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 VI, 1583-1588
Edited and annotated by Emma Helen Blair and James Alexander Robertson with historical introduction and additional notes by Edward Gaylord Bourne.
The Editors desire to announce to their readers an important modification in the scope and contents of this work. As originally planned and hitherto announced, the series was intended to furnish the original sources, printed and documentary, for the history of the Philippine Islands only to the beginning of the nineteenth century. To most of our readers, the reasons for this are obvious: the fact that the classic period of Philippine history is thus bounded; the comparative rarity and inaccessibility of most material therein to the general public; the vast extent of the field covered by Philippine history, and the necessary limitations of space imposed upon the selection of material for this work; the closing of foreign archives to all investigators after an early date in the nineteenth century; and the greater difficulty, in that later period, of securing a proper historical perspective. But so many and urgent requests have come to us, from subscribers and reviewers, for such extension of this series as shall cover the entire period of Spanish domination, that we have decided to modify the former plan in the manner here briefly indicated.
It is our purpose not to exceed the number of volumes already announced, fifty-five. We are able to do this because in our original plan, to avoid a subsequent increase in the number of volumes, a certain amount of space was purposely left for possible future changes as a result of later investigations to be made in foreign archives, or on account of the necessary excision of extraneous or irrelevant matter from the printed works which are to be presented in this series. The new title will be "The Philippine Islands: 1493-1898." The early and especially important history of the islands will be covered as fully as before. For the history of the nineteenth century, we will present various important decrees, reports, and other official documents; and provide a clear, careful, and impartial synopsis of some of the best historical matter extant, down to the close of the Spanish régime. Throughout the series will be used, as has been done from the beginning, all the best material available—historical, descriptive, and statistical—for reference and annotation. With the copious and carefully-prepared bibliography of Philippine historical literature, and the full analytical index, which will close the series; the broad and representative character of the material selected throughout; and the impartial and non-sectarian attitude maintained, the Editors trust that this change will still further enable scholars, historical writers, and general readers alike to study, with reliable and satisfactory material, the history of the Philippine Islands from their first discovery by Europeans to the close of the Spanish régime, and incidentally the history of the entire Orient.
Contents of Volume VI
Preface … 13
Documents of 1583-85
Foundation of the Audiencia of Manila (concluded). Felipe II; Aranjuez, May 5, 1583 … 35
Two decrees regarding the religious. Felipe II;
San Lorenzo, June 21, 1583, and Aranjuez, April 24,
1584 … 45
Annual income of the royal exchequer in the
Philippines. Andres Cauchela, and others; Manila,
June 15-30, 1584 … 47
Letter to Felipe II. Melchor Davalos; Manila, July 3,
1584 … 54
Letter to the archbishop of Mexico. Santiago de Vera;
Manila, June 20, 1585 … 66
Two letters to Felipe II. Fray Geronimo de Guzman
[Madrid? 1585]; and Fray Jhoan de Vascones [1585?] …
History of the great kingdom of China (extracts relating to the
Philippines). Juan Gonzalez de Mendoza; Madrid, 1586 … 81
Documents of 1586
Memorial to the Council by citizens of the Filipinas
Islands. Santiago de Vera, and others; Manila,
[July 26] … 157
Letter to Felipe II. Alfonso de Chaves, and others;
Manila, June 24 … 234
Letter from the Manila cabildo to Felipe II. Andres
de Villanueva, and others; Manila, June 25 … 242
Letter to Felipe II. Antonio Sedeño; Manila, June 25
Letter to Felipe II. Domingo de Salazar; Manila,
June 26 … 251
Letter from the Audiencia to Felipe II. Santiago de
Vera, and others; Manila, June 26 … 254
Letter to Felipe II. Pedro de Rojas; Manila, June 30
Letter to Felipe II. Juan de Moron; Manila, June 30
Measures regarding trade with China. Felipe II, and
others; Madrid and Manila; June 17-November 15 … 279
Brief erecting Franciscan province of the
Philippines. Sixtus V; Rome, November 15 … 290
Documents of 1587-88
Letter to Felipe II. Alvaro, Marques de [Villa]
Manriquez; Mexico, February 8, 1587 … 295
Letter to Felipe II. Santiago de Vera; Manila, June
26, 1587 … 297
Letter from the Audiencia to Felipe II. Santiago de
Vera, and others; Manila, June 25, 1588 … 311
Bibliographical Data … 323
Title-page of Historia del gran reyno de China, by Juan Gonçalez de Mendoça (Madrid, M.D.LXXXVI); from copy (Madrigal edition) in Library of Congress … 83
Title-page of "Itinerario" at end of Gonçalez's Historia,
from copy in Library of Congress … 135
Signature of Alonso Sanchez, S.J., from MS. in Archivo general
de Indias, Sevilla … 228
The present volume covers the period of 1583 to 1588 inclusive. At the close of two decades of Spanish occupation in the Philippines, the native population is decimated, and the Spanish colonists are poor, heavily burdened with taxation, and largely non-producing. The islands are but nominally defended by a small, irregular, demoralized force of unpaid soldiers, whose lawlessness and arrogance render them dangerous to their own countrymen, and tyrants over the helpless natives. The Audiencia is a costly institution, a burden of which all the people complain. They have other grievances and many needs, which finally impel them to send a special envoy to Spain, to procure relief and aid from the home government. The documents in this volume contain much valuable information regarding the economic condition of the colony, and its commercial relations with China and Mexico respectively. As the Spanish settlers in the Philippines find that they are largely dependent upon China for their food, those who are wise see the necessity of encouraging and extending agriculture in the islands; but others are fired with the lust for wealth and conquest, and urge upon Felipe II a scheme for subduing China by force of arms, thus to give Spain the control of the great Oriental world, and incidentally to enrich a host of needy Spanish subjects.
In Volume V was presented the greater part of the royal decree establishing the Audiencia of the Filipinas; the document is here concluded. The duties of certain subordinate officials of that tribunal—commissioners of examination, jail-wardens, and interpreters—are carefully prescribed. Such commissioners are forbidden to play games of chance, except for articles of food ready to be eaten. Prisoners in jail shall not be allowed to gamble, except for food. The document closes with a general provision for a tariff of official fees, and for the care of the Audiencia's archives.
Felipe II decrees (June 21, 1583) that the Audiencia aid the Franciscan missionaries in the islands; and (April 24, 1584) that the religious orders there continue to receive from the royal treasury the gratuities originally bestowed upon them by Legazpi. The officials of the treasury furnish a statement of their accounts, which shows a yearly deficit in current expenses; and extraordinary expenses besides, which nearly equal the total revenue for the year. Alarmed at this condition of affairs, the Audiencia institutes an inquiry (June 15, 1584) into the commercial and industrial status of the colony; the witnesses all testify that great scarcity of supplies, and poverty among the people, are prevalent; that a considerable portion of the native population has perished; and that the non-productive elements of the population are much too large.
One of the auditors, Melchor Davalos, writes (July 3, 1584) to the king a letter which, withal containing some valuable information regarding matters in the islands, is a curious mixture of pedantry, bigotry, egotism, and vanity. He mentions the arrival and establishment of the Audiencia at Manila, complains that he cannot obtain the salary due him, and relates the services which, he thinks, entitle him to better treatment. He asks for instructions as to what shall be done with the Mahometans, and cites the permission formerly given to Legazpi by the king to enslave the Moros in certain cases, also the example set by the sovereigns of Spain and Portugal in expelling or crushing the Moors who inhabited their dominions. Davalos also desires the king to settle the question of slaveholding by the Spaniards, which he is inclined to justify; and to take such action as will prevent the Chinese from obtaining all the money which comes to the Philippines. The utmost poverty prevails among the Spanish soldiery, who are unpaid; and Davalos advises that they be sent to make fresh conquests, by which they can support themselves. The Spanish post in the Moluccas is menaced by the native king of Ternate, and a large force of troops is to be sent to its aid. A controversy arises among the Spanish officers over the appointment of a commander for this expedition, which Davalos proposes to settle by himself going as commander—thus satisfying all the discontented captains, as he informs his royal correspondent. He desires the king to grant him authority to punish the Chinese for vicious practices, and thinks that the friars should convert and baptize these heathen more rapidly than they are doing.
The new governor, Santiago de Vera, writes (June 20, 1585) to the archbishop of Mexico. He encounters many difficulties—coolness on the part of the bishop, lack of support from his associates in the Audiencia, and but little acquaintance with the needs of the islands in the royal Council of the Indias. His duties are onerous and his responsibilities too great; he asks the archbishop to aid him in an appeal to the king for relief from these burdens and vexations. Vera cannot yet procure the quicksilver which he has been asked to send to Mexico, but will try to obtain it from the Chinese traders. The king of Ternate has revolted, and affairs there are in bad condition; more troops are needed, but cannot be spared from Manila. Vera discusses various matters concerning some of his officers, and affairs both military and civil. He sends to Spain, under arrest, two prisoners—one of them Diego Ronquillo, a kinsman of the late governor Gonzalo Ronquillo de Peñalosa, charged with defalcation in the trust of the latter's estate.
A Franciscan official in Spain, Geronimo de Guzman, sends to the king (1585) certain recommendations regarding the government of the Franciscan friars in the Philippines. An Augustinian friar, Jhoan de Vascones, who has evidently gone from the islands to Spain, writes in behalf of his brethren there (1585?) to ask the king that more religious be sent to the Philippines and to other Oriental lands; that these friars be sent from Spain by way of India instead of Nueva España; that the authorities of India, secular and ecclesiastical, be commanded to aid the friars in their missionary journeys; that the latter be permitted to build monasteries as they may choose, "in remote and infidel lands," without awaiting government permission; and that the authorities at Manila be not allowed to send, at their own pleasure, the friars to other lands.
From the Historia del gran Reyno de China (Madrid, 1586) of the Augustinian Juan Gonzalez de Mendoza, we have translated such matter as relates to the Philippine Islands—portions of part ii, and of the "Itinerary" appended to Mendoza's work. He narrates (book i, part ii) the efforts of the Augustinian friars to carry the gospel to the Chinese. These are unavailing until, after the defeat of the Chinese pirate Limahon (whose exploits are narrated in some detail) by the Spanish forces, a Chinese officer named Omoncon, who has come to Manila in search of the pirate, forms a friendly acquaintance with the Spaniards, and, in return for favors at their hands, promises to convey to China some Spanish friars. For this mission are selected Fray Martin de Herrada (or Rada) and Fray Gerónimo Marín, with two soldiers as an escort—one of whom is Miguel de Loarca, author of the curious "Relation" which appears in Volume V of this series. They are well treated by the Chinese, but are unable to establish a mission in that land, and finally are sent back to the Philippines. In the second book is related the voyage made by the Franciscans to China in 1579. At first they ask permission to go thither, which Sande is not willing to grant; but the conversion of a Chinese priest through their efforts makes them still more desirous of opening a mission in that country, and, Sande still refusing to allow this, they decide to go without informing him of their departure. To this account is appended an "Itinerary" of the journey made by another party of Franciscan friars from Spain to China and return. The writer relates various particulars concerning the Ladrones and Philippine Islands and their people, both historical and descriptive; the custom of slavery among them, and their religious beliefs; and the progress of Christianity in the archipelago—stating that the conversions therein now number 400,000. A supernatural appearance of a dead man's spirit, who describes the delights of the Christian heaven, is related in detail; this leads to many conversions among the natives, but some declare that "because there were Castilian soldiers in glory, they did not care to go thither, because they did not wish the soldiers' company." The products of the islands, and the articles imported from China, are enumerated, with mention of some current prices for produce.
A general junta, or assembly, of the estates of Manila—the church, the religious orders, the army, the royal service, and the citizens—is held on April 20, 1586; and a statement of their grievances and needs (signed on July 26) is sent to the home government by the hands of Father Alonso Sánchez, a Jesuit. They complain that the cathedral church has no suitable building, equipment, or provision for its services; and there is no means of support for the bishop and the clergy. They ask that tithes shall be paid, or else that the prebends be replaced by a few curates, who shall care for the souls of the Spaniards and their Indian servants. The royal hospital and that for the Indians are both in great destitution, and should be aided by royal bounty. More religious instructors are needed; and, in order to support them, more tribute should be required from the Indians, and the encomenderos should be compelled to pay tithes. The city of Manila demands some public property, with which to meet its necessary expenses; and the abolition of the duties hitherto imposed on commerce. They ask that the commutation of the royal fifth to one-tenth be made perpetual; and that offices and encomiendas be bestowed only on actual residents, who have rendered services in the islands. Workmen and mechanics in Manila should be paid there, and not in Mexico; a special official should be placed in charge of the ships; and there should be no commissary of the Inquisition in the islands. Complaint is made that too much money is sent thither from Mexico, apparently by speculators interested in the Chinese trade; and request is made that the export trade of the islands with Mexico be confined entirely to citizens of the former. It is asked that all future cargoes of goods from China be purchased at wholesale, by Spanish officers appointed for that purpose, and "afterward apportioned to the Spanish citizens, the Chinese, and the Indians, by a just and fair distribution," at cost price; that Chinese hucksters in Manila be suppressed; and that no Chinese be allowed even to remain outside of that city, save the Christian converts and those who are farmers or artisans, or who trade in food supplies. The Audiencia has become a burden; and it should be abolished, or its expenses be paid by the Mexican treasury. As the country has no agricultural industries, the king is asked to send farmers, with their families, as colonists; to exempt these from taxes, for a time, and from military or other personal service; and to forbid them to change their occupation. The Indians should be taught European methods of agriculture; cattle and horses should be imported into the islands and the native buffalo be domesticated and bred. The cultivation of lands granted to encomenderos should be enforced. Women should be brought from Spain, and provided with dowries, in order to become the wives of soldiers and workmen; and dowries should be provided for some native women, that they may marry poor Spaniards. Offices should not be sold; and encomiendas should be made large enough to pay their necessary taxes and other expenses. The Indians should not be obliged to pay the royal share of their gold; and their lawsuits should be despatched in the courts with simplicity and promptness. Tribute should not be collected from them by force, and without giving them religious instruction; and the boundaries of some encomiendas should be changed. A "protector of the Indians" should be appointed, who should not be also the royal fiscal; he should, besides, have charge of the Chinese. The soldiers are compelled to serve, yet are allowed no pay, from which many evils ensue; the troops have become demoralized; and the very existence of the colony is thus endangered. A regular paid force, of about three hundred and fifty men, should therefore be maintained; they should not engage in trade, or serve the officials; the officers should be clothed with suitable authority; and those sent from Nueva España should be soldiers, not boys and pages. Urgent request is made that the city of Manila be strongly fortified; this will inspire respect among their neighbors, and keep in awe the natives and the Chinese, who are liable at any time to revolt. Luzón is menaced with invasion by the Japanese, Malays, and English; and forts should be erected at various points for its defense. The coasts should be protected against pirates by a small fleet of light, swift vessels. It must be understood that no confidence can be placed in the natives, who kill Spaniards at every opportunity. The conquests hitherto made by the Spaniards should be further extended; and the districts and islands in which the natives are disaffected should be subdued and pacified. These will employ and reward the poor Spanish soldiers, and will afford protection to the converted natives, who are continually harassed and raided by their heathen neighbors. The regions that should be subdued range from the Liu-Kiu Islands to Borneo. The governor should be authorized to make such conquests, and even "to entrust them, by contract, to other Spaniards." The king is called upon "to aid in atoning for the wrongs inflicted on the Indians by the first conquerors," for which the latter are held responsible by the church, which refuses to absolve them from sins until payment for these wrongs be made to the Indians. This the conquerors are unable to do, and request for it aid from the royal treasury. The king is asked to compel the encomenderos to give religious instruction to their Indians. The abuses that prevail in the collection of tributes from the Indians are enumerated; in some places the natives are revolting, because treated so unjustly. Some Spaniards still hold Indians as slaves, in defiance of royal edicts; moreover, the natives themselves hold many slaves; and the priests are unwilling to grant absolution to either unless they release these slaves. Request is made for regulation of the system of slavery among the Indians. Complaint is made that the friars go from the islands wherever and whenever they please; thus they neglect their duties, arouse ill-feeling among the Chinese and other foreigners, and in many other ways do harm. This evil should be corrected by forbidding all Spaniards to leave the islands, or to give assistance to the friars in doing so, except by special permission from the authorities.
Then follows a curious scheme for invading and conquering China; this would bring much wealth to the crown of Spain, and be the means of converting innumerable souls to the Christian faith; the king is urged to undertake this enterprise at once. The arguments in justification of this conquest are left for Father Sánchez to explain to his Majesty. The forces, equipment, and supplies necessary are enumerated in detail, as also what part of these can be furnished in the Philippines themselves, where preparations for the expedition have already begun. The fleet which is expected to come from Spain with men and supplies should land in Cagayán, Luzón; the routes which may be taken by those vessels are described, and that by the Strait of Magellan is recommended as the shortest and safest. It is desirable to induce the Portuguese to take part in the proposed conquest; and an auxiliary force will probably come from Japan. The Jesuit missionaries who are in China are expected to act as guides and interpreters for the expedition. The troops should be so numerous and well equipped that they can at once awe the Chinese into submission; but they should not be allowed to ravage the country, nor should the native government be destroyed, as has so often been done in other Spanish conquests. It must be understood that the proposed expedition is not to deal with the Chinese as if they were Moors or Turks; it will be sent only to escort the preachers of the faith, and to see that any converts that they may gain shall be unmolested by the Chinese authorities; it should therefore be commanded and officered by honorable, humane, and Christian men. The gains which would result from the conquest of China are enumerated—at first, mainly religious; these include the foundation of many schools, churches, and monasteries for the Chinese, wherein they will speedily become Europeanized. The writer praises the natural abilities and excellent qualities of the people, and especially the virtue of their women. As for worldly advantages, these are many and great. Every year China can furnish to the Spanish treasury galleons loaded with gold, silks, and other treasures; much silver from its mines; and large amounts in rents, taxes, etc. All China can be divided into encomiendas; and there will be many offices and dignities to be enjoyed by the king's faithful vassals—indeed, "a great part of the Spanish people could come to reside there, and be ennobled." On account of the great virtue, modesty, submissiveness, and beauty of the Chinese women, they would prove to be excellent wives for the Spaniards; thus the two peoples would mingle, and "all would be united, fraternal, and Christian." It is for lack of such amalgamation that European experiments in Oriental colonization have hitherto failed; but the proposed scheme will ensure to Spain success in such expansion. They have thus far failed therein in the Philippines, scorning the natives as inferior beings, who are fit only to be their slaves. The Spaniards care only for their own enrichment, and treat the natives cruelly; consequently the latter are steadily diminishing, and the condition of the islands is deteriorating. But in China all will be different, in both temporal and spiritual matters; and both Spaniards and Chinese will be greatly benefited, enriched, and increased. Certain minor advantages to arise from the conquest of China are enumerated—the establishment of numerous episcopal sees; the foundation of new military orders, and the extension of the old ones; the creation of many titled lords, and appointment of viceroys for the conquered provinces. China, thus subdued, will be a vantage-ground from which Spain can control all Asia and a land-route to Europe. Chinese colonists can be imported into the Philippines, "and thus enrich themselves and this land." And, finally, the immediate occupation of China will forestall any advance into the far Orient by the French, or the English, or any other heretical nation. This scheme—which as it proceeds acquires, like a soap-bubble, great size and brilliant coloring, and proves equally unsubstantial and transient—is signed by the governor, bishop, superiors of the religious houses, and a long array of other notables in the islands.
By the mail which carries the "Memorial" are sent various letters supplementing the information contained in that document, or commending the envoy, Father Sánchez. The military officials write to the king (June 24), reminding him that the foothold gained in the islands by the Christian faith can be maintained only by the presence of troops there. The soldiers (whose courage and loyalty in the past are praised) are discouraged, because they have not received the rewards which they expected; they are lawless and demoralized, and their officers cannot control them. The defense of Manila is thus imperiled, and the natives are led to despise the Spaniards. The officers who write this letter complain because they have been unjustly treated in their efforts to improve this condition of affairs; they ask for redress, and for the abolition of the royal Audiencia. A letter from the cabildo (municipal council) of Manila commends Sánchez as their envoy to the king. They complain that the Audiencia "cannot be maintained here without the total destruction of the state," which cannot bear the burden of this expense; and ask that it be abolished. They ask for a garrison of three hundred paid troops, and the grant of an encomienda to the city of Manila. They complain of the losses inflicted not only upon the merchants of that city, but upon the colonial government, by the trade which Mexican merchants carry on through the port of Manila with the Chinese; and demand that this traffic be restricted to the citizens of the islands. They ask the king to see that more friars be sent out, both Augustinians and Franciscans. The cabildo recommend that the archdeacon Juan de Bivero receive from the king some reward for his hitherto unrecompensed services in the Philippines. On the same day Antonio Sedeño, rector of the Jesuits at Manila, writes a letter commending Sánchez for this present embassy, and recounting his past services to the Philippine colony. On June 26 Bishop Salazar writes a short letter, regarding some points outside of Sanchez's commission. One of these concerns the respective precedence of the bishop and the Audiencia on public occasions. The bishop also describes the quarrels between the president and auditors of the Audiencia, and his success in reconciling these differences. He has delivered, although against his better judgment, certain prisoners to the Inquisition, in obedience to a royal decree. A letter from the Audiencia of the Philippines to the king (dated June 26), recommends an increase in the rate of tribute paid by the Indians; the money thus obtained could be used to pay the soldiers, which would greatly improve the standard of military service in the islands. The colonial treasury is greatly embarrassed by heavy expenses, and the salaries of the Audiencia would better be paid from Mexico; then the encomiendas of Indians now taxed for that expense could be assigned to the soldiers who have so long been serving in the Philippines without pay. The king is asked to make an annual appropriation for the military and marine expenses of the islands. Father Sánchez is recommended by the Audiencia also, as their envoy to the home government. Their dissensions are now all settled, and some matters which caused these disagreements are referred to the king for his decision. They notify him of certain changes which they have made in the customs tariff of the islands, especially on the Chinese trade; it appears therefrom that the economic dependence of the Philippines on China is very close, especially in the matter of supplying food and cattle. Certain extension of authority which had been granted to the bishop is asked by the Audiencia for him. The participation of the Spaniards in the rich Chinese trade has aroused the jealousy of the Portuguese in India, who are endeavoring to shut out the Castilians from that country; the king is asked to take such measures as he deems best in this matter. Complaint is made that a certain Mexican officer has gone, in disobedience to his orders, to China, apparently to trade.
Pedro de Rojas, a member of the Audiencia, also writes (June 30) in commendation of Sánchez. He relates the dissensions in the Audiencia over the appointments to offices, and asks for royal action which shall settle this difficulty. He seconds the request made in other letters for the removal of the Audiencia, provided a capable and honest man be selected for governor, and gives advice regarding the conduct of colonial affairs. He complains of the injury to the interests of the colony which results from the Chinese trade in silks and other luxuries, and advises that it be stopped; then the Chinese will bring cattle, food, and other supplies, to the advantage of the Spaniards. The latter have devoted themselves to commerce; and, as most of them are soldiers, they neglect their military duties, lose their courage, and have become vicious and demoralized. Rojas urges that they be restrained from engaging in traffic, leaving the islands, or transferring their encomiendas to the crown. A seminary for girls should be established at Manila, and young women from Spain should be encouraged and aided to come to the islands. The gold obtained in the Philippines should be sent to Mexico, and a specified sum of money, in coin, should be sent thence to the islands each year. Rojas recommends that Bishop Salazar be made governor, and praises his qualifications for that office; next to the bishop, the auditor Ayala would be most suitable.
Juan Moron, a military officer, sends (June 30) a report of his expedition to Maluco with troops to succor the Spanish fort there. He urges that a stone fort be erected for the defense of Manila, and that some encomiendas of Indians be granted for the support of the municipal government; and commends the envoy Sánchez.
A group of documents which contain "measures regarding trade with China" (1586-90) throws much light on economic conditions in the Spanish colonies at that time. The first of these (dated June 17, 1586), although unsigned, is apparently written by a member of the royal Council of the Indias. He cites letters from several Spanish officials of high standing, to show that the Philippine-Chinese trade is injuring that of the mother-country and of Mexico; and the complaint is again made that Spanish money is continually flowing into China, thus depleting the wealth of the colonies. The writer recommends that the latter be forbidden to import Chinese goods; and that the viceroy of Nueva España be directed to take measures to accomplish this. Two days later, a decree to this effect is signed by the king. Extracts from a letter written (November 15) by the viceroy, after referring to the success of the efforts made to sustain the Spanish colony in the Philippines, and to propagate the Christian faith among the natives there, indicate the desirability of continuing the trade begun with China. Through this agency, his Majesty's subjects in the colonies are benefited, and (a still more important consideration) an open door for the entrance of the Christian faith into that heathen land is secured. If the Chinese trade be cut off, the Spanish population of the Philippines cannot be maintained, and the natives will rebel against their conquerors. The encomenderos depend upon the Chinese for clothing and food, and for the opportunity to dispose of the goods received from the Indians as tributes. In view of all these considerations, the viceroy has abrogated the royal decree for the present, and has, besides, ordered the collection of a heavy duty on all cloth imported from Spain to Mexico.
A brief of Sixtus V (November 15, 1586) erects into a province the former custodia of the Franciscan friars in the Philippines.
The viceroy of Mexico advises the home government (February 8, 1587) to encourage the merchants who carry on the Philippine trade, especially by selling to them ships made in the royal shipyards.
Santiago de Vera, governor of the Philippines, writes to the king (June 26, 1587). He entreats that more soldiers be sent, and that they be supplied with food and other necessaries; for, as those hitherto sent have received no food or pay, most of them have died from their privations, or from the unhealthful climate. In view of the recent destruction of the city of Manila by fire, Vera has forbidden the people to build any more houses of wood, obliging them to use stone for that purpose. Finding the city practically defenseless, Vera has begun to build near it a fort and other means of defense; and he asks for a small number of paid soldiers as a garrison for the city. He has assessed on the encomenderos and other citizens and on the Indians the expenses of these works. Another fort is needed at Cavite. The king is asked to grant money and workmen for completing these fortifications. Copper has been discovered in adjoining islands, also sulphur. The trade with China is important and flourishing; and the products of that country are offered at Manila at very low prices. The Chinese ask that the Spaniards will establish a trading-post in their country. Friendly intercourse with Japan is commencing, and the Jesuit missionaries there are freely allowed to preach the Christian faith. Vera has remitted the duties on goods brought to Manila from Japan and Macao. A controversy has arisen between him and the bishop, the latter having ordered that the Chinese converts to the Christian faith should cut off their long hair, which causes many to avoid baptism: the king is asked to settle this question. Vera has sent to Macao for the recalcitrant Mexican officer who was mentioned in a previous document. A Japanese prince, a Christian, offers to aid the Spanish with troops in any warlike enterprise that they wish to undertake.
A letter from the Audiencia to Felipe (June 25, 1588) reports the capture of the treasure-ship "Santa Ana" off the California coast, by the English adventurer Thomas Candish, which has caused much loss and hardship to the Spaniards in the Philippines. Complaint is made of vexatious imposts levied on the Philippine trade by the viceroy of Mexico; the Audiencia ask that he be ordered to cease these measures, also that he shall not meddle with letters sent from Spain to the islands, or with the personal affairs of officials there. The existence of the Philippine colony is endangered by the trade which is beginning between Mexico and China; and, having lost its best ships, colonists are no longer sent to augment its population. Gratuities from the royal treasury have been bestowed upon the various religious communities. The Audiencia commends the labors of the Jesuits, but advises that a college be not established for them, as they request, since "there are in all this country no students to attend their teachings." The hospitals should receive more aid from the crown. The difficulties between the bishop and the Audiencia are explained; but they are now adjusted, and peace prevails. It will be well to send many religious to the islands, provided they belong to the orders already there.
Documents of 1583-85
Foundation of the Audiencia of Manila (concluded). Felipe II;
Aranjuez, May 5, 1583.
Two decrees regarding the religious. Felipe II; San Lorenzo,
June 21, 1583, and Aranjuez, April 24, 1584.
Annual income of the royal exchequer in the Philippines. Andres
Cauchela, and others; Manila, June 15-30, 1584.
Letter to Felipe II. Melchor Davalos; Manila, July 3, 1584.
Letter to the archbishop of Mexico. Santiago de Vera; Manila,
June 20, 1585.
Two letters to Felipe II. Fray Geronimo de Guzman
[Madrid? 1585]; and Fray Jhoan de Vascones [1585?]
Sources: These documents are obtained from the original MSS. in the Archivo de Indias, Sevilla—excepting the royal decrees, which are found in the Crónica of Santa Inés and in the "Cedulario Indico" of the Archivo Historico Nacional, Madrid, respectively.
Translations: The first document is translated by Henry B. Lathrop, of the University of Wisconsin; the second and fourth, by Alfonso de Salvio, of Harvard University; the third, by Arthur B. Myrick, of Harvard University; the fifth, by José and Clara M. Asensio; the sixth, by Herbert E. Bolton, of the University of Texas.
Foundation of the Audiencia of Manila (concluded)
251. [Examinations not to be repeated.]
252. Item: We command that the said commissioners of examination [receptores], and special clerks who go on inquiries, shall not play games of chance, except for articles of food ready to be eaten, on pain of removal from office.
253-259. [Form of entry of witness's oath; fees charged must be endorsed; cases must be accepted promptly, in due order; absence and accounting for writs; fees received must be recorded; commissions may not be begged for; reports of investigations made out in public form must be given to the parties.]
260-264. [Taxing of charges; discharge of commissioners on completion of commission; commissioners may not be employed if they are relatives of clerks, attorneys, or advocates, or if they have boarded or lodged with them within a year; procedure on second trial.]
265-272. [Procedure in the assignment of commissions; cases accepted must not be thrown up; requests of parties for summoning of witnesses are not to be entered on the record; testimony is to be taken before local magistrates, if so desired; rights of commissioners-in-ordinary and of supernumerary commissioners to assignments.]
273. Item: A commissioner of inquiry may be appointed as soon as there shall be two court clerks appointed, or even one, that possible frauds may be avoided.
274-277. [Procedure in the event of challenge of commissioner; procedure for appointment of commissioners within and without the five leagues; oath of commissioner for outside cases; commissioners and clerks to take down testimony themselves, with no other person present.]
278. Item: No supernumerary commissioner shall be appointed without being examined, and giving bonds for the administration of his office. No dependent or member of a household of our said president and auditors may be appointed to such commissionership, under penalty that the clerk appointed contrary to this ordinance shall lose all fees and salary for the time during which he shall occupy himself with the commissionership.
279-280. [The number of lines on a page in a record of inquiry; the number of words in a line; the excellence of handwriting required; the dating of reports of examinations.]
281-284. [The bailiff's [portero] duties; his fees those of the bailiffs of the royal council; a lodging to be given him in the building of the Audiencia; tardiness fined one peso; excessive fees to be repaid sevenfold to the exchequer; presents for good news not to be accepted—penalty, fourfold repayment to the exchequer; the bailiff to enforce rules of precedence.]
285-286. [The warden [carcelero] shall accept no gifts from prisoners or others for them; shall not oppress them, or relax their imprisonment, or dismiss or arrest them without warrant; his oath.]
287. [His fees are those assigned to alguazils in the official table of fees.]
288. [A separate ward must be provided for women.]
289. [Nightly inspection is required. If prisoners escape through the warden's fault or negligence, he must suffer their penalty, or pay their debt]
290. [A full record of the prisoner's name and the circumstances of his imprisonment must be kept]
291. Item: He shall not entrust the keys of the prison to any Indian or black, on pain of being compelled to pay in his own person and estate the damage and injury which shall follow from his having so entrusted the keys.
292. [Warden and jailers are to have no business dealings or familiarity with the prisoners, or eat or gamble with them.]
293. [The jailers must live in the prisons.]
294. Item: There shall be a chaplain in the prison, to say mass before the prisoners daily; and the ornaments and other things necessary therefor shall be provided and paid for from the exchequer fines. The jailer shall take care that the chapel or place where mass is said shall be clean.
295. Item: He shall cause the prison and the cells thereof to be swept twice a week; and to be provided with clean water, so that the prisoners may drink without paying any fee. No jail-fee shall be charged to boys arrested for gambling, or to officials of our Audiencia arrested by order of our president and auditors—under a penalty of a fine of four times the amount, paid to our exchequer.
296. Item: No permission or opportunity for gambling shall be given in the jail, for money or other things except food. Wine shall not be sold to the poor; or, if sold, shall be sold at the price it is worth, and no more. No jail-fees shall be received from the poor under penalty of a fourfold fine for our exchequer.
Interpreters of the Audiencia
297. Item: We ordain and command that there shall be a body of interpreters for our said Audiencia; and that before they are admitted to exercise that office they shall swear in due form to perform their duties well and faithfully, in declaring and interpreting the case or matter committed to them, clearly and openly, without concealment or addition—declaring simply the fact of the crime, business, or testimony under examination. They shall likewise swear not to be partial to either side, or to favor one more than the other, and not to accept any reward for their service beyond the fee assessed and fixed for them, under the penalty decreed for forswearers, and the damages and interests of the parties, and a sevenfold return of the amount received, and removal from office.
298. Item: They shall receive no gifts or promises from Spaniards, or from the Indians, or from other persons who shall have or shall expect to have businesses or suits with them. They shall not accept such gifts or promises, of great or small amount, even for articles of food or drink; and even if these are voluntarily offered, without any request for them being made by the said interpreters or by others. In case of violation of this ordinance, they shall pay sevenfold what they have taken, for our exchequer; and charges thereof shall follow the procedure prescribed for charges against the judges and officials of our Audiencia.
299. Item: We ordain that the said interpreters shall not listen, in their own houses or out of them, to Indians who shall come to plead or do business in our Audiencia; but shall take them, without listening to them, to the said Audiencia, that there the case may be heard and determined in conformity with justice. In case of violation of this ordinance, they shall suffer for the first offense a penalty of three pesos for the court-room; for the second, double the penalty applied as aforesaid; and for the third, in addition to the said double penalty, they shall be dismissed from office.
300. Item: They shall not arrange the pleadings of Indians, nor be attorneys or solicitors in their cases and affairs, under the penalty prescribed in the preceding ordinance, applied as aforesaid.
301. Item: They shall be present at the meetings of court, at hearings, and at inspections of prisons, on every day that is not a holiday. At least in the afternoons they shall be present in the house of the president and auditors. All the above-mentioned duties, and each and every part and matter thereof, they shall take care to distribute among themselves in such a way that there shall not, by the default of them or of any of them, be any failure or delay in determining cases or other matters—under a penalty of two pesos for the poor for each day when the interpreters, men or women, or any of them, shall fail to do their duty in any of the aforesaid matters; and that, in addition, they shall pay the damages, interests, and costs to the party or parties detained for this cause.
302. Item: They shall not absent themselves without license from our president, under penalty of losing salary for the time while they were absent, and a fine of twelve pesos for the said court-room, for every instance of violation of this ordinance.
303. Item: We command that when they shall be occupied with suits or matters outside of the place where our said Audiencia shall sit, they shall accept nothing from the parties, directly or indirectly, beyond the fee assigned them. They shall make no bargains or agreements with the Indians, or partnerships, in any manner—under penalty of repaying sevenfold that which they thus accept and bargain for, and of perpetual discharge from office.
304. Item: For each day when any one of the said interpreters shall go out on commission and by order of our said Audiencia, from the place where it shall sit, they shall take as fee in addition to their salary two pesos, and no more; and shall accept no food or anything else from the parties, directly or indirectly, under the penalty of being obliged to repay it sevenfold to our exchequer.
305. Item: For each witness examined, if the interrogatory is of more than twelve questions, they shall receive two tomins; if the interrogatory is of less than twelve questions, one tomin, and no more, under penalty of paying fourfold to our exchequer. But if the interrogatory shall be long and the case laborious, the auditor before whom the examination is conducted may assess, in addition to the other fees, a moderate sum proportionate to the labor and time consumed.
306. Item: We command that the interpreters, each in turn, shall be in attendance at nine in the morning on every day when cases are heard, in the offices of the court clerks, to receive the memorandum which will be given him by the fiscal for summoning witnesses whom it shall be desirable to examine for the dues of the treasury—under a penalty of half a peso, for the poor of the prison, for every day of failure to be present.
307. And since, in regard to the fees to be taken by the officials of the said Audiencia, an official tariff [arancel] has been made, we command that what is contained therein shall be observed and fulfilled until other provisions are made and decreed by us.
308. Item: We ordain and command that, in the rest of the cases and matters, coming before the said Audiencia not here determined upon, shall be followed the ordinances made by us, and to be made by our said president and auditors.
Tariff of fees
309. [A list on which shall be entered the official tariff of fees must be posted in the court-room, and copies must be kept in the clerks' offices.]
310. Item: We ordain and command that our said president and auditors shall make a tariff of fees, in accordance with which our chief clerk of mines and the other officials who have no official tariff shall take their fees; and that they shall do the same in all the governments of their district, paying consideration to the nature of the offices, the region where they are situated, the expenses there, and the lack of supplies that may exist therein. These tariffs of fees are to be sent when made, with the signatures of the president and auditors, to our said council, to be examined and confirmed; and in the interim the tariffs which shall be made shall be observed.
311. Item: We command that in the house of our Audiencia there shall be a room in which there shall be a cabinet wherein shall be deposited the records of cases determined by the said Audiencia, after the decrees of execution [executorias] have been transcribed, the records of each single year being placed one above another. The court clerk shall place on each record of a case a strip of parchment stating the persons and the subject of the case. This shall be done within five days after the decree of execution has been transcribed. And in another part of the said room another cabinet shall be placed, in which shall be deposited the grants, decrees, and documents pertaining to the state, preëminence, and jurisdiction of the said Audiencia and provincial court [provincia] of its district. All shall be locked and the key be kept by the chancellor [chanciller]. All records shall be covered with parchment.
312. Item: We ordain and command that whenever an event occurs for which no provision or decree is made in these ordinances, and in the other decrees, provisions, and ordinances enacted for the said provinces, and in the laws of Madrid made in the year [one thousand] five hundred and two, and the provisions therein,  and command that our president and auditors, clerks and advocates, and other officials of our said Audiencia shall each, within thirty days, take the copy of this ordinance.
313. Item: We command that in the said Audiencia there shall be a record in which shall be entered all royal orders [cedulas] which we shall send or shall have sent to them; and they shall take care to observe and obey the same. And since it is our will that the said articles and ordinances above written shall be observed, and since it is likewise fitting for our service and the administration of our justice, we give commandment to our said president and auditors of the said Audiencia, which is accordingly to be established in the said city of Manila of the said island of Luçon, and to our fiscal, alguazil-mayor, and the officials and servants thereof whom the content of the said ordinances affects—both to those whom we now send and to those who shall be appointed henceforth—to each and every one of them, that they shall regard, observe, and perform them, and cause them to be observed and performed, in everything and for everything, as is contained and decreed in the said ordinances; and that they shall not proceed or act, or permit any to proceed to act, in any manner contrary to the tenor and form of these and of their contents.
Given at Aranjuez, May fifth, one thousand five hundred and eighty-three.
I The King
I, Antonio de Erasso, secretary to his Catholic Majesty, caused this to be written at his command.
The licentiate Diego Gasca de Salazar
The licentiate Alonso Martynez Espadero
The licentiate Don Gonsalvo de Çuñiga
Don Lope de Vaillo
The licentiate Emojosa
The licentiate Francisco de Villafañe
Ordinances to be observed by the Audiencia established by your Majesty's command in the city of Manila, of the island of Luzon, of the Philipinas.
[Endorsed: "Establishment of the Audiencia of Manila, and the ordinances which must be observed. In the year 1583."]
Two Royal Decrees Regarding the Religious
The Audiencia to Aid the Franciscans
The King: To the president and auditors of our royal Audiencia, established at our order in the island of Luzón in the Filipinas islands. To those islands have gone recently descalced religious of the order of St. Francis to preach the holy gospel, and to engage in the instruction and conversion of the natives therein; and more will go thither regularly, both from these kingdoms and from Nueva España. Now because we hope that, by means of their instruction and example, much fruit will be gathered among those natives, therefore we desire—a thing befitting the service of God, our Lord—that they be aided, and held in all estimation, so that with more energy and fervor they may continue their good purpose; and we order you that, as far as you are concerned, you aid them to the utmost of your ability, and extend to them all possible protection, whenever occasion offers, as their exemplary life merits. San Lorenzo, June twenty-one, one thousand five hundred and eighty-three.
I The King
Countersigned by Antonio de Eraso, and approved by the members of the council.
Legazpi's Aid to the Religious Approved
The King: To Doctor Santiago de Vera, president of our royal Audiencia established in the city of Manila, in the Filipinas islands; or, in his absence, to the person or persons to whom the government of the islands has been entrusted. Father Andres de Aguirre,  of the order of St. Augustine, has reported that the adelantado Miguel Lopez de Legaspe gave orders in my name to pay, as a gratuity for the support of each of the religious who were engaged in the conversion and instruction of the natives of those islands, one hundred pesos of Tepusque and one hundred fanégas of rice. Thus the religious have been aided, although in later years the judges and officials of my royal exchequer have paid this gratuity with some reluctance, alleging that for such payments my orders must be produced. The matter having been examined by my Council of the Indias, it was agreed that I should issue this my decree, by which I command you to provide for giving the aforesaid gratuity to the said religious, as above stated. This decree is to be executed without fail.
I, The King
By order of his Majesty:
Antonio de Eraso
Aranjuez, April 24, 1584.
Annual Income of the Royal Exchequer in the Philippines
Report of the annual income from tributes and other sources of profit appertaining to his Majesty in these islands of the West, and the ordinary expenses therein.
The tributes from the villages belonging to the royal crown amount in one year to twenty-two thousand pesos of eight reals each XXII U.  pesos
Dues from tithes and assays of gold, four thousand pesos IIII U. pesos
From import duties on merchandise which comes from Nueva España and China, six thousand pesos VI U. pesos
Fines accruing to the exchequer, one thousand pesos I U. pesos
XXXIII U. pesos
Salaries and ordinary expenses
The yearly salaries of the president, auditors, and fiscal of the royal Audiencia amount to sixteen thousand five hundred and forty-four pesos of the said gold XVI U. DXL[IIII] pesos
The salaries of two royal proprietary officials, and of another who serves to fill a vacancy, four thousand six hundred and eighty-seven pesos and four tomins IV U. DCLXXXV[II] pesos
Gratuities to the religious orders, three thousand pesos III U. pesos
Collection of tributes, one thousand five hundred pesos I U. D pesos
Ordinarily there are a hundred seamen, shipwrights, and forge-men, whose wages are paid from the royal treasury in Nueva España; and some assistance, charged to that treasury, is given to them in this island, as aid for their support, besides their ration of rice— which amounts in one year to two thousand pesos II U. pesos
Item: Fifty-five Indians who are carpenters, and a like number of iron- workers, for work on the ships; and a hundred other Indians for services in casting artillery, building houses for the royal service, work on the fortifications, manning the oars on three fragatas, and ordinary service— who earn two thousand pesos II U. pesos
Item: Twenty thousand fanégas of rice for the sustenance of the seamen, shipwrights, and iron-workers, and the Indians for the above works and services; at the rate of two tomins a fanéga, this costs five thousand pesos V U. pesos
Five hundred quintals of iron, at one peso a quintal U. D pesos
Also five hundred quintals of cordage, net weight, at one peso a quintal U. D pesos
Also five hundred quintals of pitch, at one peso a quintal U. D pesos
Five hundred pesos' worth of charcoal, for the forges U. D pesos
One thousand pesos' worth of timber, logs, and planks, for the dockyards and work on the ships I U. pesos
For the repairing of magazines, royal buildings, and fortifications, and for timber for the same, one thousand pesos more I U. pesos
The said expenses amount to forty-one thousand eight hundred and thirty-one pesos XLI U. DCCC. XXXI pesos
Accordingly, in one year the exchequer incurs a debt of eight thousand eight hundred and thirty-one pesos; usual debt of the treasury each year VIII U. DCCC. XXXI pesos
The said account does not include extraordinary expenses that arise, such as the pacification of the natives throughout these islands, and certain other expeditions, and material for their defense—expenses that occur each year (especially for the past three years), in this region. With the aid sent to Maluco, repairs on his Majesty's galleon which came from that place, the rebuilding of the fort and magazines, and the buildings which have been erected for the royal Audiencia and its president and auditors, the said works have cost his Majesty in all more than thirty thousand pesos in the said three years for extraordinary expenses, for which sum the royal exchequer is indebted.
Extraordinary expenses for three years, XXX U. pesos
Juan Baptista Roman
In the city of Manila, in the Philipinas Islands, on the fifteenth day of June, one thousand five hundred and eighty-four, the honorable president and auditors of the royal Audiencia established in this said city stated that, in order that his Majesty might be informed of the value of provisions and other articles sold in this island, as well as of the harvests therein and of the supplies that are brought from Nueva España and the realms of Castilla, they gave orders to make, and they did make, before me the following investigation.
Luis Velez Cherino
And, for the said investigation, the honorable licentiate Rojas, auditor of the royal Audiencia, took and received an oath before God and the blessed Mary, and on the sign of the cross and on words of the holy gospels, from Don Antonio Gofre Carrillo, treasurer of his Majesty's royal exchequer in this city and the Philipinas islands-under which obligation he promised to tell the truth. Being asked regarding the tenor of the title of this inquiry, he said that this witness knows that every year one or more ships come from Nueva España to these islands for traffic, which bring, as merchandise, velvets, satins, damasks, taffetas, ribbed cloths in colors, velvet caps, shoes and stockings, linens from Holland and Rouen, wine, vinegar, oil, olives, capers, preserves, hams and fat bacon, flour, soap, hats, netted hose, Cordovan leather, raisins, almonds, and many other articles from the produce of España and Nueva España. All these things are in this land usually worth double their value and cost in Nueva España. Many times we have experienced lack of wine for saying mass and for the sick; sometimes a jar holding an arroba of wine has been worth at least one hundred gold pesos, and even much more. These things which are brought from Nueva España are so necessary that the people, especially those of gentle birth, could not do without them. For instance, they cannot clothe themselves with stuffs that are made in this land, or with those that are brought from the mainland; for these are thin silks of such quality that garments made of them are worthless, for lack of durability and fineness. Consequently, they would not be worn if the people were not very poor. The supplies that we have at present in this country are pork and buffalo meat, fowls, rice, wax candles, and lard; and the Sangleys' flour, which is very poor and cannot be eaten. It is now held at so high a price that what was bought four years ago for a tostón cannot now be bought for three pesos. Where they used to give six fanégas of rice for one tostón, they now ask three pesos, at one tostón a fanéga. They used to sell twelve to sixteen fowls for four reals; at present, when there are no large fowls, they cost two or three reals apiece, instead of a tostón. A hog that used to cost alive four to six reals now costs six or seven pesos, and no one is found to buy. This witness thinks that the cause for the high prices in this country is that so many Spaniards have come hither, that so many of the natives of these islands have perished, and that so few people cultivate the soil or breed fowls or swine.  The witness knows this because, during the four years that he has spent in this land, he has seen that the conditions and events are as he has described them. He asserts this to be the truth, on the oath that he has taken. He declares that he is twenty-seven years of age, rather more than less; that he has no personal interest in this affair; and is fully competent to be a witness. He signed this with his name,
The licentiate Pedro de Rojas
Don Antonio Gofre Carrillo
Luis Velez Cherino
[Then follow the depositions of Juan Arze de Sadornel, Andres Cauchela, the captain Juan Pacheco Maldonado, Pedro Carballo, the ensign Christobal de Axcueta, Don Juan de Bivero (treasurer of the Manila cathedral, and a priest), and Don Juan de Armendares (canon of the cathedral, and a priest). They are couched in almost the same words as the foregoing. The testimony of all shows the high cost of living in the islands, and ascribes the cause to the great number of Spaniards, the deaths by disease and war of many natives, and the coming of great numbers of Chinese for purposes of trade, they as well as the Spaniards being non-producers. Of the natives many have engaged in trade and but few till the soil, thus increasing the dearth of provisions and forcing prices still higher. The two priests do not take the oath in the same form as the laymen, but by "placing the hand upon the breast, and swearing by their priestly word." After all of these depositions, each of them attested in due form by the notary, the document continues:]
All the above, according to what passed before me, the said clerk of the court, I have given and delivered, signed with my name and signet [i.e., flourish] to the honorable president and auditors, written on ten sheets together with this present, accompanied with my signet. In the city of Manila, in the Filipinas islands, on June thirtieth, in the year one thousand five hundred and eighty-four—the witnesses being Rodrigo de Leon and Alvaro Mendez de Herrera.
Luis Velez Cherino.
The words are crossed out where is read poner, a, y, queste de; and corrected where is read hacienda, tostones, and come; and de has been inserted between the lines. I, Luis Velez Cherino, court clerk of the royal Audiencia established in this city of Manila, have written this and caused it to be written; and here I affix my signet to such document, in witness of the truth.
Luis Velez Cherino.
Letter from Melchior Davalos to Felipe II
Royal Catholic Majesty:
It was through divine inspiration, we may believe, that your Majesty appointed a president and auditors for this extremity or beginning of the world; for at the very time when Governor Don Gonzalo Ronquillo had just died or was about to die, in this city of Manila, the Council, more than four thousand leagues from here, resolved upon and decreed the foundation of the royal Audiencia in Manila, and we came hither—as president and governor, Doctor Santiago de Vera; I, who was living quite neglected in Mexico, as first auditor; the licentiate Rojas as second auditor, and the licentiate Ayala as fiscal. It is said that another auditor, the licentiate Bravo, remained in Castilla; all of us excepting him came here. We set sail from the port of Acapulco on the ninth of March, according to the new computation of time which your Majesty, by order of the supreme pontiff, commanded us to observe. I mention this point because we who came enjoyed an experience never known before—namely, that while at sea we kept Ascension day, Whitsunday, Trinity Sunday, and Corpus Christi day; when we landed we kept and celebrated the same feast-days in Manila, because the new reckoning was not yet in force there, and does not come into effect until the fifth of October of the present year. It is a memorable event that according to the said new reckoning we arrived here on the twenty-sixth of May, and according to the old on the sixteenth of the same month.  The Audiencia was established with all the authority and pomp possible. We found the city burned down, and no habitable houses except those of straw, rushes, and boards, which could easily burn down again any day. Concerning this and other matters, a report will be sent by the president. The officials of the royal exchequer not only refused to lend me money, but did not even pay me more than half of the three months' salary due me from the time when I left Acapulco. The others have drawn their salaries from the time when they left Castilla, the president since he left Mexico, and I only from the day when we set sail. I am not unworthy of favors, most potent sire; for I have spent forty years in continual study, thirty of which have given me much experience in matters of justice and legal pleading, and this is well known in Mexico. If the records of the past be examined in the Council, it will be seen that in the ten or twelve months while I was fiscal of that royal Audiencia I accomplished more than did my predecessors for twenty years. Besides all this, I am a man of good repute. I was an advocate for the Inquisition during more than eleven years, namely, from the time when your Majesty established it in Mexico. My uncles and the relatives of Doña Maria de Sandoval, my wife, won Nueva España, as can be seen by the records of the royal Council of the Yndias; and no one is more worthy to receive the remuneration for his services than are my wife and I. By virtue of a decree ordering me to remove my entire family and household, the royal exchequer of Mexico lent me for the space of two years two thousand pesos to aid me on my voyage. This assistance was not sufficient, and, not being able to sell my estates, I was obliged to leave them deserted, because I had already sold my negroes. I shall be entirely ruined unless your Majesty release me from the payment of those two thousand pesos, or at least give me a continuance of ten years. I entreat your Majesty for this, since in order to foster decency among the women I brought here three sons and a nephew, whose exceedingly honorable and virtuous reputation is known throughout Nueva España, where I brought them up.
With the help of God, who in His infinite mercy made me pleasing and well liked, I shall endeavor to live, administer justice, and deal with others irreproachably. Since this is so, and I dwell in a land where there is so little stability and truth, I beseech your Majesty not to judge me without first hearing me. I greatly honor the president, and the authority which even a duke would maintain if he were here as your Majesty's lieutenant; for in distant regions this befits the service of your Majesty. Nevertheless, in what concerns the administration of justice, I strive to lose no opportunity. The president is in poor health at present, and I do not know whether in his letters he has touched upon the matters which I shall mention here.
I wrote from Mexico beseeching your Majesty, for the peace of the royal conscience and of the consciences of us who serve here, that a consultation be held to decide upon what shall be done with the Mahometans, of whom these islands are full. I sent a report, and said that, keeping the matter in mind, I would send a more detailed account from here; but I could not find time for study, on account of my continual occupation in the sessions of the Audiencia and rendering opinions. This year I am probate judge, and for the first four months of the year provincial alcalde; and since people find that matters are readily settled I am beset by the natives with their petty lawsuits. I wish that I might have had more time to collect what can be put together, and to write on law. However I shall not neglect perchance to make some slight report. The following is a clause from a letter of your Majesty which I found, addressed to the adelantado Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, the first discoverer of these islands, in effect this:
"We have also been petitioned in your behalf concerning the Moro islands in that land, and how those men come to trade and carry on commerce, hindering the preaching of the holy gospel and disturbing you. We give you permission to make such Moros slaves, and to seize their property. You are warned that you can make them slaves only if the said Moros are such by birth and choice, and if they come to preach their Mahometan doctrine, or to make war against you or against the Indians, who are our subjects and in our royal service. But in no way or manner shall you enslave the Indians who have embraced the doctrine of Mahoma; on the contrary, you shall endeavor to persuade and convert them to our holy Catholic faith by kind and lawful methods."
To make universal arrangements is to pass infallible rules, and in law we can hardly find such a rule; therefore we must distinguish in both times and occasions. With due respect, it seems to me that all Mahometans are enemies of the Church; and all the Ismaelites, their allies, confederates, and descendants must have the words of the Scriptures (as found in the 16th chapter of Genesis) written in their hearts: Hic erit ferus homo, manus ejus contra omnes et manus omnium contra eum.  Wonderful events occurred (and it would be well for your Majesty to have them examined and investigated) in the histories of Portugal, in the Decadas of Barros and in the books of Osorio, the good bishop of Algarve, —who, by command of his Majesty the king, Cardinal Don Enrrique, wrote in Latin the history of the life, deeds, and virtues of the most renowned king Don Manuel, your Majesty's grandfather. All these books abound in accounts of field and naval battles, which the viceroys and captains-general of Malaca, Goa, Calicud, Ormus, and many other places, fought against well-known Moros of that region and those from Samatra, Java, and Bornei, who were aided by Turks, Mamelukes, Moors from Tunez [Tunis], and Moors who were driven away from Granada at the time of the Catholic kings. In a battle against Alfonso de Albuquerque  were seven hundred Mamelukes, three hundred Turks, and a thousand Moors from Tunez and Granada—sent there by the Sultan of Egipto [Egypt] before the Turks had defeated him. They peopled and filled these islands. Every year Turks come to Samatra and likewise to Borney; in Maluco and in Ternate these Turks are gathered against your Majesty, and have caused a great number of Christians who were instructed in the Catholic faith to apostatize. Moreover the king of that place is allied with the English heretics, and the Moros have inflicted terrible martyrdoms upon the Christians of these regions. The care with which the Turks have always offered help, both past and present, and that showed by the sultan at the time of Pope Julius the Second, is well known, and can be verified in the history by the said bishop of Algarve, book 4, folio 122. The sultan wrote to the pope, complaining of the said kings Don Manuel and the Catholic Don Fernando—saying that the Moors whom the latter had driven away from Granada and Castilla had gone to Egipto to complain; and that King Don Manuel was pursuing the Moors through the Red Sea and neighboring regions. He added that if this were not remedied, by ordering the said princes to desist from persecuting the Mahometans, he would destroy the holy house at Jerusalem and the sepulcher of the Redeemer. As can be verified, the letter contains many profane remarks against Christianity. It was sent by a Franciscan friar who lived in a monastery on the mount called Sion, and who was guardian there at Jerusalem. The said pontiff, as soon as he saw the letter, sent a copy of it to Castilla and Portugal through the same friar. King Don Manuel, your Majesty's grandfather, sent the celebrated answer to the pontiff, saying that he gave advice neither to the Apostolic See nor to the sacred council of cardinals; but what he answered (and he would do it with all his might) was to persecute Mahometans forever. He added that the Holy Father was much to blame for the sultan's pride, since he did not gather and unite in peaceful alliance the Christian princes, who were divided by wars in their own interests, and were neglecting so common an interest as that of undoing the power of Moors and Turks. He also answered that he understood his father and father-in-law, the Catholic king Don Fernando, to give the same answer. As I have said before, the histories of Portugal are full of these old enmities. It seems as if this evil sect had increased and multiplied in the West as well as in the islands and countries of the East. Indeed the various causes for this are to be found in the condition of these regions and in the measures, decrees, or instructions like those issued for Peru, Nueva España, and the other Yndias.
Concerning slavery, the main thing to be noticed is that we have here many kinds of slaves: some are slaves because their fathers and grandfathers were such; others sold themselves ad pretium participandum, either to make use of the money or to pay their debts; others were captured in war; others became slaves because, being orphans, they were held in that condition for food and expenses; others were sold in times of famine by their fathers, mothers, or brothers; others bear that name because of loans, for interest multiplies rapidly among the Indians and the Moros, and thus a poor man becomes a slave. There are men who become slaves on account of crimes, and failure to pay fines and penalties; and others for not having paid the tribute or tributes of their lords. Each of these reasons is an argument for justifying slavery. I chose to mention these details because it is proper to notify your Majesty and your Council of them.
Your Majesty has passed laws forbidding any one to take money out of your realms, or to buy or sell to pirates. But every year the Chinese take away all the money there is. There are many ships here, twenty-five or thirty in number, with four thousand men who have come here to trade. We fear no extortion on their part, because of the great importance to them of our commerce; but, as we have no merchandise to give them, having nothing except reals, it will be advisable for your Majesty to send orders as to what we should do, and how we are to decide the question of slaves, since there are so many classes of them, as I have shown above.
The poverty of the soldiers who come here is extreme, for they draw no pay, and the country cannot support them. It would be advisable to send orders to employ them in conquests, and to send over many soldiers. Also orders should be given to build some galleys which should not lie idle and become ruined, as did those left by Doctor Sande. Although the Indians and Moros here have taken to the oars with reluctance, we are greatly aided by having here, usually, Chinese who are willing to be hired at a low price. In all this may your Majesty take such measures as are most advantageous to your service.
About twelve days ago we received letters from Maluco, in which the captain commanding at that place says that the king of Ternate is now powerful, and has seized the most important stronghold. A reënforcement of eighty or a hundred men, with supplies, had been sent to him before the arrival of the Audiencia; and he says that he can hold out until the end of October or November. Speaking of the war which is to be carried on, the president was and is about to send four hundred men and a thousand friendly Indians. He is perplexed about the election of the captain-general, for each of the captains who seek that post desires to be sole commander, while the rest show displeasure that one of their equals should be appointed. Moreover, no one of them is pleased that Captain Bartolome Vaez Landero may be the commander. He is a Portuguese, who came here from Macan through the agency of Governor Diego Ronquillo, and remained here to protect this land with two ships, well equipped with artillery, in the service of your Majesty. On seeing this controversy, I proposed to the president on St. John's day that I and my sons, with our weapons, would go with the soldiers to serve in this expedition. The captains who are candidates are satisfied to have me for their general, and the Portuguese captain and his men are even more pleased. The president says that we shall deliberate upon what should be done, and still he has not come to any decision with me. He will wrong me if he withholds from me the leadership in this affair. In all that pertains to justice, I shall always be ready, with the help of God, who will favor me, to recover your Majesty's territories and to punish your enemies.
It is also important for the service of God that, by order of your Majesty, some decision be made as to the punishment that we shall inflict upon the Chinese or Sangleyes for the infamous crime which, as people here tell me, they practice on board their ships.  I am studying the question in order to inform this Audiencia; but, since the punishment may hinder commerce, it will be necessary to observe moderation, until your Majesty shall inform us what should be done in this matter. I have reproached and admonished the friars, telling them that they ought to exhort these wretched people. Some of them tell me that they are unwilling to baptize the Chinese, because they feel sure that they will apostatize as soon as they return to their own country. I tell them that they should do what it is in them to do; and that, if God does not choose to call these people, at least it should not be left undone by the friars. I shall always insist upon this.
When I spoke of Ternate, I forgot to mention a very important matter, which perhaps is already forgotten. There was a king in Ternate called Cachil Boleyfe, aged and very prudent, regarded by the Moros as a prophet. He was taken to Malaca because of a certain crime; and, having been acquitted, he received baptism and died there as a Catholic. He said that, having no legitimate successor, he constituted King Don Juan the Third of Portugal his heir to the kingdom and islands subject to Ternate. This will was brought to Ternate, and all the chiefs of the kingdom swore allegiance to the new king, with great feasting and solemnity. Possession of the kingdom was taken, with all the ceremonies required by law. This is what the historians say, especially Juan de Barros—in the third Decada, book five, chapter six. At the end of the seventh chapter, he says that the fortress now held by the tyrant was built by Captain Antonio de Brito, who began the work with his own hands on St. John's day, in 1522. He did this with the consent of all the Moros, and therefore called the fort San Juan. It is well that your Majesty should know the very foundation of your rights, and should at least understand that my endeavor is to give information and service. May God permit your Majesty to live, without setting a bound to your life; for the human race and the Church of God have need of this. From the city of Manila, July 3, in the year 84 (according to the old reckoning, as I have said). Most powerful Lord, your most humble servant kisses the feet of your Majesty.
The licentiate Melchior Davalos
[Endorsed: "To the sacred royal Catholic Majesty of the king, Don Phelipe, our sovereign lord. In his Council of the Indies." "Philipinas. To his Majesty, 1584. From the licentiate Melchor de Abalos, July 3." "Examined; there is nothing to be answered."]
Letter from Santiago de Vera to the Archbishop of Mexico
Most Illustrious Señor:
I was more content to learn of the health of your illustrious Lordship  than to know that you governed that land—since the first is of so great importance, and the other is merited by your Lordship. I hope that our Lord will bestow on you the see of St. Peter, that all may be as we your servants desire.
After having written another letter which accompanies this, I received that of your illustrious Lordship which came in the ship "San Juan." As in the other I have referred to some things that may be omitted here, and as I do not wish to weary your Lordship with a long account of business attendant on your charge, I write this only to assure your Lordship that you may command me.
Great satisfaction was felt in this country that the ship "Mora" arrived so miraculously at port. The death of the crew, I assure your Lordship, was not for lack of supplying themselves here with the necessaries for the voyage; for although but little time was spent in despatching the ship, I exercised much diligence in seeing that more men and provisions were shipped than is customary. There are things which our Lord permits; since it was His will that they should die, it was an instance of His great clemency.
I have always tried to fulfil your Lordship's commands in regard to the lord bishop, and he may command me and I will obey; but I know of no means in the world whereby I can preserve his love and make it lasting.
I kiss the hands of your illustrious Lordship for the kindness that you do me in encouraging me to the work of this office; but as I am old and worn, the extra duties are very heavy for me, especially since I receive so little aid from my associates, and since the Council [of the Indias] so poorly seconds my efforts. As they are so far away and do not know affairs here in detail, they make some regulations so far from what is proper that, if they were complied with, it would be the undoing of this land, and his Majesty's service would suffer greatly. In order that your illustrious Lordship may understand how affairs stand, I declare that everything concerning the government and war in these islands depends on the president. He must attend to everything punctually; and, in order to comply with his Majesty's commands, he must pay over and spend from the royal treasury what is necessary for the affairs of government and of war. No account can be given thereof, and in delay there would result great inconveniences. The despatch of the ships would cease, as well as the work in the shipyards, the defense of these islands, and the supply of aid to other islands, in accordance with his Majesty's commands. Knowing all this, which is evident, I received the decree of which a copy goes with this. This gave an opportunity for the officials to excuse themselves from honoring my orders for money, and soon the Audiencia commanded that they be not observed. For the revocation of this decree it is necessary to wait three years, and although in my commission his Majesty has given me full power for everything, I am prevented for the most trivial reasons from exercising my authority. I am writing to his Majesty, but it will be of more effect to give an account thereof to your illustrious Lordship; for, if nothing is done, it is of no use whatever for his Majesty to have a governor or captain-general, nor is there any reason for his Majesty to go to such expense from the royal exchequer only to have it lost.
I have tried to make arrangements with the Sangleys here for them to bring me a quantity of quicksilver,  according to your Lordship's orders; but for some time past they have been carrying it to the Japanese; in that country there are many silver mines, where they receive a good price for it. On this account the quicksilver has increased in value, and they are so shrewd merchants that they will not believe that this kind of traffic is desired. I shall proceed with them gradually, until it can be seen whether they will give it at the price which your Lordship has fixed. I shall advise your illustrious Lordship of the result thereof.
I appreciate greatly the favor which your illustrious Lordship has done me, by the favorable and prompt despatch of these ships. I kiss your Lordship's hands a thousand times and everyone here does the same, as I have informed them of the difficulty of the task which your Lordship has so easily accomplished. Although I have tried to despatch the ships here with all haste, I am informed by sailors who understand the matter that it is not safe to send them out until the twentieth or twenty-fifth of June. The weather is not settled until then, and they usually put into a harbor during bad weather. Nevertheless, henceforth I will have them sail from here in the middle of June, in order that there shall not be the inconveniences to which your Lordship refers.
Although much merchandise has come from China this year, little has been sold for lack of reals, and the Indians hid and kept the goods until now. At the news of the arrival of the ships, and the knowledge that they bring considerable money, they have taken courage and have rejoiced exceedingly. In order that these Indians may increase their trade to any extent, it is necessary that money be sent in sufficient amount and at regular intervals.
Your illustrious Lordship commands me to observe the orders given to Francisco Gali about the discovery of the route from these ports toward Nueva España. I will keep your Lordship's commands to the letter, and will try to advise you soon, although the ship "San Juan" is of no use, as it is worm-eaten and old. I shall have carpenters examine it, and if it will not serve, I shall have them inspect the ships which I have here, to see if any are fit, and to avoid the expense and delay.
Your Lordship commands that the mining of gold be done with the aid of quicksilver, as is done in Talpaxagua. In another letter I gave an account to your Lordship of what has been done in mining here.
We have seen the royal decrees concerning the harmony which his Majesty commands us to maintain with the viceroy and captains of India and Maluco, whom we must aid. On one occasion they sent an urgent request from Maluco, the captains assuring me that with two or three hundred men the whole matter could be settled, and the fort and islands be restored to his Majesty. They had been usurped by the petty king of Terrenate, as will appear in a copy of the letter accompanying this. As these men could be spared from here without risk, I sent about four hundred arquebusiers and a large number of natives with artillery, powder, and ammunition. There were also twenty-seven small boats and fragatas and one galley, sufficiently provided for one year. Although they became separated on the way, and because of the weather six boats were lost on the coast of Panay, I had others provided, and they continued their voyage—all except one boat with two pieces of artillery and fifteen or twenty men, and some powder and ammunition. Moreover a galleon sent as succor from India with two hundred Portuguese did not arrive; and the Moros had fortified themselves, together with many Jabos [Javanese], Turks, and those of other nationalities. There was also negligence on the part of Diego de Acambuja, the commander of that fort,  by whose order this aid was sent, in accordance with the commands of his Majesty. Some suspicions were entertained of this commander and there were indications that he did not wish the war to end, because the bartering in cloves and the trade thereabout would also come to an end, as your illustrious Lordship will see by the accompanying relation. Although in our camp there was great eagerness to attack the Moro, nothing was accomplished—a result partly due to the controversies between Captain Pereyra, whom his Majesty had commanded to take charge of the place, and Diego de Acambuja, who held it, over the latter's surrender of the fort. I have been assured by persons who have witnessed the affair, and I have so understood, that, should his Grace desire not to abandon that holding and to keep the government of Maluco in the power of Castilians, there will be great difficulty in winning it. No more aid can be sent from here unless his Grace supply aid to this country, with an allowance for the former object—as is done in Florida, which is of less importance. Provision should be made for sending troops and arms, since his Grace has not enough in the royal treasury for our needs here, and there are no more troops than are needed for defense. I beseech your illustrious Lordship thus to explain the affair to his Majesty.
In regard to Don Diego de Alcaraso, I have no merit in favoring and advancing him, since he deserves it, and is extremely judicious and a thorough gentleman. He is supported without any trouble or annoyance whatever. He is the governor in the fort at Mindoro, and is at present in this city. Don Pedro de Angulo has not arrived from Maluco, and, as to affairs there, I am particularly anxious in his behalf. For some months I have had Bustamante employed at a salary which he still enjoys, and now that I know that your Lordship is pleased with this I shall put him in a better place. Captain Machuca has been guilty of great stupidity, for as he was about to depart to take charge of the governorship of a fort, provided and appointed according to his deserts, he got married, and not as well as I could have wished. I shall give a present to Father Pina, as your Lordship orders.
Your illustrious Lordship grants me grace so often that I can only show my gratitude by beseeching our Lord to keep your Lordship for the many years necessary, and during which I would have you live. I well realize the favor done my daughter, and it is enough that your Lordship has shown her kindness, to have all the nuns do the same.
Although there are facilities in this country for making ships of all kinds, and the best yet built has not exceeded in cost six thousand pesos—and many private individuals would after this engage in it for the sake of gain if they could maintain the industry—yet the expenses incurred with the necessary force of sailors and workmen, can be sustained only by the king. The greatest difficulty is in the bringing of the anchors and rigging from Vera Cruz. Your illustrious Lordship knows from experience what it costs his Majesty to transport sailors to Mexico, from there to these islands, and from here to the port of Acapulco; and the expense of overhauling the ship, and of keeping it there a winter. Therefore although I wish to aid Captain Esteban Rodriguez in the despatch of the ship that he has built, I do not know if it can depart hence for lack of men. It is hard to find them; for, although a large number of sailors usually come here from Nueva España to bring the ships here, they are all needed on the return. They bring here the fragatas and vessels which convey hither aid and means of defense for this land, and take back the provisions and other supplies needed in the king's service. Nevertheless, I shall do everything possible for the said captain.
I believe that Baltasar de Aldana, nephew of the schoolmaster Don Santiago Sanchez, will embark in this ship, which he is permitted to do through your illustrious Lordship's orders.
I understand thoroughly that I am importunate, but the requirements of health and the discontent of Doña Ysabel oblige me again to beseech your Lordship to favor me and try to influence his Majesty to grant me grace in España—in the meantime permitting me to act as auditor in Mexico, with permission to serve his Majesty there, as I have fulfilled my commissions here, and am of little use, being now old and worn. It is just that I be established in a place where I can leave my wife and children. I hope, by the grace of God and that of your illustrious Lordship, that I may shortly be delivered from this captivity.
The artillery which I brought returned in the ships "Mora" and "San Martin;" and because the ship "Santa Ana" is of such importance, I ordered three excellent pieces of bronze artillery to be placed on board besides powder and ammunition. In order that we may not suffer from the lack of artillery in giving this, I beseech your illustrious Lordship to have the artillery returned in the same ship, "Santa Ana," as the Japanese have commenced to show signs of hostility, and it is not desirable that they or other pirates should make light of our power.
By two conveyances I am sending plans of the site and city of Terrenate to his Majesty; one goes through the Council and the other directly to the royal person, both being transmitted by the hand of your illustrious Lordship—whom I beg to send them with the letter packets, so that the one for the royal person is delivered through Antonio de Heraso, and the other directly to the Council.
There is one Juanes Viscayno, whom we wish to hold in the criminal court, as he was a false witness in a serious case against one Artiaga Panadero, a resident of that city [Mexico]. He is sent as a prisoner; may your Lordship be pleased to command that he be delivered to the alcaldes.
I ordered Diego Ronquillo, the former governor of these islands, to present himself at the royal criminal court at Madrid, to account to his Majesty for the large sum of money that had been delivered to him as the executor and trustee of Don Gonçalo Ronquillo.  He is escorted by an alguazil to the royal prison of that Audiencia, so that, in case sufficient bonds are not given at his presentation in the criminal court of his Majesty, he may be held a prisoner, in accordance with the said residencia, which I am sending. I beg your illustrious Lordship to command that these arrangements be carried out.
Juan Martin Coyfino will, I believe, escort these prisoners; and, as he is a very zealous man, I have recommended that he take with him the Sangley religious.  I entreat your illustrious Lordship to see that his companion is rewarded, also to order the payment of their expenses. May our Lord watch over the illustrious person of your Lordship and may the prosperity of your house increase as we your servants desire. Manila, June 20, 1585. Illustrious Lord, your servant and client kisses the hands of your illustrious Lordship.
Doctor Santiago de Vera 
Two Letters to Felipe II
With regard to the letters of Fray Joan de Plasencia, custodian of the descalced friars of the custodia of San Gregorio de las Philippinas—communicated to me by the secretary, Joan de Ledesma, in pursuance of an order by the council—I declare that the truth is that Fray Joan  de Talabera, commissary of the same descalced friars, who went from here, took a commission from the nuncio (quite contrary to the custom among religious orders), from which no benefit has resulted. Accordingly, although the said commission is clearly an affair of no value in law, the office of the grantor having expired, yet since those religious are very scrupulous, and have but little knowledge of this matter, it might be well that the present nuncio revoke the commission, and that the said custodia be governed by the authority of the order, as are all the other provinces of our order.
Hitherto the province of San Josepe [in Mexico], of the descalced friars from Castilla, has had charge of that custodia, by apostolic brief; and it was not subject to me, nor might I send friars thither or remove them. But when the said province considered how inadequately it could govern the custodia, the brief was renounced in the session of the chapter which was held in this year 85 at the town of Cadahalso, and that custodia has been assigned to me; and henceforth whatever may be necessary can be supplied for the said province,  by order of the council.
As for sending friars to the said custodia, I have information that a religious of the same descalced order, who comes from that country to discuss this matter, went direct to Monzon without going to Madrid to report the needs of his custodia to his Majesty. Therefore it appears to me that the sending of religious, and other matters, might be suspended until his arrival.
Fray Geronimo de Guzman
That which the order of our glorious father St. Augustine, resident in the Philipinas and the lands of China, humbly asks from his Majesty and from his royal Council of the Indias is the following:
First, that his Majesty cause to be sent to those realms the greatest number of religious who can possibly go, in response to the very pressing need (which is felt now more than ever) for preachers of the gospel of God. They ask this not only for the lands held by his Majesty which are now at peace (where there is much need), but also for the great kingdom of Cochin China, for that of Sian, and for other foreign lands—to which those who lack so great a blessing, since they have no one to show them the way, beseech and call us. Herein the religious of that province beg of his Majesty that he reward the hardships which they have suffered, and are now suffering, in his service and that of God.
Item: that the said religious shall not go [from Spain], as heretofore, by way of Nueva España, inasmuch as the majority remain there, and not a third part of those who have departed for those regions, at the expense of his Majesty, have ever arrived there. Nor even of those who have come from there [the Philippines] has a single religious returned; because all have remained in España, or in the province of Mexico. This has occasioned no little trouble to those of us who reside there. From this it follows that the intention of his Majesty is defeated, and the result which is attempted is not attained. On this account our order there begs his Majesty to command that the said religious shall make the voyage by way of India to Malaca, and from Malaca to Macan,  where friars of our order have gone to settle. The vicar-general has my instructions as to what the religious should do if they go thither, as I hope they will.
There are better opportunities for the friars to distribute themselves from Macan, for the preaching of the gospel, than from any other place—especially too, as the said journey is no less short and safe by this route than by Nueba España; for it is quite certain that the religious may not remain in any place where they are not greatly needed, or where they may not produce much fruit among infidel heathen. Herein there is need of a decree to the effect that neither the viceroy nor the archbishop of India, nor any other authorities whatsoever, ecclesiastical or secular, shall hinder the said religious from making any journey or from asking alms; but that they shall give the said religious every aid and protection, in order that they may go from India to Malaca, and from Malaca to Macan, and from Macan to whatever place their superiors may order. Still another decree is needed, that the said religious or any others of our order may, provided that they have instructions to that effect from their superiors, freely build monasteries in remote and infidel lands—without awaiting mandate, order, or permission from the viceroy or archbishop of India, or from other authorities. This requirement is very inconvenient and a hindrance, inasmuch as in many of those places it is not possible to go for and return with the said permission within the space of a year—during which time it may well happen that the opportunity would be lost, and with it the fruit which it might bear.
Another decree is also needful in order that the governor and the Audiencia of Manila, the bishop or any other person, may not cause hindrance or opposition to the provincial of our order by sending religious at will to countries of China or other infidel lands, as seems best to him for the service of God; for the instruction in the faith, which the religious have established in the islands, is sustained at their charge.
This our community begs and entreats from his Majesty, at this time; and for this purpose they have sent to these lands of España a native religious, named Fray Jhoan de Vascones, interpreter and minister of these districts.
Fray Jhoan de Vascones 
[Endorsed: "The Augustinians of the Filipinas. Council General of the Indias."]
History of the Great Kingdom of China
Compiled by Father Juan Gonzalez de Mendoza. Madrid: Printed by Pedro
Madrigal, in the year 1586.
Source: A copy of the Madrigal edition of Mendoza's Historia, in the Library of Congress.
Translation: The translation is made (of such parts as relate to the Philippine Islands) by James A. Robertson.
History of the Great Kingdom of China
[Juan Gonzalez de Mendoza's  Historia is divided into two parts—the first part containing three books; the second two books, and an "Itinerary" of certain Franciscan priests, who made the circumnavigation of the globe. Much of the matter for the Historia was gathered from Chinese books carried to Manila from China by Martin de Rada and his companions, the first Augustinians to go to China, and translated by them. In addition, much information was obtained from the Augustinians and their lay companions, and from the Franciscans—in especial from Father Martin Ignacio, one of those who composed the "Itinerary." The Philippine Islands are treated in portions of the second part, and in a portion of the "Itinerary;" this matter we reproduce in translation.
The first book of Part I consists of ten chapters, wherein is given a rapid survey of the country of China and its people and government; of certain social and economic conditions, and of its products. The second book, consisting also of ten chapters, treats of the religion and superstitions of the Chinese (wherein some peculiar parallels with the Christian religion are drawn), their mortuary and marriage customs, and treatment of the poor and infirm. The third book has twenty-four chapters, wherein are treated, in some detail, many different matters relating to China. These include an historical account of the kings of that empire; a description of the royal city; the fifteen provinces of the empire, their government, garrisons, and means of defense; laws of warfare; the royal council and its method of procedure; the judiciary and the execution of justice; scholarship and education;  ceremonies at banquets and on other occasions; their ships and certain of their occupations; and their morals. Our author finds interesting the use of artillery and the knowledge of the art of printing in China, prior to their invention in Europe. This part concludes with an account of Chinese courtesy to foreign ambassadors; and of the embassy to that country, entrusted to Gonzalez de Mendoza and other religious in 1580, by the Spanish king, but not carried into effect.]
Second Part of the History of the Great Kingdom of China
This second part is divided into two books and an itinerary, and discusses the following topics.
The first book contains in sequence the things witnessed and heard in that kingdom by Fathers Martin de Herrada, provincial of the order of St. Augustine in the Felipinas Islands, and his associate Fray Geronymo Marin,  and some soldiers who accompanied them.
The second, the miraculous voyage to this same kingdom by Father
Fray Pedro de Alfaro, custodian of the order of St. Francis in the
Felipinas, and his associates.
An itinerary of the father custodian of the same order, Fray Martin Ignacio, who went from España to China, and thence back to España, by way of East India, thus circumnavigating the world; the very remarkable things that he saw and heard during the voyage.
The departure of the Spaniards from Mexico to the Felipinas
Islands, and the information obtained there of the great Kingdom of
China. Chapter I.
While Don Luis de Velasco, viceroy and lieutenant for the Catholic king, Don Felipe, our lord, was in charge of the government of the kingdom of Mexico, his Majesty ordered him to fit out a large fleet in the Southern Sea, to levy the soldiers necessary for it, and to send it on a voyage of discovery to the islands of the West. The renowned captain Magallanes (when he circumnavigated the globe in the ship "Victoria") had already given information about these islands. The viceroy obeyed most carefully and assiduously his Majesty's orders. He fitted out the fleet at great cost, and despatched it from Puerto de la Navidad in the year sixty-four. As general of it, and governor of the land to be discovered, he appointed the honorable Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, who died afterward in the same islands with the title of adelantado, one year previous to the entrance into China of Fathers Fray Martin de Herrada, Fray Geronymo Marin,  and their associates. The Spaniards explored the said islands, and colonized some of them for his Majesty, especially that of Manila. This island has a circumference of five hundred leagues. The city of Luçon (also called Manila) was settled there. It is, as it were, the metropolis of the island. In this city the governors who have gone to the Felipinas since their discovery have, as a rule, resided. There also a cathedral church has been founded, and a bishopric erected, his Majesty appointing to this office the very reverend Don Fray Domingo de Salazar of the order of Preachers, in whom are found the qualities of holiness, upright conduct, and learning requisite in that province. He was consecrated in Madrid in the year one thousand five hundred and seventy-nine. There are also, at present, three monasteries of religious—one of Augustinians, who were the first to enter these islands in obedience to his Majesty's orders, and have preached the evangelical law to the great gain of souls, and with no little suffering, many of them having lost their lives in this occupation; the second, of descalced friars of the order of St. Francis, of the province of San Joseph, who have approved themselves by their good example, and have been very useful in those regions; and the third, of Dominicans or Predicants, who have been of no less service. All of these have passed a certain time in these islands. Afterward the Jesuit fathers came to these regions; they have been of great help to the above-mentioned religious.
On their arrival at these islands, the Spaniards at once heard many things concerning the great kingdom of China, both through the relations of the islanders, who told of that country's wonders; and through what they themselves saw and heard, after a few days, from the crews of certain vessels entering that port with merchandise and very curious articles from that kingdom. These latter told them in detail of the greatness and wealth of that country, and the many things related in the first three books of this history. As soon as the Augustinian religious (then the only religious in those islands), and especially their provincial, Fray Martin de Herrada—a man of great worth, and most erudite in all branches of learning—were aware of the greater advantages possessed by the Chinese, who come to trade among those islands, in comparison with these islanders, and especially in the matters of civilization and ability, they immediately conceived a great desire to go to preach the gospel to those people, so capable of receiving it. With this object in view, they began most carefully and studiously to learn the Chinese language, which the above-mentioned provincial mastered in a short time, making also of the same a grammar and dictionary. Besides this, they gave many gifts and presents to the Chinese merchants, in order to be conveyed to their country. They did many other things, which are illustrative of their holy zeal—even to offering themselves as slaves to the merchants, in order that, in this manner, they might enter the country for the purpose of preaching. But all these efforts were of no avail, until the divine will showed another and better method, which will be related in the following chapter.
The sea-power of the pirate Limahon from the Kingdom of China, and his defeat of Vintoquiam, a pirate from the same Kingdom. Chapter II.
The Spaniards were enjoying in peace and quiet their new settlement of Manila, without apprehension of any accident that might disturb their peace, and ignorant of any hostile treachery that might harm them; for the islands were quite pacified, and submissive to the Catholic King Felipe, our lord, and the trade with the Chinese was continuing. This last seemed sufficient guarantee to ensure their present quiet; and likewise, because they knew of the law among these people (as has been related in the history) that prohibited them from warring with anyone outside of their own kingdom.  They were enjoying this peace when Limahon, a pirate from the kingdom of China—of pirates there is, as a rule, no lack along this coast, both because of the dense population of the kingdom, so that necessarily, vagabonds are by no means uncommon; and (the principal reason) because of the tyranny exercised by the rulers toward their subjects—came to these islands with an immense fleet, as will be related hereafter, with the intention of working them harm. This pirate was born in the city of Trucheo in the province of Cuytan, called by the Portuguese Catim. He was the son of parents in moderate circumstances, who, while he was a child, reared him in the midst of vice and license. On this account, and by his own nature, he was quarrelsome and evilly disposed. He would learn no trade, except to commit robberies along the highway, in which he became so proficient, that very soon he had a large following—more than two thousand—of whom he was the acknowledged chief, and came to be feared throughout the whole province where he committed his depredations.
When the king and his council learned of this, the former ordered the viceroy of the province where the pirate was, to assemble all the garrisons of his frontiers, and to try to capture him, and carry or send him alive to the city of Taybin, or if that were impossible, to secure his head. The viceroy ordered the necessary forces to assemble for this pursuit, with all haste. When the pirate Limahon was aware of this this—seeing that he was not sufficiently strong with the men at his command to defend himself against the forces coming against him, and that he was in great danger if he waited—he collected his companions, and led them to a seaport a few leagues from that place, going thither with so great rapidity and so secretly, that before the inhabitants of this place, accustomed to live quite without fear of such assaults, were aware of it, he was master of the port and all its vessels. In these vessels he and all his men embarked immediately, weighed anchor, and made for the open sea, thinking (and with good reason) themselves safer there than on land.
Perceiving now that he was master of that whole sea, he began to plunder as many vessels as he could, both foreign and native, so that, within a short time, he was well provided with seamen and the other necessities demanded in his new calling. He pillaged and despoiled all the coast towns, and committed many other atrocities. He became powerful, having collected a fleet of forty vessels, composed of both those that he had seized in the first port, and those that he had appropriated at sea, and a large following of shameless men, quite satiated with their robberies and murders. He bethought himself of undertaking things of greater import, and set about it, having the boldness to attack large towns, and committing numberless atrocities—so that throughout that entire coast where he was known he was greatly feared; and even in coasts very far from there the report of his cruelties was spread abroad. While engaged in these practices he happened to meet with another pirate like himself, named Vintoquiam, also a native of China, who was resting at anchor in the port, not apprehending any danger. Here, gaining the advantage through his great daring, he fought with the latter's fleet, and conquered him, although Vintoquiam had sixty vessels, large and small, and a strong force of men, capturing fifty-five of his vessels; Vintoquiam escaped with the other five. Limahon, now finding himself with a fleet of ninety-five vessels, manned by a numerous and bold following (all of whom knew that execution awaited them if taken), grew bolder and lost every atom of fear, devising new atrocities; and he not only attacked and plundered large cities, but seized and destroyed them.
A fleet is prepared in China against the pirate Limahon, and he retires to Tonzuacaotican, where he hears of affairs in the Felipinas. Chapter III.
Each day saw an increase of the complaints made to the king and his council by the Chinese who suffered at the hands of Limahon. For this reason, the king once more ordered the viceroy of that province in which the pirate was committing his depredations, to hasten to have this man intercepted. Within a short time, the viceroy prepared one hundred and thirty large vessels, manned by forty thousand men, all under command of a gentleman named Omoncon. This man was ordered to seek and pursue the pirate, being expressly commanded to capture or kill him, even if he should endanger his ships and men while doing it. Limahon was at once informed of all this, through certain secret friends. As he saw that the plan to pursue him was being pushed forward in all earnestness, and that he was inferior to his enemy in point of ships and men, he determined not to await the latter, but to withdraw from that coast. In his flight he betook himself to a remote island, Tonzuacaotican by name, forty leagues from the mainland, and lying in the pathway to the Felipinas. Limahon remained in this retired island with his fleet for some days, without daring to return to the mainland, for he knew that the king's fleet was guarding the coast; and although he despatched a few vessels on marauding expeditions, they did nothing of importance—returning, on the contrary, pursued by the king's powerful fleet. He made some sallies with part of his vessels from this island, robbing all the vessels that he encountered, which, with their cargoes of merchandise and other articles, were sailing between the different islands, or between the islands and the mainland. Among them he happened to meet two Chinese merchant vessels plying from Manila to China. Immediately he had the holds of these vessels searched, finding the rich cargoes that they carried, which consisted of articles of gold and Spanish reals of four to the peso, given to them in exchange for the merchandise carried by them to the islands. Limahon informed himself thoroughly of the characteristics and wealth of the land, and especially of the Spaniards in the city of Manila—who in all did not exceed seventy, because the others had left Luzon for the exploration and colonization of new islands. Then—ascertaining that these few were living without any fear of enemies, and therefore had no fort; and that their artillery, although good, was not in position, either for defense or offense—he determined to go thither with his entire fleet and following, in order to kill them; and to make himself master of the island of Manila and its environs, where he thought to be safe from the power of the king, who was trying to capture him. In accordance with this idea, he set about this enterprise with the utmost possible despatch.
Departure of the pirate Limahon for the Felipinas, and arrival at the city of Manila. Chapter IIII.
The pirate resolved to go to capture the Felipinas Islands, and to make himself master and king of them all, first killing the Spaniards—a thing that seemed easy of accomplishment, because of their small number. He was convinced that he could live here quite free from anxiety, and without his present fear of the great power of the king, because these islands were so far from the mainland. Leaving those islands where he had sought shelter, he set sail toward those of the Felipinas, passing those islands called Illocos,  near to a town called Fernandina, founded recently by Captain Juan de Salzedo, who at that time was lieutenant-governor there. Four leagues from this place, Limahon met a small galley sent out by the said Juan de Salzedo after provisions, with but twenty-five soldiers aboard, not counting the rowers—both soldiers and rowers being in very small numbers, for they felt quite secure in this region, and had no suspicion of meeting enemies. When the pirate Limahon's fleet discovered the galley, they came down upon it, invested it, and taking it easily, burned it, and killed its crew, without excepting a single person. After this capture, Limahon continued his voyage, according to his plan, and passed by the town of Fernandina, but not so secretly that he escaped being seen by its inhabitants. The latter informed the above-named lieutenant-governor of it, expressing their astonishment at seeing so large an assemblage of vessels, a sight never before witnessed in those islands. To him also, this was a cause for wonder, and he was not a little troubled at what it might mean. Seeing that these vessels were directed toward the city of Manila, and thinking that so great a fleet, coming from such a direction, could portend no good to the inhabitants of the city (who were living in security and were but few in number, as we have said above), he resolved to set out immediately with the greatest despatch possible, and with the greatest number of men he could muster—about fifty-four Spaniards—to endeavor, although at the risk of much labor, to get the start of them, and warn the people of Manila, and help them place the artillery in position, and do other things needful for the defense of the city. The captain set out to carry this determination into effect with all haste, from which it resulted that the city and all its inhabitants were not completely pillaged and destroyed. However, it was not possible to avoid all damage; for, as their vessels were small, and the rowers few in number and not picked men (since their hasty departure did not allow a choice), and as they were going from one region to another to get food—all these things combined prevented them from arriving as soon as they wished, or as was desirable. Limahon, being well provided with provisions and all other necessities, and favored with good winds, kept the lead of them, arriving at the bay of the city of Manila on St. Andrew's eve in the year one thousand five hundred and seventy-four. Here he cast anchor that night with his fleet. As he knew that the success of his undertaking lay in his quickness, and in action before he should be seen by the inhabitants of the city, or perceived by those in its neighborhood, he embarked—being aided in this by the darkness of the night—four hundred picked soldiers, of whose courage he was thoroughly assured and satisfied, in small boats, commanding their captains to exercise all diligence in arriving at the city before daybreak. He despatched this detachment with orders to fire the city first of all, and not to leave a single man living in it. He promised to join them at the first light, in order to help them should it prove necessary, as was the case. But, since nothing is done contrary to God's will or permission, it was not possible for the pirate Limahon to attain his end with the four hundred soldiers, as he thought to do; for all that night the land-breeze blew, becoming ever stronger as night deepened, and proving contrary to their desires. Consequently they were unable to disembark that night, although they tried to do so, striving with all their strength and cunning to sail against and overcome the wind. Had it not been for this, without any doubt they would have attained their evil purpose quite easily, and the city and its inhabitants would have been destroyed; for Limahon's plan and desire, as was manifest in the order given to his captains, was to raze and destroy the city.
Limahon sends four hundred soldiers as a vanguard to burn the city of Manila, who are resisted by our men. Chapter V.
Notwithstanding all the trouble caused them by the wind, the four hundred Chinese succeeded in reaching land a league away from the city at eight o'clock on the morning of St. Andrew's day. Leaving their boats at this point, they disembarked and immediately began their march in battle-array with the utmost rapidity, placing in the fore part two hundred arquebusiers, and immediately behind these the other two hundred, who were pikemen. But being espied by some of the inhabitants—as could not be otherwise, because of the level and open nature of the ground, and the great number of soldiers—these hastened to give immediate notice of the invasion. Coming into the city, they cried: "To arms! to arms! the enemy is upon us!" But their warning availed little, for no one believed it. On the contrary, they imagined it a rumor that had arisen among the natives themselves, or some jest that they were trying to practice. At last the enemy had reached the house of the master-of-camp, Martin de Goyti—his house being the first in the city in the direction taken by the enemy—before the Spaniards and soldiers within the city caught sight of them, and even before they would put any confidence in the noise and rumor. The enemy immediately fired the house of the said master-of-camp, killing him and all the inmates, so that no one escaped except the wife, and her they left grievously wounded and stark naked, believing her to be dead, although she was afterward cured of her wounds. During this time of this their first act of cruelty, the citizens were assured of the truth; and although none of them had ever imagined so unlooked-for an event, finally they sounded the call to arms and began to try to save their lives. Some soldiers made an immediate sally to the shore, in the lack of order usual in events of this nature. In consequence, the Chinese killed them all, not even one of them escaping. Therefore the rest of the Spaniards formed into one organized body, and showed some resistance to the enemy, now entering the city and firing it, the while uttering their shouts of victory. This resistance was characteristic of Spaniards upon finding themselves in such dangers; and it was so stubborn and courageous that it sufficed to restrain the fury of those who hitherto had been victors, and even to make them retire, notwithstanding the very great disproportion between the two forces. In retiring, the Chinese lost some soldiers without inflicting any serious loss on the Spaniards, who performed many remarkable deeds in this defense. Thereupon the Chinese, inasmuch as they had left their boats at some distance, because they had no time to bring them nearer, resolved to abandon the assault begun by them, in its present condition; and to seek shelter and refresh themselves from their past toil, in order that they might return later with their captain-general Limahon (whom they were awaiting), to bring their plan to completion, a thing that they considered to be, by this means, very easy of accomplishment. When they reached their boats, as they feared some danger, they began a return to the fleet, steering directly toward the place where they had left it; they caught sight of it not long afterward, past a point in sight of the city of Manila. Taking their course toward the fleet, they came to the flagship, in which was the pirate Limahon. They related to him the affair in all its details, and how, on account of the contrary winds, they had been unable to reach land in the time set by him, and which they wished. Therefore they had not completed the undertaking and had deferred it, because of his absence, until a better opportunity. He consoled them, and thanked them for what they had done until then. He promised them to make a very speedy end to his damnable purpose, and at once commanded that the bow of his flagship be directed toward a port called Cabite, situated two leagues from the city of Manila. From this latter place the said fleet could be easily seen passing on its way.
The governor of Manila fortifies himself in order to await the onslaught of the Chinese, and drives them back. Limahon having returned occupies the land along the Pangasinan River. Chapter VI.
The governor, Guido de Labaçares, who, by the order of his Majesty, had succeeded to the governorship at the death of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, was then in those islands, and in that of Manila. He, taking into consideration the pirate's great fleet and large following, and the few defenses and means of resistance in the city, assembled the captains and citizens with the utmost despatch, and with their unanimous approbation set about making some defenses, while the enemy was in the port aforesaid, that the Spaniards might defend themselves to the best of their ability. For the Spaniards could not abandon the city, while life remained, without loss of their credit; for in only this one of all the islands thereabout could they feel secure. This determination was speedily put into execution, the work lasting during the two days and nights while the pirate delayed; and no opportunity was neglected, nor was any person excused from the work, notwithstanding his rank, for the courageous soldiers well knew that, if they remained alive, the fatigue and weariness would soon pass away. With this incessant work, they were enabled to make a fort out of planks, and casks filled with sand, with such other means of defense as these few hours permitted. They brought out four pieces of very excellent artillery that were in the city. These were placed in good position, and all the people were gathered in the little fort thus made. This occurred, as we believe, through the providence of God, our Lord, who did not choose that the many souls baptized in those islands, and sealed with the light of the knowledge of His most holy faith, should return into the power of the devil, from whose grasp He had drawn them by His infinite mercy. Neither did He wish that the convenient proximity of those islands to the great kingdom of China be lost, by which means, perhaps, his divine Majesty has ordained the salvation and rescue of all that country. The night before the assault, Captain Juan de Salcedo, lieutenant-governor of the town of Fernandina, arrived—who, as we said, was coming for the purpose of aiding the Spaniards of Manila. His coming and that of his companions was clearly the chief remedy for both the city and its inhabitants; for, besides being few, the work of the late resistance and that of preparing the defenses for the coming assault, together with the fear left in their hearts by the danger in which they beheld themselves, had rendered them feeble and in great need of help such as this; and he seemed to all of them to have been sent miraculously by God. With this arrival, all recovered courage and the assured hope of making a courageous resistance. They prepared themselves for this immediately, because the pirate, before dawn of the morning following—two days after the assault, as above related, by the four hundred soldiers at his orders—appeared with his entire fleet in front of the port. He disembarked about six hundred soldiers, who without delay fell upon the city, which they were able to sack and burn at will, as indeed they did; for the inhabitants had abandoned it, as above stated, at the order and command of the governor, gathering at the fort for greater security.
Having set fire to the city, they attacked the fort, flushed with their past murders, and fully persuaded that the inmates would offer little resistance. But the outcome was not so certain as they thought, because of the great valor and courage of those inside, through which all the pirates who had the daring to enter the fort paid for their boldness with their lives. Upon seeing this, the Chinese withdrew, after fighting almost all that day, and losing two hundred men (who were killed in the assault), besides many wounded. Of the Spaniards but two were killed, namely, the ensign Sancho Ortiz, and the alcalde of the same city, Francisco de Leon.
The pirate Limahon, who was a man of astuteness and ability, in consequence of all this—and as it seemed to him that to persist further in his design against the steadfastness of the Spaniards, which was different from what he had experienced hitherto, was to lose time and people—resolved to embark and sail to the port of Cabite, whence he had come. First he collected very carefully his dead, whom he buried afterward in the above-named island, remaining there for this purpose two days. Then leaving this place, he returned by the same route that he had followed in his assault upon the city of Manila, until he arrived at a large river forty leagues away, Pangasinan by name. Thinking this to be a rich country, and that he could remain there safe from those who, by the king's orders, were looking for him, he resolved to stay there, and to make himself master of that place. This he did with very little trouble, and by means of a fort which he built, one league up the river; he remained there for some time, collecting tribute from the natives, as their true lord. He sent out his vessels to rob all who should be found along those coasts; and the report spread abroad that he had seized the Felipinas Islands, and that all the Spaniards there had been killed or had fled. Thereupon great terror and fright filled all the neighboring villages settled upon this great river Pangasinan; and all of them, with no exception, received Limahon as lord, and as such obeyed him and paid him tribute.
The master-of-camp, Salzedo, attacks Limahon, burns his fleet, and besieges him for three months in a fort; whence the pirate escapes by dint of great effort. Chapter VII.
When the governor of the islands and the citizens of Manila heard that the pirate Limahon was asserting, wherever he went, that he had killed and defeated the Spaniards; considering that if this were not checked speedily, great harm might result from it, which could not be remedied so easily afterward as it could at the present time; and that their allies and vassals throughout all those islands, placing credence in the pirate's assertion, might rise against them, and kill them with ease, because of the great number of the natives and the fewness of the Spaniards, who until the present had sustained themselves solely by the report of their invincibility—they took counsel together, and determined that as large a force as possible should be raised, and sent in military array in pursuit of the pirate. They knew that he must, of necessity, have stationed himself near Manila; and that he would not dare return to China, because he was afraid. They thought that, by the use of the same artifice and strategy employed by Limahon, they might come upon him unawares, as he had caught them. They believed that, although they could not destroy him totally, they could, at the very least, take vengeance for the damage wrought by him, so that the lie would be given to the report spread abroad by the said pirate. Thus the Spaniards' old security would remain, and they would be held in greater estimation by the natives near them, who knew them; and would even attain the friendship of the king of China, against whom Limahon was a traitor, and whom he had offended. This resolve they set about executing immediately, as such an undertaking required. Meanwhile they heard, as certain, that the pirate was stationed on the Pangasinan River, where he had made a strong settlement. Upon obtaining this news—which was most agreeable to the Spaniards—the governor summoned all the people dwelling thereabout, ordering them to come to the city where he resided. At this same time, he sent word to all the encomenderos or seigniors of the villages of those islands called Pintados, ordering them to assemble at the same place with as many ships and men as possible, both Spaniards and natives. All this was done and completed quickly and gladly; and the natives, especially those of the said Pintados Islands, came willingly. All these, together with the other people who lived in the city, set out under command of Captain Juan de Salzedo, whom the governor, in his Majesty's name, had appointed to the office of master-of-camp (rendered vacant, as has been related above, by the death of Martin de Goyti at the first assault of the city of Manila). The governor remained behind with only a force sufficient to guard the city and the fort, which had been built again, and the well. The master-of-camp took in his detachment two hundred and fifty soldiers and five hundred friendly Indians, all unanimous in their intention to avenge the mischief that they had suffered, or to die in the attempt.
This entire force embarked in small boats, and in two fragatas brought from nearby islands, as no time had been given, in the haste necessary for this expedition, to wait until larger ships could be found. And, even had they waited, they would have found but a poor supply of vessels; for the inhabitants of this region, as soon as they saw the city attacked by the pirate, had risen against the Spaniards—believing that the latter could not escape so great a force, although from the Spaniards' first entrance into the said islands, they had been very submissive—and burned a small galley anchored at Manila, together with two other large vessels.
The master-of-camp, with the force above mentioned, left Manila on the twenty-third of March, in the year one thousand five hundred and seventy-five, and arrived at the mouth of the Pangasinan River at dawn on Holy Wednesday following, without being espied by anyone; for, as was important, they observed great care. The master-of-camp disembarked his entire force immediately, together with four pieces of artillery, leaving the mouth of the river blockaded with all his vessels, some of which he had ordered to extend themselves so that no one might enter or go out, or warn the pirate of their arrival. He ordered others of the vessels to reconnoiter the enemy's fleet and his fortifications. He charged them especially to endeavor not to be seen, for this was essential to the success of the undertaking. The captains did as they were ordered, finding the pirate as free from anxiety of any danger there, as the city of Manila had been at his attack. This security resulted from his having heard that, although they were discussing in China the question of attacking him, this could not be done soon, for they could not know or be perfectly sure of his whereabouts; and from his certain knowledge that the Spaniards of the Felipinas had no vessels, for, as we have said above, they had been burned, and they had received so much damage that they would endeavor rather to recover from their past ill-treatment, than to avenge injuries. The master-of-camp having ascertained thoroughly this great lack of care, and the most retired path to the pirate's fort, ordered Captain Gabriel de Ribera and his men to march immediately by land, and as suddenly as possible to assault the enemy, making as much noise and confusion as he could. The captains, Pedro de Chaves and Lorenço Chacon, with forty soldiers apiece, he ordered to ascend the river in the swiftest vessels. The time was to be appointed so that both the land and sea forces would arrive at the fort at the same instant, and make the assault at the same time, so that they might the better succeed in their purpose. He himself remained behind with all the rest of the forces to await the opportunity and to furnish aid in any emergency. This plan succeeded very well, and each party gave the best account of itself—the water force firing the enemy's fleet, while the land force, aided by those who had set the fire, entered the palisade constructed by Limahon for his defense, and as a protection for his men. They entered the fort also and killed more than one hundred Chinese, besides capturing more than seventy women, whom they found within the palisade.
When Limahon heard the noise, he hastened to the fort, which—notwithstanding that it had been made as a defense, in case the fleet of the Chinese king, which he knew had been prepared to go in search of him, should chance upon him there—served to save his life on this occasion. He ordered some soldiers to skirmish with the Spaniards, now quite worn out by that day's work and the oppression caused by the intolerable heat of the burning vessels and the houses within the palisade, all of which were ablaze at the same time. The captains, on perceiving this, and the lack of order among their men, which they might not remedy, because they themselves were almost worn out (although the aid sent them very opportunely by the master-of-camp had given them a moment's respite and added new courage), gave the signal for retreat, with the loss of five Spaniards and more than thirty of their Indian allies, whom the pirate's soldiers killed, besides some others that had been wounded. Upon the following day, the master-of-camp arrayed all his forces in line of battle, and set out for the fort with the intention of giving battle if he could find an opportunity. Arriving there, he established his camp at a distance of less than two hundred paces from it, but he found that during that night the pirate had fortified himself strongly, and in such wise that it was considered dangerous to attack the fort; in it had been mounted three large pieces of artillery, and many small culverins, besides other contrivances for discharging fire. Upon observing this, the master-of-camp—recognizing that his artillery consisted only of small pieces and was insufficient for assaulting the fort; and that the supply of ammunition was inadequate, because it had been spent in defending themselves against the assaults made by the pirate on Manila—in accordance with the advice of his captains, determined that (since the enemy had no vessels, by which he might escape by water, nor any resources or material with which to build them, and very little food, because the latter had been burned with the vessels) it would be better and conduce more to his own safety to besiege the fort and to settle down there until hunger should wear out the enemy, in order that they might thus be forced to surrender, or capitulate under certain conditions. Notwithstanding the nature of these conditions, the enemy would consider them better than death by hunger. This resolve seemed good to all of them, although quite the contrary of their expectation happened; for during the blockade by land and water, which lasted for three months, the pirate was so clever, and planned so well, that he made some boats inside the fort, trimming them in the best manner possible. In these he and his men escaped one night, as will be told—a thing that seemed impossible and caused great surprise to the Spaniards, a surprise which was heightened on finding that he had gone with so great cunning, without either the land or sea force hearing it. I shall not relate the events of these three months, although some were most notable, for my purpose is to show the events that gave occasion for the entrance of the Augustinian religious and their companions into the Chinese kingdom, and to tell those things which, they declared, were seen there by them. For this reason I have given the coming of Limahon, and all the rest of the above relation.
Omoncon, captain of the Chinese king, coming in search of the pirate
Limahon, encounters our Spaniards. Chapter VIII.
During the period of the siege, as related in the preceding chapter, certain boats were going to and coming from the city of Manila—distant, as I have said, but forty leagues from the mouth of the Pangasinan River—for the purpose of bringing provisions and other necessities for the support of the army.
It happened one day that a vessel under command of Miguel de Loarcha,  having on board father Fray Martin de Herrada, provincial of the Augustinians (who had come to Pangasinan to see the master-of-camp, and was returning to Manila to hold a meeting of his order), met in the island and port of Buliano, seven leagues from the Pãgasinan River, as they were going out of the port, a Sangley ship, which was about to enter the port. Thinking it to be a hostile vessel, they bore down upon it, together with another ship in their company. Those aboard the ship were only the said father provincial and five other Spaniards and the sailors. The Sangley ship, seeing them bearing down upon it, tried to take flight; but, the contrary wind not permitting this, as a consequence, the Spanish ships, by means of sail and oar, came within cannon range, and even nearer, in a few moments. On one of the Spanish ships was a Chinese named Sinsay, who had been in Manila many times with merchants, and was very friendly and well known to the Spaniards, and understood their language. When this man saw that the ship was Chinese, and that, from its appearance, it was not a pirate, he requested our men not to fire or do any damage until it was known clearly who its occupants were. He went to the bow of the vessel and hailed them, thus ascertaining that theirs was one of the ships of the fleet sent by their king in search of the pirate Limahon. They had left the fleet behind and put out to sea in order to explore those islands, to ascertain whether the pirate were in any of them. In order to gain this information, they were about to put in to the port of Buliano, whence the Spaniards were coming out with two ships, and from whom they tried to flee, fearful lest they should prove to belong to the pirate. Thus assured on each side, the two parties joined together in all peace and friendship. The Spaniards immediately entered a small boat, and went over to the Chinese ship, taking with them the said Synsay as interpreter, in order that he might talk with the Chinese. In the ship of the latter was a man of much influence named Homoncon, who bore a decree from his king, which he showed to the Spaniards and to the father provincial, in which the king and his council pardoned all of Limahon's soldiers, on condition that they immediately left the latter and enrolled themselves under the royal banners; and it bestowed great reward upon whomsoever should capture or kill the said pirate. Thereupon Sinsay told him of the coming of the pirate to the island, and all the story of the siege, as related above; and that the pirates were shut up on the Pangasinan River, whence escape was impossible. The captain Omoncon was overjoyed at hearing this news, and gave expression to a thousand demonstrations of his joy. He embraced the Spaniards many times, and by other signs indicated his great pleasure. Then he wished to return to the fleet, but to have more certain information, as he was assured that the death or capture of the pirate was expected daily, he resolved to go to Pangasinan, since it was so near, to converse with the master-of-camp, together with Sinsay—a man well known on both sides—through whose medium they could discuss the best methods for the confirmation of peace and friendship between the Chinese and Spaniards, and for the capture or death of the pirate. With this resolution, they set out—the Chinese for Pangasinan, where they arrived that same day; and the Spaniards for Manila, whither they were going for provisions.
Omoncon is cordially received by the master-of-camp, and entertained in Manila by the governor, with whom it is agreed that the Augustinian fathers shall go to China. Chapter IX.
When the master-of-camp heard of the purpose of Omoncon, he received him cordially and courteously. And having recounted to him the extremity to which he had brought the pirate (for it seemed impossible for the latter to escape from it, except by taking wings, like a bird), he advised Omoncon that, until the consummation of their hopes, which could not be long, he should go to Manila, which was quite near, and pass the time with the governor and the other Spaniards there—because he [the master-of-camp] himself was quite sufficient to accomplish his purpose, and it was unnecessary that the king's fleet should come thither, or sail out of the safe port where it had cast anchor. For this purpose he offered to give Omoncon a vessel with oars (one of those that he used to bring provisions), under command of Pedro de Chaves, who was about to go to Manila—assuring him that he would deliver the pirate to him, dead or alive, within the few days that all thought sufficient to end the undertaking. Omoncon, considering this suggestion reasonable, acted upon it at once, and embarked with the above-named captain, sending through the high seas the ship in which he had come thither, because of its great size and draught. This ship returned to anchor at the river whence they had set out, because of the strong winds that prevailed; these proved but little hindrance to the oared vessel, because it went along the land, sheltered thereby from the winds. In a few days they arrived at the port of the city of Manila, where they were well received and feasted by the governor. Omoncon remained there several days, after which, seeing that the siege was continuing, and that his delay there might cause some suspicion of his death—and knowing, too, that the fleet was waiting for him, and was quite ready to proceed to attack the pirate, who he was assured would not escape from the Spaniards who were besieging him; and that the Spaniards would, without any doubt, send Limahon, either dead or alive, to the king, as they had promised—he resolved to return to China, with this good news, purposing to come hither again, in order to get the pirate after he should be captured. Having resolved upon this, at the end of several days he went to the governor, to whom he communicated all his plans, so that the latter should permit him to put them into execution. The governor approved his determination, and made the same promise as the master-of-camp—namely, that as soon as the pirate was captured or dead, he should be taken to the king without delay; or that he should be put in safe keeping, and word despatched that he should be sent for, or that Omoncon himself should come. Moreover, the governor promised to provide the latter immediately with everything necessary for the voyage without any lack whatever. Omoncon was very grateful for this offer, and in payment therefor promised the governor that he would take with him to China the fathers that his Excellency should send, and a few soldiers, if the latter wished to accompany them. He was confident in the good news he carried, by virtue of which he hoped that he would run no risk by doing this, and that the viceroy of Aucheo would not take it ill; for he had learned and heard from the Augustinian fathers, that his Excellency, and the governor's predecessor in office, Adelantado Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, had desired many times to send some religious to the Chinese kingdom, to engage in the preaching of the gospel, and to study the affairs of that kingdom. They had, however, never been able to attain their desire, because of the unwillingness of the Chinese merchants trading at that port to take anyone—although whatever sum they should ask would have been given them—as they feared the punishment that would be inflicted upon them, according to the law of the kingdom. For security that no ill-treatment would be showed to these men, he offered to leave pledges to their satisfaction. The governor was very glad at this offer, for this was what he and all the inhabitants of the islands had been eagerly desiring for a long time. Therefore he accepted it immediately, telling Omoncon that he absolved him from his promise and pledges, for he was quite well satisfied as to his worthiness, and that he would commit no act unbecoming his person or office. The governor, very joyful over this news, at once summoned the Augustinian provincial, Fray Alonso de Alvarado,  who had been elected to this office but a few days previously. The latter was a man of very holy life, and one of those despatched by the emperor, our master, in search of Nueva Guinea. The governor informed him of the offer of the captain Omõcon, whereat he greatly rejoiced, exclaiming that, notwithstanding his age, he himself would go. To this the governor wonld not consent, because of his age, and for other personal reasons. They consulted together as to who should go and who was most suitable for the matter in hand—namely, as we have said, to effect the entrance of our holy Catholic faith into that kingdom. They resolved to send only two religious, for there were but few of them in the islands, together with two soldiers. The two religious selected were father Fray Martin de Herrada, a native of Pamplona, who had but lately been provincial, and was moreover a most erudite and holy man, who, with this very desire, had learned the language of the said kingdom, and who, to attain his desires, had offered himself many times as a slave to the Chinese merchants, in order to be taken to China; and as his companion father Fray Geronymo Marin, likewise a very erudite religious, and a native of the City of Mexico. The soldiers selected to accompany them were named Pedro Sarmiento, chief constable of the city of Manila, a native of Vilorado, and Miguel de Loarcha,  both of as high rank and of as good Christian life as were requisite for this matter. These latter the religious intended to take so that, if they themselves should stay with the king in order to preach the gospel to him, they might return with news of their success, and of what had been seen, in order to inform the governor thereof, and, if necessary, the king, our master. The offer of the captain Omoncon, and the choice of the governor and the said provincial immediately spread through the city, and, amid great rejoicings, was approved by all; because those appointed were, as has been said, of so high station. All were assured that these men would fail in no point in what was charged to them, and would lose no opportunity. Much more envy than pity was expressed, as this was a matter that everyone desired, especially for the service and honor of God—and secondarily for the advantage that would accrue to all of them, through the great trade that would ensue, and the despatch of so good news to the king. Then the governor summoned those who had been appointed, to the presence of the captain Omoncon, and told them what had been resolved upon, whereat they accepted their commission with much joy and expressed their thanks. As a mark of gratitude, the governor, in the presence of all, gave to Omoncon himself a gold chain of excellent quality, and a most magnificent and well-made garment of scarlet cloth [grana colorada], which the latter held in high estimation, and which is esteemed much more in China, as they do not possess it in that country. In addition to this, he gave a suitable present to send to the governor of Chincheo, who, at the king's command, had despatched Omoncon in pursuit of the pirate; and another present for the viceroy of the province of Ochiã, who resided in the city of Aucheo. And in order that Sinsay (who, as I said above, was a well-known merchant) should not take it ill or feel aggrieved, and that he might not be the cause of the undertaking receiving any injury, the governor presented to him another gold chain; for he had, moreover, well merited this, as he had ever been a faithful friend to the Spaniards. Then, at the command and order of the governor, all the Chinese slaves whom Limahon had in his possession and who were captured in the fort of Pangasinan as aforesaid, were collected. These the governor gave to Omoncon, allowing him to take them freely. Likewise the governor ordered that the master-of-camp, and the soldiers and captains who were engaged at the siege, should deliver all those who remained there, binding himself to pay to the soldiers to whom such belonged, the appraised value of the captives. This done, he ordered everything necessary for the voyage to be fully prepared, which was done within a very few days.
Omoncon sets out with news of the pirate Limahon's extremity, taking with him to China the Augustinian fathers. Chapter X.
On Sunday morning, June twelfth, in the year of our Lord one thousand five hundred and seventy-five, the aforesaid governor and all the citizens assembled to go in a body to the monastery of St. Augustine. Here a most solemn mass of the Holy Spirit was said. At its conclusion and after all had entreated God to direct that voyage for the honor and glory of his divine Majesty, and for the salvation of the souls of that great kingdom, which Lucifer had so long possessed, Omoncon and Sinsay took leave of the governor, and of the others, thanking them for the kind treatment and the presents that they had received. In return for this, Omoncon promised to remain their loyal friend for all time, as they would see by his deeds, and to take with him those whom he had of his own volition requested, and accepted with the security of himself; and said that he would suffer death rather than that any harm should come upon those in his charge. The governor and the others returned thanks for this new offer, giving Omoncon to understand that they had the utmost confidence in his promises. With this they took leave of him, and at the same time of the religious and their two soldier companions, at which parting tears were not lacking on either side.
They all embarked immediately on a ship belonging to the islands, one which had been prepared for this purpose; and left the port, accompanied by another Chinese merchantman, which was at Manila. In this ship Sinsay embarked with all the ship supplies, in order to take them to the port of Buliano, where Omoncon's large ship was stationed, and in which the voyage was to be made. This vessel, as we have said above, had put into port because of the stormy weather. They arrived at the said port on the following Sunday, for the weather had proved exceedingly contrary, and they lost sight of the said vessel that was in their company and carried the provisions. They found this ship anchored at the port, for, because of its deeper draught, it had sailed better and faster. They found in it, likewise, two Spanish soldiers, whom the master-of-camp had sent from Pangasinan (for he had seen, from that place, the aforesaid ship enter the port), with the order that the fathers should proceed thither. This order made the religious and soldiers fearful least the master-of-camp should try to detain them until the end of the siege of the fort should be seen (which was expected daily), in order that they might carry the pirate Limahon with them, dead or alive. Consequently, it was almost unanimously decided not to obey the order, and not to discontinue the prosecution of their voyage, so much desired by all, when each hour seemed a year; and as they feared lest something might prove an obstacle or hindrance to their purpose. But coming to a better conclusion, inasmuch as they were mindful of the excellent disposition and Christian spirit of the master-of-camp—whom father Fray Martin had considered as a son; for he was the grandson of the adelantado Legaspi, the first governor, colonizer, and discoverer of the Filipinas, whom the father had accompanied from Mexico, and had brought with him the said master-of-camp when he was still a child—they resolved to obey the order and go to take leave of him and their other friends in the army. For this purpose they left the port and directed their course to Pangasinan, a distance of but seven leagues from the said port. And after they had sailed three leagues, so violent and contrary a wind struck them that they were unable to proceed, and were forced to return to the port of departure. They sent their unanimous decision with Pedro Sarmiento, by means of the vessel in which the above-mentioned two soldiers had come thither—inasmuch as, being small and furnished with oars, it could, without so great danger, and sheltered by the land, reach Pangasinan more easily—in order that he might, in the name of all, give their compliments to the master-of-camp and take leave of him, and of their other friends. He was commissioned to request these not to forget in their prayers to commend them to God, and to ask that He would protect and aid them, that they might attain the consummation so greatly desired by all. He was enjoined to bring back with him the interpreter whom they were to take with them, namely, a Chinese lad, baptized in Manila and named Hernando, who was thoroughly acquainted with the Spanish language. Pedro Sarmiento arrived at Pangasinan and carried out his orders to the letter. But the master-of-camp was dissatisfied with this, as well as the captains and soldiers with him, by whom the fathers and soldiers were greatly and deservedly loved. These determined to send a summons to the fathers, asking the latter to come to see them, since they were so near. When the fathers heard this message, they were not without the suspicion above mentioned. But inasmuch as they could not refuse to obey his order and civil request, they left Buliano under a favoring wind—for the storm had abated by this time, leaving the sea somewhat rough—and arrived on the same day at Pangasinan, where they were received with the utmost rejoicing by the master-of-camp and the others. Their suspicion proved to be quite contrary to the others' thought; for the master-of-camp not only did not detain them, but sent them on their way with all haste, delivering to them immediately, according to the governor's order, all the slaves—whom the soldiers to whom they belonged surrendered willingly, when they understood the purport of the order. He also gave them the interpreter for whom they asked, and everything else necessary for the voyage. The master-of-camp begged Omoncon by letter, for the latter had remained at Buliano, to care for and protect them as was expected from him, and promised him the same thing as the governor in respect to sending the pirate, dead or alive, as soon as either end should be attained. He also petitioned father Fray Martin de Herrada to take with him Nicolas de Cuenca, a soldier of his company, so that the latter might purchase for him certain articles in China. The father accepted this man willingly, promising to treat him as one of his own men, and to regard him as such. Thereupon they set sail for the port of Buliano, whence they had come hither, taking leave of the master-of-camp and the rest of the army, not without the shedding of tears, no less than by those at Manila. The master-of-camp sent with them, to accompany the fathers and their companions, as far as the said port, the sargento-mayor,  who bore the letter to Omoncon and a present to the same of provisions and other articles. Furthermore, he sent by him two letters, one for the governor of Chincheo, and the other for the viceroy of the province of Ochian. In these letters he related the burning of Limahon's fleet and the killing of many of his followers; and said that he held the pirate so closely besieged that escape was impossible, and that before long he must surrender; and that after taking him, either dead or alive, he would send him, as the governor of Manila had written and promised them. Two presents accompanied these two letters, namely, a silver vessel and certain garments made of Castilian cloth—which the Chinese value highly—besides other rare articles which the Chinese do not possess. He made most courteous apologies for not sending more, because of being in his present situation, and all his belongings at Manila. That same day they arrived, under a favoring wind, at the port of Buliano, where they found Captain Omoncon awaiting them. The latter received the message delivered to him by the sargento-mayor in the name of the master-of-camp, for which he returned hearty thanks, and renewed the promises that he had made to the governor.
[Chapters XI-XXIX inclusive treat of the departure of Omoncon and the Spanish priests and soldiers from Buliano for China, and the experiences of the latter in that country. Landing at the port of Tansuso, in the province of Chincheo, they receive a hospitable reception. From this port they journey to Chincheo, the residence of the governor, by whom they are well entertained, and to whom they deliver the letters sent by the governor of the Philippines. Their next destination is Aucheo, where the viceroy of the province resides. Here also a cordial reception is accorded them, but they are regarded somewhat in the light of prisoners, the viceroy forbidding them to leave their lodgings, being fearful lest they discover some things in the city that might occasion future injury to the Chinese. The present sent to the viceroy by the Spanish governor is despatched to the king, because of a Chinese law that "prohibits those holding a government office from accepting any present without the king's permission, or that of his council." The delays in obtaining a satisfactory audience with the viceroy become permanent upon rumors that circulate regarding new piratical depredations from one who is suspected to be Limahon. The viceroy, suspecting that Omoncon, Sinsay, and the Spaniards have lied to him regarding the pirate, determines, after closely questioning the fathers, to send them and the soldiers back to Manila. Accordingly these set out for Tansuso, with a promise of better results after exact news of the capture or death of Limahon. These chapters abound in interesting observations of Chinese life, descriptions of cities, ceremonies, etc., and show the great liberality of the Chinese in their gifts. Several Chinese plays are witnessed, one of which is described. All things interest these first Spaniards in China, even the Chinese compass "divided into twelve parts, and their navigation without sea-charts." They observe carefully, "delighting their vision with new things, that had never been seen before." Chapter XXX relates their departure from Tansuso and their journey toward Manila, stopping at various islands on the way. At the island of Plon, definite news of Limahon's escape from Pangasinan is obtained. Chapter XXXI deals with the escape of Limahon. This resourceful man constructs a few clumsy boats out of the half-burnt remnants of his fleet, which his men had brought into the fort at night, without being detected by the Spaniards. With these he escapes to the island of Tocaotican. "This news greatly distressed them all, especially Omoncon and Sinsay. These turned against our men, alleging that that occurrence and the pirate's flight smelt of mystery, and must have happened with the Spaniards' consent, or because the pirate had given gifts to the master-of-camp, so that the latter would allow him to depart; and that it was impossible for him to escape from such a plight in any other manner, even had the Spaniards been asleep." These suspicions are dissipated on their arrival at Manila, forty-five days after the departure from Tansuso, a run that should have been made in ten days. In chapter XXXII is told the return of the Chinese to their own land. While in Manila, certain of the Chinese inquire into the tenets of Christianity. They advise correspondence between the Spanish governor and the Chinese king with the object of allowing an entrance for the gospel into China. The chief officer of the convoy fleet is prevented from becoming a Christian only through fear of exile and the confiscation of his property; for there is a "law in his kingdom which is adhered to strictly, and which forbids any one from embracing a religion at all contrary to that of the country, without the consent of the king and his council, under penalty of death." This law has caused certain Chinese merchants to settle in Manila. Limahon ends his career on a distant island where he had sought refuge, dying of melancholy because of his reverses. A relation of the expedition to China was despatched to Felipe II.]
Second Book of the Second Part of the History of the Great Kingdom of China
In which is contained the voyage made to this great kingdom in the year one thousand five hundred and seventy-nine by father Fray Pedro de Alfaro, custodian in the Filipinas Islands of the order of the blessed St. Francis, of the province of San Joseph; and three other religious of the same order. The miraculous entrance into that kingdom, and all that happened to them during their seven months' residence there, and all they discovered and saw—all of which are most notable and interesting.
The Franciscan fathers arrive at the Filipinas Islands, and try to gain entrance to the mainland of the kingdom of China, with great desire to preach the holy gospel. Chapter I.
On the day of the Visitation of our Lady, in the year one thousand five hundred and seventy-eight, there arrived from España at the city of Manila, in the Filipinas Islands, father Fray Pedro de Alfaro,  appointed custodian of that province, with fourteen religious of the same order. They were sent by his Catholic Majesty, King Don Felipe, our sovereign, and his royal Council of the Indies, as helpers to the Augustinian fathers—who, until then, had been occupied alone in the islands in the conversion of the natives, and had been the first preachers of the gospel therein, which they had preached with much zeal and to the great good of the natives. The said fathers had baptized, when the Franciscans arrived, more than one hundred thousand of the natives, besides preparing and catechizing the others for baptism; and, in addition, preparing themselves so that at the first opportunity they might enter the kingdom of China to preach the holy gospel. After the Franciscans had lived in the islands for the space of one year, busying themselves in helping the Augustinians, and in the conversion and instruction of the natives, learning during this time through the reports of the Augustinian fathers themselves, and from many Chinese merchants who were constantly coming to the islands with merchandise, of the many wonderful things of that great kingdom and the countless number of souls, whom the devil held in his service, deceived with false idolatry—they were filled with great zeal and longing for the salvation of these people, and with the desire to go thither to preach the holy gospel, although it should be at the risk and peril of their lives. They made known this desire several times to the governor then in those islands for his Majesty, namely, Doctor Francisco de Sande, entreating his favor and permission to go to the said China, with certain Chinese merchants then at that port with their vessels; and offered, of their own accord, to gain the consent of the latter, even at the price of becoming their slaves, or in any other manner possible. But as often as they discussed the matter with the governor, it was evident that he looked upon the idea coldly, and put them off with hopes. Mindful of the fact that their chief purpose in coming from España had been, to attempt to effect an entrance into that kingdom to preach the gospel, and having their desires heightened by their intercourse with the Chinese themselves, since they were a nation of ability and discretion, and of excellent understanding—which quickened their desire, and persuaded them that it would be easy to make them understand the things pertaining to God—they determined to employ other methods, since that which they were trying to attain with the good will of the governor was so uncertain. It happened that, after several days, when they had discussed the matter, and had petitioned God with great urgency to guide and direct it as should be most to His service, and for the gain of those souls, a Chinese came to the Filipinas, who was, as they heard, one of the priests and religious of that kingdom, of whom a great number exist in all the towns of China. This man went to the monastery of the said fathers several times, and discussed with them the creation of the world, and other things which opened the way for the latter to declare to him matters pertaining to God, which he was much pleased to hear. After having told them in great detail of the magnificence and secret things of the great kingdom of China, for whose conversion the fathers had so great a desire; and after he had asked many careful and keen questions about the Christian faith, he begged them urgently, at the end of several days, to baptize him, as he wished to become a Christian. Inasmuch as he had instruction in the tenets of our Catholic faith, they granted his pious desire, to the incredible joy of all the inhabitants of the city, and to his own joy also. After becoming a Christian, he became an inmate of the monastery, and would never eat anything but uncooked herbs; and when he discovered that all the religious arose at midnight for matins, and that they disciplined themselves, and spent much of the night in prayer before the holy sacrament, he failed no whit in imitating them, and in doing all he saw them do, and with proofs of very great devotion. All this aroused in the father custodian and all of his associates the longing to attain what they so greatly desired, as stated above. Therefore they had recourse once more to the governor, and once more was explained, in most urgent terms, what had been already asked him so often; namely, in regard to his effecting some arrangement whereby the religious might go to the kingdom of China to preach the law of God, the father custodian offering himself as one of these. They stated that, if leave were not given them, they would go without it, on the first occasion that offered, relying on that given them by their superiors and by God to work for the salvation of their neighbors. Neither all this argument, nor the example of the excellent spirit of the recently-christianized Chinese, was sufficient to persuade the governor; on the contrary he clung obstinately to his former opinion, answering them that it was still too early, because our friendship with the Chinese was but slight; and that already the Augustinians had tried to effect an entrance to China many times, but had been unable to attain their desire—on the contrary, the Chinese who took the latter with them had left them deceitfully on some islands—until the opportunity afforded by the pirate Limahon and the coming of the captain Omoncon. Then the latter had conveyed them, with the good news of the straits to which the pirate was come; and notwithstanding this they were ordered to return from Aucheo without being allowed to remain in the country to preach the holy gospel. And now to make this attempt would give the Chinese opportunity to make daily jests of the Spaniards. Therefore they should wait until God should open the door for this entrance, at such time as His holy will should determine, which could not be much delayed. The father custodian having received the governor's reply, and seeing that he persevered in his obstinacy in not seeking means whereby they could effect their desired entrance upon the mainland, commenced secret negotiations, with the object of procuring, by all available means, some way of making the journey—even without the said governor's order, if no other way were possible. They set about this at once, for the father custodian and father Fray Estevan Ortiz Ortiz—religious, who with this intention had learned the Chinese language, and could now speak it reasonably well—communicated their desires to a soldier, very devout in his worship, and especially well inclined toward them, namely, Juan Diaz Pardo. This man had several times manifested and declared to them his great desire to perform some service for God, even at the risk of his life. He approved their desire, promising to accompany them until death. Being thus agreed, they all went to discuss the matter with a Chinese captain, then at the port with a vessel, who had come to their convent many times to question them about God and heaven, and who showed signs of an excellent understanding, seemingly consenting to everything with expressions of great pleasure and delight. They imparted their desire to him, beseeching him to lend his aid for its successful issue. He offered his aid, and promised to take them to China, on condition that they would give him some presents for his sailors. The soldier, Juan Diaz Pardo, promised him everything that he wanted, giving him a few reals then and there as a token of good earnest. In order that this might be done without the governor or anyone else perceiving it, it was agreed that the captain should take his departure hastily, going to the port of Bindoro, twenty leagues distant from Manila, and there he should await them. He was to take with him the above-mentioned baptized Chinese. The captain used all haste, and left for the port agreed upon. Within a few days he was followed by the father custodian and his associate, and their friend the soldier. But, at their arrival, they found the Chinese captain had reached a new determination, and neither gifts nor petitions could persuade him to fulfil his promises in Manila. On the contrary, he returned them the earnest-money that he had received, and absolutely refused to take them; for he knew that, if he did, he would lose his life and property. Seeing this, the recently-baptized Chinese religious wept bitterly in his indignation and sorrow, because the devil had changed that captain's heart, so that the holy gospel might not be preached in that kingdom. The father custodian consoled him, and resolved to return to Manila and to await another occasion, which they did. After they had spent several days there, it happened that the governor summoned the father custodian one day, and asked him for a friar to send to the Cagayan River, whither he had but a few days before sent certain Spaniards to form a colony. The custodian said that he would give him a friar, and that he himself would accompany the latter as far as the province of Illocos whither he was going to visit the missions; thence he would despatch him to the Cagayan River, as his Excellency ordered. The father custodian asked as companions, for a guard during the journey, Sergeant Francisco de Dueñas and the soldier Juan Diaz Pardo (their friend, as above said), intending to go from there to China, as was done, and as will be told in the following. The governor, wishing to please him, granted this request, and the father custodian set out in haste, taking with him the above-named soldiers and one religious as associate, by name Fray Augustin de Tordesillas —he who afterward related from memory what had happened to them in China, whence has been taken this little relation.
They arrived at Illocos, where father Fray Juan Baptista  and father Fray Sebastian de San Frãcisco, of their own order, were busied in instructing the natives. This was on the fourth of June. The next day they held a council, at which it was unanimously resolved that all there should venture themselves to go to China to convert those pagans, or else die in the attempt. Therefore it was decided to approach another soldier likewise of their company, named Pedro de Villaroel. They told him—without declaring their own intention, so that he might not disclose it—that, if he wished to accompany them and the two other soldiers, who were about to go together upon a matter of great service to God, and the gain of many souls, he should say so, and without asking whither, or to what end, because this could not be told until due time. He answered immediately that he would accompany them willingly, and would not abandon them until death. Thereupon they all, with peculiar gladness, betook themselves to the vessel in which the father custodian and his associate, and the two other soldiers, had come thither from Manila. This was a fairly good fragata, although supplied with but few and indifferent sailors. After all had embarked and had stowed away what could be collected in the short time at their disposal, for sustenance while on the way, they set sail on that very day, the twelfth of the same month of June, after saying mass and beseeching God to direct their voyage for His holy service. They set sail Friday morning, and, although they attempted to leave the port, this was impossible, for the sea was running high and pounding so furiously upon the shoals, that they, persisting in the effort to offset it, were in danger of being wrecked. Therefore they returned, very sad at heart, to the harbor, and there they remained that day.
[The remainder of the second book (chaps. ii-xv) treats of the voyage of the Franciscans to China, their stay in that country, and their return to Manila. They are forced to return to the harbor for the second time on account of contrary weather, which so affects one of the priests, Estevan Ortiz, "that no entreaties availed to persuade him to finish the voyage they had undertaken. On the contrary he answers that he will tempt God no further, since these signs that they have seen are sufficient to prove that it is His holy will that they shall not make the journey at that time." On the fifteenth of June, however, the little band of three priests, three soldiers, and a Chinese lad (as interpreter) taken in the siege of Limahon, set sail from llocos, fearful of pursuit by the governor. Reaching the Chinese coast, they go ashore near Canton, kneel down, and "with great devotion, chanted the Te Deum laudamus, giving thanks to God who had brought them so miraculously to the kingdom of China." They receive the freedom of the city after various investigations, the Chinese officials believing the false stories of shipwreck that the interpreters tell for their own benefit. The Portuguese at Macao fail in their attempt to turn the Chinese against the Spaniards. Hunger forces them to beg their food in the streets of Canton; but the officials, on hearing this, order that provision be made for them from the royal revenues. By order of the viceroy, they journey to Aucheo, but are speedily ordered to return to Canton, to await a Portuguese vessel, that they may be sent from the kingdom. On leaving China the little party separate into two divisions, the father custodian and one other going to Macao, that they may there learn the Chinese language thoroughly, while the other two return to Manila, which is reached February 2, 1580 "where they were received by the governor and the rest with great joy, and their fault in having departed without leave was pardoned." The father custodian reports from Macao a rich harvest field in Cochin China.]
[The first ten chapters of the "Itinerary"  treat of the departure from Spain of the Franciscans (among whom was Father Martin Ignacio), in 1580, their arrival in New Spain, and matters relating to the New World. The voyage is by way of the Canaries, of which a brief description is given; thence to San Domingo or Española, passing on the way the island Desseada, or "land desired," and its neighboring islands—among the latter La Dominica, inhabited by the cannibal Caribs—and later Puerto Rico. The island of Española is described, according to the knowledge of that day; and it is stated that therein "were, on the landing of the [first] Spaniards, three millions of native Indians, of whom only two hundred remain; and most of these are the half-breed children of Spaniards and Indian women, or of negroes and Indian women." The journey continues by way of the intervening islands to Cuba, and thence to Mexico. This wonderful country is described briefly, with allusions to its history, social and economic conditions, etc. A digression is made to relate the discovery and first exploration of the province called New Mexico, one of the fifteen new provinces discovered from Mexico. The account of the voyage to the Philippines follows.]
Departure from the city of Mexico, and journey to the port of Acapulco on the Southern Sea, whence they embark for the Filipinas Islands. The island of the Ladrones is passed, and the condition and rites of the people there are noted. Chapter XI.
From the City of Mexico they set out to embark at the port of Acapulco, a place located on the Southern Sea, in nineteen degrees of elevation of the pole, and lying ninety leagues from the City of Mexico, this entire distance being settled with many villages of Indians and Spaniards. At this port they embarked, taking a southeast course until they reached an altitude of twelve and one-half degrees. They did this in order to find the favorable winds (which in truth they found there), those called by sailors brizas—which are so favorable and steady, that, even in the months of November, December, and January, there is seldom any necessity for touching their sails. From this arises the so easy navigation through this sea. From this fact, and from the few storms here, this sea has been called the Mar de Damas ["Sea of Ladies"]. A westerly course is taken, following the sun always, upon setting out from our hemisphere. Journeying through this Southern Sea for forty days more or less, without seeing land, at the end of that time, the islands of Velas ["Sails"], otherwise called the Ladrones, are sighted, which, seven or eight in number, extend north and south. They are inhabited by many people, as we shall now relate.
Islands of Velas, or Ladrones. These islands lie in twelve degrees of latitude. Opinions differ as to the distance in leagues between them and the port of Acapulco, for up to the present no one has been enabled to ascertain it with certainty, by navigation from east to west, and no one has been able to measure the degrees. Some assert the distance of this voyage to be one thousand seven hundred leagues, others one thousand eight hundred. The opinion of the former is held to be more nearly correct. All of these islands are inhabited by light-complexioned people, of pleasing and regular features, like those of Europe; although in their bodies they do not resemble the latter—for they are as large as giants, and of so great strength, that it has actually happened that one of them, while standing on the ground, has laid hold of two Spaniards of good stature, seizing each of them by one foot with his hands, and lifting them thus as easily as if they were two children. Both men and women are naked from head to foot, although some of the women wear bits of deerskin of about one-half a vara in length, tied about the waist, for decency's sake; but those who wear them are very few compared with those who do not. The weapons used by them consist of slings, and darts hardened by fire, both of which they throw very deftly. They live on fish, which they catch alongshore, and on wild beasts, which they kill in the mountains, pursuing them afoot. There is in these islands the strangest custom ever seen or heard of anywhere. A time-limit is imposed for the youth to marry, in accordance with their custom; and during all this period they are allowed to enter freely into the houses of the married, and to remain with the women, without receiving any punishment therefor, even if the very husbands of the women should see it. These youths carry a club in the hand, and when one enters the house of married people, he leaves this club at the door, in such a position that those arriving may easily see it. This is a sign that no one may enter until the club is taken away, although it be the husband himself. They observe this custom with so great strictness, that if any one should violate it, all the others would immediately put him to death. None of these islands has a king, or recognized ruler, to whom the rest are subject; therefore each person lives to suit himself. Between the inhabitants of certain of the islands a state of hostility prevails, whenever occasion offers, as happened while Spaniards were in the port of the said island. At the point where the Spaniards anchored, as many as two hundred small boats filled with natives came to the ships to sell fowls, cocoa-nuts, potatoes, and other products of those islands, and to buy in exchange things carried by our men—especially iron, of which they were particularly fond, and glass articles, and other trifles. There was a great contest to see which of the canoes would reach the ship first, and their occupants came to blows, wounding each other as savagely as wild beasts, so that many died in the presence of our men. The matter was not settled until, for the sake of peace, an agreement was made among them, with many outcries that those from one island should do their buying on the port side of the vessel, and those from another island, on the starboard side. Thereupon they subsided, and bought and sold to their hearts' content. Then in payment for this good treatment, when they took their departure from us, they hurled their darts at the ship, wounding a number of men who were on deck. But they did not boast of this, for our men instantly repaid their daring with some shots from their arquebuses.
These people esteem iron more highly than silver or gold. They give in exchange for it, fruits, yams, sweet potatoes, fish, rice, ginger, fowls, and many fine and well-woven mats, and all for almost nothing. These islands are extremely healthful and fertile, and will be very easy to win over to the faith of Christ, if, on the passage of the vessels to Manila a few religious, together with some soldiers for protection, should be left there until the next year.  This would cost but a moderate sum.
Their rites and ceremonies are not known yet, because no one understands their speech; and it has not been possible to learn it, since no one has been in these islands longer than while passing. According to all appearances, their language is easy to understand, for it is pronounced very distinctly. Their word for ginger is asno; and for "Take away that arquebus," they say, arrepeque. They have no nasal or guttural words. It is understood, from some signs that we saw them make, that they are all pagans; and that they worship idols and the devil, to whom they sacrifice the booty obtained from their neighbors in war. It is believed that they originated from the Tartars, from certain peculiarities found among them which correspond to those found in that people.
These islands extend north and south with the land of Labrador, which lies near Terra-nova [Newfoundland], and are not a great distance from Japon.  It is quite safe to say that they have intercourse with the Tartars, and that they buy iron to sell it to the latter. The Spaniards who passed these islands called them the islands of Ladrones ["Thieves"]; for in sober truth all these people are thieves, and very bold ones, very deft in stealing; and in this science they might instruct the Gitanos [gypsies], who wander through Europe. In verification of this, I will recount an occurrence witnessed by many Spaniards, one which caused much wonder. While a sailor was stationed, by the order of the captain, on the port side of the ship, with orders to allow none to come aboard, and while he, sword in hand, was absent-mindedly looking at some of the canoes of the islanders—a sort of little boat all made of one piece, in which they sail—one of the natives plunged under the water and swam to where he was, quite unconscious of anything of the sort, and without his seeing it, snatched the sword from his hand and swam back with it. At the cry of the sailor, proclaiming the trick practiced on him by the islander, several soldiers with their arquebuses were stationed to shoot the native when he should emerge from the water. The islander on seeing this emerged from the water, holding up his hands, and making signs that he had nothing in them. For this reason those who were on the point of shooting him refrained. After a few moments of rest, the native dived once more, and swam under water, until out of range of the arquebuses—where, assured of safety, he took the sword from between his legs where he had hidden it, and commenced to make passes with it, jeering the while at our men whom he had deceived so easily. This theft, as well as many very adroit ones that they committed, has given these people the name of Ladrones, and is the reason for calling all the islands inhabited by them by the same name. This appellation is easily pardoned as long as they find opportunity to exercise their evil inclinations.
Departure from the Ladrones Islands and arrival at those of Luzon, or, as they are called also, Filipinas; and the relation of some peculiarities of those islands. Chapter XII.
Island of Luzon, and city of Manila. Navigating almost two hundred leagues west of the Ladrones Islands, to the channel called Espiritu Santo, one enters the archipelago, which consists of innumerable islands,  almost all inhabited by natives, and many of them conquered by the Spaniards, through either war or friendship. After sailing for eighty leagues, one reaches the city of Manila, located on the island of Luzon. Here the governor of all the said islands, and his Majesty's officials, reside generally; and here is the bishop and the cathedral church. This city lies in fourteen and one-fourth degrees. About it lie many islands, which no one has yet succeeded in numbering. They all extend northwest and southwest [sic] and north and south, so that in one direction they reach to the strait of Sincapura [Singapore], twenty-five leagues' distance from Malaca, and at the other almost to the Malucos and other islands, where a fabulous amount of cloves, pepper, and ginger is gathered, for there are whole mountains of these spices. The first to discover these islands were Spaniards, who went thither with the famous Magallanes, but did not conquer them, for they were more experienced in navigation than in conquest. Therefore after passing the strait (which to this day bears his [Magallanes's] surname), they arrived at the island of Zubu, where they baptized a number of the natives. Afterward at a banquet, those same islanders killed Magallanes and forty of his companions. On account of this Sebastian de Guetaria [Elcano], a native of Vizcaya, in order to escape with his life, embarked in one of the vessels remaining from the voyage—afterward known as the "Vitoria"—and with it and a very few of the crew who aided him, arrived, with God's help, at Sevilla. Thus they circumnavigated the world, from east to west, an event which caused universal wonder, and especially to the Emperor Carlos the Fifth, our sovereign. After the latter had bestowed great favors upon Sebastian de Guetaria, he ordered a new fleet to be prepared, to seek those islands anew, and to explore that new world. As soon as this fleet was in readiness to sail, which was very soon, a certain Villalobos was appointed as general of the entire fleet, and was ordered to sail by way of Nueva España. This Villalobos reached the Malucos Islands, those of Terrenate, and others near by, which had been sold by the above-named emperor to the crown of Portugal.
In these islands they had many wars, because of the Portuguese; and seeing their feeble means of resistance, and how ill-prepared they were to prosecute the conquest, they gave it up. Most of them accompanied the above-mentioned Portuguese to Portuguese India, whence they were sent, half prisoners, to the king of Portugal himself, as men who had committed crimes, and had entered his islands without his permission. He not only did them no harm, but gave them excellent treatment, sending them to their native country, Castilla, besides providing them fully with the things necessary for their journey. Some years after that, King Don Felipe, our sovereign, with the desire to prosecute this discovery, attempted so earnestly by the emperor his father, sent an order to Don Luys de Velasco, his viceroy in Nueva España, to prepare a fleet and crew for the rediscovery of the above-named islands. He was ordered to despatch in this fleet, as governor of everything discovered, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi. All was carried out in obedience to his Majesty's orders, and the discovery was made in the manner recounted at length in the first relation of the entrance of the Augustinian fathers into China.
These islands were formerly subject to the king of China, until he relinquished them all voluntarily, for the reasons expressed above in the first part of this history. The Spaniards, therefore, at their arrival found them without ruler or seignior to whom they might render obedience. In each one of the islands, he who had most power and followers acted as ruler. And because there were many equally powerful, there was occasion for continual civil wars, without any heed to nature, or to kindred, or to any other obligation, just as if they were unreasoning animals—destroying, killing, and capturing one another. This aided and favored our Spaniards to conquer the land so easily for his Majesty.
The reason for calling the islands Western Filipinas. The name Filipinas Islands was given them in honor of his name. The natives were wont to make captives and slaves with great readiness in illegal warfare, and for very slight causes. This God remedied with the coming of our Spaniards. It was usual for a man, with forty or fifty associates, or servants, to attack a village of poor people suddenly, when totally unprepared for such an assault, and, capturing them all, to make them slaves, without other cause or right; these they would keep as slaves for life, or sell them in other islands. And should one loan one or two baskets of rice to another, of the value of one real, stipulating that it should be returned within ten days, should the debtor fail to pay it on the day set, on the next day he had to pay double, and the debt continued to double from day to day, until it grew so large that the debtor was forced to become a slave in order to pay it. The Catholic Majesty, the king our sovereign, has ordered all those enslaved by this and similar means to be freed; but this just order has not been obeyed entirely, for those who should execute it have some interest therein.
All these islands were pagan and idolatrous. They now contain many thousands of baptized persons, upon whom our Lord has had great mercy, sending them the remedy for their souls in so good season; for, had the Spaniards delayed a few years more, all the natives would now be Moors, for already some of that sect in the island of Burneo had gone to these islands to preach their faith, and already many were not far from the worship of the false prophet Mahoma. But his perfidious memory was extirpated easily by the holy gospel of Christ. In all these islands they worshiped the sun, moon, and other secondary causes, certain images of men and women called in their tongue Maganitos, feasts to whom—very sumptuous and abounding in great ceremonies and superstitions—were called Magaduras. Among all of these idols they held one, by name Batala, in most veneration. This reverence they held as a tradition; but they knew not why he was greater than the others, or why he merited more esteem. In certain adjacent islands, called the Illocos, they worshiped the devil, offering him many sacrifices in payment and gratitude for the quantities of gold that he gave them. Now, by the goodness of God, and by the great industry of the Augustinian fathers—the first to go to those districts, and who have toiled and lived in a praiseworthy manner—and by the Franciscan fathers, who went thither ten years after, all these islands, or the majority of them, have received baptism, and are enrolled under the banner of Jesus Christ. Those yet outside the faith are so rather for lack of religious instruction and preachers, than by any repugnance of their own. Last year the Jesuit fathers went thither, and they helped in the work with their wonted labor and zeal. Now many more religious are going, very learned and apostolic men, of the Dominican order, who will work in that vineyard of the Lord with as great earnestness as they display wherever they go.
Account of certain remarkable things seen in these Filipinas
Islands. Chapter XIII.
The inhabitants of these islands were accustomed to celebrate their feasts above mentioned, and to sacrifice to their idols, at the order of certain witches, called in their own speech Holgoi. These witches were held in as great esteem among them as are priests among Christians. They talked quite commonly with the devil, and many times publicly; and they worked many devilish witcheries, by word and deed. The devil himself, beyond any doubt, took possession of them, and then they answered to all questions, although often they lied, or told things capable of many interpretations and different meanings. Likewise they were wont to cast lots, as has been related in the first part of this history. They were so superstitious that if they commenced any voyage, and at its beginning happened to see a crocodile, lizard, or any other reptile, which they recognized as an ill omen, they discontinued their journey, whatever its importance, and returned home, saying that the sky was not propitious to that journey. The evangelical law, as above stated, has driven away all these falsities, to which the devil had persuaded them. Now there are many monasteries of religious established in their midst, of the orders of St. Augustine, St. Francis, and the Society of Jesus. Current report declares that the number of souls converted and baptized in these islands exceeds four hundred thousand—which, although a great number, is but little in comparison with those still remaining. The rest fail to become Christians, as I have declared, through lack of religious workers; for although his Majesty continues to send them, taking no account of the great expense incurred therein, the islands are so many (and more are being discovered daily) and so distant that it has been impossible to send the necessary aid to all of them. The natives who are baptized receive the faith with avidity and are excellent Christians; and they will be even better, if aided with good examples, as is incumbent upon those who have been Christians for so long. But the actions of some of them make them so hated by the natives that the latter do not wish even to see their pictures.
A remarkable thing. For proof of this assertion, and in order to induce those in authority to remedy this condition of affairs, I will relate here a strange but well authenticated occurrence in these islands, and a thing thoroughly well known in them all. In this particular island one of the chief inhabitants died a few days after his baptism. At his death he was very contrite for the sins that he had committed against God before and after his baptism. Afterward he appeared, by divine permission, to many persons of that island, whom he persuaded by forcible reasoning to receive baptism immediately, declaring to them, as one who had experienced it, the reward of celestial bliss, which, without any doubt, would be granted through baptism, and by living thereafter in conformity to the commandments of Christ. For this purpose he declared and asserted to them that, as soon as he had died, angels had carried him to glory, where only delight and happiness reigned, which arose solely from the sight of God. No one entered, or could enter that place, unless he were baptized according to the preaching of the Castilians. Of these latter, and of others like them, there was an infinite number there. Therefore, if they wished to share in the enjoyment of those blessings and delights, they must be baptized first, and afterward observe the commandments preached by the fathers among the Castilians. Thereupon he vanished instantly, and they began to discuss what they had heard. On account of it, some were baptized immediately, but others delayed, saying that because there were Castilian soldiers in glory, they did not care to go there, for they did not wish their company. All this injury can arise from one impious man, who presents one bad example. Such a man, wheresoever he might be, and especially in those islands, should be reprimanded and punished severely by good people.
When first discovered, these islands were reported as unhealthful, but later experience has shown the contrary. The land is exceedingly fertile, producing rice and grain in abundance, and goats, fowls, deer, buffaloes, and cows, with many swine, whose flesh is as good and savory as is the mutton of España. There are many civet-cats. An infinite number of fruits are found, all very good and well flavored; and honey and fish in abundance. Everything is sold so cheaply, that it is all but given away. The islands yield much cinnamon; and although there is no olive oil but that brought from Nueva España, much oil is made from ajonjoli [Sesamum orientale] and flaxseed which is commonly used in that country, so that the olive oil is not missed. Saffron, cloves, pepper, nutmegs, and many drugs are produced, besides abundance of cotton and silk of all colors, great quantities of which are carried thither annually by Chinese merchants. More than twenty ships arrive in those ports, laden with the above-mentioned cloths of various colors; with earthenware, powder, saltpeter, iron, steel, quantities of quicksilver, bronze, and copper; wheat-flour, nuts, chestnuts, biscuits, and dates; linen cloth; escritoires worked in many colors, head-dresses, and thin cloths for veils [buratos, espumillas]; water-jugs, made of tin; lace edging, silk fringe, and gold thread, drawn in a manner never seen in Christendom; and many other rare articles—and all, as I have said, very cheap. The products of the islands themselves are sold also quite cheaply; for four arrobas of palm wine—which, in the absence of grape wine, is found to be of excellent quality—can be obtained for four reals; twelve fanégas of rice for eight reals; three hens for one; one whole hog for eight; one buffalo for four; one deer for two, but it must be very fat and large; four arrobas of sugar for six; one jar of ajonjolí oil for three; two baskets of saffron for two; six libras of pepper or of cloves for one; two hundred nutmegs for one; one arroba of cinnamon for six; one quintal of iron or steel for ten; thirty fine porcelain dishes for four; and everything else may be bought at like prices.
A remarkable and exceedingly useful tree. Among the remarkable things seen by our people in those islands, and in the kingdom of China, and in other districts where Spaniards have gone—one that has most caused wonder and fixed itself in the memory—is a tree called commonly the cocoa-palm. It is different from the date-palm, and with great reason, for it is a plant so useful and mysterious, that for instance, a ship has come to these islands, and not only the ship but everything in it—the merchandise, and the ropes, cordage, sails, masts, and nails—was made of this wood; its merchandise consisted of cloth, made from the bark with great dexterity and cunning. Even the food for the crew of thirty men, and their water, came from this tree. The merchants in the ship testified that throughout the entire island of Maldivia, whence they had come, no other food was gathered, nor is there any other food there, except that furnished by this tree. Houses with their roofs are made also from it. The fruit yields a very palatable and wholesome kernel, whose taste resembles green hazelnuts. By cutting the branch where the cocoa-nut grows—this nut is the principal fruit, and each one contains, as a rule, one cuartillo of the sweetest and most delicious water—all that substance flows down into the trunk of the tree. This is tapped with an auger, and all the liquid is collected from the hole. A great quantity is obtained, which, mixed with other ingredients, makes an excellent wine. This wine is drunk throughout the islands, and in the kingdom of China. From the water alone, vinegar is made, and from the kernel, as I have said, a very healing oil, and a milk resembling that of almonds, and very palatable honey and sugar. The palm possesses the above qualities, together with many other virtues. I have told them in part, because it is so remarkable a thing, and a cause of wonder to all who go to those districts. I leave the rest unsaid, not to be prolix.
Near the city of Manila, on the other side of the river, is a town of baptized Chinese who have taken up residence there to enjoy the liberty of the gospel. There are many mechanics among them, such as cobblers, tailors, silversmiths, blacksmiths, and other artisans, besides a number of merchants.
[The remaining chapters (XIV-XXVII) of the "Itinerary" treat of the departure from Cavite for China of seven descalced Franciscans, three other Spaniards and six natives, on June 21, 1582; their reception in China; their journeys in that land; their imprisonment, the passing of the death sentence upon them, and their deliverance through the agency of a Portuguese. A further description of China follows, including observations on "the famous wall of the kingdom of China, which is five hundred leagues long," counting in the mountain between China proper and Tartary. "The sea-coast of this kingdom is the longest and best in the world." Its fauna, land products, and means of defense and offense receive attention. Certain rites and ceremonies, social and economic conditions, and characteristics of the people, are mentioned briefly. The islands of Japan are also described, and the origin of the Japanese touched upon: as well as portions of the history of the people, their religion, and missionary efforts among them. Mention is made of an island of Amazons, the existence of which Mendoza doubts. En route to Lisbon, Father Ignacio and his companions pass from Macao to Malaca, the famous trading port of the East Indies. Slight descriptions of the various kingdoms of the East India district are given, including Cochinchina, Cambodia, and Siam, "the mother of idolatry." Thence the return is made via the Cape of Good Hope, the distance comprehended in the circumnavigation being reckoned by Father Ignacio at nine thousand and forty leagues.]
Documents of 1586
Memorial to the Council, by citizens of the Filipinas Islands. Santiago de Vera, and others; [July 26].
Letter to Felipe II. Alfonso de Chaves, and others; June 24.
Letter from the Manila cabildo to Felipe II. Andres de Villanueva, and others; June 25.
Letter to Felipe II. Antonio Sedeño; June 25.
Letter to Felipe II. Domingo de Salazar; June 26.
Letter from the Audiencia to Felipe II. Santiago de Vera, and others;
Letter to Felipe II. Pedro de Rojas; June 30.
Letter to Felipe II. Juan de Moron; June 30.
Measures regarding trade with China. Felipe II, and others; June 17-November 15.
Brief erecting Franciscan province of the Philippines. Sixtus V;
Sources: All these documents, except in two cases, are obtained from the original MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias at Sevilla. The first document is taken in part from another copy which is preserved in the Real Academia de Historia, Madrid; and the papal brief is translated from the text given in Hernaez's Colección de Bulas.
Translations: The first document is translated by James A. Robertson, Emma Helen Blair, and Robert W. Haight (of the University of Wisconsin); the second, sixth and ninth, by Arthur B. Myrick, of Harvard University; the seventh, by Robert W. Haight; the papal brief, by Rev. T.C. Middleton, O.S.A., of Villanova College; the remainder, by James A. Robertson.
Memorial to the Council
Memorandum of the Various Points Presented by the General Junta of
Manila to the Council, So That in Regard to Each the Most Advisable
Reform May Be Instituted
(In the first general junta ["assembly"], held in the royal buildings, three conclusions were reached: First, the requirements of the country and the necessity for this journey; second, the person who should make the journey; third, the necessity for convening other assemblies in order to treat more clearly and more specifically the matters which needed attention in detail. As the president and auditors could not be absent from their regular occupations, it was decided that thereafter should assemble for this purpose the bishop of the islands with one or two prebends to represent the cabildo of the church; one of the officials of the royal exchequer; the mariscal of Bonbon; the master-of-camp, with two other captains, in behalf of the military; two regidors with two other citizens, representing the cabildo and city, and some procuradors from other towns of the island; the three superiors of the religious communities; and other religious men therefrom, who are learned, seniors in their houses, and men of experience in the affairs of the country. The president, auditors, and fiscal should be present at those times and hours when, as often happened, they were free from official duties. With the persons thus chosen, these assemblies and conferences were held for many days, and the proceedings were conducted with great care and deliberation. The following brief summaries of their conclusions were made, furnishing a more clear and intelligible review of these to the father [Alonso Sánchez] already mentioned and appointed, that he might carry these notes with him and thus give further information to his Majesty.) 
Chapter first. Of what concerns the spiritual affairs of Manila and the Filipinas
1. That the cathedral of Manila is constructed of wood and straw, and has nothing for other buildings or for ornaments.  First: It was declared and resolved that his Majesty should be informed that the cathedral of these islands has no buildings, ornaments, or suitable equipment for divine worship; nor has it any income or contributions for these purposes, or for sacristan, verger, or other necessary assistants. And being built of wood and straw, as it is, and so poor, weatherbeaten, and deprived of necessities, it is a reproach and a cause of loss to our faith and Christian religion, and to our state and the men who rule the state, and even to the majesty and greatness of its king and sovereign—since we are in the gaze of so many pagans (both natives and foreigners), who come here from many regions, especially China, and who see and take note of this.
2. That nothing is paid to the bishop and prebendaries from the royal treasury, or from tithes. Second: Inasmuch as, on the one hand, the tithes are not paid, nor, on the other, has the royal treasury at Manila the wherewithal to pay the bishop or prebendaries, or provide for curates or the said helpers, they cannot exist and live as their station demands; and neither in their houses and persons, nor in the service of the church and the methodical arrangements of the hours,  do they or can they observe, nor do they feel obliged to observe, the decorum due in all these matters—from which results the said diminution and loss of souls. The person who goes for this purpose will relate what he knows of this matter, besides what is here set down.
3. That the prebendaries be supplied with the necessaries of life, or be exchanged for curates. Third: It was resolved that, if the tithes were not paid, whether his Majesty ordered it or not, this evil should be remedied—as can be done, and is necessary—by another method. His Majesty should order that the prebendaries be removed, or that no more be appointed; for they cannot live decently, or meet their obligations. If this shall be done, they can be exchanged for one curate and two or three beneficed priests, all with obligation to look after the souls of the Spaniards and soldiers of this city, as well as of the many Indian servants, workmen, and laborers who serve them, as now very little attention is paid to all these.
4. The Spanish hospital is very poor, and there are many sick. Fourth: His Majesty should be informed that the hospital, established here in his name, has no money with which to help the many soldiers, sailors, and other poor persons who, engaged in service and labors for the king and those usual in this country, fall sick, and die in sadness and affliction. His Majesty should provide money for a building, beds, food, medicine, attendants, and other necessities, bringing from Nueva España medicines and clothing; and in the islands be granted, for its income and expenses, another additional encomienda of one thousand Indians—which, with the one it has now, will be worth six hundred pesos of eight reals each.
5. That some income be granted to the hospital for the Indians. Fifth: His Majesty is to be informed that there is another hospital for the Indians, which is in the same or greater poverty, and that there is no less necessity and obligation for aiding it—both because the Indians are the ones who sustain it entirely by their products, toils, and tributes; and because many or all of those who go to the hospital fall sick from the hardships that they undergo in the service of the royal affairs, and for the establishment and conservation of these islands.
6. That there is great need of religious; and that no new religious order come. Sixth: This declares to his Majesty the great need for instruction, and that his royal conscience is not lightened, for our lack of ministers, and on account of the many people who are dying without baptism, and the many without conversion, and the many islands and provinces that cannot be pacified because of this lack. We ask that his Majesty give imperative orders that religious be sent who belong to the three orders now here, and that no other new orders come here; and that they should come appointed for these islands, and for no other district.
7. That, in order that instruction may be furnished, something be added to the tributes. Seventh: In order that instruction may be provided—not only where there is none, but also where there is some, but not sufficient—his Majesty should cause something to be added to the tributes, and the rates of taxation to be cleared up; for now they are very much confused, and give rise to many quite serious scruples. And the tributes should be assigned in terms of Castilian reals, for hitherto they have generally been collected by the standard of eight reals, and they could be raised to ten reals, provided that it be not permitted to compel the Indians to pay in any assigned article; but that they be allowed to pay in money, if they have it, or if they wish to give it, or in any other sort of their products or means of gain, or as these shall have value.
8. That tithes be paid, as is the custom in Mejico. Eighth: In order that this increase of tributes may be more justifiable, it should be announced that the encomenderos shall pay the tithes; and therefore they desire, and request his Majesty to have these paid according to the custom and manner of Mexico—for, as until now there have been no bishop, curates, or system in government, and no church, these have not been paid. And now, although to many it appears just, and they would do it, many more refuse to do it; and thus, between them both, nothing is done.
Chapter second. Of matters pertaining to the city of Manila
1. That public property be given to the city of Manila. First: It should be suggested to his Majesty that he cause some public property to be granted to this city, for all its affairs, of peace and of war, of government, conservation, and defense, and for suits that may arise in defense of it and its increase; and that, for this purpose, he cause that some Indians be given to it, or something from the duties, or the warehouses or shops, which, on account of the Chinese and other traders, could be applied to the public property of the said city.
2. That the three per cent duty imposed by Don Rronquillo, be not paid. Second: His Majesty should order that the three per cent duty, imposed by Don Gonçalo Ronquillo, be not paid in this city, because of the extreme newness and poverty of this country; and because the citizens assist in many other matters that its newness demands, and these duties cannot assist at all in increasing and enriching the settlement and country.
3. That no duties, especially on food and supplies, be paid at any port in these islands. Third: We ask that none of those coming from outside to the port or ports of these islands—as Chinese, Portuguese, Japanese, Siamese, Burneans, or any others—shall pay any duties, especially on food, supplies, and materials therefor, so that the country may be advantaged and enriched; and because on account of these duties, the Chinese experience many annoyances, and the frequency of their coming is hindered; and since thus result the inconveniences which, as his Majesty orders by a decree, should not be allowed to occur. Of everything else connected with this matter, the person who is going on this business will give information in detail, and as is required.
4. That the inhabitants of the Filipinas pay no duty in Acapulco or anywhere else; and that no freight duty be paid. Fourth: His Majesty should order that, just as, on all the goods sent to Mexico from that city (Sevilla—Madrid MS.), no duty is paid on the first sale, so on goods sent to Acapulco or other places from these islands, none be paid; for there are more reasons and causes for such exemption in this country than there. We ask that, likewise, the freight duty of twelve pesos per tonelada, imposed by Don Gonçalo Ronquillo on the goods of citizens of these islands, be not collected at Acapulco.
5. That the concession of paying the tenth only, instead of the fifth, on gold, be continued. Fifth: The tenth now paid by Spaniards on gold instead of the fifth, conceded to them by his Majesty, should be perpetual, or continued as long as possible, for the same reason—the increase and augmentation of the country and the Christian religion.
6. That the offices and encomiendas assigned be to the old citizens and soldiers. Sixth: The offices assigned by the governor of these islands should be given to the old citizens of these islands who merit it, who shall have been resident therein at least three years and are citizens of them. The same should be understood in regard to the encomiendas that his Majesty orders to be given to the soldiers, and they should have resided here in actual military service and duty—for they suffer great hardships in gaining and pacifying the land, and afterward support it in its greater necessities and advancement; and always the encomiendas should be given to those among them who have most deserved these grants, paying attention to their length of service, along with the other considerations of greater or less services or benefits to the country. Nor should they be given to the servants, brothers, relatives, followers, or persons recommended, whom the governors bring hither with them of late—who have not rendered any service to the country, and do no more than to enjoy the sweat of the natives—but to the old Spanish inhabitants, who have suffered the toil, and now should reap the reward. We urge that his Majesty rigorously enforce this upon the governors; for it is this which has most afflicted and ruined this country—because, as (those who have done nothing for it enjoy the reward—Madrid MS.) those who have served it are dissatisfied and desperate, neither they nor any one else who could do much will exert themselves, because they are without hope.
7. That commissions and means of advancement be assigned to those have worked in this country. Seventh: The same course should be observed in all the commissions and means of gain on land and sea, and especially in the appointments of masters and officers of vessels, and in everything else—since, besides preserving equity and avoiding wrongs, this recompenses those who have toiled, gives hope to those present, allures the absent, and peoples, conserves, and betters the country. They [the Council] should endeavor to be thus generous and conciliatory in this matter, as it is the thing in which there is most injustice, which is most keenly felt, and which causes most harm.
8. That workmen and mechanics in Manila be paid their wages here and not in Mexico. Eighth: His Majesty should order that all workmen and mechanics who serve for pay or wages in this country—such as sailors, carpenters, blacksmiths, and any others (who remain and are needed here—Madrid MS.)—be paid their wages here,  according to contract; that the money for this be provided from the royal treasury of Mexico, since the treasury here has but little; that what is to be given them there be paid here, as it will be of much more value to them, and will be the occasion of increasing the population of this country by those who will have trades, and will remain with hope, and do more and better work in every way.
9. That there should be a ship-purveyor in Manila. Ninth: That in place of the other third royal official of former days, his Majesty appoint a ship-purveyor (who should not be a royal official), because the two officials of the royal exchequer cannot at present attend to this matter, which entails much work, along with the other things to which they generally attend. With this appointment the ships will be despatched better, and more punctually, and at less expense; for they can be kept in better equipment, and their condition known with exactness—and not as now, when this is not known, nor are they able to attend to all things.
10. That there should be no commissary of the Inquisition. Tenth: We ask that at present there be no commissary of the Inquisition in this city or these islands, as they are so new, and have so few inhabitants, and are so far from Mexico. For a commissary so far away, and in a matter of so great import and weight for the honor, property, and lives of men might cause so many wrongs; and many times it might happen in cases that, after all this expense, they will be set free in Mexico. The person who is going [for us to Spain] should give information on all these points. We recommend that this matter be left with the bishop for the present; or, at least, that one of the dignitaries with the bishop act as inquisitor, and that there be no commissary.
Chapter third. Of the traffic of these islands, on which likewise depends their increase and conservation
1. That no consignments of money be sent to the Filipinas from Mexico. First: It should be related to his Majesty that one of the things that has ruined this country is the great consignments of money that wealthy persons resident in Mexico send here. These give rise to two wrongs: the first, that they advance the price on all Chinese merchandise, so that the poor and common people of the islands cannot buy those goods, or only at very high prices; the second, that, since the shipments of goods [to Mexico] are many and large, and the vessels few—at times (nearly always, in fact) not more than one—and, because of the great amount of ship stores required for so long a course, and the difficulty of the voyage, these vessels go but lightly laden, the citizens and common people cannot export any goods. We ask that his Majesty ordain and confirm what has been ordained here by his royal Audiencia—namely, that neither shall such consignments be sent from Mexico, nor shall Mexican factors or trading companies come hither from that country; but that only the citizens of these islands be allowed to buy and export to Mexico the products of this land and foreign products. If any other person wish to do this, he should be obliged to become a citizen and reside here at least for three years; and he should trade with none but his own property, under severe penalties. These should include the confiscation of both such goods and his personal property, in addition to which he should not be allowed to carry any wealth to Mexico; nor from there shall the money be brought which now the Chinese take, so that their goods may be bought more cheaply, and with the products of this land.
2. That purchases be not made from the Chinese, at retail, but by wholesale. Second: We desire that, now and henceforth, neither the Chinese nor other foreign vessels shall sell at retail, as is the custom at present, nor shall the inhabitants of this city be allowed to purchase in public or in secret, under severe penalties. We ask that, for the purchase of these goods at wholesale, there be appointed and chosen persons, so many and such as the affair requires, so that they alone may buy at wholesale all the goods brought by the Chinese vessels, and afterward apportion them to the Spanish citizens, the Chinese, and the Indians, by a just and fair distribution, at the rate of the prices paid for them, plus the other incidental expenses required. If his Majesty order and confirm this, the prices shall be determined and established by the governor and persons whom his Lordship shall appoint.
3. That there be no Chinese hucksters in Manila. Third: From the above follows another very important matter—namely, that all the Chinese merchants and hucksters should not remain here to hoard and retail the goods, as well as for the many other losses, and the lack of supplies that they cause in the city and land, and the secret sins and witchcrafts that they teach, of which the father will give a detailed account. Moreover, the shops which they had and which are necessary for retail articles should, in the course of the year, be taken by the Spaniards, so that the advantage may remain on our side, and so that there maybe opportunity for Spanish citizenship and settlement. This cannot increase without such action, since there are so many Chinese here; and it is desirable for many other advantages which will be attained here. Outside the city there should remain, of the Chinese, only the Christians and certain other old inhabitants, who do not come and go, and are not wholly hucksters, but workmen—mechanics, carpenters, gardeners, and farmers—and others who trade in food supplies, who, collecting the food in the villages of the Indians, bring it to this city.
4. That the Portuguese shall not trade with Mexico or Peru. Fourth: The Portuguese should be forbidden, for the present, to make a voyage to or traffic with Peru or Nueba España; for this country will be ruined, while that city (Sevilla—Madrid MS.) will lose the duties on the voyages and goods, and the Portuguese will take the silver to China, East India (Cion, and Sunda—Madrid MS.) and other foreign kingdoms.
5. That the inhabitants of the islands may trade with Piru or any other country. Fifth: We ask that the inhabitants of these islands may make voyages to Japon, Macan, and all other kingdoms and posts, whether Portuguese or pagan, that admit our trade.
6. That the Audiencia be abolished, or paid from Mexico. Sixth: The citizens of this city and of these islands are very few and poor to carry so great a burden as the royal Audiencia, and the numerous expenses caused and incurred by its officials; accordingly if there are any reasons why the Audiencia should remain, his Majesty should allow their salaries to be paid from the treasury of Mexico. The father will inform his Majesty of the arguments on both sides, according to the detailed memoranda and the discussions and opinions expressed here. His Majesty will take what action he deems suitable.
Chapter fourth. Of other matters on which depend the establishment and increase of this state and kingdom
1. That farming and stock raising be encouraged. First: It should be brought to his Majesty's attention that, up to this time, this country has had no adequate means of support—whether in estates, farming, stock-raising, or anything else that sustains and enriches countries; but that its first settlers came only to conquer and subdue what little there is, and that afterward all thought and care were transferred to traffic and gain. On this account all the country has remained uncultivated and unsettled; and it is necessary that an earnest effort be made to maintain what we now hold. To this end his Majesty should undertake to send every year from Castilla, Nueba España, or elsewhere, eight or ten married farmers with daughters; his Majesty should pay the expenses of their voyage and settlement here, and provide here their houses and farm implements, and grant them other favors; and for this should issue very particular commands. He should be told that there are so extensive and so fertile lands, with abundance of wood and iron; and that there are many workmen and much game, and everything else needed by farmers.
2. That the farmers and settlers be exempt from all taxes for a certain period. Second: All coming to settle and cultivate the soil should be exempt for the present from tithes, pecho,  and any other tax—with assurance and agreement that for the future, for such period as his Majesty may consider advisable, they shall incur no molestation from the collector of tithes; and that each be furnished the assurance of exemption which shall be necessary with the church and other persons.
3. That the Spaniards and Indians of the farms be exempt from war and other personal labor. Third: They, and all the Indians who aid them or accompany them to their farms, should be exempt from war or other personal labor in boats or on buildings, or anything else that might hinder or fatigue them.
4. That those coming as farmers be not allowed to change their occupation. Fourth: His Majesty should order that those coming for this purpose shall not change or be transferred to any other pursuit or means of gain; but that they be compelled to do the work for which the above-mentioned, and what else shall appear necessary, is given, so that they may be forced to it with good reason. Therefore, those who shall be sent should be of humble and low estate, and only fit for and accustomed to this work.
5. That the Indians accompany our farmers and learn farming. Fifth: The Indian chiefs and timaguas should be ordered to associate themselves with our farmers by just contracts and division, so that they may grow to like and learn our method of farming, and that the Spaniards may have someone to furnish them with people and other necessary aids—since these Indians are sagacious and know how to look out for themselves with the farmers, especially if the latter be simple people, as above stated.
6. That many cattle and horses be brought from China and Japon, and that buffaloes be domesticated. Sixth: His Majesty should give imperative orders that an effort be made to have many horses and cattle brought from China and Japon; and that these farmers and the Indian chiefs and villages, be ordered to domesticate and breed buffaloes. By these means they may have the animals which are necessary to cultivate the land, for their other work, and for food.
7. That the encomiendas be granted with the obligation to cultivate them. Seventh: His Majesty should order that, now and henceforth, the encomiendas be granted under this obligation and charge, namely, that the encomendero shall cultivate a portion of the land, and cause it to be cultivated, and shall induce the said Indians and Spaniards to do the same; that the governors attend to this with vigilance, and that they require from the encomenderos a certain number of animals, or so much cultivated land, or produce—either by themselves, or in company with the said chiefs and farmers.
8. That dowries be established here, so that some women may be married every year. Eighth: For a larger and better settlement and increase, his Majesty should provide for this land dowries and alms—amounting to four hundred or five hundred pesos, or thereabout, as may seem advisable to his Majesty—so that every year ten, fifteen, or twenty women, brought from España, may be married to the common people of these islands, such as soldiers and others, that thus the country may secure an increase of population—which it has not at present, for lack of women and marriages.
9. That there be dowries so that Indian women may be married to poor Spaniards. Ninth: His Majesty should assign other and lesser dowries, so that the Indian women may be married to poor Spaniards (soldiers and sailors) of the lower rank. In both these ways the country may be increased, in these regions so remote and so lacking in people.
10. That offices be not sold. Tenth: His Majesty should know that it has been proposed and intended here to have all the offices sold; and, if his Majesty desire this increase, it is all the more important not only that he should order that no more be sold, but that even, if possible, those offices which were sold should be bought back. All the offices should be given to those who come here, and remain in lands so remote and of so few advantages. The offices include those of secretaries, notaries, alguazils, clerks of records, assayer, and any others whatever. No persons should come with appointments from España, but appointments should be made here, as stated in chapter second, sections 6 and 7.
11. That the encomiendas be of such extent that they may provide the taxes for tithes, instruction, and other expenses. Eleventh: We ask that, so far as the disposal of the land and the settlement of the Indians allow, no encomiendas of less than eight hundred or one thousand Indians be allotted, in order that there may be sufficient for the instruction, tithes, and other expenses—which cannot be covered in encomiendas of five hundred tributes, but which are necessary. His Majesty should grant permission that those who possess but few Indians may, if they so desire, dispose of and sell them to another and neighboring encomendero, in order that a larger encomienda may be formed; at present, this cannot be done.
Chapter fifth. Of some matters pertaining to the Indians
1. That the Indians should not pay the tenth on gold, either new or old. First: His Majesty should grant this grace and exemption to the Indians—namely, that for certain years they shall not pay the tenth of their gold; for with this concession they would better conform to the law, and would have gold in greater abundance, and openly and above-board; for now they dig but little of it, and hide most of that, in order to sell it to other nations. Although it has been ordained that the old gold be not taxed the tenth, yet, on the pretext of its being new, they tax it all, without the knowledge of the governor. This evil cannot be remedied among the alcaldes-mayor or other Spaniards who are concerned in the matter; nor do even the governors care greatly about it, or remedy it.
2. That, in the suits of the Indians, the process be summary. Second: In their law-suits, proceedings should not be conducted with such preparation, and so great expenses and long terms, as are usual among the Spaniards in a European chancilleria; but they should be summary, and only sufficient records be kept to give evidence, so that, in the future, no new suit can be instituted on the same ground. In regard to this the father will relate our difficulties, past and present and to come; and what the officers of justice do with the Indians—and the same as regards the ecclesiastics. The Indians should not be condemned to pay money fines, either for municipal purposes, or for charitable institutions; but other penalties in use among the Indians should be imposed, such as lashes, service in the hospitals, and other labors.
3. That the collection of tributes by force, and without any instruction being given to the Indians, excites and disturbs the country. Third: His Majesty should be informed of what has occurred in the collection of tributes from the disaffected or never-pacified encomiendas, and of how little heed is paid to his ordinances; and he should order them to be executed. Such Indians should not be compelled to submit; nor should all the tribute be collected from them, but only something as recognition, since they receive no benefit, nor know why it is demanded. Thus they regard it as a theft, and us as robbers. Severe penalties should be imposed on those who by only collecting the tribute each year and returning to this city, or by sending soldiers to do it as above stated (disturb the country and—Madrid MS.) render it impossible that the country can ever be pacified. For this reason many districts of these islands are disaffected, and must be subdued, as Burney, Maluco, Mindanao, and others near them. The same should be understood also in regard to the encomiendas allotted to the royal crown. This matter needs serious attention and correction.
4. The difficulty of furnishing instruction in some of the pacified islands. Fourth: His Majesty should be informed how little instruction is given in these islands, the difficulty of many [encomenderos] in furnishing it, and the much greater difficulty which arises from the topography of the country—because it is all islands, and several, or many, of them are so small that they do not allow an entire encomienda, since three hundred, four hundred, or five hundred tributes are not sufficient for the expenses of an encomienda; and many of these have only one hundred or two hundred tributes. To this difficulty is added the burden and danger of the voyage, the heat and rains, and the poor roads of the country. In regard to this matter should be stated whatever remains to be told; also the remedy that may be applied by adding to the tributes, and by making some islands dependent upon others, as his Majesty may deem best.
5. That a protector of the Indians, with a salary, be appointed, who shall not be the royal fiscal. Fifth: A protector of the Indians should be appointed, a Christian man, and with authority to defend them, and prosecute their suits. In order to avoid the losses and expenses generally caused to the Indians by protectors, because of their being common men, he should have a good salary; and the royal fiscal should not be the protector, because in his duties more cases against the Indians than in their defense necessarily arise, and he cannot neglect to prosecute them. Therefore it is advisable that the two offices be not merged in one person; and that the said protector be authorized to prosecute, even to the deprivation of encomiendas or other penalties, pecuniary or personal; that he have a voice and vote in the cabildo, both actively and passively; that he take precedence of the regidors and alguazil-mayor, and sit with the advocates and not with the prosecutors; that he be not an encomendero, and that the alcaicería [i.e., silk-market], and the care of the Chinese residing in Manila, be annexed to his office.
Chapter sixth. Of matters pertaining to the soldiers
1. The serious troubles and annoyances which result from the soldiers not being paid. First: His Majesty should be informed that the country is not settled or pacified, because it is poorly governed and has so small a military force. There is lack of men, and even the few that we have serve with no pay or means of gain, but with many hardships and dangers, and in extreme poverty and desolation, and worse than captivity, since they are forced to service without any pay or support. From this ensue many evils. The first is, that they do nothing, and they cannot and even will not do anything voluntarily; and in this alone they are lacking in natural loyalty and fidelity to their king. Second: They go—poor, despised, disgraced, sick, and needy—to serve masters who are often mean, and persons who, although just to others, sometimes give these men no compensation. With such hardships, sorrows, and famine, and but few delicacies or provisions for their illnesses, many of them die, and that in great wretchedness. Third: They try to escape, as often as they can—now to Macan or to Malaca, sometimes to Maluco, but most commonly to Nueva España—under a thousand pretexts and excuses of being married, or sick, or bound to religion, and others. Fourth: On this account, the country has so bad a reputation in Mexico and in the other countries whence they might come, that no one of worth comes, but only very mean and worthless beggars, and destitute, shiftless, and useless fellows; and it would matter very little, and would even be better, if they did not come. Fifth: It is a pitiable thing to see men of rank and quality, and gentlemen, who have come for private opportunities and objects, poor, ill-clad, without shelter, service, or food, and needy, enduring great hunger and shame for the sake of supplying these needs—in the same day dining at one house and supping at another. Sixth: On this account, the captains and commanders neither dare nor can order anything freely, nor are the soldiers willing to obey; and therefore, not only is nothing accomplished, but there remains neither military order, nor respect for superiors, nor organization. Seventh: They have no weapons, or, if they have them, they are compelled to pawn or sell them for clothing and food. Eighth: On this account, many of them are almost forced to inflict injuries on the natives of the country in order to get food, and others to live with native women for the same reason. From all of these follows the ninth and greatest evil of all—namely, that the little that has been conquered has been so weakened that it is not growing, and shows no sign of future growth; and nearly all the rest is so disaffected, and without our having any opportunity or power to hold it, that not only will it remain as now, but it is even feared that the little already conquered will be ruined—especially as, besides the foe at home, there are so many surrounding enemies, those of Japon, China, Çian, Patan, Jabas, Burney, and Maluco, and other innumerable peoples. All this is in the utmost need of remedy, so that this Spanish state may not be destroyed, and so many souls of the natives lost, and the glory of their Creator and the knowledge of Jesus Christ effaced and forgotten. Nor should the enlargement of so great lands and kingdoms, for so much gain, honor, and renown of our Catholic sovereigns and of their faithful vassals, the Spanish nation, be neglected.
2. The great importance of paying the soldiers. Second: All this will be remedied, provided that his Majesty order that, inasmuch as there is an evident and imperative need here for troops, and for their participation, as now, in the exercise and labors of war—conquering, pacifying, conserving, controlling, and anticipating dangers; carrying the responsibilities of presidios [i.e., fortified towns], garrisons, and sentries; and enduring other duties and hardships, greater in this country than in any other—they be granted what is just and necessary, either from the treasury of Mexico or of some other country, or in such manner and method as his Majesty may consider better; and that the pay be the ordinary rate that is paid in the Yndias—or, if he chooses, even less. This will not only put an end to the said evils and annoyances, but will give rise to so great blessings; since the country will be quiet and settled, and there will be continual necessity for subduing and converting more lands, and conquering all of the neighboring islands and kingdoms. These will have the fear and respect that they ought to have for the power and might of his Majesty, and for the Spanish people—of which much has been lost and little gained of late years, because we have been so shut in and abandoned.
3. That three hundred and fifty soldiers with six captains, six standard-bearers, sergeants, and corporals are sufficient for that country. Third: For the above object, it will be sufficient that his Majesty maintain here three hundred or three hundred and fifty soldiers, with six captains, six standard-bearers, six sergeants, and twelve corporals, well drilled and equipped. This can be done in the Yndias at the price of fifteen pesos [to each soldier], and to the captains fifty, to the standard-bearer twenty-five, and one thousand pesos of additional pay, to be distributed annually at the will of the general.
4. That the soldiers should have no other duty or occupation. Fourth: We recommend that any one of the soldiers, on receiving an encomienda or other appointment, shall draw no more pay; and that while he draws pay, he shall not be allowed to trade or traffic, under severe penalties—for this lure and anxiety is the destruction of soldiers; it lessens and intimidates their resolution, and occupies them and distracts them from their proper aim, which is so necessary for the safety and increase of this land and of Christendom.
5. That the soldiers shall not be servants of the governors or others. Fifth: We recommend that no servants of the governors, captains royal officials or others, may be provided from any garrison of soldiers; but that all the latter be soldiers only, with the occupation and exercise of arms, or of what pertains thereto.
6. That the exemptions of soldiers be observed. Sixth: The exemptions from arrest for debts incurred while a soldier, or from executions on weapons, horse, or anything else necessary and proper to the soldier, should be maintained.
7. That the captains and commanders enjoy their privileges. Seventh: The captains and commanders should be protected in their privileges, by which they have ordinary power and authority to govern and punish the soldiers, and in all matters pertaining to the soldiery; and these powers should be granted to and exercised by them.
8. That the governor and captain-general have a guard of twenty-four halberdiers. Eighth: Twenty-four halberdiers should be given to the governor and captain-general, to guard his person and maintain his authority, as do those of the captain of Malaca; for it is only by such display that due respect is inspired in the natives and foreigners, and their minds kept from planning revolts and treasons. It also confers authority upon the person of him who represents the person of our king, and increases the honor and reverence paid to him. To these guards should be given each month, from the royal exchequer, eight pesos and three fanégas of rice; and to the captain of the guard, twenty-five pesos.
9. That those coming from Mexico be soldiers, and not boys, or pages of the captains. Ninth: His Majesty should order great caution to be employed as to who come from Nueba España, assigned and at his cost, that they be soldiers and bear arms: for those who generally come now are only young lads, mestizos, and even some full-blooded Indians, and these without weapons; and many others are pages and servants of the captains and other persons, who—they and their masters—under the name of soldiers draw the pay.
Chapter seven. Of the forts and presidios needed in this country
1. That Manila should be walled, and the ease with which this can be accomplished. First: His Majesty should be informed of the ease and cheapness with which stone buildings are made and can be made. He should urgently and imperatively order that this city of Manila be enclosed with stone, on the side where that is needed, and on the other sides with water; that the fort be built where it shall be determined by the advice of all; and that a tower be erected on the point at the junction of the river and sea. The part where a wall is necessary is very little, extending from the beach to a marsh of the river—about sixty brazas; but it will never be done, unless his Majesty so order.
2. That until forts are built, the country will not be settled. Second: Having this and the garrison for the fort, not only will the city be secure from the perils that have hitherto menaced it, and its present dangers from revolts; but the natives (like the Chinese and foreigners—Madrid MS.) and the Chinese, the foreigners, and all others, will cease to devour it, and will despair of our having to depart or perish, as they may desire, and of their hopes and designs (which they continually cherish—Madrid MS.) of expelling or putting an end to us. With this stronghold, the whole country will be greatly quieted, and the neighboring peoples will be afraid and have less inclination to resist, or resolution to attack the city. Occasion will not then be given for either natives or foreigners to regard us as so barbarous and not able to govern—which they impute to the weakness and negligence of our king, when they see, as now, everything here so unprotected, with but one small wooden fort, dilapidated and liable to be burned easily in one hour, and, in another part of the city, part of a small tower begun with small stones (and, although belonging to an estate of the country, it remains unfinished—Madrid MS.), and that the city is, at the very least, in a ruinous state.
3. Five dangers that are feared from revolt, and their remedy. Third: There are five dangers to be feared from revolts or invasions. The first is from the natives, who are numerous, heavily oppressed, and but thinly settled; the second, from the Chinese, of whom four or five thousand reside here, and have ingress and egress. The third is from the Japanese, who make a descent almost every year, and, it is said, with the intent of colonizing Luçon; the fourth from the inhabitants of Maluco and Burney, who are infuriated and irritated, and have quite lost their fear of us, having driven us twice from their lands; and it is feared lest they unite, as they have threatened, in order to drive us from our own. The fifth is from the English, who were in Maluco and noted our weakness (who, when in Maluco, had information of the weakness of Manila—Madrid MS.). A fort is needed in Ylocos or Cagayan, as a defense against the Japanese and Chinese robbers; another in Çebu, against Burney and the Malucos; another in Panpanga, against the Çanvales, or rebels. These with the fort of Manila will give security, and at a very slight cost to his Majesty, more than to order it, for materials are abundant, and almost all the natives are workmen.
4. That there should be ships to ensure the safety of the islands. Fourth: Besides these presidios, there should be some coasting galleys or fragatas, to make the coasts secure, and ward off the invasions of the Japanese. They (are accustomed to come every year, chiefly to the region of Cagayan and Ylocos, to—Madrid MS.) rob and kill many natives, and seize the Chinese vessels that bring us food and goods, so that much is lost, and commerce and plenty hindered. They also cause the Chinese, returning from Manila to their country, not to take the usual route; and they harm our Indians by sea and land, as they do even now. The fragatas can also protect us against other Chinese and Bornean pirates; and against any other emergencies and dangers, from foreigners or from the natives.
5. That no confidence can be placed in the natives. Fifth: In order that the necessity for these forts and presidios above mentioned may be understood, notification should be given that, with the arrival of Englishmen or any other enemy, it would be necessary for the Spaniards, for lack of these forts, especially in Manila, to seek refuge and be dispersed inland. There, beyond, any doubt, they would all be killed, or run great risk of it, because the Indians of the Philippinas are knaves (very warlike; and the Spaniards and soldiers have so harassed them, on account of having no pay or food, that—Madrid MS.); and as they receive so many wrongs and such ill treatment from the soldiers (who can almost be excused for doing it, by their poverty), if they had such an opportunity, they would kill as many as possible, since even now, without having such occasion for it, they never lose any opportunity, and daily kill Spaniards.
Chapter eighth. Of the expeditions and pacifications necessary
1. That much can be gained, and many Christians made, at but little cost. First: To his Majesty should be declared the new mode and new circumstances in which we can justly make (and they have been made for several years) expeditions and pacifications in this land. He should know that this may be done with few troops, and at slight cost, and with great facility, and the advantage that will be gained if the troops are paid and under military rule; for the land is so divided into many islands, and between many petty rulers—who quarrel easily among themselves, and ally themselves with us, and maintain themselves with but little of our assistance. In all this, his Majesty has a very extensive equipment for performing great service to our Lord (and doing good to so many souls—Madrid MS.), and in extending the Christian religion and the church, and his royal name, in lands so strange, and broad, and thickly populated.
2. How little establishment has been made in the country. Second: Inasmuch as this pacification can be made justifiably, there is the utmost need for it (even in the very region where the Spaniards reside and travel—Madrid MS.), both for the Spaniards and some Christians, since it is all so disaffected and unsubdued for lack of troops, as above stated, and because they have not the necessary pay. Thus even in the island of Luçon are provinces that have never been conquered, or which, although once subdued, have revolted again—as those called Çagayan, Pangasinan, Playa Onda, Zanbales, Balete, Cataduanes, and others, surrounding and near Manila. These are mixed up with the pacified provinces, and thus it is neither all done nor to be done, for the want of a little system and provision.
3. The obligation to protect those already converted. Third: Not only is it necessary to establish the said equipment and system, but it even appears that his Majesty has an obligation thereto, because of the so great service that he has rendered to God by the conversion of so many souls, who are under his royal protection, who exceed two hundred and fifty thousand in number. By not being able to protect these, they are suffering at present great hardships and wrongs from the disaffected and unpacified natives, who daily attack and kill them, and burn their houses, crops, and palm-trees. On this account, and because they kill also many Spaniards, not only are our present conquests not extended, but they are daily diminished; and there is grave danger, as above stated, of losing them altogether (of the Christian population being exterminated—Madrid MS.).
4. The many peoples that can be pacified now—a thing which it will be impossible to do later. Fourth: Besides the said provinces, which in many places are in revolt, between ourselves and those already converted, are others, which, although not so near in distance or in the disposition of the people, still cannot be called new discoveries, because they are already known and studied. Daily they are becoming more deteriorated and perverted; and it will be necessary for their good and our safety to pacify and rule them—which later will be very difficult or impossible to do. These provinces are Ba[bu]yanes, the island of Hermosa [Formosa], the island of Cavallos, Lequios, the island of Aynao [Hainan], Jabas, Burney, Paraguan, Calamianes, Mindanao, Siao, Maluco, and many others.
5. That the governor be empowered to make expeditions. Fifth: His Majesty is informed that, on account of these conditions in the country, it is here unanimously considered necessary that the governor of Manila should have authority and power to make these expeditions and this pacification at the cost of the royal exchequer, in the most important cases that arise (and are continually arising), if he consult as to the law with the ecclesiastics and lawyers, and, as to the execution of his plans, with captains and with men of experience and conscience. He should also seek counsel in regard to the other important details, in order that the expenses be only those necessary, and such as shall produce results. For lack of this power, in lands so remote, and since he must wait so long for the proceedings of the Council, and a reply from España, when the reply comes most important opportunities will have passed, and great difficulties will have resulted; and no matter how important these things may be considered here, seldom is there anyone who pays any attention to anything except his own individual concerns. (As for this country, every one looks after his own interests and enrichment, and there is no longer anyone who will spend a maravedi, even if the country is endangered—Madrid MS.).
6. That the governor may be empowered to entrust expeditions by contract to other Spaniards. Sixth: In order that this may be done more easily, and at less cost, the governor should be permitted to make agreements and contracts with captains, encomenderos, and other persons who wish to coöperate with the king, to undertake these expeditions at their own expense, or partly so, as may seem most advisable—for there are and will be many persons who, although not able to make them at their own expense, can make them with this aid. And in such contracts the governor should have power to concede and grant, on the part of his Majesty, appointments and titles of governor, adelantado, mariscal, and other honors which are and have been conceded, in the Yndias, to such men.
Chapter ninth. Of other matters common to Indians and Spaniards
1. That his Majesty should aid in atoning for the wrongs inflicted by the first conquerors. First: His Majesty should be informed that, as this country has been recently conquered, the majority of the first conquerors are still alive, who inflicted great injuries in their expeditions; and that as either the Indians on whom they inflicted them, or their heirs, are likewise living, or at least the villages and provinces remain, the confessors refuse to absolve these conquerors unless they pay, each one the whole amount in solidum, or all together unite to pay it. This they can never do, as it is a vast sum, and because many are dead, or gone, or poor, so that those remaining are but few; and an exceeding great sum is assigned to them, which they refuse, or are unable to pay, except with great injury to themselves, and many of them being left poor and in their former condition. They beg that, since these wrongs were inflicted in gaining the country for his Majesty, and as they remain but little or no richer thereby, and because these are damages inflicted in the act of conquest, his Majesty will aid them with a certain sum of money—in order that with what the conquerors are prepared to give, the Indians may be recompensed, and they themselves may be confessed and at peace with themselves and the ecclesiastics; or, at least, that his Majesty write to the pope to grant a bull for the adjustment of this matter. This he may concede, so that each one may comply by paying what wrong he thinks he has done, and not the whole; and they request that what they have restored hitherto at the advice of their confessors for pious works be taken into account (of the total sum of which they are uncertain), especially when an Indian, or his heirs, of those aggrieved is not alive.
2. That many encomenderos do not furnish ministers of instruction. Second: His Majesty should be informed that although certain of the encomenderos, fearful of their consciences, strive to furnish the necessary instruction in their encomiendas, there are others who furnish none (many others who will not furnish any—Madrid MS.), or not the amount necessary, notwithstanding that there are enough ministers (who reside in the encomienda—Madrid MS.). Thus they do not lighten the burdens on the conscience of his Majesty, to whom belongs the country, and to whom it pertains to furnish instruction, and thus to justify the chief argument for collecting the tributes. This requires rigor on the part of his Majesty, in order that the Indians, since all can be and are so assiduously compelled by their encomenderos to pay tribute, may and shall be also instructed; for up to this time there are encomiendas which have been peaceably paying their tributes for fifteen, twenty (twenty-five—Madrid MS.) or more years, without ever having seen a minister or hearing one word about God; and who cannot imagine why they are paying tribute, unless it be by sheer violence. And, in the same way, there are many others, who are disaffected and pay by sheer force of soldiers and arquebuses, and by compulsion, etc. The principal reason for their disaffection is that they have not ministers; for there is nothing that settles and calms the Indians better than the treatment of all alike, and mildness, and an upright life, or at least to see that one has not an evil intention. The ministers also serve as a check on the encomenderos, collectors, and other Spaniards, who go among the Indians, and cause the usual altercations and scandals. And since there is no means besides force, even for the temporal, that his Majesty can use, and so that the pacified may not become disaffected, and that the disaffected may be held in check, severe and forcible measures should be taken to see that this instruction is given them. His Majesty should decide whether the encomenderos (who, in order not to spend money, do not furnish instruction) can collect the entire amount of their tributes, or he should inflict upon them what penalty he deems advisable; and he should decide—if, in order that they may furnish the instruction, it is necessary to increase the tributes somewhat—whether it can be done, as stated.
3. The injuries inflicted in the collection of tributes. Third: His Majesty should be informed of the great lack of system and the confusion existing in the collection of tributes, and the many injuries inflicted on the Indians by the Spaniards and their great opportunity for inflicting them; for, as he who made the assessments in die beginning was not a lawyer (as the first governors were not lawyers—Madrid MS.), nor acquainted with the mischief that could happen later in the collections, he rendered them very confused and vexatious. Although, in its general understanding, and in the usage of the first years, it is seen that the tribute amounted to the value of eight reals, paid in what the Indian possessed and desired to pay, still in certain words and clauses regarding the assessments and the articles which they fix as payment for the tributes—such as cotton cloth, rice, and other products of the country, or three mayces of gold and one fowl—opportunity is given for the lack of system now existing, each one collecting as he pleases, with great offense to the Indians, and harm to the country. For when gold is plentiful, and reals scarce, they ask for reals; when the latter are plentiful, and there is a scarcity of gold, they ask for gold, even when the Indians have to buy it; and when crops are plentiful, they ask for money, but when these are lacking, they ask for produce—such as rice, etc.—even all that the Indians have, and they are compelled to travel great distances to try to buy it at high rates. Thus, where the tribute is eight reals, some collect fifteen, and others twenty, twenty-five, thirty, and more, on account of the value of the articles that they demand, which they compel the Indians to search for and bring from other districts. Through this the Indians endure so great oppression and distress, that, on this account, several provinces have revolted, and others will not pay, except by force and with much disturbance. All, including the encomenderos themselves, desire that this matter be cleared up; but the royal Audiencia did not care to meddle with it, as it is a matter of tributes, and pertains solely to his Majesty. It is necessary that the tributes be in the standard of Castilian reals, paid in money, or in the produce of the soil, as the Indian has them, and as he chooses, provided that their value remains.
4. That his Majesty order the Spaniards to release their Indian slaves. Fourth: Although many of the Spaniards (all the Spaniards who have tender consciences—Madrid MS.), have, in obedience to his Majesty's decrees, given up the Indians whom they held as slaves, many others still retain them—forbidding them to have house or property of their own, or to live in their own villages and doctrinas.  A new decree is necessary, so that an end may be put to all this pest, as was done in Nueba España and Piru.
5. That the enslavement of Indians by other Indians be regulated. Fifth: His Majesty is informed that all the chief and wealthy Indians, and even many of the common people among them, have and continually make, many slaves among themselves, and sell them to heathen and foreigners, although the slave may be a Christian. It is ascertained that of the twenty and more different methods of enslavement not one is justifiable. Although in regard to those who are recently enslaved, and are known, reform is easy, still regarding the many held from former times, the bishop and all his assistants are in great doubt and perplexity, because, on the one hand, they see that the Indians possess and inherit the slaves from their parents and grandparents, while on the other, the ecclesiastics are certain that none, or almost none, of the slaves were made so justly. Therefore, hardly any learned and conscientious religious is willing, not only to absolve, but even to baptize or marry the Indian, unless he gives up his slaves; for these generally are, or were, stolen from other countries, or taken in unjustifiable petty warfare, or made slaves for very small debts—of which the majority admit no other payment than their enslavement—others by usury and barter according to their custom, and by other methods, even more unjust than these. It is necessary for his Majesty to ordain some method so that, now and henceforth, at least those who are under our control, may make no more slaves; that children born to those who are now slaves, or appear to be slaves, should be born free; that those that wish to redeem themselves may do so at a price adjudged reasonable by arbitrators; and that those held at present may not be sold to pagans, or to Indians not subject to his Majesty.
6. The annoyances to the Indians from lawsuits and the preparation therefor. Sixth: His Majesty should prevent the annoyances and troubles suffered by the Indians from the ministers of justice—alcaldes-mayor, deputies, notaries, and alguazils—by the many suits that they stir up among them, not only about events occurring since the advent of the Spaniards and a government, but also about events of former days, occurring in their heathen condition, and regarding their ancestors; these may be either civil or criminal. And these are not summary cases, but are conducted with all the preparation made in a chancilleria of España; and as the ministers of justice and their assistants are so many (and as there are so many alguazils, attorneys, secretaries, reporters, summoners, notaries, clerks, and servants of all these—Madrid MS.), and the Indians are so poor, ignorant, and cowardly, the latter spend their entire substance (all they have is quickly consumed—Madrid MS.), and they are left without any property or any conclusion to the suit, which keeps them frightened and uneasy. The encomenderos and ministers of instruction, who see the spiritual and temporal scandal occasioned to the Indians, desire that his Majesty remedy this; and the same is desired by the president and auditors—although one says that, without an order from his Majesty, no summary process can be conducted, but that justice must take its ordinary course.
Chapter tenth. Of the advice necessary to the religious who come to Manila and go to other countries
1. That the religious leave the islands for other countries without orders from the governor or bishop. First: His Majesty should be informed of the disorder in these islands which arises from the religious being allowed to leave them whenever they wish, and for any place where they choose to go, and that they have gone four times, without permission of governor, bishop, or any other authority in the islands—saying that, by the full power given them by the pope, whosoever shall hinder them will be excommunicated. By these departures they have caused and are causing many losses, and are gathering no harvest of souls.
2. The injuries caused by the departures of the religious. Second: The injuries on the part of the islands are, that the religious, whom his Majesty sends from España at so much cost to himself, declare, as soon as they have arrived here, that they do not come for the islands, but for China; and therefore they do not give themselves to the language of the Indians, or intercourse with them—but rather, to give color to their own acts in traveling farther to satisfy their curiosity and see new lands, they speak evil of the natives and of the country, thus giving it a bad name, in speech and by letter. They prevent religious, soldiers, and settlers from coming from España and Mexico, while in the islands they disquiet the other religious with desires to travel farther, or to return; and they rouse and excite the seculars and soldiers, so that, moved and deceived by the same curiosity; they should furnish them with fragatas and equipment, and go with them. Therefore, religious, soldiers, and vessels leave the islands—all of which has cost his Majesty so much money and causes great want.
3. The wrongs committed in the countries where the religious and the seculars go without orders. Third: The injuries on the part of the countries whither they go are not less, because those people are all disturbed and offended, and consider the religious as spies and explorers. Therefore they are continually preparing defenses and building fortifications, as those in China have done, who have added many war vessels and garrisons, because of their suspicions of these departures. And, as these religious go without order or provision, they cause our affairs—of both religion and war—to be held in contempt and ridicule; and the foreigners arrest the religious and soldiers, to whom they offer many insults, while they keep the fragatas and their cargoes—as they have done five or six times.
4. The difficulty caused by thinking that China and other kingdoms can be converted, since it is not so. Fourth: Likewise one may reckon as a harm and a serious difficulty the settled opinion formed in Nueba España, Castilla, and Roma, through letters, that China or Cochinchina, Canboja, Sian, and other districts, will be converted. Therefore, it is necessary that his Majesty be undeceived and that people in Europe [Nueba España, etc.] should be informed that, after all these departures, an embassy was sent by order of the governor, the bishop, and the community, who traversed all those kingdoms, even Malaca, yet now they are all more tightly closed than ever; while the religious, who have gone without orders, have accomplished nothing more than to be insulted and maltreated, and to leave the pagans more haughty and more on their guard.
5. That no secular person may leave the islands, nor give the religious aid to leave them. Fifth: It is very needful, for a reform of the said disorders, that his Majesty order the governor of Manila, under severe penalties, that no secular Spaniard may leave the islands for any place or for any business, or furnish a fragata, supplies, or any other aid to any religious in order that the latter may leave the islands, without showing a special order from his Majesty, from the governor, bishop, or any one else whom (or, in Manila—Madrid MS.) his Majesty may consider a suitable person.
6. That the religious come from España and Mejico for the islands, and for no other place. Sixth: His Majesty should order that, now and henceforth—since all the mainland is so closed, and there is, on the other hand, in the islands a very wide open gate for the increase of Christianity and of his kingdoms—the religious coming from España and Mexico shall come assigned for the Philippinas Islands, where there is the greatest abundance of souls. Many who are already baptized, are yet without instruction or ministers; many others pacified, and yet to be baptized, are daily asking for baptism; and there are an infinite number of others to be pacified, who have no knowledge of God—all for lack of ministers; and it is a most serious error that, while this land is so ready, all thought is centered on China, which is wholly averse to the faith; and its doors are closed against it. This is the, art of Satan, so that neither the one nor the other may be effected. 
The Proposed Entry Into China, In Detail
First: The person who is sent as an eye-witness will give his Majesty a brief relation of the vastness of China, of the abundance of its fruits and provisions, of the richness of its merchandise, and the great quantity of gold and silver, quicksilver, copper, iron, and other metals; of the immensity and certainty of the treasures, and the infinite amount and variety of the products of the handicrafts and of human industry; and, above all, the endless things that may be said about the people and their life, health, peace, and plenty; and how, with and by all this, there is offered to his Majesty the greatest occasion and the grandest beginning that ever in the world was offered to a monarch. Here lies before him all that the human mind can desire or comprehend of riches and eternal fame, and likewise all that a Christian heart, desirous of the honor of God and his faith, can wish for, in the salvation and restoration of myriad souls, created for Him, and redeemed by His blood, and now deluded and possessed by the devil, and by his blindness and wickedness.
Second: If we, who are here, and see and hear these things, should neglect for any consideration whatsoever—either to escape the labor, anxiety, danger, and cost, or for any other reason—to advise his Majesty of this and to persuade him to undertake so grand a work, we would fulfil neither our duty to heaven, which we owe to God and to the souls of our kinsmen; nor the faith and loyalty, which in such a juncture we owe to our king, our religion, and our fatherland. Surely, we should all be known as vile-spirited cowards, and men of little valor, since, standing on the threshold that bounds so much good, we are content with the little we now possess; and by dint of idling and amusing ourselves with the little that we have here, we fail to look or reach for an object so important for the world, for God, for our king, for ourselves, and above all for the people of this country.
Third: Let his Majesty come to a decision in this matter, for we who dwell here know that either this matter must be left, and entirely given over, and lost forever, or it must be taken up now, because the chance is slipping by, never to return. Thus, a few years ago, it might have been accomplished with no labor, cost, or loss of life; today it cannot be done without some loss, and in a short time it will be impossible to do it at any cost. For the Chinese are each day becoming more wary, and more on their guard. They are even laying in munitions of war, fortifying themselves, and training men—all which they have learned, and are still learning, from the Portuguese and our people. Seeing the Portuguese in that country, and us here, they are fearful, and especially so from the accounts the Portuguese give them of us, telling how we go about subjecting foreign lands, overthrowing native kings and setting up our own, and that this has so far been our sole object in coming, and other things that the father has heard from the mouths of the mandarins themselves, and which he will recount. Besides, there is the passage of the fragatas, which they have seen on their way from here to Macan, having met nearly all of them in their ports or with their fleets; and, most of all, the course of affairs in these islands, which, if it were presently made known, would be understood in such wise as to destroy all hope of success.
Fourth: Further, if, for their sins and ours, the doctrine of Mahoma comes into their country—and it has already spread over nearly the whole of Yndia as far as Malaca, Samatra, Javas, Burney, Maluco, Lucon, and almost all other lands—if it should get a foothold there, and some have already entered there, it would be an insurmountable obstacle, not only to cleansing the soul from such an obstinate error, but to winning the land; because they will enter straightway and teach the use of arms, munitions, and the science of war.
Of the right and ground for this entry
First: As for the right and justification which we have for entering and subduing this land, the father who is going to España will discuss and explain this to his Majesty, as he has considered it long and often with the Castilians here, as well as elsewhere with the Portuguese of Yndia, China, and of Japon, with all persons of scrupulous conscience and broad experience; and he knows what all of them think of this project. His Majesty may think it necessary to learn what the father has heard and known and felt respecting the fight and ground which exists, or may exist, both for the preaching of the gospel, and because of the injury that we from day to day sustain, and for the sake of these islands, but much more on account of Macan and the Portuguese.
Of the necessary means for this entry; and, first, of the personnel and troops
First: Considering the condition and climate of the land of China, and its populace, it will be necessary and sufficient for ten or twelve thousand men to come from España, either Spaniards, Italians, or other own subjects of his Majesty; but try to have them, as far as possible, Biscayans. If possible, the expedition will set out with an addition here of five or six thousand Japanese, and as many Visayans, who are subjects of his Majesty in our islands, and are a spirited and sturdy people.
Second: Although there are persons here of great valor and experience, yet for so great an undertaking they are few; and some captains and persons of tried capabilities must come from España, as so great an affair demands—since it can only be carried out if picked noblemen are brought over, who are prouder of the glories of war and honorable deeds for their God and their king and the world, and of the fame of them, and who have little lust for other gain or sordid lucre.
Third: The governor of these islands should also be the commander of the expedition; and he should be some great person, superior in rank to all the rest, of whatever nation they may be, with whom he may have to deal in this expedition, or anything pertaining to it in these parts, whether they be Portuguese or Castilian. In the allotment of the offices and positions, the veteran captains and soldiers should be preferred, and especially the Castilian and Portuguese citizens of these islands, who have merited it by their loyalty, labors, and services, both because they have won and kept this land and because they have had much experience with the country and the people. Besides they are already acclimated and used to the country, its climate, heat, and rain; wherefore their help and counsel should be highly valued, and they deserve recompense and preference in every way.
Fourth: The troops sent should be infantry with arquebuses, corselets, and pikes; and, besides, a few musketeers.
Fifth: Crews for four galleys should be sent, with skilled boatswains and foremen for them.
Sixth: There should be sent, as soon as his Majesty comes to a decision, three or four artillery founders.
Seventh: His Majesty should then order the viceroy of Yndia to send here, or give to whomsoever may go there for them, five hundred slaves, because they are so plentiful and cheap there.
Eighth: There should be sent from España one or two machinists for engines of war, and fire-throwing machines, and a few artisans to make pitch (with some already prepared), as there are materials here for it.
Ninth: There should be some master shipwrights for building galleys and fragatas with high sides, which are the best kind of craft for this purpose. In the island of Cuba lives Francisco de Gutierrez, a neat workman, who built Pero Melendez's boats, that proved the terror of the French.
Tenth: A captain should be sent ahead with orders from his Majesty, and with a mandate from the general of the Society of Jesus for his religious in Japon, that they may receive him and further his mission. He should bring sufficient money to pay the troops that are to be brought from that country and take them to an appointed place. They should be paid a ducat or twelve reals a month, or even less.
Arms and supplies needed
First: Besides the regular arms to be brought by the soldiers from España, there should be, for emergency, a number of coats of mail, and arquebuses; and, above all, five hundred muskets and three or four thousand pikes, a thousand corselets, and a thousand Burgundian morions from Nueva España.
Second: Good flints and locks for the arquebuses can be had here cheaply; but the barrels must be brought from España, and should be all of one bore, so that the same bullets may be furnished for them.
Third: From China we can procure very cheaply copper, saltpeter, and bullets; and in this island are ample mines of copper and sulphur,  and all the requisites can be bought cheaply at various places. It is said that the necessary tin and saltpeter can be obtained cheaply and in abundance.
Fourth: There must be brought from Yndia two thousand quintals of cordage, which will cost two thousand pesos or as many ducats. This will make a saving of considerable money, and at the same time the cordage will not arrive frayed and worn out by the hard journey from Vera Cruz to Mexico and thence to Acapulco, over mountains, valleys, and rivers. The anchors and necessary grappling tackle should be brought from the same country, together with the slaves already mentioned.
Fifth: From Nueva España should be brought cloth (gray and other colors, and mixed) for the protection of the troops in seasons of rain and storm, for the country is rather cold and very wet. Item: there should be blankets and garments for the sick, and other necessaries.
Sixth: Have his Majesty send two hundred thousand pesos to cover and provide for these and many other things, and pay the Japanese, and other incidental expenses.
Seventh: Have the commander of the expedition bring a number of presents to win over some of the mandarins and other persons of importance; and for this have brought from España velvets, scarlet cloths, mirrors, articles of glass, coral, plumes, oil paintings, feather-work, globes, and other curiosities, and some red and white wine for the same purpose.
What can be and is provided for here in the islands
That his Majesty may understand that his subjects truly wish to serve him in this country in so important an undertaking, and that he may grasp more clearly what is being done and provided for here, it is described in the following.
First: At the meeting of the junta here, consisting of the president, auditors and fiscal, with the bishop and other persons before mentioned, when this project was discussed, all decided that so serious a matter, and one of such possibilities, should not be put off with no more action than sending immediately to discuss it with his Majesty; the necessary preparations were commenced here at once, and it was universally resolved with considerable enthusiasm and serious purpose, that, on account of the lack of money in the royal treasury, and the country being so impoverished by the previous fires and the loss of the ship, they would draw from the money of intestates held for heirs [caxa de difuntos], of which there was about ten or twelve thousand pesos, and thus begin the work. They contracted with the Chinese to bring copper, saltpeter, and other materials. The casting of artillery is commencing now, and the securing of powder and ammunition; for if his Majesty should not choose to take up this enterprise, nothing will be lost by this, and it will suffice the Chinese that the duties were put at three per cent on whatever materials they bring for implements and munitions of war, and supplies needed here.
Second: A ship will be sent to Malaca to bring the tin and saltpeter needed in addition to that procured in China and powder, and a number of slaves to aid in the foundry work and other labors.
Third: The five thousand Visayan Indians of these islands will be brought together, and some good troops with the necessary arms.
Fourth: In whatever port of the islands the fleet is to enter, there will be ample accommodations, and full supplies for their reception; and, if they come to Cagayan, there are several advantages. First: they will come directly from España, without danger from islands, shoals, or the like. Second: the river has a good bar and four braças of water and more, at low tide. Third: it is on the China side, a two days' sail distant. Fourth: it is nearest Xapon, Hermosa Island, and Lequios. Fifth: between there and China there are so many islands that the trip can be made in boats, and a close and quick communication can be kept up, and it is easy to repair any accident. Sixth: there are thereabout several islands, called the Babuyanes, where there are swine, goats, and fowl in abundance, and considerable rice. Seventh: there is in the land great store of swine and fowl, and excellent hunting of buffalo and deer, which are so common that two thousand large casks [pipas] of meat can be brought down in a few days. Eighth: warehouses can and will be built there sufficient to hold a hundred thousand fanégas of rice, which is the staple food of this country. Ninth: there is great abundance of fish, as healthful as meat. Tenth: the wine needed will be brought there in great plenty, being palm wine, and very good. And from China can be brought what is called manderin, which is very good and cheap, and is much drunk in the islands. Eleventh: there will be a supply of jars of biscuit and flour. Twelfth: kidney beans, even better than Spanish lentils, are common in the islands. Thirteenth: there will be made here a supply of sandals of anabo, which is an herb like hemp, of which rigging is made for ships. There is also a great deal of cotton. Fourteenth: linen cloth for shirts, doublets, breeches, hose, and other things wrought of linen, is very common and cheap here, both of domestic and Chinese make. Fifteenth: in Cagayan there is abundance of wood for all kinds of vessels that may be built; this is true as well of all the other islands; and nearly all, or at any rate the greater part of the Indians, are carpenters and smiths. Sixteenth: iron for nails, which is brought from China, is plenty, and so cheap that five arrobas (a Chinese quintal) are worth eight or ten reals. Seventeenth: cast-iron cannon-balls for large and medium-sized guns are furnished by the Chinese, who sell them at two or three reals apiece, while the manufacture alone costs eight or ten reals here. Eighteenth: the Indians of these islands are already very skilful in making ships and fragatas with the assistance and labor of a few Spanish carpenters, who furnish them with plans and a model; they make them so quickly and cheaply that a vessel of five or six hundred toneladas can be built for three or four thousand pesos, as some have already been. Nineteenth: above all, if his Majesty wishes to take up this enterprise seriously, the encomenderos of these islands will provide him with fragatas, men, and money, as they have always done for the expeditions when occasion offered; and this they have done and will do, so gladly and loyally, that his Majesty is bound to make this expedition, since the readiness and desire for it are as great as the result in spiritual and temporal good which is hoped for, both for his Majesty and for the rest.
The route to be taken by the fleet
It should be known that there are four routes which may be followed. First: from Sevilla to Nueva España, passing via Mexico to the port of Acapulco. Second: coming from Sevilla to Nombre de Dios and Panama. Third: coming by way of the Cape of Good Hope, to Malaca, and thence by Macan to Cagayan. Fourth: by the Strait of Magellan. This last, by the strait, is the best and shortest of all, no unusual danger or obstacle being found on this passage. Have this matter considered and conferred upon, with our sentiment in regard to it, and what is thought over there, and settle on the safest and best The reasons why we who are here think that this is the best route will be explained by the person who accompanies this.
It were best that the Portuguese help in the affair
First: It is important that his Majesty give the Portuguese a part in this conquest, because they could greatly aid by the experience that they have of the seas, lands, and people of these regions. Their army should not come together with the Castilians, nor should the assault be made from one side alone; but they should go by Canton, and the Castilians should go by way of Chinchio, as nearly as possible at the same time.
Second: His Majesty should appoint as commander of the Portuguese fleet a person of such rank as to be above the viceroy of Yndia, or at least, in no wise dependent upon him; for it is the universal complaint of the Portuguese that the viceroys always hinder these great projects, or turn them to their own profit by bringing into them their kinsmen and dependents, or by other private interests such as are usual among various persons, and are never lacking.
Third: This person should have his Majesty's definite and explicit command, empowering him to take from Yndia, and from any fortress or city in Yndia, so much as may be needed, not only of troops but also of money, munitions, ships, and all other necessaries.
Fourth: This person should have an understanding with the commander of the Castilian expedition both as to the time of the attack, and whether they should meet later during the conquest, and for whatever other question might arise between them during the progress of the affair, which should need settlement. This should be very clear, leaving no room for dissensions.
Fifth: If the Japanese who are to be taken on the expedition do not wish to join the Castilians, and prefer to go in with the Portuguese, since they already know them, and likewise because they get along better, and the Portuguese treat them more as equals than is permitted here [they may do so]. But if they wish to go with the Castilians, let them come to Cagayan, and this will be arranged with them and with the fathers of the Society of Jesus, who are to act as guides. 
Sixth: His Majesty should procure and bring about that the general of the Society of Jesus should command and ordain to the fathers in Japon, not to hinder the bringing of this reenforcement of Japanese, and whatever may be needed therefor; and to this end he should send a father sufficiently commissioned, who should be an Italian.
Seventh: At the proper time and juncture, which will be before the news of the expedition has come to the knowledge of the Chinese, the fathers of the Society who are within the borders of China, in the city of Joaquin, should be withdrawn, that they may give information to the armies about what they know of the country, its strength, and its military forces and supplies; and whatever other dangers or reasons for caution they have in mind. They will also serve as interpreters, and persuade the Chinese to allow the Spaniards to enter in peace, and to hear and receive the preachers, and accept the religion sent them by God. They will tell the Chinese of the protection which his Majesty desires to offer them, so that they may receive the Spaniards without fear; and how great a favor he is doing them in freeing them from the tyrannies of their mandarins, and relieving them from the yoke of slavery that they at present bear, leaving them in freedom of body and soul, and exacting nothing but an acknowledgment for this gracious act. To this end the fathers should write many chapas, and scatter them over the whole of China, and be of use in any other way that their years of life in the country may make possible. These should be the instructions of the general of the Society of Jesus to his commissioner.
Eighth: Let it be known in España that as the voyages of the Portuguese to the east and the Castilians to the west should and must be made and end at the same time, the movement of the winds is favorable to them; for the Portuguese can come to Macan at the end of May, and during the whole of June, when the first junks usually come from Maca, and the Castilians will arrive at Cagayan at the same time.
Ninth: Those arriving first should send a dispatch-boat to the Point, to meet the other fleet. This can be done by two or three routes, for at that season very small and light boats can be navigated; and the distance is not great, about one hundred and fifty leagues on each side.
Of dangers, and risks of great misfortunes to be known and guarded against by his Majesty on this expedition
First: If the number of troops in both armies were small even though well armed and equipped, since the Chinese are so numerous, they will be deluded and offer resistance; and as the Spaniards are brave fighters, the havoc and slaughter will be infinite, to the great damage of the country. Therefore an effort should be made to have the troops so numerous, well equipped, trained, and strategically handled, that there will be no chance for resistance; and their mere presence and a demonstration will suffice to cause the Chinese to submit, with no great bloodshed. In this way there will be no danger that the Spaniards, finding themselves surrounded and pressed by such a multitude, incited and urged on by the mandarins, should cause appalling havoc and cut them down, thus harming agriculture and lessening the population of the country.
Second: Do not let them come so few in numbers, or ill armed and supplied, undisciplined or insubordinate, as to cause any danger of confusion, discouragement, or desertion, in parts so remote as these, as this would be the ruin of the expedition; or they would go about it in such a way as to preclude success, and leave the Chinese our declared enemies, meanwhile losing our reputation and the bright hopes we now have of getting the port of Macan and a passage to Japon. There would then be no hope of the christianization which depends on intercourse with them, and we should lose the riches which are secured from Canton, and spread throughout all Yndia and Portugal, together with the returns of the public granaries, and a great many other advantages.
Third: Let his Majesty take great care and consider well whom he sends with this expedition, both the captains, leaders, and commanders of it; for it is very probable—nay, almost certain—that if this be not done, things will fare just as they did in the island of Cuba, and in other countries that were once thickly peopled and are now deserted. If the Spaniards go into China in their usual fashion, they will desolate and ravage the most populous and richest country that ever was seen; and if the people of China be once driven away, it will be as poor as all the other depopulated Yndias—for its riches are only those that are produced by a numerous and industrious people, and without them it would not be rich.
Fourth: His Majesty should know that the government of that people is so wonderful, both for restraining and keeping in order so great a multitude; and because, although lacking the further light and aid of the faith, it is maintained with such peace and quiet, so much wealth, happiness, and plenty, that never since its foundation, so far as is known, has it suffered war, pestilence, or famine, in the main body of the realm, although there are wars on the Tartar frontiers. If that government were destroyed, they must suffer all these evils, wherefore they should be kept under that or a similar government. To appreciate the importance of this, one need only observe how, in the rest of the Yndias, the laws and institutions of the natives have been trampled down, and even our own have not been preserved. In this way the peoples have been ruined and the country depopulated, to say nothing of the injury to souls, bodies, and fortunes, and the propagation of the faith, respectively. This is a grievous ill, the worst that his Majesty or those perpetrating it could suffer; for he is left without dominions, or with deserted ones, and they without recompense or profit, save that which is no sooner won than exhausted.
Fifth: Let it be known and understood that what has heretofore been said and decreed respecting preprations for war is not meant to convey the impression that we should or could act as if we were dealing with Turks, Moors, and other races who are unfriendly, and the declared enemies of our belief and our king. For these people neither know nor understand it, and are not ill-inclined. The forces are to be sent merely to escort and protect the preachers of the faith and subjects of the king who sends them, and to see that they are allowed to enter the land, and may preach where they choose and consider it needful, and so that those who hold the government shall not hinder the others from hearing and receiving the doctrine. They will see to it also that conversion shall go on without intimidation, and without danger that through threats of punishment any of those already converted should relapse or apostatize.
Sixth: We realize here with what caution and moderation the entry must be made, as the king has provided fully, clearly, and in a Christianlike manner in his ordinances which relate to incursions and discoveries. But this is never complied with in the conquests, because they are always conducted by poor persons, not carefully chosen, and whose Christianity has not been put to the test. The cure for this and all the evils, dangers, and injuries that we have described, and many another most grievous one, is that the commander of the expedition be a man of approved Christian zeal and clemency; free from all covetousness, and eager for the honor of the service of God and his king; by nature humane and full of zeal for the common good, and for the salvation of souls. The same things should be looked for in so far as possible in the other leaders, counselors, and commanders; and they should be men who would be bowed with shame and dishonor at being guilty of deeds unworthy a Christian and a noble man.
Seventh: If this be not looked after thoroughly, and effective measures taken for its remedy—both with respect to the personnel, as has been said, and the heavy punishment that should be ordained and decreed, and in due time executed—his Majesty will have, after heavy losses and labors, nothing for his pains but the loss of his honor, wealth, people, vessels, and arms, which are taken from his realm, where they are so badly needed, and yet are sent away to ruin a land and desolate a people—the richest and most opulent in temporal goods that could be owned, and in spiritual possibilities, of all those that have been discovered. The result would be that, either by the judgment of God, to avert so many evils and the ruin of so many people and of so good a government, the army and the expedition would be destroyed; or else, if the land be won, the conquest would entail the destruction and ruin of all that might have been gained, and naught would be left but the seeds of perpetual sorrow.
Of the gains from this conquest, if it be rightly done
The first of the many and enormous benefits of this conquest, if it be rightly ordered and carried out, is that the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ His Son, our Lord—which has commenced in these lands so remote and distant from the church and the support of the Catholic kings; and which is at present so narrowly constrained and little disseminated in these islands, and is in danger each day of coming to an end, if thus neglected—will not only be spread over great realms, but by this means will be so well founded, and so widely extended, that it shall never be ruined or extinguished; but it shall remain and persevere in this new world with the glory and fame, before God and man, of that king, who, by his zeal, diligence, and liberality, has accomplished what no other monarch of the world has done.
The second: No one, if he has not seen it, can imagine or comprehend the infinite multitude of souls that will thus come to the knowledge and adoration of their Creator. Today they are in the utmost darkness and neglect of Him, and in the greatest subjection and servitude to the devil that exists upon the earth—through their great idolatry, wickedness, and bestiality, which arises entirely from the great abundance and the bounty of the land.
The third: Much less can one realize without seeing it, how—apart from the corruption of sin, depravity, wickedness, and inveterate customs—how kind, honorable, content, gentle, pleasant, tractable, and easily governed these people are by nature; and how all China, with but one stock, is so great and populous, and so much intercourse is carried on in the greatest peace, regularity, quietness, justice, and order, that has ever been known or discovered in the new world or the old—and this with no aid from the divine light, or any fear of punishment or reward, but by the mere strength, or rather gentleness, of a good native government.
The fourth: In this way our customs will, or at least may, be introduced, together with the articles of our faith, with the utmost ease, both because of their gentleness, and because of their great intelligence, and mental capacities, wherein they have a clear and marked advantage over us.
The fifth: It will be necessary to establish immediately a large number of schools, where our writing, language, and literature may be easily and quickly learned, having them abandon their own, which are extremely difficult, so much so that even they cannot understand them while still children. These are a diabolic invention to keep them busy all their lives with their whole minds, so that they can neither go on to other sciences, nor can others teach them, without first ridding them of this hindrance. Once rid of it, not only the children, but even the grown persons of all ages will learn our letters, language, and literature—as well on account of the ease of our writing, and the relief from the burden of the other, as because of their natural aptitude, the gentleness of their dispositions, and their natural adaptability to guidance, when there is a hand to guide.
The sixth: From the beginning a large number of churches and monasteries will be founded, not only for the purpose above mentioned, but especially to instruct in our faith, doctrine, and mode of life.
The seventh: There will be no difficulty in pacifying and converting the peasants, countrymen, and villagers, who are so numerous that nearly all the land is covered with villages; for they are quite simple and unsophisticated, and suffer great oppression and tyranny. With the women, who are very numerous, there will be even less difficulty in introducing the faith, because of their virtue and great reserve, which is remarked by all who know of them—to such a degree that they lack only Christianity to be much beyond us in all matters of morality.
The eighth: It will result in time in preventing the entry of the cursed doctrine of Mahoma, which has already infected almost all the other realms, and its establishment there, which would be an easy thing, as the Chinese are so sensual and full of vices; and if it once enter that country, the conversion of souls will be extremely difficult, and the conquest of the land almost impossible, for this wicked belief renders men obstinate in its retention, and ferocious in its defense.
The ninth: And it makes us sad here to think that if this opportunity be let slip, all hope will be lost of the greatest conversion of souls and acquirement of riches that ever lay within the power of man, just as we have lost so many great realms in Yndia, which have so strengthened and fortified themselves that little or nothing remains of them.  And these benefits, in particular, will be lost.
Of other especial advantages
First: Not only is that country sufficient for its own maintenance, but his Majesty can also, with what he will obtain from it, check and menace all our old enemies. For he can easily exact every year, without injury to any one, five galleons—built and rigged, equipped with artillery and munitions, and even loaded with materials and military supplies. Further, if the Chinese are well treated and paid, from them will go the men necessary to work the ships; they are no less industrious and capable than our seamen, as we consider them very expert in the Portuguese ships.
Second: Those vessels, or as many others, can be loaded every year with gold, raw silk, and all sorts of silken fabrics—taffetas, satins, damasks, etc.; with musk, chests inlaid with ivory, boxes, wrought and gilded curtains, and whatever kinds of furniture, appliances, ornaments, and jewels are used by man; and many a web of linen cloth, of every sort and kind. Thus there would be no necessity for bringing to España, as is now done, these goods from foreign lands; and our money and wealth would be retained in España, as it now is not.
Third: Many persons who have seen them know that the towers of the treasure-house are of gold and silver, and of great size. They tell us what abundance of silver goes into general use because no other money is current, and how so much comes in continually from other countries and never goes out; and that is besides the many and exceedingly rich mines of the country. They say, too, that the king will not allow the mines to be worked, in order that trade and the culture of the soil may not cease. For that reason silver is continually carried into the country, and that contained in it is not carried away—on which account, they say, that metal remains there as a treasure.
Fourth: The amount of the rents and taxes, and profits which his Majesty can enjoy, from the first, from general sources, is very great—and that without injury to the civil and local government of the country. He will gain this through the mere respect for his universal sovereignty; and the protection and introduction of the faith, accomplished at his own cost, care, and diligence; and through the obligation to maintain and defend not only the faith, but good and firm government, in order to preserve it.
Fifth: The number of encomiendas that can be divided and distributed among our people will be great; and so rich are they that each person on whom one is conferred can maintain, worthily and liberally, the others who remain there. And his district would be so extensive that, if he chose to apportion it to each of his followers, he would have enough to provide for all, without any person being neglected.
Sixth: There will be many and very different offices and dignities of administration and justice which his Majesty must establish, to bestow upon his vassals.
Seventh: There will also be many captaincies and subordinate places, and military offices, and employments for the soldiers; and with these three kinds of opportunity a great part of the Spanish people could come to reside there, and be ennobled, and the country could be placed on a very substantial and safe footing.
Eighth: Since the people are so clever and intelligent, with agreeably fair complexions and well-formed bodies, and are so respectable and wealthy, and have nothing of the Indian in their nature, they have the advantage of us in everything except salvation by the faith, and courage. And since the women are exceedingly virtuous, modest, and reserved, and are very faithful wives, very humble and submissive to their husbands; and as they are even more graceful, beautiful, and discreet than are the women of Spain; and as they are wealthy and of good standing—it will be a very simple and ordinary proceeding, and very creditable and honorable, for them to marry (as some are already doing in Macan) the Spanish captains, merchants, and men of all classes. These will become noble with their wives, and will be settled and established in China. Thus the two peoples will mingle, and they will propagate and multiply the race; and all will be, in short, united and fraternal, and Christian. This is something which has never occurred or been accomplished in any part of the Yndias which has been discovered and settled, since those people were so barbarous and brutal, so ugly, vile, and poor, that [Europeans] have seldom formed unions in the bonds of marriage. In the few cases of such marriages, they have been considered ignominious, and the parties, with their children and descendants, have incurred a sort of infamy and disgrace. On this account, there has been among these nations neither friendship, unity, nor safety; on the side of the natives, neither confidence, nor increase of numbers, nor development, nor sincerity; and, for the Spaniards, neither fixed residence nor industry. Accordingly there has been neither settlement nor government; and everywhere there has been a barbarous mode of life, and ruin and depravity, in both spiritual and temporal matters. In the laws and government, and in regard to estates, villages, and individuals, everything has steadily gone from bad to worse, and is in a very feeble condition. Nothing of this sort will occur in China, nor will there be room for these disorders, on account of the opportunity which such marriages will furnish for friendship, and for familiar intercourse as between equals. We shall thus maintain ourselves, and become established in that land, on account of the said traits of the people—their virtue and beauty, dignity, wealth, and prudence—and many other advantages of that country.
Ninth: Not only for this reason, but because that country is very healthful and well supplied, and prolific in all generation and progagation, there will soon be born a great multitude of boys and youths among the Spaniards and Chinese. Then will be needed not only schools to teach reading and writing, as has been said, but the sciences; and universities—in which will be taught, besides Latin and other languages, philosophy, theology, and other forms of learning. For these studies, the Chinese possess excellent memories and understanding and very keen faculties. They have gentle dispositions, and well-shaped figures. They are very neat, and polite and serious in behavior, and lead temperate lives. They have the qualifications and the possessions for any office or dignity, and they occupy and represent these with much more authority and severity than do our people. On the other hand, they display much gentleness and suavity—all the more since there are no severe or outrageous punishments in those realms, which are so settled and peaceable, and ruled with such justice that it compels admiration.
Tenth: From what has been said, it follows that there will be among those natives—whether pure-blooded, or partly of Spanish blood, as has been said—after the two peoples have become united and connected, persons suited to become priests and religious; and to assume the government and official posts of the state, and military offices; and to undertake all the other services and enterprises of the country. With these, it will be evident how well established, peaceful, and united the country will be, since those persons will look after it as their own; and on account of the bond and union which will exist between its parts, and of the many ties of kindred—of wives, and children, and relatives—and of estates, which will constrain them to aid one another, and take care of the country.
Eleventh: In the other Yndias all this has been lacking, and continually have been supplied from España, or from the pure Spaniards, all the priests and religious; the governors, and judges both superior and inferior; with all the other positions and commands, both in peace and war—and even the mechanics, and the assistants and subordinates of the above-mentioned persons. Besides, the Spaniards have always managed the state for themselves, and separately from the natives of the land—disdaining to give them a share in any matter of honor or profit, but remaining always foreigners and aliens, and even objects of dread, to the natives. For when some of the Spaniards die, or return to Spain, others come anew, who are always strangers to the people of the country and regard the natives as barbarians. From this have resulted two serious evils, and the beginnings of many others. First: The Spaniards are always few in number, and have but little experience or knowledge of the country; they have little affection for it, and few ties or interests therein. It is always their intention to return to the mother-country, and to procure their own enrichment—whether it be by fair means or foul, or even by destroying and consuming, in their eagerness to attain that end—not troubling themselves whether the country be ruled rightly or wrongly, whether it be ruined or improved. The second evil is that, to the Spaniards, the commonalty of the Indians is something new and strange, and the latter are always regarded as menials and slaves, and objects for the insolence of those who come into possession of them. Accordingly, they are always scorned, despised, overworked, exhausted, and even dying—as is actually seen to be the case. With all this, it is impossible that their numbers should increase or their condition or their lands improve; rather, they are continually deteriorating and dying—as in many districts they are already ruined; and everywhere there is a tendency to this, in the opinion and judgment of all who see and understand their condition.
Twelfth: All this has arisen from two sources. The first is, as has been already said, that the people are so low, barbarous, poor, ill-favored, rude, ignorant, and unworthy of being mingled with Spanish nobility and valor. The second is, that the country is so poor, and what wealth it has is so unsubstantial; it has no roots, or anything in which it could take root and become established. For almost the only wealth of these people has been in the mines and metals, and in their personal belongings, which are not permanent or fixed. There are no hereditaments or cultivated farms, or crops, or regular supplies; no products of the industry of workmen, and no machinery; no general provision for ordinary use. But all is a desert, and destitute, and at a standstill, and unsettled—as they say, belonging to the east wind. And therefore the Spaniards also have been and are as unsettled as if they were stopping at an inn. Such are the lands that they have won.
Thirteenth: In China, conditions are altogether different, since its people are, as has been said, qualified for marriage, friendship, and union and equality; and they are fitted for offices and dignities and authority, both spiritual and temporal. And, further, the richness of the country is so great and of such sort—being realty, crops, and necessaries of life; provisions of rice, wheat, and barley; all manner of fruits, and many varieties of wine; domestic fowl, ducks, and many other kinds of poultry; many cattle, horses, cows, goats, sheep, and buffaloes; abundant hides, endless store of silk, and considerable cotton; musk, honey and wax; numerous varieties of valuable woods, many kinds of perfume, and other things produced by the soil; besides an abundance of mines and metals, as has already been stated. To all this is added the results of the industry of so many people, so apt, thrifty, industrious, and well governed. It is incredible how great is the number and abundance of the crafts, arts, inventions, industries, and manufactures of everything that could be asked for human use—of necessaries, ornaments, dainties, jewels—and all the shops and articles of merchandise, both for the use of the country and for the trade with foreigners. All this, together with what has already been said of the people, should, God willing, be cause enough to give us an entry into those realms, so that, in short, they may become pacified, intermixed and united, hispanized and christianized. So that one cannot mention all the great benefits arising from this, both spiritual and temporal—a new light of the faith, good modes of life, salvation for the Chinese and many souls, and glory to God; wealth, honor, and eternal fame for our king; great renown, prosperity, and multiplication for the Spanish nation, and through it, for all Christianity. Besides, there will be all these that follow.
Other benefits besides those already mentioned
In the first place, there could be established straightway archbishoprics and bishoprics (as many as in all the former Christian world, over there), with a patriarch.
Second: There might be founded new military orders with larger revenues than those of the old country; or the old ones of Santiago, Calatrava, Alcantara, and San Juan may be extended, and it will even be a great advantage if these and other new ones should be used during the conquest.
Third: A number of titled lords can be created, such as counts, dukes, and marquesses, just as, at present, encomenderos are appointed—for the encomiendas must be much larger there; and with such prospects the entry will be much more certain, and the land much more secure afterward, since there are so many lords.
Fourth: His Majesty may appoint four or six viceroys, as there are now fifteen in the fifteen provinces, who have as much power and state as kings have elsewhere.
Fifth: After all these things have been seen to, and the land is in a settled condition, his Majesty may levy from it a great income and much merchandise for his realms, as has already been said.
Sixth: Peace can be made and an understanding reached with the Tartar and other tribes that lie in the region from China to the land of the Turk; and we can better know his condition and strength, and find a way to harass him from here in the East.
Seventh: Couriers and relay postmen can be sent to Spain by land; for, although some have already come by land, they are all the time finding shorter and better routes.
Eighth: The former peace and amity with the Sofi and the Armenians,  and any other people that may be discovered or treated with, or become known, in all Asia, will be greatly strengthened.
Ninth: When his Majesty is lord of China, he immediately becomes lord of all the neighboring states of this coast, including Cochinchina, Canboxa, Sian, Patan, and even as far as Malaca; and it would be very easy to subject the islands of Samatra, Javas, Burney, Maluco, &c.
Tenth: Therewith can be secured the states of Yndia, and the returns from the merchandise coming from China—without whose commerce they could not be maintained; and which is now not secure, but very doubtful, unless it be conquered.
Eleventh: The reason for establishing these possessions in some kingdoms, and alliances and commerce in others, will be cogent—the opportunity for the conversion of souls; by this means the knowledge of the name of Christ may be brought into all these regions, and in all of them souls may continually be converted.
Twelfth: The Chinese will navigate the seas to the Yndias of Peru and Nueva España; and their relations with us will be more settled and confirmed.
Thirteenth: The population of that country is so great and so dense that many of the Chinese can be brought to these islands as colonists, and thus enrich themselves and this land.
Fourteenth: The immediate occupation of China will forestall the danger that the French and English, and other heretics and northern nations, will discover and navigate that strait which certainly lies opposite those regions—that of Labrador,  as those peoples say.
These are, in brief, the many evils which should be averted, and some (not to speak of many others) of the numerous benefits—which it would take long to enumerate in writing, and cannot even be imagined—which would result if his Majesty should choose to put his hand to so great an undertaking; and may God our Lord grant him the grace and favor to proceed with it.
Doctor Santiago de Vera
The Bishop of the Filipinas
The licentiate Melchor Davalos
The licentiate Pedro de Rojas
The licentiate Ayala
The Archdeacon of Manila
Antonio Sedeño, rector
Fray Diego Alvarez, provincial
Fray Juan de Plasençia, custodian of the order of St. Francis
Fray Vicente Valero, guardian
Fray Alonso de Castro
Fray Pedro de Memdieta
Fray Juan de Quiñones
The canon Don Juan de Armendariz
The canon Luis de Barruelo
The mariscal Graviel de Ribera
The accountant Andres Cauchela
Juan Baptista Roman
Don Francisco de Poca y Guevara
Pedro de Chaves
Diego de Castillo
Juan de Argumedo
Don Juan Ronquillo del Castillo
Juan de Moron
Ballesteros de Saavedra
Don Antonio Jufre Carrillo
Andres de Villanueva
Luis de Bivanco
Agustin de Arceo
Hernando Muñoz de Poyatos
Bernardo de Vergara
Gaspar de Açebo
Juan Pacheco Maldonado
Gomez de Machuca
Francisco Mercado de Andrada
Gaspar Osorio de Moya
Don Bartolome de Sotomayor
Diego de Çamudio
Bernardino de Avila
Luis Velez Cherino
Melchor de Torres
Diego Fernandez Vitoria
Alonso Beltran, Secretary
[On the back of the Sevilla copy are written, in the same hand as are the marginal notes, various memoranda, apparently as references for the use of the council. On the left-hand side appear the following:
"1: There was an assembly of all the estates, who resolved to send a person to his Majesty; and all appointed Father Alonso Sanchez; August [sic; but should be April] 19, in the year 86. 2: On the fifth of May, 86, the royal Audiencia of Manila appointed Father Alonso Sanchez as envoy. 3: On the twentieth of June, 86, the bishop and cathedral of the city of Manila appointed the same. 4: On the sixteenth of April, 86, the bishop and the superiors of the religious appointed the same. 5: On the 25th of June, 86, the judiciary, magistracy, and cabildo of Manila appointed the same. 6: On the twenty-eighth of May, the master-of-camp and the captains of the Filipinas Islands appointed the same."
Then follows a list of letters and other documents accompanying the "Memorial," several of which are presented in our text. On the right hand is written: "Filipinas Islands, city of Manila, assembly of April 19, 1586. Royal Audiencia, judiciary, and magistracy. Bishop and clergy. Orders, and religious and ecclesiastical estate. The master-of-camp, captains, and soldiers, and the secular estate. The person who should come: Father Sanchez." Other memoranda refer to various letters from Philippine officials, dated during the years 1583-86, which seem to have been consulted in reference to the "Memorial."]
[In the library of Edward E. Ayer, Chicago, is a collection of MSS., transcripts from documents in Spanish archives, which were made during the years 1859-65 by a Spanish official at Madrid, who had been in the Philippine Islands, named Ventura del Arco: it has been kindly loaned to us by Mr. Ayer for use in the present work. This series, in five volumes, large octavo size, contains some 3,000 pages of matter regarding these islands, from the original MSS. in the archives; some is copied in full, but often a synopsis only is given. To many of the documents are added tracings of the original autograph signatures. Although spelling, punctuation, and capitals are considerably modernized, the work of transcription appears to have been otherwise done carefully, intelligently, and con amore; and the collection contains much valuable material in Philippine history. It covers the period of 1586-1709, and begins with the proceedings of the junta of 1586, which are found in vol. i, pp. 1-101. The "Memorial" is given in a full resumé; and at the end is cited (pp. 48-49) the following paragraph, which is not contained in our Sevilla copy, or in that of the Madrid MS. which we have followed:]
In the city of Manila, on July 26 of the year 1586, the following persons met in the royal building: The honorable president and auditors of the royal Audiencia of these islands, and his Majesty's fiscal of the Audiencia; Don Fray Domingo de Salazar, bishop of the Filipinas; and the religious, the captains, the magistrates, and the municipal officers of this city—who hereunder signed their names. They met to discuss fully the matters contained in this document, about which Father Alonso Sanchez as procurator-general of this country, and acting in its name, is to confer with his Majesty, and solicit aid from him, that the prosperity and colonization of these islands may continue to increase, and that God and his Majesty may be served. The above articles having been read, as they are here recorded, de verbo ad verbum, all the above persons declared, unanimously and with one consent and opinion, that this memorial was properly drawn up; and that Father Alonso Sanchez should communicate all its contents to his Majesty, and other matters as seemed to him necessary. The above honorable persons made the required attestations to the document, and signed it with their names, as did other persons. I, the clerk of the court [of the Audiencia], attest this.
[Then follow thirty signatures, all tracings of the original autographs.]
Letter to Felipe II, From Various Officials
Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty:
To fulfil the obligations resting on us, we the master-of-camp and the captains who are serving your Majesty in these Filipinas Islands, give your Majesty, whenever we have an opportunity, a report of matters concerning this camp, and what things are desirable in it. That your Majesty may be better served, we are sending this report by the ships that are now sailing, notwithstanding that our captain-general, the president of the royal Audiencia here, is writing a more detailed relation (as being the person who has given the most attention to this), of all that he thinks necessary to improve matters in these islands, so that their increase may be constant.
The care that your Majesty has always had and continues to have for the preservation of these islands, and the great expense that your Majesty has incurred therein, since they began to be pacified (a work which still continues) without your Majesty's royal exchequer having any profit, cause your Majesty's very Christian zeal to be well understood, and that what you principally aspire to is the great service which is rendered to our Lord, in spreading His holy evangel in lands so remote, and among people so far removed from the true knowledge, by which, through His goodness and mercy, so many thousands of souls have been converted, and are being converted every day, to His holy faith, to say nothing of many who in this time have been born in and enjoyed holy baptism. The latter are extremely numerous, which has resulted from the employment of soldiers stationed here, for with their protection the religious who aid in conversions and preaching can do so in security. Without such protection this would be impossible, unless by the special grace of God, because these natives are a people untamed, rebellious, and exceedingly cruel. If they are obedient, it is plainly evident that they are so on account of this check; and that if they were not thus restrained, not only would the work not go forward, but the gains would be turned to losses, through inability to retain them. What your Majesty has so happily commenced here would come to an end, although these districts and the neighborhood promise so excellent beginnings, of the very best, in those places so near this country—which are, as your Majesty well knows, China, Japan, Borney, Sian, and Patan, and many other very rich and prosperous provinces. Furthermore, a manifest and great service would be rendered to our Lord, when their peoples should come to know Him. Your Majesty's royal crown would be extended by wider boundaries, as your Majesty's greatness and Christian zeal worthily merit. Therefore what has been thus far gained is of very great consequence, and your Majesty should order that it be preserved with the care hitherto manifested, since it is of so great importance. This can in no wise be accomplished without the assistance of soldiery.
That this should be more efficiently done, it is quite necessary that your Majesty should order that the usual force here consist of three or four companies, which contain in all about four hundred soldiers. These with their captains and officers, should be paid by the month, as is the custom in the rest of your Majesty's camps and frontiers; for thus they will all serve with great assiduity, and support themselves honorably, having good weapons and munitions and everything else necessary for military operations. They shall understand that, when pay is given them, they must take care to render obedience to orders and commands, with great readiness—being subject to their commanders, which is the principal thing required; and the captains must punish those who may exceed their orders, as is done in all districts where garrisons are established, and as it was done here before your Majesty ordered the royal Audiencia to come to these islands. For, notwithstanding the fact that until then the soldiery here had never been paid, they have not on that account failed to be usually very willing and obedient to orders given them. They are well supplied with weapons and munitions of war, and are as experienced therein as those who, more than they, follow the art of war in all regions. This they have clearly demonstrated on certain occasions that have taken place in these islands, and by the reputation which they have everywhere gained for maintaining themselves among so many enemies, always attacking these with great personal bravery, without having had forts or defenses for their protection. Their alertness, good will, and discipline has all been due to the fact that the governors and captains-general who have come here on your Majesty's service, provide everything that, in the opinion of your master-of-camp and the captains, may appear to be requisite for your Majesty's service, without its being necessary for anyone to lend a hand in it. On account of this regularity in affairs, both captains and soldiers have performed their duties freely, lending their assistance with much care in whatever was necessary, and doing whatever they were ordered without any shirking—for, besides fearing the punishment which would be meted out to them for doing anything improper, they expected a reward for their services. They saw that those who merited it were constantly being rewarded with encomiendas and other means of support; consequently everyone exerted himself in the service with much more willingness and courage, without shirking any labor or peril, however great it was, and without stopping to make any demands that they should be given their usual pay—as now they claim in regard to your Majesty's royal decree respecting the towns that shall be vacated and placed under the royal crown. For this has so disheartened the soldiers of this royal Audiencia who have come so far in the hope of being rewarded for their services, that there is not a soldier who does not refuse to obey the orders he receives. Since the royal Audiencia has come here, there have been so great dissensions that very few or none take any pride in military service or carrying arms as before, except it be ourselves, the master-of-camp and the captains. To remedy such a state of affairs, it is not enough to make rules which point out their duty; but in rewarding each man who goes the rounds, does sentry duty, or the like, support is given to the royal Audiencia, whose orders lately fail of execution; for when we or they order anything to be done, the soldiers go away and do as they please. As a result the latter have grown so arrogant, that many times when they have been summoned by their sergeants to do certain things which are their usual duty, and indispensable for the defense of this city, they have refused to obey them. On the contrary, officers have been publicly insulted and stabbed; and this has occurred not once but many times. This boldness has increased to such an extent that it is displayed on the slightest occasion. On this account we cannot maintain sentinel duty, or the necessary precautions, because we, the master-of-camp and the captains, cannot punish them as formerly. The soldiers no longer have for us the fear and respect that they once had, which has caused in these islands the complete loss of that military discipline which was formerly so strict. This has been shown repeatedly, so that the natives indulge in all sorts of daring, holding us in very slight estimation, as they did last year in Panpanga, five leagues from this city. They placed at their head two chiefs, who in two days' time had a large following, well armed and supplied, who could disturb the whole land with the insolence and the effrontery that they displayed. Because they said that they were coming to destroy this city, it was necessary for myself and some captains, and all the good soldiers to be found here, to go out to prepare for them. This was done and the president sent your Majesty a detailed account thereof on the ship which sailed from here at that time.
Feeling that this was right, and due to your Majesty's service, I held a council of the captains; and I set before them these difficulties, and others that might result from the complete ruin of the military service. Unanimously we all petitioned "that this royal Audiencia here shall be freely allowed to have charge of war affairs in general because in this way we could act as a unit, as we did before. We should strive to reduce the evil condition which obtains at present to that good order which we are wont to have, because what has taken so many years to acquire should not be lost in one hour." The result was that a suit was instituted against us on the ground that the petition which we presented was disrespectful, and that we were rebellious. We were imprisoned for a long time and condemned to an excessive fine, where we had expected to be rewarded for our ardent zeal and desire to please your Majesty, which we have always had. We send your Majesty a copy of the proceedings, notwithstanding that it is to terminate in the court of appeals, so that your Majesty may see how, without any fault of ours, we who have served your Majesty here during so many years, and with so great fidelity, are personally ill-treated, and our property despoiled. We humbly entreat your Majesty to order that our grievances be considered and remedied, as injuries have been done us; for in that way our many and zealous services shall not be forgotten. By this, and other things that we have referred to, your Majesty may see how troublesome it is and will continue to be, for the preservation and development of the islands, that the royal Audiencia remain here. For, as is obvious, it is not of so much importance as are the soldiery in a land of so many enemies, where, except for the neighboring districts by which we are surrounded, the natives are all hostile, and nothing can be done or undertaken, except it be with weapons in hand. To maintain justice for the Spanish who reside among them, it would seem to be sufficient to have a governor, as there always has been, since there are not more than one hundred encomenderos and seven hundred soldiers here. In Spain, however small a city or town may be, it has a larger population and more litigation; yet, with only one corregidor or alcalde-mayor, its affairs are justly administered. Besides, the salaries of the Audiencia will be of assistance in many important matters concerning your Majesty's service which are continually arising. These often fail of execution on account of the lack of funds in the royal exchequer, as a result of the expense of keeping this door open. By placing in charge of soldiers who merit it, the encomiendas which become vacant, a reform will be effected in this camp—which is necessary in order to execute any plans which may be difficult. We advise your Majesty as loyal vassals, regarding what seems to be most necessary for your Majesty's better service and the increase of your Majesty's royal dominion and renown. May our Lord watch over your Majesty's sacred royal Catholic person for many fortunate years, with the addition of greater realms and seigniories, as we, your Majesty's vassals, and all Christendom desire. Manila, June 24, 1586. Sacred Catholic Royal Majesty. We, your Majesty's vassals and servants kiss your Majesty's royal feet.
Alfonso de Chaves
Don Juan Ronquillo
Juan Maldonado de Castro
Bernardo de Vergara
Agustin de Arçiol
Juan de Moron
[Endorsed: "To the sacred royal Catholic Majesty, king don Philipe our lord." "Written by Juan de Ledesma, for the master-of-camp, and the captains in the Filipinas." "Philipinas.—To the king our sovereign, Philipe. From the master-of-camp and captains. June 24."]
Letter from the Manila Cabildo to Felipe II
Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty:
Section I. Last year, eighty-five, this city of Manila wrote to your Majesty, sending a relation of affairs in these islands. Because of our extreme and continually increasing necessities, and the magnificent opportunities for your Majesty's service that are lost daily, and on account of our having no one at court to look after our affairs, or anyone to inform your Majesty, as is requisite, of matters pertaining to this realm, we resolved to request Father Alonso Sanchez, a master of sacred theology and a religious of the Society of Jesus, to go to confer with your Majesty about all these things, as a man who is experienced in all these matters, and one who will discuss them with all sincerity and certainty. Therefore he agreed to undertake this task for the service of God and of your Majesty, and indeed of this state, having therefor the permission and order of his superior. In order to decide what must be laid before your Majesty, and what petitions made, many assemblies were held, composed of the president, auditors, fiscal, bishop, superiors of the orders, cities, royal officials, captains, and other men who were intelligent, and zealous for the service of your Majesty. The said father is authorized by those men and by this entire country; and we humbly entreat that your Majesty be pleased to give him entire faith and credit, to listen to him, and to show us the mercy and favor that we hope from the munificence of your Majesty. Although we have charged him to petition your Majesty for everything needful, yet we shall give a brief relation of the most necessary, in which, if such be your Majesty's pleasure, you may favor and protect this your city and these your vassals.
Section 2. It has been proved by experience that the royal Audiencia cannot be maintained here without the total destruction of this state; for in this city there are scarcely seventy citizens, and in all the other settlements together not as many more. The military power, which maintains this frontier, is totally disorganized, because its usages are so at variance with the procedures and exactness rendered necessary by the rigor of the laws forcibly enacted by the Audiencia. Furthermore, our Portuguese neighbors imagine that this tribunal has been instituted here to overpower and govern them, since they cannot believe that it was established for one hundred and thirty households and so few soldiers. Accordingly, they have shut the door to the commerce, friendship, and intercourse, which was commencing between them and us. In addition to this your Majesty possesses no income here with which to pay the salaries of president, auditors, fiscal, and other officials of the Audiencia. These salaries, added to what is wasted in this country, would establish it, and put it in a better state of defense; while now it is subject to any piratical invasion whatever. For all these reasons, and others that Father Alonso Sanchez will tell you in greater detail, we beg that your Majesty be pleased to reduce this government to only one governor who has experience in the affairs of this country, and in the wars and pacifications that can and should be made. This we shall consider as the greatest favor and kindness, and the only remedy for our hardships.
Section 3. In other letters we implored your Majesty to be pleased to have set aside in Nueva Hespaña pay for three hundred soldiers, who should serve here as a garrison, with whom this government and the dominions of your Majesty could be increased by other kingdoms of great wealth. We entreat this once more; and Father Sanchez will inform your Majesty of the blessings that may result to your royal service therefrom.
Section 4. Because of its lack of public property this city cannot maintain many things needed for the public good; therefore, we wrote to your Majesty, entreating that you have a repartimiento of Indians granted this city. Answer was received that the governor should take cognizance of this matter; and therefore having recourse to the governor and president, Santiago de Vera, we learn that he is informing your Majesty of this necessity in his letters. Father Alonso Sanchez also will do the same by word of mouth. We entreat your Majesty—since this matter is so just, and appertains so much to your royal service and the common good—to have this city granted an encomienda of three or four thousand Indians, and the alcaizería of the Chinese, or any like favor, whereby all the above expenses may be met.
Section 5. We are being totally ruined here through the arrival in this city of merchants, and consignments from Mexico, and innumerable troubles are arising therefrom, of which the same religious will inform you in our name. The customs duties of Sevilla and of Vera Cruz are being decreased and lost, to the great detriment of the merchants. Four or five thousand pesos, more or less, are brought to this city from Nueva Hespaña, whence they are taken to the foreign kingdom of China. Finally, the royal incomes and customs duties are being decreased, the merchants of Castilla are suffering loss, the silver is taken to a country of infidels, and these islands will be ruined entirely, if your Majesty do not correct these evils by ordering that no merchants come hither from Nueva Hespaña, or send money for investment here, but that the citizens of these islands alone have the right to trade and traffic. This will only be done in small amounts, and will result in fewer troubles; while those who are engaged in pacifying and maintaining this country will have some reward for their toils, instead of all the profits being reaped by those who go to Mexico, after trading here with so much resultant loss to this state and to the seigniories of your Majesty, as Father Alonso Sanchez will inform you in greater detail.
Section 6. Father Fray Rufino, of the Franciscan order, is sailing to those kingdoms for the sole purpose of soliciting religious of his order for these islands, where they are greatly needed for the preaching of the gospel. We beseech your Majesty to order his superiors to send them with all haste, and the same to the Augustinian order.
Section 7. Since Father Alonso Sanchez will, on account of his thorough knowledge of affairs in this country, China, and the states of Eastern India, discuss with your Majesty these and many other things—all touching the service of God and your Majesty—and petition you concerning them, we humbly beg that your Majesty will please to grant him free audience; for in all, and by all, we ratify everything that he may relate and declare to your Majesty. May God, our Lord, preserve and exalt your Majesty's sacred royal Catholic person, with the increase of kingdoms and seigniories that we, your subjects and vassals, desire. Manila, June 25, 1586.
Don Juan de Bivero, archdeacon of this holy cathedral church, has served in it for twenty years, and has taken part in all the work of pacification in these islands, in administering the holy sacraments to the soldiers and citizens—in all, serving God and your Majesty very religiously. At present he is in dire need, for he has been given no recompense for his services, and this country has no benefices or other ecclesiastical incomes from which he might be supported. We beseech that your Majesty be pleased to order some recompense to be given him, since he so well deserves it. This will be a very signal favor and kindness to this city. Sacred royal Catholic Majesty, your Majesty's servants and vassals.
Andres de Villanueva
Don Antonio Sufre Carrillo
Don Francisco de Poca y Guevara
Juan de Moron
Juan Maldonado del Castillo
Juan Baptista Roman
Hernando Nuñez de Pyatos
Luis de Bivanco
Letter from Antonio Sedeño to Felipe II
Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty:
It is five or six years since the Society, at your Majesty's orders, sent me to these Philippinas Islands, together with some fathers and brethren. In these islands we have endeavored, during all this time, to attend to the needs and welfare of the country, in the service of God, and, with especial care and effect, in that of your Majesty. Besides ordinary occasions, two noteworthy cases have arisen in the course of these years, beyond, these islands and in China, in which we have lent our aid by order of your Majesty's governors, the bishop, and the chief personages of these islands, by sending Father Alonso Sanchez-of whom your Majesty has notice already—the first time to reduce to your obedience the Portuguese of those regions. This he accomplished with the success and skill of which your Majesty will have heard, and with many hardships—both in China, and Macan, and in his voyaging—as your Majesty will have learned by his relations. On the second occasion he was sent, by the same order, to reduce a vessel, which had mutinied in China, which he accomplished also so well, that the factor, who was going with the warrants, confesses that without him he could have done nothing, because of the mettle of the Portuguese, and the daring with which those of the vessel had closed with them. In this case there would surely have been many disorders and deaths, if the said father, by his care and prudence, and the authority that he enjoys among all, had not appeased them, and reduced both of them. In this, and in a year of contrary weather on strange seas and land, he suffered the hardships and dangers of which, likewise, your Majesty has been informed.
Since his return, in this last year of his stay here, your president and auditors, and the entire city and camp, have been forced to examine and deliberate upon the danger of these lands, the condition of which is daily becoming worse. Both in private talks and in assemblies called for that purpose, the remedy for these troubles has been discussed; and all, with one voice and unanimously, agreed that there was nothing else to do but to send the said father to discuss these matters with your Majesty. For they have this confidence in him through their long experience, not only in the two so grave affairs above mentioned, but in all the more common matters which have been generally attended to by the said father, since his arrival at these islands; and since all of them are satisfied as to his proved virtue and religion, the impartial manner in which he attends to matters, his energy and executive ability, and his learning, whenever these qualifications are needed. Especially they recognize the love that he has ever manifested toward these lands, and the special eagerness with which he exerts himself in your Majesty's affairs, and in establishing and increasing your titles and rights to new conquests and pacifications—his reasons therefor being the great service that will accrue to God in this way, and your Majesty's obligation to make the conquests for the welfare and remedy of so many souls. For these and other reasons and motives which they know, all, unanimously—secular, clergy, religious, municipal government, and Audiencia—have requested most urgently that the said father go upon this mission to your Majesty. After much hesitation—because of the vacancy that his absence will cause in our religious community, and for the sake of the common welfare of all this country; and because of the dislike that I have ever found in him to meddle in such distractions and labors, so contrary to his inclination (which has ever been that of one desirous of retreat)—I was willing to excuse him from such a duty, thinking that he would serve God, your Majesty, and these your lands, no less here. But, in addition to the general demand of the whole community, I was ordered by a decree of your Audiencia, which I could not or ought not resist; and therefore he is going. I beseech your Majesty to receive this little service from this religious order of yours, and from this house; and from my poor will and that which the father takes, to succeed in everything in serving your Majesty, knowing how great is the service done to God, if success is secured therein. I shall not request your Majesty to give him audience, for all the community begs that; and of the kindness with which you will receive his humble and good intentions, proof is experienced here, and your Majesty will appreciate them. And as he has no other thought, intent, or designs than the common welfare, and the service of God and your Majesty, both he and I have great fortitude and tranquillity. May God grant your Majesty, in this life, what we all desire for you; and, in the other and eternal life, what we all beg for your Majesty, and are all assured is kept for you as a reward for the so many labors and cares with which your Majesty has maintained, and maintains, the universal Church. Manila, June 25, 1586. Your sacred royal Catholic Majesty's most humble servant in our Lord.
[Addressed: "+ To the sacred royal Catholic Majesty of the King
Felippe, our sovereign."]
[Endorsed: "+ To his Majesty, no. 16. 1586. Manila, June 25. Antonio
Sedeño, rector of the Society of Jesus. In recommendation of Father
Letter of Domingo de Salazar to Felipe II
Royal Catholic Majesty:
As Father Alonso Sanchez, of the Society of Jesus, is going, in the name of this community, to inform your Majesty of the condition of these kingdoms, and of their need for reforms, I shall not dwell upon that matter at all, but will refer you to what the said father will relate in detail. But, inasmuch as there are certain special matters that perhaps he will not mention, I thought that I should inform your Majesty of them in the present letter.
Immediately upon the arrival of the royal Audiencia in these islands, mass was commenced to be said in the royal chapel. According to the usual procedure in other audiencias, the chaplains who said it ended the prayer of the mass with that clause which reads, et famulos tuos, etc.—in which, after the name of his Majesty, follow those of the bishop and the president, and the others contained in the said prayer. According to what is said in this principal church of this city, the president and auditors erased the name of the bishop, and substituted those of the auditors, under the name of senators. When I heard of this, I ordered my name to be inserted, and those of the auditors to be erased. This gave rise to animosity, and certain acts were passed, which the dean declares were sent to the royal Council [of the Indias] a year ago.
Because I sat down one day on the gospel side of the principal altar during mass, the president and auditors took umbrage, and refused to enter the principal church again until I made them return to it. I have not sat there since, in order to give no grounds for contention, although I know that it is my proper place, and that the Audiencia have deprived me of it against all right. What was done in this matter was sent also to the royal Council last year. I entreat that your Majesty will be so good as to have the Audiencia and myself informed as to what must be observed in regard to these two points; for it is neither right that they should take umbrage at me, nor for me to do what I should not.
After their arrival in this city, there was but little harmony between the president and auditors. Their discord was so public, that it caused great scandal here. I tried to restore peace between them, and for that purpose came to this city, leaving the visitation that I was making. After they had been harmonized once, they began to quarrel again, and with much more scandal than before. I tried for the second time to pacify them; and when I saw that talking to each one in private could result in nothing, one day, in full meeting, I set before them the great scandal that they were causing in this city, and the bad example that they were setting to it; and declared to them the great displeasure of your Majesty, if you should know it, and of God too. The hand of the Lord was interposed, and their lack of harmony ended from that time; and they have been on friendly terms ever since. In public as in secret, God works His will.
In a decree sent to me by the Inquisition of Mexico your Majesty orders me to deliver the records of proceedings and the prisoners to the commissary of the Inquisition there; this I did immediately, as I was only awaiting a message sufficient to enable me to do so, but which had not come until then. I know that many troubles will surely arise from this in the future; but, in doing what is ordered me, I obey. May our Lord preserve your Majesty's royal Catholic person for many years, for the good of His church and the protection of us who have so little power. Manila, June 26, 1586.
Royal Catholic Majesty, your most humble friar chaplain kisses your royal hands.
The Bishop of the Filipinas
[Addressed: "To his royal Catholic Majesty, King Don Phelippe, our sovereign. In his royal Council of the Indies."]
[Endorsed: "Philippinas. + To his Majesty, 587; from the bishop,
June 26." In a different hand: "Seen. Have its points abstracted."]
Letter from the Audiencia of Manila to Felipe II
Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty:
In the past year of eighty-five, we gave your Majesty a report on the condition of this land, and some other matters concerning your service, which are contained in the duplicate accompanying this present letter. If it has not been examined, we beg your Majesty to have this done, and to make suitable provision for these matters.
That the tributes shall be increased by one real for married men, and a half-real for single men, in order to pay the soldiers.  Section 1. By your Majesty's order, the soldiers usually come from Nueva Spaña with one hundred and fifteen pesos as pay, out of which they clothe themselves and purchase their weapons. They continue to spend their money until they embark at Acapulco, so that, when they arrive at these islands, they have nothing more to spend and find no one to give them food. Unable to find a way to earn their sustenance, they are forced to seek it among the natives, whom they annoy and maltreat. They live in extreme distress, and so fall sick. The greater number even die soon, without the possibility of assistance from their neighbors, because they also are poor. The royal exchequer is also always in difficulties, and embarrassed by many debts. Your governor has been unable to give them any assistance from the royal treasury. Considering that the natives of this land commonly have treasure and means of gain, and furnish less in tribute than do the natives of Nueva Spaña (who are in fact poorer), and that without oppression they might pay more, it has seemed right to us, if it be your Majesty's pleasure, that the rate of tribute shall in general be increased by one real for married men, one-half real for single men, and for young men who possess means of gain, but who do not pay tribute, the sum of one real. It will be easy for them all to pay this every year. By this increase twenty-five thousand pesos, or even more, would be realized, with which many of the soldiers living here could be paid; meanwhile, as the others enter paid employment, they would be on like footing with those just mentioned, and could support themselves; and they would willingly do their duty in war, to which they must at present be forced. Soldiers would willingly come here to serve your Majesty, if they could know that they would be supported and paid; and thus your royal conscience would be relieved. It certainly seems cruelty to compel these men to serve without pay, and to die of hunger. We beseech your Majesty that, if this remedy be expedient, you will have the kindness to order its application, and will have money sent from the royal exchequer of Mexico, so that these wretched people can at least be fed and clothed.
Expenses which have been incurred in war. Section 2. By your Majesty's decree, the offices of clerk of the exchequer and of the governor's office were sold, for some five thousand odd pesos; and, although this sum was to have been sent on a separate account to the officials in Nueva España, and thence to the House of Trade at Sevilla, it was absolutely necessary to spend it on a fleet to operate against the Japanese pirates, who are in the habit of plundering the coasts of these islands; and also on a ship, which is being built for this navigation [between New Spain and the Philippines], in order that traffic should not be stopped; for the despatch of your Majesty's fleet to Nueva Spaña; and for various other matters. This could not be avoided, because there is no more money in the royal exchequer with which to relieve these distresses, as your Majesty will see by the accounts which the royal officials are sending.
Concerning the twenty-two thousand pesos in salaries for the Audiencia. Section 3. Your Majesty has ordered that from the repartimientos of Indians that are now or shall become vacant, twelve thousand pesos de minas shall be assigned to the royal crown, to pay the salaries of the Audiencia. We have informed your Majesty, in our letters, of the great difficulties that would arise from the execution of this order. For the soldiers, expecting to receive encomiendas, and that some day good fortune would come to them, have for many years served your Majesty, and are now serving, in war at their own cost. Now the fruit of their labors is taken away from the men who have conquered and maintained this land, while they are without the hope that they may be rewarded in any other manner; and, seeing themselves thus deprived, they become disheartened, desert service, and abandon the land, thus depopulating it beyond all remedy. It seems to us that, if such should be your Majesty's pleasure, it would be best that you command money to be sent from Mexico for the salaries of the Audiencia; and to assign the Indians who are or shall be without owners as repartimientos and encomiendas to those who have served, and have merited such reward, as has been the custom hitherto. Since the conservation and increase of this land is so important for your Majesty's service, may you be pleased to order for its succor, and for the aid of the ecclesiastical and secular estates, the sum of twenty-five thousand or thirty thousand pesos, to be provided annually from the royal exchequer in Mexico. This sum is quite necessary for the expenses incurred in armed expeditions, in aid for this land and its defense, and in what is done almost every year for Maluco.
Section 4. As affairs in this island are constantly falling into so great neglect and danger of loss; and so many occasions that might be advantageous to your Majesty, for the reduction of this new world to your service, slip by; and since all the many thousands of souls, oppressed and deceived by the devil, in great China and other kingdoms in the neighborhood of these islands, may be saved through the door which your Majesty has commenced to open—understanding that your Majesty has not been suitably informed since these neighbors were discovered, nor has had any clear account of their affairs, we have agreed to send your Majesty a person who can do this and give your Majesty a true relation of everything. Considering that Father Alonso Sanchez, of the Society of Jesus (a man of the highest prudence and learning, and most excellent in Christian faith and practice), has a wide knowledge and great experience in this land and the realms of China, Yndia, Xapon, and other surrounding nations (acquired by having seen most of them several times and having visited and closely observed them), and inasmuch as there is no one else able to do it—considering also his detachment from outside considerations and interests, which, intermingling, distort all one's views: therefore this Audiencia, the city, the orders, the military captains, and all the other citizens, unanimously elected him for this purpose. As he made excuses for not going, and his superior declined to give him permission, we ordered the latter to give the father leave and to order him, by his obligation to obedience, to make this voyage, and the father to accept the charge. Accordingly, the said father is going to inform your Majesty and supplicate your favor for these islands, asking for redress of their grievances and improvement of their condition, and to discuss with your Majesty other matters of greater importance, of which he will inform you. We beg your Majesty to grant him audience, and to place entire confidence in a man who acts here with prudence, circumspection, religious principle, and wise methods—as your Majesty will understand when you see him in person; we refer your Majesty to the relation he will give you.
Section 5. Your Majesty did a great favor to this Audiencia and to the citizens of these islands, by appointing the licentiate Don Antonio Rivera y Maldonado, who arrived in good health, and has assumed his office.
Section 6. In this Audiencia, as is usual among all those that are newly founded, a certain rivalry as to jurisdiction has existed between the president and auditors, and some differences and discords have arisen over it; therefore we decided among ourselves to lay the matter before your Majesty, in order that you may declare and enforce your pleasure; meanwhile the Audiencia will exercise the duties contested between them. The trouble is ended, and there is quiet and agreement among us. We beseech your Majesty to examine the record of proceedings and acts in this matter, and to declare whether the conferring of the said offices belongs to the Audiencia, or to the president alone, in order that our concord may be permanent, and that there shall be no further occasion for disturbing it; for this condition of peace is so important for your Majesty's service and the good of the land.
Section 7. As we have before related to your Majesty, ships resort to these islands from China with merchandise and many supplies, with which this land is but ill furnished. The fear of customs duties on such things as provisions and supplies, which are of great bulk, the great expense in lading, and their small profits here, induce those merchants to discontinue bringing the above-named articles, substituting others in their place. Thus there has been a great scarcity of supplies, and considerable distress in the land. We have seen your Majesty's decree in which you order us to make a report of the duties imposed upon the merchants by Don Gonzalo Ronquillo, governor of these islands; and whether it is expedient to impose heavier duties, or to drop them altogether. In the meantime, we shall take such measures here as we consider most necessary for your service. We are ordering that the collection of one and one-half per cent imposed on money coming to this land be discontinued; and, in order that the Chinese might bring us an abundance of supplies, with horses and cattle, as they had begun to do, it is decreed that no duties be imposed on the grain, biscuit, flour, and all other provisions brought by them, in order to encourage them to provide this land abundantly with these supplies. Moreover, besides the above reason, the amount collected from this source for your Majesty is very small. Your Majesty will order what you shall be pleased to have done in this matter.
Section 9.  By virtue of a royal decree of your Majesty, the bishop added another parish priest to the benefice of this cathedral church, so that there are now two priests and a sacristan. Orders have been given that their salaries shall be paid from the royal exchequer, in conformity with another royal decree lessening the amount to be secured from the tithes.
Section 10. Your Majesty ordered a royal decree to be issued, commanding us to send a report on the recommendation made by the bishop of these islands, that it is expedient that a brief be procured from his Holiness, in order that the authority which he granted to the bishop in the foro interior for twelve years be also granted to him in the foro esterior.  Since this concession has been made by other pontiffs to the religious of the mendicant orders, the claim made by the bishop has seemed to us both fitting and necessary—as also that the grant be made for several years more, because eight of the twelve years have elapsed. Since the orders possess this authority, it is just that the bishop shall not remain without it, because cases arise in the foro esterior, which, although they should go to the apostolic see, fail to go, on account of the great difficulty and length of the journey between here and Rome; and thus penitents might not secure absolution, or would be unable to fulfil the obligations that they owe to their consciences. And, if your Majesty be pleased to order that this brief be obtained, it is our opinion that the same authority be conferred, tan in absolvendo quam in dispensando.
Section 11. Your Majesty commanded your royal decree to be issued, ordering that the hundred pesos and hundred fanegas of rice which are given annually as alms to the religious, besides the wine for the saying of mass, and flour for the host, be given them. This ordinance has been observed, and the supplies given them conformably to the decree.
Section 12. Certain slaves are brought to these islands from Yndia and the settlement at Macan; as your Majesty has given no orders as to the collection of duty on them from those who bring them hither—as is paid on those from Santo Domingo and other places to Nueva España and Piru—your royal officials have not collected on them, or on those slaves who are carried from these islands to Nueva España. We ask your Majesty to order as suits your pleasure in the regulation of this matter.
Section 13. Your viceroy in Yndia has, by severe restrictions and heavy penalties, closed the door to the intercourse and commerce maintained with these islands by the Portuguese; he has ordered that we should not resort to Yndia, nor should the Portuguese come hither. As the route to Macan and the coast of China has been opened, he says that the natives of that country are offended, and might destroy Macan through fear. Nevertheless, we understand that this course has been pursued on account of the little love that the Portuguese feel for us; and because they think that the Castilians will injure their commerce and trade and raise the price of commodities in that land. We judge from our own observation that, since so many ships come from the entire coast of China to this land, and great concessions and kind treatment have been afforded to them here, and as they supply their country with gold and silver received in exchange for what they sell us, they ought not to feel irritated at our presence there. On the contrary, they always say that they desire this, and would be pleased to have our trade. Although some inconvenience might result from Castilians going there, it could not result from the Portuguese coming hither with their wealth and merchandise. They, who are Christians, would then enjoy the wealth and money now carried away by the Chinese; and thus all of it would remain among your Majesty's vassals, which would seem to be important to your service. Since we all are vassals of your Majesty, we may have intercourse together, which will facilitate the plans of your Majesty. Your Majesty will take such action as is expedient for your service.
The archbishop of Mexico,  while acting as governor of Nueva España, sent Captain Francisco Galli to Nueva España and the ports, and ordered him to transact other affairs necessary in your Majesty's service, taking particular care to give him secret orders not to go to Macan or the coast of China, because they ought not to waste time in buying merchandise, and on account of other reasonable considerations which influenced him. Your governor, the president of this Audiencia, hearing that Pedro de Unamuno—who, on account of Captain Galli's death, succeeded to his office, together with a large sum of money which the latter and the officers of the fleet had brought over to invest—was about to go to Macan, hastened to give them orders, under penalty of death, to observe the secret instructions given by the said archbishop, not to go to Macan. The fiscal appealed from this order, asking that he should not be commanded to make a voyage to Nueva España and abandon the discovery. Notwithstanding the confirmation of the governor's order by this Audiencia, we have learned that he has gone toward that coast of China and the settlement of Macan. We give your Majesty particulars of this matter, in anticipation of future contingencies. May our Lord preserve the imperial royal Catholic person of your Majesty, and grant you the addition of greater realms and seigniories, as we your Majesty's vassals desire and need. Manila, June 26, 1586. Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty, your Majesty's servants kiss your royal feet
L. de Santiago de Vera
The licentiate Melchor de Avalo
The licentiate Pedro de Rojas
The licentiate Don Antonio de Ribera Maldonado
[Addressed: "To his sacred royal Catholic Majesty King Don [Felipe] our lord, in his royal Council of the Indias."]
[Endorsed: "To his Majesty; no. 8; 1586. Letter from the Audiencia of the Filipinas; June 26, 86." "On various matters regarding the islands, of which it gives a detailed account, in order that his Majesty may have it and take suitable action regarding all."]
Letter of Pedro de Rojas to Felipe II
The great need in this country of giving your Majesty an account of the many matters here that demand reform (and without it are on their way to evident ruin), and further of the affairs of the realm of China, seems at this juncture to make it indispensable that the people of this country should send to your Majesty Father Alonso Sanchez, of the Society, a person of very holy life, much learning, prudence, and excellent judgment, and such a one as is well fitted to go to discuss with your Majesty the affairs which have been placed in his charge. Many of them, if the father did not go, would compel me to write to your Majesty for their amendment; but, as he is being sent, I shall let them go, referring you to all that the said father may relate. I only beg that at this time, when the opportunity is so good, and within the lifetime of your Majesty, an entrance may be made into these Chinese realms, and they and the neighboring countries be brought to the knowledge of the holy Catholic faith, and to the service and dominion of your Majesty.
The affairs of this Audiencia are, through the goodness of God, in order and peace at present—although in times past it has not been so, for there was some contention between your president and auditors, over filling certain offices of the Audiencia. The appointments to them belonged, it seems, according to your royal laws, to the Audiencia. There was a question as to whether the president was to confirm the appointments made by him as governor, in your royal name, by Don Phelipe, and with your royal seal. It seems that this is quite to the disadvantage of the Audiencia. For, if the office of governor resided in another than the president, the offices of the Audiencia would not be provided for therein, except the president and auditors; nor would they be confirmed by Don Phelipe or with your royal seal, since this belongs to the Audiencia alone. As soon as it was seen that this was being done, there was hard feeling; but nevertheless, to avoid wrangling, a compromise was settled upon—which, if it be your Majesty's pleasure, you may order to be examined, as it is sent with the documents relating to the foregoing controversy. By these your Majesty will see how much your president was at fault, and the chance the Audiencia gave for your Majesty's interests to suffer, if there were any disturbance. Everything was done very circumspectly, to avoid the injury that might result, from some other source, to this commonwealth and realm. Accordingly we drew up, by agreement, an act which your fiscal sent with the other papers; and since then we have had no difficulties, but on the contrary, cordial relations have been maintained in so far as the public is concerned. It appears, however, that this is not so in secret; for I was yesterday informed that your president was sending depositions and information against your auditors, reviewing our entire lives, to your Majesty. I beseech you to have these documents examined, both ours and his; and, if it shall follow that we are at fault, we will expiate it with no less than our lives, for it is not just that those who are disloyal to your Majesty's service in countries so remote should incur a lighter punishment. Will your Majesty make certain of the intention of your president, and whether he can find guilt in your auditors too grave for pardon. Likewise your Majesty must understand that I do not consider that I am serving you by detailing the shortcomings of my colleagues; for there is no lack of writers better able to write and tell them than I am. The one thing that gives me consolation is, that when your Majesty sends some one to ascertain how we have served you, then in truth, you will be able to see who has done and who has aided in doing his duty. 
Although the father above mentioned is instructed to discuss the matters pertaining to this country, it has seemed best to me not to neglect writing your Majesty about the following matters.
It seems expedient for your royal service, as this country is so ill-provided and poor, that the Audiencia should be suppressed, and that in its place one man be sent who is fitted for the position. If he be not such, the Audiencia should remain, in order to hear disputants with justice, relieve the oppressed, remedy wrongs and grievances, and prevent many wrong acts which, without it, an evil-minded governor would commit; this would also do away with the appeals to Mexico, by which the citizens suffer much loss. But if the governor were a fit one, there would be no need for the Audiencia and for many other institutions, for the reasons which the father will explain to you.
Such a governor should have authority and permission from your Majesty so that, after having discussed and consulted (with such persons as you may direct) on the affairs that seem to him most important for your Majesty's service, he shall take such measures as appear to him expedient, without other formality or consultation with your Majesty; for in many cases the delay would entail losses, and in this way many important opportunities are lost to your Majesty's service.
Such a governor should not give permission, without a special license from your Majesty, for any person to go out of this country; for by the lack of this, great losses in population have been suffered here; in some years more Spaniards go hence than arrive. Besides, everyone is confident that permission to go will be granted to him, and many therefore neglect to make themselves a home; whereas, if they did so, it would cause them to multiply, have children, and become citizens of the country.
Such a governor should not be allowed, either in his own name or through a third person, to carry on trade or commerce. And the better to hold him to this, the decision as to whether he trades or carries on commerce should be in the hands of the magistracy, the municipal government, and the judiciary; so that, if such charge be proved on investigation, all the said governor's goods may be sequestered and he be sent prisoner to your Majesty, so that you may do with him and his as you see fit. If this be done, it is the surest means to keep the governors in the path of rectitude, and make them perform their duties as they should. Nothing else has wrought such ruin in the country as the trading and trafficking of those who govern it.
And in order that this land should meet the high hopes which your Majesty has for it, it would seem of the utmost importance to restrain not only the governors from trading, but the soldiers as well. From their trading have resulted losses to your Majesty, which I shall point out.
Every year there goes out of this country to China three hundred thousand pesos of silver, and this year more than five hundred thousand. The Chinese obtain here much gold, which they take away, and none of it ever comes back to this country; and what they bring for it is the dregs of their own country, while what they take is the fat and richness of your Majesty's realm.
Through the opportunities furnished by commerce, a great many Chinese come hither, which is no small injury for so weak and poor a land; for every Chinaman eats more than do five Moros and always of the best, even though the cost is high, and in this way provisions are made dearer. With the interest in inordinate gain, they cease to perform their duties, because these are of less profit than trade. If this were stopped, some of them would, for their own interest, seeing that there is nothing else of which they are capable, stay in these islands as farmers, others as stock-raisers; and still others would work at the mechanical trades, and especially at building, which is so important a trade in this country. In this way they would receive their profits, and the Spaniards would have all the service they wanted, and that very cheaply. If they no longer bring silk and brocades, they can bring cows, horses, mares, provisions, military supplies, copper, and all kinds of metal and gunpowder, each in great abundance, and at a low cost—a thing much to the profit of this land, as may readily be seen. Articles sent from España to Nueva España would keep their value; and the gold and silver paid for them would remain in your own realm.
If there were no trade with China, the citizens of these islands would be richer; for the natives, if they had not so many tostons, would pay their tributes in the articles which they produce, and which are current—that is, cloths, lampotes, cotton, and gold, all of which have great value in Nueva España. These they cease to produce because of the abundance of silver; and what is worse, and entails more loss upon your Majesty, is that they do not, as formerly, work the mines and take out gold. If they did so, it would be of great importance to your Majesty and the whole country; and if this alone formed the merchandise sent to Nueva España from these islands, the gold and silver would remain here, and in the hands of the Spaniards themselves.
Carrying on commerce as they do, all the Spaniards are absorbed in it, to such a degree that there are not even enough to aid in the expeditions and military operations. Thus they will not remember that they are soldiers, and living among so many enemies, and do not realize that they are carrying arms; nor do they work for what your Majesty claims of them, the conversion and pacification of the natives. The Spaniards have become effeminate in spirit by their trading, and on various occasions have greatly lost their repute, for they are not as they used to be—having given themselves over to vices, luxuries, fine clothes, eating, and drinking; consequently they have not had their wonted success on several of the expeditions, and have come back without accomplishing what they set out to do, and the friendly Indians are making war, and going out to fight.
If your Majesty would prohibit trading, except perhaps in the products of the islands, three hundred men would be of as much use here as a thousand are today; for they would realize that they must gain their livelihood by their arms, and not by traffic. Otherwise they only await a chance to go hence as soon as possible, and so take no heed of the affairs of this country, and do not engage in stock-raising and agriculture, or in building, for each one does as suits him best; and therefore this country is not growing, but rather falling into appalling decay and weakness.
What with the hopes they all have of returning to España, they will not do otherwise than send their wealth back thither; and they have no mind for spending it in the country where they earned it, in building churches, monasteries, and chapels, and performing other pious works whereby this city would be improved—which they would do if they knew that permission could not be given them to go back to España.
It would seem best for the present that your Majesty should not make exchanges or transfers of Indians with the encomenderos; for, if this is done, your Majesty must pay for it in other parts of the royal estate. At the least he will lose a soldier, an important thing in this land, when it has cost your Majesty so much to bring him here. On the other hand, they will always settle down, in order to have some one to succeed them in their encomiendas, and will marry; and their children will do the same, and become more and more naturalized in this land, which is so important for its welfare.
Likewise it seems expedient, for the same object, that your Catholic Majesty should found in this city a seminary and place of shelter for girls, where they may be supplied with all necessaries while they remain there, until they are married. If this were done, many poor girls from Mexico and the whole of Nueva España would enter the said seminary, knowing that there they would find support until they were settled. In order that they may be more eager to come, it would be of great advantage for your Majesty to direct that in Mexico should be given them everything necessary for traveling expenses and those of the voyage.
It would be of no little benefit to your Majesty's royal estate, if there were sent from your royal treasury of Mexico to this one, each year, twenty thousand pesos in coin; and if there were sent from here to Mexico all the gold that is collected in tributes from the Indians assigned to the royal crown, and what is paid for the tithes and the assay fee—as it is in this country an article of trade, which rises or falls according to the abundance of tostóns. If this gold were taken to Mexico, it would, in a few years, amount to double the money given for it here; and if the attempt were made to issue it from this treasury for its value, no one would take it, except at a considerable loss, for the reason given.
If your Majesty be pleased to discontinue the Audiencia, the temporal governor of these islands should be the same person who rules spiritual affairs. For the present, it seems that this would be very desirable; for with such a person the suspicion of trading and trafficking does not exist, and there is more certainty that the offices and encomiendas will be given to those who deserve them, rather than to his servants and relatives. And, above all, it would be well if this dignity were given to the bishop, who is now so zealous in the service of your Majesty, and desirous that all its affairs shall go well. He is also so thorough a Christian, and possessed of so much virtue, learning, and wisdom, that by his holy zeal he would aid in what your Majesty desires—that is, the conversion and good treatment of the natives of these islands, and the propagation of the holy faith. With that will cease the struggles for jurisdiction, which are not right during this time when spiritual affairs are getting a foothold; but, after they have become established, they can easily be put in their proper place. Furthermore, the said bishop, as he is a spiritual father, will be so in all things, and will proceed in the suits and cases rather with fatherly mediation than with judicial rigor.
If it be not the bishop, there is the licentiate Ayala, fiscal of this Audiencia, who performs his duties here as a good lawyer and a Christian, and is such a man as would give your Majesty satisfaction, whatever you may order him to do.
If the government could be given to one of the persons residing here, there would result many advantages, the greatest being that he would be acquainted with insular affairs, by the experience that he would have had with them. He would know who was deserving of honor and reward; and as all of us who have lately come have come in need, burdened with the care of servants and relatives, all being poor, we seek to supply our own needs and those of the persons whom we bring at our expense, and those who deserve aid go hungry; for before the governors can feel the pulse of affairs in the islands, and know what things need remedy, they depart or are removed.
I write this to your Catholic Majesty, knowing that you will regard it as for your service that I, as one present on the scene, should write of each subject what I think in regard to it, so that your Majesty may act as you see fit, considering the reasons advanced on either side. These will be more fully explained in each case by Father Alonso Sanchez, to whom your Majesty should give entire credit, on account of his sanctity, and the earnest zeal that he has always shown for the bettering of affairs in this realm; and because he is a person who, through the broad experience he has had with them, and the many times he has pondered over their remedy, will be able to give a satisfactory account of them all. I therefore beg your Majesty, in all the affairs which are reported from here, to listen to the opinion of the said father, that your Majesty may be the better informed. May our Lord preserve your Catholic and royal person for many long years of life, adding to your kingdoms and seigniories, as we the loyal vassals and most humble servants of your Majesty desire. Manila, June 30, 86. Royal Catholic Majesty, your Catholic Majesty's most humble vassal, and insignificant servant.
The licentiate Pedro de Rojas
Letter of Juan Moron to Felipe II
Royal Catholic Majesty:
Upon the arrival in these islands of Doctor Sanctiago de Vera, your president, governor, and captain-general, he was informed of the condition of affairs in Maluco, and of the unwillingness of the petty king of Ternate to render obedience to your Majesty. Therefore, with the advice of all the captains, he determined to send an officer with reenforcements of three hundred soldiers, giving them orders and instructions to remain subordinate to the commandant, Diego de Açambujar, then your Majesty's lieutenant at that fortress. Seeing how important this expedition was to the service of your Majesty, I—being then in this city, occupying the post of your sargento-mayor and captain of infantry—offered to undertake it at my own expense, and to fit out the entire fleet. Your president, learning this, and having been informed that, on many other occasions that have arisen, I have ever aided in the service of your Majesty with the ardent zeal that is mine, risking my person and property in your royal service; and that this was of no less importance, as being one of your Majesty's most especial affairs in these regions, gave me the troops that I have mentioned with title as your general, which was confirmed by the royal Audiencia here.
I set out upon my expedition, and, upon arriving at Maluco, conferred immediately with the commandant, Diego Daçambujar. But, in discussing with him what was expedient for your Majesty's service, in accordance with my instructions, he was quite lukewarm in a matter requiring so great haste, and thus detained me several days with questions and answers. Finally, seeing the great need of haste that I represented to him, he left his post, and we marched with our men until we were within cannon-shot of the fort, where with all haste we entrenched ourselves. The enemy was well supplied with much artillery, both great and small, and began at once to fire on me. Nevertheless, I made every effort to reach the walls and to enter the fort by open assault; but having no cannon with which to demolish it—the most necessary thing—and seeing the great resistance that the enemy offered, I was forced to retire, with several soldiers wounded, and returned to my trenches. I remained there several days, defending myself from the heavy shower of balls rained down upon our camp. During all this time, Diego Daçambujar did not attempt to give any orders, and finally said that, if we remained there any longer, not one of us would be left alive. Thereupon I answered him that I came for that very purpose, or else to capture that fort and leave it your Majesty's. In everything he displayed his usual lukewarmness, and upon calling a council of war, it was agreed to strike camp and retire to his fort. As afterward appeared, he was not anxious—for his own private interest and his trade in cloves with the petty king—that anything should be effected, as your Majesty will see in greater detail by the accompanying copy of the inquiry made concerning this matter.
Thereupon I returned to this city of Manila, heavy at heart at not having attained the object which I had desired for the service of your Majesty, and resolved to pledge my person and property to obtain the men and supplies to spend in your royal service, although I should pledge myself to the further sum of six or seven thousand pesos—the amount spent on this expedition. However, it did not please God that this should come to pass, on account of the few men and supplies remaining from the late fire.
As I was one of the very first to come here to serve your Majesty in these islands, the hardships and wretchedness suffered here grieve me so sorely, and especially those of this city, that I feel obliged to inform your Majesty of several of them.
First, it is very necessary that your Majesty order a fortress of stone built in this city, for the one here now would be exceedingly easy to take, as it is nothing more than a palisade, with but little rampart; and, as your Majesty will have been informed, we are surrounded by so many enemies.
All of this could be remedied, did your Majesty feel the needs of this city so strongly that you would be pleased to grant us some public property. Although I, as a regidor and attorney of this city, have endeavored, in your Majesty's name, to have certain villages of Indians granted to the city as its property, your governors have always answered me with fair words, and have done nothing. Our only hope now is that, when your Majesty understands that this is all to be employed in your royal service, you will take compassion on us and grant us, as city property, some Indians. With this grant, all these difficulties can be remedied.
With this ship sails Father Alonso Sanchez, of the Society of Jesus, a very learned man, having much experience in the affairs of these islands, as well as of China and other countries. Since he is thus qualified, this city resolved to send him as agent for this kingdom, in order to give your Majesty a detailed account of affairs here. May our Lord preserve your sacred royal Catholic person, with increase of greater kingdoms and seigniories, as we, your Majesty's servants, desire. Manila, June 30, 1586.
Royal Catholic Majesty, your Majesty's humblest servant kisses your royal feet and hands.+
Juan de Moron
[Addressed: "To his + sacred royal Catholic Majesty, King Don
Ffelipe, our sovereign. To be given into his royal hands."]
[Endorsed: "1586. Legajo 1; letters from Manila. + Number 17. To his Majesty." "Manila, Joan de Moron, June 30. The expedition to the land of Maluco, and the lukewarmness encountered in the commandant, Diego de Çambujar, as will appear from the accompanying investigation. Need in that city of a fortress. In favor of Father Alonso Sanchez."]
Measures Regarding Trade with China
Letter to Felipe II
Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty:
In order to discuss your Majesty's commands regarding the commerce between the Philipinas Islands and Nueva España, Don Cristobal Mora and I met yesterday and examined a long report which Ledesma had drawn up from many papers which have been sent from both sides, together with a certain clause of a letter to your Majesty by the viceroy, Don Martin Enriquez, written on the twentieth of March of the past year, eighty [-five].  In this letter he says that the merchants of that country are greatly disappointed that trade with the Philipinas Islands should be taken away from them; for, although the satins, damasks, and other silken goods, even the finest of them, contain very little silk, and others are woven with grass (all of which is quite worthless), the people mainly resort to this cheap market, and the prices of silks brought from Spain are lowered. Of these latter, taffetas had come to be worth no more than eight reals, while satins and damasks had become very cheap. He feared that, if this went further, it would not be needful to import silks from España. He says, moreover, that all goods carried from the said islands are mere trifles, from which the land derives no profit—such as porcelains, escritoires, caskets, fans, and parasols, all flimsy and very unprofitable. We can trade with the Chinese only with gold and silver, since they have more than enough of everything else. The letter written to your Majesty by the commander of the fleet which is in Nueva España was also examined. He states therein that the trade in thin fabrics imported from these kingdoms to that land is steadily decreasing, on account of the trade which is carried on there with the Philipinas Islands. This letter was the occasion for issuing a decree, to which your Majesty was pleased to set your royal hand, calling for a report from the viceroy of Nueva España. This is an affair which requires a much more expeditious remedy. We have investigated the state of affairs in those regions, of which a detailed report was made to us. Besides the little value of those wares, a large amount of silver and coin is carried thither in exchange for them. Although a portion of this money remains in those islands, all the rest is carried away by the Chinese who go thither from the mainland to sell these wares.
In this way the commerce of these kingdoms is falling away, and the bringing of money hither is impeded; both these are matters of consequence and importance. This is not the way to maintain our trade, since the settlement of the land must be through its richness and fertility, and the prospect of other discoveries that are being made daily, and not through trade. Those who are engaged in this trade are merely transients, and those islands are merely a place of lading for this commerce; for all, or the greater part, of the merchandise comes from China. The Spaniards derive two, three, or four thousand ducats from anchorage alone; this is the fee for the privilege of anchoring the ship. The lure of the cheapness of the merchandise overcomes all other considerations. This hinders the prosperity of the people, and furnishes them no aid in the most important thing, namely, the settlement of the islands, and the discovery and operation of the gold mines there. We came to the conclusion that the trade and commerce of the said islands, as far as the said merchandise is concerned, should be abolished, and that these wares should not be carried to Nueva España or other parts of the Indias, in order that the trade of these kingdoms—a most important matter—may continue. A communication to this effect should be addressed to the viceroy of Nueva España, recounting to him the aforesaid disadvantages; and advising him that, unless he shall encounter other obstacles so great as to prevent him from taking such action, he should prohibit the traffic in the above-mentioned merchandise from China, and order the cessation of such commerce with that country. If he find too great difficulties in the way, then he should give advice thereof, together with his opinion. In the meantime, he should make such provision as he shall find most expedient. To save time, the decree in accordance with this recommendation accompanies the present communication; and it shall be sent by this fleet, if your Majesty will have the goodness to sign it. Madrid, June 17, 1586.
[Marginal note: "This recommendation is excellent, and I have therefore signed the decree. I shall also endorse all that you shall say in regard to it in the Council, and what the members thereof shall approve:"]
Decree Regarding Chinese Trade
The King: To the Marques de Villamanrrique, my kinsman, and viceroy, governor, and captain-general of Nueva España.  Having understood that the silks brought from China and the Philipinas Islands to your realms are quite worthless, but that nevertheless, because of the low price set upon them, they are sold and distributed; and because, if that trade continues, the trade in cloth exported from these realms would cease or be greatly decreased; and also that these silks, like other articles brought thence (all of which are of trifling value, and of no profit to the country), are bartered only for gold, silver, or coin, for there is abundance of everything else there—a matter, too, of considerable importance, both on account of the large amount that is withdrawn and would be withdrawn for the benefit of a foreign kingdom, and because these kingdoms [Spain and Portugal] lose that whole amount, their trade being more profitable for the common good, on account of the excellence of its wares, which in their lasting qualities more than make up for the difference in price; neither is this the best means for the settlement of the said islands, since they serve only as a lading-station for this trade, and it proves a hindrance to the settlers by being of no assistance in whatever concerns their permanence and fixed residence: therefore, having carefully considered this as well as other inconveniences set forth, it has seemed best to discontinue this trade with the Philipinas Islands and China, since, even besides the aforesaid, it has evidently caused delay in despatching the fleets, as must be the case if this sort of cargo continues to diminish. Since the present is a fitting occasion to furnish a remedy, as so important a matter demands, I order you—after considering the aforesaid points and others of which you may be advised (since the matter is a current one), and difficulties that might arise, if you find, to the contrary, no others so important as to overbalance them—to give orders that there be no further trade or importation of the said merchandise and Chinese wares to that land for the purpose of sale. You will have the merchants engaged in this commerce advised and notified of this decree. You will provide for its public proclamation, indicating the penalty to be incurred by those who bring in contraband goods. If you find in the execution thereof such special difficulties, as above-mentioned, as oblige you to desist, you will inform me of what occurs, together with your opinion, taking in the meantime such measures as shall seem to you most advisable. Given at Sant Lorenço, on the nineteenth of June in the year one thousand five hundred and eighty-six.
I, The King
Countersigned, Matheo Vargas
Approved by the Council.
[A separate sheet reads as follows: "His Majesty has ordered me to send your Lordship the enclosed copy of deliberations of the Council of the Indias, and the papers accompanying it, concerning the trade and commerce between the Filipinas Islands and China, so that, together with any that your Lordship may have concerning this matter, everything enacted may be examined personally. Your Lordship will advise his Majesty of your opinion. May God preserve your Lordship. Sant Lorenço, July 31, 1590."]
Letter from Marques de Villamanrique to Felipe II
Year 86. Copy of two sections of a letter written by the Marques de Villa Manrrique, viceroy of Nueva España, to the king, our lord, on the fifteenth of November, 86, describing the importance of maintaining trade and commerce, and the great inconveniences which result [from its discontinuance].
[After citing the royal decree of June 19, 1586 (q.v. ante), in regard to trade between the Philippines and China, in words similar to the decree, the viceroy continues:]
Regarding the whole matter I have procured detailed information from people who are familiar with it and have an extensive knowledge of the affairs of those regions from the beginning of their settlement, and from the correspondence that they maintain therein. It appears that, since the time when Don Luis de Velasco was viceroy and governor for your Majesty in this kingdom, your Majesty has spent in the pacification of those islands more than three millions [of pesos?] for soldiers, ships, and other supplies—all in order that the natives of those parts might recognize and profess the Catholic faith, and the sovereignty of your Majesty. As a result, there are already among them six Spanish settlements, and more than forty monasteries of friars of various orders in many native villages, whose inhabitants are converted and baptized. By this, God our Lord is well served, and your Majesty's glory and renown augmented. With the assiduity exercised by all these ministers, the Christian church appears to be increasing in those places, in such wise that in a short time it is hoped that the sect of Mahoma and the idolatries of which they were full, will be eradicated from them. Not only has this been done and continued among the people of the said islands, but also among many natives of China who have come, and continue to come, to live in the islands. They are baptized and have become Christians, which seems a good beginning; this will be an excellent way of pursuing the pious work and the objects which, as your Majesty has always made plain, you have had in the pacification and settlement of those places, and of acquiring greater favor and grandeur than is now possessed in all these kingdoms.
Although the ships and soldiery that have ordinarily been here have been also of great effect in placing affairs in their present state, it seems that the traffic and commerce which has been encouraged with the natives of the Filipinas and those of China and other nations, and the friendship and good treatment which has been accorded them, have been of considerably greater importance, since they are a well-armed and numerous people. It seems very difficult to subject them or negotiate with them against their will; and as they live for the most part by commerce, it will be seen, that, by the advantage accruing to them therefrom, they will not only become Christians, but, with the lapse of time, they will be profitable to your Majesty and instruments for whatever your Majesty would like to undertake among those nations. And if this should come to an end, it is well known also that this people, because of our recent knowledge of them, and because of their covetousness, would drop Christianity, return to their idolatries and old customs, and close the door which they are now opening for their gain and self-interest. That might be of greater importance than the annoyance of enduring and supporting them with some loss, especially as the trade and commerce that comes from those parts to this kingdom [of Mexico] usually amounts to one ship and sometimes two, aboard which arrive the returns from the encomenderos of the said islands—silk, both raw and woven, cotton cloth, iron, copper, earthenware, and other things of no great worth, carried to those islands from the said land of China. As these are in no greater quantities than heretofore, the success achieved in this trade, and the benefit that might result from it, seem to be held in greater account than the damage which occurs, as I have said. Although the figured silks are most usually not so fine as those that come from España, some are good; and those that are not, are of such a price that, considering the price of those that come from España, there is no comparison—because, as a rule, the damask is better than the taffeta from España, and costs hardly half as much. The same holds with regard to all other cloth. The raw silk is very good and profitable in this city. As it is made, it is better than the native product; and from it are made good fabrics. In the first, second, and further sales of it that are made, your Majesty's customs also receive greater increase, rather than diminution, from that which used to come from España, and now does not come for this reason.
Also with this trade and profit many merchants and other people from España and this land are going to live in those islands, and continue to settle there. Thus the country is made safe, because, when any necessity arises, they take arms and incur the dangers of war, so that the natives of the said islands and of those surrounding are peaceable, and fear the Spaniards. If these and the trade that they now maintain should fail, and if your Majesty should not supply as many more men at his own cost, it is well-known that with the instability and suspicious nature of those peoples, they would rebel, and recover the liberty that they have lost. Worse than that, they would return to the heresy or the heathenisms which they professed a little while ago.
Moreover, by this means the encomenderos and settlers of those islands get a profit out of the customs, trade, and commerce, because from their tributes and profits they derive a good income. Before they had it, they were in need. From the said China they provide themselves with biscuit, flour, meat, fruits, clothes, gunpowder, iron, and many other things which they greatly need, and which the said islands lack. If they had to bring those articles from this kingdom, they might not have them on account of their dearness, and since they, without their trade, are so poor. Accordingly, it not only does not embarrass or hinder the settlement of the said islands; but rather they find it very difficult to support themselves and achieve success without the said trade and commerce. It will surely result in greater cost to your Majesty, if the trade can[not] be conducted as heretofore; and if provision must be made as on the frontiers of Oran, Tanger, or Melilla. Even those who avoid sending their money to those districts, send it to the islands. It is not in such a way as understood hitherto, that the prompt despatch of the fleets is hindered; because, although they do not send their money thither now, they will be able to send it—namely, to Piru and Guatemala—and to employ it in other ways in this land, without obliging them necessarily to send it to España, if the gains that they attain are not so certain as they would have them.
Likewise it appears that, if the said trade should cease, the annual departure of ships and people, as it is at present, would cease; and that would be a greater incentive to the natives who are peaceful, and those who until now have had no desire for peace, to rise and rebel, seeing that the gain which they derive from trade is taken away from them, and ships and Spaniards go thither no longer—through fear of whom they dare not rise from the subjection and obedience which they now observe. The said trade being in the present condition, it might be so regulated, that the expense to your Majesty in ships, men, and supplies for their navigation should end by having them furnished from the merchant service, as on the routes by the Northern Sea. This I have written your Majesty in the eighteenth section of my letter of May 10 of this year, in which I said that greater economy and profit will result than loss be incurred in continuing the trade of the said islands. This I shall try to secure by every possible means.
And because these difficulties seem serious and the harm that might result does not come to pass, I have seen fit to disregard your Majesty's orders, until you direct me further. In the meantime, I shall see that the affairs of those parts remain in their present state, so that the vessels leaving this kingdom for the said islands, shall take half the money that they could carry according to their tonnage. The shipment shall consist in such part of gold as will supply the present want of silver and coin—which are withdrawn as I have written your Majesty in the same section of the said letter. Your Majesty will give directions therein at your pleasure.
And in order that this navigation may be accomplished by the medium of merchants, which is a matter truly important for your Majesty's royal service, and in order to avoid the increased expense of the port of Acapulco, I have today ordered that every tonelada of cloth brought in your Majesty's ships shall pay a duty in conformity with those paid on the Northern Sea. This is done to oblige the merchants, by incurring this duty, to turn their attention to buying ships, in order to economize and enjoy greater profits; also in order that in the interim, while this is being established, it may prove of some help for the great expense incurred by the ships. For hitherto—as I have written to your Majesty in section 9 of my letter of February 23, 86—they had not paid and were not paying more than nine ducats per tonelada; now they will pay from thirty-two to thirty-four. Your Majesty will order all according to your will.
[Endorsed. "Sections from the letter of Marques de Villa Manrrique, viceroy of Nueva España, to his Majesty."]
Brief of Sixtus V
Erection of the custodia of the Discalced Franciscans in the
Philippines into a province
Sixtus V, Pope:
In perpetual remembrance of the affair.
While with our mental vision we regard the fruitful results, which, with the aid of God, religious persons—especially the Friars Minor of Observance  known as "Discalced" ["barefoot"], of the custodia of St. Gregory in the Philippine Islands of the Western Indias—are zealously gathering by their own toil, as so many workmen in the field of the Lord, busy for the glory of God and the spiritual health of peoples dwelling in those very remote regions so far away from us, we think it right—nay, even their due—that we should graciously impart the favor of our apostolic love for their comfort and increase.
In truth, our very dear son in Christ, Philip, Catholic king of the Spains—in his own name, as well as in that of our beloved sons the guardian and the other brethren of the custodia of St. Gregory in the aforesaid islands—has represented to us, that the brethren of the province of St. Joseph of the same order, established in the kingdoms of the Spains, whereon the aforesaid custodia of St. Gregory was dependent, in chapter held lately in the town of Cadahalso, in the diocese of Toledo, prudently being of opinion that they no longer could maintain the said custodia otherwise than with notable loss … unless the aforesaid custodia were erected into a province, resolved that they should humbly petition us to deign of our apostolic bounty to confer the title of province on the aforesaid custodia, and provide whatever else might be needed in the premises.
Accordingly, as we have learned also through information from our beloved son, Francis Gonzaga, minister-general of the whole Order of Observance, that no prejudice will be occasioned to anyone by reason of this erection of the said custodia; nor will the fathers thereof under due regular observance, to their own great advantage, cease to render grateful service to the Lord—wishing to decorate them with worthy favors … nor indisposed to hearken to their plea, by our apostolic authority, and in virtue of these presents, we do erect and establish the aforesaid custodia of St. Gregory, hereafter to be called "the Province of the Discalced Friars of St. Gregory," in the Philippine Islands, to be ruled and governed henceforth by a minister provincial. He shall be chosen by the brethren of the province—under obedience, however, to the minister-general of the whole order of the aforesaid Brethren of Observance, and to the commissary-general of the Indias, resident for the time being at the royal court.
Given at Rome at St. Peter's, under the seal of the Fisherman,
November 15, 1586, in the second year of our pontificate.
Documents of 1587-88
Letter to Felipe II. Alvaro, Marques de [Villa] Manriquez;
Mexico, February 8, 1587.
Letter to Felipe II. Santiago de Vera; Manila, June 26, 1587.
Letter from the Audiencia to Felipe II. Santiago de Vera,
and others; Manila, June 25, 1588.
Source: All these documents are obtained from MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla.
Translations: The first document is translated by Arthur B. Myrick, of Harvard University; the second, by James A. Robertson; the third, by Consuelo A. Davidson.
Letter from Marques Don Manriquez to Felipe II
Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty:
On the twenty-fourth of January I wrote to your Majesty a letter, which I send with this, in clause 6 of which I stated how very important it is for your Majesty's service that trading in the Philipinas should be carried on through the hands of the merchants; that they should maintain ships, in order to relieve your Majesty from so great and heavy expense as you are under at the port of Acapulco; and that it was on this account that the galleon "Sant Martin Visto" had been sold at auction. To show of what importance this is—to begin with, it was sold for sixteen thousand pesos, which was the highest sum offered, and, in addition, what the repairs would cost which would be made at Acapulco after the arrival of the vessel, which came to two thousand pesos more. If no one had been willing to give so much, I myself would have done so; for I am quite certain that this is to be the first step in setting this business on the sound basis which is desired. As they continue to sell the other galleons and to build more, we must have merchants who are interested in buying them and in sending them away on voyages; thus conditions will finally come to be like those in the Northern Sea, and the great expense which your Majesty incurs in those islands will cease; and ships will be built in the Philipinas, which will cost but little. It may be a means of profit to your Majesty's royal exchequer to continue selling ships to the merchants. This has been demonstrated by experience; for the man who bought the galleon "Sant Martin" has offered to keep it on this route as long as it will hold together—as also another vessel, of two hundred toneladas. This offer is accompanied with certain conditions, as your Majesty will see from the petition which he presented to me, which accompanies this letter. Since he demands various things of importance, and some others which concern his own profit, they should be carefully considered. Certain conditions should also be imposed upon him, which would benefit your Majesty and, when fulfilled, would stop the expense at Acapulco. I have referred it to your Majesty's fiscal and the royal officials, that they may give their opinion on all points. All of us will examine this matter with the utmost attention, and I shall send a report to your Majesty of what action shall be taken. May our Lord guard your sacred royal Catholic person during many years, with increase of greater kingdoms and seigniories, as the Christian world needs and your Majesty's servants and vassals desire. From Mexico, February 8, M.D.LXXVIJ. Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty, I kiss your Majesty's royal feet and hands. Your faithful vassal and servant,
Alvaro, Marques Don Manrrique.
[Endorsed: "+ Philipinas; February 8, 1587. To his sacred royal
Catholic Majesty, the king, our lord, in his royal Council of the
Indias. Let a duplicate be made of what is here related. Duplicated."]
Letter from Santiago de Vera to Felipe II
Last year, 86, I informed your Majesty of the condition of these islands, and the need of certain things for their betterment and conservation. Because of the great distance and remoteness of these islands, and the dangers that the letters must encounter until they reach your Majesty's hands, I enclose a duplicate of the last letter with this. For the same reason, I beseech that your Majesty will please to answer that letter, and order that what is most fitting for your service be provided—since the decision is delayed three years, at the very least, and, if left for other vessels, six; and this delay might cause great harm to this land, and bring about irreparable injuries.
In these Philipinas your Majesty has some Spanish settlements; and in this city of Manila, the capital, and in the others, are usually about seven hundred men, and sometimes as many as eight hundred. Although your Majesty has ordained that reënforcements should be sent annually from Nueva Spaña, that has not been done; and, even when soldiers are sent, there are but few. And as, after their arrival here, they have no pay or any means of gain, they suffer great hunger and privation, and cannot endure more than the dry season. As this country is so unhealthful, and the climate so trying, most of them die, while others desert; and it is not in our power to remedy the evil. I beseech your Majesty to be so good, if this kingdom—as being a gateway, so important for the gospel and the Christian religion, to so great and powerful kingdoms—is to be extended and increased, to order the viceroy of Nueva Spaña to send every year, conformably to his orders, the troops, supplies, and arms requested by the governor of these islands. Will your Majesty also command that food and sustenance be provided for the soldiers, for their sufferings are most pitiful.
In another letter, I have informed your Majesty of the deep affliction and pressing need in which I found this city, because all the houses and property had been destroyed by fire, not even the fortifications escaping. On account of the constant danger from fire, because the buildings were being constructed of wood and bamboo, thatched with straw, and because many quarries and much limestone had been discovered, which is brought down the river, I forbade that any houses should be built of other material than stone, since this could be done at a very slight expense. I ordered roof-tiles and bricks to be made; and now many substantial and handsome houses are being constructed of stone. The natives have assisted no little in this, for most of them have been set to work in the quarries. According to the promptness exercised by the citizens, I trust, God helping, that, in ten years, the city will be built entirely of stone, for from two stone houses here the number has increased to twenty large houses, besides a monastery; and a considerable number of buildings, very substantial and well planned, are at present in course of construction.
This city is located on a narrow piece of land, between the sea on one side and a river of considerable size, which flows through part of the city, on the other; while on another side is a swamp or morass. On the side fronting the sea is a handsome beach, extending two leagues to the port of Cavite, where lie the vessels of the Nueva Spaña line. Where the river enters the sea, the land forms a point, upon which is built a very small and dilapidated wooden fort. Neither on the seacoast nor in any other part was there any defense. On this account, in view of our danger, I resolved to set about fortifying the city, although the poverty of the city and of your royal treasury could not assist me. I have constructed a stone tower on the said beach, near the city; and lower down, where it seemed more necessary, I am constructing a very strong and handsome fort, the plan of which accompanies this letter.  In the three months while we have worked on it, I have the first story, where the heaviest artillery is to be placed, ready for flooring. God helping, I shall, I believe, finish it in little more than one year from now. From this fort and beach near the sea I have dug a deep ditch, thirty-four feet wide, which fills with the incoming tide, and even at low tide has sufficient water to float several vessels, which are used in carrying materials by this ditch to the said work, and for other important things. This ditch extends from the sea to the river, and at that side around the entire city, in such wise that the latter is an island formed by sea, river, and ditch. In place of the wooden fortress, I am going to build a bulwark to defend the entrance to the river and the beach, which can correspond to the tower already built; and the new fortress will defend both sides, the ditch and the sea. Along the river-bank I have ordered stone breastworks to be built, extending from the old wooden fortress on one side, where the stone bulwark is to be built, to the ditch on the other side. With this, I think that this city will be well fortified; and it would be more so, if your Majesty were pleased to have us provided with a garrison of two hundred soldiers, already paid—as could be done, by the plan about which I have written to your Majesty, without spending anything from your royal estate, and without harm to the natives.
To build the fortress, as I have recounted, the bulwark, and the other defenses, as I saw that your Majesty has no income in this country, with which to enable me to do it, and that the city has no public property, I made a single assessment on the encomenderos, proportioned to their Indians and incomes, and on the inhabitants who could stand it, of three thousand odd pesos. I also assessed on each married Indian, one real, and on each single Indian, one-half real—which both classes are paying without any oppression or harrying—so that the entire sum will amount to eight or nine thousand pesos. With this sum, I think it possible to construct the principal fortress, because the materials are cheap. The stone is so suitable that, when wet, it can be worked like wood, and when dry it is very strong and durable; and it is better than brick for the artillery. Should your Majesty be pleased to look favorably upon these works, and have them aided from your royal estate with an equal sum, everything would be finished; and another fort could be built as well, to guard the port of Cavite and your Majesty's ships for the regular line. Since it is two leagues distant from the city, it is not made safe by the above-mentioned fortifications; and the ships cannot anchor at any nearer place, without ordinarily being in danger from the weather. In the general fire in this city four years ago, the powder and ammunition were burned, and the artillery was destroyed. Although I have had the pieces refounded, and have used up the metal remaining, still there are only twenty-six large and twenty small pieces; and this supply is very small, considering the need of artillery in this country for its defense, as well as for the expeditions that have been made and for which occasion arises. Near these islands, in one called Lumban, twenty leagues from this city, and in others near by, I have discovered a quantity of copper, which on being tested by smelting it, gives one arroba of metal to the quintal of ore. I have not found anyone who understands the smelting of it; for those who tested it are Indians, who do not smelt it in bulk.  I beseech your Majesty to please have some founders and workmen sent to make artillery, for what we have here is of iron, and quite old and useless.
In the city of Macan, China, where the Portuguese have settled, and in the city of Sian, there is an abundance of saltpeter. If your Majesty were pleased to have it brought from there—for it is quite near by, and an easy voyage thither—the great expenses annually incurred by your Majesty by having it brought from Mexico would be contracted; for there is sulphur in this country,  and the Chinese bring it to sell, while excellent charcoal is made here. Your Majesty will order such provision to be made as suits the royal pleasure.
Many vessels have come to these islands from China this year, and especially to this city—more than thirty of considerable burden, laden with a quantity of merchandise, horses, cows, and more than three thousand men. I have treated them hospitably and given them a kind reception. They are very anxious for our trade on this account, and because of the large gains that they make—although, in our opinion, they sell so cheaply that we can but think that either products are raised in their country without any labor, or that they find them without money. They bring many rare articles, and every product of Spaña, so that there is usually but little lack of those supplies here, both in clothing and food; while they bring many things not found in that country. It is a land of great abundance, and has an infinite number of people, all workers, and each one master of many trades. Two vessels have also come to this city from the Portuguese of the city of Macan, laden with curious merchandise, whence they have drawn great gain. The Chinese, on this account, have been very envious, and jealous, and fearful lest the Portuguese should work them an injury. Certain captains and leading men among them asked me why, since the Portuguese had settled in Macan, near the province of Canton, China, and held their trade there, we do not do the same likewise in the province of Chincheo, whence they bring so much wealth to this land. They say that, if there were Spaniards there, they could send their goods to this land. These with what they themselves bring, would render it quite unnecessary for the Portuguese to come here. I thanked them heartily for the suggestion, and in reply, said that, next year, they should bring a chapa, or passport from their viceroy of Chincheo, so that Castilians could go there; and that, as the people of Canton had lent the island of Macao, that the Portuguese might settle there, so they should lend us another island, very near Chincheo, on which we could settle and construct a fortress.
At present, I could say [no] more than this, but I told them that your Majesty wished to favor them, and had given me orders to that effect; and that, if they would keep their promises, your Majesty would send Spaniards to protect and aid them in their wars, and to defend them from their enemies. They were exceedingly glad at hearing this, and agreed to bring the chapa; for the viceroy is very anxious to increase the incomes there [at Chincheo] by the duties that the Spanish vessels would pay. I am continuing to inspire them with love and affection for your Majesty's service, and they are already very favorably inclined toward our nation. And beyond even the mandarins and viceroys, I understand that all the people wish to see us in their country. I beseech your Majesty, in case these men keep their word, to order me to execute what is most advisable for your service as quickly as possible, for it would be of very great importance not to lose such an opportunity.
The trade continues to increase, so that, were vessels not lacking, a great quantity of goods would be sent to Nueva Spaña. The Chinese are so careful merchants, that they bring goods in proportion to the vessels that come to the port. Although I have built one very fine galley of five hundred toneladas—at so slight a cost that the sum does not amount to eight thousand pesos—and your Majesty has four other useful vessels, still two more would be necessary for the trading fleet. If your Majesty so pleases, they can be constructed very easily, and at but little expense; and if there were any money in your royal chest, I would have had them built already. I entreat your Majesty to have some concession granted us from Mexico, and advise me of your pleasure.
In a former letter, I informed your Majesty of the arrival of a Japanese vessel laden with flour and horses (which they were bringing to this city), at the city of Segovia, in the province of Cagayan, in these islands. They had been driven upon the coast there, and some of the crew and horses escaped death. As soon as I learned of this, I sent a vessel for them, and, upon their arrival, showed them great hospitality; for this they were so grateful that they published in their country great praises of this land, and of the kind treatment accorded them. Certain of them, together with others—both Christians and pagans, up to about forty—returned with letters from the king of Firando, and from Don Gaspar, his brother, the originals of which are enclosed here. They brought some merchandise and weapons to sell. They say that war is being waged in those kingdoms, and that of Miaco,  to which sixty-three kingdoms are subject, has given a passport to the fathers of the Society who reside there, so that they may preach the gospel freely throughout Japon, and permission, to all who wish, to become Christians. This is certified by one of the fathers to the members of the Society who reside here, as your Majesty may cause to be seen by the copy of his letter. This so good news has gladdened these islands. May God direct this, and grant that this new world may be saved by your direction and order. The many kingdoms, the infinite number of people, and the wealth of those realms, is incredible. The Japanese are an energetic race, skilled in the use of our weapons. All the other nations lack that spirit, and are cowardly, dastardly, and abject.
As above remarked, two vessels came this year from the islands of Macan, whence the Portuguese brought provisions, a quantity of raw silk, taffetas, damasks, and other merchandise. I showed them much hospitality and friendship, for which they were very grateful; and they desired to come here again, because they had derived much profit, and the voyage, in fair weather, can be accomplished in two weeks. I did not allow any duties to be collected on what they brought, or on the merchandise of the Japanese, not only as it was very premature to impose these, but to inspire them with desire for our commerce and trade; also because your Majesty ordered us to have friendly intercourse and communication with them, but chiefly because of having no order from your Majesty for such collection. Besides, as this land is so new, and must be treated like a sprout, I thought it advisable, in order that it may increase daily, to try not to burden it, but to maintain it—especially by means of the Portuguese, so that they may lose the ill-will that they bear toward us; and so that other foreigners may desire our trade and the Christian religion. I beseech your Majesty to give orders regarding what should be done for the future.
I have informed your Majesty that some of the Chinese Sangleys, upon coming to this city, become citizens and Christians. The bishop thereupon orders their hair to be cut, in accordance with our custom; but they, following their own custom, wear it very long, and braided and tied in a certain manner. They so dislike this, that, in order not to be compelled to cut their hair, many of them are not baptized; for, in their country, it is a great insult to them, and is regarded as a great crime to cut off their hair, and without it, they do not dare to return in order to bring their property, and their wives and children, to settle here. I have told the bishop that, inasmuch as that is not a religious rite, but a custom, just as it is a custom of ours to wear short hair, he should not have it cut. But he refuses to observe this, saying that he fears lest they go back to their country and return to their idolatries. Will your Majesty please have this matter examined and provided for. Because of its extreme importance, I reiterate this supplication here.
In my letter of last year, of which I enclose a duplicate herein, I informed your Majesty of the disputes of the auditors and fiscal with myself in regard to preeminence in office, they wishing to enact certain measures of government and war outside of their jurisdiction; and that because of this lack of harmony greater hindrances were resulting to the service of God and of your Majesty, in a land so new and so distant from your royal person. I resolved to allow them to do as they wished, and to let go my right and the preeminences of my office, until your Majesty should order this remedied and provided for—believing that, in so acting, I serve you better. Affairs here are in this condition, and I shall make no innovation until receiving your Majesty's orders. Through my overlooking and tolerating this, and through the arrival of the licentiate Don Antonio de Rivera, auditor of this Audiencia, those differences have ceased, and we are all in accord. Justice is being administered with the authority, custom, and system of the audiencias of Castilla, and those well regulated in the Yndias.
Captain Francisco Gali, who was sent by the archbishop and governor to discover the route for the return to Nueva Spaña from these islands, as well as the islands and ports lying in the course, died as soon as he reached this country. Pedro de Unamuno succeeded to his command, with instructions not to go to China, or to its coast, because of the great difficulties that would result. Because the said governor charged me urgently to make him fulfil his instructions, and because I was informed that, beyond all doubt, he was intending to go to Macan to invest great sums of money brought by himself and the officials of the ship, I ordered him, under severe penalties, to observe his instructions, and not to touch at or sight the country of China. But he, notwithstanding this edict, deviated from his straight course and went to Macan. Contrary to the will of the commandant and the Portuguese, and the orders of the viceroy of Yndia, he entered the port, where they arrested him and hid his cargo. He has remained there one year, and the expedition has been broken up. Because the Portuguese believed that he would not return to Nueva Spaña, and because he had a crew made up of different nationalities (among them one Frenchman and one Englishman)—all excellent sailors, and all in rivalry—fearing lest they would become pirates, and commit some great damage, the commandant, the cities, and the chief men wrote to me to send for those vessels, men, and property of your Majesty, so that no act of insolence displeasing to God and your royal crown might be committed. Therefore I despatched a man and vessel for them, and am expecting them now. I shall inform your Majesty of the result.
The captain from Japon, the servant of the king of Firando—a man of worth and intelligence, and one of the chief men of that country—with whom I discussed certain matters, told me that, although his voyage hither had been for the purpose of becoming acquainted with us, and opening a road from his country to these islands, his chief purpose was to offer the king of Firando and the people of his kingdom to the service of your Majesty; and that whenever your Majesty, or the governor of these islands, should advise the said king of Firando and another Christian king—his friend, by name Don Augustin—of any need of troops for your service, they would send as many people and soldiers as should be requested. All these would come well armed and at little expense, whether for Burney, Sian, Maluco, or Great China (to which country they are hostile), without asking anything in return, for they only wish to serve your Majesty and to gain honor. This man has under him five hundred excellent soldiers, whose captain he is, who would come here willingly. These are his formal words. As a prudent man and experienced in war, he gave me certain advice, and a plan for bringing easily from those provinces six thousand men, and the method which could be followed therein, which appeared to have no little fitness. I thanked him heartily in your Majesty's name, for his offer, saying that your Majesty is not now thinking of the conquest of China or other kingdoms; and that your Majesty's object has been, and is, to convert the natives; to preach the holy gospel to them, and to bring them to the knowledge of our Lord, so that all might be saved; and that for this your Majesty is spending so vast sums and sending annually so many soldiers, weapons, and ammunition, as a protection and rampart for the preachers of the gospel. I told him that when it should be advisable to place this in execution by force of arms, and if any necessity should arise, I would advise those kingdoms, so that they could effect their good desire, and your Majesty would be served thereby. I also said that, as so powerful a sovereign, your Majesty would reward them as is your custom with other friendly kings; and told him of the great advantage that would accrue to the seigniors of those islands in recognizing and serving your Majesty. He was well satisfied at this, and I more so, at seeing a people, so important for the service of your Majesty, imbued with so great desire to serve you—so that should your Majesty order an expedition to be made to China, or to any other part of this new world, you could make use of them. This is a warlike race, feared among all the natives, and most by the Chinese, who tremble at their very name, because of the many damages they have inflicted, and the experience that the latter have of their courage and valor. I have kept this conference secret, and ordered it kept so, in order that the Chinese might not hear of it, as they are a very suspicious and timorous race. I have made much of these Japanese, and am treating them with especial hospitality. I am writing to the king of Firando in your Majesty's name, in generous terms, thanking him for his offer. The devotion and Christian zeal of this race is remarkable, and puts us to confusion. May God direct it all, so that a great gateway may be opened to your Majesty for whatever you may be pleased to do.
Your Majesty had Jaime Joan, a cosmographer, sent to this country. He had scarcely entered upon his duties, when he died of the fever, before he was able to complete any of the matters ordered by your Majesty.
On the twenty-third of last March, at half-past six in the afternoon, a total eclipse of the moon was seen, which lasted until a quarter past nine at night. Nothing else has happened this year, of which to inform your Majesty. May God preserve your Majesty's Catholic person. Manila, June 26, 1587.
The licentiate Santiago de Vera
Letter from the Manila Audiencia to Felipe II
The two letters enclosed herewith are duplicates of those sent last year (87) by this royal Audiencia—one on June 24, carried by the vessel "Sancta Ana," which left these islands for Nueva Spaña; and the other dated November first, sent via Malaca, in Portuguese Yndia. It being understood that the letter carried by the "Sancta Ana" was lost, we beg your Majesty to give orders that this letter, together with the enclosed copies, be attended to, taking such steps as may be required for the good service of your Majesty here.
Your Majesty will have received the news of the capture of the "Sancta Ana" last year, which occurred while on its way from these islands to Nueva Spaña, by an English pirate, who entered the Southern Sea with two vessels; after having plundered the ship, he burned it, with all the goods which still remained on board.  This was one of the greatest misfortunes that could happen to this land; because it is estimated from the investments made, and the treasure and gold carried, that the cargo of the said vessel would have been worth in Mexico two millions [of pesos]. The loss has caused great poverty and distress in this city, and among its inhabitants and soldiers. To cap the climax, they have learned anew how much harder the viceroy of Nueva Spaña makes things for this country, for he has levied certain imposts, ordering that every tonelada of cloth shipped from here to Nueva Spaña shall pay forty-four pesos, the duty having been only twelve pesos heretofore—an increase which is keenly felt. As the people here are serving your Majesty without receiving any salary or pay, it seems expedient and just that they be favored by ordering the viceroy not to alter the regulations hitherto made, and also to allow all those people who desire, to come freely to these lands. From what has been ascertained, it appears that they find it exceedingly difficult and expensive to obtain a license to come; and even the personal effects that they bring must be declared and permission obtained for each article. All this causes a great loss, and prevents the development of these islands; and it is necessary, should your Majesty be pleased to do so, that this state of affairs be remedied.
By a royal decree of May 10, eighty-three, brought here by Doctor Santiago de Vera, president of this royal Audiencia, when he came to establish it, your Majesty ordered that the said Audiencia look into the matter of the three per cent customs duty imposed on goods, both imports and exports, by Don Gonzalo Ronquillo, when he was governor of these islands; and, in case this duty be not expedient, to remove it, or to take such measures as they deemed best. Considering the poverty of the royal treasury of these islands, and the many current expenses here, the Audiencia ordered that the three per cent duty continue in force; but in order to make its payment easier, and not to harass by this tax the inhabitants of this city and other people serving in these regions, it was decided that the citizens and soldiers and traders should not be obliged to declare in detail the number of pieces of silk carried, or their length in varas—it being sufficient to state the quality of the silk and what it had cost, so that the goods might be appraised according to their value for the payment of the three per cent duty. The same order obtains in regard to all the rest of the cargo—goods in bundles, robes, and other articles—this measure being taken for the sake of avoiding the annoyances caused at the port of Acapulco were the officials sent from Mexico for this purpose, since they would open the boxes and undo the packages, thus occasioning a great deal of damage and loss to the inhabitants of these islands, both soldiers and merchants. Now we have learned that the viceroy has given orders that the goods of those who have not declared the number of pieces of each article carried, and the number of varas they measure, and a like account and calculation for everything else, be seized and confiscated—for which purpose he has begun to send to the port a judge, who proceeds with great rigor. We beg your Majesty that, since this royal Audiencia was ordered by the said royal decree to take such measures as it deemed best, and it has declared that the inhabitants and soldiers should be relieved and favored, and has had therein so just a reason to prevent the oppression that might be inflicted on them, your Majesty will order the viceroy of Mexico not to interfere in this or other measures which may be taken here, since from such measures result so much benefit to the poor citizens and soldiers, and to all other people who dwell in and maintain this land.
Since this royal Audiencia was established in the year 83, it has not received any answers to the letters written, except a few decrees which have reached it; and we are informed that all letters sent from here are opened in Mexico and held there, so that we cannot feel at liberty to write anything which is not examined and known there, from which great difficulties may result. Even were it not certain that the letters from this Audiencia are held there, we beg that your Majesty will be pleased to give orders for their safe conveyance, and that nothing be lacking which may be important for the service of your Majesty. We also ask that suitable action be taken in regard to the letters sent by individuals, because both Nueva Spaña and this country resent very deeply this interference.
Through letters received here it has also been learned that, without any cause therefor, the viceroy orders investigations to be made in regard to the president and auditors of this Audiencia, by every vessel which goes to Nueva Spaña from other islands, from which great harm results to the authority of the royal Audiencia. We beg that your Majesty will be pleased to command what shall be done in this matter, and not permit the good name of those who are serving your Majesty here to be tampered with in that fashion.
This Audiencia wrote to your Majesty, in the letter above referred to as sent via Malaca, concerning the great injury done to this country by the sale of the vessel "San Martin," sold by the viceroy of Nueva Spaña—an injury not only through the need of ships in these islands but because it was sold with permission to make its first voyage to Macan, and thence to return to Mexico without touching at this city. And now it has been learned by letters from private persons that the ship "Santa Ana," burned by the English privateer, has been sold at public auction in the plaza of the City of Mexico, also with the condition that permission would be given so that it could make another voyage to Macan. If this be so, it means the total ruin of this country; because it cannot be supported if commerce be carried on between Macan and Mexico, and if the vessels which carry on that trade be taken away from us. Your Majesty, if he be so pleased, will look into the matter, and furnish a prompt remedy, as the affair does not admit of any delay, and the welfare and development of this country depend wholly upon such a remedy.
This year we expected to receive help in the way of people and supplies, of which we suffer great lack, and without which this land is in the utmost danger of ruin; but as the "Sancta Ana" and the "San Martin" which were the best ships that we had afloat, are not coming any more, there were no vessels that the viceroy of Nueva Spaña could send for this purpose; accordingly, he sent a vessel so small that it could not carry any people. The necessity of this country and its extremity are such that no carelessness may be allowed in providing help. May it please your Majesty to command that aid be provided, with great care.
From the Portuguese at Macan came a large vessel loaded with a quantity of merchandise. Notwithstanding that the goods were excellent and valuable, they were not better than those brought by the Sangleys—who, having made so large profits during the last few years, bring now everything of the best that their country produces. Over thirty vessels have come here from that land, bringing so many people that, together with those who were living here, there are over ten thousand Sangleys now in this city. We have always received them very kindly, as ordered by your Majesty; and they are so friendly to the Spaniards that the "San Martin," which sailed from Nueva Spaña for Macan, on arriving at the province of Chincheo, which is in the country of those Sangleys, was very warmly received, and they expressed much pleasure at seeing the Spaniards in their country. The Sangleys offered to load the vessel with anything that the Spaniards wanted; but the latter, thinking that they would do a larger business at Macan, where the Portuguese are in the habit of trading, did not accept the offer; they were supplied with all the provisions that they desired, with much show of friendship and kindness, after which they sailed for Macan. Near that place, the vessel was lost during a heavy gale which it encountered—not, however, until all the people and money were saved. Nothing was lost, as your Majesty will have been notified at greater length through some other source.
The friars of the order of St. Dominic, whom your Majesty was kind enough to send to this country last year, have begun to gather much fruit here, in certain houses that they maintain outside of this city, in which they minister to the natives. They have also established another house in the city, where they are striving earnestly for the conversion of the Sangleys, and have even begun to preach to them in the Chinese language. It is understood that the Sangleys are very docile and well-meaning people; and it is expected that the preaching will attain to great results among them. May our Lord bring them to a knowledge of the truth, and may He allow us to see your Majesty master of everything.
The religious came to these regions firmly resolved to live in poverty, as do the discalced Franciscan fathers, and to live by charity; but finding that alms were scarce, and that there was extreme poverty in the convents which are established here, they have asked that a gratuity be given them from the royal treasury. Since it was evident to this royal Audiencia, as being a well-known fact, that without such alms the religious could not be supported, or assist in religious instruction, we gave orders, with the consent of the fiscal, that an amount equal to that given to the friars of the order of St. Augustine be granted them, provided that a greater amount be not given to each Dominican convent than is given to the Augustinian friars, although the latter have more religious in their convents. They are very content and pleased with this order. Alms have been granted to four religious of the convent in this city, with pledges that they would secure the approval of the royal Council. This is a kindness which your Majesty can do them, if you so please; it is just, and they cannot live without it.
Your Majesty orders this Audiencia, by a decree dated January 11, 87, which has been received here, to investigate the modus operandi of the fathers of the Society [of Jesus] who reside in these islands: whether they look after the welfare of the souls of the people, and in what districts, and what result they have accomplished, what benefit would accrue by endowing for them a college in this city, and how the income for it could be provided, and for what amount. In regard to these questions it may be said that since the time of the arrival of these fathers in the islands until now, they have not been in charge of the souls of the natives, nor have they instructed them. Throughout the islands they have maintained one convent, which is in this city, where there have been generally from four to six religious. They have rendered very good service to the Spaniards, and have always attended very carefully to preaching and confessions, obtaining the same good results which they are wont to secure wherever they may be. They would do the same for the natives were there enough fathers, and if they had charge of the Indians. Although there are so few of these fathers, there have been and are some of great prudence, and learning, and highly esteemed, who could do excellent work in the college which they are attempting to open, if there were any inclination for it, in this city. But it would be useless, at present, to open a college, because there are in all this country no students to attend their teaching. For this reason, the Dominican fathers ceased to give instruction in grammar soon after their arrival here, although they attempted it with great earnestness. The case being as above stated, there is no necessity for a college, or the assigning of an income to them, unless your Majesty is willing to give them something for their subsistence. However, because of the poverty that they were enduring, this Audiencia has already ordered that the same amount of alms be given them as to the Augustinian religious—namely, one hundred pesos and one hundred fanégas of rice annually to each priest, to be given from the royal treasury. This kindness can be accorded them if your Majesty consents, and will be of great benefit to them.
In another royal decree of the same year, dated January 11, your Majesty orders that this Audiencia look after, and help in every possible way, the two hospitals established in this city, and report as to the best manner in which to provide for and remedy their necessities. This order will be observed very carefully, as your Majesty commands; and as in this country there is nothing with which an income could be furnished to them sufficient for the care of the many Spaniards who are treated there, your Majesty might order, if you so please, that enough Indians be allotted to them to pay to each hospital one thousand pesos, one thousand fanégas of rice, and one thousand fowls, this amount to include what is already given them. Although this grant may be only for a period limited to certain years, it will be an effective remedy for the distress which they now endure. All that the hospital for the Spaniards now has is the income from one village, assigned to it by Doctor Francisco de Sande when he was governor of these islands, which is worth one hundred and twenty gold taes (equivalent to 500 pesos) a year, more or less, and will continue for three years. This time seeming very short to the president of this Audiencia, Doctor Santiago de Vera, he ordered that the hospital receive this aid for six years, adding to it the income from another village, which amounts to seventy taes, or two hundred and fifty pesos, or a trifle more. Besides this, he also ordered that this hospital be given one thousand fanégas of rice and one thousand fowls; whereas for the hospital for the natives he only ordered one thousand fanégas of rice and one thousand fowls [which is not sufficient], and therefore great privations and hardships are suffered by those who are being treated there.
In another royal decree of the above-mentioned month and year, your Majesty orders that this Audiencia endeavor to maintain great peace and harmony with the bishop of these islands, and manifests your displeasure at some differences between us and him concerning precedence in seats, and in regard to the mode of settling Indian lawsuits. The whole trouble was this: the bishop claimed a seat on the same side of the church where the Audiencia sits; and, the latter being six or seven steps below the main altar, the bishop would have been higher than and directly in front of the Audiencia, with his back toward them. This being something unusual in other countries, it was suggested to the bishop that, until your Majesty could be consulted, he should not overstep the usual practice hitherto in vogue throughout the Yndias, and which had until then been observed with this Audiencia; and that he should not meddle with the decision of the Indian suits, in matters under the jurisdiction of the royal crown, as he had done. Since that time, as this seat was yielded to the bishop, there has been, and is, between him and the Audiencia, the agreement and peace and good understanding which should always exist, and affairs are managed in great friendliness and harmony, so that the people have always understood how much the Audiencia esteems, honors, respects, and reverences the bishop. We beg that your Majesty will appreciate the spirit in which this matter was settled. The aim of this Audiencia was to maintain its own preeminence, in the desire that your Majesty be thus better served, since it is through this that the Audiencia keeps up the authority and respect which are its due, especially in so new a country as this, where respect for these offices is of so great importance.
In the letter that we wrote to your Majesty via Malaca, notice was given of the arrival in these islands of the Dominican fathers, informing you that it was not expedient to send any more religious orders to this country. Of those orders already here—namely, the Franciscans, the Augustinians, the Dominicans, and the Society—it is very desirable that your Majesty send many religious, because there is a great lack of instruction; and unless many of each order are sent, the natives cannot be instructed as befits the duties imposed upon your Majesty's and the bishop's consciences, under whose charge they are, as the bishop will inform you in the letter that he is writing to your Majesty. We beg your Majesty to see to this matter and provide for it. May God preserve the Catholic person of your Majesty. At Manila, on June 25 of the year 88.
The licentiate Santiago de Vera
The licentiate Melchor Davila
The licentiate Pedro de Rojas
Don Antonio Rivera Maldonado
Foundation of Audiencia.—See Vol. V, p. 320.
Royal decrees of 1584.—The first is found in Santa Inés's Crónica, ii, p. 606; the original MS. is in the Archivo de San Francisco at Manila—pressmark, "caj. nº. 2 (dra.), leg. 1º." The second is in the "Cedulario Indico" of the Archivo Histórico Nacional, Madrid; its pressmark is "Tomo 31, fol. 161b, nº. 157."
Mendoza's History of China.—Such part of this work as relates to the Philippines is here presented; it is obtained from a copy of the Madrigal edition (Madrid, 1586), in the Library of Congress. Full details regarding this work will be given in the final bibliographical volume of this series.
Brief of Sixtus V (1586).—The text of this document is printed in Hernaez's Colección de bulas, i, p. 530; it is also given in Santa Inés's Crónica, i, pp. 524-527.
The remaining documents presented in this volume—which are translated from either the originals or transcripts thereof—are obtained from the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla; the pressmark of each is indicated as follows:
1. Income of royal estate.—"Simancas—Filipinas; descubrimientos, descripciones y poblaciones y gobierno de Filipinas; años 1582 á 1606; est. 1, caj. i, leg. 3|25, ramo 16."
2. Letter by Davalos.—"Simancas—Secular; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y espedientes del presidente y oidores de dicha Audiencia vistos en el Consejo; años 1583 á 1599; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 18."
3. Letter by Vera (1585).—"Simancas—Secular; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y espedientes del gobernador de Filipinas vistos en el Consejo; años 1567 á 1599; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 6."
4. Letters by Guzman and Vascones.—"Simancas—Filipinas; descubrimientos, descripciones y poblaciones de las Yslas Filipinas; años 1582 á 1606; est. 1, caj. 1, leg. 3|25;" this title varies slightly, as will be seen, from that of No. 1.
5. Memorial of 1586.—"Simancas—Eclesiastico; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y expedientes del cavildo ecclesiastico de Filipinas vistos en el Consejo año de 1586 á 1670; est. 68, caj. 7, leg. 35." The latter part is obtained from a MS. in the Real Academia de la Historia; its pressmark, "Papeles de las Jesuitas, tomo 8, fol. 330-339."
6. Letter by Chaves.—The same as No. 1, except that no ramo is indicated.
7. Letter by the cabildo.—"Simancas—Secular; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y espedientes del cavildo secular de Manila vistos en el Consejo; años 1570 á 1640; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 27."
8. Letter by Sedeño.—"Simancas—Eclesiastico; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y expedientes de personas eclesiasticos; año de 1570 a 1608; est. 68, caj. 1, leg. 42."
9. Letter by Salazar.—"Simancas—Eclesiastico; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y expedientes del Arzobispo de Filipinas vistos en el Consejo; años 1579 á 1679; est. 68, caj. 1, leg. 32."
10. Letter by the Audiencia.—The same as No. 2.
11. Letter by Rojas.—The same as No. 9.
12. Letter by Moron. "Simancas—Secular; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y expedientes de personas seculares de Filipinas vistos en el Consejo; año de 1565 á 1594; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 34."
13. Measures regarding trade with China.—The same as No. 10 (which is one of the papers grouped in this document).
14. Letter by Villamanriquez.—Same as No. 6.
15. Letter by Vera (1587).—The same as No. 12.
16. Letter by the Audiencia (1588).—The same as No. 2.
 Something is apparently omitted here, perhaps a statement that the Audiencia shall make the necessary ordinance, to have provisional force (cf. section 310); but a careful examination of the original document fails to explain the difficulty.
 Andres de Aguirre was one of the Augustinians who came with Rada and Herrera to the Philippines with Legazpi's expedition. He was a native of Vizcaya, Spain, and made his religious profession at Salamanca in 1532. He was a missionary among the natives of Mexico from 1536 to 1564; the rest of his life was spent in connection with the Philippine missions, largely as an envoy for their affairs to the court of Spain. He died at Manila (where he was then prior of his order) in September, 1593. See sketch of his life and list of his writings in Pérez's Catálogo religiosos agustinos (Manila, 1901), pp. 6-7.
 The symbol U was used, in accounts, to designate thousands, in the same way as the comma, or the comma with ciphers, is now used in numerical notation.
 The deposition of Juan Arze de Sadornel, which is very similar to this, contains some further items of information, summarized thus: "Prices are especially high when ships from Nueva España fail to arrive, or when a great number of people come on them. At such times, a jar of olives may cost eleven or twelve pesos, and a quire of Castilian paper four or five pesos. The so-called linen cloth is really of cotton, and is very warm and quite worthless. The Sangleys do not bring flour made of pure wheat. Three or four years ago, the pork, fowls, rice, and other produce of the country were sold very cheaply; now there is great scarcity (and has been for two years) of rice in the market, and its price has advanced from four tomins for six fanégas to a tostón for one fanéga. Consequently the poor inhabitants are suffering great distress, and cannot support themselves. Formerly a soldier could live on 15 or 20 pesos a year; now that sum will maintain him only one month. Many of the natives have died in the expeditions made to Maluco, Borneo, and elsewhere; and a plague of locusts has added to the distress in the islands. Sadornel is thirty-one years of age, and has spent thirteen years in this country."
 The "old style" calendar authorized by the Council of Nice (A.D. 325) was based on erroneous conclusions, and consequently contained an error which, steadily increasing, amounted to ten days at the time of its correction. This was done by Gregory XIII, in a brief issued in March, 1582; he reformed the calendar, directing that the fifth day of October in that year be reckoned as the fifteenth. The vernal equinox, which in the old calendar had receded to March 11, was thus restored to its true place, March 21. The "new style" calendar is also known as the Gregorian, from its founder; the system adopted by Gregory was calculated by Luigi Lilio Ghiraldi, a learned astronomer of Naples.
 "And he shall be a wild man; his hand will be against all men, and all men's hands against him."
 João de Barros, an official in the India House at Lisbon, wrote a history of Portuguese achievements in the Orient, entitled Dos feitos que os Portugueses fixerão no descobrimento e conquista dos mares e terras do Oriente (Lisbon, 1552), décadas i-iv (incomplete). The other historian here mentioned is Jeronimo Osorio da Fonseca, bishop of Silves in Algarve; the book referred to is De rebus Emmanuelis regis Lusitaniæ (Olysippone, 1571).
 Afonso de Albuquerque (born in 1453, died in 1515) was perhaps the most celebrated among the Portuguese conquerors of India; he was the second viceroy of the Portuguese possessions there, and founded its capital, Goa. From his letters and reports to King Manoel of Portugal a book was compiled by his son Afonso, entitled Commentarios do Grande Afonso Dalbuquerque (Lisboa, 1557); see also W.D. Birch's English translation, Commentaries of the Great Afonso Dalboquerque (Hakluyt Society, London, nos. 53, 55, 62, 69, of first series). Therein may be found a history of the events mentioned in our text.
 Apparently referring to the practice of sodomy; cf. a similar statement in Vol. IV, p. 51.
 The archbishop of Mexico at this time was Pedro de Moya y Contreras, who had come to Mexico in 1571 as chief inquisitor of the Holy Office. On October 20, 1573, he assumed the duties of archbishop; and in 1583 was appointed visitador (i.e., inspector) of the courts, in which office he was engaged during three years. In 1584 he was appointed viceroy of Nueva España, surrendering this post, a year later, to Villamanrique. All these offices were held by him at one time. In June, 1586, he returned to Spain, where he died at the close of the year 1591. In January of that year he had been appointed president of the Council of the Indias.
 "The rumors of the occurrence of this metal in Panay and Leyte have failed of verification. Accidental losses of the metal by prospectors or surveyors sometimes lead to reports of the discovery of deposits." (U.S. Philippine Gazetteer, p. 84.)
 The reference in the text is obscure as to the location of this fort; but Morga says (Sucesos, ch. iii) that Azambuja commanded at Tidore, and requested aid from Peñalosa to conquer Ternate. "This fleet, after reaching Maluco, did not succeed in its object. From this time forward, succor of men and provisions continued to be sent from the Philippines to the fortress of Tidore."
 Gonzalo Ronquillo de Peñalosa, who came to the islands as governor in 1580, died in 1583, before he had completed the third year of his service in that capacity. During his funeral, which was held at the Augustinian convent in Manila, sparks from a lighted taper accidentally set fire to the building, which quickly spread to others near by; and soon all the public buildings and the greater part of the city were destroyed in the flames. Before Peñalosa's death, he had appointed his kinsman, Diego Ronquillo, his successor ad interim in the government. See La Concepción's Hist. Philipinas, ii, pp. 86-89.
 Apparently a reference to Fray de Vascones, whose letter to the king follows this. This friar mentions himself as a "native religious" (indigeno religioso), in which connection may appropriately be cited Crawfurd's remark (Dict. Ind. Islands, p. 96): "The [Chinese] settlers, whenever it is in their power, form connections with the native women of the country; and hence has arisen a mixed race, numerous in the older settlements, known to the Malays under name of Pâranakan China, literally, 'Chinese of the womb,' that is, Chinese of native mothers; and called in the Philippines, Sangley, a word of which the origin is unknown."
 Santiago de Vera had served in the audiencias of Española (Hayti) and Mexico; in May, 1584 he came to the Philippines as president of their Audiencia and governor of the islands. In that post he remained six years, until he was replaced (May, 1590) by Gomez Perez Dasmariñas, the Audiencia being then suppressed. All its members except Pedro de Rojas at once returned to Mexico.
 Apparently a lapsus calami for Miguel de Talavera, the name given by Santa Inés (Crónica, i, p. 219) who states that his commission was given by Monseñor Sega, apostolic nuncio; he went to Mexico in 1580, whence he directed the affairs of the Philippine mission during several years (pp. 226-229).
 The term "province" is here used by anticipation, as the Franciscan custodia of San Gregorio was not actually erected into a province until the following year (see brief to this effect by Sixtus V. post). A custodia is a group of religious houses not large enough to form a province.
 So in the text, and often elsewhere; sometimes (apparently with more correctness) Macau. The discrepancy may arise from an error made by transcribers, even those of contemporaneous date.
 This is evidently the Sangley friar mentioned by Santiago de Vera in his letter of 1585 (see p. 75, ante). Pérez says (Catálogo, p. 21) that Juan de Vascones (Bascones) was minister in the following villages: Calumpit in 1580, Bulacan in 1583, and Hagonoy in 1585; and that he died at the last-named place in 1586.
 This friar was originally a soldier, but abandoned military life to enter the Augustinian order. In 1576, he was appointed by Felipe II, with two other friars, to go as an envoy to the emperor of China; but various obstacles prevented them from going thither until 1584, and the effort proved to be a failure. Mendoza thereupon collected various narratives written by Spanish and Portuguese missionaries who had visited China, and therefrom compiled (especially from that of Martin de Rada) the Historia here described. In 1607 Mendoza (then bishop of Lipari) went to Nueva España, and was there made bishop of Chiapa, and afterward bishop of Popayan. He died about the year 1620.
The title page reads: "History of the most notable things, the rites, and customs of the great kingdom of China; gathered not only from books of the Chinese themselves, but likewise from the relation of the religious and other persons who have been in the said country. Made and compiled by the very reverend father Maestro Fray Juan Gonçalez de Mendoça, of the order of St. Augustine, apostolic preacher, and penitentiary of his Holiness; whom his Catholic Majesty sent, with his royal missive and other things for the king of that country, in the year M.D.LXXII. Now recently enlarged by the same author. To the illustrious Lord, Fernando de Vega y Fonseca, of the Council of his Majesty, and president of his royal Council of the Indias. With an itinerary of the New World. With license. Madrid, at the shop of Pedro Madrigal. M.D.LXXXVI. At the expense of Blas de Robles, bookseller."
 In this connection three Chinese characters are given, the first to be printed in any European book.
 Jerónimo Marín was a native of Mexico, where he became an Augustinian friar in 1556. Coming to the Philippine Islands in 1571, he acquired the Bisayan, Tagal, and Chinese languages, and spent many years in missionary labors among those peoples. Afterward he went to Spain, where for a time he had charge of the Philippine missions of his order; and finally returned to Mexico, where he died in 1606.
 In the text, Martin—evidently a misprint; accordingly, we have corrected it to the proper spelling, Marin.
 Reference is here made to part i, book ii, chapter vii of Mendoza's Historia.
 Either a reference to the few small islands which lie near the coast of the province of Ilocos (Luzón), or an erroneous mention of that province as an island.
 The author of the "Relation of the Filipinas Islands" which appears in Vol. V.
 Alonso de Alvarado was one of the Augustinian friars who accompanied (1542) the expedition of Villalobos; in 1549 he returned to Spain. Again coming to the Philippines in 1571, he labored as a missionary among the natives of Luzon. Appointed provincial of his order there in 1575, he died at Manila in May, 1576. See Retana's Zúñiga, ii, p. 563*, and Pérez's Catálogo, p. 11; the latter states that Alvarado was the first Spaniard in the Philippines to learn the mandarin dialect of the Chinese language, and that he ministered to the Chinese converts there.
 As a result of this journey, Loarca wrote a memoir entitled Verdadera relacion de la grandeça del reyno de China, etc. A MS. which is evidently a copy from the original of this document is preserved in the Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid; its press-mark is "J.—16, 89," and "MSS. 2902." It is possible that Mendoza, in writing his Historia, had access to Loarca's work.
 An officer, superior to the captains, charged with the discipline and instruction of the regiment; he exercised the functions of fiscal, and had the right of intervention in the commissary department and in all expenditures. (Nov. dicc. lengua castellana.)
 Pedro de Alfaro was at the head of the first band of Franciscan missionaries who came to the Philippine Islands, and was the first custodian and superior of that order in the ecclesiastical province of the Philippines. In the autumn of 1579 he went to China, where he founded a mission at Macao. While on a voyage to India, in June of the following year, the ship was wrecked, and Alfaro perished. See account of his life and labors in Santa Inés's Crónica, i, pp. 113, 120, 130-140, 160-178. As that writer distinctly states (p. 124), the Franciscans reached Manila in June, 1577—not in 1578, as in our text.
 Agustín de Tordesillas was one of the Franciscans who first came to the Philippines. At the time when he went to China with Alfaro, Tordesillas was at the head of his convent in Manila. See account of this mission in Santa Inés's Crónica, i, cap. vi-ix.
 Named by Santa Inés (Crónica, p. 108), Juan Bautista Písaro (alias "the Italian"), and Sebastián de Baeza, this last the name of a town in Andalusia. They left Manila on this voyage at the end of May, 1579.
 The title-page of this "Itinerary," as well as some portions of the text (notably the first chapter), are widely different in the first edition of Mendoza's Historia (1585) from the Madrigal edition of 1586 (which we follow). See the Hakluyt Society's reprint (London, 1853) of Parke's translation of Mendoza, vol. ii, pp. 207-209, 232. The Franciscan here mentioned was Fray Martin Ignacio de Loyola, a relative of the Loyola who founded the Jesuit order.
The title-page reads: "Itinerary and epitome of all the notable things that lie on the way from España to the kingdom of China, and from China to España, returning by way of Eastern India, after having made almost the entire circuit of the world: Wherein are recounted the rites, ceremonies, and customs of the people of all those parts, and the richness, fertility and strength of many realms, with a description of them all. Compiled by the author himself, both from what he has seen, and from the account given him by the descalced religious of the order of St. Francis."
 Documents relating missionary efforts in these islands will be published later in this series.
 An expression of the opinion, then current in Europe, that the New World was either an extension of the Asiatic continent, or separated from it only by a narrow sea.
 "The Philippine archipelago comprises 12 principal islands and 3 groups, adjacent to which are 1,583 dependent islands" (U.S. Philippine Gazetteer, pp. 4, 69).
 This paragraph, here enclosed in parentheses, is found at the beginning of the Madrid copy of this document (see Bibliographical Data). Other additional matter found therein will be similarly indicated throughout.
In the Ventura del Arco MSS. (Ayer Library), a paragraph at the beginning of the "Memorial" states that the general junta was held on April 20, 1586, in accordance with an edict issued (on the day preceding that date) by the Audiencia. The assembly decided that Sanchez should be sent to Madrid, bearing a suitable memorial to the home government stating the needs and wishes of the colonists; and that other conferences should be held by the various estates and interests represented, to decide upon its contents. On May 5, the Audiencia insisted that Sanchez should accept the office of envoy, which he did on the same day.
 Here, as elsewhere in this document, we have represented by italic side-heads the marginal notes on the original MS. They are written in a different hand, and were probably made by some clerk of the Council.
 The stated times of devotion of the Catholic church.
 A note on the margin of the Madrid MS. at this place reads, "or at least in Acapulco."
 A tax formerly paid to the government by those not belonging to the nobility.
 A word used in America to signify an Indian village newly consecrated to the Christian religion, and evidently transferred from there to the Philippines.
 At this point the Sevilla MS. ends, and it lacks any signature; there is reason to fear that the latter half of this copy—apparently, from the marginal notes, the one sent to the Council of the Indias, and used in their deliberations—is lost. The remainder of the document is translated from the Madrid copy, which is fully signed by the notables of the islands.
 For mention of the localities where these minerals are found in the Philippines, see U.S. Philippine Gazetteer, pp. 83-85.
 Jesuit missionaries had already found their way into the Chinese ports. Cretineau-Joly states—Hist. Comp. de Jésus (third edition, Paris, 1859), i, p. 402—that in 1556 Melchior Nuñez visited Macao and Canton, where he became acquainted with the mandarins; but the repressive Chinese laws prevented him from preaching the Christian faith. In 1563, three Jesuits visited Pekin; and in 1581-83 three missionaries of that order became established at Macao and Canton—Michel Ruggieri, Mateo Ricci, and —— Pazio. During 1600-10, Ricci was a missionary at Peking, where he was greatly esteemed by the emperor and other leading Chinese, on account of his scientific and linguistic attainments; he is said to have been the first European to compose works in Chinese. See sketch of his life in Yule's Cathay, ii, p. 536.
 A somewhat blind allusion to the decline of the Portuguese power in India, which began in the first decade of the sixteenth century, with the conquests of Albuquerque and others (see note 8 ante). The arbitrary and tyrannical rule of the Portuguese exasperated the natives, many of whom revolted. It will be remembered that in 1580 Portugal was subjected to the dominion of Spain—including, of course, its Oriental colonial possessions. The statement in the text evidently means that, of the Indian states subdued by the Portuguese, many have acquired so much strength that they have been able successfully to resist their conquerors, and little therefore remains for the Spaniards, who are now in possession of the Portuguese domains.
 The Sofi are a peculiar sect of Mahometans, organized about 820 A.D. For account of early relations and intercourse between the Chinese, Persians, and Armenians, see Yule's Cathay, i, pp. lxxxii-lxxxviii.
 A reference to the St. Lawrence River, then little known, but by which, it was conjectured, might be gained a route to the Sea of China, which was generally supposed to lie not far west of the North American coast.
 This document forms part of the group "Measures regarding trade with China;" but its subject-matter renders its location at this point more appropriate; consequently it has been transferred hither. The works printed in italics at the beginning of certain paragraphs in this document are, on the original MS., written as marginal notes—probably by a clerk of the Council of the Indias.
 In the original MS., section 8 does not appear—probably a mistake in numbering the divisions of the letter.
 The phrase foro (an old form of fuero) interior is but another expression for the ecclesiastical forum conscientiae, or forum poenitentiae. The reference is to cases of conscience, which should in this case be left entirely to the bishop's decision.
 This was Pedro de Moya y Contreras: see note 10, ante.
 A reference to the residencia, or judicial investigation, to which each royal official was liable (vol. IV, p. 71, note 7).
 In the original, ochenta only—y cinco evidently omitted by some oversight, as the date is written "1586" at the end of the document.
 Alvaro Manrique do Zúñiga, Marques de Villa Manrique, was viceroy of Nueva España from October 17, 1585, to February, 1590.
 The reformed Franciscans were commonly called Observantines, from their stricter observance of the rules of their order.
 According to La Concepción (Hist. Philipinas, ii, p. 92), the plans for this fort were made by the Jesuit Sedeño; and it was named Nuestra Señora de Guia ("Our Lady of Guidance"). He adds that the artillery was cast (at Baluarte) under the direction of a Pampanga Indian—whose name, Morga says, was Pandapira.
 Considerable copper ore is found in the Philippines, in many localities; but these deposits are little known, and have not been worked—except in northern Luzon, where "copper ore has been smelted by the natives from time immemorial. The process … consists in alternate partial roasting and reduction to 'matte,' and eventually to black copper. It is generally believed that this process must have been introduced from China or Japan. It is practiced only by one peculiar tribe of natives, the Igorrotes … Mean assays are said to show over 16 per cent of copper." See U.S. Philippine Commission's Report, 1900, iii, p. 235.
 Sulphur deposits abound about the numerous active and extinct volcanoes in the Philippines … The finest deposits in the archipelago are said to be on the little island of Biliran, which lies to the N.W. of Leyte. See U.S. Philippine Gazetteer, p. 85.
 The ancient name of the city of Kioto, which was formerly the capital of Japan; it lies 250 miles S.W. of Tokio.
 This exploit was performed by Thomas Candish, on Nov. 4, 1587, off Cape San Lucas, the southern point of Lower California. After some six hours' fight the "Santa Ana" surrendered; her crew and passengers, numbering 190 persons, men and women, were set ashore, with supplies and provisions; the rich cargo—consisting of silks, damasks, perfumes, food, and wine, with 122,000 pesos' worth of gold—was plundered; and the ship (a galleon carrying 500 tons of goods) was burned, with all that the victors could not carry away. Candish then set sail for the Philippines, which he sighted on Jan. 14, 1588; but his small force of ships and men did not permit him to do more than cruise through the archipelago during a fortnight, when he departed toward Java. See Candish's account in Hakluyt's Voyages (Goldsmid ed.), xvi, pp. 30, 35-45.