, on February 28, 1616. He laid his course toward the Strait, as he thought that he would find there the four galleys from Goa, in accordance with the order that he had sent. He learned what had happened in the Strait; and although he might have gone to Bantan, in Xava Major, to avenge the injury, since he might expect to find the enemy there—and he might at least have destroyed that factory and exacted satisfaction for what had been done—he did not choose to do so, but left the galleons anchored in the Strait, while he went to Malaca with the galleys. There he was received under the pall with great solemnity, honored with great festivities, and called that city’s savior, since the ships had taken flight because of his coming. Don Juan became sorely perplexed, and could not come to a decision as to whether to careen his vessels and wait until the following year for the viceroy of Goa, or whether to return to Manila. Death overtook him in that perplexity, on April 19 of the same year.

He left orders for the fleet to return to Manila, and to convey thither his embalmed body. Thereupon our fleet returned. It was in as bad shape as if it had been a year at sea; for at that part of the Strait where it was anchored the air was so unhealthful [209] and the water so poisonous that the soldiers began to sicken immediately, and to die swollen up and yellow; and some days forty or fifty of them were thrown into the sea. All asserted that had they remained there one fortnight longer, not enough men would have been left to manage the sails, nor could they have brought back the galleons—which returned without anchors, for the few that they carried were lost in the currents, which are very strong. And had they not found nineteen anchors, which they bought, they would have perished.

Chapter VIII. Of the opposition to Don Juan de Silva from all the city, and the opportunity that he lost by not taking the advice that they gave him.

Strange are the judgments of the Most High, and nothing happens by chance that His infinite providence does not register. The Portuguese regarded as certain the coming of Don Juan de Silva to the Strait with his fleet, and attributed to him, as was evident, the saving of their possessions. But he who regards the opportunity that Silva lost, and how much more important it would have been not to have left Manila, but to have been there when the enemy (who passed through the Strait of Magallanes) arrived, will see how unsatisfactory was the Malaca expedition.

Don Juan de Silva had already prepared his fleet, and his yards were already squared, when a discussion arose as to whether it was advisable for him to go in search of the enemy, for which purpose he had prepared it. A general meeting of ecclesiastical and secular cabildos, the bishop, and the orders, was called, together with the royal Audiencia. Silva [210] made them a harangue, and showed a royal decree that he had received shortly before, in which it was ordered that he should make the expedition. He read what was most suitable to his purpose, whereupon Doctor Vega, your auditor, asked him to give it to the secretary to read publicly, as they wished to know its contents. It was read, and your Majesty ordered in it that the viceroy of India be advised, so that both should join forces and go in pursuit of the enemy with their fleets, and that the viceroy should act as superior officer if he came in person. From this, they took occasion to oppose Silva, and said that he was not obeying your Majesty’s orders. They reminded him that he did not have sailors, because while the fewest number of sailors necessary for ten galleys amounted to fifty, he did not have twelve effective ones, because they had fled, as above stated.

Item: That he was only carrying two iron anchors for each galleon, disproportionate to their size, besides two others of wood, which are called cenepites; and that he was going into seas with strong currents and shoals, where he had to anchor every day, with evident peril and known danger of losing his fleet.

Item: That he was not carrying suitable rigging or sails. At the same time they told him that he was leaving the city depopulated of the men who might defend it in any sudden need.

Item: That he had dismantled the forts and walls of artillery, and had left no good piece, contrary to the ordinances of your Majesty, and to all good government.

Item: That it was easy for the enemy, knowing [211] the route that he was taking, to attack the city, which was surrounded by more than fifteen thousand Chinese, and a considerable number of Japanese, all of whom were angered by the many annoyances and injuries that they had received; especially the natives, of whom it could be feared that they would revolt at any news of an enemy, and what would most encourage them would be to see the city without defenders or artillery.

Item: That he was taking a route very foolishly chosen, because the season and monsoon (as it is called) for seeking the enemy was already past; and he was going with a known risk of suffering shipwreck, or of accomplishing nothing.

Item: That it was advisable for him to inform the viceroy of his expedition, as your Majesty ordered, and in the meanwhile to continue to provide himself with everything necessary. The following year he could leave, as was advisable and as your Majesty ordered. In short, they reminded him of many other difficulties; but none of them were able to make him postpone his purpose. Doctor Vega gave him a memorial which is printed, in which he declares all the above and many other arguments; and the fiscal issued many injunctions and protests against him. They became so angered that he tried to arrest the fiscal, who absented himself, together with many influential persons. The city was very much in danger of being lost, and was divided into factions and different opinions; although it is true that all desired Silva’s absence. After so many difficulties, and after having defied them all, Silva left the city with his fleet, leaving the walls dismantled, as above stated. When he embarked, many men of [212] those that he had provided from the inhabitants of the city, and single men, were not to be found, for they had run away.

Scarcely had he left Manila when news came that a Dutchman with five ships was coming, and within one week he came to anchor at the mouth of the bay of Manila. It was our Lord’s pleasure that the Dutch did not learn the city’s condition, which would have placed us in the greatest embarrassment and danger. The Dutch remained there one fortnight, and then, learning that Don Juan had gone toward their forts and factories, they set out for them. In the opinion of all it was the greatest misfortune that the news had not arrived sooner, so that our fleet could have gone to meet it; for not a single ship would have escaped; and, had he followed them to Maluco, he would have destroyed their forces without difficulty—as Don Geronimo de Silva, his cousin, wrote to him, whose letter I have. I heard afterward from the same man that he had made a treaty with all of them to surrender their forts to him if Don Juan arrived. God did not so ordain it, for our sins or for His secret judgments. So great an opportunity, which might have ended the war, was lost, for all the natives were resolved to become our friends; for they always cry “long live the conqueror!” Sections 1, 9, and 15 of Don Geronimo’s letter are of the following tenor.

Letter of Don Geronimo de Silva, Governor of Maluco

I am replying to the duplicate of your Lordship, which I received by the hand of Captain Juan Cutirez Paramo and Sargento-mayor Don Pedro [213] Tellez, dated at the Strait of Sincapura, March 15, in which your Lordship gives me advice of the resolution that you took in Manila to make your voyage to Malaca, expecting to find there the viceroy of India, or at least the squadron of galleons from that state—a thing as generally desired by all as it is deemed difficult by me. For I could never persuade myself that the viceroy of India would decide to send a larger fleet this year than the four galleons; and, supposing this, I would have been glad had your Lordship not gone in search of the viceroy this year. For, as I understand the decree of his Majesty, the preparations were for the coming year; and by that time matters would have been suitably arranged, and, both powers having united, his Majesty’s will would have been realized, without the possibility of any fears of danger. But if the resolution taken by your Lordship to go out with your fleet, because of the great expenses incurred, had been taken then to come to employ that fleet here, it would have arrived at so good a season and opportunity, that all these islands would have surrendered to you. I could answer with my head that his Majesty would possess them without your Lordship’s needing to fire a single shot, for the material for this truth was very well arranged. I alone was unfortunate in that your Lordship did not come directly here when you left Manila. I would give you as a witness of that the king of Tidore, only he cannot declare it in writing; but he will be a witness on that day that our Lord brings your Lordship to these islands.

Your Lordship orders me at present to despatch to you what galleys are here. In fulfilment of that order Don Pedro Tellez is returning in the galley [214] that brought him, for Captain Juan de Guassa’s galley was such that it could not be repaired at all, although I summoned the royal officials, and persons who understood it, to examine it. To my summons they replied that it absolutely had nothing of use on it but the nails; accordingly, with their advice, it was beached. I have only the galliot left here and that is as free from iron and rigging as the galleys here have always been. The galliot is the feet and hands of these islands, and that which serves as a caracoa; for, glory be to God, the Meldicas [sic; sc. mestizos] and native Christians are wanting to me. The reason that moves me to this will be told your Lordship by Don Pedro Tellez, whom I wished to make a witness of this unfortunate state of affairs, and of what the service of his Majesty suffers.

Will your Lordship advise me of your resolution to come to these forts, and whether the viceroy of India is coming now with the squadron that your Lordship has built. What I can say is that your Lordship’s speedy arrival here matters so much, although it be with only your galleys, that on that alone depends the restoration of these two islands, which will be maintained with the hope that your Lordship will come hither in the time above stated. If you do not come, the islands and the Spaniards who inhabit them will certainly perish; for although the king of Tidore is our friend, he is the only one, and he does not have the same assurance of his island as hitherto. For that reason, it is advisable for me always to keep in this island the greater part of the infantry of this camp, divided among the fort of Santiago, the fort of Principe Tomanira, and Socanora. From the above your [215] Lordship will infer that I have need of protecting myself not only from the Dutch but also from the natives and our intimates; for things are very much changed from what your Lordship is informed. Tidore, July 29, 1616.

Don Geronimo de Silva

Chapter IX. Of the coming of the Dutch to Manila in search of Don Juan de Silva.

It was learned in Maluco from the Dutch commander who passed through the Strait of Magallanes and infested the coasts of Piru and Nueva España—the same one who arrived at Manila just after the departure of Don Juan de Silva—that Don Juan had laid his course toward Malaca and thence to Maluco. Immediately all their ships were collected, and, repairing many, they equipped the ten best ones, taking the best artillery and men from their forts for that purpose, with the determination of awaiting Silva. But when they saw that he delayed so long, and that he could not come to Maluco now, because of bad weather, thinking that he would have returned, they went to try issues with him at Manila. On reaching the island of Mindanao, they learned of his death from the Indians. They made a compact with the latter that each side should go to destroy the islands, even as far as the city of Manila. The Mindanaos set out with a fleet that they had prepared, of seventy caracoas, which resemble galliots. They anchored with them in the province of Camarines, where they had heard that one ship and two pataches were being built for your Majesty. They killed and captured about thirty Spaniards and many Indians, set fire to the ships, and pillaged whatever [216] they could lay hands on. That disaster, which was very great, was the result of neglecting to send there fifty picked soldiers to guard the shipyard. The chiefs of those caracoas divided into two parties because of disputes between them. One party went toward Manila in search of the Dutch. The other went to the island of Panay. Captain Don Diego de Quiñones, who was stationed in that island as commandant and captain of the Pintados Islands, hearing of this, sent Captain Lazaro de Torres with seven caracoas in pursuit of them; he defeated them, and captured four caracoas. The rest took to the open sea in flight, and, those vessels being small, all of the men were drowned; for no news that they have reached their country has been heard here since.

That island of Mindanao is the farthest of the Filipinas Islands, and is about twenty leguas from Cibu. That part that faces Cibu is pacified, and the Indians pay tribute, and there are a number of Christians. The entire island formerly rendered homage to your Majesty. It extends east and west, being somewhat inclined to the northeast and southwest. It is more than three hundred leguas in circumference. The southern part lies in six degrees of north latitude. It has many gold mines, as those say who have seen them, although they are but little worked, and many cinnamon trees and much civet.

Captain Estevan Rodriquez de Figueroa went to pacify it in 1596 at his own cost, with the title of governor and captain-general of the island conceded by your Majesty. But he was so unfortunate that, the first time when he set foot on land, he was killed by an Indian concealed in ambush. Captain Juan de la Xara, who was master-of-camp, continued the enterprise; [217] but as he, like his master, died, the whole enterprise was destroyed by accidents that came upon them. Consequently, not only were the natives not pacified, but more angered and desirous of vengeance. For that reason, they began to build vessels and to make inroads among those islands during the term of Don Francisco Tello, to commit depredations. They captured many Indians and their wealth (for the latter had considerable gold) through the fault of the captains and alcaldes-mayor who were governing those islands, and were not punished for it. And although punishment is one of the two arms of justice that preserves states, there has been so great lack of it in Manila, that signal injuries have thereby resulted.

The Moros became excited by those captures, and through the exercise of war they became more skilful and daring. To such a height has their boldness reached, through the carelessness and neglect of the governors, that all those islands have been destroyed and ruined. They could very well have been restrained, but the reasons why they neglected to do that cannot be explained here, because the case in hand demands that many things be passed by; but if your Majesty cares to know, I will explain them.

Those Indians [i.e., the Moros] are so vile and cowardly that they have never engaged in close combat with the Spaniards, very few of whom have dared to resist vast multitudes; yet the Moros have inflicted signal injuries. The worst is that these last few years they have committed greater ones, so that there is no Christian or friendly Indian who is safe in his house or country. These, although Indians, set forth arguments that must have shamed your Majesty’s [218] governors considerably; since, although the latter are so careful not only to collect their tributes, but to impose continually so many taxes, and to cause the Indians innumerable troubles, yet they do not defend them from their enemies. Consequently the Indians say, “Let us be free, and let us have arms, and we shall be able to defend ourselves, as we did before the advent of the Spaniards.” And, surely, did not the religious—especially those of the Society, who instruct nearly all those islands—entertain them with hopes and fair arguments, they would all have revolted, as some have done. I have related this to your Majesty so that you may order your governor to remedy that matter, which is so incumbent upon your Majesty’s royal conscience. But how poorly he informs your Majesty; since at the very moment when those people were destroying your churches, the governor wrote that they were all peaceful and quiet. It is very easy to conquer that island, if its inhabitants are made slaves, as I have said in special memorials.

Chapter X. Of the result obtained by the coming of the Dutch to the Filpinas Islands and the city of Manila.

The enemy learned from the Mindanao Indians, as above stated, of the death of Don Juan de Silva, whom they had intended to go to seek. They went to the island of Panay, to a port called Yloylo, with the design of building a fort there, in order to gain possession of those islands and to get the quantity of food that was stored for the relief of Terrenate. (whence the forts of Maluco are chiefly maintained), and at the same time to make themselves [219] masters of the island. For, two years before, and during Don Juan de Silva’s term, another Dutchman had arrived at that island at a Spanish town called Arevalo, burned it, seized its provisions, made quantities of dried beef at stock farms near there, and then returned, without any one having dared to fire a shot, although there was a captain there with two hundred soldiers. Then he made a pact with the natives of the country, by which they were to render him homage.

Three or four days before the arrival of the enemy, the news reached the ears of Captain Don Diego de Quiñones, who was there with about seventy soldiers. He resolved to die there or to prevent the enemy from following out his designs. As hastily as possible, he threw up a redoubt, or small fort of fascines, stakes, and gabions, which he filled in with earth. Then having assigned his men to their positions, he awaited the enemy’s arrival. The Dutch arrived with their ten galleons and went to anchor within musket-shot of the small fort, which they began to bombard with their artillery, and with musketry to pick off those who showed themselves. But seeing that they were defending themselves, and that so great a multitude of balls could not dislodge them, they threw seven companies of infantry ashore, and assaulted the fort twice with the batteries which were free; but the infantry, getting the worst of it, had to retire. Don Diego, although shot through the thigh by a musket-ball, was encouraged; and had sent Captain Lazaro de Torres outside with forty soldiers to make an ambush. He pressed so heavily against the enemy that they had to embark hurriedly, leaving on the field and taking away [220] many dead and badly wounded, while we suffered in dead and wounded twenty or a few more. Thereupon the enemy weighed anchor and left the port in great ignominy and sorrow. That feat of arms was of great importance as can be understood from the condition of the country and of the natives of that island and others near by. I cannot keep silent on one thing that happened through the fault of him who was governing, since my intention is to make your Majesty understand the state of that kingdom. The building of a fort in that port of Yloylo, and the sending there of six pieces of artillery and one engineer to Don Diego, had been discussed in Manila. But there was the utmost remissness and neglect in sending those pieces, for it was considered certain that if the enemy came he would manage to make himself master of the port. And although they could have been sent him one month before, they reached him one week after the opportunity was gone—when, if Don Diego had had them, he would have sunk half the enemy’s fleet. Such injury is done by the remissness and neglect of him who governs.

The enemy thought that they would make little from Don Diego, and consequently left that place, and went to anchor in the mouth of the bay of Manila. They reached an island which is situated in the middle of the entrance, called Marivelez, where a sentinel is always posted to give notice of the ships that come to the city. He made signals, and hence, as we had advices, their arrival was known. They anchored their vessels at both entrances, so that no ship could enter or leave without being seen. They captured a few provision-boats, and on some days they entered the bay with two or three ships to reconnoiter [221] the port of Cabite, with the desire of having an extended view, and then returned. They had some communication with the Japanese, who, as arrogant and barbarous people, despised our fleet. Those people informed the Dutch that they had nothing to fear, for we were unable to prepare our fleet because of the lack of many things, so that they could be quite easy. Consequently they proceeded as would those who feared nothing.

Licentiate Andres de Alcaraz was then senior auditor, and was exercising the duties of captain-general. At several councils of war, it was discussed whether it would be proper to prepare the fleet that was in port, in order to drive the enemy away. Most were of the opinion that the fleet should go out, founding their opinion on the ignominy and taunts that the enemy flung upon the Spaniards, the reputation that we would lose among so many nations who were watching us, the need of provisions that the enemy were making them endure, and the design of the latter to await the ships from China in order to enrich themselves from the merchandise that the Chinese were bringing to Manila. Those vessels were to come by April, and, besides the general danger of depriving the community of the necessities brought to it by the Chinese, many of the inhabitants were interested in the said ships. Although this last could be obviated by sending advices to China, the captain-general refused to do it, although he should have done so, because of the harm that might ensue to your Majesty’s service, the common welfare, and the great harm that would result to the enemies.10 For opportunity was given [222] to the enemy to enrich themselves exceedingly with the spoils [of the Chinese], at the expense of the community; then, too, the Chinese were losing so much there by favor of their friends, since they would be ruined. The cause of that error was that, in that former year when the other Dutchman came with five vessels thinking to stay there until he pillaged the Chinese (for he bore instructions to that effect), advice was given the Chinese so that they should not come. They obeyed the advice and did not come, and as the enemy went away, the inhabitants conceived that they had signally erred, ruined the city, and deprived the royal treasury of the great sum that the duties on the merchandise brought by the Chinese would be worth. For that reason Alcaraz neglected to do that, although it was so desirable, whence so great injuries have resulted. When he who is governing heeds the murmurs that may be raised against him, and consequently neglects to take the measures that are advisable and to which he is obliged, such troubles generally follow.

Returning to the case [under consideration], almost all the city urged the preparation of the fleet, and it even came to such a pass that injunctions and protests were served on him by means of the entire ecclesiastical estate. Innumerable difficulties were represented to Licentiate Alcaraz: one that there were many repairs to make in the fleet, which had come in quite bad shape; that it even lacked considerable of its sails and rigging, and what was left was rotten; that, as no ship had come from Nueva España that year, the royal treasury was considerably in debt, and had no money with which to prepare the fleet; that for the same reason the citizens could not [223] possibly loan what was needed; that most of the artillery was under suspicion, and it was necessary to recast it; and, above all, that if it did not succeed well the entire kingdom was about to be endangered.

While affairs were in that perplexity and confusion, the vessels that had gone out laden with the goods of the kingdom returned to port; for, as they had sailed late, they could not make the voyage. That is a matter that is never remedied, although by its neglect the people are so heavily punished. They had some artillery, more than one hundred and fifty sailors, and many passengers. That was very important, and it was a fine piece of luck that the enemy did not know it, for it would have been easy to capture them; for one of those vessels had discharged its cargo about twenty leguas from the enemy and transfered its goods overland to the city. The other went to a port at a distance from there, at an island called Cibuian.

At this same time, the Mindanaos who had remained with the other squadron of caracoas came to the coast of Manila, to a village called Balayan. The Mindanaos landed, and the inhabitants fled. They set fire to the village and to more than one thousand quintals of your Majesty’s rigging, through the fault and neglect of him who was governing. For although the master-of camp, Don Juan Ronquillo, had advised them—on account of the news that had come that the Mindanaos had burned the shipyard, and were pillaging—that fifty soldiers be sent to Balayan for its defense, and because the alcalde-mayor had sent to request it, they did not do so, but postponed it from day to day; and consequently the enemy was able to destroy that place. [224] But as the inhabitants were warned, as soon as they saw the Mindanaos coming, they had a chance to get into the place of safety that was being prepared for them. Our Lord ordained that, although they set fire to the rigging, little of it was burned; for God kept it for the preparation of the fleet, without which that would have been impossible.

At the news of the coming of the Mindanaos, two galleys were sent under one commander, in order to prevent the junction of the Moros with the Dutch, and to try to scatter them. Although the Mindanaos had thirty-five caracoas, that would have been done without any danger, as caracoas are vessels which can be sunk with only the oar of a galley. He went out to look for the Mindanaos; and as he left by night, because of the proximity of the Dutch, he was not perceived, and found the Mindanaos in the best position that could be desired. The Mindanaos were intent on, and desirous of, gaining honor, for they were stationed with all their fleet within a river called Baco in the island of Mindoro. The galleys having been stationed at the mouth of the river, it was impossible for even a single caracoa to escape. Consequently when the enemy learned that the galleys were there, they were disturbed, and let go their prize, and begged the captives to intercede for them. They were determined, on seeing the galleys, to desert their caracoas, and to go inland into the forests, where not one would have escaped. But the courage to undertake the most glorious enterprise (and one of importance for all the kingdom) that could be offered was lacking; and, turning about, the galleys went to another island, under pretense that there was a heavy wind, and that they did not dare enter until [225] it ceased, in order not to run the risk of losing a galley. However that withdrawal was not without profit, for they met one of the ships that had sailed for Nueva España from Manila, which was coming back to port; and had the latter not been warned it would have fallen into the hands of the Dutch, being ignorant that they were at the mouth of the bay. Thereupon, although the wind ceased at midnight, the galleys did not return until the afternoon of next day, and were told that, just as soon as the enemy heard that they were gone, they had very joyfully taken flight toward their country, and with so great fear, that they did not even wait for one another.

One would believe that our Lord was doing everything necessary for the preparation of the fleet in order to encourage them; for at the same time came news that the two ships despatched that year from Nueva España with the goods of the city and the reënforcements sent by the viceroy both in money and in men for Maluco, had been forced to put in at Japon in July because of the vendavals; and that the almiranta had been wrecked, although the goods and men had been saved. Having awaited favorable weather there, the commander (one Don Francisco de Serna) had come, and had arrived on the coast of Pangasinan, twenty leguas from where the Dutch were stationed. Being warned of the Dutch, the commander put into a port there, and with the help of the alcalde-mayor of that province they discharged the ship, removed the artillery, and fortified themselves with two hundred soldiers of the vessel, so that they could defend themselves if the Dutch heard of them. As quickly as possible they carried the silver and everything else to the city. The enemy [226] were advised of it, but at a time when everything was safe except the ship, which our men had to set afire, so that the enemy could not take it.

God was encouraging them in this way, and ordaining what was to be done; they appointed Master-of-camp Don Juan Ronquillo as commander, and he went immediately to the port to make effective the equipment of six galleons, for the others could not be made ready. Trustworthy persons were despatched in order that they might send what was necessary from the islands. In another direction, tests of the artillery were begun, and what burst was recast; and it all proved satisfactory, so that no piece turned out badly. All were encouraged—he who had means, to give what was needed, and all to go out to fight the enemy. The enemy, seeing that the season for the coming of the Chinese merchants had arrived, left the mouth of the bay, and went twenty leguas away to a port called Playa Honda, where all the Chinese ships come to make land, and where the other Dutchman who surrendered to Juan de Silva was pillaging in the year 1610. Thereupon, since the entrance of the bay was unoccupied, they sent for the almiranta, which had put in and had been unladed. It was brought to port, laden with the food that had been collected there for the purpose of being brought by the said ship if the enemy gave any opportunity for it, as they did. Everything resulted as we desired. The ship carried thirty pieces of artillery, with which they managed to equip it, for it did not have to be repaired. Seven galleons were made ready for sailing, and even the one that carried the least artillery numbered thirty large bronze pieces. Then captains and commanders were appointed for the [227] galleons, and each of the commanders was given the duty of directing and conveying the soldiers and inhabitants who were inclined to go with him; whereat each one labored to caress and attract not only his friends, but others also. The commanders were as follows: of the galleon “San Juan Bautista,” Admiral Pedro de Heredia; of the galleon “San Miguel,” Admiral Rodrigo de Vilastigui; of “San Felipe,” Captain Sebastian de Madrid; of “Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe,” Captain Juan Bautista de Molina; of “San Lorenço,” Captain Azevedo; and command of the galleon “San Marcos”—which was called the almiranta, as it had been with Don Juan de Silva in the expedition which he made to Malaca—was given to Don Juan de la Vega, son of Doctor Vega, auditor of the royal Audiencia. There were many disputes over his appointment as admiral, for many of the commanders to whom it was due claimed it, especially Don Diego Quiñones, who had been brought from Oton for that purpose, although he had not recovered from his musket-wound; also Hernando Muñoz de Aramburo (who had come as admiral of the caravels), and Francisco de la Serna—who had gone as commander of the ships, and at the restoration of the country was a very great soldier, who, with twenty gentlemen, served in that expedition at his own cost. Also for certain reasons, which I can not well recount, those captains were at odds, a mistake that caused much regret later, when there was no remedy. It is certain that no one would have escaped who would carry news of the enemy. Yet, so that it might not appear that they were shunning the opportunity, they offered their persons. Aramburu went as associate of the commander, being skilful [228] in war. Don Diego was given a galley and the title of quatralvo.11 Don Alonso Enriquez took another galley, with the title of commander [general]; Don Pedro de Almazan, another. The galleon “Salvador” was flagship, the best and largest galleon ever seen in the sea. It carried fifty large pieces of artillery, many of them of twenty-five and thirty libras’ caliber, but most of them of eighteen. The fleet left port on the eighth of April, in pursuit of the enemy. That afternoon, which was Saturday, it anchored at the mouth of the bay in order to ascertain the location of the enemy. They had heard already that the enemy had plundered many Chinese and had filled their ships with great riches. It was ascertained from a spy, who was the one who sent advices of what the enemy was doing, that two ships were six leguas from there, and the rest at Playa Honda. That report was false, and was the reason why the most fortunate victory that could be desired was not obtained without bloodshed, and without any one escaping, as will be seen in this relation. On receiving this news the commander began to trim his sails, in order to reach the two ships by dawn. But finding nothing, he passed on to Playa Honda, where he arrived late, more than two hours after the sun had risen. Had the spy not deceived them, they would have reached the four of the enemy’s ships at dawn, and the commander with most of his men could have slept on shore, entertaining guests with the booty that had fallen into his hands. But when they sighted our fleet, they were able to get aboard their vessels and to join the other two, which were coming with two more very rich Chinese prize ships. They [229] spread their sails and went away together, and the fleets did no more that day than to watch one another, but our fleet always kept very close to, and did not lose sight of, the enemy. Next morning, Friday, our fleet came up scattered, either because of their inability to follow the flagship, or through the fault of the pilots. What is the most certain thing is that faults are not investigated in the islands, nor are they punished. Because there was no almiranta to collect the vessels, the flagship, the “San Miguel,” and the “San Juan Bautista” were very near the enemy, while the others were more than three leguas to leeward. The enemy tried to improve the opportunity, and determined to grapple our flagship with all their fleet, which they had carefully collected—thinking that if it surrendered the war would be ended; for they thought that ship alone carried force, and that the others could only be carrying the pretense of it. The enemy worked to get to windward of our fleet, and our flagship, which was an excellent sailer, did the same; but on tacking, the latter threw a rope to the galley of Don Alonso Enriquez and towed it a short distance. That allowed the enemy time to get to windward, and they came down upon our fleet to attack it in the following order: their flagship came first and then the other vessels, the bow of one right against the stern of the other. Although they could have raked the “San Juan Bautista,” which was astern of the flagship, or have borne down upon the “San Miguel,” which lay to leeward, they cared only to defeat the flagship. Since our ships could not get to windward, they passed it very closely, each ship raking it. But our flagship was not asleep, and kept replying in such a way [230] that, although the enemy’s vessels came so close together, so great haste was made that it gave each ship a full broadside volley from that side, namely with twenty-five pieces. With that they were so crippled that they did not dare return the fire, and so gained nothing. That night the enemy held a council of war, as some prisoners reported. All advised flight, as they had been surprised by our flagship. But their commander assured them that there was nothing to fear, and that the flagship had all the force, and he dared to defeat it. Don Juan Ronquillo collected his fleet that night and sent an order by the galley of Don Diego de Quiñones for each vessel to grapple with the one that fell to its lot, and for the “San Lorenço” to act as a reserve in order to help the most needy. Next morning, Saturday, April 15, our fleet bore down upon the enemy and succeeded in getting to windward of it. Don Diego de Quiñones went with his galley to tell the commander that he was waiting to attack the enemy. The commander gave the same order, and also to leave the enemy’s flagship for him. Invoking our Lady of the most pure Conception, whom they had taken as patroness of that undertaking on their departure, they attacked the enemy. The Dutch were confident, when they were aware of the dash of the Spaniards, that our men would board their ships when they grappled. Accordingly they prepared for it by so many stratagems that all who boarded would be killed; but Don Juan Ronquillo, taking precautions against that, issued an order for no one to board until the galleon with which he was fighting had surrendered. That order was obeyed; and our flagship grappled its adversary, and although almost all the [231] latter’s crew were killed it refused to surrender. Finally it was reduced to such a condition that it began to roll violently, a sign that it was sinking, whereupon our flagship drew apart from it, and it went to the bottom. The commander and several who were left alive got into their small boat and escaped. It was said that the ship contained great wealth that had been pillaged along the coast of India, and the best that they had pillaged from the Chinese. That galleon was called “Sol Nuevo de Olanda” [i.e., “New Sun of Holland”], and it set very wretchedly for them that day. Captain Juan Bautista de Molina was the first to grapple another galleon, and the galley of Don Diego went to his aid. It had already surrendered, and the Dutch had been made prisoners, when another galleon, all on fire, bore down upon two galleons with which Rodrigo de Guillastegui had fought. It set fire to one of them, and it bore down ablaze upon the one defeated by Captain Molina, so that he was forced to ungrapple. Those two burning vessels bore down upon that of the Dutch admiral, with whom Pedro de Heredia had grappled, and whom he had already defeated and most of whose crew he had killed. When he saw the two burning galleons bearing down upon them, they threw off the grapples and separated. Consequently the admiral had opportunity to escape, but in so bad a condition that his vessel sank next day, according to the report of some Indians and Chinese who saw it. Captain Sebastian de Madrid, on going to grapple with another galleon, was killed by a musket-ball; and when his vessel was about to grapple, Don Juan de la Vega, with the galleon “San Marcos,” came between. Those [232] aboard the “San Felipe” thought that he would grapple, but he made for the open sea, whereupon they on seeing it went after him. Captain Azevedo grappled the other galleon, and after fighting gallantly, the grapples were thrown off, whereupon both Dutch galleons took the opportunity to escape. That battle was the most bloody ever seen, for all had come with the determination to die rather than surrender, and they did so. “San Felipe,” “San Juan Bautista,” and “San Marcos” went in pursuit of the three galleons of the enemy; but since flight has so many advantages to the one escaping, the enemy threw overboard all their cargo into that sea, and, their sails being wet, the sea became narrow for them, notwithstanding it was so wide; and when dark night came, they changed their route and our ships lost sight of them. Thereupon the “San Juan Bautista,” the “San Felipe,” and the “San Marcos” changed their course, and returned two days later for the evil result that disturbed that victory.

The commander determined to return to Manila, for their drinking-water was gone, and the galleon “San Miguel” was leaking badly, and they were unable to overcome the leak at the pumps, while the galleon of Pedro de Heredia arrived at the mouth of the bay in very bad condition. Next day two other galleons belonging to the enemy, which had not been present during the battle, reached the place where it had been fought. They had a Japanese prize-ship, laden with flour. Ignorant of the past event, they spied the “San Marcos” coming. One of them went to reconnoiter the latter, and upon seeing that it was our vessel went to advise its companion. Both bore down upon our vessel, whereupon it turned its course [233] to the shore. For reasons known to its commander—and I think because he was mainly influenced by cowardly advisers—the ship was run aground and burned, so near the enemy that the latter flung at them innumerable insults. The largest galleon of the fleet, next to the flagship, was lost. It had thirty-six large pieces of artillery, most of which have been taken out of it. The commander was arrested, as well as his associates Captains Pedro de Ermura and Salvador de Oñate. The most notable thing is that that galleon was lost on the very day of St. Mark, by whose intercession Don Juan de Silva had obtained the last victory.

Don Juan Ronquillo heard of the disaster of Don Juan de la Vega, and set out in pursuit of the enemy. He was unable, however, to overtake them, for a Dutch lad aboard the “San Marcos” escaped by swimming and went to the enemy, to whom he related what was happening. Thereupon the Dutch returned to Japon, laden with spoils.

Some have doubted whether the enemy had ten galleons, since only six fought, besides the two above mentioned, [and ask] what became of them. I answer that doubt by saying that one fled on the day of battle, and refused to fight, for which reason its captain was hanged at Maluco. The Dutch commander sent the other vessel back with the wounded and some sick men, as soon as the engagement with Don Diego de Quiñones had happened, chiefly because that galleon was leaking badly.

Captain Molina carried a carved image of our Lady in the galleon “Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe.” It was kept in a little wooden tabernacle. An eighteen-libra ball entered one of the ports, struck [234] the tabernacle of the image, and knocked it into a thousand splinters. I saw the latter and the ball with my own eyes. But the image remained on its base, and not a hair of it was touched, which was obviously a miracle.

Pedro de Heredia was carrying another picture of our Lady, painted on a board beside a crucifix, on the galleon “San Bautista.” Another ball of twelve libras entered and struck it on the breast, without doing it other harm than that the gold with which the drapery had been made stuck to the ball, which fell there at her feet, while the board was unbroken. I certify to that, for I saw it.

An artilleryman went below decks to apply fire to a piece with which he had fired several shots. He applied the fire to it three times, although on similar occasions it was wont to catch without that, but it would not go off. The artilleryman was surprised and approaching to ascertain what was the matter found the piece open. Had it taken fire, it would have caused a very great disaster, and perhaps have burned the ship. Whence one could clearly see that the Virgin, our Lady, was not slothful on that occasion. Neither was the city of Manila slothful, for they carried our Lady of Guidance, which is outside the walls, in solemn procession to the cathedral, whose advocacy is of the immaculate conception; and all the people confessed and took communion. Having exposed the most holy sacrament, all accompanied it during all those days, making many prayers to God and to His blessed mother, which were also answered. May He be blessed forever. Amen. [235]

Part Second, Which Treats of the Importance of the Filipinas and of the Means for Preserving Them

Chapter I. Of the importance to your Majesty of preserving that country.

For many reasons, which those who do not possess thorough information in regard to the Filipinas ignore, but which show how important to your Majesty is the preservation and increase of those islands, I shall insert them here as clearly as possible.

The first is the increase and extension of the holy gospel and the glory and honor of God, which is so incumbent upon your Majesty—in the first place, because your Majesty has inherited from your blessed father and glorious ancestors this pious and holy zeal for spreading and extending the holy Catholic faith, by reason of which your Majesty enjoys the wealth of the Indias; in the second place, because it is so suitable to the greatness of your Majesty’s sovereignty and your reputation. For to leave this work when begun would be a great scandal before the world, and the occasion of much complaint to all its nations—and especially to the heretics, who would say that your Majesty was influenced not by the glory of God, nor the preservation of the Indias, but by private interest, since where you had not that you allowed Christianity to perish.

The second concerns the peace of your royal conscience, if you should not preserve those islands while possible.

The third is for causes of state; for it would amount to giving your enemies arms and forces against your Majesty, and encourage others to the same enmity who are envious of your Majesty’s greatness. [236] It may well be inferred that since the enemy are attempting this with so great expense and labors, they have understood its importance to themselves. The possibility of this can be easily understood, for they could not persevere so long with their own forces only, if they were not privily incited by the secret enemies of your Majesty, and those who are envious and fearful of your greatness—who clearly recognize that, if they could possess that archipelago without opposition, it would be worth more to them than eight millions clear (as I will demonstrate to whomsoever may be curious or may desire to know it), through the profit which they can make in spices, drugs, and the trade with Great China, Japon, and the neighboring countries.

The fourth is, because straightway the whole of Portuguese India would be infallibly lost; and, if it is not lost, it is because we so harass the enemy from Filipinas that they need all their forces in order not to lose what they hold.

The fifth is the knowledge (as is evident) of the immense wealth which lies in the Filipinas, as I shall explain further in this treatise, and which hitherto has been unrecognized.

The sixth would be the loss of the most convenient and important post which your Majesty holds in all his kingdoms, not only for the extension of the holy gospel in so many kingdoms of idol-worshipers who are capable of receiving it, but, as these are in the neighborhood of the Filipinas, the hope, consequently, of enjoying the immense wealth which they possess through their trade and commerce—not to mention the risk which is incurred by the Western Indias through the South Sea. [237]

Chapter II. Wherein those are answered who believe that the Filipinas should be abandoned, or traded to the crown of Portugal for Brazil.

The lack of knowledge regarding the Filipinas and the gains which may be obtained with them has been the cause for many of the servants of your Majesty, and other prominent persons, having a poor opinion of them. Accordingly it has seemed to such persons more expedient to be rid of those islands, and to others that they should be exchanged with the crown of Portugal for Brazil. All the reasons which they give for this may be reduced to five: The first is that there is a drain upon your Majesty’s royal patrimony for their maintenance, and you derive no profit. The second is to avoid the flow, through that method of maintaining them, of silver from Nueva España to Great China, by cutting off commerce with the latter country. The third is on account of the troops that are there consumed. The fourth is that since your Majesty is in such straits it is expedient to attend first to the relief most necessary, which is that of affairs here; and since you cannot attend to all, it is compulsory to abandon that country. Finally, your Majesty’s dominions are widely separated, and cannot be preserved except by withdrawing from those which are least necessary, for power united is the stronger. Or it is argued that, even though it be expedient to maintain the Filipinas, the commerce should be changed from Nueva España to these kingdoms, and ships should be sent from the city of Sevilla to the Filipinas, as is done from Portugal to eastern India; and that for this trade the ships should be laden with merchandise from this country [i.e., España], and in exchange for [238] that should bring back the wealth of Great China and those regions.

In answer to the first, your Majesty expends much in the preservation of that country, it is true; but the objectors do not consider that those expenditures which are made are not for the purpose of preserving the Filipinas—at least since Don Pedro de Acuña, your governor, won the islands of Maluco, where cloves are obtained; for since that time the expense has been to maintain the war against the Dutch, who have been fortifying and making themselves masters there, and because we did not understand here, in the beginning and later, how important it would be to spend what was necessary to drive them out once for all, and to secure those regions. This has been the cause of spending so much in reënforcements, which have not served, and do not serve, more than to keep the forts which your Majesty holds in the islands of Terrenate and Tidore, and the friendship of the king of Tidore; and this is the cause of the expenses which your Majesty makes in the Filipinas, while the Dutch are taking away almost all the profits—although it is true that, if your Majesty had had ministers there zealous in your service, you might have obtained profit enough to maintain those forts without drawing upon your royal exchequer. The same thing could be done at any time when you wish, but the means for this are not at hand, and accordingly I defer them. If your Majesty should wish to know them, I will inform you of them. From this it may be concluded that the Filipinas are not the cause of these expenditures; and those which were made there before that time (as will be explained later, by themselves) exceeded the support with which [239] your Majesty maintained the islands. This was done by the kings, your Majesty’s father and grandfather, for two reasons: in the first place, by their aiming at the glory of God and the spread of His holy gospel, since they enjoyed the title of patrons of the church, upon whom it would seem this obligation rests; in the second place, on account of the favorable situation of that post for obtaining from it more wealth than from all the rest of the Indias—and if this has not hitherto been enjoyed the blame is not upon the country, but, for reasons which cannot be here set down, upon those who have governed it.

To the second reason—that, as they say, much silver passes to the Filipinas and does not come to España—it may be answered that the fact is that, to obviate this difficulty, your Majesty has ordered that the citizens of the Filipinas Islands, in order to support themselves, be permitted, in return for the merchandise which they send to Nueva España, to have sent back to them 500U [i.e., 500,000] pesos of eight reals; and in the course of this, it is said, a much greater quantity passes. As it is an easy thing to increase the zeros in an account, in this manner they have increased it more than double and triple, basing their figures on what was written to this court by an auditor of the Filipinas, who was alleging services so that favors might be granted to him. He said that when he was going from Nueva España as commander, and the capitana in which he sailed was wrecked, he had placed the commercial silver in a place of safety, and there were three millions of it. The truth is that he exaggerated this to enhance the value of his service, increasing the sum by more than half; for from us, who were there, this matter could [240] not be concealed, and there has never passed so much silver as in that year. If this service was placed at such figures, it deserved a heavy punishment, and not the reward which he seeks. Since that time it is true that as much more passes, to Filipinas, by the permission which your Majesty gives. The causes of this excess are two. In the first place, the necessity of the citizens, who are unable to support themselves with so small a quantity, or to gain profit in trade; since, if there are no more than five hundred [thousand pesos] they need all which is sent them for their living alone. Accordingly, even at a great cost to themselves, they seek means to get profits from their property. The limitation of this permission entails a difficulty which I have mentioned; for in the first place measures must be taken to enrich them, since it is of so great importance to kings that their subjects should be rich, while the poverty of the latter causes such diminution of their power. If this reason holds in all the kingdoms of your Majesty, it does so much more in that one which is so distant, where, when necessary, they lend to the royal treasury on occasions of need—as they did last year to Don Alonso Faxardo de Tença, your governor, whom they lent 200U ducados to lead an army against the Dutch, and likewise their slaves to man four galleys. They have done this same thing on other occasions, and expose their persons in war and lose their lives, as many of the best men of that city have done—their misfortune lying in this, that they were so far distant from the royal eyes of your Majesty, wherefore their services are not conspicuous.

In the second place, there is the greediness of the merchants from Mexico, to whom the greater part [241] of this silver which passes to the Filipinas belongs; if this could be remedied, the difficulty of so much outflow of silver as is reported would be obviated. But the remedy is not to send thither judges and guards who are not to allow it to pass; for on the contrary, as our experience shows, they go to enrich themselves by the salaries which your Majesty gives them, and the profit which they there make. For in all countries ill-gained wealth is thus christened. The silver which goes there is of no less value to the royal exchequer than that which comes here, since the investment of it pays no fewer duties, but more; and at least it comes finally into the hands of our friends, and is not like that which comes to España—which for the most part is enjoyed by the enemies of your Majesty; and the fleets go more heavily laden with the enemy’s property than with that of your vassals.

The merchants of Sevilla complain that the trade with China has been destroyed by the Indias, but they do not understand the cause of its ruin. The Marquis de Montesclaros, who governed Nueva España and Piru, and understood this matter very well (as he did many things), wrote your Majesty a letter from the Indias, which is in your royal Council, where he says with clear and evident arguments: “But what strikes me is, that as the commonest and most universal means of working the mines is quicksilver, this loss is caused by giving that metal at so high a price to the miners. For in the first place, as most of them are poor, they cannot buy it, and therefore a great deal of metal is left unworked; and in the second place, because those who are able to buy it cannot work poor mines (for they would be ruined [242] thereby), and as the greater part of those in the Indias are of this kind, double the amount of silver [obtained] is left unmined. If your Majesty would order the quicksilver to be given at cost and expenses, it would be of incomparably more profit than today; and the Indias would be in a better condition, more merchandise would be bought, the duties would increase, and the merchants would not feel the want of the silver which goes to the Filipinas—as they did not feel it in times past, although there came much more merchandise from there than at present. I would that there were so great an abundance of quicksilver in the Indias, and so cheap, that it could be bought, not only by the miners, but by other Spaniards and Indians, who would then have so much silver that their complaints would cease.”

If the trade were transferred to España, those who say that the merchandise from this country would be carried to Filipinas, to be exchanged for the goods of that country, are not aware that in those regions there is no one to use Spanish goods except the Spaniards, who with four pipas of wine, and other wares of little importance, would be quite sufficiently supplied; and that, if this were so, the Portuguese and Dutch would take the merchandise away, for nothing escapes their notice. Both of these take silver, and whatever else they take is of small importance; so that it would soon be necessary, in order to maintain the trade, to carry silver from España and risk it again. It is less trouble to carry it from the Indias, beside the incomparably greater risk from the sea and from enemies [by the other route]; and Nueva España would be ruined.

To the third reason, in which they say that many [243] troops are used up, I would say that it is true that there go each year sometimes two hundred men, and other years less, and again none at all; and of these more die from their excesses than from the war, and they do not count those who return and go through India and other regions. If those islands were to be abandoned on account of this difficulty, the same reason holds in Flandes and Italia, which use up more men in one campaign than do the Filipinas in twenty years.

To the fourth, that because your Majesty is so hard pressed he needs must attend to matters here, etc., we could say that it is in no wise expedient that your Majesty should abandon that country, on account of the dependence of all the Indias upon it; because if the Dutch possessed themselves of that archipelago (which they are attempting to do), they would draw from it resources sufficient to destroy the Indias—not only by the power which they have, but also through the opportunity of keeping an open port in those regions where your Majesty could not defend himself without spending much more than the profits of the Indias. For that reason it is necessary to preserve that country, as well as all the rest; for your Majesty is under expense for the same reason in preserving Habana, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, Jamayca, Florida, and the whole continent, without securing profit, merely on account of the damage which enemies could inflict upon the Indias. Not alone for this reason are the Filipinas important to your Majesty, but for another of no less consequence, and which these countries do not have, namely, the great profits which can be drawn from them.

To the fifth I say that although this maxim, that [244] united forces are stronger, is usually true, yet there are occasions when this union consists not alone in compressing them, but in conserving the parts of which the whole is composed, although these are distant from one another, as are those which your Majesty possesses in his monarchy. At first, when the Filipinas were discovered, this might have been done without any harm while that country was new and strange, unknown to the nations of Europe, uncultivated and in disorder. No one desired it until Filipo Second of blessed memory brought it to notice; and at that time, even if it had been abandoned, there was no one who coveted it; but now that the great wealth contained in it is well known, all are desirous of it, and are trying to take it from your Majesty, so that they may thereby carry on their war. This was well considered by the exceedingly prudent grandfather of your Majesty; for he considered not only the service which he was doing to our Lord God, by spreading His Catholic faith and bringing so many souls to recognize Him, but likewise that, at the rate at which it was growing, it would increase for his posterity with greater magnificence. He told those who were persuading him to abandon it that, if the silver of the Indias was not enough, he would send what was needed from España. For if your Majesty possesses the Indias with so honorable a warrant as that of the Catholic church for the purpose of converting souls, and there has been and is being taken so much wealth from the Indias, where your reputation and royal conscience are to such an extent engaged, what reason can be so pressing that you should not attempt with great care and energy the preservation of that country, where the obligation of [245] your Majesty is so pressing? And what excuse would your Majesty have before the Divine Majesty for not aiding it in time, if for this reason so many millions of souls should retrograde from the faith? Then, too, consider the great multitude who, it is hoped, will come to the knowledge of the true God, in whose hand, as David says: Domini est terra, et plenitudo eius, orbis terrarum, et omnes qui habitant in eo.12 Who but He gives kingdoms and monarchies? for how could He be under greater obligation—if there is any way in which to oblige Him from whom nothing is due—than to procure His own greater honor and glory in the salvation of souls, which cost him so much? For these services are paid for, both here and in heaven, bountifully, and the holy Scriptures are full of examples to this effect. How many blessings did He shower upon Obededon for preserving the ark of the testament, and what favors has the most fortunate house of Austria13 received from His hand, which was presaged in that manna which was once sent! God is very generous, and knows well how to further the affairs of him who charges himself with His; but as for those who, on the contrary, put temporal good before His service, what success can they hope in this? I might well cite many examples which I do not, that I may not pass the bounds of my memoir.

Although some give as an example the king of Great China, who abandoned many kingdoms of which he was the lord in order to preserve his own, [246] this is not suited to your Majesty’s position; for Great China is very extensive and holds as many people as eight Españas, and its king has one hundred and fifty millions of revenue, or even more, and is made thoroughly secure by nature and art. What he abandoned, moreover, was not taken from him, nor was there any risk of putting himself in a position to make enemies—although where these reasons are present, those who advised this are right.

Chapter III. How the city of Manila at present bears the burden of all this structure.

I have already explained how the city of Manila is like the center of a circle, whose circumference includes all the kingdoms mentioned. It remains to explain how it maintains this structure and bears the whole burden of it.

In the first place, it maintains the war of Maluco and feeds it with troops, supplies, and munitions continually, a thing which Portuguese India could not do. I argue the matter thus, that I may not seem to be actuated only by affection for my own country, instead of making a just estimate. It must be considered that people cannot go to Maluco from India more than once a year, on account of the weather; this is well known to all those who sail on those seas. From Manila the voyage can be made almost the whole year; whence it follows that Maluco could not be reënforced so conveniently [if the Filipinas were abandoned], especially in cases of great need.

Item: They cannot so well send news [to India as to Manila], or receive advices, of the difficulties in which they find themselves, in order to seek aid; for they are very far away and there is no favorable [247] weather except during a certain monsoon of the year in order to go to India, and still less to come from there.

Item: On account of the lack of available funds in India, for it is well known that that country is quite exhausted; and news is coming continually to Manila from, Maluco, for information comes and aid is sent in a fortnight or less. Likewise on account of the abundance [in Filipinas] of provisions and other necessary things with which your Majesty provides them.

Item: Because, beside the garrisons of troops which your Majesty has in Maluco, you have ships of war which molest the enemies. It is necessary, for the profit that they obtain, that they should not buy14 cheaply, since they have to maintain, for the safety of the trade, a number of fortresses and armed ships on account of the Spaniards of the Filipinas; but, if the latter were not there, there would be no enemy to cause them anxiety, nor occasion for expense.

Item: Because the trade from Manila with Great China prevents the Chinese from trading freely with the Dutch; but if they could do so, it would induce the former to drain from their country great quantities of merchandise, in order to satisfy their greed.

Item: The check and apprehension which is imposed on the enemy lest they extend their navigation farther, for fear of encountering our people; accordingly they do not sail on those seas excepting with great caution.

Item: In the city of Manila is a concourse and [248] traffic between many nations, by whom it is supported—which proves how important it is to maintain it for the greatness and reputation of your Majesty, with all those nations and with all the world. For they see with how few vassals you subject and make so many nations tremble, with the aid of God, who protects them surrounded by so many enemies as you have, even within the gates; and yet they live in as much security, but not heedlessness, as if there were no enemy.

Chapter IV. Explains the error which is generally prevalent that the money for the reënforcements which your Majesty sends to the Filipinas, and other things, is spent for their maintenance; and of the resources which they possess available (if it were not for Maluco) for their own maintenance.

Since your Majesty sent an order and command to Don Pedro de Acuña to go with a force of troops to recover Maluco, which the Portuguese had lost, all the reënforcements of money, troops, and munitions which have since been raised here are spent in maintaining the forts of Maluco; and the great quantity that Don Juan de Silva expended was in the expeditions which he made. Not only has this been spent, but Manila and all the islands are today almost ruined because of this, besides the embarrassment in which that placed your royal treasury, so that if it had to pay what is due to the Indians, excluding what it owes the citizens, that would be more than two millions. If it had not these calls upon its revenues, there would be enough to maintain it without your Majesty expending any more than the profits which he obtains from the islands, as [249] may be seen by what follows, which is copied from the royal books of the royal accountancy with all fidelity.

There are assigned to the royal crown tributes amounting to 36U516 and a half, of which 28U483 and a half of 8 reals are collected. The rest, amounting to 5U033 of 10 reals, which is the province of Ylocos, amounts to 39U807
There are in all the islands 130U939 tributarios in encomiendas, and those under the crown pay your Majesty two reals of income 32U734
The tenths of gold are worth 2U000
The tenths on herds of cattle 2U500
The customs duties from the Chinese at six per cent on merchandise 80U000
Licenses imposed by Don Juan de Silva on every Chinaman who remains in the country, at 8 pesos 80U000
Duties on cloth belonging to citizens, which is brought in the ships from Mexico. 2U500
Customs duties on ships that go to Mexico sent by citizens of Manila, at three per cent of the merchandise 12U000
Other items, 4U pesos 4U000
Total amount 255U541

In this way your Majesty has, from year to year, a little more or less than two hundred and fifty thousand reals of eight, and in this there are included neither the freight charges of the ships which go to [250] Nueva España, amounting to more than 30U pesos, nor the twelve per cent paid there on the merchandise which is sent, because this enters into the royal treasury of Mexico. The expenses which your Majesty has in these islands are not so great that, if it were not necessary to furnish support for the war in Maluco with the Dutch, there would not be rather some surplus than a deficit; and you could well maintain four galleons and six galleys for its protection and defense.

Chapter V. That your Majesty possesses in the Filipinas enormous wealth, even with the little effort made to realize it.

What most discourages many servants of your Majesty, and even prevents others who are striving to forward your royal service from giving credence to great things, has been the incredulity which they display regarding the greatness of the Indias. This has been true since the first discoverers, as is well known. For not only are we to believe that the Holy Ghost gave them that impulse to persevere in their intention—even if that were not (which ought not to be believed) the glory of God and the saving of souls—but our Lord, who sought by this means to accomplish His work, gave them so great perseverance and fortitude in breaking through the midst of so many difficulties and so much opposition and so many hard rebuffs that, indeed, if one look upon and read the history of the Indias, it would seem that men would be unable to suffer so much. But God would encourage them, for whose cause they persevered in their projects, bringing so great increase of grandeur to the kings of España. Although [251] since that time some, more desirous of wealth and honor than moved by God, have tried to imitate those discoverers, and have had ill success, they ought not all for this reason to be condemned and reproved without first examining their intentions and objects, and the real nature of the affairs which they are conducting.

I have said this briefly, for in what I wish to say I think there will be many of this sort mentioned; and, just as it is imprudent to believe all, it would be going to the other extreme to give credit to no one.

In the Filipinas Islands, in so far as I have been able to learn (and I consider it certain), your Majesty has, without going to conquer foreign kingdoms, the greatest wealth which has been found in the Indias;15 and I base this upon these arguments, for in all those islands it is well known and established.

After the Spaniards founded the city of Manila and reduced that island to peace, they learned that in some mountainous regions which lie about forty leguas from the city, in the province of Pangasinan, there were many mines of gold, according to the information which the Indians gave them; but that they were inhabited by warlike and barbarous Indians, [252] who never permitted those of the plains to go up there. This was known because they came down at certain times of the year to buy a quantity of cattle, and brought a great deal of gold. On this information, although it was somewhat indefinite, Guido de Labaçares, who governed at that time, sent a number of soldiers to climb up the mountain.16 These, being unprovided with necessities, and fewer in number than were needed, encountered much resistance from the natives. As the country is rough, and their food soon failed them, they went back, many of them ill. Although they brought some information, it was not sufficient to encourage the governor or to cause him again to further the enterprise. Therefore, little by little, this knowledge was fading away among the Spaniards, notwithstanding that the religious who ministered in the neighboring provinces were well informed, and certain Indians told them of it. Accordingly, considering the host of vexations, injuries, and losses, and the diminution of numbers that are suffered by the Indians in all the Western Indias on account of the labor in the mines, the Order of St. Dominic especially, who administer the province of Pangasinan, have tried with all their might to cover up this information, on account of this fear which possesses them.

Many years ago I learned something of this, but I sided with the others who gave little credit to it, owing to the little knowledge that we had. But as time is a great discloser of secrets, while I was discussing with some religious the difficulties of the future which the kings of España, the successors of your Majesty, must meet in maintaining this country [253] if there were in the country itself no wealth or sources of profit which would oblige them to do so, I succeeded in securing a great deal of information concerning the wealth which is there. Particularly, he who is now archbishop17 told me that a religious of St. Dominic—the vicar of a village named Vinalatonga, who was named Fray Jasinto Palao, and who at that time had come from Luzón to this kingdom [i.e., España]—had shown him some rocks which an Indian had brought him from a mine, and which appeared extraordinarily rich, beyond anything that had been seen. But he enjoined the bishop to secrecy, because he himself had heard it in the same manner. I, who desired the preservation of that country, took occasion to make friends with that religious, in order to inform myself the better under pretence of curiosity. I asked him to tell me what he knew of those mines, whereupon that religious (who was already en route for the return to the islands) told me that what he had said was true; and further he said: “No one knows as much about those mines as I, because some Indians came down from the mountains and I entertained them. They told me that there was a great deal of gold up there, and that of what they took from the mines, half the ore was gold.” And he said that when one of them, who was already somewhat versed in our tongue, saw reals of eight, he said to him: “We have much of this metal there, Father, much in the mines; but Indian wants nothing besides gold.” I conferred with the bishop of Nueva Segovia (as that province falls under his jurisdiction), who was Don Fray Diego de Soria, a Dominican, and with another religious, [254] the provincial of the same order, named Fray Bernardo de Santa Catalina, in regard to this matter; and I gave them so many arguments to incline them to my plan that they were brought to my way of thinking. The most convincing argument which I used was to persuade them that the same reason did not hold there as in Nueva España and Piru, for ill-treating the Indians; for there are so many Chinese who are raising their hands to God to find something to work at—as many as are necessary, as was well known by them. Thereupon they told me all the information that they had for certain from various Indians—not only from the Christians, some of whom had gone up peacefully to trade, but likewise from those from above who came down to the province. The bishop certified that there was the greatest wealth in the world; and that they had brought him from one hill a little red earth, of which the whole hill is composed, which was as much as they could put upon a silver platter. They washed it, in his presence, and took out seven taes of gold, which amount to forty-four castellanos.18 He asserted that in every part of the hill the earth was all of this richness. With all this information I went to Don Juan de Silva and told him what had happened, and how I had pacified the friars. He agreed that we should go and discover it and said that he would go in person when he finished that expedition. He was overtaken by death, as has been said, and accordingly [255] the matter has remained in this condition. And even if there were not in these mountains the wealth of which we are told, it seems that the obligation to pacify these Indians exists, and that the holy gospel ought to be preached to them—in the first place, because your Majesty has undertaken so just and holy an enterprise; and second, because they are in the same island [with our Spaniards]. It is a shame that, being in the neighborhood of Manila, they do not enjoy the blessing that the others do. Beside this, there is the fact that these as well as their neighbors will not allow other people to trade in their territory; by the law of nations, therefore, the Spaniards have a right of action.

The ease and little cost connected with this enterprise are such that if the governor would send a single person suitable for it, with two hundred soldiers from the garrison of Manila, and levy a thousand Indians from the two provinces to help them and transport the supplies, they would subdue those savages without difficulty, if the man who does it is prudent and has ambition to make the enterprise a success. This is not the place to discuss the other measures and affairs in detail; but if your Majesty should be pleased to have this done, I offer to give information of all that is necessary to provide, and to solve any doubts that may arise. I protest before the divine Majesty that I am not moved by covetousness, nor by desire that your Majesty should grant me any favor for this, nor am I trying to secure favors by this means; but I am only seeking the glory of God, the service of your Majesty, and the welfare of that land. [256]

Chapter VI. Of the persons who are needed in the government of the Filipinas.

One (and the most important) of the matters which are necessary for the preservation and growth of that kingdom—whereon depends, as it were, the attainment of its object—is that the governors should be such men as are suitable for that post, and have the requisite qualifications demanded by that government. As so few have hitherto gone there who are thus qualified, the hindrance to the growth of that country has been much more than can be understood here.

For thirty years I have been a resident in the Filipinas, and have not seen one governor such as was needed there, excepting Gomez Perez de las Marinas, who improved and bettered that land in only the three years during which he governed, more than all together who had gone before or have come since have done. The reason for this is, that those who have succeeded since that time either had not had experience in government, or did not possess the divine gift which is necessary for this so delicate task. Over there, although a soldier is needed who understands matters of war and knows how to regulate and direct them as they should be, yet he should be receptive of instruction; and he would learn much more there through the counsel of those who have broad experience, and through what experience can teach him, than through any knowledge that they can carry from here. This is the reason why matters there are very different from those in this kingdom, as if we were speaking of different species—not only of people and of their opinions, but of their modes of life and their natures. From [257] this it has resulted that those who have undertaken to conduct affairs by the rules current here have committed irremediable blunders. But the principal thing which is necessary there is that he should be a good public man, for the basis and fundamental need is good government, and efforts for the increase of the land, and directing all one’s care toward its welfare, according good treatment to the citizens, showing kindness to foreigners, and attracting and winning the affections of all. Great care should be taken to despatch the ships from Nueva España promptly, and with proper supplies. All the people should be encouraged to go to trade with the neighboring countries, to build vessels, to extend their interests, and to bring wealth from those lands. They should be not only governors, but fathers and protectors of the Indians. This land, I assure you in all truth, if it had been thus governed, would be the best and richest in the world, and your Majesty would possess many sources of profit. Thus all the misfortunes and losses of property that have occurred there (which have been very great), have resulted by reason of and through the fault of those who have governed it, without any one thus far having been punished or his residencia taken thereon. If Gomez Perez was successful, it was because he already had had experience in governing, and had been corregidor many times, in which capacity he was obliged to consider not only affairs of government but also those of war. Above all, he was a very good Christian and desirous of doing right, which is the basis on which is founded all that is good. Accordingly, at his death, that country lost the special character that he had given it; but his memory will endure for many years in that city, [258] as that of the father of the country. About the city of Manila he built a wall of great strength, fortified it, cast artillery, and performed many other works with no ado, nor cost to your Majesty. He took to Maluco the choicest fleet which has ever been collected in the Indias, without having used for it the thousands from Mexico which your Majesty has ordered to be carried to other governors; and all this he did by his prudent plans and energetic action. Hence may be seen the importance of sending a governor there who is possessed of the traits that I have mentioned; for, besides so many advantages and good results as he can secure, and the evils which he can obviate, he will be able to save for your Majesty many ducados. Indeed, if the money which could have been dispensed with this year had been saved, your Majesty would be able to accomplish many military works and gain much wealth. And since your Majesty entrusts to him more than to all the other governors of the Indias, it is right that you should seek more carefully for such a man in that place than for any of the others; since not alone does your Majesty entrust him with a kingdom, but with your reputation and renown, which among so many different nations is only known through your governors for your Majesty. I even dare to say that hence also comes their knowledge of God. For to him is principally confided the honor of God and the conversion of so many souls, since we have seen so plainly how important is his good example; and, on the other hand, he will abolish evil and scandal not only there, but that which is spreading in Great China and other nations. They believe that our king is such a one as they see reflected in him who represents him. [259] What is still more to be deplored is that, within the last few years, there has arisen blasphemy against God and derision of your Majesty among those infidels, on this account. So great is the importance of your Majesty sending a person such as I have here described; for those who have not these qualities will destroy rather than build.

Chapter VII. Of the measures which should be chosen for the growth and preservation of that kingdom.

The first thing which offers under this heading is the consideration of the matters pertaining to the war with the Dutch, which is the basal and fundamental question for all the rest; for the enemy is making such efforts and using so many measures to get control of that archipelago, and drive out the Spaniards.

Three ways and means present themselves to the mind, beside which I find no other one, although I have considered it well.

The first, if it be possible for your Majesty, is to manage to have an armed fleet sent. If, when Don Alonso Faxardo was already your governor, he had taken the one which had been made ready, the time was opportune so that he could have driven out the enemy from their posts, together with the fleet which was in the Filipinas, which was weakened in men and artillery by its loss at Manila. On account of this, the natives of the island of Maluco, fearful of the power of your Majesty, entered our service. This fleet, which I say your Majesty should have despatched, should have been sent with a previous warning to the governor of the Filipinas so that he could [260] collect there as great a force as possible, and provisions with which to resupply the fleet which would go thither from here, the money for this purpose to be sent him from Piru or from Nueva España.

Yet besides this, on account of the straitened circumstances of your Majesty, and the need of attending to other pressing matters, it is indeed true, in view of the great importance to your Majesty of not allowing the enemy to get possession of that archipelago (for he would infallibly become master of the whole of India, and become more powerful than can be understood here), that there appears to be another measure less costly in the meantime; although it will not result in dislodging them, at least it will give them such diversion and do so much damage that the profit which they will secure will be dearly bought. This is, that your Majesty should command the governor of the Filipinas to build eight galleys, and keep them in Terrenate; I will explain what their cost would be, shortly. These would be of great importance, as can be readily seen here, if one considers these reasons and the letter which Don Geronimo de Silva writes to his cousin, and another from Master-of-camp Lucas de Vergara to the dean of Manila, and to myself—the originals of which I possess, and which, as they explain the situation of those islands, I place at the end of this relation.

In the first place, the enemy has no ports in those islands in which to take refuge; and ordinarily his fleet goes about, one way and another, among the coasts there.

Second, every day in the year (or almost every day) there are six or eight hours of dead calm, at which time galleys never meet a galleon under these [261] circumstances without taking it or sending it to the bottom; for it has been seen by experience with a galleon and a galliot which the Spaniards possess there, what excellent results they have produced.

Third, on account of this expedient of the galleys the enemy will not dare to divide their forces among the factories to carry on their negotiations; and, as they will have to go together, the cost will be so great that they cannot support it.

Fourth, the supplies will be taken away from their fortresses; for they have nothing wherewith to support themselves except it be brought from other islands. This would be very easily accomplished, and the enemy would have no means to remedy it. The natives who are devoted to them would be so terrorized that they would be obliged to come over to our side. If they accomplish that in this way and through the effective plans of whomsoever shall govern there, and the negotiations which he would conduct with them, it is quite certain that the enemy would be ruined, and could not maintain himself a year in his forts; for it is the natives who aid and sustain him, and furnish the cloves for his profit.

Fifth, it would be easy to make an invasion with the galleys on all the factories where they have not fortresses—and especially in Bantan, which is in Greater Xava, whither they carry all the spices which are shipped to Holland—and then to gain them all and burn them. They have no port there for large vessels, but only a bay where vessels which anchor there are kept at a distance from the land in the mud, aground, so that they cannot make use of them when they wish. Accordingly the galleys could easily burn those which lie there. If Don Juan de Silva had [262] adopted this measure, the enemy would already be subdued; and your Majesty would not have spent so great sums of money, and so exhausted the Filipinas Islands.

Sixth, the forces which your Majesty possesses in Maluco would be maintained with much less cost than at present by means of these galleys. For as there are no supplies in those islands it is necessary to send them from the Filipinas, which entails three difficulties. The first is that prices are thus made higher in that country, and the natives thereof are oppressed; the second, that it costs your Majesty a great deal, with the ships and men that are needed to man them; and the third, that the enemy gets a great deal of the aid which is sent. All this would be obviated by keeping galleys there; for it must be understood that the island of Macaçar is very large, rich, and abundantly supplied, and lies a two days’ journey from Maluco. The king there is desirous of friendship with us, and has even sent to the governor of Terrenate to seek religious, as he says in the letter which is at the end of this relation. Last year he wrote a letter to the governor of the Filipinas, offering to furnish him all the supplies that he might need for the forces in Maluco; and saying that, if he had not the money to pay for them, he might have them on trust until the money came. Things are very cheap there, costing less than half as much as in the Filipinas, and the said galleys could transport them easily, without the danger which they now encounter of being taken by the enemy. Rather, on the other hand, those which the enemy carry from there could be taken away with ease, and they would be caused to perish with hunger. If an ordinary [263] amount of care were taken in negotiating with this king, he would, as he is so well disposed to the Spaniards, be so devoted to your Majesty that he would not allow the enemy to enter his port. Besides, his friendship with them is already greatly strained; and there is a great disposition among all that people to receive the gospel.

Seventh, as those islands have no posts where cloves may be laded, the Dutch send their ships far from the artillery of their own forts, which they cannot approach; and it will be easy to secure the vessels, or not allow them to lade anything. Considering the calms which prevail, even if there were many ships they could not aid one another, whatever injury the galleys were inflicting upon them—the least being to dismantle them, so that they cannot sail, for there is nothing there with which to make a mast or rudder.

Eighth, as they have a number of posts where they only keep twenty-five or thirty men with a squadron commander, and the forts have no ditches or drinking-water, they could be deprived of these at any time with ease. Galleons would be of no use in such engagements, as they cannot vie with galleys, which can get under cover whenever they wish. Likewise it must be understood, as their forts are in such danger, they will need so many men to keep them from being taken, and so much to maintain them, that their profit will be so small that it will be gain for them to abandon it. This would indeed be making a pretty game of war, and cutting their throats with a wooden sword. And I assure your Majesty that this idea is not only my own, but that of all experienced men in Maluco There resides at this court [264] Juan Gomez de Cardenas, who gained considerable experience in Japon with a Dutch factor, who never thought that this man was a vassal of your Majesty. The latter made known to him the said reason, and said that they feared nothing until your Majesty should send there six or more galleys.

It now remains to tell the ease and little cost with which your Majesty could maintain these galleys and man them; and if this is explained for one, it holds in regard to all. The hull of a galley of twenty-four benches, put together and fitted for sailing, costs in the Filipinas four thousand ducats. The gang to man it must be secured in this manner. The governor of the Filipinas should send to Mindanao three hundred soldiers, by whom—besides setting free more than ten thousand Christian captives, vassals of your Majesty in the Filipinas—sufficient men could be captured to man the galleys. If this measure be not sufficient, a frigate or two should be sent to Malaca for cloves on your Majesty’s account, which would bring back negroes at two hundred reals, more or less, with which to man them; these oarsmen are very satisfactory, as experience has shown. In order to maintain the crew and replace those who die, men could be captured continually from our enemies, on a thousand occasions, without fail.

The support of the galley slaves is inexpensive, for they live on rice, fish, and a little jerked beef—which, besides, is often captured from the enemy there; and is very low in price when it has to be bought, as, at present, in the island of Macaçar.

The third and last measure is, if these two fail, such that I dure not write it, for that is not expedient; [265] but I will explain it to your Majesty, if you are pleased to learn it. I shall not go into this matter any further, nor explain the reasons more in detail, as this is not to be long; but if your Majesty should be pleased to carry out any of the suggestions here made, I shall explain away the doubts which may present themselves.

In the second place the person who is to govern should have the said requisites, for he is the soul of the undertaking; and it is he who must execute whatever your Majesty orders and commands. Whatever he is, such will be the rest. That this may not appear an exaggeration, I will prove it by evidence.

There are dependent upon the governor not only the secular Spanish residents of those islands, but the ecclesiastics; also war and peace, and the royal Audiencia, the archbishop, the bishops, and all the other soldiers and citizens; for it is he who must reward and honor them with offices of peace and war. He must assign the cargoes of the ships, the profits and advantages. The royal Audiencia, because he appoints their relatives and constituents to offices of profit, must needs keep in his graces. The archbishop and bishops, if they do not conform to his will, may have their temporal support taken from them; for if he cannot do it with good cause, he can easily do it in other ways. In a thousand things which occur, too, they need him for the direction of their affairs; and he can inflict on them so many burdens and annoyances that they realize how dearly they are buying the privilege of opposing him or contradicting his wishes. The chapter of the church is the same, or worse; for he makes appointments, [266] as your Majesty is patron, and orders the stipends to be paid. Accordingly it is necessary to be in his good graces. The cabildo of the city dare not do anything against his will; for those who oppose him or say anything in the sessions which is contrary to his wishes, it costs dear, and, besides, he is aware of whatever they do there. They dare not write to your Majesty, without taking to him the letters so that he may examine them; and there have been times when he has had these torn up, and ordered them to write others. Consequently, the religious who are teaching, and those of the convents, are all dependent upon him.

The royal officials do no more than he wishes, and, besides, they have the example of former ones, who for not acting thus were removed, and held prisoners for three years until your Majesty learned of it, and ordered their offices to be returned to them, and perchance the many hardships and afflictions which the governor inflicted upon them, and caused them to suffer, cost two of them their lives, and lost for your Majesty, in the factor, one of the best servants whom you had in the Filipinas. Accordingly, what I promised to prove is well established; for the complaints were so long in arriving, and the redress in returning, that he who awaited them was already dead.

In the third place, it is essential that he should not be excessively grasping; and that your Majesty should give him such expectations, if he conducts himself well, that his profit will rest more on them than in what the government is worth to him. He should be of mature age and great experience in handling the affairs of the commonwealth, such as [267] some knights possess who hold offices of corregidor on the coasts of España, and who govern in peace and war, as they never lack exercise for these abilities on the coasts. For if they were only required to be expert in war, the country would be in ruins before they became capable of governing it—as, for our sins, we have seen in past years. They should not come burdened with debts, which are demoralizing in a thousand ways. Notwithstanding that your Majesty has issued decrees which prohibit them from giving offices of profit to members of their households, rather than to the worthy persons of the kingdom, these decrees are the least complied with; nor is there any one who dares to interfere in this. If any one should make bold to put the bell on the cat, as the adage says, who would make him comply with it? By no means the royal Audiencia. At one time when I was petitioning for the execution of a royal decree of your Majesty there, an auditor, a friend of mine, said: “You should not do this; for, besides not accomplishing anything by it, you will get yourself into difficulty with him.”

With this in view, it is very important to forbid these offices to persons who are under obligations, which induce an insatiable greed and presumption; and, to fill that yawning void, the wealth of all the Indias is insignificant. The worst is, that they pervert a man, and lead him astray by their influence. If I were to recount here in detail all the difficulties which they occasion, I should have to take twice the space. In short, everyone there is lamenting; and these people come in smiles, and even negotiating for the honors which belong to others, with crass insolence; and, worse yet, it seems to the governor [268] that his own people alone deserve all there is, and the rest are of no account. To give color to their impudence, one of them has dared to write to your Majesty that there was not a person in all your kingdom who could in the least be trusted. The mistakes of these people are never punished, nor is there any one who dares to demand an investigation against them, even when they have done a thousand injuries. In short, he must be such a one as the emperor Theodosius spoke of to St. Ambrose, when he sent him to govern Milan: “Go; and, look you, I send you not to act as governor, but as bishop.” Such must be the governors of the Filipinas, if your Majesty would have them succeed.

And on this account I have no fault to find with Don Alonso Faxardo, whom your Majesty has sent at present to govern. On the contrary, I believe that he will conduct himself there as befits the service of your Majesty and the welfare of your kingdom. For I recognized such desires in him in the little intercourse that I had with him in Mexico, where I was acquainted with him. I am therefore very thankful to God to see him so desirous of serving you, and may He give him grace to succeed. As for the persons who are sent to that Audiencia, they should be in a degree like the governors; for your Majesty places as much confidence in them—although I think it would be more to the purpose to discontinue it, for the reasons which are given by most people in that country, in which matter I will give your Majesty a memorial.

The affairs of that kingdom are in such disorder, and move in so irregular channels, that people ask for an inspector to reform and adjust them and put [269] everything in its place, redressing injuries and punishing wrong-doing. The country is much in need of this; but that it may not be like the frogs who asked Jupiter for a king, and were given one that devoured them, it will be best for your Majesty to appoint some one from that country, who, through his great experience and knowledge, cannot be deceived, and knows what must be reformed, and who is possessed as well of the prudence and tact which are necessary in such a new country. And on the other hand, on account of the risks which exist in sending anyone from here who does not understand the affairs and conditions which must be remedied, and knows not how to proceed, it would be wiser to send no one, on account of the danger which exists of ruining the city.

Item: The governor should not consent to Japanese living in that country, as they are a great trouble and danger to the country, and the city is continually in danger from them.

Item: The Chinese should be very carefully restricted, so that no greater number of them than your Majesty has ordered be [allowed to remain there]; for they are permitted [to enter the country] without any exercise of caution, and we know by experience what this costs.

Item: Your Majesty should command the governor finally to reduce the island of Mindanao to obedience to your Majesty; for those islands are so infested that they hinder the carrying of reënforcements to Maluco. And as they are in league with the Dutch, we have a perfect right to make war upon them and subject them to slavery. All this is easy for the governor if your Majesty command it, and is so [270] necessary for the security of your Majesty’s vassals, as I intend to explain to your Majesty more at length in a separate memorial.

Item: There is an island which lies about twenty leguas from Maluco, called Macaçar, which measures about two hundred and fifty leguas around; it is very rich and well supplied, and from it the forces in Maluco could be supplied with ease and at little cost. It will be necessary for your Majesty to order the governor to negotiate with the king there for friendship and commerce. For the latter has already sent and written, saying that he desires it and that he will furnish all the supplies that are desired, and, if there is no money, will give credit for them until it is procured; and he has sent to ask for religious to preach the faith. They are a capable people, of good disposition, and are disposed to receive the gospel. As this district lies nearest to that which the fathers of the Society hold, it would be of much importance to send a few religious assigned to that island; and for your Majesty to be pleased to have their general requested to give them, which is of much importance even for temporal objects, besides the great service which they can render to God. And the Dutch could not get supplies from there, which would take away from them much of the previsions with which they are supported. Two fathers of the Society have been there, and have written that they were very well received; and it is highly expedient to encourage them.

Item: Your Majesty should order the governor to attend with much diligence to the despatching of ships which go to Nueva España, for upon this so much of the growth of that kingdom depends; [271] and since he is so good a sailor and prides himself upon it, he should regulate that in the proper way, for at present it proceeds with great disorder and even recklessness, as I shall explain to your Majesty in a separate memorial.

Item: Your Majesty should command that the garrisons of that kingdom be made open, on account of the fact that experience has shown that more men would go, if this were the case. Those in Maluco should be exchanged with those in the Filipinas every three years, for otherwise so many refuse to go to Maluco, and the forts there are in such ill-repute, that those who are taken there are discontented, as if they were being sent to the galleys; but if they are exchanged, as I have said, they will go willingly. Beside, they would become experts, and the soldiers from Maluco are worth more than those who have not been there, on account of their constant exercise in war and labor.

Item: Your Majesty should command that the city of Manila be made an open garrison, like San Juan de Ulua and Habana; for in this way the men will go to the Filipinas willingly. As Don Juan de Silva has done otherwise for years past, this country has become depopulated, and they have fled to various parts from time to time, no one daring to go there on this account.

Item: Concerning the treatment of the Indians, and what it is well to inform your Majesty in this regard, as well in what concerns your royal conscience as the good of the country, a separate memorial is required.

Item: As to the manner of governing them and collecting their tributes, as has been seen by experience, [272] the religious have done a great deal of harm by preventing the Indians from paying tributes on the fruits which they harvest; because the religious have not the inclination or sense to leave many things free—as will be seen in the account I shall give your Majesty in regard to this, all of which has been taught by experience.

Item: Finally, it is very necessary that your Majesty should consider that that country is very new, and that your Majesty should desire its growth; and because, likewise, it was not so much in need of your Majesty’s protection and favor in the beginning as it is now—when so few wish to go there on account of ill-treatment, many misfortunes, and the fear of enemies—your Majesty should protect it so that they may be encouraged to go there. For this your Majesty should command your ministers to give those who wish to go a comfortable passage. For if in early days the king our lord, the father of your Majesty, who so greatly favored and loved that land, not only furnished a passage, but likewise the necessaries for their journey, to those who wished to go, and even freed them from duties and imposts, that aid is much more necessary today; and at least they should be given some exemptions, and should not be treated with such harshness as they now are. This I can affirm as an eyewitness, that when we arrived at the port of Capulco, after having been on the voyage five months, and a great many of our people had died, and God had brought us through such boundless hardships and dangers to the place where we were to refresh ourselves, they treated us worse, indeed, than they did the Dutch; for to the latter they gave food there, and sent them away satisfied, [273] and to us they acted as they should have done to the Dutch. Since a proper remedy for what happened at the port of Capulco, which I am bound to suggest to your Majesty, and for many other matters concerning your royal service, cannot be suggested in this place, I shall give it in other memorials.

Item: The encomiendas which your Majesty used to grant were formerly for three lives; and a short time ago your Majesty ordered by a royal decree that they should be, and it should be so understood, for two lives. This is a great difficulty in the preservation of that community, and especially so as your Majesty has granted the favor to Nueva España of giving them for four lives; and as the Filipinas have been, and continue to be thus far, the colony of Nueva España, and almost governed by the royal Audiencia thereof, it is a great hardship that they should enjoy no more than two lives. In the first place, because many are discouraged from serving your Majesty, and even from remaining in that country, when they learn that their sons and grandsons must be reduced to the greatest poverty, the said encomienda expiring with the holder’s first son or his wife, as at present happens; in the second place, because four lives are shorter in the Filipinas than two in Nueva España. The reason for this is the many occasions for war and naval expeditions, wherein men are easily killed or drowned, leaving their successors in the hospital—as is at present the case with many, which makes one’s heart ache with pity.

In answer to the tacit objection which might be brought up that it is better to have the encomiendas vacated quickly, so that others may be rewarded with [274] them, and with this hope will go to serve there, I would say that the important matter is to make a compromise—namely that your Majesty should concede the said encomiendas not for four lives, as in Nueva España, nor for two as at present, but for three, as formerly, which is a very necessary measure for the relief of some, and the encouragement of others to the service of your Majesty.

Letter from Master-of-camp Lucas de Vergara, written to Don Francisco Gomez de Arellano, dean of Manila, which is the last that came from Maluco in the past year.

By the ship “San Antonio,” which I despatched to that city on the thirteenth of May last, I informed you, with other matters pertaining to me, of my health, and my arrival at these forts safely with the three ships in which I took the reënforcements; and of how well I was received by everyone, and everything which had occurred to me up to that time. What I have to say to you since that time is that, from the persons who have come to me from the forts of the enemy, both native and Dutch, and from other inquiries that I have made, I have learned that of the ten Dutch ships which were at the harbor-mouth of Marivelez only four have come back to these islands. One of them brought the wounded men from Oton; a second one, when our fleet went out to seek that of the enemy, was going out to sea, picking up Sangley ships. When it saw our fleet, without going back to theirs, it cast loose a very rich junk which it was towing astern, and took to flight. The captain of this vessel, they tell me, the Dutch put to death for having fled. Two other vessels arrived [275] at the port of Malayo on the eighth of June. These had found occasion to fight with our fleet; and accordingly they arrived dismantled by cannon-shots, and with many wounded men. These brought the news that only six of their vessels had fought with eight of ours and three galleys; and that their commander’s ship and two others were lost, one going to the bottom and the other two being burned. Their commander escaped in a boat which they saw was being followed by two of our galleons and a galley—although they did not know the result, since neither this one, nor two others that are lacking from the ten, have appeared here thus far. Of six hundred men whom they took from the forts which they have on these islands to put in the ten boats, when they were at Manila, only a hundred came back alive. These two damaged ships are being put to rights, and in all they have five at present in these islands, with few men; so that if a part of our fleet had come, and followed up the victory, they might all have been captured. This loss has made both the Dutch and those of Terrenate very sad and cast down, for they were in hopes to come back rich and victorious. A few silks and other goods were brought in the ships which escaped and they sold them to us very dear, although not so dear as they cost them. What they are considering now, and urge for the consolation of those of Terrenate and the other nations friendly to them, is that they are going to collect a great fleet which they have in Ambueno, and in the Sunda; and with the whole fleet they are to attack the forts of his Majesty before our fleet arrives from Castilla and from the Filipinas. This you already know of. Beside this, they are putting their fortresses [276] in the best state of fortification possible, together with the posts which they hold; for they see that the natives here are very lukewarm in their friendship, and they fear that when they see our fleet more powerful than theirs, the natives will drop their friendship and try to win ours. The king of Tidore and I consider it certain, judging from what we have heard from themselves, and particularly from those of the island of Maquien, that that alone is richer in cloves and native inhabitants than are all the others there. Their Sangaje, who went there to treat of this matter, was taken and killed in the fort at Malayo, which irritated the natives of that island very much.

By a caracoa which I sent to Ambueno, to get word of what was doing there, I learned that the Dutch have seven ships in that island, and that they sent one ship laden with cloves to Holland. The natives there are, for the most part, at war with the Dutch, as are likewise those of the islands of Banda, where there are two or three English ships fortifying themselves with the permission and aid of the natives. The Dutch and the English have fought over this and the Dutch hold forty English prisoners—all of which is very good for us. It is rumored that in the Sunda there are twenty Dutch ships, but I do not know what truth there is in this. I am at present getting ready and fortifying, as well as I can, the forts which his Majesty has in these islands, so that they may be ready at any juncture; although there is a great lack of men for the necessary work, because there went this year to Manila more than came out, and some are sick, and there are many places to guard. Particularly there are three situated [277] in the island Batachina, which, as they are in an unhealthy country, exhaust the troops more by death and sickness. They are passably supplied with provisions at present, owing to the care which I take to seek out what is in the country; and thus, with the rice which I brought, and a little which was here, I have managed to get along. I shall have enough provisions for the whole of October, and if I am sent those that I await from the island of Mateo I shall have enough for November. By that time I hope to get aid from those islands, for I am very confident that the lords there will aid me as ever; and the lord captain-general, being a man of so much experience, as he suffered so many needs in his own time, will aid in this with the expedition and care which are necessary for its preservation, since everything is and continues to be for that object. In whatever may happen which concerns this, I beg of you to further it as far as possible, as I shall take it as a great favor, besides being a service for God and for his Majesty, and as you are so zealous. I beseech you to be pleased to advise me of what may occur there and I shall do the same always here.

By the last despatch I sent you three birds of paradise, and the bearer of this, Sergeant Romero, brings you two more. I wished that there were more, but I assure you that they were not to be found, as the boats which usually bring them have not arrived.

While I was writing this a Dutch trumpeter arrived from the forts of the enemy, and gave the same report as another who came two days ago, and whom I send by this ship, so that he may tell the whole thing there—for, considering the news and the state [278] of affairs, it is of the highest importance that our fleet should come here by the month of December. If those ships alone came which his Majesty has in those islands, it would be superior to the enemy’s fleet; for with this they could be kept from taking to Holland this year the great quantity of cloves which they will harvest. This is the greatest loss which can be inflicted upon them at present; since with the profits from this they are waging war upon his Majesty in these parts with such great fleets. This is the opinion of those who have most at heart the service of his Majesty in these regions. I am writing, above all, to the lords there; and you will do me the favor which you always do in such cases.

Although I do not know what new things there may be there, I leave it all to your good opinion and intelligence and that of Señor Canon Garcetas, as I know, since you are such friends of mine, that you will give the most fitting counsel. May our Lord protect you for the greatest possible number of years. I kiss your hands. Tidore, July 5, 1617. Your humble servant,

Lucas Vergara Gaviria

Part Third. Wherein is Given Information of Other Matters Concerning the Filipinas, the Islands of Maluco, and Others of the Archipelago; of Their Riches, and of the Forts and Factories Which the Dutch Hold; and of the Wealth Which is At Present Secured from Them.

Chapter I. Of the prelates and their districts in the islands, and of certain curious things.

The island called Luçon, which is the most important, has two bishops and an archbishop. The [279] archbishopric has jurisdiction in the vicinity of the city of Manila, the capital of that country. Toward the east it reaches as far as the village called Calilaya, forty leguas from the city on the same island. It has four offices of alcalde-mayor, which is the same thing as a corregimiento—namely those of La Laguna de Vai, La Laguna de Bonvon, another in Valayan, and that of Calilaya. In this there are many Indian villages administered by religious of the Augustinian order, and still more by the discalced of St. Francis. Toward the west of the jurisdiction is that of the province of Pampanga, which is fertile and well-peopled, and that of Bulacan, and the Cambales. These are not Christians and cannot be reduced to conversion, but are negroes who go about like wild beasts through the inaccessible parts of the mountains. They are given to cutting the heads from other Indians, and no woman will marry a Cambal unless he has cut off a head; accordingly, in order to be married, he will cut one off, even though it be that of his own father when he finds the latter in the fields. If these had been given into slavery they would have been already reduced; but, although I have advised it many times in the Council, no measures for this have ever been taken. As the matter stands, they will never be pacified except by this means. The reason for this is that, if they were given into slavery, the Indians of Pampanga, with their great desire to hold slaves for the managing of their crops, would have reduced them. They do a great deal of damage, so much that no Indian dares go out alone to work in his field, because they kill him merely for the sake of cutting off his head. They live upon roots and fruit from the woods, and [280] have no houses, nor possessions, and go about naked. Toward the east this jurisdiction takes in all the island, and toward the west lies the sea. Several islands are joined to this jurisdiction, as are those of Lioban and Mindoro. In these are a number of trees resembling cinnamon [canela], which I have shown to our physicians, who say that it is the Cinamomo.19 Then there is the island of Marenduque, where there are mines of copper; and other islands, of little importance and sparsely peopled.

Northward from this jurisdiction begins the bishopric of Nueva Segovia, starting from the province of Pangasinan, where end the Combales and the province of Ilocos—wherein are situated the mountains of the Idolotes [sic], and where are so rich mines, as I have explained. They are all Christians. The Dominican religious minister to the province of Pangasinan, and the Augustinians to that of Ilocos. Farthest to the north lies the province of Nueva Segovia, which is administered by Dominican friars. These three provinces are very fertile and well peopled, and to the north of this district there are several islands called Vabuianos, where the Indians raise swine of remarkable size. Throughout the whole island [of Luzón] there are many wild swine. They are not fierce, like those in España, and accordingly are easily killed. There is a great number of large, fierce wild buffaloes. They are killed [281] with muskets, and on one occasion they were unable to bring down a buffalo with twelve musketshots. If the man who is shooting misses, and does not get quickly under cover, he will be killed. The Indians catch them as we do partridges here, and it is a remarkable thing, wherefore I shall now explain it. They make a very strong stockaded enclosure [corral], and on either side of the gate they move out, carrying with them palm leaves of a certain kind, touching one another. They keep spreading out the line until it is about a quarter of a legua long, more or less. When they find a herd, for the animals go many together, they frighten and follow them, and, driving them along, continue with shouts; and as they are running and striking with the said leaves, the buffaloes will not pass through the line of men if they are excited. Thus little by little they enter into the narrowest part until they are compelled to enter into the gate of the enclosure, which is then barred. There the Indians, by their devices, catch the animals one by one, tie them, and put them each one in a small enclosure of strong stakes so narrow that they cannot turn around, so that they have no chance to struggle. There they keep them without food for a fortnight, until they are so feeble and thin that they cannot stand. Then an Indian comes with a wisp of hay, and although angry, they needs must eat; and within twenty days they are so tame with the person who gives them food, that they let themselves be scratched. Iron rings are put in their noses, and they are led anywhere with a rope, like a beast of burden. I have seen one of these buffaloes with a negro who had fed him, seated on his head, and he played with the negro like a dog, but was a [282] lion for those whom he did not know. This jurisdiction is fifty leguas long on the sea side. The interior of the island remains unpacified, as it consists of the said mountains. The bishopric of Las Camarinas [sic] is the most easterly on this island, and extends more than sixty leguas, including several adjacent islands, such as Burias, Ticao, Capul, and Catanduanes. There are many nutmeg trees in this bishopric, the fruit of which no one gathers. There is in this province a spring from which flows hot water, and if anything is placed in it it turns to stone.20

The bishopric of Cibu has the largest jurisdiction, as it includes all the islands to the east, such as Leite, Babao, Maripi, Tinagon, Panaon, the island of Negros, and that of Oton. Westward are Cebuyan and Romblon; and to the south the island of Mindanao, which is almost as large as that of Luzon. There is in it a great deal of cinnamon, rich gold mines, and considerable civet; and so large a number of civet-cats that they do no more than catch them with snares, take the civet out and set them free again, and thus profit by them without furnishing them with food. There are many other islands, and from there to the Malucos it must be about eighty leguas. In all these islands there is collected a great deal of wax and honey, which is produced in the woods, and which, accordingly, the Indians do not cultivate. The bees are small and dark-colored, and do not live in the hollows of trees and rocks, but build their nests among the branches—using on them a dark, coarse wax, which is so strong that, even [283] though it rains hard, not a drop of water enters. So much is gathered there that not only are we all supplied cheaply, but there are sent to Nueva España, Japon, and China more than two thousand quintals each year. There are many deer, not so slender as are ours; and there are no other animals. There are many wood-fowl, smaller than ordinary ones, but more palata le; and which have breasts like partridges. There are in the forests certain shoots called bejucos, which they use as we do osiers here; but they are much better, some of them being as thick as one’s thumb, and even larger, and six or eight brazas long. When they are thirsty, the Indians cut off a braza, and a quartillo of fluid runs out of it, which is good and healthful. There are certain canes [i.e., bamboos], some of which are as thick as one’s thigh, and others smaller, and five or six brazas long; of these the poor Indians construct their houses, without other material—walls, floors, roofs, posts, and stairs.

There are certain palms which bear a fruit called cocoanuts (which are ordinarily brought to España from Guinea); these are such an aid to human life that from them, or rather from the cocoanuts, they obtain the commonest oil of that country, which is as excellent for wounds, even though they be deep ones, as that of aparicio. From this tree they obtain wine which is the common beverage of that country; strong vinegar, which is good for the table; and milk like that of almonds, to serve with rice, and which curdles like real milk. When it is soft the fruit is like green hazel-nuts in taste, and better; and there is a serum for many ills and infirmities, which is called whey, as it looks much like that of milk. It is there [284] called tuba. They make honey from this tree; also oakum with which to calk ships, which lasts in the water, when that from here would rot. Likewise they make rigging, which they call cayro; and they make an excellent match for arquebuses, which, without any other attention, is never extinguished. The shoots resemble wild artichokes while they are tender. There is a plant with leaves after the shape and fashion of the ivy, which is a certain species of pepper which they call buyo, the use of which is common throughout the whole archipelago; and it is so excellent a specific against ulcerated teeth that I do not remember ever having heard it said that any native suffered from them, nor do they need to have them pulled. It is a good stimulant for the stomach, and leaves a pleasant odor in the mouth.

There is a bird which they call tabon, a little larger than a partridge; and it buries its eggs, which are as large as goose eggs, to the number of eighty or a hundred, half an estado deep in the sand of the bays of the sea. They are all yolk, without any white, which is an indication of their great heat. Accordingly, the mother does not sit upon them, and they hatch, and the birds scratch their way out from the sand. When the bird has come out it is as large as a quail, and goes about picking up its food as other birds do after they are grown. I have seen this with my own eyes, and there must be other eyewitnesses of it in this court. So marvelous is the character of these birds. I pass over many other peculiarities for fear of tiring your Majesty.

There are many good and savory wild fruits there. The ordinary food in those islands is rice, as it is over all Asia and the neighboring islands; and I dare [285] assert that more people are supported in the world by rice than by wheat. There is a great deal of sugar, which is usually worth four reals the arroba, or less; and the Chinese bring so much rock sugar, which they call cande, that it is ordinarily worth eight reals an arroba, or less.

In that part of the island of Mindanao which faces the south, as I have said above, the Indians are rebellious; and it is they who have done, and still do, great damage to the others. They have taken up the doctrine of Mahoma and are friendly with the Dutch. As they have not been given into slavery, they are not pacified; and this is one of the most important matters there, and deserves the application of a remedy.

Chapter II. Of the ministers and religious instruction in the islands, and those who have been converted to our holy Catholic faith, and those who pay tribute.

The island of Luzon, in the archbishopric and the two bishoprics, has fifty-nine encomiendas, and in that of Nueva Segovia, which is the most northerly, there are twenty-six; in that of Camarines, which is the most easterly of the islands, there are thirty—in all, one hundred and fifteen. In the bishopric of Cibù there are seventy-one, which make, in all, one hundred and eighty-six encomiendas of Indians. They comprise 130U938 tributarios in all; each tributario includes husband and wife, and thus at least four persons are reckoned, including children and slaves (as they have no others to serve them except slaves); there are, then, 523U752 Christians in these encomiendas. There are assigned to the royal [286] crown 33U516 tributarios, and the rest are assigned and granted to deserving soldiers. This is exclusive of the people who pay no tributes, that is, the chiefs. There are, in all these one hundred and eighty-six encomiendas, the same number of monasteries and churches. Some of them have two monasteries each as they are too large to be administered by two religious; ordinarily, to each one are assigned five hundred tributarios. There are other encomiendas which have one monastery between two of them. Averaging these, I suppose there are about three hundred and seventy-two priests, besides the laymen. In the city there are about eighty or ninety, in four monasteries—one of St. Dominic, another of St. Francis, another of St. Augustine, another of the Recollect Augustinians—and the cathedral. These places of worship have as handsome buildings as are those of the same class in España; and the whole city is built of cut-stone houses—almost all square, with entrance halls and modern patios [i.e., open courts]—and the streets are straight and well laid out; there are none in España so extensive, or with such buildings and fine appearance. The city has as many as five hundred houses; but, as these ate all, or nearly all, houses which would cost 20U or more ducados in this court, they occupy as much space as would a city of two thousand inhabitants here. For the wall, as measured by me, is 2U250 geometrical pasos in circumference, at five tercias for each paso, which makes three quarters of a legua.21 In all these islands [287] there are none unconverted except the Zambales, as I have said above, and those in the mountains where the mines are, and a few villages behind these same mountains, which are called the province of Ituri—so called because it was discovered by Don Luys Perez de las Marinas, in the time of his father, who sent him there. For lack of religious, the gospel has not been preached to them. They are a peaceable people, and make no opposition. In Nueva Segovia, which is under the charge of the Order of St. Dominic, there are some to be converted, who have not yet been settled peacefully, as they are warlike and restless Indians. On the contrary, they have rebelled several times; but it has always been on account of injuries which the Spaniards have inflicted upon them.

Chapter III. Of the islands of Maluco, and others adjacent to them; and of the spice and other articles that are contained in them.

The Malucas Islands, commonly so called, where, of the spices, cloves are obtained, and so named from this drug,22 are five. They begin at that of Bachan, which is on the equinoctial line, and extend north and south. The farthest north is that of Terrenate, which is six or seven leguas in circumference. It consists entirely of a very high elevation, on the summit [288] of which is a volcano, which sends forth fire. In the medial region of this mountain they raise the clove-trees, which are like laurel trees, the leaves being a little narrower and longer. This island has five fortresses; the principal one is called Talangame, and another San Pedro. The Dutch have three: that of Malayo, which is the principal one; another called Tacome, and another Tolecò, which is of little importance.

The island of Tidore is distant about two leguas from this, and, although smaller, has about the same aspect. Your Majesty has a fort there, and the king of Tidore has another. The Dutch have two others, which they call Great and Little Mariaco. In the island of Motiel, farther south, the Dutch have a fort.

In that of Maquien there is a fort. Directly beyond this is another and smaller island, called Cayoa; and that of Bachan, with several others of little importance, lies near. To the east of all these islands is one called Vatachina, or Gilolo, lying two or three leguas from these—a very large island, where your Majesty has two forts. This island extends so far that it makes a strait with the island of Nueva Guinea on the eastern end, according to the relation of Fray Diego de Prado, of the Order of St. Basil, who, while he was a layman, coasted along this island on the southern side, of which nothing was then known. This is the largest island in the world, and was discovered from the northern side. It extends from the equinoctial line. No one has thus far examined what is in the interior, although it is known that it is well peopled, some of the natives being black, and some of the ordinary color of Indians. [289] There are indications of much wealth. More to the east, there are the islands of Salamon near by. The blacks are sold among the Indians, as in Guinea, and they have fairs at set times. The Indians buy these people to cultivate their lands. Beyond these Malucas Islands there are some to the southward, of little importance, as far as that of Ambueno, which is seventy leguas distant from them. The Dutch have a fort there, which they took from the Portuguese, and a port where abundance of cloves are gathered—which, transplanted from the Malucas, have grown in this island alone and in no other. Eighteen leguas farther east lies the island of Banda, where nutmeg is gathered; and the Dutch have another fortress there.

Westward from the Malucas Islands, about twenty leguas distant, is an island called Macasar. It is more than two hundred and fifty leguas around, and is very fertile and rich, being inhabited by the best people in those islands; their king is friendly, very peaceful, and glad to trade with the Spaniards. He used to receive the Dutch, and let them provide themselves from his country with provisions for all their forts. He does not now admit them, and has sent to ask for religious to preach the gospel; and two of the Society and two Dominicans have been sent to him. The friendship of this king is very important for the preservation of Maluco.

Next, farther to the west, lies the island of Borney. It is 400 leguas in circumference. On the side which faces the south the Dutch maintain trade, and through it they obtain the finest diamonds.

In Greater Java, which is the island that forms a narrow strait with that of Samatra, they have a [290] factory (without a fort), to which they bring the cloves and nutmeg and pepper which they buy there, which amounts to a large quantity. They trade there, and a few years ago the Javans drove them out. Since the English have become their allies, they are able to keep the natives in subjection, and are building a fortress.

They have other factories in the kingdom of Patan, at one of which they buy a great deal of pepper. Patan lies more to the north of the strait of Sincapura (which others call the strait of Malaca); and further north lies the kingdom of Sian, which is very rich in many kinds of merchandise, and in rubies. They have another factory there. In the kingdom of Cambosea [sic; sc. Camboja] they have another, and still another in Cochinchina. They are not allowed to enter China, but rather, on account of the robberies which they have perpetrated, they are held to be enemies of the country. In the islands of Japon they have another factory, from which they procure supplies and military stores, and which is of much importance to them. Of the other islands of this archipelago no mention is made, to avoid being prolix, although there are a great number of them.

Chapter IV. Wherein are considered the riches of the spice trade of these Malucas Islands and the others.

These Malucas Islands give from year to year four thousand four hundred bares of cloves in clusters, which are called “selected,” according to the relation which is made and the information given by Don Juan de Silva, knight of the habit of Santiago, [291] when he governed the Filipinas Islands. Others say that there are eight thousand, and still others, six. The first statement is the most accurate, and agrees with another note made by Captain Gregorio de Vidaña, a citizen of Manila; he was a person very learned in manuscripts, who spent many years there, and sought to inquire into the matter out of curiosity.

Four thousand four hundred bares of cloves, each bare containing 640 libras, amount to 2,816,000 libras—which at one ducado, the price at which they are sold [in Europe] will bring the same number of ducados. All this can be bought for a hundred thousand ducados.23 It is not bought with money, but with cloth purchased in India and in China; and what in those countries costs ten is sold in the Malucas at fifty. This profit is at present possessed by the Dutch, who buy on the coast of Caramendel, and from the Chinese in Cochinchina and Java, whence they take the merchandise which they trade for cloves in Maluco. The nutmeg, according to Don Juan de Silva, is worth 500U ducados, when transported to these parts.

The cloves gathered in the island of Ambueno amount to a great deal, although I have no exact account of the quantity.

The pepper which is taken from Greater Java is much, although I do not know the exact quantity. They likewise have a factory and a treaty friendship with the king of Achen, in the island of Samatra, [292] where there is much merchandise. He is an enemy of ours, as well as he who attacked Malaca in the year 16, and burned a galleon of the four which were awaiting Don Juan de Silva. Soon afterward seven Dutch galleons arrived to aid him, and burned the other three. Malaca is a very important place, and it is very necessary that your Majesty should preserve it, as it is the passage to all the kingdoms and districts of that archipelago of San Laçaro, where there is so much wealth.

Chapter V. Of the expense incurred by your Majesty to maintain the fortified posts of Tidore and Terrenate in the Malucas Islands.

I said in the second part of this relation that the reënforcements of money and men which are brought from Nueva España to the Filipinas were not to preserve those islands, but were occasioned by the war with the Dutch. I shall now set down here a memorandum of the expenses of those forts, without the many other requisites.

Relation of the salaries and expenses which your Majesty has to pay in the Malucas Islands

A warden and commander of the troops, with two thousand ducados of salary each year, which at eleven reals to the ducado, makes 2757 pesos, 2 tomins, and 9 granos 2U757 [293]
Seven captains of Spanish infantry, with 990 pesos of salary a year, amounting to. 6U930
Seven alferezes of these companies, with 412 pesos, 4 tomins of salary each per year. 2U887
Seven sergeants, with 206 pesos, 2 tomins, apiece each year, amounting to. 1U443
Fourteen drummers, at 171 pesos each per year, amounting to. 2U394
Seven fifers, at 165 pesos a year, amounting to. 1U155
Seven shield-bearers, at 103 pesos each, amounting to. 0U721
Seven standard-bearers, at 115 pesos per year each, amounting to. 0U815
Two adjutant sargentos-mayor, with 412 pesos, 4 tomins, each per year, amounting to. 0U825
A campaign captain, at 330 pesos of salary per year. 0U330
A captain of artillery, with a salary of 480 pesos per year. 0U480
A constable for land and sea, with 300 pesos per year. 0U300
Twenty artillerymen for land and sea, at 200 pesos each per year, amounting to. 4U000
There are continually 600 soldiers, and at times more, seldom less. These usually earn 115 pesos per year, amounting to 69U000 pesos. 69U000
Of this number 140 are musketeers, who get 36 pesos each per year beside their ordinary salary, amounting to 5040 pesos. 5U040
Thirty ducados of eleven reals each as [294] extra pay to each company each month, amounting to 2520 ducados, which makes 3465 pesos. 3U465
Twenty-eight squadron leaders, with three pesos of extra pay each month, amounting in a year to 1008 pesos. 1U008
One accountant of the royal exchequer, with a salary of 800 pesos per year, and 50 fanégas of cleaned rice. 0U800
One superintendent of supplies and munitions, with 500 pesos of salary and rations. 0U500
One secretary of mines and registries, who serves on a salary of a major official of the office of accounts, with 400 pesos; and one minor official with 150, which amount to. 0U550
Two secretaries, one of war and one of magazines, with 200 pesos apiece per year of salary, and rations for the magazines secretary. 0U400
One engineer and one surgeon, with 600 pesos each year, amounting to 1200 pesos. 1U200
Two Pampango captains, with 120 pesos; two ensigns, with 96 pesos; two sergeants, at 72 pesos; four drummers, two fifers, two shield-bearers, two standard-bearers, at 48 pesos each; and 200 soldiers, at 48 pesos of salary per year, amounting to 10717 pesos. 10U717
A Spanish smith, with a salary of 300 pesos per year, and one Indian with 48 pesos; another, with 42 pesos; ten others, with 30 pesos; one keeper of arquebuses with 42 pesos and all his rations, which will [295] be mentioned in their place, amounting in money to 732 pesos 0U732
Two Spanish carpenters and 20 Indians—the Spaniards with 300 pesos each per year, and the 20 Indians at 48 pesos and their rations—the money amounting to 1560 pesos 1U560
One Spanish stonecutter, with 300 pesos; and twelve Indians at 24 pesos, amounting yearly to 588 pesos 0U588
Two calkers and one cooper, Spaniards, at 300 pesos each per year, amounting to 900 pesos 0U900
A hundred Indian pioneers, at 48 pesos each per year and rations, amounting to 4800 pesos 4U800
An alguazil of the royal exchequer, at 150 pesos per year 0U150
Ten religious, of the Society of Jesus and the Order of St. Francis, and the vicar, at 100 pesos; and thirty fanégas of rice each, the money amounting to 1000 pesos 1U000
Commander, captains, pilot, masters, and other officials of the two galleys, besides rations, have each year in salaries 5643 pesos, 4 tomins 5U643
Four substitutes,24 who are about the person of the governor of those islands, at 30 ducados of eleven reals per month each, amounting each year to 1U980
Each year presents are taken to the king, his son, and the chiefs, worth 2000 pesos 2U000 [296]
The hospitals expend each year in medicines, food, cloth, and service more than 10000 pesos 10U000
There must be used powder, balls, iron, steel, pikes and boats for minor service, costing for their manufacture or construction more than 10000 pesos 10U000
The expenses of the vessels which bring reënforcements; the galleys which are kept there; the salaries of the captains, pilots, masters, officers, and sailors; the careening; and other smaller expenses for their construction and voyages, amount each year to more than 40000 pesos 40U000
A purveyor, who is present in the province of Pintados, earns each year 700 pesos of salary; and there are others—commissioners, a storekeeper, and a secretary—in all amounting to 1300 pesos per year 1U300
The rice, wine, meat, fish, vegetables, and other minor articles used by the persons who are supplied with rations—as are the sailors, artillerymen, carpenters, smiths, pioneers, commanders, and rowers of the galleys; the religious, and others—will amount in Terrenate to more than twenty thousand pesos per year 20U000

Beside what has been mentioned, attention must be given to what has been spent on the fleets which have been collected since the year one thousand six hundred and six, when Don Pedro de Acuña recovered [297] it—both in ships and on casting [of artillery], soldiers’ hire, and that which has been lost at different times, which has amounted to a large sum each year; and little or no income has been secured from the Malucas, for in nine years they have not brought in 20U pesos. This has been due to negligence; for if there had been a faithful administrator posted there, and his accounts had been audited, and affairs had been orderly and regular (as they are with the enemy), your Majesty might have secured [sufficient] profit to maintain those forces without expending anything from your royal exchequer, as you now do. The same argument applies from now on. On this account it is very important to your royal service either that correction be applied to this, or that some means be considered, which it does not appear to me expedient to place in this relation, to spare your Majesty so great an expense. When those islands are secure from the Dutch enemy, your Majesty will suffer no expense, and will be able to further the working of the above-mentioned mines which lie near Manila. From them, with the favor of God, so great wealth may be looked for as will suffice to clear your Majesty from debt, and this can be accomplished in no other way; for with the ordinary practice, which has prevailed thus far, there is no more hope than for a sick man declared past recovery, to whom the physicians give no remedies, and whom they declare to be at the end of his life.

1 Cf. the three documents (1619–20) by Coronel, on “Reforms needed in the Filipinas,” begun in Vol. XVIII, and concluded in this volume. Felipe III died on March 31, 1621, and was succeeded by his son, Felipe IV, to whom this “Memorial” is now addressed.

2 That is, “those who had come by a round-about way.”

3 Various MSS. by Alonso Sanchez are to be found in the archives of different countries, and will be mentioned in the bibliographical volume of this series.

4 See, however, Morga’s account of this in Vol. XV, pp. 79–92. See Morga also for a full account of the Camboja expeditions.

5 Thus in the original. A marginal pen correction in faded ink, in the copy from which we translate, reads 608. The Cedulario Indico, consisting of forty-one manuscript volumes of decrees, for the various parts of the Indias, which is preserved in the Archivo Historico Nacional in Madrid, contains a number of decrees of 1608 in regard to the ships from the Philippines.

6 The decree was of course granted by Felipe II, “your” being used merely as a set phrase to indicate the royal source of the decree.

7 See Vol. XVI, p. 60, note 31.

8 April 25, 1610, the fight with Wittert, q.v. Vol. XVII.

9 See an account of his voyage in Vol. XVII.

10 Thus in the original, but evidently an error for “Chinese.”

11 Cuatralbo: the commander of four galleys.

12 Translated: “The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof: the world, and all they that dwell therein” (Ps. xxiv, v. 1).

13 In the margin is written, in an ancient hand: “For the singular veneration which the archduke of Borgoña showed to the most holy sacrament of the eucharist.”

14 Thus in the text (comprar); but the context would suggest that this was a slip for “sell.”

15 In this connection may be cited the following statement from Sawyer’s Inhabitants of the Philippines, p. 129: “The great wealth of the Archipelago is undoubtedly to be found in the development of its agriculture. Although the Central and Ilocan Mountains in Luzon and parts of Mindanao are rich in gold, it is the fertile land, the heavy rainfall and the solar heat, that must be utilized to permanently enrich the country. The land is there and the labour is there, and all that is wanting is capital, and a settled government ... The sun, the rain, the soil, and the hardy Philippine farmer will do the rest—a population equal to that of Java could live in affluence in the Philippines.”

See also Sawyer’s remarks (pp. 145–152) on gold and gold-mining in the islands.

16 See the document, “Expeditions to Tuy,” at end of Vol. XIV.

17 The Augustinian Fray Miguel Garcia Serrano.

18 An ancient Spanish coin, which in the time of Ferdinand and Isabella was worth 14 reals 14 maravedis of silver; but its value varied in subsequent reigns. See the work of Fray Liciniano Saez, Monedas que corrian en Castilla durante el reynado del Sr. D. Enrique IV (published by the Real Academia de la Historia, Madrid, 1805), pp. 408–426.

19 In Spain the name cinamomo is popularly given to the Melia acedarak; but now in Manila that name is applied to a species of Lausonia, L. inermis. This latter grows in Arabia and Egypt, and is cultivated in Europe; it is there called alchena or alhena, and its root is employed as a cosmetic by the Turks, and a paste of its leaves, known as henna, is used by them to dye the teeth or hair. See Blanco’s Flora (ed. 1845), pp. 206, 241.

20 Probably referring to the springs at Jigabo, province of Albay, the waters of which carry in solution a gelatinous silica, which is quickly incrusted on any object placed therein. See Report of U.S. Philippine Commission, 1900, iii, p. 222.

21 The “geometrical pace” is, in English measure, roughly estimated at five feet; in Spanish measure, according to Los Rios’s reckoning—the tercia (or “third”), being one-third of a vara, is equivalent to 11.128 English inches—the geometrical pace would be 55.64 English inches. The length of the wall, accordingly, would be a little less than two English miles.

22 Of this name Crawfurd says (Dict. Indian Islands, p. 283): “The collective name, which the Portuguese write Maluca, and is correctly Maluka, is equally unknown, although said to be that of a place and people of the island of Gilolo. No such name is, at present, known to exist in that island ... All that De Barros tells us of the name is, that it is a collective one for all the islands.” He cites (pp. 101, 102) various names for the clove that are current in the Indian islands, and some found in early writers but among them is none resembling Maluca.

23 See the detailed description of the clove tree, its product, the mode of gathering cloves, their properties, and the extent of the trade in this spice in Recueil des voiages Comp. des Indes Orientales, i, pp. 503–507. The price at which the Dutch bought cloves from the natives (in 1599) is there stated at fifty-four reals of eight. The extent of the crop is thus stated: “According to [278n] what the inhabitants of Ternate say, the Molucca Islands produce annually the following quantity of cloves: the islands of Ternate and Tidore, each 1,000 bares; Bassian Island, 2,000 bares; and Motier Island, 600 or 700 bares.” Crawfurd says (Dict. Indian Islands, p. 503): “In England, before the discovery of the passage by the Cape of Good Hope, a pound of cloves cost 30s., or 168l. per cwt.”

24 Spanish, entretenidos; persons who were performing certain duties, in hope of obtaining permanent positions, or waiting for vacancies to occur in certain posts.


Bibliographical Data

The documents of the present volume are from various sources (all manuscript except No. 9). The following are from the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla:

1. Reforms needed—See Bibliographical Data, Vol. XVIII, No. 12.

2. Decrees ordering reforms of religious.—“Audiencia de Filipinas; registros de oficios y partes; reales ordenes dirigidas á las autoridades y particulares del distrito de la Audiencia; años 1605 á 1645; est. 105, caj. 2, leg. 12.”

3. Compulsory service.—“Simancas—Eclesiastico; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y expedientes de religiosos misioneros de Filipinas vistos en el Consejo; años 1617 á 1642; est. 68, caj. 1, leg. 38.”

4. Letter from Audiencia.—“Simancas—Secular; Audiencia de Filipinas cartas y expedientes del presidente y oydores de dicha Audiencia vistos en al Consejo; años 1607 á 1626; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 20.”

5. Letter from Fajardo.—“Simancas—Secular; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y expedientes del gobernador de Filipinas vistos en el Consejo; años 1600 á 1628; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 7.”

The following are obtained from MSS. in the Real [300] Academia de la Historia, Madrid; all are in the collection “Papeles de los Jesuitas:”

6. Letter to Escovar.—“Tomo 129, num. 153.”

7. Relation of 1619–20.—“Tomo 112, num. 55.”

The following is from the Archivo Historico Nacional, Madrid:

8. Letter to Fajardo.—“Cedulario Indico, tomo 38, folio 101, núm. 80.”

9. Memorial, y relacion para sv magestad (Madrid, 1621), by Hernando de los Rios Coronel.—This is translated and synopsized from the copy in the Library of Congress. [303]

Appendix: Buying and Selling Prices of Oriental Products

[The first list of prices that follows is from a compilation by the procurator of the Philippines, Martin Castaños, and is taken from a relation of Governor Juan de Silva entitled:]

Relation of the importance of the Filipinas and Terrenate

The Malucas Islands yield from year to year four thousand four hundred bars of cloves. Each bar is six hundred and forty libras. If his Majesty would make himself master of this, as well as of the nutmeg and mace, and establish his factories—in Yndia, in Ormuz,1 for the nations who come from all Asia to trade for it; and in Lisboa, for Europa and the Yndias—it would be worth [from one year to another?] three million seven hundred pesos at the least, as I reckon it; because in India each libra of [304] cloves is worth at Ormuz one peso, and in Lisboa a greater sum, while in the West Yndias it is worth more than two pesos.2 Averaging them all together, it will be equivalent to ten reals per libra, which will amount to three million five hundred and twenty thousand pesos.... It will cost his Majesty to buy the cloves, in cloth, silks, and other things which the natives value, eighty thousand pesos; while the navigation and the pay of the factors will amount to one hundred and twenty thousand, all amounting to two hundred and thirty thousand pesos. Consequently, there will be a clear profit on the cloves of three million two hundred and ninety thousand pesos.

The nutmegs and mace when delivered in Europa cost the Dutch five hundred and twenty thousand pesos annually. The purchase, navigation, and [pay of] factors amount to one hundred and ten thousand pesos. Consequently, the net gain on the nutmeg and mace is four hundred and ten thousand pesos. That added to the profit of the cloves amounts to three million seven hundred thousand pesos.

His Majesty can make a profit of two millions annually on the silks of China in this way—that a ship of two hundred toneladas’ burden go each year [305] with the ships from Filipinas to Nueva España, with these silks, which cost the following prices.

One thousand picos of spun and raw silk of Changuei,3 each pico containing one hundred and thirty libras, and costing two hundred pesos, amount to two hundred thousand pesos.

Ten thousand pieces of Canton satin, at a cost of five pesos, amount to fifty thousand pesos.

Ten thousand pieces of damask, at four pesos, amount to forty thousand pesos.

Twenty thousand pieces of gorgoran, at a cost of one and one-half pesos, amount to thirty thousand pesos.

Thirty thousand varas of velvet in colors, at one-half peso, amount to fifteen thousand pesos.

These silks cost three hundred and thirty-five thousand pesos. They will, with the condescension of his Majesty, be taken to Perú (as is done, that other silks of China may not be taken from Nueva España), and are sold at Lima at the following prices.

Each libra of silk of the quality named in the first item, at fifteen pesos, the one thousand picos amounting to one million nine hundred and fifty thousand pesos.

Each piece of Canton satin at fifty pesos, the ten thousand pieces amounting to five hundred thousand pesos.

Each piece of damask at forty pesos, the ten thousand pieces amounting to four hundred thousand pesos.

Each piece of gorgoran at ten pesos, the twenty thousand pieces amounting to two hundred thousand pesos. [306]

Each vara of velvet at four pesos, the thirty thousand varas amounting to one hundred and twenty thousand pesos.

Taking from this amount the three hundred and thirty-five thousand pesos that those goods cost in China, and eight hundred and thirty-five thousand pesos for the cost of factors and of navigation, and whatever else their handling may cost, there is a net gain of two million pesos.

In that way his Majesty can obtain every year from Filipinas five million seven hundred thousand pesos net, after deducting the entire cost.

[The following list is from an undated memorial of probably the early seventeenth century which treats of the merchandise that the Portuguese were wont to take from China to Japan. The memorial first defines the value of certain coins and weights and measures.]

First, the tae is equivalent to a ducado of ten reals of gold or silver; a maz is equal to one of our reals. One maz is equivalent to ten conderins; each conderin being valued at six maravedis, is divided into ten caxes, each cax [i.e., cash] being a round brass coin half the size of a half cuarto4 pierced with four holes, and with certain characters around the edge. One hundred of them make one maz; and it is the only coin that is stamped with a die, for all the others circulate by weight.

Ranquel are ten pieces of plate or crockery-ware.

Pico is equivalent to one quintal, but has one arroba more than ours. Cate is a weight of twenty onzas. [307]

The ship of the Portuguese carries from five to six hundred picos of white untwisted silk. It costs at Canton eighty taes per pico delivered in Macan, and is sold in Xapon for one hundred and forty or one hundred and fifty taes.

Laden with retros (the fine red silk), of four or five hundred picos of all colors, at a cost of one hundred and forty taes, it is sold in Xapon at three hundred and seventy and sometimes four hundred taes.

The common assorted retros costs from fifty-five to sixty taes in Canton, according to its quality, and is sold in Xapon for one hundred taes.

The silk of the darca, of all colors, is worth forty taes in Canton, and is sold by the libra in Xapon at nine maçes per cate.

The said ship will also carry from one thousand seven hundred to two thousand pieces of a certain silk worked with birds, and other pictures done in silk and unwoven silver.5 Each piece is worth up to eleven maçes, and the fine ones up to fourteen. They have seven, eight, and nine gaxos, and they are sold in Xapon for about two and one-half or three taes apiece.

It will take three or four thousand taes of gold. The tae of common gold is worth about four or five maçes per tae, and it is sold in Xapon for seven taes and eight maçes.

Fine gold is worth in Canton six taes six maçes, and seven taes per tae of common gold. It is sold in Xapon for eight taes and three maçes.

Moreover, two picos of musk will be taken. It [308] costs eight reals per cate in Canton, and is sold in Xapon at fifteen and sixteen, according to its quality.

It will carry about five hundred picos of white lead. It costs at Canton two taes and seven maces per pico; and, delivered at Macan, three. It is sold in Xapon for six and one-half and seven taes. The Japanese use a considerable quantity of it.... It is brought refined from there and is carried by way of Yndia to Portugal, where each ba[r?] is worth six [maçes?] seven conderins.

The ship will carry, moreover, two hundred or three hundred picos of cotton thread. It costs seven taes per pico delivered in Macan, and is sold in Xapon for sixteen, seventeen, and eighteen.

It will carry three thousand çangalas [i.e., pieces of buckram], which are pieces of cotton, most of them white, while the rest are black and in colors. They cost various prices, the large pieces costing twenty-eight taes per hundred. It is sold in Xapon at fifty and fifty-four taes per hundred. These çangalas are made of cotton. Those from Lanquin [i.e., Nankin], which are half cotton and half raw silk, are worth one tae three maçes per piece of ten varas. Other smaller ones cost twelve taes per hundred in Canton, and are sold in Xapon for twenty-three and twenty-four. The red ones cost eight and one-half taes, and are sold for sixteen and seventeen taes.

The ship will carry one hundred and fifty or two hundred picos of quicksilver. It costs forty taes at Canton, and fifty-three delivered at Macan. It is sold in Xapon for ninety and ninety-two, and at times for less than ninety.

It will also carry two thousand picos of lead, at a cost of three taes per pico delivered in Macan. It is [309] sold in Xapon for six taes four maçes, and the money doubled.

It will also carry five or six hundred picos of tin. I do not remember its buying or its selling price.

It will carry besides five or six hundred picos of China-wood,6 at a cost per pico of one tae or twelve maçes. It is sold for four or five taes in Xapon, and the money doubled.

It will carry about two thousand ranquels of crockery-ware at the very least. These goods are bought in Canton at many prices, and the money doubled two or three times in Xapon.

It will carry one hundred picos of rhubarb, which costs two and one-half taes, and is sold for five, thus doubling the money.

It will also carry one hundred and fifty picos of licorice. It costs delivered in Macan three taes per pico, and is sold in Xapon for nine or ten taes per pico, thus tripling the money.

It will also carry about sixty or seventy picos of white sugar. It costs fifteen maçes per pico, and is sold in Xapon for three and four and one-half taes. However, little of it is used, and the Japanese prefer the black. The latter kind costs from four to six maçes in Macan, and is sold for four, five, or six taes per pico in Xapon. It forms an excellent merchandise, and the ship will carry one hundred and fifty or two hundred picos of it.

The captain of the ship will ask, for carrying the silk, ten per cent; and in order that the freight on [310] the remainder of the merchandise may not be raised, five hundred dead taes are given him, besides sixty picos sold at its value there per pico. That which is sold, and all the bulk of the silk that is unsold, and the five hundred taes are given him beforehand; while on the other merchandise mentioned above he is given ten per cent.

The said ship takes, on its return to Yndia, the aforesaid merchandise of loose white silk—one thousand picos at the abovesaid prices. They are sold in Yndia at about two hundred cruzados7 per pico.

It will carry about ten or twelve thousand pieces of silk damasks and taffetas of all shades, bought at different prices. The common price of the fine pieces of damask is five taes, and the very fine, six and seven; and the pieces are four varas long. There are also some at four taes. These damasks are also sold at various prices. The greater part of them are sold among the natives. The same is to be said of the pieces of taffeta as to their purchase and sale.

It will carry three or four picos of gold, bought in the manner aforesaid. A profit of eighty or ninety per cent is also made on this among the natives.

It will carry five or six hundred picos of wrought and unwrought brass. The money invested in this is doubled. It is used among the natives.

It will carry six or seven picos of musk, which is used by the people of the country. The money will be gained once and a half over.

It will carry one hundred picos of quicksilver, which will gain seventy or eighty per cent.

It will carry five hundred picos of vermilion, which will gain as much as the quicksilver. [311]

It will carry two or three [hundred?] picos of sugar, and the money will be gained once and a half over.

It will carry one or two thousand picos of China-wood, the money invested for which will be increased two or three times.

It will carry two thousand picos of brass bracelets, which cost five taes six maçes, and seven taes per pico delivered in Machan. The money is doubled. They are used in Bengala.

It will carry about two hundred picos of camphor, which goes to Portugal.

It carries a considerable quantity of earthenware of all sorts. The money is gained once and a half over.

It carries a great number of gilded beds, tables, and writing desks.

Much fine colored unwoven silk. It costs eighteen and nineteen maçes and two taes per cate. Some of the gilded beds are generally sold for three or four hundred cruzados. It carries many coverlets worked on frames; canopies, bed-curtains, and hangings; short cloaks of the same handiwork, made by the same Chinese; besides other trifles, and many gold chains exquisitely wrought.

The Portuguese pay duties at Malaca of seven and one-half per cent on the merchandise which they carry from China, without selling or unloading anything in that city.

They pay two or three thousand cruzados at Zeylao [i.e., Ceylon] for the support of the garrison [312] stationed there. For that purpose two or three fustas go to the ship and take it, in spite of itself, to the port, whence it does not sail until it pays that sum. The reason given by the captain of that fort is, that the viceroy of Goa discounts that money from the duties. The same is done with the ships which come from Bengala, as well as from all other parts from which it is necessary to pass that island (which is the island for cinnamon) in order to get to Goa. They pay eight and one-half per cent at Goa, both for entrance and for clearance; and the same is true at Malaca, going and coming to [India?] But they do not pay in [Macan?] because they return thither.

When the ship sails from Goa to China, it carries silver in money and in wrought pieces (as I saw), of these two or three thousand; ivory, velvet from España and other places, and fine scarlet cloth [grana]; one hundred and fifty or two hundred pipes of wine; about six other pipes of oil; also olives, and capers. One is surprised at the cheapness of these things in Machan since they are brought from España to Goa, and thence to China, a distance of more than one thousand leguas. What most surprised me was to see that a cuarto of wine is worth one real, which is about its worth in Lisboa. A jar of oil at eight or ten reals, or at the most twelve, is worth at Machan when it comes from España five, six, or eight pesos per botija, counting eight reals to the peso. A cuartillo of wine at four reals, is sold at little or nothing. The Portuguese say that they do not care to make their principal good in China, but to invest in China, as their interest lies in the investment.

Ivory is sold to the Chinese at fifty taes per pico for the white and even ivory. It is understood that this [313] must be in exchange for other merchandise, and not for money or silver; for silver that enters China does not go out again except in merchandise.

Velvet costs six or seven cruzados per codo in Goa. The codo is a palmo less than our vara. It is sold among the Portuguese at Machan for seven or eight taes, according to its quality.

Grana costs five or six cruzados per codo at Goa, and even seven and eight.

A pipe of wine is generally worth forty or fifty cruzados at Goa, and the fine and good wines ninety-five. However, the latter is not taken to China; and that of the first-named price is sold in Machan, where it is worth eighty or ninety cruzados per pipe.

One million of gold and upward enters China yearly through the Portuguese alone.

The Portuguese pay anchorage at Machan according to the beam and length of their ships, and whether they enter light or laden. The length is measured from the mizzenmast to the bow, and the beam from edge to edge. According as the ship is larger or smaller it pays. The [standard of] measure is one caña, and so much is paid for each measure. Consequently, a ship of three hundred toneladas will pay three or four thousand taes of silver. The Portuguese formerly paid the said anchorage in brasil-wood and in other merchandise which they carried; but for two or three years past they have had to pay it in silver. They do not like that as well as the other method. If, perchance, the ships have to lay up for the winter, even if they are the ships of the inhabitants of Machan themselves, they have to pay without any remission. [314]

Memorandum of the retail selling prices of wares in Canton

The tae of fine gold is equivalent to seven of silver. One cate of musk is sold for eight taes. Raw silk at eight taes per pico. The contrary kind, or twisted silk [sirguin], which is the best of the country, one hundred taes per pico. Good pieces of damask, seven taes; a piece contains fourteen varas. Other pieces of common silk, ten varas for one tae three maçes. Vermilion, forty taes per pico. Copper, seven and eight taes [per pico]. Quicksilver, forty taes per pico. Herd-bells, eight maçes per pico. White lead, two and one-half and three taes per pico. Cotton, eight taes per pico. Fine powdered vermilion, seventy maçes per cate. One ranquel of fine porcelain, one tae two maçes; fine dishes, fifteen maçes per ranquel. Large fine dishes, five maçes apiece. Medium quality earthenware is worth one and one-half maçes per ranquel, both chinaware [porcelana] and dishes. Fine pieces of taffeta of all colors, from Lanquin, each piece containing about twelve codos, are worth two and one-half and three taes. Large pieces of certain damasks, which contain sixteen varas, are worth twelve taes at the least and fifteen at the most. Common earthenware is worth less than one real per ranquel, either dishes or jars. Wheat is worth four maces per pico, and eight in flour. Rice is worth three and one-half and four maçes per pico. One cow is worth four taes in Macan. One pico of flour, delivered in Macan, one tae two maçes. Pork is worth two taes in Macan and one and one-half taes in Canton, per pico. Fowls, two taes per pico. One pico of salt fish, two taes and more—or less, according to the fish. Two cates of fresh fish, one conderin. [315] One pico of sugar, two taes, or, at the least, one and one-half taes. One pico of the finest iron, which resembles a manteca8 is worth two taes, and in nails two and one-half, and three taes. One pico of Chinese camphor is worth ten taes. One pico of cinnamon, three taes. Rhubarb, at two, two and one-half, and three taes; and there is an infinite amount of it in China. Pieces of thin, fine silk, which contain about twenty varas, arc worth three and one-half and four taes. Red silk headdresses for women, four and five maçes apiece. One pico of licorice, two and one-half taes. One pico of China-wood, at eight maçes, and one tae.

The merchandise brought by the Portuguese in their ships from the districts where they trade and traffic is as follows.

First, they carry from Malaca to Goa a great quantity of cloves, nutmeg, and mace; also tin—which is the finest that is obtained from those parts, and which they also carry to China, for the tin of that country is not so fine. They carry tortoise-shell and many pearls.

From Zeylao, a great quantity of cinnamon, the finest of diamonds, and other precious gems.

From Bengala, abundance of very fine cotton; quantities of sugar and rock sulphur; and a quantity of rice—for which, if it were not for Bengala, Yndia would suffer.

From Moçambique, ivory and brasil-wood.

From Ormuz, which is in Persia, they bring excellent horses, and very fine carpets; many larins,9 [316] each one a trifle smaller than one of our reals; many clusters of dates; camlets,10 and many agras; and benecianos,11 each of which is worth about one of our escudos of eleven reals.

From the kingdom of Pegu, they carry a quantity of fine lac in loaves, and other things.

From Siam, excellent silver, and arquebus-balls; much and very fine benzoin; almond cakes; a quantity [317] of oil of ginger, and of cocoa, and brasil-wood; lead; and a quantity of rice.

From Conchinchina, aguila-wood,12 and another wood called calambac,13 which is very valuable. It is black and contains oil, and is worth fifty cruzados among the Portuguese; while in its own kingdom, it passes weight for weight with silver. [The ship also carries] lead, pepper, and some yellow silk.

From the kingdom of Champa is brought the abovesaid wood, and it is even finer than that of Conchinchina. They carry another kind of black wood from which the Chinese make certain little sticks one cuarto [i.e., one-fourth vára?] long with which they eat. This kingdom has nothing else [to trade].

From Cambay, they bring the finest incense that [318] those districts furnish. It is worth three taes per pico. They bring it from Far, which is Arabia the Blest [la Felice], and also from the island of Samatra, which the Portuguese call by another name Dachen.

From Timor, white sandal wood, which grows in no other part, while they bring the red from Santo Tome.

From Borney they bring camphor, which is the best which is usually found. It passes in its own kingdom weight for weight with silver. They also bring a great quantity of wood of the same tree for tables and writing desks, and it is very beautiful and sweet-smelling.

From the islands of Ternate, Tidore, and three or four others, the spice of the clove.

From the island of Banda, and from other islands, nutmeg and mace. From the same island they bring certain very beautiful birds which have no feet or claws. They have a very long tail with very beautiful feathers, and resemble young herons.

From Xapon a great quantity of silver; [abundance?] of tunny-fish; certain catans (which resemble cutlasses, and are very large), and daggers wrought very richly in gold; and other things.

From Sunda and many other places they bring various other articles. The Spaniards take from the Philipinas many pieces of cotton of very fine quality, and many pieces of various-colored damask; all kinds of taffeta, in greater or less quantity; much spun and loose silk of all colors; a great quantity of earthenware—which, together with the silk, is all brought to Manila by the Chinese themselves, who also bring a great amount of gold, wrought and unwrought, and [319] of different carats. The following are the names of the gold in the Philipinas and their carats: first, gold of ariseis, of twenty-three carats three granos, and worth per tae in the said islands, nine eight-real pesos; gold of guinogulan, of twenty carats, worth seven pesos; gold of orejeras, of eighteen or nineteen carats, and worth five and one-half pesos per tae; gold of linguin, of fourteen or fourteen and one-half carats, and worth four or four and one-half pesos; gold of bislin, of nine or nine and one-half carats, and worth three pesos; gold of malubay, of six or six and one-half carats, and worth one and one-half and two pesos.14

1 The ancient city of Ormuz was on the mainland, but was removed to the opposite island, Jerún, because of repeated Tartar attacks. Its fame almost rivaled that of Venice from the end of the thirteenth to the seventeenth century. It was owned by the Portuguese during 1507–1622, when it was taken by Shah Abbas, with the aid of the English East India Company. It was next to Goa the richest of Portuguese possessions. See Voyage of Pyrard de Laval (Hakluyt Society’s publications, London, 1888), ii, p. 238, notes 1 and 2.

2 The editors of Voyage of Pyrard de Laval (ii, p. 357, note) say of the clove: “It is curious that this spice seems not to have been known to the Romans, nor to any Europeans till the discovery of the Moluccas by the Portuguese.” Duarte Barbosa, in East Africa and Malabar (Stanley’s trans., Hakluyt Society edition, London, 1866), pp. 219–220, quotes cloves from Maluco as worth per bahar in Calicut 500 and 600 fanoes; and, when clean of husks and sticks, 700 fanoes, 19 fanoes being paid as export duty. At Maluco they were worth from one to two ducats per bahar, and in Malacca as much as fourteen. Captain John Saris (see Satow’s edition of Voyage of Capt. John Saris, Hakluyt Society publications, p. 33) bought cloves for “60 rials of 8 per Bahar of 200 Cattyes.”

3 See Satow’s Voyage of Capt. John Saris, ut supra, pp. 224, 225, 228, 229, for names and prices of various kinds of silks.

4 Cuarto: a copper coin worth four maravedis.

5 Saris (Voyage, pp. 216, 225) mentions the following Chinese goods: “Veluet Hangings imbroydered with gold, eighteene Rialls; vpon Sattins, fourteene Rials.” “Imbrodered Hangings, called Poey, the best ten Rials the piece.”

6 Spanish, palo de China; also known as “China root;” the root of Smilax china. It is not now used, but formerly had great repute for the cure of venereal diseases as well as for gout. Linschoten has a long account of its virtues and mode of use, in Voyage (Hakluyt Society’s edition), ii, pp. 107–112; see also i, p. 239. Cf. Pyrard de Laval’s Voyage, i, p. 182.

7 The cruzado was an old coin of Castilla and Portugal. The [295n] Castilian coin was of gold, silver, or copper, and of different values. The Portuguese coin, evidently the one of our text, was worth ten reals de vellon in Spain. See Dicc. nacional ... de la lengua Española (Madrid, 1878).

8 So in the copy which we follow. Literally translated this is “butter,” which causes doubt as to the correctness of the copy.

9 The larin was a silver coin that takes its name from the city [300n] of Lar in Persia. It has been current in a number of eastern countries and districts, among them Persia, the Maldives, Goa, and the Malabar coast, Ceylon, and Kandy. It has gone out of circulation, although the name is preserved in certain copper coins at the Maldives. The ancient coin was of various shapes, that of the Maldives being about as long as the finger and double, having Arabic characters stamped on it; that of Ceylon resembled a fishhook: those of Kandy are described as a piece of silver wire rolled up like a wax taper. When a person wishes to make a purchase, he cuts off as much of this silver as is equal in value to the price of the article. Its probably first mention by an European writer occurs in the Lembranças das Cousas de India (Subsidios iii, 53), in 1525, where the following table is given: 2 fules = 1 dinar; 12 dinars = 1 tanga; 3 tangas 10 dinars = 1 new larin; 3 tangas 9 dinars = 1 old larin. At Cambaye (p. 38) 1 tanga larin = 60 reis, and 45 larins weighed 1 Portuguese marco, or 50 grammes. Antonio Nunes (1554) in his Livro dos Pesos, says: “At the port of Bengala, 80 couries = 1 pone; 48 pones = 1 larin. The Portuguese marco of the time of João III, being equivalent to 2,500 reis, would make the larin worth 51,012 reis.” Davy says that the larin of Kandy was worth about 7d. in English currency. For detailed information about the larin, see Voyage of Pyrard de Laval, ut supra, i, p. 232 and note 2; and ii, p. 68.

10 “Next, many watered camlets of Persia and Ormus, of all colours, made of the wool of large sheep that have not curled fleeces like ours. Of it they make also good store of cloaks and capes, called by the Indians Mansans, and by the Portuguese ‘Ormus cambalis;’ they are made of the same wool, in bands of different colours, each four inches wide. Everyone takes these to sea for a protection from the rain. The tissue is the same as of cloth.” It was called “camlet,” because made originally of camel’s hair. See ut supra, ii, p. 240.

11 The Venetian sequin, worth about 50 sols, which was silver money and circulated at Goa. See ut supra, ii, p. 69.

12 Crawfurd (Dict. Indian Islands) says that this is the eagle-wood of commerce. Its name in Malay and Javanese is kalambak or kalambah, but it is also known in these languages by that of gahru, or kayu-gahru, gahru-wood, a corruption of the Sanscrit Agharu. This sweet-scented wood has been used immemorially as an incense throughout eastern countries, and was early introduced into Europe by the Portuguese. The perfumed wood is evidently the result of a disease in the tree, produced by the thickening of the sap into a gum or resin. The tree is confused with the aloes, but properly speaking has no connection with that tree; and the word agila has been wrongly translated into “eagle” [see above “aguila”]. The tree probably belongs to the order of Leguminosæ. The best perfumed or diseased wood is found in the mountainous country to the east of the Gulf of Siam, including Camboja and Cochinchina. Castenheda says that at Campar, on the eastern side of Sumatra, are “forests which yield aloes-wood, called in India Calambuco (kalambak). The trees which produce it are large, and when they are old they are cut down and the aloes-wood taken from them, which is the heart of the tree, and the outer part is agila. Both these woods are of great price, but especially the Calambuco, which is rubbed in the hands, yielding an agreeable fragrance; the agila does so when burned.” See Crawfurd, ut supra, pp. 6, 7, and Yule’s Cathay, ii, p. 472, note 1.

13 Calambac: the kalambac, or normal form of the wood called agila, is evidently meant here; see preceding note.

14 See Vol. IV, pp. 99, 100.

All the old books of voyages of eastern countries contain much on the buying and selling prices of various commodities. See especially the notable Hakluyt Society publications.

the_philippine_islands_1493-1898_volume_19.txt · Last modified: 2015/07/11 20:41 by briancarnell