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The Philippine Islands, 1493–1898

Explorations by early navigators, descriptions of the islands and their peoples, their history and records of the catholic missions, as related in contemporaneous books and manuscripts, showing the political, economic, commercial and religious conditions of those islands from their earliest relations with European nations to the close of the nineteenth century

Volume IX, 1593–1597

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Contents of Volume IX

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  • Autograph signature of Gomez Perez Dasmariñas, governor of the Philippine Islands; photographic facsimile from MS. in Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla ... 69
  • Coat-of-arms of the city of Manila (two representations); photographic facsimiles from original MSS. (dated 1683 and 1748) in Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla ... 213
  • Map of islands of Luzón and Hermosa, with part of China; photographic facsimile of MS. map by Hernando de los Rios Coronel (dated June 27, 1597), in Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla ... 305
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The events related in the present volume (1593–97) conclude the first quarter-century of the history of Manila as a Spanish settlement. That city, although small, is gaining in importance and prosperity; it is fairly well fortified, and its public institutions are increasing; it is now the seat of an archbishop, and three dioceses are formed to be under his care. Restless spirits among the Spaniards desire to conquer neighboring lands; this is partially accomplished in Mindanao, but that island proves to be of little value. An expedition is sent nominally in aid of Camboja against Siam, but is unsuccessful. Meanwhile, the Spaniards are not free from danger: the emperor of Japan is apparently plotting their subjection; and the natives of the islands, although nominally pacified, are inclined to rebel. The increasing numbers of the Chinese in the islands render them dangerous, and various restrictions are imposed upon them. Governor Dasmariñas, slain by his Chinese oarsmen, is succeeded pro tempore by his son Luis Pérez; but the latter is too young for so important a post, and the king reestablishes the Audiencia at Manila. Its president, Francisco Tello, is also governor of the islands.

In 1593 another ambassador arrives at Manila from the Japanese ruler Hideyoshi. This is Faranda, Page 6who furnishes a full account of the manner in which Fray Juan Cobos had been received in Japan the year before, and of his own appointment from the emperor as envoy to the Spaniards, on which errand he departed with Cobos. The latter perished by shipwreck, Faranda arriving safely at Manila. He professes a desire for peace and friendship between the Japanese and Spaniards, instead of the subjection of the latter; and asks that Franciscan missionaries be sent to his country. Since he brings no credentials, except letters from Fray Cobos, the governor orders an official inquiry into the whole matter, and examines witnesses about it. Juan de Solis, a Spanish captain who happened to be in Japan when Fray Cobos arrived there, thinks that the emperor is sincere in asking only the friendship of the Castilians. Solis relates the events of the father's stay there, confirming the account given by Faranda. A similar deposition is made by Antonio Lopez, the Chinese convert who comes with Faranda. But there follows a long account, apparently obtained from conversations held with this Antonio and several others, of intrigues and plots among the Japanese to subdue the Philippines, as they have done with Corea. The Spaniards are warned against the Chinese who are in Manila. Much of this is apparently the gossip of the Parián; but it affords curious side-lights on the relations between the Japanese, Chinese, and Spaniards. A letter from Dasmariñas to the Japanese emperor (May 20, 1593) announces his despatch of another envoy, the Franciscan priest Pedro Baptista.

Governor Dasmariñas writes (June 20, 1593) to King Felipe, reporting the present state of affairs in he islands. He asks for more missionaries, and Page 7states the qualifications that they should possess. He intends to found a new Spanish colony in the recently-pacified district of Tuy. All Luzon has now been explored and pacified. The fortifications of Manila are now in good condition; accordingly, the city is safe from outside enemies, and the natives can see that the Spanish occupation is a permanent one. The cathedral is so nearly completed that worship is celebrated therein; and the convent of Sancta Potenciana is well under way. Galleys are patrolling the coast to watch for enemies; but the clergy have so opposed the efforts of the governor to man the galleys that he could not equip them as well as he desired. The permission given to the Indians to pay their tributes in produce or in coin, as they might choose, is leading to the ruin of the country; for the natives are in consequence neglecting their industries and manufactures, and prices are much higher. The royal officials, therefore, now collect the tributes in produce only. Again the governor complains of the marriages of wealthy widows to adventurers, who have thus “defrauded several very honorable and worthy captains and soldiers who serve here;” he recommends that heiresses be not allowed to marry without the king's consent. He also advises that all collections of tributes be made by the royal officials, who should pay the encomenderos their dues. Another letter of the same date is especially interesting, as containing the earliest data thus far available on the first printing in the Philippines. Dasmariñas desires the king to provide some suitable design for the coat-of-arms of the city of Manila. He protests against the heavy duties levied in Mexico on goods exported from the islands. These letters are followed by a Page 8memorandum—unsigned and undated, but probably written about 1593—of “the troops required in the Philippines;” this is itemized, and gives a total of 1,517. On September 27, 1593, Dasmariñas sends a friendly letter, with gifts, to the king of Camboja, who is threatened by the king of Siam; and he offers to be arbitrator of their differences. An unsigned list (1594?) is given of the villages reduced by the Spaniards under an officer named Berramontano.

Luis Perez, son of Gomez Perez Dasmariñas, who has succeeded to his father's office, writes to the king of Camboja (February 8, 1594) renewing his father's proffers of friendship for that ruler. At this time Hernando de los Rios, administrator of the royal hospital at Manila, demands from the government more aid for that institution. Witnesses testify that there is much sickness and mortality among the Spanish soldiery in the islands; and that the hospital, as their only resource for care when ill, should receive an increase of its present inadequate income, and new buildings should be constructed for its use.

In 1594 Francisco de Ortega, Augustinian visitor-general in the Philippines, presents a number of reports and petitions to the king. The abstracts of these papers which are preserved in the Sevilla archives are here presented. The first of these documents contains a list of the islands, with a brief account of their size and population, of the number of religious already at work in them, and of the number yet needed. Next, Ortega asks for certain grants from the royal bounty for his order: a fixed sum for the building of the burnt monastery; an increased allowance for the yearly support of the religious, as prices have risen; allowances of wine, oil, and medicine Page 9for the Augustinian convent at Manila; and an increase in the number of religious provided for it. He complains that the Dominicans are, by their mission to the Chinese, intruding upon the rights of the Augustinians, and prays for the establishment of a convent of Recollect Augustinians in a place proposed by him. Ortega urges upon the king the temporal and spiritual importance of providing religious ministers, of striving to gain an entrance to China, of accepting the advances of the Japanese king of Firando, of conquering Ternate, of resisting the Japanese tyrant, and of pacifying Mindanao. He asks that more troops be sent to Cébu; that the Spanish settlement there be raised to the rank of a city; that the regidors be crown appointees; and that its people be permitted to send their exports directly to Nueva España. He also advises that the port of Cavite be more strongly fortified. A royal decree (April 27) orders that one hundred religious be sent to the islands.

On April 22, 1594, a council of war is held at Manila, to agree upon the reply which shall be made to an arrogant despatch from the Japanese emperor, ostensibly peaceful, but containing covert threats and accepting certain gifts as tokens of vassalage. He then reads a draft of reply, which is criticized as likely to cause unnecessary offense by some expressions therein; an amended reply is read and adopted by the council, a few days later.

Luis Perez Dasmariñas asks (June 15, 1594) from Felipe II aid for two charitable institutions in Manila—the girls' seminary of Sancta Potenciana, and the Confraternity of La Misericordia; also for the establishment and support of a temporary lodging-house Page 10for colonists, and of a hospital for the servants of Spaniards. In another letter (June 22) the governor commends to Felipe's favor Carbajal, the captain who had gone to Japan; the latter is now sent to Spain with Hideyoshi's letter. On the next day, Dasmariñas advises the king of further news and despatches from Japan, sent by the envoy Fray Pedro Baptista. The Japanese emperor professes friendship, but Dasmariñas does not trust him, and has done all in his power to fortify Manila.

Carbajal, the captain who conveyed the Franciscans to Japan, writes (1595?) to the king, to inform him of the prosperity and importance of that country, and the attitude of its ruler toward the Spaniards. The emperor has treated the Franciscans kindly. Carbajal recommends that the Spanish trade in China should be diverted to Japan. In 1595 the diocese of Manila is elevated to an archdiocese, and three new bishoprics are created—those of Cébu, Nueva Cáceres, and Nueva Segovia. The king of Spain, in the decree (June 17) making provision for this, also appoints incumbents for these posts.

Dr. Antonio de Morga, sent to the Philippines in place of Rojas, reports to Felipe II (June 25, 1595) his arrival and inauguration as lieutenant-governor, and urges the necessity of an investigation (which was accordingly decreed) of the royal treasury of the islands. He encloses the various official papers establishing his appointment and inauguration in due form. In August of that year, Luis Dasmariñas is persuaded to send aid to the king of Camboja against the Siamese. This is requested in his behalf by Diego Veloso, a Portuguese adventurer who has spent ten years in that country, and who states that its ruler Page 11has protected the Christian missionaries in his kingdom and now should be aided by the Spaniards. Certain stipulations are proposed to be fulfilled by the king of Camboja in return for Spanish aid, and Veloso accepts them in his behalf.

Instructions are given to Figueroa (November 13, 1595) regarding the conquest of Mindanao. On November 26 following, the king issues a decree reestablishing the Audiencia of Manila, and appointing as its president the new governor of the islands, Francisco Tello—sending him detailed instructions as to the ceremonies to be observed in receiving the royal seal, “which are to be the same as would be observed in the reception of my royal person.”

Luis Pérez Dasmariñas writes to Felipe II (December 6, 1595) giving a general report of external conditions in the province. After a reference to the progress of various religious missions, he reports that Figueroa has gone to pacify Mindanao, although a dispute whether he is to be subordinate to the Manila government is unsettled. He gives an account of the projects of Veloso for assisting the king of Camboja; and states that he, with the consent of both religious and military authorities, has decided to make an attempt first against Champa, but to send a representative to Camboja in order to keep the friendship of its king. He urges the sending of a moderate force against Siam, to be provided by the home government. He announces that he is planning to send an embassy to China, with gifts; and he prays the king to reimburse him for expenses connected with the sending of this embassy. Toward the end of the letter he discusses the gifts most acceptable in China.

Felipe II grants (March 20, 1596) the city of Manila Page 12a coat-of-arms more satisfactory to the Spaniards than the one which had been previously used. A royal decree, dated May 15, 1596, regulates the status of the bishoprics suffragan to the archdiocese of Manila. Ten days later, the king issues instructions for the new governor, Francisco Tello. He is earnestly charged to further in every possible way the interests of religion, especially in the instruction of the natives, and the completion and equipment of the cathedral; and to work in harmony with the archbishop. He is to provide liberally for the maintenance of the hospitals, and oversee their management. He must give the king full information regarding the number of missionaries now in the islands, and those needed there, etc.; and shall make arrangements with the superiors of the various orders for the most advantageous distribution of the missionaries who shall be sent each year. Every effort must be made to convert the heathen Indians. Tello is strictly charged not to meddle with ecclesiastical affairs, and to maintain friendly relations with both clerics and friars. No minister of religion shall be permitted to collect from the natives any fees for burials, marriages, etc. Tello is ordered to leave some missionaries at the Ladrones Islands, for the instruction of the natives. Tribute must be collected from all the pacified Indians, whether converts or heathen. The ecclesiastics must not meddle with the collection of tributes, or oppose the governor's authority; for any reforms which they may desire, they must consult with their superiors and prelates, and send applications to the king. Tithes must be paid more fully than hitherto. The duties which the citizens ask to have repealed must still be levied. Certain provisions are made for an income Page 13for the municipality of Manila. Tello is directed to see that the Chinese be removed to quarters outside the city. No duties shall be levied on provisions and munitions brought to Manila by foreigners. Various other clauses are practically the duplicates of instructions given to Gomez Dasmariñas. Agriculture must be encouraged in every way. The convent for girls is to be aided and encouraged. Encomiendas may not be sold or transferred to other holders, but should be made large enough to support both the encomendero and the instruction of the natives. The Indians should be settled in “reductions” like those of the American colonies, where they may be sufficiently instructed. Justice is not to be severe, and litigation is not to be encouraged. Religious will be provided as needed, and hence the priests are to publish no objections to the taking of tributes. Soldiers are to be well employed, receiving pay only when they have no other income, and being exempt from arrest for debt. Captains have authority only over soldiers, and the military must treat the Indians kindly. The forts and fortifications must be maintained, and a watch kept constantly against enemies, who are enumerated, “especially the English Lutherans.” Reports as to the possibility of new conquests are desired, but no such enterprises must be undertaken without circumspection and justification. As the soldiers are now fairly paid, there is no need of spoliation in conquests. The regions nearest Manila must be conquered, for there is rebellion now in the heart of Luzón. Encouragement is given to extend conquests from the Liu Kiu Islands to Java, Borneo, and the Moluccas. The expense is to be borne by the royal exchequer, so far as shall be necessary, although the plan of rewarding Page 14the conquerors from the conquered territory is to be followed. The Indians are to have the right of paying their tributes in any goods at their own option, to avoid extortion. The religious must not go to China or elsewhere, but must do the work among the Indians for which they were sent to the islands. The Chinese suffer oppression and extortion from the customs officers; this must be corrected. Encomenderos and citizens are not to leave the islands without permission, on pain of confiscation of encomiendas. Trade between the islands and China is not to be given up, in spite of objections made by the Portuguese. Effort shall be made to teach the Castilian language to the Indians. The governor must maintain cordial relations with the new Audiencia and with the ecclesiastics.

Luis Perez Dasmariñas prays the king (June 30, 1596) for permission to lade a small vessel for Peru, that he may make enough to pay off his debts. An answer is deferred until after the residencia in his case and his father's be taken. Morga writes to Felipe II (July 6, 1596) a general report. The country in general is at peace, and fears from Japan have been removed by the calming influence of the Franciscans there. Figueroa has been killed in Mindanao, leaving an estate sufficient to carry on the expedition, and infant heirs to his prospective rewards. The expedition to Camboja has gone—the tone of Morga's report evidently disapproving this; and an expedition to China has been forced to return. There has been uneasiness as to the presence of so many Chinese, and many have been sent out of the country. The lines of Manila have been newly drawn, making it easier of defense. Financial affairs require complete Page 15reform. The officials of the treasury are under suspension, pending investigation; and the revenue has been wasted for needless salaries and sinecures. The soldiery devote themselves to trade, losing their military efficiency and interfering with the business of the citizens. The city of Manila is well provided with funds, and the fiscal arrangements are just. Internal affairs are in a bad way, because of the facility and youth of Luis Perez Dasmariñas, and the lack of a regularly-appointed governor. Morga complains of the meddlesomeness of ecclesiastics. He prays for the reëstablishment of the Audiencia; and reports that the country is all pacified, needing now mainly religious. He praises the plan of educating the sons of the natives at the Jesuit college. He reports the arrival of vessels from the unsuccessful exploring expedition of Mendaña to the islands of the South Pacific. In conclusion, he prays that, in consideration of his poor health and the death of his children, he may be permitted to return to Spain.

Tello writes to Felipe II (July 17, 1596) a letter upon his arrival. He is pleased with Manila, although many public requirements are not attended to. The Chinese near the city require watching. The archbishop has remained in Mexico. Trade has fallen off; and soldiers should be sent yearly to make up for deaths and losses. He recommends the continuation of the Mindanao pacification at the expense of the heirs of Figueroa. In a postscript he reports bad news from the Camboja expedition.

The pacification of Mindanao (begun by Figueroa) is continued by Juan de Ronquillo. He sends a report (May 10, 1597) of the campaign to Governor Tello. After a fierce contest with the natives, Page 16in which neither side gains the victory, a treaty of peace is negotiated. Great distress ensues for lack of food, among both Spaniards and Indians; and aid from Manila is asked. Mindanao is a poor country, and will be of very little use to Spain. Ronquillo urges that supplies of troops, ammunition, and provision be sent from Manila, for the Mindanaos will certainly rebel as soon as tribute is exacted from them; and it is best to complete their conquest promptly. The missions in this island have been assigned to the Jesuits; but only one priest is now there, and more are needed at once. The encomenderos to whom Mindanao has been assigned ought to aid in its subjugation, and should be sent at once with troops to the island. A brief outline of the campaign is added, unsigned and undated.

A memorial by Hernando de los Rios (June 27, 1597) to the king of Spain urges the importance of conquering surrounding countries, notably the island of Formosa. He describes certain routes, more direct than those hitherto followed, between Spain and the Philippines, and also complains of the number of Chinese who infest Manila. Luis Perez Dasmariñas urges on Felipe II (June 28, 1597) the evils resulting from the presence in the islands of so many heathen Chinese, with their vices, cunning, and danger to the state. “Except for self-interest, we are mutually contrary and hateful.” He recommends a number of severe measures limiting their activity, and placing obstacles in the way of their employment; and adds various notes recommending specific regulations for them.

The Editors
November, 1903.

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Documents of 1593

Sources: These translations are all obtained from MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla.

Translations: Part of the first document is translated by Consuelo A. Davidson; the rest of this, and the remaining documents in this group, by James A. Robertson. Page 18

The Second Embassy to Japan

[Statement by Faranda]

My lord the emperor Conbacondo1 sends me as his ambassador to your Excellency, as the representative of King Philippe, to ask that we maintain hereafter the peaceful relations required by the close bond of true friendship and fraternity, for which reason I, in the name of my lord the emperor Conbacondo and as his ambassador, ask his Majesty King Philippe and your Excellency to accept and receive that friendship, as my lord the emperor desires. The letter brought by Gaspar, my vassal, was in order to ascertain whether your Excellency and the other Spaniards were friends or foes, and not, as had been imagined or understood here, that you should become vassals of my lord the emperor, and render him obedience and submission. Having learned the truth, my lord the emperor sent this embassy, ordering me to put on the garment which I am wearing, which means friendship and fraternity; for if we had come for war, as was thought, my garments would have been different, and I would have come in a different manner. It would have greatly pleased me if it had been possible for father Fray Juan Cobos to come, to present the sword which, as a token of friendship and true Page 19brotherhood was given to him to be presented to your Excellency; and to describe the kind reception accorded to him there and the love shown to him, so that I might have been more cordially received by your Excellency. Your Excellency, not being acquainted with the many things said in this city concerning my visit, is very kind to receive me in this manner, not knowing even who I am, which could have been explained by father Fray Juan Cobos if he had come.

Will your Excellency be pleased to order that a reply be given to me as soon as possible, that I may go away and take the other Xaponese who are here, because it is time to do so, and because the Xaponese who have come heretofore from Xapon are not of the higher classes, but are very low. Your Excellency should decide whether you do not wish them to go, as people of this sort are a shame to the kingdom of Xapon; and, in case provisions or anything else are required from my country, I will send them with merchants duly registered. For that purpose I ask your Excellency to give me a seal, and I will leave here one of mine, so that all our procedures may be uniform and harmonious; for it would not be right to have the people from the kingdom of Xapon come here to rob the land and occasion scandals, thus giving a bad name to our country, and especially in a country with which we have established close friendship and with whom we are at peace. I also ask that when the emperor needs the Spaniards in the wars which he may wage, your Excellency will bind yourself to send him reënforcements of men, and he will do the same at any time when your Excellency shall see fit to send to his kingdom of Xapon for soldiers. Page 20

Everything that I have asked from your Excellency herein is in the name of my lord the emperor. Your Excellency has doubted my authority, because I did not present letters from my lord the emperor. They are in the possession of father Fray Juan Cobos and give me ample authority to negotiate with your Excellency in regard to everything required to establish peace and amity. I will wait until I reach my emperor's presence and I will then send the agreements written by his own hands, and signed with my name, as a proof of my veracity.


We, the undersigned religious, state that the ambassador did sign this memorial; and I, Fray Gonzalo Garcia, certify that everything contained herein was dictated to me to be written for your Excellency in the Spanish language by his order; and I as interpreter had it written by one of the religious who here sign our names. Dated in this city of Manila, the twenty-seventh of April, one thousand five hundred and ninety-three.

Fray Gonçalo Garcia
Fray Geronimo Vazquez
Fray Andres del Spiritu Santo

[Statement by Faranda]

Last year, one thousand five hundred and ninety-two, Conbacondon, the emperor of the realm of Xapon, commanded me to come to these islands to negotiate for peace and amity with your Excellency and the Spaniards residing here, your Excellency having agreed to it as the representative here of his Majesty King Don Philipe. In order to carry out Page 21my emperor's orders I went as far as the province of Sanchuma,2 to a seaport, whence I was to sail; but while making preparations for my departure, I was attacked by sickness. Then, in order not to lose the opportunity or to disobey said orders on account of my illness, I decided to send in my place my vassal Gaspar, whom I greatly esteem, believing that he would execute the commission well, as he is a man experienced in all matters pertaining to these Islands, having been in them before; and in consequence I sent him, giving him the letter from the emperor my lord. He came and delivered it; but, as there was no interpreter, it was not understood, and he was discredited because of the little authority he had, as he was not an ambassador. For that reason your Excellency decided to send father Fray Juan Cobos and Captain Lope de Llano, who were to visit the kingdom of Xapon and ascertain the truth concerning the embassy which my said subject brought. When Fray Juan Cobos arrived in Satisma he wrote two letters, one to the emperor, my lord, and another to me as the person to whom the embassy sent to these islands had been entrusted. The said two letters were tied together, and I received them in the town of Mengoya, where the court of my lord the emperor is established.3 For the sake of courtesy, I did not separate mine, but took both and delivered them to the emperor my lord, who read his and gave me mine—ordering a captain Page 22and myself, one by land and the other by sea, to go to meet father Fray Juan Cobos. We departed at once, I going by sea; and I met him at Geto, a place between Firando and Mangasatte,4 where I received him with great pleasure, and brought him to the court where my lord the emperor then was. Upon being notified of his arrival, the emperor ordered one of his nobles to give him hospitality in his own home, so that Father Juan Cobos could rest there until a house could be adorned with gold, to shelter him with more pomp, because he was the envoy of so great a governor and because he is a father, and known to be a learned man, and that all his royal city might see how grand a reception was accorded to him. Twenty-five days afterward, when everything was ready to receive him, I sent six hundred of the principal men, nobles and gentry, to convey him to the emperor's presence, sending a beautifully decorated litter, on which the father was carried on their shoulders. Everyone was amazed to see such a reception, the like of which had never before been accorded to any other ambassador, although many had come to my lord the emperor, some to offer obedience, others to negotiate peace treaties. It was because the emperor knew that the Spaniards are a warlike nation, valiant and honored above all other people, that he gave them such a reception; and so it was known over all the court.

My lord the emperor was inside the fortress, and when father Fray Juan Cobos reached the palace he was bidden to enter the audience-chamber where the emperor was waiting for him, and where he received Page 23him with the greatest honor and show of affection ever shown to any man, seating him next to himself. Father Fray Juan Cobos presented him with the letter, which upon being read, showed how doubts had arisen regarding the embassy sent by the emperor the year before. My lord the emperor called me, and asked me why I had not fulfilled his orders—to which I replied that I had gone to do so, but that, while at the seaport, I had been taken sick; and in order not to miss sending his embassy, I had entrusted it to one of my vassals, a Christian. Then my lord the emperor ordered me to go with father Fray Juan Cobos to visit your Excellency in his name, and to deliver my letters and try to establish lasting relations of friendship and amity; and finally sent me away, after having given me full instructions as to what I was to say and do. To father Fray Juan Cobos my lord the emperor gave a sword of great worth and value, as a token of friendship, for your Excellency; and a letter, wherein it was written that we were to be friends and brothers.

Father Fray Juan Cobos and I departed for the port, but on arriving there he would not embark on my vessel. So we set sail, he on his vessel and I on mine. Upon leaving I told father Fray Juan Cobos that it would be better to wait for the tide, and until the moon came out; but he answered: “Your people do not know or understand the sea.” I am a pilot, and, seeing that the high tide was against us, I waited until the moon arose; but the father would not wait, and so left, and I have never since seen him. The advice I gave him before leaving was so that the emperor my lord might not ask me why I had not advised him, and so that the father himself might not Page 24have reason to complain against me. I gave him two of my kinsmen to accompany him, since he would not sail on my vessel. Before he left, I asked the father to give me a letter for your Excellency, because the ocean was not safe; and I asked also for some one who would come with me to these islands, and who could tell who I was, and state the reasons why I came. He gave me Antonio, a Christian Sangley. The said Antonio asked the father for a letter to your Excellency, and he gave it to him; and so we separated, in the manner above described.

I, Faranda Quiemon, ambassador of the emperor of the realms of Xapon, state that the people of the said realms are heathen, but have already begun to accept the gospel law, and wish to become Christians; and if this desire and belief has not spread more, it is because of the lack of ministers and priests. I know that my emperor desires me to bring back some fathers, provided they are of the order of St. Francis, because this is an order and habit new to him; and our Lord Jesus Christ and he will be well pleased that I should do them this service. If your Excellency will order this to be done, you will confer a favor upon the said emperor and myself.

I beg your Excellency to favor me by commanding that ten fathers of the above-mentioned Franciscan order be sent to accompany me from this city to Xapon for the said object—the said ten fathers to be Fray Pedro Baptista, Fray Vicente Vermeo, Fray Blas de la Madre de Dios, Fray Juan Pobre, Fray Diego Portero, Father Gonzalez, Fray Francisco Parilla, Fray Joseph, Fray Francisco Ribero, and Fray Andres (an unsettled priest). Besides the fact that we shall all take as a favor the service done our Page 25lord, I promise in the name of the emperor and on his royal word that they shall be well received and well treated, and that no harm shall be done them; and if they become unwilling to stay, and are disinclined to do the work for which they have been taken thither, I promise to send them back to this city as they came.

[Letters from Fray Juan Cobos]

The bearer of this is Faranda Quiemo, a Xaponese, who goes in a new vessel, which has some red pictures painted on the poop. She is a staunch ship, carrying one hundred and twenty men, Chinese and Xaponese. It carries as a signal a red pennant at the stern. Given at Cuxi, a port of Xapon, on October 29, 1592.

Fray Juan Cobos

[Addressed: “To Gomez Perez Dasmariñas, governor and captain-general of the Filipinas Islands, at Manila.”]

Because of the uncertainty of the ocean, I send this note by another vessel which sails together with ours from this port, so that in case it reaches your Excellency before us you will not be alarmed on our account. Our trip has been very prosperous, and, should the Lord preserve our health, we shall, as soon as we find ourselves in Manila, report to your Excellency how well we were received by the emperor and how well attended, thus honoring our lord the king, your Excellency, and our nation. Nothing more at present, as I am writing these lines only in case our ship should prove less speedy. From Page 26Xapon, province of China,5 port of Cuxi, November 4. Captain Lope Llanos kisses your Excellency's hands; he is very ill with quartan ague.

Fray Juan Cobos

[Addressed: “To Gomez Perez Dasmariñas, knight of the Order of Santiago, governor and captain-general of the Felipinas Islands.”]

The bearer is Antonio Lopez, a Chinese, who sails on the vessel of the Japanese Faranda as a token of peace, and to protect the vessel, so that no harm may be done to it.

Fray Juan Cobo

May Jesus be always with your Excellency. It was found necessary that Antonio Lopez, the Chinese, depart in the vessel of Faranda Quiemo, who is the master of the Faranda who carries these letters and was the source of all these messages. Although I leave the port in Xapon before him, the fortunes of the ocean are various, and he may arrive there first. Glory be to God that our voyage has been very prosperous, as your Excellency will learn. As this letter is only intended as a safe-conduct for its bearers (for which we are hostages), and as a permit to Antonio Lopez, I say nothing more except that I recommend your Excellency, in case he shall arrive before I do, to give them a kind reception, because we were well received by the emperor. It is worth while for your Excellency to send here for copper and hemp, on the king's account, as I shall report to you at my arrival. Page 27Captain Lope de Llanos kisses your Lordship's hands; he is very ill with quartan ague. He is not writing, because this letter is intended only for the purpose above mentioned. From the realm of Xapon, province of Chaxuma, at the port of Cuxi, November 4, 1592.

Fray Juan Cobo

Addressed to Gomez Perez Dasmariñas, knight of the order of Santiago, and governor and captain-general of the Filipinas Islands.


In the city of Manila, on the twenty-fourth day of the month of May, one thousand five hundred and ninety-three, I, Gomez Perez Dasmariñas, knight of the Order of Santiago, and captain-general of these islands, declare in the name of the king, our lord, that whereas last year some letters and an ambassador claiming to come from the king of Xapon were received here, and, moved by suspicion and fearing war, I sent the father Fray Juan Cobos with letters for the emperor; and whereas it is over a year since the said father left here, and, notwithstanding I have received letters from him meanwhile, making known his safe arrival and the prompt execution of his mission, I am anxious because he does not return; three Xaponese vessels having arrived, and in one of them a man by the name of Faranda, a Xaponese who claims to be the ambassador; and as I wish to be informed what sort of a man this Faranda is, and to learn whether Father Cobos arrived there and how he was received and sent away, and the purpose that Faranda has in coming, and what are the intentions and objects of the said emperor, and whatever else it Page 28is expedient to ask in order to disperse and clear away the prevalent uncertainties, and know whether we are to have safety and peace with that king: I hereby order that the following investigation be made, the proceedings of which shall be attached to the original letters sent by father Fray Juan Cobo and to the memorial submitted by Faranda; and I sign it with my name.

Gomez Perez Dasmariñas

Before me: Juan de Cuellar


In6 the city of Manila, on the twenty-fourth day of the month of May, one thousand five hundred and ninety-three, the said governor and captain-general, Gomez Perez Das Marinas, summoned Captain Joan de Solis to his presence, in order to make the above-mentioned investigation. He took the oath before God and on the sign of the cross, in due form, and promised to answer truthfully the questions asked him. The tenor of the questions having been read to him, he said that, as one who had just come from the kingdoms of Xapon, and reached this port and bay but yesterday, and who was in Xapon when father Fray Joan Cobos arrived there—where this witness was building a ship (the one in which he came hither), and work on which he left and abandoned, in order to go to see, protect, and serve the said father Fray Joan Cobo, and to instruct him in Page 29the customs and usages of the country, as the father came in behalf of his Majesty—he will relate here what he knows. While this witness was in the kingdoms of Xapon last year, the emperor resolved to send an embassy here. This he entrusted to Faranda Queymon, but as the latter fell sick at the time of his intended departure from that country, he sent in his stead a Christian Xaponese, named Gaspar, otherwise called Faranda. This witness says that what he heard and was told regarding that matter—not only by the emperor himself, with whom he conversed several times, but by other personages and nobles of the emperor's court—was always that the intention of the king of Xapon was only to ascertain, by means of this embassy, whether these Philippines Islands were friendly or hostile to him; for if they were friendly, then he wished friendship and alliance with the governor and the Spaniards, and trade and intercourse. If they were not friendly, then he would consider them as enemies, and would attack them. This was the object of the embassy, and the emperor's intention, as he himself declared three or four times in the presence of this deponent, in the following formal language: “It is true that I sent Quiemon on that embassy, for, as a man who knows that land, he gave me an account of it. But what I wished was friendship, and trade and intercourse with the Castilians, as I have been informed of the good treatment given to my Xaponese there. I do not want silver, gold, soldiers, or anything else, but only to keep them as friends.” This witness, as he knew the emperor's nature, and his veracity, and the punctiliousness with which he keeps his word, thinks that he does not claim vassalage, tribute, or any recognition Page 30from this community and kingdom, nor does he intend to commit any wrong toward this kingdom; but rather this witness believes and knows that the emperor will aid this kingdom with soldiers, and whatever else might be asked from him. Therefore he thinks that he who interpreted the letter could not read or interpret it, if he asserted that the emperor demanded vassalage; for the characters used in their writing are difficult to understand. Likewise this witness declared, in regard to the arrival of father Fray Joan Cobo in the kingdoms of Xapon, that he saw that Father Cobo went from the port of Chandomar to Nangoya, where the emperor was residing, and that this witness accompanied and entertained him through the entire journey—about one hundred leguas. This witness saw with his own eyes that the city of Nangoya is a city of one hundred thousand or more inhabitants. This city was built and settled in five months. It is three leguas long, and nine leguas in circumference. It was built by order of Quambaco, by which his power was manifest. As soon as Father Cobo had arrived and was about to disembark in the port of the said city of Nangoya, a nobleman of the court came to receive him, bearing three letters—one for the said father, another for Captain Lope de Llano, and the third for the present witness. They [the father and the two captains] were borne on the shoulders of men to the house of the man who came to receive them. There lodging had been prepared by order of Cuambac. Within a week, Cuambac had the father summoned; as soon as the latter had entered the palace, the emperor bade him be seated, and received the messages that he bore. Then he made the above assertion to him with indications Page 31of great pleasure. After that he ordered a collation spread for the father, and asked him if he would like some tea to drink. The father replied that he kissed his Highness's hands. As he rose to go, the emperor ordered him to be taken to the Chanayu—a small house where the most privileged go for recreation and to drink tea7 with the emperor. This house is well provided with gilded tables, vessels, sideboards, and braziers; and the cups and basins, and the rest of the service, are all of gold. There the emperor ordered a very fine banquet to be spread for him, and had wine carried to him. He again repeated the words above mentioned, two or three times, and then sat down. After a moment's conversation, he took leave of the father. Thirteen days after that, he sent the father a catana or sword, which is held in high estimation there in his kingdom, because of its fineness and adornments; and a letter for the governor. This letter was written on a large sheet of gilt paper resembling damask, in letters of gold. This witness saw it, and took it in his hand, and had it read many times. In brief, it contained these words: “I sent Quiemon, as he is a man of intelligence, and as he had given me a relation of that country, and the good treatment shown to my vassals there; but I do not desire silver, gold, or soldiers, or anything else, but only fast friendship with your nation, for I hold everything under my sway. In Coray [Corea] my captains have already taken the king prisoner, and are now near Lanquin, and about to seize China. I am sending you a sword now, in order that you may have some remembrance from me in that country. You shall have this written Page 32to your king, and shall send me his reply. To the lioccata of Manila, Huye Çama,” (that is to say, “the great captain”) The honor shown to father Fray Joan Cobo was never shown to any foreigner or native, according to the assertion of this witness, as one who has a thorough understanding of the customs and laws of that country. From all of the above it can be understood that the said father was received and his business despatched with great honor. And, as to the father not having come to this country, this witness declares that be knows that the father embarked, after receiving many presents and supplies. The vessel on which he embarked was in poor repair, and the season the very depth of winter. The sea was in great turmoil, and the winds contrary. On this account he thinks that the father perished at sea. As to the person of the ambassador Faranda, he knows him to be a man of influence in Xapon, who was recently created a lord by the emperor of that country. The emperor ordered him to come here in attendance on father Fray Joan Cobo, as one who was held in high estimation. For this reason, this witness thinks that his coming is without any duplicity, or cause for suspicion—beyond a little vanity, to show that he is a lord, and one whom the emperor chooses for things as important as this. Therefore this community has no grounds for fear of any wrong being done by that country; but should, on the contrary, esteem highly the friendship made with the said emperor; and as the latter is a friend so powerful and important, his ambassador should be served and entertained in the manner that seems most desirable to the governor. This witness asserts the above, by the oath he took, to be what he knows and what Page 33he has heard. He is thirty-eight years old. He affixed his signature to the above.

Joan de Solis

Before me:

Joan De Cuellar

In the city of Manila, on the first of June, one thousand five hundred and ninety-three, for the investigation of the aforesaid matter, an oath was received in due form of law, before God and on the sign of the cross, from Antonio Lopez, a Chinese Christian, an interpreter. He took the oath, and promised, under charge thereof, to tell the truth. Being questioned regarding the matter, this witness declared that he went to the kingdoms of Xapon last year with Father Cobo. He saw that the father was very courteously received by the emperor upon his arrival there; for he saw Father Cobo enter [the palace] and go to meet the emperor. He saw that Father Cobo appeared very happy and cheerful, and heard him say that after a few days he was to go back with his business well despatched. He saw the father embark well and happy, with a present from the emperor of a very fine catana, or sword, for the governor of the Philippinas. Father Cobo gave this witness a letter, which he brought to the governor, for he sailed in the ambassador's ship, by order of Father Cobo. This witness knows that the emperor was very friendly to the Spaniards, and that the ambassador Faranda Queimon came to make a treaty of peace. The latter is the same man whom they saw enter and go with Father Cobo to meet the emperor. Queimon is not hostile, but friendly. This is the truth and Page 34nothing else, on his oath. He is about forty years old. He signed the above, according to his custom.

Before me:

Joan de Cuellar

Collated with the original:

Juan de Cuellar

[Endorsed: “Matters discussed with the governor by Faranda, ambassador from Japon.”]

Antonio said that he heard that the emperor of Japon gave the conquest of these islands to Kunquyn. He also heard the soldiers of the house of Kunquyn say that they would like to come to these islands; and they asked him if the people of Cagayan were subdued. Upon Antonio replying “yes,” they said “no,” and that they knew it. He has heard that the king of Japon gave the conquest of the island of Ermosa to a Japanese; and that, when this man shall come to these islands, he will come through them, island by island, and that they had already set out. The greatest distance between any of these islands is about two days' sail by sea, and one or two nights. The Xaponese laughed when they heard Antonio say that these islands contained four or five thousand Spaniards. They said that the defense of these islands was merely a matter for jest, for one hundred of the Japanese were worth two or three hundred of us; and that, therefore, the conquest of these islands presented no difficulty. They declared that the natives of Cagayan were ill-disposed toward us; and that the Japanese would no sooner land in Cagayan, than the natives would deliver the Spaniards to them. Antonio declared further that three large ships were Page 35being built in Japon; and he could not understand why, unless for these islands, as they had no need of them for other purposes.

Antonio Lopez declares further that he heard in Japon that the king ordered this ambassador to return with the news, if the people of Luçon should submit. But if they did not submit, then he should order none of the Japanese here to return to Japon; as he would kill those who did return, for he wished them to live here. Antonio thinks that caution regarding the Japanese here should still be maintained—for, as I understand, there are three hundred or more Japanese here, and one hundred and fifty came in the ambassador's ship. According to Antonio's opinion, no confidence should be placed in the infidel Sangleys; for many of them have been in Japon, and those most evil and most opposed to the Chinese are those very Chinese. He declares that a Japanese, named Don Baltasar, conspired with Don Agustin at the time of the revolt. This was told to Antonio Lopez by a Christian Sangley in Firando. He declares that there are many of the Japanese here who came to Cagayan seven years ago, and that the pilot who has just arrived in this ship also went to Cagayan, to plunder. He has many times heard the Japanese say that they would go to Ciuteui, thence to Cagayan; and that the king of Japon ordered the inhabitants of Liutai not to render homage any longer to China. They recognized that country to the extent that, when the reigning king died, his successor had to be approved by China. All the trees in Japon are assigned to the king; and no one may cut them without his permission. Antonio declares that little confidence can be placed in the Sangleys, Page 36in the Parian; for many of them, having been promised some vassals by the Japanese, are in rebellion. In Japon there is universal talk of the abundance of gold in this land. On this account, the soldiers are anxious to come here; and are coming, as they do not care to go to Core, which is a poor country. Those who come from Core say: “Formerly when we were going to plunder their country, the Chinese immediately united with us; but now there is no one in Core who cares for our friendship, but all love the Chinese even unto death.”

Antonio thinks also that “the infidel Sangleys should not be allowed to go to the Visayas, nor a Christian with many other infidels, as is the custom, but that only Christians go, on account of the acts of treachery and revolt that the Chinese, instigated by the Japanese, may attempt.” He declares further that three or four Japanese asserted, in the king's court, that if they should go to Manila, the natives themselves would deliver to them the Spaniards dead. As he understands, because of this and of other things, Father Juan Cobo said that when he returned here he would confer with the governor as to the advisability of not permitting a single Japanese to remain in the country. Antonio declares that Father Juan Cobo left Japon so quickly, and at a so inopportune season, because of his fears of the Japanese; and that he had previously agreed with this Antonio Lopez to send him to Hroguyaca, on the pretext that he was going to China, but with instructions to change his course at sea, and return here.

Antonio declares that Juan Sami, a master of Chinese letters, who accompanied father Fray Juan Cobo, read the letter given to this Faranda by the Page 37Japanese emperor. It contained injunctions to subdue the inhabitants of these islands, and oblige them to recognize him as lord. If the Spaniards should not do that promptly, he [the emperor] would come soon; and had it not been for the dangerous sea for half of the distance, he would have come already.

Juan Sami, master of Chinese letters, declared that he accompanied father Fray Juan Cobo to Japon. There the father met Juan de Solis, a Castilian, who was much persecuted by the Portuguese. This same master presented a petition to the Japanese king, by order of father Fray Juan Cobo. This petition complained of the injuries that Juan de Solis had received from the Portuguese, who had stolen from him a quantity of gold, silver, and other property. He presented this petition to the king of Japon, on the day when he met him. The latter accordingly ordered one of his captains to return all the stolen articles; but as yet only five hundred pesos are paid.

Francisco de Loadi de Oñate declares that he knows Juan de Solis; who is a captain of the king, our sovereign. This captain went, at the order of the Audiencia of Panama, to Macan, in order to purchase copper and other articles; but the Portuguese seized all his money and his vessel. They sold the ship very cheaply, and sent the crew as prisoners to Goa. From sheer pity, he entered his pulpit one day, and there complained of the injuries done to the captain—among others, maiming one of his arms. After this the aforesaid Solis, in company with a father of the Society,8 who was about to go to Japon as visitador, Page 38went to the said kingdom. Without the knowledge of the father visitador, Solis, as soon as he arrived at Japon, presented [to the king] a rich gift, which according to various estimates cost seven or ten thousand ducados. He also presented certain letters in the name of the king our sovereign, whereupon he was very kindly received by the Japanese king. The latter gave Solis a letter ordering the refunding of all that had been taken from him, with interest. After this Solis obtained permission to build a vessel, which was already completed, all but stepping the masts. The boatswain was found dead one morning, and the ship scuttled. Solis, after the Portuguese and Theatins had denied that they had done this, went to Meaco. When the king of Japon asked him why he did not go, he told him what had happened; and recounted to him what the father visitador had done. Thereupon, the king began to persecute the Theatin fathers. The witness declares further that the said king gave the said Captain Solis a letter ordering that no Portuguese or any other person should dare or attempt to oppose him any further.

Francisco de Lorduy

Juan Sami declared that he saw and read a letter from the king of Xapon to the governor of these islands. Its substance was as follows: “Formerly I was a man of little renown. Now all who live beneath the sky recognize me and are my vassals. I ordered the king of Core to render me homage. At Page 39his refusal, I sent my captain to war upon him, and seize his land even to the confines of Liauton.9 This Liauton is a land with many Chinese soldiers, near which resides the king of China. I have seized the fortress of Partho, which I have subdued, and it is very devoted to me, because I love the people of that fortress as fathers and mothers love their children. Those who recognize my authority I do not ill-treat, but I send my captains to war upon whomsoever shall refuse to submit to me. I am writing this letter to thee, so that it may prove a token, signal, and reminder. Thou shalt write these things to the king of Castilla quickly, so that he may be informed thereof. Do not delay, but write at once. I send thee that sword, which is called quihocan.” He declares that this letter was given to the father while in the court; and that when the father was about to leave, he received a second of like tenor, written later than the above. In it the emperor stated that he was sending this Faranda as ambassador.

In what pertains to Corean matters, he declares that the Japanese did indeed conquer the kingdom at first, but that many soldiers came from the country of Liacaton, who harassed the Japanese greatly. After many of the Japanese had died by sword and disease, the Chinese recovered this fortress of Partho and other districts.

He declares moreover, that father Fray Juan Cobo asked him: “Why dost thou fear to have the Japanese go to China?” He answered him that the Chinese did not fear them, as there were many soldiers; Page 40and even if the Japanese should kill many of them at first, many others would come afterwards. When he asked the father if he were afraid to have them come here, to Luçon, he said that the father answered: “No, even if many hundreds of Japanese should come.” He declares that it was after the father had talked with the king that the churches were destroyed.

Antonio Lopez declares that father Fray Juan Cobo showed the king of Japon the kingdoms of our king on a globe. He gave this to the king, with the names of the kingdoms written in Chinese characters, with the distances between them. The occasion for this arose, because when the king of Xapon read the letter written from this country, he saw so many kingdoms, whereupon he asked to have them pointed out to him in detail, with their size and the distances between them. The father told him that the Portuguese were subjects of the king of Castilla. The father wrote this to Hunquin, who requested it from him in the name of the king. Antonio Lopez says that he does not know whether it was on the occasion of Hunquin asking the father why he did not acknowledge subjection to him, or on the other occasion of the father coming to say that the present which he had taken to the king of Japon was not sent in the name of our king (for he did not acknowledge any superior), but that it would be from the Theatin fathers; but after the father had conversed with the king, on his return they found the churches destroyed.

Moreover, he says that at some time during this month Luis, a servant of Joan de Solis, will come here. This man served as interpreter between the Page 41father and the king of Japon, and also Hunquin.

Moreover, Antonio declares that when he was accompanying father Fray Juan Cobo one day, as they journeyed together, he asked the father: “Father, shall we have war in Luçon this year?” The father answered: “No, we shall not.” The father said that he was going to Castilla this year to discuss some matters that only he could discuss there, as he alone had seen them; and that it would be advisable to send fathers of St. Francis to Japon this year, for the fathers do not desire money. The Japanese are tractable in disposition, and they greatly desired the fathers. The father said it would be advisable for him to continue diverting them for four years, when the fortresses in Manila would be completed; and then there would be war.

Letter from the emperor of Japon to the governor of Luçon

Formerly I was an insignificant man and held in but little esteem; but I set out to conquer this round expanse under the sky, and those who live beneath the sky upon the earth are all my vassals. Those who do homage to me have peace and security, and live without fear. But I immediately send my captains and soldiers to those who do not render homage to me, to make war upon them, as has recently happened to the king of Core. Because he refused homage to me, I have seized his kingdom even to the confines of Liauton, located near the court of the Chinese king. Already have I seized the fortress and district of Parto, and have pacified it thoroughly. Although the kingdoms were in revolt and about to make war, I gave them by means of my good plans, Page 42thought out in one, two, or three days, one after another, laws and decrees, whereby I pacified them; for I love my vassals as parents love their children. The kings of other nations are not as I; for although they give me but little, still I receive them. In that paper I am sending thee those words, in order that they may serve as a reminder. Thou shalt write the following at once to the king of Castilla: “Those who insult me cannot escape, but those who hearken to me and obey me live in peace and sleep with security.” I send thee this sword, called quihocan, as a present. Talk with Tuquy at once, and do not delay.

Antonio declares that Firanda's clerk said to him yesterday: “Antonio, see that thou tellest the truth. It matters little that we Japanese are about. Thou shalt tell the truth.” Antonio answered him that he would indeed tell the truth, and what was not true, he would not say.

Antonio declares that when he asked a Japanese friend of his, who brings a few cotton articles, why he served Faranda, and if it were better for his trading, this Japanese answered that Faranda was their ruler, and without his leave not one of them could return to Japon. If Faranda did not obtain a favorable message this year, then he would not return to Japon; but if they treated him well he would return. Antonio declares that this good treatment means obedience to the king of Japon.

Moreover he declared that Faranda's brother told him that four months are needed to go from Mexico to Luçon, and from there at Luçon to Mexico another four; and on this account but few soldiers could Page 43come from Mexico. Japan is not more than twenty days' journey distant, and therefore it would be well for us to appreciate this fact. Antonio declares that he told this to Father Juan Cobo and to Captain Llanos.

Antonio says that one Usangro, a great friend of Faranda, took him, while in Japon, to his house. This man is now sick in the ship. Antonio says it will be advisable for him to take Usangro to his house, in order to repay his hospitality. He says that he will try to find out from this man how affairs stand.

He declares that those who accompanied Faranda assert that the latter came to become governor of Manila. All those of the ship say this, and he heard it said likewise in Japon. He did not know whether Faranda were to govern only the Japanese, or the Tagals, or the Spaniards as well.

He asserts also that Faranda's servants told the Sangleys to be careful of their actions, for their master Faranda was to govern them also here at Manila.

He says that what he understands of Faranda's purpose is, that the latter promised the king of Japon that he would plan how these islands should render the king homage. His intention is to take a certain rich present with him, in order that he might say in Japon that he brings recognition. But now, as the father has not come, and as he believes that he will not obtain the present that he seeks, he is sad; and thus he will be very low-spirited, compared to his previous state of mind.

He says also that when Don Agustin, a Tagal of Tondo, and Don Baltazar, a Japanese, conspired together to seize Manila, Don Agustin gave the latter Page 44a hat, and Don Baltasar gave the said Don Agustin a morion and some cuirasses. This Antonio says also that father Fray Juan Cobo conferred with him upon the advisability of our concerting with China against Japon, in the following manner: If the Japanese should attack China, we would aid the latter; and if they attacked these islands, then the Chinese should aid us.

He asserts that the father once told him that Faranda, as he had lost his property, was about to come to these islands to confer with the governor, so that his two vessels might engage in trade between these islands and Japon. When Antonio said to the father: “Take care that thou dost not reveal the design of this man, namely, to wrest Manila from you Spaniards,” the father responded that Faranda did not dare do it. Antonio says that he does not know whether the father told this to Faranda to test him, for well he knows it, but it is certain that the father knows that the Japanese are trying to have the people of Manila render homage to them.

Miguel Onte says that he has heard it reported that, about forty years ago, the Japanese were trading in China. Then they were very mild, and feigned to be very humble. But after they had learned the passages, rivers, and entrances, they came to China to plunder; and thirty-four years ago they robbed him and many others who were with him.

He says that in the time of Santiago de Vera, the Chinese said to the latter: “Take care, sir, do not allow the Japanese to come here; for if a few come now, and receive hospitable treatment, more of them will come tomorrow, and continually more, so that Page 45what happened to us will happen to you Spaniards.”

He says that he has heard it reported that the father of this Faranda requested the conquest of these islands from the king of Japon a number of years ago. To this end he requested five thousand soldiers; and the king of Japon promised him ten thousand. He has felled trees and prepared timber to build vessels.

Moreover, he declares that two other vessels are about to come here now. Before the coming of the Japanese this year, there were four hundred Japanese here. These two vessels have brought almost three hundred, and another three hundred will come in the ships that are coming. Therefore much caution must be employed.

He says also that many of the Sangleys who came with Faranda declare that this Faranda wants a share in these islands, and that they do homage to him. Miguel says that he cannot understand what Faranda wants here, unless it is this thing. If something is not given him, he will not return to Japon, but will send for troops.

He declares further that, when the Japanese made their first assault in China, they were living there peacefully. One night they set fire to the town that they inhabited, and captured and robbed all the people whom they could find. Many of the Sangleys fear lest this be enacted here. For why has Faranda come here to Manila, unless for this? It is said that he is gloomy because of the non-arrival of the troops.

He declares further that what he understands of the Chinese is, that if the Spaniards, when war should break out, would make arrangements with the Chinese to give them money and the heads of all the Japanese that they might kill—giving them a certain Page 46sum for each head, and allowing them to take it to China afterwards—many of the Chinese would fight with good courage. Two or three thousand soldiers could be found, who would fight very bravely.

He says that it would be advisable to go to Patan and Sian for saltpeter and lead. Sangley Christians could go for this in their own vessels. He declares further that, in case of necessity, they might bring from the Atarrayas, whose habitations extend from here to Palañaque, more than thirty picos of lead.

I, Fray Juan de San Pedro Martir, declare that I have learned, through a very certain and indubitable medium, that one of the Japanese who accompanied Faranda, and who is in his immediate service, told a certain individual that Faranda was coming to these islands in order that they might render him homage. If they should refuse it, he would not dare return to Japon; as the king of that country would hang him, if he returned without taking Manila, or its fort. There were five hundred Japanese here for the accomplishment of this. In testimony of the truth of the above, I affix my signature. April twenty-four, one thousand five hundred and ninety-three.

Fray Juan de San Pedro Martir

Antonio says that he heard it said in Hunquin's house in Japon that ten bañes of soldiers (one hundred thousand Japanese) would come here. When this Antonio told them that these islands contained only five or six thousand soldiers, and that here at Manila there were no more than three or four thousand Page 47soldiers, the Japanese said that so many troops would be unnecessary; and therefore that ten thousand would be sufficient.

He asserts further that his guest said, about three days ago, that three days would be sufficient for five or six thousand men to come here to Manila.

He says also that the clerk of Faranda and of the ship (who was arrested yesterday), while talking today with Pablo Rroman, told the latter that twenty Japanese were equal to twenty of us.

Antonio Lopez says also that on the night when his Lordship granted him leave to go to his house—the night of the feast of the Resurrection—Pablo Rroman was in the ship. This was told Antonio by the Sangleys, in particular by one of his cousins. Therefore they could ascertain from the father the intentions of Faranda. He says that he heard that he was going for copper.

This Antonio says also that, while he was in Faranda's house, Faranda ordered Don Pedro Leon, a Japanese, to ask a Spaniard present to fence with him. The Spaniard fenced, whereupon Faranda remarked that he was skilful. This he said in sarcastic comment on us, as was gathered from his manner of saying it.

He says also that the Sangleys who came in Faranda's ship complained that Faranda does not allow them to remove their possessions from it, and that none of them are willing to return with him.

He says also that the distance from Japon to Liutue is three hundred Japanese leguas, which are equal to two hundred Castilian leguas. In his opinion, and he says the father thought the same, ten Japanese leguas are equivalent to eight of ours. Page 48

He says also that a Japanese threatened Antonio Melo, a Christian Sangley, that, if he sold the vessel which he had brought from Japon, he would speak to Cunbaço, who would crucify the Sangley.

He says also that one sails from Luiteui [Liukiu?] to the island of Hermosa, whence he strikes Sioabuetabo, where the men go naked. If the weather is favorable, this voyage takes two days and one night, but if not, the only ports are in these islands of Liuitiui above mentioned. This Liuitiui consists of seven islands. He asked this in Japon.

He declares further that his guest told him that, if no fathers are sent to Japon this year, there will be war next year. If the governor sends a present to Cuanbaco, Faranda and Cuanbaco will be very glad; but if not, then there will be war. Father Fray Juan Cobo had discussed the same thing with this Antonio.

Antonio asserts, moreover, that he suspected in Japon that Hunquin would not allow Juan de Solis's ship to sail. He remarked this to Juan Sami, his comrade, a Christian Sangley, who had gone to Japon with him and father Fray Juan Cobo. He based this assertion on the fact that when this Antonio wished to bring the ship in which the father had come, Hunquin must have prevented its sailing; for, until this Faranda left, a servant of Hunquin remained at the port. Although this man was poor, yet Faranda respected him, feasted him, and gave him a garment when he left. His name was Hirobio.

Moreover, he says that his host told him that four or five thousand men would come in large vessels to conquer these islands, and that this number was sufficient. Only ten ships would be needed for this.

He declares that, in his opinion, it would be an Page 49advisable plan for the governor to contrive to despatch a couple of Japanese vessels without telling Faranda that he would give him any present, or any fathers to accompany him. He should show signs that he wishes to detain Faranda, in order to ascertain his intention in this way; for the latter has said that his ship must leave these islands first.

He asserts also that the Japanese emperor admits in his letter that the sword which he sent by means of the same Japanese, is called guihoccan. This is a Chinese word, which, being translated into our language, signifies: “I am sending thee that token of brotherly love. Cross the sea, so that thou mayst render submission to me.” This letter gi, or word gui, signifies “love,” and a token of the love which exists between brothers. This word hoc signifies subjection. Finally this word can signifies sea. Thus “the sword guihoccan” admits of the above explanation.

He declares also that his guest told him that the ships would not come to this bay; but that the soldiers would march here by land.

Miguel Onte declares that many Sangleys would buy catanas, but they did not dare, for fear lest the governor would take them away. He says the Chinese would like to sail five days ahead of the Japanese.

Antonio Lopez says that the helmsmen of the ship have told him that they and the pilot had consulted together as to the way of reaching Manila in the quickest time, and says that they will come by way of Liuteui. He declares also that he thinks that the Page 50Japanese have detained Pedro Solis's vessel and another one, which were about to sail; for surely, had they not been detained, they would have arrived. He says also that the reason why the helmsmen do not wish to return is because they know that the Japanese are coming next year, and that the latter will force them to bring them here. On this account, they wish to remain here and return to China. He says, too, that great care should be taken; for, in his opinion, it would be very advisable to detain the Japanese, and not allow them to return. For it is certain that they will try to subdue us; but if these do not return, the Japanese in Japon will be as though blind. He says further that Faranda told him yesterday that affairs were turning out well, and that they and we would be friends; and that it was very well that the governor had invited them. He also said that because the inhabitants of Core refused their friendship, and endeavored to fortify themselves, the Japanese retreated, in such manner as their knowledge of the country permitted—not being acquainted with the routes in the fortified part of the country, but only with those where it was not defended.

[Endorsed: “Ancient fears of Japon, 1593.”]

Copy of the letter written by Gomez Perez Dasmariñas to the emperor of Xapon.

Last year I wrote to your Grandeur through father Fray Juan Cobo, in reply to a letter given to me here in your royal name, although I had good reason to doubt the authenticity of the embassy as well as the meaning of the words, and I have waited almost a year to receive your statement and reply; and have Page 51only received a very short and general letter from Father Cobo, stating that he sailed away from there six months ago, highly favored and with his mission expedited by your royal hands, which I kiss therefor. Two Xaponese vessels, which have been hospitably received by me, have arrived here—one of them bringing Faranda, who claims to be your ambassador, but who brings neither a chapa nor your letter, nor an answer to mine, nor anything to clear up my doubt. And now, considering the uncertainty of the sea-voyage, and the fact that Father Cobo has not come, I am more in the dark than ever, and more desirous of learning your royal intentions and wishes. For, although Faranda brings me no credentials, yet I cannot believe that a vassal of your Grandeur, and one to all appearance so honored, would dare to appropriate and use your royal name without your order. Therefore, in such uncertainty, I cannot do otherwise than hear him and speed him in his mission. I answered a memorial which he gave me, as he will show you. At present, to clear up the doubt and uncertainty, I am sending father Fray Pedro Baptista, who is a most serious man, of much worth and character, with whom I counsel and advise in the affairs most important to my king; in short, he is my comfort and my consolation, as he is to all the people of this state. He carries with him the letters which have passed between us, and the copy of Faranda's memorial, and my answer thereto, so that he may there consider the whole affair with your royal person and bring back to me the explanation and certainty and decision which are to be hoped from your royal heart. He has power from me to accept and establish the peace and amity which are offered Page 52in your royal name and requested from us by Faranda; and the treaty shall be held in force and observed until such time as the king my lord, advised of the facts, shall order me what to do. I trust that all will come out as you desire. I, for my part, shall do all I can to further this. May God keep your royal person and grant much prosperity to you. From Manila, on the twentieth of May, in the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-three since our Lord's birth.

I was particularly inclined to send this despatch by one who, besides the high esteem in which he is held by me, is a member of the holy order of St. Francis, as Faranda requested this in his memorial addressed to me, wherein he said that it would greatly please you to see there fathers of this blessed order. This man is one of most strict and holy life, which alone would make him worthy of veneration. Page 53

1 Another corruption of Kuwambaku (see Vol. VIII, note 42).

2 The province of Satsuma, in the southern part of Kiushiu Island, the most southern of the main Japan group.

3 Miako (more generally known by its Chinese name, Kiôto) was the capital of the Japanese emperors from the year 794 until 1868. Mengoya is probably the same as the modern Nagoya, an important city in the province of Owari; in the other MS. the name is Nongoya.

4 Firando is now Hirado; and Mangasatte is apparently a corruption of Nangasaki.

5 Evidently an error in the MS. (which seems to be a duplicate copy of the original); the other MS. has “Chaxuma”—i.e., Satsuma.

6 From this point we follow the second and fuller account given in the other MS. (see Bibliographical Data at end of volume). The two agree nearly to the end of Solis's deposition; then follows, in the first, a brief statement by Antonio Lopez, and a letter from Dasmariñas to the Japanese emperor (which we shall give at the close of the second report).

7 In the original, cha, a word of Chinese origin.

8 The Christian religion was first introduced into Japan by the preaching of the great Jesuit St. Francis Xavier, in 1549. Favored Page 38nby the Japanese ruler Nobunaga, the Jesuit missions rapidly increased; and by 1581 “they reckoned nearly one hundred and fifty thousand adherents in all classes of society, and over two hundred churches.” (Rein's Japan, pp. 265–271.)

9 Liao-Tung, a province of Manchuria which lies between Korea and the Chinese province of Chi-Li (in which is Pekín); the former is also known as Mukden, from the name of its capital city.

Two Letters from Gomez Perez Dasmariñas to Felipe II


Last year, 1592, I gave your Majesty an account, in various letters (written in duplicate), of the condition of matters in this country, and of everything that had occurred up to that time of which I should advise you, and at greater length. Now I repeat that information sending with the present letter a brief summary or memorandum of the various points about which I wrote, so that, being thus reminded of what required deliberation, your Majesty may be pleased to order that all these matters be examined and suitable action taken. But lately (April 27), on the arrival at this port of a vessel from Mexico, I received no letter from your Majesty or your councils, because no fleet went hence to Mexico this year. Consequently I shall note here only what has happened since last year. Since I have had, this year, no news of your Majesty's health, may it please His Divine Majesty, that when this letter reaches you, it will find your Majesty enjoying the health needed by the interests of Christendom, and the prosperity for which we, your Majesty's vassals and servants, pray; and may this continue so for many Page 54long and happy years, so that the disturbed and embarrassed condition of affairs which now generally prevails may be reduced to order.

As I have written to your Majesty of our need here of ministers to give Christian instruction, I have great hopes that your Majesty has done us the favor to send a great force of missionaries to this vineyard and to this new field of Christendom, which so sorely needs them. I hope, too, that these laborers will not come from Mexico, but from España, and that they will be among those who are most needed there; for this land, so new and so distant from your Majesty's royal sight, demands such men. Likewise they should be humble, peaceful subjects, loving God and your Majesty, and attentive to their ministry of preaching the holy gospel and the salvation of souls. They should not be men with selfish interests, or have special objects or pretensions in view which would divert them from their chief aim. I am hoping for them chiefly because of the great need for them in the province of Tuy. This province was rendered obedient to your Majesty without bloodshed and voluntarily, by means of the fathers. At that time they paid some beads, and rice, and some small articles of little or no value, only as a slight token of recognition. I thought it better, according to our promises to them, not to collect any tribute from them inside of one year; and although this time has expired, still I have not thought it proper to collect the tribute, because of our lack of ministers to instruct them, and because I am thinking of founding a Spanish settlement there. This latter I propose doing, on account of the fertility of that region, and its superior climate, as well as the robustness of the Indians, and their Page 55great vigor and intelligence. They have large villages and houses, abundance of rice, cattle, fruit, cotton, anise, ginger, and other products. In that region fifteen thousand tributarios are subject to your Majesty's obedience. When the year, as above stated, had expired, I sent to Tuy, about five months ago, thirty soldiers under their leader, for the sole purpose of visiting those villages and ascertaining whether they were obedient to your Majesty's service and friendly to us. I sent them some beads, hawk's bells, and other trifles of slight value, although these things are highly esteemed among them. The people were found to be quite peaceful, obedient, and friendly, and were willing to pay the tribute to your Majesty at that time, as you will see by the accompanying information. I was unwilling to have the tribute collected until we have fathers to instruct them—or at least, until we institute justice among them and found a settlement there. For this last-named purpose I have no men, because many have died of disease during the past year. I am considering whether I shall make the settlement in Tuy, as it is the capital, or between Tuy and Cagayan; upon the arrival of the vessels, and after I have ascertained the fitness of the troops (for this vessel brought but few), we shall determine what is best.

The same need of ministers is felt in the provinces of Cagayan. And although all these provinces are so truly pacified, and the Indians therein very friendly and well satisfied, and all pay tribute, still the fourth part of the tribute is not collected, because of the lack of ministers. There is a countless number of villages needing instruction, and all ready to become Christians, and for this reason also I am awaiting Page 56ministers. I enclose information concerning the excellent condition of that region.

I have written your Majesty before of the good condition of the Zambales' affairs, and the severe punishment meted out to them, and the lack of ministers for the recent settlements made in pacifying them. Because of this lack, we have been unable to establish these settlements, as fully as is desirable—although the highways are safe and open, while in the mountain districts disturbances are but slight; so that the good condition prevails that your Majesty will see by the inclosed account. In Pangasinan and Ylocos, the tributes have been lately increased, and the whole district enjoys peace and tranquillity, as is apparent by the other account enclosed. In all these transactions in the above districts, there has resulted no confusion; on the contrary, there is universal tranquillity and accord. The same peace and tranquillity reigns in the provinces of Pintados, Cibu, and Camarines; and although, at my arrival here, on the opposite coast there were some things that needed attention and adjustment, as well as in other parts of these islands of Luzon and all this kingdom, there is now no quarter that has not been explored and that does not render peaceful homage to your Majesty.

Your Majesty will have learned from my letters of the satisfactory completion of the enclosure and fortification of this city, since it was already walled from the new fort on the point along the whole stretch of seacoast to the round fort of Nuestra Señora de Guia [“Our Lady of Guidance”]. This fort having fallen, not having been properly constructed, and so that it was of little or no use, I have reduced it to such shape that it will be of use, by joining to Page 57it a defense of cut stone, about as high as the fort, and a rampart that commands all the country and part of the sea. On the other side, I have built another rampart, small and low, for the defense of the principal gate of the city, which has been built there under the shelter and defense of the projection of the high fortification; so that fort is now safe and useful. Afterward the work will be completed on the other side. I am sending an account of this. From this gate, the wall is being continued along the land side toward the river as far as its entrance, with the same thickness, height, and shape as the other wall, and each with its traverses.

And now this city is enclosed by sea and land, so that only one small portion fronting on the river is open between that and the fort of the point. This has not been enclosed, because that open space is so small, and it fronts on the river between the fort of the point and another cavalier named Sanct Gabriel which has been built there. As these two are opposite each other and within easy distance, it is evident that no danger will enter by that place, for it is the best guarded and most secure. And, too, as this wall and fort have been built at so little or no cost to your Majesty, except from the two per cent tax levied once, and from your Majesty's monopoly of the sale of playing-cards, I ran so short of funds that I was compelled to leave this bit of the shore unenclosed. But, God be praised, the work in its present condition is so far advanced, that no enemy who attacks me can give me any cause for anxiety. Your Majesty may see what has been done since my arrival here, by the accompanying plan.1 This wall has had no less effect Page 58for the undeceiving of the natives. Hitherto they have hoped that the occupation and settlement of the Spaniards here was not to be permanent, as was observed in a joint meeting of the religious orders and myself, held in your Majesty's fort about one month ago. At that time Fray Christoval, who was managing this bishopric, said that, less than one month previous, some chiefs of La Laguna (which is five leagues from this city) had asked him when the Castilians were going to leave. They will have been already undeceived in this regard, and the insolent and audacious designs of the hostile mestizos and foreigners will have received a heavy blow when they see this city enclosed and defended by land and sea.

Although the cathedral church was being finished when the vessels left, after the portal was built—although with opposition and a suit, as your Majesty will see by the accompanying papers—I had your Majesty's arms placed upon it. Truly, that was sufficiently contrary to the will of these priests here, who—just as if your Majesty were some foreigner, and not the sovereign, as you are, of all this land—declare that, wherever the arms of St. Peter are placed, those of your Majesty are unnecessary, to such a state has the insistence and license of the ecclesiastics here come. Finally, as to the building of the church, it is so far advanced that, notwithstanding the little still to be done, the divine offices are celebrated therein with due propriety. The canons receive their pay from their stipends, and are content therewith. There is need of a prelate—who, as I have written your Majesty, should be not a theologian, but a canonist, in order to serve suitably God and your Majesty. Page 59The work on the new convent of Sanct Andres and Sancta Potenciana for the shelter and training of girls is well under way, although for lack of money not so far advanced as I would like. However, the girls are being cared for in the house first assigned them.

As I have written to your Majesty, I have four galleys fitted up, which are actually patrolling the coast, and acting as a defense to these islands whenever needed, although they cost me abundance of complaints, both in and out of the pulpit, from these blessed fathers, who have compelled me to make the enclosed inquiries; and yet, with the rumors and dangers current at the present time, these four seem but few to the theologues. My only regret is my inability to provide and fit them with all the things that they lack, as I wrote your Majesty.

In accordance with clause 7 of your Majesty's instructions, whereby I was ordered to allow the Indians to pay their tribute in land products or in money, as they chose, your order has been observed hitherto. Experience has shown that the carrying of this measure farther means the ruin of the country; for since the Indian sees that he can pay his tribute with ten reals, which he makes in one day's gain, all the rest of the year he makes merry and spends his time in idleness and leisure, drunkenness and magabalijas, which are his sources of income. Therefore they do not sow their fields, raise animals, or weave their cloth, or cultivate the fruits of the earth. On this account no rice is found, nor one mata or lampote,2 which is worth more than three from China. Page 60There is no cotton, wax, gold, or other article of exchange; and all the trade here in these things has been lost, as well as the great cheapness of these things when the Indians paid their tribute in produce, and not as they might choose. When it became evident that the country was falling into ruin, and the pressure brought to bear by the encomenderos in opposition to the religious orders, and the injuries and annoyances resulting from this method of collecting the tribute were seen, it was determined that it should be collected in produce, as your Majesty will see by the resolution taken there. Therefore we shall collect the tribute in accordance with this decision, until your Majesty shall be pleased to order otherwise.

The bishop of Malaca wrote me the letter that I enclose herewith. And although I answered him so briefly, and without making a decision (as you will see by the enclosed copy of the letter), because I did not like to say what I thought without first consulting your Majesty, now, because of some news and information given me in regard to matters of the commerce and navigation of those regions and of these, I lay before your Majesty, in the enclosed paper, the drawbacks and advantages on either side that I find in this matter, so that, after examining them, your Majesty may be pleased to order in all these matters what is most suitable.

I have written to your Majesty concerning the great annoyances resulting from the unsuitable marriages of widows and minors, who are wealthy encomenderas of this country. It is a fact that within the last few days, three cases of very great inequality and irregularity have occurred in the marriages of the widows of very respectable captains, with an income Page 61of more than four or five thousand pesos. One of them was of advanced age, and quite unfitted for marriage. They all married youths with little or no money, who have employed evil methods to obtain this end, and have defrauded several very honorable and worthy captains and soldiers, who serve here, and for whom such encomiendas were especially established. These women inherited these encomiendas from their husbands or fathers. This abuse will result in the complete destruction of this country, and the discouragement of its soldiers and conquistadors, unless your Majesty remedy it. This can be done by ordering that these marriages shall not be made here without communicating with you, under penalty of loss of such encomiendas; and it should be provided that the governor should not make this an opportunity whereby to accommodate and provide for his relatives and servants. Your Majesty will act according to your pleasure.

The encomenderos and soldiers of this country, who have grown old and married here, say, whenever I summon them for certain matters in your Majesty's service—whether for actual service, or only to confer with them—that they are old, that they have served sufficiently, and that they are embarrassed with wives and children. Thus I find them disinclined to any service; but, if I do not summon them, they assert that I give them nothing to do, and do not consult them at all. The worst of it all is that they all imagine themselves capable of giving counsel. Those who are capable know very well that I employ them, and consult them in matters about which I think they have something to say. For those who would complain, I leave the door open, so that Page 62they may present their arguments in regard to the mistakes made hitherto.

Having ascertained very carefully the extortions and injuries inflicted on the Indians by the encomenderos and their collectors, in the collection of their tributes, I have thought that it might be a good plan to have the tributes of all the encomiendas collected in your Majesty's name, and placed in the royal treasury; then they could be paid out from it to the encomenderos. By this method innumerable acts of tyranny and insolence would be avoided, which can not be remedied, especially in encomiendas distant from here one hundred, one hundred and fifty, or two hundred leguas. Not one case of punishment has occurred in these encomiendas, although there are wrongs. We must go there with the authority of the law. Thus all the encomiendas would have but one master and true proprietor—namely, your Majesty. The collectors would be appointed by one person, and would be men of merit, and conscientious and moral. The estate of the temporal3 encomenderos would be managed for them at less cost than they themselves would incur therein, and all the tributes would be collected without any care or trouble on their part. Although this might be somewhat severe on those who already possess encomiendas, it might at least be adopted for those in the future who are granted favors and new appointments (just as if the encomienda were vacant), so that this so commendable usage might be introduced. In reality the value of the encomienda would be given to them, Page 63minus the cost of collection; and the instruction, would be much better paid, although this latter is regulated as carefully as possible. By this method, too, certain soldiers who are poor and still in service could be appointed to make these collections. May our Lord, etc. From Manila, June xx, 1593.

Gomez Perez Dasmariñas


Because of the great need, I have granted in your Majesty's name a license for this once for the printing of the “Christian Doctrine,” copies of which I enclose herewith—one in the Tagal language, which is the native and the best language of these islands, and the other in the Chinese language.4 I hope that great benefits will result therefrom in the conversion and instruction of the people of both nations. And because the countries of the Yndias Page 64are on a larger scale in everything, and because things are more expensive in them, I have set the price at four reals apiece until your Majesty is pleased to decree what is to be done.

On certain of the buildings of this city upon which it is advisable to have the city's arms placed—as the houses of the cabildo, the prison, and others built at the expense of the city—I have not allowed the arms to be placed; for the arms which are now on some cloths5 on its cabildo, which are those used at the discovery of this country, seem to me to have more meaning and to be more pleasing to the natives of the country than to the Spaniards who settled it. For they represent a bark or frigate in a river, with a shore lined with cocoa-palms, which is a fruit of this country. If some memorial of some king imprisoned, or some notable deed were to be placed on them, they [the Spaniards] would consider them suitable. But of them, I say, that should the Indians seek for a coat of arms as a memorial of their native place and country, they could find none more suitable. Therefore I believe that the city will adopt with ready compliance such design as your Majesty may ordain. For this purpose, I have ordered that, on the façades of the principal gate of this city, and in other places, where I have had your Majesty's arms placed, collateral stones be placed for those of the city, as yet left blank, until your Majesty shall determine what shall be decreed in the matter.

The procession made here on Corpus Christi day, with the assent of the bishop, passed before his residence; and although but twenty or thirty paces from Page 65the royal buildings, the procession did not go to them, which they could have done at the cost of so little time and space, and would not, on that account, have been prevented from returning to the house of the bishop. Will your Majesty order in this regard according to your pleasure.

The city is concerned, and I believe I wrote to your Majesty, about the ten per cent duty imposed in Mexico recently on merchandise from this country; and although I desire nothing so much as that there be found a way to provide for the pressing need in which your Majesty finds yourself in these necessitous times, still, with your Majesty's permission, I will say only concerning this, that, although it is true that the profits of this merchandise, if well administered, might endure this duty, yet the citizens of this country are poor, the money and capital are restricted, and the land is new; and at the beginning these gains were larger than now, since, because of the heavy expenses, the net profit obtained is much less. Likewise it appears that the same statement is true of the natives, who feel keenly so many burdens, and who are suspicious that we are gradually increasing them. Therefore they say the Castilians have good words but few deeds, and those evil. Those who might better carry this burden are the Chinese, because of the great profit and gain that they make and obtain here in so little time. But I fear also that if they are annoyed, they will not come and will abandon the trade, by which this country lives and increases. I do nothing but put both of these considerations before your Majesty, so that you may ordain in everything what is most to your service. May our Lord preserve your Majesty for many happy years as Christendom Page 66has need, and as we, the vassals and servants of your Majesty, desire. Manila, June 20, 1593.

[Endorsed: “Filipinas. Copy of a letter written by Governor Gomez Perez Dasmarinas.”] Page 67

1 This plan is not in the Archivo de Indias.

2 A textile fabric of cotton made by the natives of the Philippines; see Zúñiga's Estadismo (Retana's ed.), ii, 88, where the word is spelled lompote.

3 Spanish, encomenderos temporales; apparently referring to grants of encomiendas made for a limited time, or to those which were held subject to an annual pension.

4 It has been generally supposed that the first book printed in the Philippines was the Arte y reglas de la lengua Tagala (Bataan, 1610). J.T. Medina cites the Historia eclesiastica of Fray Alonso Fernandez (Toledo, 1611—but he cites p. 100 of edition of 1693), to show that in 1602 a book was published at Manila concerning Our Lady of the Rosary. But this letter of Dasmariñas proves conclusively that printing in the islands goes back to at least as early a date as 1593. It was published by Retana in Política de España en Filipinas (October 23, 1899); and in part by Medina, who conjectures that the “Christian Doctrine” there mentioned was composed by Fray Juan de Plasencia. Aduarte states explicitly (Historia, ed. 1640, i, p. 108, and ii, p. 16) that the first printer in the islands was Juan de Vera, a Chinese convert, in the Dominican convent at Manila; and that he was incited to do this work by the Dominican friar Francisco de San Joseph. But he also states that the latter came to the Philippines with Benavides (1595). For further accounts of printing in the islands, see Medina's Imprenta en Manila (Santiago de Chile, 1896), pp. v–lxxvi; Retana's Zúñiga, ii, pp. 93*–100*; and Middleton's Notes on Bibliography of Philippines (Philadelphia, 1900), pp. 27—37.

5 Apparently meaning pieces of canvas on which the arms were painted.

Memorandum of Troops Required in the Philippines.

The soldiers necessary to guard the city of Manila, and the redoubts, galleys, forts of Cagayan and Çebu, and presidios erected against the Zambales:

For Cagayan, seventy soldiers are needed for the defense of the city, and thirty for the fort and presidio of San Pablo, near Cagayan, the total amounting to one hundred 100
For the town of Arevalo, in Otton, one hundred 100
For Camarines, one hundred 100
For Ylocos, one hundred 100
For Çebu—that is, the city of Santissimo Nombre de Jhesus—one hundred 100
For the settlement of the provinces of Tuy, recently explored, one hundred 100
For the presidios among the Çambales—namely, the presidio de San Andres de Mexico, thirty; the presidio of Tarla, thirty; the presidio of San Phelippe de Malabuc, thirty; the presidio of La Playa Honda, thirty: the total amounting to one hundred and twenty soldiers 120
For the guard of Mariveles, eight soldiers. 8Page 68
For the guard and defense of this city of Manila, we shall need one thousand men—or, at the very least, six hundred. 600
For the new fort on Point Sanctiago, ten gunners and twenty soldiers 30
For the fort of Nuestra Señora de Guia, eight gunners and twenty soldiers 28
For the cavalier of San Gabriel, six soldiers and one corporal 7
For the fort at the port of Cavite, twenty-four soldiers 24
For four galleys to guard these coasts, to each one twenty-five soldiers, a total of one hundred 100
Total, one thousand five hundred and seventeen men 1517

With this number this kingdom would have some assurance of security, both from the natives and from surrounding peoples. It should be taken for granted that reënforcements be sent each year to maintain this number; for, because of the unhealthfulness of this country, many are constantly dying.

[Endorsed: “Troops necessary in those Philippinas Islands.”] Page 69

Letter from Gomez Perez Dasmariñas to the King of Camboja

Gomez Perez Dasmarinas, knight of the order of Sa[n]ctiago, governor and captain-general of Luson: For the king of Castilla, my sovereign, I wish you health and prosperity. I received the embassy and letter of the king of Camboja1 with great happiness; with these, as well as with the elephant and the friendship that you send me, I am greatly pleased—as also with the inclination that you manifest for the service and devotion of the king, my sovereign. I shall inform the latter of this, and it will be esteemed highly. I have grieved sorely over the wars and hostilities between the kings of Camboja and Sian; for I would much prefer that perfect harmony, accord, and peace should reign between two such kings and neighbors (both of whom are our friends), for without it is neither advantage nor happiness. I would grant the king of Camboja the aid and reënforcement Page 70that he begs against the king of Sian, but that king would marvel at it. He is also a servant of mine, and our friend. Therefore I wish to know the cause and grounds for these animosities, and the justice and reason on either side, for thus can I come to a just decision. In the meanwhile, since the result of wars (even when they are victorious ones), is for the most part ruin, death, destruction, and depopulation of kingdoms and vassals; and my good will and affection toward the king of Camboja binds me to desire to see him freed from these difficulties and this uneasiness, so that he may live tranquilly, and that we may have intercourse and friendship, and that commerce and harmony may increase among all of us everywhere, to the common advantage of all—I have tried to provide the easiest and best method. This is for me to become arbitrator, in order to try to adjust these differences. Therefore I have written a letter and sent an ambassador to the king of Sian, without informing him that the king of Camboja is in need of aid and has begged it from me, and I think that he will accept. If so just a cause should fail, then your and my cause is more reasonable and justifiable, in order to do what you beg of me. In any event, you can be certain of my being a friend to the king of Camboja—as your ambassador, who is returning well-treated and happy, will tell you in greater detail. Let us consult and discuss over the road already opened. Those of Camboja will always receive the same hospitable treatment as in their own land. I am sending you some emeralds, and a horse, which is an excellent animal, in token of affection, besides some hunting dogs, for Belosso told me that they were much esteemed in Camboja. Because of Page 71the lack of certain Spanish curiosities, I am not sending such; but I shall procure them for another time. If another rose diamond from this country would be acceptable, I shall be very glad to give it to you. To fulfil more completely our friendship, I am sending you the copy of the letter that I wrote to the king of Sian. May God preserve and prosper you. From Manila, September 27, in the year 1593 since our Lord Jesus Christ's birth.

Gomez Perez Dasmarinas

[Endorsed: “1594. Copy of a letter to the king of Camboja from Governor Gomez Perez.”] Page 72

1 According to Morga, this king was named Prauncar (Phra Uncar) Langara; and his ambassador was Diego Belloso (Veloso), a Portuguese. On returning to Cambodia with this letter to its king, the envoy found that country conquered by the Siamese. He was captured by them and carried, with the presents that he bore from Dasmariñas, to Siam. Later, he aided in the restoration of the exiled royal family of Cambodia to power; and for these services a province was given to him. See Morga's Sucesos (Hakluyt Soc. trans., London, 1878), pp. 44—52.

Documents of 1594

Sources: The royal decree of April 27 is taken from Santa Inés's Crónica, ii, p. 607; the remaining documents are obtained from MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla.

Translations: The sixth document is translated by Consuelo A. Davidson; the first two letters in the seventh, by José M. and Clara M. Asensio, and Arthur B. Myrick, respectively; all the remaining matter, by James A. Robertson. Page 73

List of Philippine Villages Reduced by the Spaniards

List of the villages reduced to the service of his Majesty, and the names of the chiefs who have made peace, since Captain Ffernando de Berramontano went to those provinces as chief and leader of the troops, at the order of Gomez Perez Dasmarinas, governor and captain-general of these Philipinas Islands.

  • Potol and its allies—chiefs, Atano, Anguilo, and Ffucao.
  • Village of Cataguram—chief, Manipas.
  • Village and river of Tulaque—chief, Apavao.
  • Village and river of Massi—chief, Seriban.
  • Village of Gatara—chief, Lipagam.
  • Valley of Sinabanga—chief, Amangapa.
  • River of Bangal—chief, mother of Sseriban.
  • River of Pata—chiefs, Amanbacay and Manipaz.
  • River of Cabrasinga—chiefs, Lumboy and Ffucman.
  • River of Maguin—chief, Seriban.
  • Estuary of Bacto—chief, Sivican.
  • Bulay-chief, Macapito.
  • Village of Magamon—chiefs, Higoran and Maramossi.
  • Village of Higuy-chief, Hivigan.
  • Village of Carlanga—chiefs, Maguigal and Agarrao.
  • Village of Linga—chief, Palatao.Page 74
  • Village of Lobo—chief, Dalapiao.
  • Village of Arangay—chief, Abugam.
  • Village of Pras—chief, Agarrao.
  • Village of Gumay—chief, Saguin.
  • Village of Tarugo—chief, Valigot.
  • Village of Gadu—chief, Balagua.
  • Village of Taban—chief, Baloy.
  • Village of Catabagam—chief, Banagua.
  • Village of Tapayacan—chief, Vanga.
  • River and towns of Nabunga, belonging to his Majesty—chief, Tabuga.
  • Village of Calabatan—chief, Bacu.
  • Village of Maguin—chief, Baligot.
  • Village of Malapil—chief, the same.
  • Village of Tuao—chief, the same.
  • Village of Canoran—chief, the same.
  • Village of Agat—chief, Lahizio.
  • Estuary of Malaguit and village of Sinagan—chief, Calaz.
  • Village of Doga—chief, the same.
  • Village of Cabicumga—chief, the same.
  • Village of Gabutan—chief, the same.
  • Village of Taramin—chief, the same.
  • Village of Lines—chief, the same.
  • Village of Massi—chief, the above.
  • Village of Nagugan—chief, the above.
  • Village of Gumoy—chief, the same.
  • Village of Talapa—chief, Çiroy Babalino.
  • Village of Pelitan—chief, Sibay.
  • Village of Lubutan—chief, Magalate.
  • Village of Batagua—chief, Ladaran.
  • Village of Tubigarao and its allies—chief, Lahinaman Darrey.
  • Village of Maguila—chief, Batoninam.Page 75
  • Village of Calabatan—chief, Matalo.
  • Village of Care—chief, Alu.
  • Village of Duli—chief, Duli.
  • Village of Bolo—chiefs, Manoto and Sino.
  • Village of Masepni—chief, Seriban.
  • Village of Guinoya—chief, Sinanagua.
  • Village of Balissi—chief, Matalaguan.
  • Village of Purrao—chief, Zuaduban.
  • Village of Bual—chief, Mamagua.
  • Estuary of Nalaguan—chiefs, Tagabassi, Pasigan and Sima.
  • Village of Carrima—chief, Urragam.
  • Village of Taporagua—chief, Sidagay.
  • Village of Cacaguayan—chief, Zalope.
  • Village of Talamas—chief, Marratan.
  • Village of Alata—chief, Vaguigo.
  • Village of Tabagan—chief, Basugumi.
  • Village of Bugarro—chief, Pigol.
  • Estuary and villages of Dumon.
  • Durangua.
  • Tinapanga.
  • Gabemta.
  • Balogo—chief, Bengel.
  • Village of Camalayuga—chief, Litagua.
  • Village of Daludu—chief, Jseamalaza.
  • Village of Tocolana—chief, Mandarelac.
  • Province of Yugan, but lately conquered, with seven villages.
  • Villages of La Lamona and Mandaya, seven in all.
  • The chief river, named Tazo.

Camalayuga, Segovia, Tocolana, Pantao, Camanao, Gotate, Tagay, River of Maguin, Calimotan, Dumon, Durango, Tinaponga, Gabemta, Bolaryo, Balobo, Galitan, Dulaga, village of Mapanga, Locon, Page 76Masepin, Estuary of Arolo, Pagaman, Amoran, Agopan, Estuary of Bacto, Yamaguam, Mangua, Bagan, Goran, Magano, Higuy, Batana, Cacomigan, Arrimanao, Cataessaman.

Catadar, Estuary of Maguila, Cacomigan, Cabugao, Mapapala, Boboo, Estuary of Bagam, Tubigarao, Abas, Louba, Nota, Botoan, Lulu, Lapugan, Vical, Estuary of Malagui, Nalaguam, Ungagui, Carrama, Ymaniz, Quinoyo, Marranate, Batagua, Boluye, Lulutam, Estuary of Batagua, Amiguibay, Bugarro, Bonoay, Bugao, Bungal, Alu, Alagua, Bolabic, Togote.

Cugan, Alate, Roge, Fugao, Inlet of Purrao, Bolo, Tingar, Pipin, Purrao, Dala, Bicum, Malata, Duyusan, Bacuam, Baga, Upland of Lapazada, Nabotas, River of Çimbuey, Pelitam, Alata, River Atam, Paguyamapi, Luday, Lama, Babayugom, Malin, Casiyam, Agutane, Maguilo, Parbuam, Tabussi, Capay, Minaga, Balaga, Malopi, Matudo, Loquillo, Beledeca, Cagavian, Bagu, Guto, Labu, Tongolan, Talogua, Talaona.

Gumitan, Lubutan, Ligon, Baporago, River of Baporago, Cabalaratan, Gamoy, Abazague, Passacoy, Biao, Malay, Bulagua, Plains of Llobo, Madulango, Cari, Duli, Marañon, Tapie, Nabunge, Bangal, Ulagua, Tarugo, Gadu, Ylagua, Pras, Tarro, Taban, Carlanga, Yagam, Ramoron, Pagamal, Agunge, River of Llobo, Tabagam, Pipi, Gumabi, Capayam, River of Palmarez [“palm-groves”], Malabit, Arangay, Lobor, Valley of Palmarez, Estuary of Gacare, Jataro, Talapo, Talapanze, Mandayo.

La Lamona, Potol, Sinabange, Cabunuam, Jacatay, Tocol, Alibumga, Maperi, Manaco, Paracam, Page 77Duludu, Ladugo, Minalam, Batal, Batatas, Balissi, Estuary of Latupe, River of Lulaque, Simayo, Massin, River Bangal, Bangal, Pata, Cabicumga. Page 78

Letter from Luis Perez Dasmariñas to the King of Canboja

To the king of Canboja:

Don Luis Perez Dasmariñas, knight of the order of Alcantara, governor and captain-general of Luzon, for the king of Castilla, my sovereign, wishes you health and prosperity.

After the governor, my father, had despatched Captain Diego Belosso, your ambassador, and had given him the enclosed letter, God our Lord, in whose hand and divine providence are life and death, was pleased to take my father to himself.1 I succeeded him in his duties, and in the good-will and friendship with which he was ready to aid, in every way, the desire and service of the king of Canboja. I shall continue the same in all sincerity, as the bearer of this will inform you. And as proof of this, in order that Diego Belosso2 may not go unaccompanied, I am sending Diego de Villanueva with this reply. He is an honored nobleman, of excellent Page 79qualities; and he might be of some service and use to you there in mining matters, for he has much knowledge thereof, as well as in the working of metals. You may discuss with him what you wish, and anything pertaining to the good of your kingdom. You may credit anything that he may say and represent in my name. I shall be very glad to establish intercourse and communication between us; for the people of Canboja will ever meet, when they come here, hospitable reception and fatherly love from me. Truly I wish that I had here some Spanish curiosities to send to the king of Canboja, in token of love and friendship; but on a second journey, God pleasing, I shall be better prepared. In the meanwhile I shall inform the said king, my sovereign, of this new friendship, and of the pathway opened for trade and communication between us, which is so useful and agreeable to all, and from which I hope will result glory for our great God, and many beneficial results. The king, my sovereign, will heartily commend and favor this, and will rejoice exceedingly that it shall result in every way to your satisfaction and approval, an object which I shall forward whenever opportunity presents. May our Lord God preserve and prosper you. Manila, February 8, 1594.

Considering that the king of Canboja wishes to advance Diego de Belosso, and that he is a deserving man, I have given special orders that he should go, as he does, free from restrictions, and with satisfactory equipment.

[Endorsed: ”+1594+. Copy of the letter to the king of Canboja from Governor Don Luis Perez.”] Page 80

1 Regarding Dasmaríñas's death, see note 44, Vol. VIII. He was succeeded by his son, Luis Perez, the writer of this letter; he acted as governor until the summer of 1596.

2 Belloso secured aid from Luis Perez Dasmariñas for the exiled king of Cambodia; but Morga says (p. 46) that this was done against his advice and that of other leading officers.

Investigation of the Hospital

I, Hernando de los Rios, administrator of the royal hospital of this city, declare that, because of the small amount of income and alms received by the said hospital, the needs of the sick are not provided for. It is impossible to give them everything requisite for their health, inasmuch as there are many sick there, both of the ordinary troops and the mercenary soldiers, to whom his Majesty gives medicines, and for whom he supplies a physician, as he is bound to do. The same provision is made for the other poor and needy inhabitants and citizens to whom his Majesty is under obligations, as they are old soldiers and settlers who have served for many years in this country without any pay. Many of them fall sick from the great sufferings that they undergo, because of the unhealthfulness of this country, both in food and climate, and from other causes. However, these would be much more numerous, if there were no place in which to succor their necessities. As is well known, not one of the sick has (and there is not in this city) any other place where they can go except to this hospital. It is well known how much more it costs his Majesty to transport a man from Nueva España than to sustain him after having brought him here; and for the Page 81common welfare of this community and its conservation, it is necessary to have men here. Hence, and since charity to the sick is so great a service to God our Lord, I beg and entreat your Lordship to be pleased to assign to the said hospital from the royal exchequer what is necessary for its efficient administration and maintenance, in consideration of the fact that the income apportioned to it is inadequate, because of its heavy expenses. If necessary, I am ready to undergo investigation, and I take oath in due form that this petition is made with no ill intent, and I beg justice.

Hernando de Los Rios

February 16, 1594: Investigation shall be made in regard to the contents of this petition. The witnesses whom the administrator of the hospital shall present in the course of the legal verification which he has been ordered to make shall be examined in accordance with the following interrogatory.

1. First: Whether they are acquainted with the said hospital.

2. Item: Whether they know that there is no other hospital in these islands and city where the Spanish, especially the soldiers, can be treated.

3. Item: Whether they know that the majority of the soldiers serve for pay, and that there are, as a rule, fifty or sixty sick, or even more.

4. For the fourth question: Let them state whether they know that, by failing to give them the necessary attention, his Majesty would be put to greater expense and cost, and this community would suffer great harm and loss, because of the death of many, and because of the much greater expense to Page 82the king, our sovereign, in transporting one soldier here than in supporting two.

5. Item: Let them state whether they know that, because of the small pay and the dearness of food, and because of their discomfort and their heavy toil in mounting guard and in sentinel duty, many fall sick daily and die; and that for this reason, the said hospital always contains more sick men than it can take care of.

6. Item: Let them state whether they know that many of the old sailors and soldiers, who have served his Majesty here, are poor and needy; that these men are useful in this country, because they are, like the others, ready for whatever occasions arise; that they have no other place to go to except the said hospital, when they become sick; and that his Majesty is under obligations to provide them with a hospital, as he has not rewarded their services.

7. For the seventh question: Whether they know that the hospital possesses an income of but little more than one thousand five hundred pesos, and that the gifts to it are very few.

8. For the eighth question: Whether they know that the said hospital needs more than six thousand pesos for its maintenance, since its expenses are high, and since there is no other food in this country that can be provided for the sick than fowls, which are valued at excessive rates—as, for instance, two reals, or two and one-half or three reals.

9. The ninth: Let them state whether they know that the said hospital uses many drugs from Castilla and other regions, which are very dear, because they are brought from so great a distance as those who know say. Page 83

10. For the tenth question: Let them state whether they know that the said hospital is in great need of buildings for the service of the poor, and the accommodation of the others who work in the said hospital; since it has but one corridor, where the said sick are poorly accommodated and crowded; and that therefore the said hospital needs four more buildings.

11. For the eleventh question: Let them state whether they know that, in addition to the things enumerated above, the said hospital has need of a very large force of attendants, as brethren and slaves, and of other services from Indian men and women, upon whom a great sum of money is necessarily spent, both in wages and food; and that they are badly accommodated, because they have no adequate house.

12. For question twelve: Whether they know that all the aforesaid is public and well known.

Hernando de Los Rios

Evidence on the part of the hospital

In the city of Manila, on the fifteenth day of the month of April, one thousand five hundred and ninety-four, Colonel Hernando de los Rios, steward of the Spanish hospital of this city, in answer to the contents of the petition and interrogatory above set forth, presented as witness Fray Diego Muñoz, prior of the convent of Sant Pablo de San Agustin of Manila, and commissary of the Holy Office. Oath was taken from him in verbum sacerdotis, and he promised to tell the truth. Being interrogated in accordance with the inquiry, he deposed as follows:

1. To the first question he answered that he knew of the royal hospital of this city of Manila from the Page 84time of its establishment by Doctor Santiago de Vera. This was his answer.

Being asked the usual questions prescribed by law, he said that he was thirty-four years old and competent to be a witness.

2. To the second question, he answered that he knew there is no other hospital for treating Spaniards throughout these islands except that of the said city of Manila. Therefore Spaniards from all the islands, especially ordinary soldiers and mercenaries, go there for treatment. This was his answer.

3. To the third question he answered that he knew the number of patients in the said hospital, as he had been in it many times. He thought it contained ordinarily fifty or sixty sick soldiers. This was his answer.

4. To the fourth question he answered that he knew that by not giving proper attention to the sick, his Majesty would suffer greater expense and cost in being compelled to send other men in their place to this country. This will be a great expense to his Majesty, because of the high cost of transporting each of those who go to the said islands; besides, on account of the great distance of the country, and the difference of its climate from that of our España, many men die. This was his answer.

5. To the fifth question he answered that his reply was the same as to the preceding question.

6. To the sixth question he answered that besides the mercenaries and ordinary soldiers who are treated in the said royal hospital, many others are also treated—namely, sailors, and old and poor Spanish soldiers, who because they have not the means to be treated, have recourse to the said hospital. These Page 85his Majesty is under obligation to assist, because of their services. This was his answer.

7. To the seventh question he answered that he referred to the attestation and certifications given by the officials of the royal exchequer of these islands, and that he knew that the income is insufficient for the heavy expense incurred by the said royal hospital—as this witness and the other superiors of the religious orders of this city have written to his Majesty, begging him to assist the said royal hospital by increasing its income, since it is not sufficient. This was his answer.

8. To the eighth question he answered that his reply was the same as to the preceding question.

9. In answer to the ninth question he declared that he believed that, since so many sick persons are treated in the said hospital, many drugs must necessarily be used which are not products of this country, and which must be brought from Nueva España and other regions. This was his answer.

10. In answer to the tenth question he declared that he knew that the hospital needs more buildings than it has, for the sick are many and crowded. This was his answer.

11. In answer to the eleventh question he declared that he did not know; but that he thought that for so many people as are there usually, many servants are necessary. This was his answer.

12. In answer to the twelfth question, he declared, on his oath, that the aforesaid is the truth and is public and well known; and he affixed his signature to it.

Fray Diego Muñoz

Before me:

Martin Sanchez de Leyba, royal notary. Page 86

[In like manner, depositions were taken from Fray Alonso Jimenez, provincial of the Order of St. Dominic; Father Antonio Sedeño, superior of the Society of Jesus; Captain Pedro de Chaves, master-of-camp; Diego Velazquez de Mercado, dean of the cathedral of San Pedro de Manila; and Gaspar de Ysla, former steward of the hospital. Their testimony is much the same as the one given above, nothing new being brought out. The document ends as follows:]

In regard to this work I certify, in so far as I may, as to its necessity and justice, for the welfare and amendment of all this country and community; and that it is a work worthy the royal heart of his Majesty, that it needs his royal and generous protection and favor, and that God our Lord through His poor, will be greatly served in it.

Luis Perez Dasmarinas

Therefore I affixed my seal in testimony of accuracy.

Gaspar de Azebo

[Endorsed: “Inquiry in regard to the great advantage derived from the royal hospital of Manila, and in regard to the affirmation that the poor cannot be supported with its income.”] Page 87

Report Concerning the Filipinas Islands, and other Papers

A Report Concerning the Filipinas Islands, which it is Advisable to Settle and Pacify; and other Matters

Most potent Sire:

Fray Francisco de Ortega1 of the order of St. Augustine, visitor-general of the province of the Philipinas, and prior of the convent of the city of Manila, with desire and zeal for the service of God our Lord, and of your Highness, in order to inform you concerning the nature of the Philipinas Islands, which have rendered obedience to your Highness, and of what is advisable for their welfare and increase, and for the relief of your Highness's royal conscience, makes the following declaration.

1. That it will be of much import for your Highness to order the island of Mindanao, which is four Page 88hundred leguas in circuit, to be pacified and settled. It is said that there are many people there who, when pacified, will need, according to the report made, at least eighty ministers for the conversion of those natives. This said island lies to the south. It produces a great quantity of cinnamon, which, if cultivated, will prove a source of great profit to the royal exchequer of your Highness. This island is quite near those of Maluco, and the occupation of it will be very advantageous, because of what is said of the trade and commerce of the said Malucas Islands, of which we would thus gain practical knowledge.

2. The island of Leyte lies in the same southern region. It is sixty leguas in circumference. It is apportioned to eight encomenderos, who have about five thousand Indians as tributarios. The latter have up to this day never seen ministers of the gospel, and they have been paying tribute for over twenty years. It is advisable, for the relief of the conscience of those encomenderos and the royal conscience of your Highness, that ministers be furnished. For the conversion of those natives, ten ministers will be needed, counting one minister to each five hundred tributarios. These latter will amount to ten thousand souls, but more rather than less, counting the women and children.

3. The island called Negros, which has been so called by the Spaniards because in this island there are more than the usual proportion of a race called Negrillos; they are not, however, as black as those of Guinea. They live separate from the natives of the island, which is something like one hundred leguas in circumference. Four thousand five hundred Indians pay tribute in this island, which is allotted to eight Page 89encomenderos. These, as well as the encomenderos of Leyte, above mentioned, have repartimientos of Indians in other places. For the conversion of these natives, nine or ten more ministers of the gospel will be needed. According to the above report, there are some twenty thousand souls there.

4. The island of Panay has twenty-five thousand Indians as tributarios, or about one hundred thousand souls, rather more than less. It is one hundred leguas in circumference, and has sixteen encomenderos, and fourteen religious of the order of St. Augustine, in six monasteries founded there—one on the river of Panay, which is in the royal crown lands of your Highness, and the other five monasteries in villages of the encomenderos. All the other villages of this island, which is the best in that land, after Luzon, are without ministers. To comply with the obligation and relief [of the conscience] of the encomenderos, thirty-six ministers are needed, in addition to the aforesaid; for the island, as I have said, contains about one hundred thousand people, great and small, requiring the ministry of instruction.

5. The island of Cubu, which was the first in this archipelago to render obedience to your Highness, and where the first settlement of Spaniards was established, is one hundred leguas in circumference, or thereabouts. The number of Indians in the southern part, is not known with accuracy, because it has not been visited. Four thousand Indians pay tribute to eight encomenderos. It has no ministers of the gospel, but there is a monastery of the order of St. Augustine, established in the city of Santisimo Nombre de Jesus, and they have in charge a village of the natives near by, with about one thousand two hundred Page 90inhabitants. All the rest are without instruction. Six ministers, besides the three in the said monastery, are needed for the conversion of those natives.

6. The island of Bool is twenty-four leguas in circuit, with one thousand Indian tributarios, or about four thousand souls. They have never had, nor have they now, any instruction, and they have paid tribute for eighteen years. They need two ministers for their conversion.

7. The island of Cuyo is twelve leguas in circumference. It has one thousand Indians paying tribute, but, for want of ministers, none of it is christianized; for they have never had them and have not now. They have been paying tribute as long as those of the island of Bool. Two ministers are needed for the instruction of these natives.

8. The island of Mindoro is eighty leguas or so in circuit, and lies to the south. It is but scantily populated; although much of it has not been visited, in the known parts there are about two thousand Indian tributarios. The chief village of this island, which belongs to your Highness, has one minister. There is need of six ministers of the gospel, counting the one priest that it has.

9. And further, the said father Fray Francisco de Ortega says that, in addition to the islands named above, are other small islands, whose names follow. Ybabao is twelve leguas in circuit, has eight hundred tributarios, and is an encomienda. Samal has three thousand Indian tributarios, or something above ten thousand souls, and a circuit of about fifteen leguas. Capul is ten leguas in circuit, and has three hundred and fifty tributarios. The island of Maripipe has a like number, and is fifteen leguas in circumference. Page 91Camanguian, ten leguas in circuit, and one hundred and fifty tributarios; Cubuyan, eighteen leguas in circuit, and two hundred and fifty tributarios; the island of Cabras, a like number, and is eight leguas in circuit. Vanton is about ten leguas in circumference, and has about three hundred tributarios. That of Marinducq is thirty leguas in circuit, and has eight hundred Indian tributarios; Romblon, eight leguas in circuit, and one hundred and fifty Indian tributarios; Tablas, eighteen leguas and two hundred and fifty tributarios. The island of Ambil is five leguas in circuit, and has one hundred and fifty Indian tributarios; Buracay, six leguas, and two hundred and fifty tributarios. That of Helin is about eight leguas in circuit, and has three hundred Indian tributarios; Calamianes, sixty leguas in circuit, or thereabout, and thus far is known to have six hundred tributarios; Caguayanes, eighteen leguas in circumference, and about five hundred Indians; Mazbate, twenty-five leguas and five hundred and fifty tributarios. The island of Fuegos is nine leguas in circuit, and has two hundred tributarios; Ymaras, fourteen leguas in circuit, and three hundred and fifty tributarios.

10. All the above islands, and four other small ones, each of about eighty or one hundred Indians at the most, have no ministers of the gospel, nor are there any Christians in them, although all are apportioned into encomiendas. One encomendero holds five or six islands as an encomienda; and, because they are not easily accessible, these natives are almost without possibility of ever having ministers, or of attaining to a knowledge of God our Lord. However, if they should have ministers, and if these dwelt in some of the best populated islands, they could visit the Page 92others, since they are near one another. By this means, those souls might be helped.

11. The island of Catanduanes, which lies north, near the island of Luçon, is about thirty leguas in circuit, and has four thousand Indian tributarios. It is apportioned to four encomenderos. Eight ministers of the gospel are needed for the conversion of those people, who number about sixteen thousand souls.

12. The island of Luzon, whereon is located the city of Manila, is the best and most thickly populated, most abundant in food and richest in gold mines. It is three hundred leguas in circumference, and is all apportioned among encomenderos. The villages in the chief places of the provinces belong to your Highness's royal crown. In this and other parts, your Highness has thirty thousand tributarios or thereabout. Although they all pay tribute in the villages under charge of encomenderos, many of them have no instruction; and they have paid, and there has been collected from them, tribute for more than sixteen years. That this may be quite evident to your Majesty, he says that, in the province of Camarines, located eighty leguas from the city of Manila in the said island, in the vicinity of the volcano of Albay, are four encomenderos, who collect more than three thousand tributes, and there are no ministers of the gospel. This means twelve thousand souls to be converted, for not one of them is a Christian, for the reason given above. For their conversion, six ministers will be necessary.

13. Further in the above province are four other encomenderos, who collect tribute from the island of Capul (which lies four leguas away), and from the bay of Ybalon. They collect almost three thousand Page 93tributes, and they likewise have no minister of the gospel. There are some two2 thousand souls, and they will need six ministers for their conversion.

14. In the above province is an islet of about two or three leguas in circuit. It is apportioned to two encomenderos, who collect one thousand two hundred tributes. This means four thousand souls, and will require two ministers.

15. Item: In the said province, near the volcano of Albay, is a village called Yguey, with seven hundred Indian tributarios, and not one a Christian, for lack of ministers. It belongs to one encomendero. There are about three thousand souls, more or less, who need two ministers of the gospel for their conversion.

16. In the same island of Luzon, toward the north, in the province of Cagayan, are some allotted Indians, who, although they pay tribute, are not baptized for lack of ministers. Their encomenderos are twelve in number, and the Indians in their encomiendas, ten thousand four hundred, or more than forty thousand souls. In proportion to the others, they will need twenty ministers for their conversion.

17. In the same island of Luzon, in the provinces of Ylocos and Pangasinan are twelve encomenderos, with sixteen thousand Indians paying tribute, which means about seventy thousand souls. Very few of these, not eight thousand, are baptized. They need thirty ministers for their conversion and instruction.

18. Besides the above, in the same island, another thickly-inhabited province in this region, one week's journey from Manila, was explored two years ago, by order of Governor Gomez Perez Dasmarinas. According Page 94to the report given to the said Fray Francisco de Ortega by friars of his order, at least forty ministers are needed there for the welfare, assistance, and conversion of those natives. Thus, all together, two hundred ministers of the gospel are necessary for the administration and conversion of the natives of those islands—which are under the protection and dominion of your Highness, to whom they have rendered obedience and whom they recognize as king and sovereign. This number is in addition to those who are there now, reckoning among these latter the descalced fathers of the order of St. Francis, who sailed in the fleet now on the way for Nueva España, in order to go to the said islands. And in order that your Highness may consider as excellently employed all that you have spent from your royal exchequer in the furtherance of this apostolic and sovereign work of conversion, he [Ortega] gives a report as to the monasteries of religious and the ministers of the three orders there, and the great results produced by the preaching of the gospel among those natives. This is to the great merit of your Highness, since they [the monasteries] have been the chief instrument of the relief and salvation of the Indians.

19. There is one monastery with four religious of his order of St. Augustine, in the island of Cubu. They have baptized about six thousand, large and small, of the Indians in their charge there.

20. There is another monastery of the same order in another small island, called Batayan. It has two religious, who have baptized three thousand souls.

21. In the island of Panay, the best island after that of Luzon, are six monasteries of his order. The island has sixteen ministers, who have baptized more Page 95than thirty thousand persons, large and small. Each day the conversion extends farther and it is through lack of ministers that more are not baptized.

22. In the island of Luzon, where the city of Manila is located, in a province called Pampanga, in a territory of eighteen leguas, are twelve monasteries of his order. These have twenty-nine religious, all priests. This district has twenty-three thousand five hundred tributarios, or ninety thousand souls—more, rather than less—for they are a people who multiply rapidly. Of all this number, there are but few unbaptized.

23. In the same province (I mean island) of Luzon, is another province, called Ylocos, and another, Pangasinan, where his order of St. Augustine has eleven monasteries; and another in a Spanish settlement on the Cagayah River, where there are twenty-eight religious, all priests. In all this territory are twenty thousand tributarios, or about eighty thousand souls, of whom fifty-five thousand are baptized, while the rest are daily becoming converted.

24. In another province, called Bombon, where there are two large lakes, the shores of which are all settled, within a territory twenty leguas from the city of Manila are established eleven monasteries of his order of St. Augustine. Here there are nineteen thousand five hundred tributarios, or more than eighty thousand souls. Of these more than sixty thousand are baptized, while the rest are regularly being converted. The said monasteries have twenty-six religious, all priests.

25. The monasteries belonging to the order of St. Augustine in those islands in the villages of the Indians number forty-three, with one hundred and five Page 96ministers, who have in their charge, as reported, two hundred and eighty-nine thousand souls, of whom two hundred and forty-four thousand are baptized, while the remaining forty-five thousand are being converted daily. In addition there is another monastery in the city of Manila, with twenty-five ministers—ten of them priests, and the others without sacerdotal orders. This is in addition to novices, of whom there are usually some in the monastery. The members of the convent have in charge certain Indians near the city along the seacoast. Thus there are forty-four monasteries with one hundred and thirty ministers.

26. The monasteries of the order of St. Francis in Indian villages in those islands, number twenty-three. They have forty-nine ministers in these; and in the city of Manila they have another monastery of their order, with fifteen religious—priests and brethren, laymen and choristers. He [Ortega] does not know the exact number of Indians in their charge, although he thinks that they have baptized something like thirty thousand persons.

There are four monasteries of the order of St. Dominic in Indian villages, and two in Manila—one among the Chinese settled there, and the other among the Spaniards. All six convents have eighteen ministers, and he thinks they have baptized something like fourteen thousand souls.

Fray Francisco de Ortega presents this report to your Highness, as one who has an experience of twenty-four years in those islands, and what remains from thirty-nine years in Nueva España. He presents the report with all sincerity, so that your Highness may have detailed information, and may deem Page 97yourself to be well served by his order. His hope is that the necessity of ministers—both for preaching to the natives already converted, and for the conversion of so vast a multitude of people still to be converted—being evident, your Highness, with your royal and usual kindness, may have a great number of ministers of the gospel sent; since God is sending the remedy that is drawing this people from their blindness, by the hands of your Highness, for whom He is keeping the reward of so noble and sovereign a work as this of converting a new world to the knowledge of God our Lord.

[Endorsed: “Fray Francisco de Ortega of the order of St. Augustine.”]

What He Begs for the Monasteries of His Order



Fray Francisco de Ortega, visitor-general of his order of St. Augustine, and prior of the convent of the city of Manila, in the name of that province, and by the authority which he has for that purpose, humbly begs and beseeches the following from your Majesty.

1. That your Majesty be pleased to bestow, as a grant and as alms for the building of the monastery of that city, a fixed sum for a certain period, as you did in past years for the building of the church of the said monastery. In that case were assigned for the period of ten years one thousand ducados annually. This grant is asked in consideration of the fact that it has been burned twice, and has been in part rebuilt from the alms that the religious have acquired with Page 98great difficulty. Another ground is the many services performed by his order in that country for your Majesty from the beginning, when it was settled, with innumerable hardships which they endured when engaged in implanting the faith, and in the service and relief of the royal conscience of your Majesty—there being then no other ministers there except them alone, as is quite well and commonly known, and as will appear by the evidence which he adduces thereof. Finally, a third ground for the grant is the fact that the monastery of Manila is very poor, so that it cannot continue the work undertaken, and therefore the religious are much inconvenienced by the narrowness of their quarters. This is a house where great strictness and austerity are observed; and in the bestowal upon them of this grant and alms by your Majesty God our Lord will be served abundantly, and his [Ortega's] order will receive benefit and favor thereby. Questions 20 to 24 and the opinion. [In the margin: “Let the father declare the nature and extent of the favor which he desires, and let the decree referred to be brought.” “A copy of the decree mentioned is brought.”]

2. Item: That in consideration of the fact that when your Majesty's first governor in those islands, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, assigned one hundred pesos (of eight reals to the peso) and fifty fanegas of rice annually for the support of each religious, goods were very cheap, while now they are worth twice as much, and the religious cannot be supported with this alms, he begs and beseeches your Majesty to have the goodness to order that the alms for the food and clothing of each religious be annually one hundred pesos de minas, or at least Castilian ducados, and the Page 99usual amount of rice. This is a very moderate request, since the religious possess no income or chaplaincies, and it will bring but little additional expense upon your Majesty's royal exchequer, as the monasteries sustained by your royal crown are but few; and if your Majesty gives commands to this effect, they will be much advantaged and favored. [In the margin: “Let the governor give information of conditions in this matter, and what he deems best for the future. Let him make a report of everything in minute detail.”]

3. Item: The said father Fray Francisco de Ortega declares that fourteen years ago, when he came from those islands the first time, your Majesty at his request and supplication granted favor to that province, by ordering your royal officials to give annually, to each religious who was a priest, two arrobas of wine for the mass, and to each convent of his order in the province six jars of oil for the lamp of the most holy sacrament, as was done throughout Nueva España. This was not fulfilled, because before the arrival of the time for the royal officials to give this alms the said convent of St. Augustine was burned; and among the property and papers destroyed was your Majesty's royal decree, bestowing the said favor. He begs and entreats your Majesty, in confirmation of the said favor and alms, to issue your royal decree, inserting the first decree therein, so that henceforth the said grant may take effect; and to direct the officials of the royal treasury in Mexico to send the things granted in kind to the royal officials of Manila, so that the latter may give them to the monasteries of the said order, in pursuance of and conformity with your Majesty's commands. By Page 100so doing the decree will be fulfilled and the expense to your Majesty's royal exchequer will also be diminished. [In the margin: “Have this decree renewed.”]

4. Further, he declares that at the convent of San Augustin de Manila the novices are taught, and that the arts and theology have been and will be regularly studied there. It is a seminary whence they go, and will continue to go, to other districts to preach to and convert those natives, and to instruct those already converted, and to administer the sacraments of our holy Catholic faith. There they receive and lodge the religious going to those islands from this kingdom to engage in the apostolic work of the conversion of those natives. The house is poor, so that with its present resources it is impossible to support eight friars, without the alms that your Majesty ordered to be given for four-there being, as a general rule, more than twenty religious in the said convent. He begs and entreats your Majesty, in consideration of the aforesaid, to order the grant increased to the number of twelve religious, more or less, as may be your Majesty's pleasure. They will receive this as a great help and bounty. [In the margin: “That which is provided for the second section above.”]

5. Item: He begs and entreats your Majesty, in consideration of the aforesaid and of the fact that the convent at Manila is an infirmary for all that province, where all those engaged in the conversion and administration of the sacraments in the Indian villages come for treatment when sick, to grant bounty and alms to the said convent, by ordering that the physician and the medical supplies necessary for the treatment of the said religious be at the cost of your Page 101Majesty's royal exchequer, as your Majesty has done in the kingdom of Peru. [In the margin: “Let him be given the decree in accordance with the declaration made.”]

6. The said father Fray Francisco de Ortega informs your Majesty that the bishop of those islands, of his own notion and at his own pleasure, placed religious of his own order of St. Dominic in a settlement of Sangleys (natives of the kingdom of China) near the city of Manila, and across a river that flows through it. From the beginning when that island was gained and settled, the religious of the order of St Augustine have had the said Chinese and natives in charge, to whose conversion and baptism they have paid special attention. From the monastery of his order to the place where the Dominican fathers have settled the distance is but two shots of an arquebus. This is in direct opposition to your Majesty's orders and the commands of your royal decrees—namely, that wherever the monastery of one order is established, no other shall be placed except at the distance appointed by your Majesty. As most of the Chinese settled there are idolatrous heathen, it is a great disadvantage for them to be mingled with the newly-converted Christian Indians, the natives of another race; and from this mingling arise many offenses against God our Lord. In order to avoid these, it would be advisable for your Majesty to have those Chinese removed thence to the place where the rest of their nation have settled, leaving those natives free. It would be well also to decree that the Dominican fathers there shall settle in another place where there is greater need for them; and that your Majesty entrust the execution of all the above to the governor Page 102of those islands, [In the margin: “Have the governor examine and provide for this.”]

7. Further, he says that some three years ago father Fray Mattheo de Mendoza, of his order, implored and entreated your Majesty, in the name of that province, to be pleased to grant permission for the founding of a monastery of Recollet friars of his order, in a hermitage called Nuestra Señora de Guia, located in a place about one-quarter of a legua from the city of Manila. Your Majesty ordered your royal decree to be issued to the effect that the governor and bishop should make investigations as to whether it would be useful and advantageous to have the said hermitage granted for the said purpose, and that they should send their report, together with their opinion on the matter, to the royal Council of the Yndias. In fulfilment of this direction, the said governor has sent the said documents to your Majesty. He [Ortega] entreats you to have it examined and, in accordance with it, to provide and order what is deemed of most advantage to the service of God our Lord, and of your Majesty—considering that, if the said Recollet religious are established there, from their good instruction, life, and example great results will be obtained, both among the natives, and from the devotion of the Spaniards. [In the margin: “Let the governor undertake the establishment of whatever religious of the order of St. Augustine he thinks advisable.”]

[Endorsed: ”+ Fray Francisco de Ortega, of the order of St. Augustine.”] Page 103

Advice on Fourteen Points of Great Import for the Service of God and His Majesty, and the Increase of His Royal Estate


Fray Francisco de Ortega, of the order of St. Augustine, visitador-general of his order in the Philipinas Islands, by apostolic authority, and by the royal authority of your Majesty, and the authority of his general, declares that he has spent thirty-eight years in the Yndias—sixteen of them in Nueva España and the rest in the Philipinas Islands—preaching the word of God, and administering the holy sacraments to Spaniards and Indians. In this period is reckoned the time spent in voyaging to and fro between this kingdom and those districts twice (and with this last time, thrice) to your Majesty as a suppliant, and voyaging twenty-two thousand leguas and undergoing many dangers and hardships to inform your Majesty of the condition of those islands, and of what, in his opinion, by reason of his long experience in that country, was fitting for the service of God our Lord, and that of your Majesty. His purpose was that, with your royal clemency and magnanimity and most Christian zeal, you might decree a reform, and provide what should be most convenient for the aforesaid objects—which reform your Majesty decreed, and it has been placed in execution. He has conducted the religious whom your Majesty bade him take for the conversion of those natives—forty in number, except for those who died on the voyage; he has founded twelve monasteries beside the ones already there—in all, forty-three; he has visited the province and executed your Majesty's commands. Page 104And now lastly, in the service of God and your Majesty, by the advice and consent of the governor of those islands, under the persuasion and with the sanction of the religious of that province, he comes again the third time, bowed down with years and labors, and with thought for the future, but disdaining the perils of this long and dangerous voyage, to inform your Majesty of what is advisable for your royal service, and for the welfare, increase, and conservation of that country. His declaration follows:

1. That it will be very advisable for the service of God our Lord, the merit of your Majesty, the welfare and relief of the natives of those islands, the establishment and increase of the country, and the relief of your Majesty's royal conscience that you have a large number of religious provided for the conversion of those to be baptized, and the maintenance in the faith of those already Christians; for, because of lack of ministers, many fail to receive baptism, and to acquire a knowledge of God our Lord. Further, for temporal welfare and increase, they [the religious] are those who are of most importance; for, wherever they are, the people are orderly and quiet, even if not all converted, and there is a constant tendency for wealth to increase. But where there are none, things tend toward waste and the dissipation of wealth, which fact ample experience attests in all parts of the Yndias. It is quite sure and certain that a hundred ministers of the gospel effect more temporal and spiritual good than a thousand soldiers.

2. That it would be very advantageous for the service of God our Lord, and that of your Majesty, and for the welfare and relief of so infinite a number of people as there are in the great kingdom of Page 105China, that you order the continuation of that which you ordered twelve years ago, and the execution of which was begun, although the effect attempted was not followed up nor attained because of the hidden judgment of God. This was for your Majesty to write to the king of China, sending him, in token of affection and friendship, certain articles of the products of this kingdom, which that kingdom does not have, with a request for him to give audience to the ministers of God, whom your Majesty should send him; to give license or permission for ministers of the gospel to enter his kingdom and preach our holy faith freely; and to grant that the Spaniards and Chinese should have trade and commerce, the former being assigned some maritime port, such as has been assigned to the Portuguese in Macan. For there is a long experience from the time when father Fray Martin de Herrera of his order of St. Augustine went there, up to the present time, that in no other way will they admit the ministers of the orders in those islands, who have gone there to strive for their relief and salvation; because, beside imprisoning and ill-treating them, and prohibiting them from residing there, they have sent them back to the city of Manila. Humanly speaking, there is no other remedy, or no remedy more mild and better suited to the justification of your Majesty than this. He regards it as beyond question that what previously had no effect your Majesty will in your most Christian conscience command to be carried out, since by this command you run risk of little loss, and there is a clear possibility of gaining much. [In the margin: “Have the papers brought that were lately examined, and what was done in this matter.”] Page 106

3. The said Fray Francisco de Ortega informs your Majesty that, within sight of the mainland of China, is an island called Nao, lying toward the south, where is grown and where there is a great quantity of pepper. Its inhabitants have trade and commerce with the Chinese, and although the island is not large, it is said to contain fifteen cities, most of which have from twelve to fourteen thousand citizens. They are a dull-witted race, and are given over to many kinds of vice and licentiousness. This is an argument that the entrance to this island will be easier; and therefore the information is given that one thousand Spaniards would suffice for its pacification. If there were a justifiable ground for seizure, this would be a position of great advantage for communicating with and entering the great kingdom of China.

4. Likewise he says that in his opinion it will be of great importance for your Majesty to write to Xapon, to the king of Firando, as he declares his wish to become a Christian and asks for religious of the order of St. Augustine, as appears by a letter written by a father of the said order there, Fray Francisco Manrique by name. This latter says that the king is very desirous of becoming a vassal of your Majesty; and, if he does so, it will be very advisable to have him for a friend, for whatever opportunities may arise for your Majesty's service.

5. Item: He declares that, in his opinion, it will be very advantageous to the service of our Lord, and to that of your Majesty, that an attempt, by order and command of your Majesty, should be made to conquer and settle with Spaniards one of the Maluco Islands, namely the best and chiefest, by name Terrenate, Page 107settled by the natives, and by Moros, Turks, and Javanese, who have been brought there for its security and protection—and where the doctrine of Mahoma holds sway. This would be of very great advantage to the salvation of those souls, and would prevent the inhabitants from leaving there to preach the doctrine of Mahoma in the surrounding islands, as he is informed they are doing in the island of Mindanao, which is under your Majesty's dominion and protection. In addition, your Majesty's royal exchequer would gain greatly, for your Majesty would be master of all the cloves that are taken to Persia, and to many parts of the world, besides those which come to España by way of Portuguese Yndia. From there a great quantity of the spices in that island might be exported to Nueva España, and thence to this kingdom in quicker time and at less cost than are required by way of Eastern Yndia and Lisboa—although the trade and commerce by way of Yndia ought not to cease, as that would not be advantageous to your Majesty's service.

6. Item: He declares that, in his opinion, it would be very undesirable for the Japanese tyrant to put into execution his proposed expedition to Manila, of which he insolently wrote to your Majesty's governor in that city; and this matter might be entrusted to Governor Gomez Perez Dasmariñas, as he is a very valorous and resolute soldier. He by his valor and prudence will succeed in the undertaking; and had Doctor Santiago de Vera, your Majesty's governor, sent, years ago, a captain of the energy, valor, and mettle of the present governor, that island and those near by would be gained and pacified, to the great gain of your Majesty's royal exchequer. Page 108

7. Item: He declares that, in order to effect the above, it will be very advisable for your Majesty to order the island of Bindanao conquered and settled. This island is located about eighty leguas from the island of Terrenate and from the others, which are separated from one another by not more than two or three leguas; and some are even nearer. Besides being advisable for the above purpose, the island is very large, and thickly populated, and contains a very abundant supply of cinnamon, which, if cultivated, will bring great gains to your Majesty's royal exchequer.

8. Item: He declares that it would be advisable to reënforce the city of Santisimo Nombre de Jesus, on the island of Cubu, with more troops, for its security, as well as that of the other islands near by and those of Maluco, as it is a way station between Maluco and Nueva España, and one of the best ports as yet known in those islands.

9. Item: The said father Fray Francisco de Ortega, in the name of that city and the island of Cubu, by virtue of the specific and general authorization given him for that purpose, humbly begs and entreats your Majesty that its title of city, given it by the governors who have ruled in that island, be confirmed by your Majesty by your royal decree, in consideration of the fact that it is the first settlement made in those islands, the place where the natives began to be converted, and where the inhabitants first rendered obedience to your Majesty; and by this they will be advantaged and favored. [In a different hand: “Let it be given the title of city.”]

10. Item: He begs and entreats your Majesty to be pleased to order that the regidors of that city hold Page 109office for life, and not for one year, as now; and that their appointment be entrusted to the governor, so that he may appoint them in your Majesty's name; for thus the regidors will be the oldest and most deserving men, and that community will be governed better.

11. Item: He begs and entreats your Majesty to be pleased to give license that the inhabitants of that city [Santisimo Nombre de Jesus] may build a vessel of about two hundred and fifty toneladas, in order that the said ship may be sent with the vessels sailing from Manila to Nueva España, with the wax, cotton cloth, and the other cloth made from banana leaves, called medriñaque—in which products tributes are collected by all those of this island and by the encomenderos of the island of Panae. The reason for this request is that in taking these things to Manila there is great risk and danger from the natives, because each Spaniard who goes to Manila is forced to take forty or fifty Indians, whence it happens that there are more than four hundred Indians in Manila for three months of each year and longer, who are outside their native place. This is to the great damage and loss of the natives, and if your Majesty grants this permission, it will be avoided. [In the margin: “Let this be referred to the governor, so that if there is no special disadvantage, and it does not conflict with his present orders, he may grant permission for the sailing of this vessel.”]

12. In what pertains to the island of Luçon, where the city of Manila has been founded, and the other islands of that archipelago, the said Fray Francisco de Ortega declares that everything is improving since the arrival of Governor Gomez Perez Dasmariñas Page 110in that country; for he is very vigilant and painstaking in all matters touching the service of God our Lord, and of your Majesty. Thus all things are peaceful and tranquil; and by his prudence, good example, and good government, that state and the spread of the holy gospel are increasing rapidly.

13. Likewise, with zeal for the service of God and of your Majesty, according to what he saw, learned, and heard asserted by persons zealous for the service of your Majesty, he declares that the galleys that are [at] the Havana3 are of little use and advantage, and a great expense to the royal exchequer, because they cost annually forty-two thousand ducados. And since they are there, they have been of no effect at all—although occasions have arisen when they might have been useful—because they were not well equipped, and lacked soldiers. Therefore it will be advisable either that they be strengthened and disposed as is necessary for the occasion that may arise, or that such excessive expenses without any profit accruing from them be avoided. [In the margin: “Already provided for.”]

14. Item: That the port on the point at the entrance to Havana [Cavite?] is very important for the guard and defense of the entrance to the port; but it must be strengthened with more pieces of artillery, for it has very few for the defense of the entrance by sea and land, if a large force of enemies should come; and that the fort built on the headland Page 111in front of the point is very good, exceedingly strong, and very important for its object. Nevertheless, according to what he saw, learned, and heard said by military men, the work must be made smaller, for it covers a great deal of space; and, unless it be retrenched, a much greater garrison must be supplied, besides a great deal of artillery for its guard and defense, and for the object for which it was built.

[Endorsed: ”+ Father Francisco de Ortega of the order of St. Augustine.”] Page 112

1 Francisco Ortega (thus Pérez; but de Ortega in the MSS. which we follow) made profession in the Augustinian order, at Toledo—in 1564, according to Pérez, but various allusions in this document render 1554 a more satisfactory date. Two years later he went to Mexico, and thence (about 1570) to the Philippines. In 1575, when he was a missionary in Mindoro, he barely escaped death at the hands of the natives, and was then appointed prior of the convent of Manila. In 1580 he went to Spain as commissary for the Philippine province of the order; and ten years afterward returned to the Philippines with a considerable body of missionaries. In 1597 Ortega was transferred to Mexico, where he died in 1601.

2 In MS. dos (two); evidently an error for doce (twelve).

3 In the original, las galeras que estan la Havana. It must be remembered that these Ortega papers are in abstract only—apparently summarized for the use of the royal council by some clerk, who may have been more familiar with affairs in Nueva España than in the Philippines. La Havana is probably his error or conjecture for á Cavite.

Decree for Despatch of Missionaries

The King: To Gómez Pérez Dasmariñas, knight of the order of Santiago, my governor and captain-general of the Filipinas Islands. After reading what you wrote me recently in regard to the need of those islands for religious to carry out our obligation to the conversion and instruction of the natives, I have ordered the needful despatch put thereto, so that at the present one hundred religious are going there—to wit, forty Augustinians, twenty-four Dominicans, eighteen descalced Franciscans, and eighteen of the Society. Furthermore, additional missionaries shall be sent until the need is met. Now because I have learned that better results will be obtained by assigning each order to a district by itself, and more emulation will ensue among them without their embarrassing one another, or their work overlapping, as might happen if they were assigned to districts regardless of order, I command you, together with the bishop of those islands, to divide the provinces, for the said instruction and conversion, among the religious of the orders, in such a manner that where Augustinians go there shall be no Franciscans, nor religious of the Society where there are Dominicans. Thus you will proceed, assigning each Page 113order to its province; taking note that the province allotted to the Society must have the same manner of instruction as the others; for this same obligation rests upon them there as upon the others, and it does not at all differ from them. Given at Aranjuez, April 27, one thousand five hundred and ninety-four.

I The King

Countersigned by Don Luis de Salazar and approved by the Council. Page 114

Reply to the Japanese Emperor's Letter

In the city of Manila, on the twenty-second day of April, one thousand five hundred and ninety-four, Don Luis Perez Dasmariñas, knight of the order of Alcantara, governor and captain-general of the Philipinas Islands, ordered a council of war, held in his presence in the royal houses and attended by Licentiate Pedro de Rojas, lieutenant-governor; the Master-of-camp Diego Ronquillo; Captain Gomez de Machuca, factor and treasurer; Captain Don Juan Ronquillo; Captain Pedro de Chaves; Captain and Sargento-mayor Juan Xuares Gallinato; Captain Joan de Villegas; Captain Pedro de Arceo Cuevasruvias; Captain Jhoan de Laxara; Captain Francisco de Mercado Andrade; Captain Juan Esquerra; Captain Christoval de Axqueta; Captain Hernando Muñoz de Poyatos; Captain Pedro Sarmiento; Captain Diego de Castillo; Captain Antonio de Canedo; Captain Augustin de Urdiales; Captain Antonio Rodriguez Chacon; Captain Don Francisco de Mendoza; and Captain Gaspar Perez. The said governor communicated to them that Governor Gomez Perez Dasmariñas, his late father (who is in heaven), sent to Japon father Fray Pedro Bauptista and other Franciscan fathers, together with Pedro Page 115Gonçalez. The latter returned from that kingdom of Xapon a few days ago, and brought for the said governor a letter from the king, which was shown to them, and its contents read, after it was translated into the Spanish language. It was as follows:

Letter from the Emperor of Xapon

Father Pedro brought me letters from which I learned the customs of your country, as also from what Father Pedro told me particularly, and from what Father Cobo had stated before. When I was born, the sun shone on my breast; and this is a miracle, and portends that I was destined from the beginning to be lord of all between the rising and the setting sun, and that all kingdoms must render me vassalage and bow down before my door; and unless they do it, I will destroy them with war. I have conquered all the kingdom of Xapon, and that of Coria, and many of my commanders have asked my permission to go and capture Manila. Learning this, Faranda and Funguen told me that ships went there from here, and came back, and so the people there appeared not to be enemies, for which reason I did not send troops. I made war against the Koreans and conquered as far as Meaco, because they failed to keep their word. Afterward my soldiers killed many Chinese and many nobles who came to help the Koreans. In view of this they humbled themselves, and sent an ambassador who asked that we send some of our people to Coria, and said that the Chinese desired eternal friendship with the kingdom of Xapon. I have sent many of our people to Coria to occupy the fortresses and await the embassy. Page 116Should they break their word again, I will go in person to make war upon them; and after going to China, Luzon will be within my reach. Let us be friends forever, and write to that effect to the king of Castilla. Do not, because he is far away, let him slight my words. I have never seen those far lands, but from the accounts given I know what is there. You were very discreet in coming immediately, and this pleased me greatly. I received your present. I will never fail in my friendship. Those who come from your country may come safely over land and sea without any wrong being done them, or their property being stolen. You may believe everything that the man who came with the father says, because he has seen my country and the hospitality which I tendered. Write to the king of Castilla that he is waiting there. Tell him to send a man of position so that our friendship may be stronger. The rest I have entrusted to Funguen.

The above letter being read, the governor told them that it was true that the king, on the face of the letter, offered peace and friendship to this country and ratified what Faranda negotiated with the governor's father. Yet it was also plain, the governor said, from his arrogant words, that the peace and friendship were to last only for an indefinite period; those words did not accord with the authority and good name of our king and the Christian name and reputation of the Spanish nation, because of the pride and arrogance with which he referred to his birth and his personality, saying: “I am a man destined from the beginning to be lord of all from the rising to the setting sun, to whom all kingdoms Page 117must render vassalage and bow down before my door; and, unless they do it, I will destroy them.” Again, as the governor declared, not satisfied with this, he threatened us with his desire to capture the land, by saying: “Many of my commanders have asked my permission to take Manila;” and then by referring to the manner in which he humbled the Chinese in the war with Coria, to their sending him an ambassador, and to his reply that if they broke their word, he would go in person to China and would make war against it, in which case Luzon would be within his reach. From all this it was difficult to draw any meaning not ominous for us; and what sounded the worst was when he gave us to understand, deceiving himself into that belief, that the embassy and presents taken by father Fray Pedro Bautista were sent as tokens of obedience—“You were discreet in coming immediately, and this pleased me greatly. I received the present which came as specified in the letter,” etc. Then the governor said that this friendship would be too dearly bought, if it cost us one atom of reputation or authority; and seeing that he must not and could not hide from our sovereign the receipt of the said letter, with which the emperor of Japan was acquainted, knowing well its contents and purpose, he deemed it fitting to answer said letter in a manner that would undeceive him in this important matter; and for that purpose he had dictated a reply which he would have read to them afterward. It begins by giving the emperor an account of the death of his father and of other events which he would be bound to learn, but which might be reported to him in a distorted form. After this he thanks him for the confirmation Page 118of amity; and then, with some heat and no less truth, calls his attention to the uncertainty of the prophecy concerning his rule over the world, enlightening him by the way as to some matters of our holy faith. In conclusion, with reference to the acknowledgment of subjection which he had supposed us to make, the letter states that our trust was wholly in God and in our obedience to Him, while our allegiance to our most Christian king admitted of no other allegiance, and of no other subjection, dominion, or acknowledgment of vassalage. And finally, in order to appease him somewhat at the end of the letter, a complete confirmation of peace and amity is offered him; and he is told that the king will be notified, and that in this, and in sending someone hence, and receiving persons from there, and in other tokens of friendship, good treatment, and a good understanding, his subjects would find this peace and amity here and on the part of his Majesty. The answer was immediately read, and is as follows:

Reply to the letter

The letter addressed by your Grandeur to my father was received by me as the person left in charge of the government of this land at his death, which occurred on the way to Maluco. He was treacherously killed while sleeping one night, without apprehension or precaution, as one who did not dream of having enemies or traitors with him. The traitors were the Sangleys, whom he took with him to work his galley. Like the ineffably low, vile, and cowardly people that they are, they killed my father because he trusted them and set them loose for their own comfort. The news of this event reached me Page 119far from the place of its occurrence, while I was awaiting him with the fleet and troops, that we might depart. Although after his death I endeavored to continue my journey, I was prevented because of several events and considerations. I came back here desirous of hearing news from your Grandeur, and of seeing your letter replying to those sent by my father through Father Fray Pedro. Although two vessels arrived here from Xapon, they could not give me the desired news. The arrival of Pedro Gonçalez has pleased me greatly, especially in view of the fact that I was unable to understand his delay, and of the rumor here that your Grandeur was going to send your armies, a report very different from the agreement made in your name with my father by your ambassador and servant Faranda, which was for firm peace and full amity. Through the letter brought by Pedro Gonçalez, I have learned that it is your royal desire that such relations be continued; and this has greatly pleased me, for it is to be hoped that as the kings are great, great will be the friendship, and greater still the fruits of it. Equally great is my desire that hereafter we treat each other in every way like friends, with less formality and more frankness than in your royal letters hitherto received; because to say that the sun at your royal birth promised you the whole world and its sovereignty, I believe can only be the saying of someone who wishes to please and flatter you with such a prophecy—which is in no wise possible or practicable, for many reasons. The first is that the very power which according to your Grandeur's statement is to give you that dominion is unable to do it, since the sun is, just like the sky, the earth and everything else created, the work of our Page 120true God and therefore it can neither promise nor fulfil such a promise. The sun has no more life or power than what God gave it, and this does not go to the extent of taking or giving away kingdoms, which can only be done by God himself. It is to this great God and Lord that thanks are due for all our life and power; and it is He who has such power, and not the sun or anything else which, as already stated, is an object created by Him. From the above-stated truth it must be inferred that it was flattery and nothing practicable that those learned men said. In this prophecy they have shown themselves to be in the wrong; because, even if no other obstacles were to be encountered, it would be impossible to fulfil the prophecy when it is considered what a long time it would require to do so, and how short our life is, especially so when the greater part of it is past. After this obstacle a greater one arises, and that is that, even if so many and powerful kings as the world holds were to be subjugated, my king would suffice to overthrow all these prophecies. And because it is right that I do so, and in order that your Grandeur be not deceived by what is nothing else than the false flattery of ignorant people, I acquaint you with the fact that my king's power is such, and the kingdoms and countries under his royal and Christian rule are so many, that his power and greatness is beyond compare with that of many kings and lords, though they be most powerful, each by himself. His dominions here are but a corner, and my king's possessions cannot be judged by his dominion here. Now, returning to what I was saying, since our lord and king is so powerful as he is, and only one of the many kings of this world, it can be easily imagined that all the Page 121rest of them will not obey one man alone, and that no human power could control so much. Even were every one of them to render you obedience, it is not to be thought that either our king or his subjects would do it; but on the contrary, were it not that our divine and Christian laws prevent us from taking unjustly from any one that which does not belong to us, and if affairs were in accordance with power and strength, my king only would be the one obeyed and acknowledged as such ruler. In all other matters we put our trust not in human power, which does not and cannot extend beyond God's divine wishes, but in Him whom we acknowledge as our true Lord and God, as well as the God of everything created. Under His omnipotent care we feel safe; and this feeling of safety and trust is not imagined, but real and proved by wonderful and miraculous deeds and events. Having such men near you as father Fray Pedro and others, your Grandeur could gain information—if for no other reason, merely for curiosity, since your Grandeur is so desirous of learning about greatness; and once having learned the greatness of our omnipotent Lord, you will see how wise we are in putting our trust and confidence in Him, who is almighty. I have said all this not to displease your Grandeur, but in order that you may realize why we do not render obedience to other dominion, other power or other lord, than Jesus Christ, almighty and true God and Lord, and our most Christian king Don Phelipe. As regards the friendship that your Grandeur says we ought to maintain forever, we, on our side, will observe it; and I feel certain that your Grandeur will keep it on your part, since it is so declared in your royal letters. I will advise my king Page 122and lord at the earliest opportunity of the peace and friendship established, so that he may ratify it from there; and I trust in the Lord that everything will be done as desired by your Grandeur, whom I wish to serve and please as the friend of my king and our own. In order to do so, I should have been glad if I had some curious things from Castilla, to send as presents to your Grandeur; but I cannot do it now, and will send them later, when they come. Should your Grandeur wish that as friends we send each other men of rank and station so that our intercourse might be more friendly and informal—not that the religious who have gone are not among us here respected and highly esteemed as servants of God, and are not sufficiently high in station—but from now on a layman could be sent of higher rank than that of those who have gone heretofore. Should your Grandeur desire to send someone to visit the court of my king and see its splendor and the power and dominion of his Majesty, he will be sent on from here, and will be well received and highly favored by my king, because he is very fond of receiving and entertaining foreigners, and especially such as might come from your Grandeur, who would receive especial favor. Your Grandeur can advise me of your decision in regard to this as well as the other matters; and may the Lord keep you and enlighten you with His divine light.

Then the governor said that because of the duty which, as a Christian, he owed to the Lord, and because of his duty to the king as his servant and subject, and because of the strict account which he must render sooner or later, he thought this a very serious Page 123case which could not be ignored or passed by. He said that it required just such an answer as the one he had decided to send; and that he would have answered the emperor with more decision and heat, were it not for the danger incurred by the fathers and the Christians residing in that kingdom, and the danger to these islands, if the emperor were to be openly provoked and displeased to the extent of declaring war. Because of the above-mentioned reasons, and taking into consideration the service of the Lord, and the welfare of those people, and the growth of the new gospel so pleasing to the Lord and so earnestly desired by his Majesty, and notwithstanding his judgment and belief that the said answer should be sent just as read here, he desired to call together these grave and important persons and inform them of this affair, so that, having examined the said letter, they could give their opinion. If they approved of it, it would be sent; but should they, for any reasons or considerations, desire it to be otherwise, they should give signed statements of their opinions, with the reasons therefor, and this opinion, together with his letter, and a copy of the letters from Japon and the reply which they think suitable, will be sent to his Majesty for the protection of the governor in the future, as in this matter he would not do anything but what might be resolved upon, and decided to be most beneficial to the service of God and of the king our lord, and to the good name of the Spanish nation.

Then the licentiate Pedro de Rojas, lieutenant-governor, said that the substance of the reply to the king of Xapon's letter, as read, was very prudent and discreet, and that its warmth and spirit were proper Page 124in view of the arrogant words written by the emperor in his letter; but that in his opinion, it would be well to follow the reserved and dignified style generally used among such personages, and to leave out some words, especially in that part referring to the falsity of the prophecies, where other arguments could be advanced. The master-of-camp and other captains present were of the same opinion. The decision of the question was, therefore, postponed until the next day, when an amended reply would be presented. This resolution was signed, by the licentiate Pedro de Rojas, Diego Ronquillo, Juan Xuarez Gallinato, Gomez de Machuca, Pedro de Chaves, Don Juan Ronquillo, Diego de Castillo, Pedro de Arceo Cuevasruvias, Juan Esquerra, Hernando Muñoz de Poyatos, Don Francisco de Poça, Francisco de Mercado Andrade, Christoval de Azqueta, Juan de Alcega, Don Diego Jordano, Antonio Decanedo, Gaspar Perez.

Before me:

Juan de Cuellar

In the city of Manila, on the twenty-eighth day of April, one thousand five hundred and ninety-four, the master-of-camp and captains who attended the preceding council of war met a second time at the royal house by order of and in the presence of Don Luis Perez Dasmariñas, governor and captain-general, to decide concerning the reply to be sent to the letter of Cuambaco, the emperor of Xapon, as had been agreed upon the day before. It had then been decided to omit from the said reply some of the arguments, and to substitute others, briefer and less likely to provoke or annoy him, leaving in it only Page 125such things as are required for the fulfilment of our duties as Christians, and as subjects of our king, and for the sake of our good name. In conformity with this decision, the letter having been so amended, the governor ordered it to be read aloud, so that the said master-of-camp and captains could give their opinion as to whether it was proper and desirable to send it; and it was read as follows:

The Letter

The letter addressed by your Grandeur to my father was received by me as the person left in charge of the government of this land at his death, which occurred on the way to Maluco. He was treacherously killed while sleeping one night, without apprehension or precaution, as one who did not dream of having enemies or traitors with him. The traitors were the Sangleys, whom he took with him to work his galley. Like the ineffably low, vile, and cowardly people that they are, they killed my father because he trusted them, and set them loose for their own comfort. The news of this event reached me far from the place of its occurrence, while I was awaiting him with the fleet and troops, that we might depart. Although after his death I endeavored to continue my journey, I was prevented because of several events and considerations. I came back here, desirous of hearing news from your Grandeur and of seeing your letter replying to those sent by my father through father Fray Pedro. Although two vessels arrived here from Xapon, they could not give me the desired news. The arrival of Pedro Gonçalez has given me great pleasure, especially in view of the fact that I was unable to understand his delay, Page 126and of the rumor here that your Grandeur was going to send your armies, a report very different from the agreement made in your name with my father by your ambassador and servant Faranda, which was for firm peace and full amity. Through the letter brought by Pedro Gonçalez, I have learned that it is your royal desire that such relations be continued, and this has greatly pleased me; for it is to be hoped that as the kings are great, great will be the friendship, and greater still the fruits of it. Equally great is my desire that hereafter we treat each other in every way as friends, with less formality and more frankness than in your royal letters hitherto received. Since your Grandeur speaks of vassalage, I wish your Grandeur to understand that my king's power is so great and so extensive, and the kingdoms and states ruled by his Christian hand are so many, that they are beyond compare with the greatness of many kings, though these be most powerful each by himself. His dominions here are nothing but a corner, and my king's possessions are not to be judged by his dominions here. The reason that they are so small is, that our Christian and divine laws do not permit us to do injury or damage to anyone by taking away that which belongs to him. I say this to your Grandeur that you may know that, although we are in a confined and narrow region, we do not recognize other ruler, other power, other dominion, or other lord, than Jesus Christ, the almighty and true God and Lord, and our most Christian king Don Phelipe. Concerning the friendship that your Grandeur suggests we ought to maintain forever, it will be kept by us; and I feel assured that your Grandeur will keep it on your part, since it is so declared in your royal letters. Page 127I will advise my lord and king at the earliest opportunity of the peace and friendship established, so that he may ratify it from there; and I trust in the Lord that everything will be done as desired by your Grandeur, whom I wish to serve and please as the friend of my king and our own. For such purpose I should have been glad if I had some curious things from Castilla to send as presents to your Grandeur; but I cannot do it now, and will send them later when they come. Should your Grandeur wish that as friends we send each other men of rank and of a high station, so that our intercourse might be more friendly and informal—not that the religious who have gone are not among us respected and highly esteemed as ministers of God, or are not sufficiently high in station—but from now on a layman could be sent of higher rank than that of those who have gone heretofore. Should your Grandeur desire to send someone to visit the court of my king and see its splendor, and the power and dominion of his Majesty, he will be sent on from here, and will be well received and highly favored by my king, because he is very fond of receiving and entertaining foreigners—especially such as might come from your Grandeur, who would receive especial favor. Your Grandeur can advise me of your decision in regard to this as well as the other matters; and may our Lord keep and enlighten you with His divine light.

After the letter thus amended was read, the above-mentioned persons unanimously and of one accord stated that it was a good and proper reply to the letter of the king of Xapon, and that the said reply complied with what was required by the good service Page 128of the Lord and of his Majesty, and with the good name and repute of the Spanish nation; and it was, accordingly, signed by Licentiate Pedro de Rojas, Diego Ronquillo, Gomez de Machuca, Juan Xuarez Gallinato, Pedro de Chaves, Don Juan Ronquillo, Pedro de Arceo Cuevasrubias, Diego de Castillo, Hernando Muñoz de Poyatos, Francisco de Mercado Andrade, Don Francisco de Poça, Juan Ezguerra, Christoval de Axqueta, Jhoan de Alcega, Antonio de Cañedo, Don Diego Jordano, Gaspar Perez, Agustin de Urdiales.

Before me:

Juan de Cuellar Page 129

Letters from Luis Perez Dasmariñas to Felipe II


The seminary for girls of Sancta Potenciana which was commenced by my father in pursuance of your Majesty's orders is now finished, thanks be to God. It is one of the most splendid buildings of this city, and for some days the cloister has been occupied by the mother superior and by some good women of this town, who with holy zeal and in the desire of serving God in retreat and solitude, have entered there. Their sincerity and integrity of life was proved before their entering the convent, which is thereby greatly benefited. By the good example of these women, and the influence of their virtue, retirement, and modesty, I have no doubt that the girls who are now there, and those who shall enter hereafter, will be greatly benefited and improved in the service of God. The advantage of such good surroundings must aid in their improvement and help them in marriage, thus accomplishing the end for which the holy zeal of your Majesty was striving in founding this work so pleasing to God. In this connection it should be said, that since this establishment is so meritorious and necessary in this commonwealth, which is young and poor, and greatly in need of a Page 130general fund for the public honor and welfare, its maintenance and perpetuity should be assured. The establishment entails little expense, and the work has been carried on according to your Majesty's orders, without burdening the royal exchequer; and hence the gain has been great. The opportunity is no less favorable which is now offered your Majesty to employ your liberal and royal hand in favoring and aiding this seminary with an income. Thus by its increase will God our Lord, be glorified, by the exercise of charity. Daily prayers are held there for your Majesty, that God may grant you many happy years of this life, and life everlasting. There are now about thirty persons in the seminary, and others are entering every day.

Another holy work has, by the favor of the Lord, been established in this town in these days; and I hope that His Divine Majesty is no less pleased by it, than by that which I have just described. It is very similar to that and is a confraternity of mercy in which there have entered as brethren the most illustrious and prominent persons of this city. The object thereof, in conformity with its appellation of mercy, is to exercise the latter in all the works and occasions which may arise, of which there is no lack, as this land of yours is so poor. As I say, this confraternity is occupied in feeding all the worthy poor, of whom there are many; and in arranging marriages for orphan girls, the daughters of the conquistadors and of persons who have served your Majesty and died in the royal service, leaving their children without inheritance, in poverty and bereavement. These are persons to whom your Majesty owes a recompense; and any favor to this confraternity is granted to them Page 131and to all this community. It also persuades people to come willingly to settle here from other parts, as they see that they may find here a refuge and relief for their needs. The land has hitherto been discredited for the little comfort which poor men, both married and single, find here in a country new, unknown, and of scanty resources. Even these resources are under obligation to be given to others who have settled the place and served your Majesty; and for them alone there is not enough, much less for those newly arrived. For their relief there should be a lodging-house, so that poor married men may be sheltered there and given what is necessary, until they find it convenient to go out and support themselves. In addition to all the aforesaid institutions, another no less important one must be mentioned. A hospital should be established for the treatment of all the servants and slaves of the Spaniards. This is a very necessary undertaking and a work of exceeding charity; for there are many of these servants who die, as they have nowhere to go for treatment. Even their souls suffer, as there is some neglect in administering the sacrament to them. Although there are two hospitals—the royal, and that for the natives—the servants are received in neither, on account of the poverty of the hospitals, and the many sick who are usually there, and the lack of conveniences for so many. As I have written in a former letter, your Majesty should also favor these hospitals, and in particular this holy confraternity of mercy. Thus I beg your Majesty to do so, in the name of our good God and Lord. His Divine Majesty will reward, as is His wont, all that is done for His love and service. In the name of this state, and the poor, and for my own sake, I humbly Page 132beg this of your Majesty; and if there be anything of sufficient worth in me to be presented before the royal presence of your Majesty as deserving reward and recompense; I should but ask for favor for these two hospitals, which are so needy, and particularly for this holy confraternity of mercy. There should also be provided means according to the income, to provide dowries for a certain number of the girls who are sheltered every year in the Seminary of Sancta Potenciana. Thus it is evident that the state will be totally healed of its evils; and these works of charity will, I believe, be glorious in the eyes of God, especially if your Majesty will look upon them with your royal and compassionate eyes, and encourage them with your royal aid. May our Lord preserve your Majesty for many long years, as Christendom has need. At Manila, June 15, 1594.

Luis Perez Dasmariñas


In the papers I send your Majesty by these vessels, I give an account of Japanese affairs and suspicions. In this letter I shall content myself with saying that when my father made answer to the second Japanese embassy, he sent with father Fray Pedro Baptista, to accompany and take care of the fathers, and with further orders to treat with that king, one Pedro Gonçalez, a man who, by trade and commerce, had acquired some knowledge of that land, and acquaintance with some of its inhabitants. He went and performed his mission well. The Japanese king, either because he is a man of unusual good-will, or because he harbors designs, tells me in his original letter that he wishes to have your Majesty see it, and Page 133to have the same Pedro Gonçalez, who brought it, take it with him to España, together with an account of what he saw in that kingdom. He indicates with some insistence that he wishes this, and I am advised by letters from there that, if it be not sent, as he knows everything that is done here, he will be vexed and take it as a pretext for making an earlier declaration of war. Therefore in my opinion his wishes ought to be observed since no harm will be done. Pedro Gonçalez carries the original letter and its translation, together with the reply which was sent from here. Although, as I say, the bearer goes ostensibly only to comply with the wishes of the king of Japon (for I have already written to your Majesty respecting this matter), yet your Majesty may, if such be his pleasure, hear from Pedro Gonçalez certain peculiarities of that kingdom which he has observed. So, because he is an honorable man, prudent, straightforward, of good reputation and abilities, and because he labored and incurred heavy expenses on these voyages, kindly grant him some favor; for he has deserved it, on account of the affection, good-will, and care that he has displayed in everything which he has been ordered to do in your Majesty's service. May our Lord preserve your Majesty for many prosperous years. Manila, June 22, 1594.

Luis Perez Dasmariñas


After despatching a letter to your Majesty in the vessel “Sant Phelippe,” which it was thought best to send first, as it was in Çibu, I had other letters from Japon from father Fray Pedro Baptista, the originals of which I send herewith. From these letters, and Page 134from one from the emperor of Japon, a copy of which is enclosed, we can easily infer how little security is assured us by his friendship and promises, and be sure that any slight occasion would induce him to break them. But I am continuing to treat with him, in order to gain time to complete the fortifications of this city. I am showing kindness to the Japanese ships that put in here. And, although I am sending the emperor, as answer to his letter, the one which I transmitted to your Majesty in the vessel “Sant Phelippe” (a duplicate of which I enclose herewith), I am thinking of sending him a present because of the treaty of amity he has made with us. In this way, as I say, I shall dissimulate and keep him in good humor. For this purpose I am striving to spread the rumor here that the peace is firm; but I am not slackening work on the fortifications. On the contrary, I am speeding them forward with added watchfulness. God be praised, the wall is now completed, and the forts are in fair condition for defense. I hope, God willing, that the enemy will find this quite different from what they must be congratulating themselves that they will find. It is decidedly important to have a large contingent of troops sent from Mexico. This is the most pressing need, and the viceroy of Nueva España should be urgently ordered to attend to it. For if the Japanese come, they may be able, in case help does not arrive, to gain the land after a long siege and with a large force, and thus put us to great straits. But to whatever extremities we come, we here will not, at least, be found to lack the necessary energy and determination, and we will give your Majesty a good account of your land and our obligations. We trust matters to the omnipotent Page 135hand of our God and Lord. May He ordain what is most befitting His service and the glory of His sacred name. May He preserve your Majesty for many long years, as Christendom has need. Manila, June 23, 1594.

Luis Perez Dasmariñas

[Addressed: “To the king, our sovereign. In his royal Council of the Yndias.”]

[Endorsed: “Philippinas. To his Majesty. Luis Perez Dasmariñas, 1594, June 23.”] Page 136

Documents of 1595

Sources: The second document is taken from Doc. inéd. Amér. y Oceania, xxxiv, pp. 86—94; all the others 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 Frederic W. Morrison, of Harvard University; the third and part of the seventh, by José M. and Clara H. Asensio; the fourth and fifth, by Robert W. Haight; the sixth and part of the seventh, by James A. Robertson. Page 137

Letter from Pedro de Carbajal to Felipe II


It is well known that the emperor of Japon is powerful in men and arms, and that his people are of great courage. He was making ready two hundred ships, and casting quantities of artillery. Japon is distant from the realm of the Philipinas four hundred leagues, which is a voyage of fifteen or twenty days by sea. On his friendship depends the preservation of the Philipinas, and of two hundred thousand Christians in that same kingdom of Japon, as well as of the rest of its people, who are being christianized from day to day. We have great hopes that all of them will become Christians, because it is known surely that many of the principal people of Japon would become Christians, if they were not hindered by their fear of the said emperor's indignation. He ordered me1 to say to your Majesty, on his part, that, if your Majesty would make friends with him, he would always provide the governor of the Philipinas with what assistance was necessary, even to ten thousand men. When the governor of Meaco (who is the Page 138person who governs all that kingdom) delivered me the letter which he brought for your Majesty, he told me to tell your Majesty that the emperor was your friend, and that on his part the friendship would not fail; and that your Majesty should not, because he was so far away, consider it as of little account. Gomez Perez de Las Marinas, governor of the Philipinas, sent me with father Fray Pedro Baptista and three other fathers of St. Francis, to take a letter to that emperor in response to the one which he had written. We went with this arrangement, that the fathers would remain in Japon (as they did) and that I should return with the answer that the governor desired. Having delivered the letter to the emperor, when he learned from the letter that the governor of the Philipinas wished to notify your Majesty of this emperor's intentions, he said, without giving me an answer, that since the governor wished to advise you, he could not do it better than through me. That I might be the better able to do so, he ordered that I should examine his fortresses, cities, and rich palaces, and the indications of his great power, so that I could give your Majesty a good account of it all, as well as of the kind treatment that was always given to me, and to the Franciscan fathers who remained there. These fathers asking him for a small piece of ground on which to build a house and church, he told them that he would give them a large piece in the place where they were, and also furnish them food. Then he ordered that the site and house that they might select should be given to them. And because the land was so cold, he ordered the fathers (who are barefooted) to be shod and clothed; and said that he would give them these things and would Page 139treat them as his children if they would obey him as their father. He sent me word to say that he would await your Majesty's answer. While we were in Japon at that time, the fathers and myself knew for certain that some of the Japanese chiefs asked the emperor's permission to go to subjugate the Philipinas, and make him lord of them, without any cost to him. The latter replied that he would have nothing to do with it, until he saw your Majesty's response. It is quite necessary that your Majesty should send an order to the bishop of Great China at Macan, and the fathers of the Society of Jesus, to the effect that all the ships should leave there and go to Japon. These should investigate, and look to it that they carry no people who have not a good understanding of Christianity and fidelity; because that emperor is desirous of meeting people who will teach him to construct ships and artillery in our manner. All this will be of considerable harm and inconvenience; for, although he has artillery and ships, they are less effective than ours.

They tell me that on this coast is father Fray Miguel de Venavides,2 of the order of St. Dominic, by whom your Majesty can be very well informed of all these matters, because he has dealt with some Japanese, and has gone through Great China.

Pedro Gonzalez de Carbajal Page 140

1 Carbajal was the captain in whose ship sailed Pedro Bautista, envoy of Dasmariñas to Japan (Vol. VIII, note 33). A full account of this embassy is given by La Concepción in Hist. de Philipinas, ii, pp. 341—376.

2 Miguel de Benavides (born about 1550) came to the Philippines as a member of the first Dominican mission band (1587). Three years later he went to China as a missionary; returning to Manila, he accompanied Salazar to Spain (1592). He was created the first bishop of the new diocese of Nueva Segovia, and afterward archbishop of Manila; he died in that city on July 26, 1605. To him was due the foundation of the college of Santo Tomás.

Formation of New Dioceses

The King: To my cousin, the Duke. My zeal and desire have always been, and are, to procure and provide throughout all the provinces, divisions, and localities of the Western Indias, whether already discovered or to be discovered hereafter, the propagation and extension of our holy Catholic faith and Christian religion; and for that purpose I endeavor to provide the necessary prelates and ministers, through whose agency the natives of those parts, blinded by their hideous idolatry, may come into knowledge of the true faith; and, together with those already converted, may be enlightened and instructed so that they may enjoy salvation, partaking of the copious fruit of our redemption. Hence at my supplication, archbishoprics have been established in those districts and places where it seemed necessary. For, in spite of the fact that a bishopric was founded in the city of Manila in the island of Luzon in the Philipinas, situated in the great archipelago of China, very near the mainland of that country—yet, inasmuch as that district is very large, and contains numerous islands with a large native population—a single prelate cannot easily and under ordinary circumstances visit his diocese as he should, fulfil the pontifical decrees, and provide for spiritual affairs Page 141with the necessary despatch. It has been shown by those who have had experience that many inconveniences result; and after this was investigated by the members of my royal Council of the Indias, and counsel taken upon it, with the object of correcting these evils, it has seemed to me both fitting and necessary for the fulfilment of the obligation that I am under of procuring the salvation of the souls of those my subjects—according as I am enjoined by the holy apostolic see and bidden by my conscience—that the cathedral church of the said city of Manila be elevated into a metropolitan see and its territory into an archbishopric; and that three new bishoprics be created and established suffragan to it, so that they may hold their synods according to the orders of the holy Council of Trent, and without coming to Nueva España, as the bishop of Manila, who was the suffragan to the archbishop of Mexico, was compelled to do. From one region to the other, the journey is more than three thousand leguas; and, besides, it is evident that those islands could thus be better and more fittingly governed in spiritual affairs.

Therefore I command you upon receipt of this despatch, to propose to his Holiness, and supplicate him, in my name, that he may be pleased to elevate into a metropolitan see the said cathedral church of Manila, and to create the three bishoprics aforesaid—one in the church of the city of Nueva-Segovia in the province of Cagayan in the island of Luzon, under the protection of the Conception of Our Lady; one in the city of Cáceres in the territory of Camarines, in the same island, under the protection of St. John the Evangelist; and the other in the aforesaid city of Santísimo Nombre de Xesus, in the island of Page 142Cebú, of that archipelago, under the protection of the guardian angel. In this way each one may exercise in his diocese the pastoral office; and the metropolitan archbishop, together with the bishops, may labor with jurisdiction, authority, and power in the conversion and instruction of the said natives; and he and they may provide for other spiritual matters which may seem desirable for the maintenance of divine worship and the salvation of souls. But for the present, and until affairs be more settled in those regions and tithes established, no cathedral churches shall be erected, or dignitaries or canonries provided for, except that the bishops shall dwell privately in the monasteries of their order which are situated in the aforesaid cities. Nevertheless, in order that the said cathedral churches may be erected in due time, and that for the present, definite territories may be assigned to the aforesaid archbishopric, and to the bishops, you must thus entreat his Holiness, in my name, to give me power to add to or to change the said territories, when and in such wise as may seem most fitting to me. At the same time, you will present and nominate to his Holiness, in my name, Fray Ygnacio de Santibañez,1 of the order of St. Francis, as archbishop of the aforesaid church of Manila, in place of the late Fray Domingo de Salazar, of the order of St. Dominic, the first and last bishop of that city; for the bishopric of Nueva-Segovia, Fray Miguel de Benavides, of the order of St. Dominic; for the bishopric of the city of Santísimo Nombre de Page 143Xesús, in the island of Cebú, Fray Pedro de Agurto, of the order of St. Augustine; and for the bishopric of the city of Cáceres, Fray Luis Maldonado, of the order of St. Francis. By these presents I nominate them and offer them as candidates to his Holiness, in order that by this nomination—which I make as patron of all the churches of the Indias—he may bestow upon them these churches and the aforesaid archbishopric and bishoprics; for from the favorable accounts that I have of the goodness, learning, virtue, and exemplary lives of the aforesaid religious, I trust that our Lord will be well served by these provisions and the churches well governed and administered. Moreover, in according me this, his Holiness will confer upon me a special favor and kindness, which you will therefore make known to him. You will also tell him that in the absence of tithes, I have endowed the archbishopric with an annuity of three thousand ducats, drawn from my royal exchequer, and each of the bishops with five hundred thousand maravedis2 annually. You will see to it that the bulls3 on the whole matter be sent out with the utmost promptitude in order to reach the first fleet that sails. From Madrid, on the seventeenth day of June, one thousand five hundred and ninety-five.

I The King Page 144

1 Ignacio de Santibañez, a Franciscan, was appointed first archbishop of Manila; he then went to Nueva España, where he was consecrated in 1596, but did not take possession of his see until 1598. His term of office lasted less than three months, for he died on August 14 of the same year.

2 The maravedi was a money of account; thirty-four made a real (see Vol. III, p. 177). A royal decree dated June 14, 1595, granted to Santibañez an annuity of 500,000 maravedis from Salazar's death until such time as his successor should enter upon his duties as archbishop.

3 By bulls given at Rome, August 14, 1595, the bishoprics of Nueva Segovia, Cebú, and Nueva Cáceres were established. The right of changing the boundaries of the dioceses was reserved to the papal nuncio in Spain; and the patronage was granted (as in the new archbishopric of Manila) to the king of Spain.

Letter from Antonio de Morga to Felipe II


On the tenth of this month of July [sic], I arrived at port in these Philipinas Islands with the fleet of your Majesty, and the reënforcements that were sent to this place by the viceroy Don Luis de Velasco, under my command. I found the land at peace, and more free from suspicions of enemies than it has been hitherto. There is great hope that if moderate diligence be shown, our Lord may be pleased to open the door to the preaching of the gospel among the heathen. This is proved by the harvest gathered by the four descalced friars of the order of St. Francis, who went hence to Xapon last year. I found Don Luis Dasmariñas governing this land, on account of the death of his father, as your Majesty will have been fully informed ere this. I will serve according to your Majesty's orders in the office of lieutenant-general of these islands with as much care as my strength will permit, until your Majesty may be pleased to order otherwise. I humbly beseech your Majesty that the method of procedure that is to be followed here be sent to this kingdom with the utmost despatch. May those who live here be granted reward, for they have served your Majesty with much Page 145care and fidelity; and if the land is not burdened with taxes, the maintenance and advancement of it are likely to bring about great improvements even in the neighboring kingdoms, to the service of God and of your Majesty.

I shall commence the residencia which your Majesty orders me to take in the case of Licentiate Pedro de Rojas, my predecessor, and of other ministers, as soon as these ships for Nueva España have sailed. In order not to hinder their despatch, it has seemed best to postpone this work; but by the first ships I shall do as your Majesty bids me in this matter.

I was inaugurated into my office as soon as I arrived at this city, and concerning the inauguration I send the accompanying report to your Majesty. As I have come so recently I give no report in detail as to what should be done in this region. From what I have seen, however, it seems to me that I ought to remind your Majesty of what I wrote from Mexico. Your Majesty's treasury in these islands has been administered at a great loss to your Majesty's exchequer, and it is very necessary for your Majesty to send someone to make investigations and set things in order for the future. In that way your Majesty will be enabled to meet the expenses incurred, without providing therefor from Nueva España, as is done now. Everything is greatly in arrears. May our Lord preserve the royal person of your Majesty for many long years, as is needed by universal Christendom, and as we your Majesty's servants desire. Manila, June 25, 1595.

Dr. Antonio Morga

[Order by the council: “Let a decree be issued Page 146for the governor of the Philipinas to have these accounts taken. They shall be taken by Doctor Antonio de Morga. The results shall be sent to this council, with an account of everything that is done, and his opinion of what is meet to be done. A complete report shall be made of the royal property in that treasury.”]

[Endorsed: “Considered May 27, 1596. Decree enclosed.”]

This is a true and faithful copy taken from a royal decree and issued by the royal Council of the Indias, which Doctor Antonio de Morga, assessor and lieutenant to the governor in the judicial cases in these Ffilipinas Islands, presented before Don Luis Perez Dasmariñas, governor and captain-general thereof. Its contents are as follows:

Don Felipe, by the grace of God king of Castilla, [here follows the usual list of his dignities and titles]:

Appreciating what you, Doctor Antonio de Morga, have done in my service, and your good qualities, learning, and efficiency, it is my will to choose and appoint you as I hereby do, my assessor and lieutenant to my governor and captain-general of the Filipinas, in place of Licentiate Pedro de Rojas, who at present serves in said office, and whom I have promoted as criminal alcalde of my royal Audiencia of the City of Mexico. It is my will that you be lieutenant-general of said governor and captain-general, with jurisdiction in affairs of government and war, to act as such; and, for the time that I may so desire, you shall exercise said offices in the affairs and cases which may arise in said islands, and relating to and bearing on them, in the fulness and manner exercised Page 147by former lieutenant-generals, and by him who at present fills that office in the provinces of Chile, in the affairs of government and war. The governor shall not appoint or have any other lieutenant; and in prosecuting, determining, and closing the cases which may occur, take place, or arise, in said islands, you shall proceed in the form and order which is contained and declared in the decree signed by my hand on the seventeenth day of the month of January of the present year, one thousand five hundred and ninety-three. As concerns the cases and suits about the Indians which may arise in those islands, you shall proceed according to the decree of Malinas and the declarations thereof, a copy of which will be given you, signed by Joan de Ledesma, my court secretary, of that which I have issued for the said provinces of Chile. I have therefore sent my letter to my said governor and captain-general of said islands, and as soon as it shall be shown to him, he shall take and receive from you, the said Doctor Antonio de Morga, the oath and the formalities prescribed in such cases and required from you. This having been done, you shall be received and regarded as lieutenant for matters of government and war and assessor for matters of justice; and you shall fill the said offices in every case and affair touching or pertaining thereto, as has been said. As soon as you shall have been received into the said offices, and shall have had delivered to you the rod of my justice, no other lieutenant whatever shall be permitted to exercise it, under the penalty incurred by persons who exercise public and royal offices without holding power and license therefor. After you have taken the said rod of my justice, he and all the citizens and inhabitants, and the captains, Page 148officers, and troops of the cities, towns, and settlements of said islands shall have and hold you as such lieutenant-general and assessor of the said government in government, war, and judicial affairs. They shall cause to be exercised the functions of the said offices in your person as herein provided, and shall observe and cause to be observed for you all the honors, favors, civilities, licenses, exemptions, preeminences, prerogatives, privileges, and other things, and each and every one thereof which by reason of the said offices you should have and enjoy. I, by these presents, receive you, and hold you received into the use and exercise of the said offices; and I give you power and authority to use and exercise them in case the said governor, or any of the aforesaid persons, should not receive you. It is my pleasure that you have and receive as yearly salary for the said offices two thousand pesos of four hundred and fifty maravedis each. I order the officials of my exchequer of the said islands to give and pay you this salary from the day when you sail from one of the two ports, Barrameda or Cadiz, on the way to assume your duties in the said office. In the future your salary shall be paid you, as long as you are in my service, at the times and terms which were followed in the payment of the said licentiate Pedro de Rojas. Your receipts, a sworn statement of the day of your sailing, as aforesaid, and a copy of this my decree shall be entered in the books of the officials. I order that the maravedis given and paid for this reason be receipted and charged on account with no other warrant whatsoever. Given at San Lorenço, on the eighteenth day of August in the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-three.

I The King Page 149

I, Joan de Ybarra, secretary of our lord the king, have written this at his command.

The licentiate Hinojosa
Doctor Pedro Diaz de Tudanco
The licentiate Benito de Caltadano
The licentiate Bartolome de Toledo

Registered: Pedro de Ledesma
For the chancellor: Pedro de Ledesma

This commission and royal decree was entered in the books of the India House of Trade, of this city of Sevilla, on the eleventh of January in the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-three.

Doctor Gutierrez Flores
Ochoa de Orguiza
Fernando de Porras

At Manila, the thirteenth day of June of the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-five, before Don Luis Perez Dasmariñas, governor and captain-general of these Ffilipinas Islands, by order of our lord the king, and in the presence of me, the undersigned notary, Doctor Antonio de Morga presented this royal decree and petitioned for its execution. When the said governor heard this, he took the decree, kissed it, and placed it above his head, as a decree of his king and natural lord (may our Lord preserve him with increase of better kingdoms and seigniories!); and in token of his readiness to give commands in fulfilment of his Majesty's orders. Then the said governor took and received him on his oath before God, our Lord, and on a sign of the cross made by the right hand of the said Doctor Antonio de Morga, that he would execute his trust and office Page 150of lieutenant-general and assessor to the said governor truly and faithfully, as was declared and contained in this decree in conformity with the orders, commands, and decrees which in any manner refer or pertain to the said office and trust. After he had so sworn before the said governor, there was delivered to him the rod of royal justice, in order that he might enjoy and exercise the said office. To this were witnesses: The licentiate Pedro de Rojas, Estevan de Marquina.

Luis Perez Dasmariñas

Before me:

Gaspar de Asebo

The said copy was made, copied, corrected, and collated from the government records under my charge. It is a true and faithful copy of the records. The witnesses were Diego de Ffuentes, and Alonso de Aguilar. Given at Manila, on the twenty-third of June in the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-five. Therefore I affixed my seal, in witness of its accuracy.

Gaspar de Asebo Page 151

Expedition to Camboja

Information, Petitions, and Stipulations Concerning Sending Aid to the Kingdom of Camboja

Petition of Diego Beloso, ambassador of the king of Camboja

I, Captain Beloso, appear before your Lordship and say that I have lived ten years in the kingdom of Camboja, where the king of that country has always shown me great graces and favors, since I was acquainted with his language, and has appeared highly satisfied with me, as well in the conducting of matters of peace as in matters of war and government. For these reasons I am under great obligations to him, and likewise because he is a person bound by close ties to the Spaniards, and who consents and desires that there should be in his kingdom churches and Christians. He also maintains their ministers, as appears from the two orders of the Dominicans and Franciscans which he has in his country, whom he is providing with provisions and personal service; and he has not only maintained them but has sent to Malaca and Macan a great deal of rice and wine, and other presents. He has always held all Spaniards as his friends, and received them in his courts and lands with great friendship and graciousness. He has lent aid to them in their need, as appears from the case of Page 152Captain Gregorio de Bargas, and Blas Rruys, who in the year of ninety-two sailed from the city of Canton in the land of China, with the intention of going to the said kingdom of Canboja in order to examine and explore the said country, and to bring about communication between the said king and this city, for they were already aware of his desire and his friendly disposition. During the voyage the king of Chanpan, like the tyrant and pirate that he is, treacherously robbed and captured them, and held them in that captivity until they were obliged to leave in flight, with much cunning and craft, alone and taking nothing with them. After suffering immense hardships, they arrived at his city poor and in ill condition. The said king of Canvoja received them kindly, treated them well, and lent aid to their needs. He was much pleased with them when he found that they were from this country, and that they had intended to come to his. He was greatly pained to learn of their captivity and loss, and had much pity for them when he found what misery and hardship they had endured. For their coming was a thing which he desired much on account of the many things which I often told him, because he had always been interested in them, and because of the many conversations which I had with him. I recounted to him the greatness of his Majesty and of this city, whereupon he showed a lively pleasure in all, and was led to wish to communicate with the city, of which communication he was already greatly desirous. With the arrival of the said persons and what they told him, he completed his information concerning the matters that he had learned from me. At that time he was suspicious of the king of Ssian, who was his bitter Page 153enemy, as well as the enemy of Christianity and of the Spanish nation, and with whom he was in a state of open warfare. He preferred to avail himself of aid from the Christians rather than from the heathens or Moros who dwelt in the neighborhood, if he could do so. He gave entire credit to what we had told him, and what we were then telling him. He confirmed by deed the love which he had shown to all of us Spaniards, and decided to send an embassy to the governor of these islands, seeking aid for the conflict in which he feared he would soon find himself. This embassy he entrusted to me and to Captain Gregorio de Vargas, placing more confidence in us than in any of his own subjects. The said Blas Rruiz he kept in his service to satisfy the wishes of some of his own subjects, who, because they do not like him, opposed the voyage and the embassies. He wrote to the said governor a letter, written on a leaf of beaten gold, and sent as a present an elephant, slaves, and other articles, as appears by the said embassy, to which I refer you. This embassy we carried out, on arriving at this city, delivering the letter and the presents, and were engaged in it many days, beseeching the last governor to send the king some aid, in order to redeem him from the utter ruin which afterward happened. As this country was on the point of sending an expedition to Maluco, the governor deferred the aid. After your Lordship succeeded to the government, you despatched me and gave me an answer for the said king, sending him a Castilian horse with trappings, and a rich jewel of emeralds. When I arrived at the said kingdom of Canvoja I sent a soldier named Pantaleon Carnero to give the news to the king, and to take measures to learn the state in Page 154which the country was—all of which is explained more at length by this information which I am presenting, and which I drew up in Sian before the religious, together with the persons who went with me, to clear myself and in order that it might appear thereby that the embassy was accomplished. I petition that it be examined, and a copy be given me as a safeguard for my exoneration in all particulars. In fact the Sianese robbed and captured us and we were carried as prisoners to the city of Judea,1 which is in the kingdom of Sian. Here we found the fathers and other Christians, who had come from Canvoja, and who were in a sad and unfortunate captivity; they were allowed no churches or provisions, but must seek their food as alms from the heathen, so that the affliction and misfortune which they undergo is a most pitiable thing. When we were all joined together and saw what we must suffer, we decided to seek some remedy. We considered the state of that kingdom, and that the king had expended his substance and had few Sianese troops, on account of the many who had died in the war with Camboja and the war which he was carrying on with Pegu—who had sent a great army against him, so that there were none left in the city except children and women; and that he is a very cruel tyrant and a persecutor of the holy Catholic faith, and will consent to no Christian place of worship in his kingdom, but rather destroys them, and burns those which he may find in other kingdoms. He receives in his kingdom the worship of Mahoma, which is preached with his consent, and he gives permission Page 155to his subjects to turn Moors. We also considered the king of Canboja was such a friend of ours that he protected our faith, and that he was so placed that he would be heartily pleased to aid the Spaniards with all his power against that tyrant, because the latter would then be destroyed and put in the power of the Spaniards. For this is what he wishes, even although he should help the Spaniards to win all the kingdoms in the neighborhood, of which there are more than twelve; for I have always heard this from him, and further that he wishes to be a Christian and that his whole kingdom should be Christian. Accordingly, pondering over what means we could use to advise your Lordship of all this—as you are a person so jealous of the honor of God and the service of his Majesty, and are in a position to remedy it all; and, with so good and certain an ally, would win all those rich kingdoms and reduce to the holy Catholic faith so many thousands of souls, which are being lost, not by their own fault—we noticed that the king of Sian had been much pained by the death, before he had seen it, of the horse which was brought from your Lordship. And, considering the great pleasure which he took in a philosopher's stone, we promised him that if he would send me to this country I should bring him back a large horse and mare for breeding, and a philosopher's stone a cubit long, which he had said he would prize much. Out of desire for these things, he ordered that I be sent back; and told the fathers that they on his behalf should write to your Lordship—for he is so arrogant that he even sets no store by writing. He ordered to be given to me, to present to your Lordship, two elephants and an ivory Page 156tusk, which I have already delivered to your Lordship. After I set out upon the voyage I underwent many hardships, as I arrived at Malaca with ill weather, and when the chief captain found what message I was carrying and learned my intentions in the matter, he wished to interfere with me and detain me and stop the voyage. He attempted to take the elephants from the junk, in order to send them to Goya, and to take me prisoner. And in fact I suffered in the said city and fortress of Malaca, more hardships and hindrances than among the heathen before I was sent on the road with these letters to bring to your Lordship, as appears more at length by the information which I have given your Majesty for the remedy of all this.

In the name of the king of Canvoja, whose ambassador I am, and on behalf of the religious and other Christians who are in captivity in the kingdom of Ssian, and on my own behalf, as ambassador to your Lordship, I petition and beseech that you be pleased to attend to the giving of the aid which has been sought by him. And now I petition in the name of this poor and much-beset king of Canvoja, who is so friendly to our nation and to Christianity, more especially at present, when he has been ruined and is in danger of a return of the king of Sian against him (who would make complete the ruin and desolation of his country), so good a friend of ours, who has no one to aid him. And especially will this aid now be of profit and of immense importance, as the king of Sian is without troops of war and has them scattered; and each day he is becoming more powerful and is possessing himself of the kingdom of Pegu—whose king likewise is a very close friend of the Christians—Page 157and he is destroying Christian lands and churches which lie within that kingdom, in large numbers. If the aid which your Lordship would send were joined to the power of Canvoja, the principal city of Sian might easily be taken; and then the other kingdoms could immediately and easily be won, for when this one is undone the others have no spirit to defend themselves singly. As the said king of Canvoja continues always to favor and help the Spaniards, as it is certain that he will do, Yndia cannot come to aid in this as it has so many enemies at its gates; and, if your Lordship lend this most just aid, you will add greatly to the service of God our Lord, and it will redound to the great increase of the Christian religion, and will augment the royal crown of the king our lord—besides being a work of charity to succor the man who cries for favor and help, that he may become a Christian. For when he becomes so it will be very easy to bring all those of his kingdom over, with some little effort to see that so good a desire is realized. There are a number of other things which your Lordship can examine and consider in the letters sent by the bishop of Malaca, and those of the religious who remain in Ssian. Beside this there would result an important entrance onto the mainland whence great increase and wealth might result. As to the doubt which exists as to the state in which the king of Canvoja is, I will say that at the time when I was about to leave the city of Ssian there arrived some Sianese soldiers of the number who were in the garrison in Canvoja; and they said that the king thereof had come down from the mountains where he was, and had killed and captured all the Sianese who were there, except some few who had escaped into the Page 158mountains; and that they had killed his brother, who had favored the Sianese in Canvoja so that the natives should come to him. The virrey which had remained there had surrendered to the king of Canvoja, who was already possessed of all his lands. This was quite generally known in Ssian, and the king learned of it; and, fearing lest he of Canvoja should come to that country by sea, while he had no troops, he sent three oared vessels to act as sentinels at the mouths of the rivers, to see if he of Canvoja should come, and to advise him thereof. At the time when I went down the river the other three vessels went down, and at the mouth met a Sianese ship which was coming from Canvoja, and they told me that the king thereof was lord of his land and sea, and that they had escaped with much difficulty. They said that there was not at present a Sianese in Canvoja who was not captured. With this second news they confirmed that in the city. When this was learned by the people in the three ships who were acting as sentinels, they went back to tell the king of it, that he might send more men to the sentinel ships, so that they should not be easily overcome, since the king of Canvoja was lord of his lands. I have no doubt that if the king of Sian were gone with all his army, he of Canvoja would wage war; and the Sianese without their king are a people who have no spirit, or arms for their defense, for they possess nothing more than machetes, small bucklers, and javelins made of cane, all of which is a mere trifling armament. The men of Canvoja have many arrows and are very skilful with them. If the king was conquered at first it was because of the little confidence which he had in his own subjects; for, in short, it has since transpired that the larger part of Page 159them went over to the side of the king of Sian to his own brother, whom he afterwards killed, as I have said. I assure you that the Canvojans, in company with the Spaniards whose aid they would have, are a stronger nation than in all the rest of the country on the field, owing to the advantage in arms which they have over all the other nations in those regions. Accordingly I beseech you not to lose such a friend and helper, and that your Lordship should not permit that through lack of reënforcements, since they can be given, he and his subjects should again become heathens and lose their souls. I remind your Lordship that in the instructions which his Majesty has sent to this city he instructs you that the neighboring kingdoms should be favored, and especially that of Canvoja, for he knows that that is friendly. Again I beseech your Lordship as respectfully as I can, since it is a matter of so great importance which should not be lost, nor should such a wonderful chance be allowed to pass and no advantage taken of it, and of so great a benefit as it promises. I would remind your Lordship that, in the sending of this aid, promptness is above all necessary, in order that it may have a prosperous and successful result. It would be best that it should leave here sometime during the month of September of this year, one thousand five hundred and ninety-five, for that is the best time of the year to follow up these enterprises in favorable weather, since we have ready for it a well-supplied place of residence in which to live and remain secure. In short I petition everything which can be petitioned in such a matter, and which is fitting and could be done, and would result in profit and utility for my parties and for the persons for whom I speak; and Page 160above all I plead for justice in asking the aid which of right should be given.

Furthermore I say that in the name of the king of Canvoja, as his ambassador, I am prepared to draw up with your Lordship stipulations, and I declare that what shall be agreed to in his name he will comply with, without in any wise failing. For in this whole matter I hold his authority to speak, which is the same as is in practice among us, and which he gave me at my leave-taking, when he told me to use every means to bring him help, and in his name to do and promise everything which should appear best to me, for he should be pleased to comply with all of them. He said that his final aim was to be a Christian, and that this I should tell the governor; and further that he wished to lend all his power to the Spaniards, so that they could conquer the surrounding kingdoms and possess them. As for him and his children, he wished no more than his own kingdom, converted to the faith. Accordingly I am ready to make in his name whatever stipulations may be just, and to bind him thereto as his ambassador, since I am doing it for his sake. On account of this desire, I beg your Lordship, in case this does not take place by reason of some insurmountable difficulty, to order given to me a testimonial of all these matters in such wise as will give them credit; for I intend to go therewith and present myself before his Majesty, seeking justice.

Diego Beloso

In the city of Manila, on the first day of August of the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-five, before Don Luis Perez Dasmarinas: Have this petition Page 161and information presented, and let Captain Diego Beloso present a memorial of the number of troops and of other things which he desires and seeks as ambassador of the king of Canvoja, so that, having been examined by his Lordship, he may make the necessary provision. Likewise let him propose the stipulations to be complied with by the king of Canvoja, and carried out, providing the aid which he seeks is sent. Accordingly I have pronounced and signed this.

Luis Perez

Before me:

Estevan de Marquina

Brief memorial by the ambassadors of the king of Canvoja

We, Captain Diego Beloso and Captain Gregorio de Vargas, declare that for the better understanding of this petition of the king of Canvoja for aid, there must be considered the matters which the said king told me, Diego Beloso, for the governor of Manilla, and which are now given in writing. And we beg that they be examined with the rest in connection with this solicitation.

1. In the first place that the king's verbal instructions to Diego Beloso be examined, as they contain the substance of the embassy.

2. In the second place the aid is sought to carry on offensive operations against no neighboring country, but only through this means to become Christian, and to defend himself, and keep the people in subjection; for, if the king were baptized without having Spaniards in the country, it would cause rebellion and desertion to Sian. If he has Spaniards his own subjects Page 162will be obliged to join the faith, and neighboring kingdoms will abandon Mahoma.

3. In the third place it must be considered that the said king is powerful and independent; and when he sent for this aid he was in all prosperity, and did not greatly fear the king of Sian, for he had beaten him before. But he was merely sending for the Christians to declare his faith, and the contents of the letter of embassy were meant to satisfy his nobles. He will be content with his kingdom alone, and will leave the Spaniards all that they may conquer, offering them his power in the future.

4. [Summarized: Likewise should be considered the great faith which he has so long maintained, having supported religious of two orders, the Dominicans and Franciscans, in his country for thirty years with necessaries and servants, and sending occasionally to Malaca and Macan for Spanish messengers. He has always helped all the Spaniards and other Christians who were in his country, and given the fathers license to preach over all the land. He has exempted all converts from tribute, and bidden them give recognition to the fathers. He has always listened to the wishes of the fathers and has sought to gather a number of Christians—ordering all vessels which leave his country to try to bring Spaniards and other Christians back; and, if they found them captives, to ransom them at any price. In this way he got several together in his country, and favored them more than his own subjects. The larger part of his guard of arquebusiers were Christians, although not Spaniards; and he paid them well, and favored them so much that they dared to kill his other subjects. He gave money to the Spaniards and treated them much better Page 163than his own nobles, who were accordingly aggrieved. In the year 93, I, Gregorio de Vargas, and Blas Rruiz, my companion, arrived there, as we had heard of him in Macan. We determined at the risk of our lives and the cost of our goods to procure him a communication with this city and make him an ally. We told him of ourselves, and as he believed us, he sent this embassy, seeking aid. And this we seek that such an important country be not lost for the lack of so little aid; and because it is for the service of God our Lord, and of his Majesty, and will add to the Spanish renown, and the faith of Jesus will be established on the continent, where it may extend through all those great and powerful heathen countries to His honor and glory.]

This is the truth of what we know and think in this matter, according to our best knowledge, through God and on our conscience; and we swear it by God and upon the cross, and sign it with our names.

Gregorio de Vargas
Diego Velosso

I, Captain Diego de Veloso, ambassador of the king of Canvoja, declare that in a petition which I gave in the name of the said king, your Lordship, decreeing thereon, ordered me to give a memorial concerning the articles necessary for the help which I seek; and in compliance with the command of your Lordship I would say that for the said aid to be effective, and in order that the said king shall be able to defend his kingdom therewith, and win back that of the tyrant, from which it is to be taken, the following things are necessary:

In the first place, the largest possible number of Page 164Spaniards that your Lordship can send with the said aid, including arquebusiers and musketeers, being veteran and well armed and disciplined soldiers—of whom there should be no less than three hundred.

Item. As many as possible of native Indians who have gone on expeditions with the said Spaniards, and are well drilled, so that being mixed with the said Spaniards, and as far as possible being arquebusiers, they will be effective on the field.

Item. A galley without slaves, with full sail, oars, and artillery.

Item. The vessel “Nuestra Señora del Rosario,” and the little vessel which went to China, called “Santiago,” and the necessary fragatas for the troops, with all the artillery which can be spared.

Item. Eight caracoas and virreys, without crews.

All of which, as I have said to your Lordship, is the least which can be sent for the said help, whereby the said king would receive a gracious favor.

Diego Veloso

At Manilla, on the third of the month of August in the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-five, before the governor and captain-general of these islands, Don Luis Perez das Marinas, was presented this petition, and having examined it he spoke. Having examined it, his Lordship commanded that it be placed with the other papers, and that Diego Veloso appear before his Lordship, to come to an agreement over the conditions which are to be agreed upon and concluded by the king of Canvoja and the undersigned, in case the aid which he seeks should be granted.

Luis Perez Dasmarinas

Before me: Estevan de Marquiña Page 165

In the city of Manila, on the third of August, in the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-five, Don Luis Perez Dasmarinas, knight of the order of Alcantara, governor and captain-general in this country, did graciously cause to appear Captain Diego Beloso and Gregorio de Vargas Machuca, residents in this city, who said that they, as ambassadors of the king of Canvoja, had come before his Lordship to examine the stipulations which he proposed as the effect and object of his embassy, and contingent upon the aid which they had come to seek—so that, having seen and copied them, a resolution might be reached.

Having been examined by his Lordship, he proposed to them that, in case the aid which they sought were accorded, the king of Canvoja must swear and promise to keep and comply with the stipulations, and that at no time shall he or his successors break them or violate them.


1. In the first place the king of Canvoja, his wife and children, and his household must be baptized, and must receive the faith and gospel of Jesus Christ our very God and Lord; and he must allow it freely to be preached in his country and realm, and lend all his favor and help to it and to the building of churches, protecting and favoring the said fathers, and ministers.

2. So soon as the Spaniards have arrived in his country he must give them for their accommodation a port, and a good site for settlement and fortification, which settlement and fortification he must aid to construct with his men, with all haste, and at his Page 166own expense for the first time, since it is for his defense, protection, and greater safety.

3. He must pay the troops and camp people, soldiers, captains, commander, and other officers of war, so long as, and during the time while they shall not have any repartimientos or other certain sources of income whereby to maintain themselves; this pay must be punctual, and fully paid by thirds of a year, and likewise he must supply the camp with provisions, in such wise that they shall not suffer need or lack the necessary supplies.

4. In the matters in which he seeks our favor and help we shall only be bound to give them when those matters are justified and right, and as such permitted by our holy faith, and of no other kind. Consequently, for this favor and help which is accorded to him he must swear to be a perpetual and faithful friend of our king and lord Don Felipe II, and of the prince our lord, his son, Don Felipe III, and of his other successors in the kingdom; and as such, whenever occasion shall arise which makes it necessary for defense or offense, and to carry expeditions into other neighboring kingdoms and lands, he will aid with his troops, elephants, and vessels, in so great number as he conveniently can without embarrassment, conformably to the power and forces which he shall have at that time available therefor, without binding or obliging himself in case of evident lack or need therefor.

5. In the expeditions which the king of Canvoja shall with justice undertake against other kingdoms and lands in which the Spaniards may help him, if they are victorious, he must share with his Majesty what may be won of such lands and kingdoms, that Page 167it may be placed under his royal ownership, and that he may do with them as with his own, whatever he may please. Furthermore, of the spoils and gains from the sacking of such lands, cities, and kingdoms he must give to the soldiers who shall go to aid him in such expedition, if he does not pay any other salary or wages, a third thereof; and, if he does pay other wages, a fourth.

6. Item. The Spaniards who go must be subject to their superior commander, who takes them in his charge, and who shall be appointed by me. They are to be punished by him for any wrong-doing which they commit, and the same must hold true in the expeditions which they make; and the colors must not be lowered to any other persons except those customary among ourselves, nor to any other ensign, standard, or person; but, in whatever place and occasion they may be, they must keep their due and just place.

7. The king and his sons, or he who shall succeed him in the kingdom, must swear that never, after the Spaniards shall be in their country and kingdom, and shall preach the gospel of Jesus Christ our God and Lord, will they receive therein or consent to any false doctrine, or allow any other faith to be obeyed or publicly preached, or that there shall be set apart for it houses, persons, or public places.

8. In case that he shall lack children or legitimate successors, and must name a successor in the kingdom, it should be with the advice of persons deputized and commanded by the Spaniards, and with that of the superior or superiors of the religious and the orders which may be in his country. He must not appoint or leave as successor in the kingdom Page 168any one who is not a Christian, or who will not swear to keep and comply with these stipulations as he does. In case that he should lack relatives or other persons to whom rightly and justly the succession of the kingdom should fall, and he has to name some outside person, it must be our king and lord Don Felipe, or the legitimate successor who may be reigning at that time.

These said eight stipulations just given were proposed by his Lordship to the said Diego Beloso and Gregorio de Vargas, ambassadors of the said king of Canvoja, that they might examine them and confer together, and promise in the name of the said king that if the said aid were sent he would formally and duly swear to keep, accept, and comply with them, according as their tenor demanded, without breaking or violating them, or any part thereof at any time—neither he, nor his successors and heirs, under penalty that if they should break or violate them, or any part of them, from that time on the Spaniards remained freed and no longer bound to the aid and help which they are to give if these stipulations are complied with; and they may freely do what seems best to them.

The said stipulations having been examined by the said Diego Beloso and Gregorio de Vargas, and having discussed and conferred in regard to them as to what was expedient, they said that the king of Canvoja would accept them all and comply with them; for they have learned from him that very willingly will he receive them, and swear to carry them out for himself and for his successors. This they have understood and regard as the truth, considering the eagerness with which they have seen him seek for Page 169and desire the friendship of the Spaniards, and their presence in his land, beside the matters which he has mentioned and communicated to them very particularly. They consider it certain that at present his desires will be the stronger on account of what has happened to him; they except in all the above only two things, one of which is that he should not be obliged in any way to force his wife and children immediately to become Christians, but that he without doubt would do so. The other is that he also should not bind himself to pay and maintain the troops of war who go there to aid him; since for this the said king will give one of the best provinces of his kingdom, so that out of the tributes and profits thereof the said troops may be maintained and paid. With these two exceptions and declarations, in all the rest they promise and bind themselves, as ambassadors of the said king of Canvoja, so far as they can and ought to be bound; and as further evidence thereof they give their word and bond for him that he will do and fulfil what they therein agree upon and promise in his name, that he will accept, comply with, and keep, and swear to keep and comply with the said stipulations, and that at no time shall he or his successors break them or violate them, or any part thereof, under the penalties provided for and incurred by those who shall violate the faith and loyalty which they promise in so great and important matters. Accordingly, if the aid which is sought be furnished them, he on his part will comply with that which is asked from him, without in any manner failing. They as his ambassadors, with all the power which they hold and as best they can and should, bind the said king and swear in his name to its fulfilment, Page 170through God our Lord, with the sign of the cross and upon the holy gospels, in legal form. They signed it with their names, to which the undersigned notary attests; and likewise they promised under the said oath that, in the effecting and execution of the aforesaid, they will act as they ought and are bound to do, as faithful and loyal vassals of the king our lord.

Diego Beloso
Gregorio de Vargas Machuca

Before me:

Estevan de Marquina Page 171

1 Better known as Yuthia (a name corrupted from the Sanscrit); it was the ancient capital of Siam, and lies on the river Meinam, fifty-four miles above Bangkok.

Instructions to Figueroa

In the city of Manila, on the thirteenth day of November, one thousand five hundred and ninety-five, Don Luis Perez Dasmarinas, knight of the order of Alcantara, governor and captain-general of these Filipinas Islands for our lord the king, declares that he has considered the documents and official acts hitherto made and issued in regard to the settlement and pacification of the island of Mindanao by Captain Rodriguez de Figueroa, as stated in the report and account sent by the alcalde-mayor of Oton concerning the present invasion of the province of Pintados by hostile caracoas. The said governor has also considered the pleas offered in the same matter by Don Francisco de Poça y Guevara y Conçortes for himself and the other encomenderos of the said island of Mindanao; and also the recent discussion, consultation, and conference upon the said expedition and the results thereof. I declare that I ought to direct, and do direct, that Captain Estevan Rodriguez de Figueroa shall be notified to make the said expedition, pacification, and settlement of the said island of Mindanao after the following manner.

First: He shall observe and comply with the commands of our lord the king as laid down in two sections of a royal letter dated at Madrid June 11, Page 172one thousand five hundred and ninety-four, the tenor of which is as follows:

“I have considered the directions given by you to Captain Estevan Rodriguez de Figueroa as to the pacification of Mindanao, and approve thereof. I sanction the carrying of these provisions into effect, provided that the third part which he is directed to set off by itself, to be distributed in encomiendas, shall not in income exceed fifteen thousand pesos of eight reals. It is understood that this is allowed for the pacification of the entire island, and that a proportionate allowance is made for a partial pacification. You are also empowered to offer him that the title of mariscal of the said island will be given him as soon as he shall report that the said island is pacified, and that he has complied with the agreement, and has imposed laws; and to bid him to observe the ordinances and instructions made for the said pacification, without exceeding them.

“I take advantage of this opportunity to charge you anew that in this exploration and in all the others that shall be made you shall see to it that the aforesaid instructions and ordinances for new explorations, entrances, and collections of tribute, and the other laws governing these matters be observed, taking care that they are not transgressed in any particular.”

These two articles are to be held to be included in the regulations laid down by the late governor and captain-general of these islands, Gomez Perez Dasmarinas, for the government of the said Captain Estevan Rodriguez, in the city of Manila, May 12, 1591, before Juan de Cuellar, his notary; and by virtue of the said letter of the king our lord I offered the said Captain Estevan Rodriguez to give and Page 173transmit to him in his royal name the title of mariscal of the said island of Mindanao as soon as he should report that he had pacified it and complied with the stipulations agreed upon; and I also charged and I charge him to fulfil the other matters contained in the said articles, and I acquaint him with their contents, all with a view to his observing and complying with the contents thereof.

Likewise in the interim before our lord the king is advised of that which is done and happens on the said expedition and pacification, and until he replies transmitting a statement as to what must be observed and performed, in order that some inconveniences which may arise in the said interim may be brought to an end, the said Captain Estevan Rodriguez is required to promise and to offer his person and goods as security that, in so far as concerns the persons whom he shall judge proper to receive encomiendas in the said island of Mindanao, and who may receive damage if the said encomiendas are taken from them, or others assigned to them, they shall keep and maintain the same status in such encomiendas. The encomiendas which are to be assigned and those which have been assigned and allotted with the bulk of Indians who are not pacified, and from whom no tribute has been collected, shall be assigned by the said captain, conformably to the provision. As for the encomiendas which have revolted after tributes have been collected from them, whose encomenderos are on the way or have been sent to that country (they having been women and minors at the time of this pacification), when they have taken citizenship and complied with the other commands of his Majesty, the said Captain Estevan Rrodriguez shall give them Page 174over as soon as pacified to the said encomenderos. When such encomiendas have a certain number of Indians, that number must be furnished. But if located in valleys, provinces, or rivers, without a settled number of Indians, they must be allotted in an equitable number according to the character and services of the encomenderos, so that there may be enough for all. The encomiendas which are peaceful and where tributes are collected, such as those of Butuan, and others similar, shall remain entirely in the possession of those who hold them; and they shall not be obliged to aid in the pacification or in any other matter, and shall enjoy their possession. As for the actual number of tributes, it appears best at present that the patrons should collect and hold them only from the pacified Indians, and no others. If they should wish to go or send, as has been said, to this pacification, the said Captain Estevan Rrodriguez must assign and give to them shares in the same pacified encomiendas, beside what they possess and collect at present, and as many Indians as shall appear most just, according to their rank and services, and the number which they have on their encomiendas. This must be expedited and executed by the said Captain Estevan Rodriguez de Figueroa, who will keep this matter in mind, and comply and follow it in this wise for the present until his Majesty shall provide and command otherwise (when he will immediately be informed), without prejudice to the service of the parties to the said encomiendas; and, in case they should feel aggrieved, they shall appeal to his Majesty in their own behalf, if they so desire.

2. Likewise he shall neither receive nor welcome Page 175any outlawed delinquent, or any other person, who shall go without license from the governor to the island of Mindanao; and those who shall so go, he shall deliver over or send back, as this is necessary for the safety and quiet of this commonwealth, and in order to avoid great inconveniences, evils, and injuries which might occur, and would work ill to the service of God and his Majesty, and injury to this commonwealth.

3. Item. He shall allow no intercourse whatsoever with Nueva España, nor send any boat or vessel thither, without communicating and informing us in this city and commonwealth, in order that the trade and intercourse shall be on the terms and in the manner which it is most fitting that it should be, so that there may result therefrom no injury, damage, or loss to this commonwealth; and no such thing should be done without its consent, unless by the commission and express order of his Majesty.

4. Item. In case this colony should be surrounded and beset with any enemy, or should be in any need or conflict, so that aid should be necessary, when the said Captain Estevan Rrodriguez learns and is aware thereof, or is informed of it, he shall come with the greatest haste and the largest force possible to its aid, without attempting to exempt or excuse himself, or neglecting to do this in any way, for any reason, nor in any manner. And likewise when there is any necessity of the forces at Maluco and Anbueno being reënforced, he shall aid them in the best manner possible. He shall be intent upon the interests of his Majesty, and other just and pious causes and interests pertaining to the service of God and of his Majesty which should influence him; and because he is Page 176so near and accessible he can render aid with the utmost convenience.

5. Item. He shall not engage in, commence, or carry out any other expedition or entry into any realm or island, far or near, without the special commission and order to be secured therefor from his Majesty.

6. Item. He shall keep and comply with the said ordinances and commands, which his Majesty directs the said governor to impose upon him and cause him to comply with, in this and other discoveries, without exceeding, changing, or violating them, or neglecting to comply with and keep each and every one of them. And if he shall execute any sentence in any cause or suit to anyone's prejudice, damage, or grievance, he shall pay, as damage for the party, the losses which were undergone and suffered by the parties through him.

All this that has been said the said Captain Estevan Rrodriguez must promise to keep and comply with, under the said obligation of his person and goods. Having accepted, as above stated, the said expedition, the said Captain Estevan Rrodriguez de Figueroa was informed and made aware of the agreement contained herein concerning the said expedition and pacification, by virtue of the empowering instrument which he holds to that effect, and of the resolve and determination that it should have and has entire and complete force, as his Majesty permits and commands. He said that he was ready to allow all necessary provision to be made for the said expedition, that it might be immediately put in execution, as is necessary. And if the parties interested wish to bring it to trial, they shall do so before his Page 177Lordship, so that they may carry it on to his Majesty; and the royal offices in this city should be notified if they have anything to petition, which they seek for. Thereupon he protested to the said Captain Estevan Rrodriguez what he had before said and protested to this effect, and which is most practical and convenient. Accordingly I decree, command, and petition, with testimony, jointly and in accord with the opinion of Doctor Antonio de Morga, my counselor and lietutenant-general.

Luis Perez Dasmarinas
Don Antonio de Morga

Before me:

Gaspar de Acebo


The said act has been brought to the notice of the said Captain Estevan Rrodriguez, and of the royal officials, and of the city government of Manila, so that each may petition as they see fit.

Acceptance of the expedition to Mindanao

In the city of Manila, on the sixteenth day of the month of November in the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-five, before me, the undersigned notary, appeared in person Captain Estavan Rodriguez de Figueroa, who, some three days more or less before, had been notified by me, the present notary, of an act of the governor and captain-general of these islands relating to the expedition and pacification of the island of Mindanao. Having answered to this that he would take it, he now responds that from the instant and hour when he was notified of the said act he accepted it, and, in compliance therewith, Page 178has paid the troops of war and incurred other expenses; and now he again accepts it and agrees to the terms contained in the said act, and obliges himself to it, and to be bound by everything in it, and promises and binds himself accordingly to keep and comply with it in every way and in every manner, and he will bind himself formally. Accordingly he signed it, witnesses being Luis Bagado and Geronimo Suares, and he signed it with his name.

Estevan Rrodriguez de Figueroa

Before me:

Gaspar de Acebo

In compliance with his answer, he has formally bound himself with his person and goods, all of which is provided by the acts issued in this matter. Page 179

The Audiencia of Manila Reëstablished

To Don Francisco Thello, my governor and captain-general of the Philipinas Islands. Through God's grace, the affairs of those islands are daily assuming greater proportions—both because of the many exploring expeditions by which that island and the others of that great archipelago are becoming settled; and because of the Chinese trade and commerce, which likewise are a cause of increase in the consequence of affairs there. Hence, in matters of justice, there should be such expedition as is desirable, without its being necessary for the parties to go to the City of Mexico, in order to carry on their cases—thus spending and consuming their means in these long voyages, or else running risk of losing their rights. And also, if you are disengaged from matters pertaining to justice, you will have more time for matters of government and war; or in important and arduous cases you may find it advisable to have those with whom to take counsel, that matters may be considered with the requisite continuity and by a sufficiently large body of advisers. For these reasons, I have decided to reëstablish an audiencia in that city of Manila, as in former years. You shall be president thereof, holding this office with the offices Page 180of my governor and captain-general. My purpose in advising you thereof is that, having taken note of it, you may do all that is requisite for the establishment of the Audiencia and the receiving of my royal seal. This must follow the same procedure which would be observed in the reception of my royal person.1 Accordingly, as soon as you shall hear of its arrival, you shall go to receive the seal, accompanied by the auditors, the fiscal, all the soldiers in military array, the citizen encomenderos, my officials, and all others in public positions. The said seal will be contained in a box borne under a canopy, the supports of which shall be carried by the regidors of the city. The box will be borne by a horse, richly caparisoned, and having on the two sides of its hangings, which must be of brocade or silk, two shields bearing my royal arms, the face [of the horse] being covered with cloths [a frontal] of the same [material]. You, with your retinue, shall precede the canopy, and the soldiers in military array, with their captains, under rule and command of the master-of-camp as general, shall follow it. All of you shall go straight to the cathedral with bared heads, where the archbishop will be waiting, clad in his pontifical vestments, together with all his clergy. He shall go to the door, where you and all the people shall stop. Then you shall take the box in both hands, and shall approach the altar, near which in the principal chapel there shall be a chair of state. There you shall place the box, and the archbishop shall repeat Page 181his prayers, beseeching our Lord to direct the founding of the said Audiencia for His good service, and the pure administration of justice. After the ceremony, the archbishop and his assistants, and the clergy, shall remain there, while you shall take the box again and place it on the horse, which must always be led by the chief constable of the Audiencia, in person and on foot, and with head bared. You shall then proceed with the same assemblage to my royal houses, where you shall deposit the said seal in a suitable place. Then you shall enter upon the proceedings for installing the Audiencia, and together with the auditors and fiscal you shall establish it. This day shall be occupied solely with examining the ordinances of audiencias, with taking the oath from the said auditors, fiscal, and assistants, and with an address from you, in which, in my name, you shall charge them to exercise their offices faithfully, and to maintain peace and harmony among themselves; and you shall enjoin the inferiors to observe respect, secrecy, and diligence. Thenceforth you shall proceed according to the usual form of the other audiencias of these kingdoms and of the Yndias. Given at El Pardo, November twenty-sixth, one thousand five hundred and ninety-five.2

I The King

By order of the king:

Juan Ybarra Page 182

Signed by the president and members of the Council.

[In the margin at the beginning of this document:

“To Don Francisco Tello, governor of the Philipinas Islands, in regard to the establishment of the Audiencia, and the receiving of the royal seal.”] Page 183

1 See the detailed account of the ceremonies with which the royal seal of the Audiencia was received on its arrival at Manila, as related by Morga in his Sucesos (Hakluyt Soc. trans.), pp. 89—91.

2 The archbishop of Manila, in a letter to the king dated August 15, 1624, makes the following interesting observation on the state of affairs in Manila after the suppression of the Audiencia: “The principal motive that influenced Philippo Second, our sovereign, to reëstablish, in the time of the governorship of Don Francisco Tello, the royal Audiencia in these islands, which had been suppressed some years before, was that, in districts Page 182nso remote and distant from his royal presence, the governors might not be so absolute, but that there might be a superior arm to check them, and not allow extortions upon an innocent people.”

Letter from Luis Perez Dasmariñas to Felipe II


By the ships which sailed for Nueva España in July of this year 95, I wrote at length to your Majesty, giving account of some things which, in my poor judgment and opinion, would be to the glory and service of God and of your Majesty; and very necessary, important, and fitting for the common good, preservation, and increase of these towns. Therefore I felt myself urged and obliged to break silence; and I would not now refrain from referring to those matters, if I did not fear and doubt that this present letter would not reach the royal hands by this way, and did I not believe that several of those I have written by another way, namely by Nueva España, have arrived there.

The present occasion for writing to your Majesty is to inform you of the arrival of the religious and ministers whom your Majesty was pleased to send here. This was of great moment and importance, because of our great need of them. I am writing also to say that the fathers of the Society of Jesus have taken under their charge the island of Leyte, one of the Pintados, which has hitherto had no instruction. Although but four fathers went there, so great good Page 184has resulted from their labors, within six months or so, that two days ago the father vice-provincial told me that he had received a letter saying that the fathers now preach to the Indians in their own language. The good results and benefits are so great that there are now more than five thousand four hundred catechumens—who, without being at all compelled to do so, have themselves destroyed and cast down their false idols. This gives no little encouragement and occasion to praise God; and shows how important, necessary, and beneficial is the presence here of good ministers.

Moreover, the fathers of the Order of St. Dominic have taken charge of the province of Cagayan, where there has been no lack of disturbances among the natives, with no little tumult and danger to the fathers and to us also. The arrival of the fathers there has been of much importance and benefit in that province, both temporally and spiritually; and has helped in the pacification of the Indians. Please God their mission may prosper and extend as far as possible.

By a ship which came from Japon in the month of November of this year, I received a letter from father Fray Pedro Bautista and Fray Juan de Jhesus, wherein they advise me of the good condition in which God is pleased to maintain the things pertaining to His glory and service, and to the good of His creatures and of this state. Affairs are quiet there, as little has taken place, and their hopes are such as are more particularly referred to in the account of father Fray Juan de Jhesus, a copy of whose letter accompanies this.

Likewise I have to write concerning your Majesty's Page 185reply about the agreement made by my father with Captain Esteban Rodriguez in regard to the pacification of the island of Mindanao. When we were discussing this matter it was suggested to consider Captain Esteban Rodriguez in an undertaking in a light which seemed very clear and plain. He, however, thought that he should not be subordinate to this government, but free and exempt from obedience thereto. Over this point conferences and discussions were held with grave and learned persons, and it was decided that the said captain should go on said expedition as a subordinate and in no other way, for many causes and reasons offered, agreed upon, and established as very important and of universal application; and that he ought to consider the great difficulties which might arise should he go without being subordinate to this government, as well as the universal and public danger and loss that might ensue to this state, and especially to some of its inhabitants; and, further, the injury to the service of God and of your Majesty. Of all of this your Majesty will be informed at greater length, and will understand it by the papers and writs concerning this case. Therefore I shall make no further reference to it, leaving the report thereof to be sent by a more safe and certain way than this. In regard to the rest of the case however I say, Sire, that although Captain Esteban Rodriguez possesses the qualities of discretion, valor, ability, competence, and much experience in this work, and is courageous and of honorable estate, yet he is in my opinion very stiff, unchangeable, independent, and fixed in his determination and opinion. Thus he did not wish to discuss or to say anything whatever in regard to this question Page 186of subordination. Thereupon, as it was not judged convenient to permit him to make the journey independently, the plans were abandoned, and everything was left until your Majesty should be advised thereof. At that time, however, news came for the second time that some hostile bands from Terrenate and Mindanao, in some very light vessels propelled by oars, called caracoas, had landed on the coast of Cebu. They committed many depredations, such as murders, the taking of captives, and robberies, among the Indians. Although Rodriguez Ronquillo, alcalde-mayor of Cibu, sent some soldiers to attack them, who, after finding one of their vessels, seized it, and killed or captured its crew, this victory only brought a thicker cloud of enemies, dangers, and misfortunes. Although a captain of infantry was despatched immediately with a contingent of troops to pursue and look for them, yet, for the security, aid, and defense of that coast, it was finally judged and considered best, and a more wise, important, and fitting relief, for Captain Esteban Rodriguez to make his expedition. Thereby those dangers, or the majority of them, would be checked and relieved, as well as others which would grow or increase by inattention. Thus matters were arranged with him in the form that your Majesty will see by the copy accompanying this letter. As he will have plenty to do on this expedition, your Majesty, having been advised in the meantime, will be able to order and declare the best method to be pursued in this matter. To Captain Esteban Rodriguez have been given troops, artillery, ammunition, and other supplies on his account; and he will depart on his expedition within three months, more or less, God willing. Besides Page 187this, report is due to your Majesty of the despatch of letters and certain articles for the king of Canboja by means of Diego Veloso. The former sent this man on an embassy to my father when the latter was on his way in the expedition to Maluco. When about to enter the harbor of Canboja, he [Veloso] met the army and part of the fleet of the king of Sian who had begun hostilities against the king of Canboja. The king of Sian inflicted great damage upon the people and country of the king of Canboja, causing him to withdraw to the mountains, as has been reported. Thus Diego Veloso, and the others with him, had been captured and carried away. But afterward God was minded to move the said king of Sian to free him, and to send him with a ship and two elephants (male and female), and a large tusk of another elephant, which were brought to me. The king wrote me through a father of the Order of St. Francis,1 who was a captive there in Page 188Canboja with others, a letter, a copy of which accompanies the present, and to which I will not refer, in order not to make this letter longer. Occasion was offered by this for the same ambassador, despatched now by the king of Sian, and formerly by the king of Canboja, again to negotiate and ask for help from me for the king of Canboja, for he had heard that the king of Sian had repeated the past injuries; and as I did not acquiesce, he gave me many causes and reasons which I shall not mention here, but God willing, will state in a letter by way of Nueva España. As the affair seemed urgent to me and very important, serious, and of weighty consideration and promise, and one fitting to bring about great things in the noble service of the divine majesty of God our Lord, and of your Majesty, I discussed this matter, and considered whether it would not be a better plan to make an expedition to Chanpa,2 as this is a very important passage and post. It is occupied by a cruel and pernicious tyrant who commits and causes iniquities, cruelties, and unheard-of treacheries. In the opinion of certain persons who have been there, the capture of this place would be very easy, with two hundred Spaniards and five hundred Indians; or at the most, success is assured with three hundred Spaniards. Both on account of the facility and importance of this expedition, and the tyrannical deeds, treacheries, and iniquities of that king, investigations have been made, and the matter submitted to the prelates and other clerical persons, in order that Page 189they might consider whether it were just. Although there were some reservations and conditions, they decided that the expedition was just. This was submitted to a council of war, together with the question of aid to the king of Canboja, in order to determine which matter it would be better to undertake. However it was resolved definitely in favor of the expedition to Chanpa for certain reasons and considerations. But at the same time it was also resolved to send someone to Canboja to ascertain the king's condition, and what were his determination, wish, and intention in respect to the help requested by him, and in his name by Diego Veloso. Now we must determine and decide what will be best for the service of God and of your Majesty. God willing, Captain Juan Juarez Gallinato, a man of talents, discretion, and experience, and well fitted for this occasion and the contingencies that may arise (which are of no little consideration, importance, and weight), will take charge of this expedition. He will have two ships and some troops, and is under orders to proceed according to the weather, opportunity, and disposition and state of affairs which are in his opinion most fitting. He is to discuss certain matters with the Siamese king, and to procure the release of the religious and other persons whom the latter holds captive. Especially he is to establish friendship with the king of Canboja, who, as it seems, is desirous thereof, inasmuch as he has asked for it so repeatedly and with so great earnestness. Thus for this and many other reasons, in the opinion of those who regard and view matters with some consideration, this expedition is a work prompted and incited by the Holy Spirit. May God grant that matters may be Page 190directed in the best way for His service. The spiritual and temporal benefits to be derived from it, to the glory of God and the good and conversion of His creatures, will not be few, if His Divine Majesty will grant a beginning of His light and knowledge in this great kingdom, which is surrounded by so many others, so great, rich, and powerful—where, with but little difficulty, God willing, His Divine Majesty can be so exalted, recognized, and magnified, and your Majesty served. Thus considering the greatness, natural advantages and opportunities which God has given to affairs here, together with other things, I am prompted to write to your Majesty of the great importance of this garrison and post. I do not say this in undue exaggeration but with sincere love and desire that your Majesty may esteem, recognize, and know it for such, and provide and appoint for it a person of the requisite valor, Christianity, sufficiency, and talents, demanded by the greatness and importance of affairs here at this time, and which each day may be presented in their full import. God has provided these things here, and perhaps some of them are reserved for the happy days and times of your Majesty, so that even in this life you may enjoy the reward of the height to which your Majesty has procured and advanced His glory, honor, and service, and in the life hereafter the greater rewards and crown. In resuming discussion of the expedition to Canboja, I will say that I find myself ill-prepared for it; for I should like, considering the great import it may have, more resources and force for it than I have at present. For, if God should be pleased to grant the success hoped for at this time in regard to this kingdom, the effort would Page 191be lost, as affairs would take shape and increase in extent; and because a sufficient number of troops could not remain from the first in the kingdom and land of Canboja, who could, in any event, sustain themselves in that post, until your Majesty should be pleased to reënforce them and assure its safety. But I desire this most earnestly for I foresee and desire the great blessings and benefits, and the spiritual and temporal advancements, which may be increased and hoped for. Likewise, because the voyage thither is but short, we can send help and reënforcements twice a year, and maintain there a moderate force and garrison. Moreover, if this friendship with the king is brought about, many greater and more important undertakings will follow, which can be attempted, attained, and expected to follow, with the aid of His Divine Majesty. Therefore I have had the boldness and audacity to be so prolix, and to beg your Majesty to have the goodness to provide that if perchance this effort is not successful now, this peace, friendship, and understanding with this king may be attempted and brought about in the future; and if they be just and possible, some of the expeditions to Sian or Chanpa may likewise be effected. For the evils, cruelties, and tyrannies of these two kings are great, and war might be justifiable. With a moderate amount of power and force, either of these expeditions could be effected, for I have already stated what is said in regard to that of Chanpa. I have received this information and that concerning Sian from the bishop of Malaca, who is surely of holy zeal, and desirous of the glory of God and the service of your Majesty, as I have recognized and been convinced of by his letters which prove this. In a set Page 192of charts which he sent me from Sian, he says that that expedition can be made with a thousand men; and there are even people who say that it could be done with a less number. It is true that to hear of the great number of troops that this king and others place in the field causes hesitation, and makes one consider and believe nonsensical, inconsiderate, and rash the pretense that so great matters may be effected and attempted with so small a force; yet we should consider that this is God's cause, and should take into account the importance of gaining and establishing friendship with the king of Canboja, who can aid us so powerfully, because of his hostility to Sian on account of the war made against him for years, and of his recent injury and damage. This, together with other circumstances, such as the inhabitants' feebleness of heart, courage, and weapons; their awkwardness and lack of skill in handling the most important and injurious weapons; their barbarism and discord; the lax discipline observed and kept among them and the hatred and dislike toward these barbarous tyrants felt by many of their own subjects and neighbors, to whom their deeds are most prejudicial and damaging—all these considerations make the attempt much less difficult than it seems. These are the marvel and greatnesses of God, and surely they cause wonder and fear, and move the hearts and desires of those who behold and consider them, on seeing that His Divine Majesty should have placed in so many kingdoms, so great, populous, and wealthy, and so densely inhabited by so infinite multitudes of people, so great weakness, and the power, through another kingdom, to effect an entrance into some of them. This incites and makes us desire their conversion Page 193to the knowledge of God, and we desire all that said power, means, and gateway which His Divine Majesty has left and placed for this attainment in these districts and region, choosing and selecting your Majesty as the instrument for blessings and grandeurs, such as, with His grace, can be attained, and appointing this port and garrison as the gateway, staircase, and entrance for it. Therefore these and other considerations give occasion for recommending earnestly and signifying to your Majesty the importance thereof, in order that your Majesty may send such a person as this matter requires and demands, who shall attempt zealously and strive to see the name of God our Lord, and His glory and honor, much amplified and increased, and your Majesty well served, since there is so great opportunity and occasion therefor. Were your Majesty eager and desirous of furthering your own particular advantage and interests, you would have also plenty of opportunity for it, as this place is exceedingly well fitted therefor. I beseech your Majesty to pardon my prolixity and daring, to which I am forced by the great importance of these matters, and by the obligation, love, and desire that I owe the service of God and of your Majesty; and by my having so few opportunities to write, and those so far apart.

In regard to Chinese affairs, I wrote your Majesty this year, that I was thinking of sending my cousin, Don Ffernando de Castro, with the father prior of the convent of San Domingo, with some presents and letters to the king. This I thought fitting because of the condition in which the father prior (or, to say better, God) had left matters there; and under cover of this cause and pretext, I hoped they might try, at Page 194this time, to see the king, if such a thing were possible, and to offer to him certain presents together with the letter. This was written with much affection, respect, consideration, and vigor, and in it I bore in mind, as far as possible, your Majesty's holy zeal, aim, and desire for the conversion of this great kingdom. In the last part of it I referred to past events, so that in turn both matters might be discussed. The attempt was made accordingly. I purchased and collected some articles—namely, two swords well and curiously wrought and beautifully adorned in gold and silver; some articles of gold and precious stones; and some plate, although but a little. These, together with other things that we could find, approximated about eight thousand pesos or so, according to the value and appraisal made of them. All of this sum, together with the amount necessary for the voyage, I succeeded in obtaining without taking anything whatever from the royal treasury; for there was nothing there for it. I was confident that your Majesty would consider this to be for your service, and would order this sum paid, especially as it seemed fitting and of great possible importance. Although for such a matter and for one who owes so much as myself to the service of God and your Majesty, it seems small and of a mean, vile, and selfish mind, to discuss payment, yet His Divine Majesty knows that my present great need, obligations, and debts force me to say this, for I am obliged to pay out more than thirty-eight thousand pesos. And God knows that all I have and can call mine outside of the present sum, that which I shall have ready at the end of this year toward the day when God and your Majesty will be no longer served by me, and Page 195the little coming to me from the sale of my father's estate—a very small sum indeed—all the rest, I say, without omitting anything of money value, will amount, in my opinion, to something like five thousand pesos, and even that sum may not be reached. For, although, as I wrote and told your Majesty in former letters, it seemed—and when I wrote I believed—that I should have something to leave instead of so much to pay, yet matters have happened and fallen out in this way, and thus I find myself in my present condition. I am not grieving much over any need that may come to me, for by the mercy and goodness of God, if I had paid my debts and had nothing, I should be very rich in the pleasure of this knowledge. However, I am not without obligations to have some property, and I have very little and owe much that must be paid; and besides I have to give account both for myself and my father. My present declaration is not artifice, subterfuge, or a change of purpose from what I have previously expressed to your Majesty, as to my king and sovereign, but the truth and my earnest desire to see myself free from this burden and obligation of debt; and is intended that your Majesty might know that this least of your servants has these obligations and so little to pay them, in a country so distant and remote from his own. But leaving this in the hands of God and your Majesty, I say, Sire, that Don Ffernando set sail with the father prior upon the voyage; but, as it was late in the season, and the ship was Chinese, they put into port again, and thus I do not know if the voyage can be made and the reply received in time to advise your Majesty thereof by the ships which leave here in June, if perchance it can be made at all. Because I Page 196am so forced by necessity, I beseech your Majesty to please order the payment of the expenses of the voyage and the cost of the presents. The latter should not be charged to this treasury, which I fear could not meet the payment, thus forcing me to pay it, God knows with what or how. As a servant desirous that God be known and served in so great a kingdom as China, I venture to say that, if your Majesty would send this king some curiosities, that act might, according to the posture and condition in which God has now placed matters, be of great importance, benefit, and profit for the service of His Divine Majesty, the merit of your Majesty, and the good of so many souls as are lost and condemned there. I bear well in mind past events, Sire, from which if appears that there is neither merit nor room for this favor and present; but, King and Sire, the blood of Christ and the conversion of so many souls is of most importance. Much harm might also be suffered by this new state without traffic with this nation, this being its nerve and support. Even though it should be desired to treat of past events, and it should be considered best for the service of your Majesty to deal severely with this king, it would not be a bad idea to offer friendship at the same time. With this excuse, a present might be well received and be of considerable use. If, perchance, God should move your Majesty to this, I may say that, in my opinion, the presents which in years gone by your Majesty was pleased to have taken to this king, were and would be very appropriate and sufficient. Although it is true that he is a great, rich, and powerful monarch, the curiosity, novelty, and different fashion of the things that we use are greatly Page 197admired by those people. The velvets, however, have lost the value they had formerly, for many of them are manufactured in China. A good Flemish tapestry wrought with stories and figures, would be, I think, of particular novelty for them. Besides it would also be advantageous with the king's relatives, who also have influence in this kingdom. There should also be good and excellent paintings, and two suits of splendid armor. In this, Sire, I well see that I am bold and venturesome; but my intention is not evil, and the great importance of the aforesaid, and your Majesty's holy zeal, urge me thereto, as also the belief that it not contrary to the service of God and to your Majesty. May His Divine Majesty preserve your Majesty for as many long and happy years of life as possible, and as we your Majesty's vassals need. Manila, the sixth of December, 1595.

Luis Perez Dasmariñas Page 198

1 The letter here mentioned is found in a group of papers in the Sevilla archives (see Bibliographical Data for “Instructions to Figueroa”), and is (in somewhat condensed form) as follows: “Since writing the letter of embassy, the king has ordered me to write another for your Lordship, as the former was not necessary on account of the embassy which Diego Beloso was conducting for the king of Canvoxa, whose kingdom the king of Sian has taken. Accordingly he would have your Lordship send the first embassy, or allow commerce, since the road is open to all vessels and persons who desire to go thither from Sian, for he will do the same for that trade as for Malaca. He desires from your Lordship a horse and mare for breeding, and will take it as a mark of esteem from you. He orders Captain Diego Beloso to command this junk, and the latter will negotiate with your Lordship. He carries a number of presents for your Lordship. I recommend Captain Diego Beloso to you, although I know it to be unnecessary after what he has done in Canvoja. He is carrying to your Lordship two elephants, male and female, at his own suggestion, together with a beautiful piece of ivory. Done on October 8, 1594.

Fray Gregorio da Cruz.”

2 Champa (Chanpa) was the Malay name of Cambodia (Camboja); it was, however, first applied to a Malay settlement on the eastern coast of the Gulf of Siam. Later, the province of Champa was a part of the kingdom of Anam, and is now part of French Cochin-China.

Documents of 1596

Sources: The two royal decrees are taken from Doc. inéd. Amér. y Oceania, xxxiv, pp. 95—98, 101—103; all the others are obtained from original MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla.

Translations: The first two documents are translated by Frederic W. Morrison, of Harvard University; the third and sixth, by James A. Robertson; the fourth and fifth, by José M. and Clara M. Asensio. Page 199

Coat-of-Arms of the City of Manila

Don Philipe, by the grace of God, etc.

Inasmuch as you, Captain Agustin de Arce, in the capacity of procurador-general of the Filipinas Islands, have informed me that the inhabitants of the city of Manila did render me service in its discovery, and remain there continuing this work; and inasmuch as you have entreated me—in consideration of the said facts, and because the said city of Manila is the capital and principal city of the said islands, and it was therefore commanded that an audiencia be again established there, and its cathedral church elevated into a metropolitan church, by which the city will be ennobled—that I should order a coat-of-arms to be bestowed upon the city, such as is possessed by other cities of the Indias; and considering that my council on the affairs of the Indias, after consultation with me, has favored the above request; it has seemed to me fitting to grant it. By these presents I assign, as the special coat-of-arms of the said city of Manila in the Filipinas Islands, a shield which shall have in the center of its upper part a golden castle on a red field, closed by a blue door and windows, and which shall be surmounted by a crown; and in the lower half on a blue field a half lion and half dolphin of silver, armed and langued gules—that is to say, with Page 200red nails and tongue. The said lion shall hold in his paw a sword with guard and hilt. This coat-of-arms shall be made similar to the accompanying shield, painted as is indicated above.

I bestow these arms upon the said city of Manila, as its own, and as its appointed and recognized device, so that it may and shall bear and place them upon its banners, shields, seals, flags, and standards, and in all other parts and places desired and considered fitting, according to, and following the same form and manner as the other cities of my kingdoms to which I have given arms and device place and possess them. And by this my decree, I charge the most serene prince, Don Philipo, my very dear and well beloved son, and the kings succeeding to me, and I order the infants, prelates, dukes, marqueses, counts, and grandees; the masters, priors, commanders and sub-commanders of the orders; the governors of castles, forts, and open districts; the members of my council, and the president and auditors of the same royal audiencias; the alcaldes, constables of my house, court, and chanceries; all the councils, corregidors, asistentes, governors, veinte e cuatros,1 regidors, and jurors; and the knights, squires, officials, and freemen of all the cities, towns, and villages of these my kingdoms and seigniories, and of my said Indias, islands, and Tierra Firme of the Ocean Sea—both in the present and future, and each and every one of them in his jurisdiction, who shall be notified of this—that they observe and regard, and cause to be observed and regarded the said grant of the said arms which I thus bestow upon the said city of Page 201Manila in the Filipinas Islands, so that they be allowed to place and possess them in the said city. And I order that no obstruction or impediment be offered to this concession or to any part of it, and that no one shall consent to place any obstruction whatever thereto, under penalty of my displeasure, and of a fine of ten thousand maravedis, to be paid to my exchequer, laid upon any person who shall act contrary to this order. Given in Aranxuez, on the twentieth day of March, one thousand five hundred and ninety-six.

I The King Page 202

1 Veinte e cuatros, literally “twenty-fours,” aldermen or regidors in the town councils of certain towns in Andalusia.

Decree Regarding the Bishopric of Nueva Segovia

To the reverend father in Christ, the Bishop of Nueva Segovia in the province of Cagayan, in the island of Luzon, and member of my council: Inasmuch as his Holiness at my supplication did see fit to elevate the cathedral church of Manila into a metropolitan see, and to appoint three other bishops, one of them in that city, the purpose thereof having been that there should be prelates who might care for the instruction and teaching of the Indians, the administering of the sacraments, the exercise of episcopal acts, and the visitation of their districts, all which a single prelate could not easily do; I have seen fit to inform you that, for the present, so long as affairs are undeveloped, and until a better arrangement is made, no cathedral church shall be erected in that city, nor dignities or prebends provided for. You are to dwell privately in the monastery of your order in that said city, and remain there as prelate for such time as may please you. That bishopric shall be suffragan to the archbishop of Manila, and you shall have the latter as your metropolitan bishop and shall repair to that city for the synods and other matters arranged by the canons and councils. It is my will that you shall have what is necessary for your sustenance and the maintenance Page 203of your episcopal dignities. The tithes in your district are at present to be gathered into one amount, and you are to have all that pertains to the prelates and to the prebendaries, dignitaries, and canons. In case this is not sufficient, you will repair to the officials of my royal exchequer in those islands, whom I command, upon establishment by evidence that all the aforesaid does not reach five hundred thousand maravedis yearly, that they shall grant and pay you such deficit from my royal exchequer. And with the said testimony, and with a copy of this my decree and your receipt, I order that what is thus granted and paid you be received and audited. Done in Ateca, the fifteenth of May, in the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-six.

I The King1 Page 204

1 A decree of like import, and couched in exactly the same language, was issued at the same place and on the same date in re the bishopric of Nueva-Cáceres. This decree is published in Doc. Inéd. Amér. y Oceania, xxxiv, pp. 99—101.

Instructions for Governor Tello

What you, Don Francisco Tello, knight of the order of Santiago, whom I have appointed as my governor and captain-general of the Philipinas Islands, and president of my royal Audiencia, which I have ordered to be reëstablished there, are to do in the service of God, and my own, and for the good government of those islands, is as follows:

Infinite praises must be given to our Lord, and I accordingly offer them to Him, for the great blessing that He has been pleased to grant me, inasmuch as, during the time that I by His mercy and will am king, He has chosen me as the instrument for the discovery of islands so remote and unknown; and because, after those peoples have lived for so many years in the blindness of their heathendom, the gospel has recently been published in them, the Catholic faith planted therein and received, and so many native Indians converted, who enjoy the teaching of the gospel. And thanks are due to God also for the natural expectation and hope that may and ought to exist that, by the same mercy of God, He must be pleased that the preaching of His gospel should be spread farther, and that all the other islands, of that vast archipelago, which extends through more than Page 205nine hundred leguas of latitude, and more than five hundred of longitude—exclusive of the great surrounding kingdoms of the mainland, round about those islands, namely China, Cochina, Cochinchina, Chanpa, Canboja, Sian, Patan, Joor, and others—by receiving Him and the faith, may come into the true knowledge of the faith.

Therefore, notwithstanding that all my will and desire is that, by the aid of the good spiritual and temporal government in what is explored of the said islands, and the care that must be had in the reduction of the rest, the end be attained to which the grace that God has shown me and is now showing me, constrains me so straitly; still, until He, in His infinite providence, shall dispose it, the most advisable thing is to watch carefully over the sure preservation and increase of what has been reduced and pacified at so great expense. I charge you that you strive for this end, considering the condition in which you find affairs and the great importance and advisability of bringing them to perfection and placing foundations so firm and secure that not only will there be naught to fear from the many enemies surrounding that part explored, but that it shall be preserved and increased.

Since there is nothing which will have so much influence over all affairs as the care that you are to exercise, I charge you with rigor that those new plants be instructed in the teachings of the gospel and of Christianity by the ecclesiastics whom I have sent, and am sending, for that purpose, with so great trouble and expense; and in civil and moral matters, by the temporal ministers, protecting them so that they may receive good treatment, and maintaining Page 206them in peace and justice, so that their labors may be satisfied. Therefore a most important means will be the care that you and the prelates are to observe in having divine worship celebrated with the greatest devotion and solemnity possible, at least on Easter and the holy days that the church is accustomed to solemnize and observe. You shall have especial care that the places of worship are kept in order and well served, and all this with due propriety, especially the cathedral church, inasmuch as it is the principal and archiepiscopal church, whose example must induce the same results in the other churches. Inasmuch as I was informed that things were quite to the contrary; and that the said church, besides being poorly roofed with wood and straw, was not properly served; and that it needed and lacked what it should have—a thing to which the former governors should not have consented—I charged your predecessor, Gomez Perez Dasmariñas, strictly that, immediately upon his arrival at the islands, he should have the said church rebuilt. I assigned for this work the sum of twelve thousand ducados in three parts: one from my royal exchequer, another from the encomenderos, and the third from the Indians. These said twelve thousand ducados were to be spent on the said building within four years, at the rate of three thousand ducados annually. In order that it might be done more easily, I gave an anticipatory order for two thousand ducados on the account of my third, on the treasury of Nueva España, whence the said Gomez Perez took them. Notwithstanding that he wrote to me in his last letters that the work was nearing completion, and although I think it ought to be finished now, yet, because it is in the gaze of so many enemies, idolaters, Page 207and Mahometans, it is advisable that they should see, not only that there is no lack in this matter, but also that the church shall be an example of the solemnity of the divine ecclesiastical ceremonies, that should arouse and persuade them to enter the fold of the church. As soon as you shall have arrived at that country, you shall inspect the said church, and find out whether the building is finished. If there is anything wanting, you shall finish it. Likewise you shall see that it is provided with ornaments, chalices, crosses, and other things pertaining to its service, so that it may be fully provided with the articles for the celebration of divine worship, with the authority, pomp, and propriety suitable to the edification of the faithful, and the conversion of those who are unconverted. For this you shall make use of an additional two thousand ducados, which I ordered assigned by thirds after the completion of what pertains to the building, in accordance with the terms of the decree which shall be given you in duplicate. Besides this, you shall endeavor to furnish what is most necessary, and what you think needful and advisable, by the methods and means which appear most suitable, so that in any event this matter shall be well attended to. You shall keep me informed of the progress of the matter; and you shall send me a minute and specific report of the condition in which you find the building and edifice of the church, its service of ornaments, and everything needful for it, so that, by knowing this thoroughly, I may learn how well it is improved and placed in the condition which is fitting, and which I so much desire, in your term of office. And I charge you that you do all this with the knowledge and advice of the archbishop, since this care Page 208rests on him. In this, and in all the rest, you shall maintain good relations with the latter.

The city of Manila has two hospitals, one for Spaniards, and the other for Indians. As I was informed that both were in want, and that it was desirable to preserve them, I ordered the said Gomez Perez to apply to the Spanish hospital, from the first repartimientos that should fall vacant in the said islands, enough to furnish an annual income of one thousand pesos; and to the Indian hospital, five hundred ducados, taken from the increase in the tributes of the same Indians—so that both should enjoy the said incomes as long as I should determine. Inasmuch as this is a work of so great charity, and to the service of our Lord, I charge you, immediately upon your arrival at the said city, to inspect the hospitals. You shall examine there the care and attention given to the sick; you shall endeavor to have the accounts kept with due care. You shall audit the accounts of the possessions of each hospital, by virtue of and in accordance with the decree that was sent, of which a duplicate will be given you. If the said Gomez Perez did not endow them with the above named incomes, you shall do it as soon as possible. First, you shall provide that all the necessary buildings be erected, so that the sick may have a place wherein to be sheltered and to avoid the inclemencies of the weather. I have been informed that this is especially necessary. At times when other business gives room for it, you shall attend to the inspection of the hospitals, both yourself and the auditors of the Audiencia which is about to be reëstablished. You shall do this in turn, so that when those at the head of the hospitals see the care that you take, they will fulfil Page 209their duties without any lack or neglect, or any possibility of the like. And in order that it may be known that no such lack or neglect occurs during your term of office, you shall advise me immediately of the condition in which you find the buildings of the said hospitals; the arrangements made in them in respect to administration, hospitality, treatment, and reception of the poor; and the new ordinances that you shall enact.

As I was informed that those islands were in great need of ministers of instruction, and that some Indians were dying without baptism; that, because of the same need, other islands were not being conquered and converted; and that to cause this condition to cease, it would be advisable to send religious of the orders established there—I designated and ordered one hundred and fifty-four religious to go there last year, one thousand five hundred and ninety-four, and they actually went. Although one hundred and ten others, chosen from all the said orders are going this year, nevertheless, in order that religious may be sent continually, until there is no lack of them, but a sufficient force to attend to the ministry of the preaching of the gospel, and the conversion of those heathen (which I so much desire), and so that those recently converted may be taught and instructed, I charge you to confer over this matter with the archbishop and Audiencia. You shall advise me of the number of religious, their convents, and their orders, their manner of living, and the number whom it would be advisable to send now, the districts to which they should especially be sent, and the orders to which they should belong. In the meantime, you shall come to an understanding with all the superiors, so that all the religious Page 210there at present, and those who shall be sent in the future, shall be so distributed that adequate instruction may be given in all necessary districts, as doubtless can be done if all engage in the ministry for which chiefly they are sent. They are likewise sent for the conversion and instruction of the natives who are pacified and have acknowledged my service and obedience; and they shall not go elsewhere without your permission and that of the said superiors. Through the latter, you shall ascertain the results obtained in their respective districts, and their lack of instruction, in order that, having this certain knowledge, you may be able to advise me more clearly and precisely. And so that everything may be done better and with greater quietness, I charge you to maintain good relations with the superiors, so that, taking example from your harmony, those who are subordinate may also be in accord among themselves, and produce the result that I desire.

One of the things that have given rise to uneasiness among some of the religious, who have been divided among different opinions, and that have caused great doubts among the Spaniards, is the fact that the religious instruction of the newly-explored places was not looked after as it should have been; for in this regard the plan to be followed among them was explained specifically and explicitly, so that if it were observed, there could be no ground for doubt in regard to the justification of the beginning and continuing of the exploration in accord with my intention, will, and desire. Again I declare this to be that the said religious instruction must be looked after in every place pacified during your term; and that you shall not consent that it be transgressed, in whole or in part, or that Page 211any pacification be made by any other means or method, so that in regard to this there may be the peace and harmony among all which I desire. Putting an end to all past scruples, those already converted must receive good treatment; and those not converted must be converted with the mildness with which it is advisable that the gospel be preached and received, and the Catholic faith believed and confessed, from which the desired happiness and gain will result.

Bishop Don Fray Domingo de Salazar complained that the governors did not allow him to exercise his jurisdiction. This, he said, was one of the things that made him come here. And because it is not proper that those going now should do this, or that in the future the governors should meddle with ecclesiastical matters, as such is contrary to my will and desire, I charge you that you shall not meddle with the jurisdiction of the prelates. On the contrary you shall aid and protect them, so that they may occupy themselves with the matters which, in accordance with my ordinances and decrees, can and ought to occupy their time and attention, provided this does not oppose my royal jurisdiction. This latter it is proper that you and they preserve and respect, as well as what concerns the right of my patronage, which you shall cause to be observed according to the concession granted to the Castilian sovereigns by apostolic authority, and declared in the instruction which you will find there, which I am writing in like terms to the said prelates. Once more I charge you to maintain thoroughly good relations with the latter.

The bishop petitioned also that, in the appraisement of the revenues that were to be given to the Page 212curates of Indian villages, it should be considered that the said Indians were not accustomed to pay fees for burials, marriages, or other ecclesiastical ministrations; and that it should be ordered that all the religious, in charge of and entrusted with instruction, should not collect the said fees, and that this extend also to the secular ecclesiastics. Inasmuch as he had ordered the same, under penalty of spiritual censure, and as it seemed quite proper to me, I declared and ordered that this custom be kept inviolate by both the seculars and regulars throughout that entire district, as you will see by the decree that was despatched in accordance with this. You shall cause this to be observed and fulfilled. You shall advise me specifically of the fulfilment of this decree and its results.

It seems an inhuman thing, and contrary to all Christian charity, to have left the Indians of the Ladrone Islands without instruction, since all who go to the Philipinas make port in their lands; and since after receiving help from them, and no resistance or injuries, the governors and prelates have passed by those people without furnishing them any instruction. This is a great cause of grief, and a bad example. In order that it may be rectified, since you and the archbishop are going together, you shall examine the disposition of the land, and you shall leave there, from the religious who are sailing now, those who seem suitable for the conversion and instruction of those natives. If it seems advisable, you shall also leave with them some soldiers for their protection, and as a defense from the dangers of those barbarians, in accordance with the ordinance regarding new discoveries. You shall advise me of what is done in this.

The bishop and some of the religious were of opinion Page 213that tributes could not be collected from the heathen Indians, and that the Indians could not be compelled to pay them until they were Christians. When the bishop came here, one of the matters, together with instruction, petitioned for by him was, that it should be ordered that no tributes be levied on the said heathen Indians. After conference and discussion regarding this in my Council of the Indias, in presence of the said bishop and other religious, it was resolved that tributes should be collected throughout, without any exceptions, from all the Indians who were pacified, even though they were not Christians; and that among those Indians who should not have any instruction, the portion to be applied to that purpose should upon collection be kept in a separate account for some hospitals as a means of benefit for the said Indians, and so that they may also be furnished instruction therefrom. A decree was sent in accordance with this, and its duplicate will be given you, so that after you shall have examined and understood it you shall cause its contents to be observed to the letter. And with that prudence which I expect from you, you shall see that the religious orders and the religious observe this matter. If, notwithstanding, they think that the ordinance is inadvisable and requires revision, they shall suspend revision until they have informed me thereof. They should be assured that my will in this, as in all other matters, is that all things be carried on with the most complete justification. You shall request this from them, and charge them with it in my name, in order that no disputes may arise among them for this cause or any other. Inasmuch as they all have the same aim, it is but just and necessary that they aid one another, for Page 214by so doing will their end be more certainly attained.

Great annoyances and troubles have resulted from the expressed opinions of the religious, which have been uttered in the pulpit and spoken in public. As is notorious, this has been the cause of disturbing and offending the town, and the Spaniards have become confused with doubts; and some have died without any hope, and without receiving from the religious any consolation to satisfy their consciences. For the religious demand nothing less from them than the restoration of everything acquired in the discovery and pacification—an impossibility for them. Then too, the religious impose difficulties in the collection of the tributes in the encomiendas, saying that some of the encomiendas do not have the adequate instruction, and assigning other reasons for other encomiendas. Thus the religious meddle in nearly everything, just as they did in opposing the pancada1 and the assessment that was levied for the walls and fortifications of Manila. The bishop took part in some of these matters by declaring the governor excommunicated. This has caused all to live, and they still live, with no hope. Inasmuch as great moderation and consideration must be shown in all actions, without allowing the people to live in so great anxiety and embarrassment, you shall confer with the secular and regular superiors, so that they may advise their subordinates—the preachers and confessors—not to offend the people with such propositions; and that whenever the latter think it advisable to make any reform, they shall confer with the same superiors, as these are men of learning, who by right should discuss and procure the reform. They shall communicate Page 215this matter to you, in order that you may enact whatever reform is advisable and possible. You shall advise me of what is most suitable for reform, in order that the matter may be examined and determined here. If any of the said preachers or confessors shall not observe this order, or shall offend people by any new proposition of doubts, or in matters of government, you shall advise their superior thereof, in order that he may correct and reform it. Should the latter not attend to this, then you shall enact what you think advisable for the welfare and tranquillity of the country. You shall discuss such matters with the archbishop and Audiencia, in order that success, as is so important, may be more surely obtained. You shall advise me of whatever is done.

Gomez Perez was also ordered to enact and provide that the encomenderos pay tithes according to the method, habit, and custom in Mexico; for, inasmuch as the church did not have any bishop, curate, or organized government before that time, the tithes were not paid. Inasmuch as it is proper that this be determined, executed, and observed according to the precepts of the church, you shall order all the Spaniards to pay tithes on their farm and stock products. You shall proceed rather with care and prudence than with rigor, and also with the knowledge and opinion of the archbishop and Audiencia. As I have been petitioned, in the name of the said city of Manila, to order that the three per cent duty imposed by Don Gonzalo Rronquillo be not paid in the city, because the country is very poor and needy, and the citizens have many other expenses for the city, I answered that I should be very glad to relieve them of it, but that, on account of the very heavy expenses that Page 216were requisite for the preservation of those islands, I was forced to avail myself of what could be reasonably obtained therefrom. Accordingly I charged the said Gomez Perez to order the collection of the said three per cent, and directed that the proceeds therefrom be kept separate, for the purpose of paying the military forces. You shall exercise the same care, and shall attend to the matter with the mildness and efficient means that I expect from you. While en route through Nueva Spaña, you shall request the viceroy to order that the speedy and efficient collection of the duties at Acapulco be attended to, and that he send the proceeds from them to those islands with the least possible delay—because of the need there of whatever duties are at Acapulco—in accordance with the terms of the separate decree that will be handed you with these instructions, so that you may give it to the viceroy, and take the requisite action in this.

I was petitioned, in behalf of the said city, to have some public property assigned to it, in order that it might attend to matters of peace, war, government, and other things touching its preservation, defense, and any suits that might be brought against it. I assigned the city for six years one-half of the fines and penalties applied to my treasury, and the revenues from the warehouses and shops wherein the Chinese merchandise is traded. When Gomez Perez arrived there, he wrote me that the fines adjudged to the treasury had been assigned to the city; but that the sum raised by this means amounted to very little, and that there were no warehouses. He wrote, however, that there were a number of Sangley shops in the Parian, the rent from which was given to the judge who governed the Sangleys. Now, inasmuch Page 217as I purpose to bestow favor upon the said city, I have continued the said fines from the treasury for another ten years. In the matter of the shops, you shall manage and try to procure by gentle means that the Sangleys may voluntarily pay the salary of their judge. If this be done, then you shall also assign the rents from the shops as public property to the said city. Failing in this, then, together with the Audiencia, you shall investigate and determine what other thing can be given in its place as said public property, without encroaching on my treasury. You shall try to arrange this as conveniently as possible, and I shall consider myself well served in this matter.

I have been told that the said Sangleys formerly lived in the city, but that Gomez Perez removed them from it; and that recently they left the location that he had assigned them, and returned to the city. There they carry on trade in private houses. It does not seem advisable to allow this, for, as I have been told, not any of them are Christians, and therefore it would be advisable to assign them another separate settlement near the city. This matter requires careful consideration, and immediately upon your arrival at those islands, you, the archbishop, and the Audiencia shall investigate and determine what site outside of the city can be assigned them as a lodging with the best security against the troubles that might result from a race in whom, at present, we can place but little confidence. You shall take into consideration also their comfort, and shall assign them the site that you think most suitable, with the ratification of the city itself, and without any prejudice to anyone else.

On petition of the said city of Manila, I enacted and ordered that no foreigners who come to the ports Page 218of the said islands—Chinese, Portuguese, Japonese, Cianese, Borneans, or any others—shall pay duties, especially on food, ammunition, and materials for making ammunition. Inasmuch as my will is that the said collection be set aside, you shall not allow them to demand or levy the said duties on the said articles, until such time as I order the contrary. In order that all people may know that they may go thither with the said articles, and that they may enjoy the said exemption, you shall cause to be proclaimed the decree regarding this matter that will be given you. You shall advise me of the general benefit that shall result from this, as well as the advantage which, without causing injury thereto, might be drawn from these goods for my treasury.

Inasmuch as the good administration of distributive justice is one of the things on which principally depends the good government of the community, and the happiness of its people and of the districts composing it, I order you to grant what offices and posts of the country are at your disposal to meritorious men, and for services and capacity. You shall grant the offices in such a way that they be filled by the old inhabitants who have lived in the country at least three years, and have become citizens of it. You shall grant the encomiendas to soldiers who shall have lived in the islands in actual military service and duty, always giving the preference to those who merit it with most cause. You shall take into consideration their length of residence, the quality of their services, and all other circumstances of their services, greater and lesser, in the country. These men must not be sons, brothers, relatives, servants, of friends of yours, or of the auditors or other officials of the Page 219Audiencia; for you are warned not to grant encomiendas of Indians to such men, or appoint them to offices—and to this end a sufficient salary is paid you to enable you to support them—and also it is not right that those who go last should profit by the sweat of another's labor. Moreover, if rewards are dealt out where they are due, all will serve assiduously, as they will hope to attain like rewards. My will is that this order be observed, and that it be kept so rigidly, that, now and henceforth, the said sons, brothers, and servants of yours are declared incapable of holding the said encomiendas and offices. Inasmuch as certain men who already hold encomiendas in the said islands and have therein a sufficiency of what they need, are begging for further bounty, you are advised not to grant them anything more, until many others have been provided and rewarded with encomiendas and other posts and rewards. These others, as I have been informed, are as old residents, and as meritorious as they, and have performed many more services in conquering and maintaining the country than those who are begging now; and yet they have not been rewarded. On this account they are poor, irritated, and querulous. However, if when any good repartimiento falls vacant, you think it advisable to grant it to one who, because he has an encomienda already, deserves it less, you may do it, providing you deprive him of the one he had before, so that you may grant it in the form above stated.

You shall provide for and reward all these men, according to the seniority, merits, and capacity of each one. You shall prefer such men to any others who do not possess these requisites, in the said allotment of encomiendas and governmental and military positions, Page 220and all other rewards of the country. I charge and order you to observe the same in regard to commissions and appointments on land and sea, particularly in the appointment of masters and officials of vessels; for, the grant will be made to those who have worked, and deserve the appointment, and will give hope to the others, and, will persuade those who are absent to return. Thus the country will be settled and will grow, your government will be so much more mild and easy, and a condition of general and individual happiness will exist.

As I was informed that it would be desirable not to allow Chinese or other foreign vessels to sell at retail the merchandise that they might bring to the said islands, or those of the country to buy them, publicly or secretly, under heavy penalties, it was resolved that as many persons of the requisite qualifications as were necessary should be deputed and chosen to purchase the said merchandise in the bulk. They were to buy at wholesale all the goods brought in the ships, and afterward to distribute them to the Spanish, Chinese, and Indian inhabitants justly and fairly, at the cost price. Now, since in regard to this matter, I ordered the said Gomez Perez, in his instructions, to enact what he judged fitting, without allowing anyone except those assigned by his orders, to go to the vessels, notwithstanding that he wrote me afterward that many difficulties stood in the way of the execution of this plan, since the religious opposed it, I caused him to be ordered by my decree, dated June 11, of last year—the duplicate of which will be given you—that in spite of that he should continue the plan, according to instructions, of selling by wholesale. This is what is termed pancada there. And inasmuch Page 221as it appears advisable now, you shall continue the same order. You shall endeavor to traffic for the said merchandise with other products of the islands, so that the exportation of so much coin as is taken to foreign kingdoms may be avoided as far as possible. However, since it is my royal purpose and will to have the government of the islands adjusted in this, as in all else, in the manner most conducive to their sure conservation, and desired advancement, I charge you to discuss this matter with the Audiencia and those persons who possess the greatest prudence and experience in those islands. The latter must be quite disinterested, and anxious to serve God and myself. After their opinions and yours shall have been heard and considered, you shall advise me specifically of them, so that the most advisable steps may be taken.

This plan in regard to the pancada seems so much more fitting and to be desired, as by means of it, the stay there of Indian retailers who store and retail the goods, will be avoided. Also many other injuries, expenses, scarcities, secret sins, and witchcrafts, will be avoided, which, as I have been told, are taught there, especially in their shops. It is said that these shops are necessary for retail trade, and from year to year. They could be handed over to Spaniards, in order that the profits therefrom may remain among the Spaniards, and in order that the latter may be led to become citizens there in greater numbers. The Chinese Christians who live there, and other old inhabitants, who are not transients, nor primarily traders, but workmen—mechanics, carpenters, gardeners, farmers, or other producers of food—might be allowed to remain. Altogether this seems worthy of consideration, and hence you are advised to fulfil Page 222carefully the decree in regard to the heathen Chinese traders who go there for purposes of trade, not remaining there; and to take care that not so many of them become citizens in those islands. This latter might be the cause of some trouble. If you deem it advisable to grant permission and leave to the inhabitants of those islands to go to Japon, Macan, and the other Portuguese or pagan kingdoms and posts, in order to engage in commerce, you may do so, with the opinion and advice of the Audiencia. You shall be very careful, so that those to whom you grant the said permission be such persons that no trouble or danger is caused to the said trades by their departure.

You shall endeavor to have the Indian chiefs and timaguas make just contracts and divisions with the farmers in order that they may become fond of, and learn our method of farming; and that the Spaniards may have those who can aid them with men and other necessities. Those Indians are shrewd, and will know how to keep their contracts with the farmers, especially if the latter are simple men, as has been said. You shall be very careful to procure the introduction of tilling and cultivation of the soil.

Upon the departure of Gomez Perez from this country, he took my decree to hand to the viceroy of Nueva España, in which I ordered the latter to send to the islands twelve mares, two stallions, twenty-four cows, and two bulls. Inasmuch as I do not know yet whether or not they have been taken there, you shall investigate the matter in the said Nueva España. If it has not been done, you shall request the viceroy, as I write him, to have those animals taken in the vessels in which you sail from Acapulco to the said islands. Page 223

I was petitioned, on behalf of the said islands, to order that encomiendas be granted with the condition and obligation upon the encomenderos that some patch of ground should be cultivated, and that the farmers and Indians should be aided so that they also may till and cultivate. I charged Gomez Perez straitly in his instructions with this, and now I charge you too. You shall grant lands and homesteads, cattle and horses for breeding and farming, both to the Indians, and to the settlers and farmers. Inasmuch as the execution of this is important, you shall advise me of the condition of former days and what ordinances you shall enact, so that what is advisable may be done during your term.

The said Gomez Perez Dasmarinas was advised urgently in his instructions to endeavor to establish a convent for the shelter of girls, as soon as he should arrive at those islands, in order that both those who should sail from this country, and those born in the islands, might be kept therein. There they would live respectably, and be well instructed. They would leave the convent in order to marry, so that the necessary increase in population might be assured. The said Gomez Perez wrote me in his last letters that he had established the said convent in a parish of the city called San Andres, quite to the liking and satisfaction of the cabildo and citizens. He said that one citizen had granted the convent a certain estate, with which, together with other alms, a few girls were being supported. He reported that the convent was beginning to show good results, in accordance with the purpose of its foundation. Since this matter is so important to our Lord's service and the welfare of that country, I charge you to prosecute what has been Page 224commenced. You shall procure its further progress, strengthening it and aiding it as far as possible. You shall examine and cause its' rules to be observed. These rules were sent, and declare the method of governing and controlling the girls of that retreat. You shall advise me of the condition in which you find the retreat, and hereafter shall do the same on all occasions that might arise. You shall act in this with the care that I expect from you.

You shall fill the vacant posts of the said islands, as aforesaid, with the most worthy men, and those who have served me best. They shall be appointed with the obligation to send within a certain period, fixed by you, to obtain my confirmation. Then you shall advise me of the nature and character of the offices filled. For, although the said offices be of such a nature that they could be sold, as is done in the other parts of the Yndias, yet I consider it best not to discuss this at present, but only to have you dispose of them freely, in my name, to those who deserve them most, and who will prove of the greatest utility for the public benefit.

I have received a report from the said islands, that in so far as the nature of the country and the settlement of the Indians may permit, it would be advisable to order that no encomiendas of less than eight hundred or one thousand Indians be granted, in order that they might furnish tithes for religious instruction and a livelihood for their owners; and that those having but few Indians be allowed, if they so wish, to transfer or sell them to a neighboring encomendero, so that by uniting the two encomiendas a greater one would result, from which it would be possible to furnish the tithes and a livelihood. I ordered Page 225Gomez Perez in his instructions that, in matters touching the sale, exchange, or transfer of the said repartimientos, he should not permit this, as it is contrary to my laws. I ordered him, however, to exercise great care, so that the repartimientos might prove sufficient for the instruction and the livelihood of the said encomenderos; and also to continue the endeavor to settle the said Indians in fixed abodes, where they should be provided with ample instruction. Inasmuch as this is the most important matter there, and one to which you must attend with special care and attention, as it concerns the welfare of souls and the Christianity of the Indians—and it is fitting that you give it preference over all other things—you shall note that when these small encomiendas fall vacant, you shall unite them, if possible, in order that the above petition may have effect. Whenever the products and revenues of any encomienda do not suffice for the encomendero and for the instruction, you shall give the preference to the instruction, even though the encomendero be left without resource. In accordance with the above, I have sent my decree, of which a duplicate will be given you. This decree provides carefully and assiduously for the reduction of the said Indians in settlements in very convenient districts, hamlets, and localities, as has been done in those of Peru, and as in being done in those of Nueva España.

As the suits and controversies between the citizens and between the Indians themselves constitute one of the things most conducive to the waste of property, cause difficulties, and may cause harm in a country so new, because of the ill-will and anger resulting from them, I charged the said Gomez Perez, in his Page 226instructions, that although my will was to preserve full justice for both classes, yet that he should, as far as he could do so in a proper manner, endeavor to settle the controversies and suits that should arise, without recourse to law, or proceeding by the ordinary terms, or penalizing the parties with money fines. Now in order that all may enjoy the blessings which must follow from a government so mild; so that all may live in tranquillity and ease; and so that the great purposes that, God willing, are to be attained hereafter, may not be hindered or disturbed—I charge you and the Audiencia that, in all that you shall do, you shall act with the prudence advisable in the cases and affairs, and bring about results that can end only in the happiness and welfare of my vassals, together with the spread and knowledge of the faith and gospel that I desire.

As I was informed that the said islands had but little instruction, and that great difficulty was encountered in providing it—a difficulty that was rendered much greater because of the nature of the country, as it consists entirely of islands, most of which are so small that they contain from three to five hundred islanders and above, while some contain but one or two hundred; and likewise it is hindered by the long and dangerous voyage, the heat, rains, and poor roads of the country—I ordered and commanded the said Gomez Perez in his instructions that, upon his arrival at the said islands, he should investigate very carefully matters in regard to the outlook for instruction. I ordered him to confer with the bishop (whom he should charge in my name to aid him on his part), and, in accordance with his advice, to provide what was most advisable, so that the instruction might be Page 227distributed even to the bounds of the sea, to the extent possible in all parts. I charge you likewise that this be accomplished with all the promptness and security demanded by its importance. You shall endeavor to secure the reduction of the Indians into settlements, as well as possible, in the manner aforesaid. You shall confer with the superiors, whom this matter concerns chiefly, so that—as I am writing to them—they may apportion the instruction where it is lacking. In the meantime, more men shall be sent for this purpose, as has been done, and will be done, in accordance with the advices that are received from you, and from them, of the number needed and required. Inasmuch as I have done for my part the utmost possible, as I shall continue to do, there is no room or plausible reason for the scruples that certain religious have raised about the tributes which are levied. You shall endeavor, with the requisite prudence, to put an end to the past scruples; and if occasion arises for like scruples, or others, you shall order that, without any public offense or disputing, they advise me of their causes, in so far as they know them. If these causes are just, then they shall be set right, in order that God our Lord may be served, as I desire.

You shall take most especial care for the well-being of the soldiers, and see that they are well paid, employed, and disciplined. You shall endeavor to keep them useful and of service. Those holding offices or other means of gain you shall not permit to draw pay. You shall observe and cause to be observed for the said captains, officers, and soldiers, their exemption from arrest for debts contracted during the period of their service. Nor shall execution Page 228be taken against the weapons, horses, or anything else needful and peculiar to the military.

Whenever you shall send any captain with men upon any commission or duty that may arise, you shall order that his privileges be observed also—namely, what pertains to his ordinary power and requisite authority to order and punish inferiors, and to regulate all other military matters. You shall see that these privileges are conceded to them, and that they exercise them, but shall declare that their jurisdiction extends solely to their soldiers. You shall charge them to treat the Indians well, and to fulfil their command in such a way that the Indians receive no injury. You shall exercise great care to punish openly any excess in this direction.

It is my will that you have a retinue of twelve halberdiers as a bodyguard; the said halberdiers shall draw the same pay as soldiers, and shall have a chief or captain, who shall draw fifteen pesos monthly. Although their principal duty must be to act as a retinue, and this is done and ordered on account of what pertains to the authority and dignity of your offices, you are advised that they must likewise perform military service whenever occasion demands.

Inasmuch as I have been informed that many of the soldiers sent from Nueva España to the said islands are lads, mestizos, and some Indians; that they have no weapons; and that a portion of them are pages and servants to the captains and other persons, who, together with their masters, under the pretext and name of soldiers draw their pay—I charge and order you, now and henceforth, not to receive or admit as soldiers any Indians from Nueva España. On the contrary, the viceroy [of New Spain] must be informed Page 229that he is not to send them; and the Indians, that they shall not be received or admitted; and of the mestizos only those who merit it, and whom you think very well fitted for it. None of the others shall be sent who has not attained the age of sixteen years and over, and a soldier shall not be the page or servant of any person; for while he acts in such capacity, he shall not receive soldier's pay. In all of the above, I charge you to take strict account, so that nothing may be done, nor shall you permit it, to the contrary.

Gomez Perez Dasmarinas left the city of Manila walled with stone wherever it was necessary, and constructed a fort and tower in those parts where he was ordered. Because of the importance of keeping that citadel well defended, you shall, as soon as you shall arrive, inspect the said forts and wall, and shall see that they are kept in order and well maintained. If they are incomplete, you shall finish them, and advise me of everything.

The said Gomez Perez was likewise ordered to construct another fort in Yllocos or Cagayan as a protection against the Indian, Japanese, and Chinese robbers; another in Çebu, as a protection against the Borneans and Malucos; and another in Panpanga, as a protection against the Çambales. He was instructed to maintain the continual care and vigilance required for the preservation of lands so new, remote, and surrounded by enemies. He was ordered especially to beware of the natives of the country, who are numerous, and have but little endurance and permanence in the faith; of four or five thousand Chinese who live there, and go to and fro upon their trading voyages; of the Japanese who resort there regularly; of the Malucos and Borneans, who are irritated, and Page 230have vaunted themselves boldly and openly; and most especially of the English Lutherans, who go to those coasts. Although I have been told that the said Gomez Perez had constructed the said forts, whereby to check the incursions of those nations, I charge you that, if they have been constructed, you look carefully to their maintenance. If they need anything for their completion, you shall complete them. You shall proceed cautiously, and keep ever on the watch, since you see what happened to the said Gomez Perez by trusting to the apparent good faith of the Sangleys.

The said Gomez Perez was charged also to construct a moderate-sized coasting fleet of a few galleys or fragatas to guard and cruise along the coasts, and prevent the thefts and damages that the Japanese were wont to inflict throughout them, especially in the districts of Gagaian and Yllocos. There they were wont to capture the Chinese vessels that bring food and merchandise to the said islands. This was the cause of great loss, and an impediment to commerce and plenty. Likewise the fleet could be used to prevent the Chinese, on their return to their country, from harming the natives of the above-mentioned islands, to afford protection against Chinese and Bornean pirates, and to oppose any other acts or attempts of foreigners. In conformity with this order, the said Gomez Perez had eight galleys built, which he had well manned. They were of great use for the protection and defense of those lands. Therefore it is desirable that they be maintained. Hence I order you to see that they are well manned and provisioned. You must keep close watch over the conscripts, so that the fate of Gomez Perez may not occur again. You shall have another galley built to Page 231replace the one lost. Inasmuch as you must maintain the roll of men complete, you are advised that if you find that the scruples raised by certain men, in regard to the Indian slaves bought by the said Gomez Perez in order to man the said galleys, as there were no other men available for them, are still in force, then it will be advisable for you and the archbishop, together with those persons whom you both think advisable, to discuss this matter, and to determine how the galleys can be maintained and manned without the said scruples; or that those who have those scruples, may tell how the land may be made secure without them. You shall advise me of everything and of the account given to you by the commander and officers of the said galleys, as to their condition, adequacy, and services.

Upon your arrival at those islands, and when you shall have taken charge of your office, you shall investigate the new method and conditions by which new invasions and pacifications may be lawfully made; also the smallness of the number of men, the slight cost, and the great ease and advantage with which they should be made, because of the division of the country into many islands and among many petty rulers, who easily come to blows among themselves, and ally themselves with the Spaniards, and hence can be preserved with but few soldiers. Since the petition in regard to the pay and number of the soldiers there was conceded—and you must keep the soldiers in good discipline, and satisfied and well-paid—you shall make the said expeditions of entry and pacification with great forethought and justification. You shall observe the ordinances in the instructions for new discoveries, which shall be given Page 232you, and shall not transgress them one jot or tittle in regard both to what is pacified during your term, and to conserving that, as well as what shall have been pacified before; for in both cases you must do this without any sort of violence or ill treatment, but with the kind treatment by which friends must be preserved. Thus if there has been any excess in this—which has been done contrary to my will and orders—it must entirely cease in whatever shall be done during your term. By this I lighten my conscience and charge yours.

The great need for the said pacification in the said islands has been reported, especially in those very districts where the Spaniards live, and which they frequent. These districts are all in rebellion and unsubdued, because of the lack of soldiers. Report has been made also of the injuries and vexations caused by the soldiers there to the natives. And inasmuch as things are come to such a pass there, according to report, that the island of Lucon has many provinces which have never been subdued, or if subdued, are in rebellion—as for instance, Cagayan, Panga[sinan?], Onçian, Çambales, Valenses, and others, all in the midst of the pacified provinces, and near and contiguous to Manila, and all in confusion and lack of any regulation—as soon as you reach the said islands, with the advice and opinion of the Audiencia, you shall ordain what is most advisable in this matter. You shall begin, as may be reasonable and most desirable, by attending to the general improvement of these conditions, and with especial care and assistance; for evil might come upon the distant places, if the part at your very doors is left under suspicion and unsubdued. Besides there is the obligation to try to Page 233secure the continuation of the instruction of so many people as are already converted, and under my royal protection. Because these do not have the peace and tranquillity required, they suffer great hardships and wrongs from those who are in rebellion and unpacified. Daily the latter harass, kill, and assault them, and burn their crops. On this account, and because they kill many Spaniards also, not only is there no advance made in conquests, but that portion conquered is being daily diminished. In order to reform this state of affairs, you shall give commands, in accordance with what has been said above, with great consideration and justification. You shall always observe, as aforesaid, the ordinances set forth in the instructions for discoveries, pacifications, and the introduction of the gospel, without violating them in any point.

Beside the said provinces that are in rebellion in places, among the Spaniards and Indians already converted, there are others, which although they do not lie so near, yet, in respect to their distances and the nature of their inhabitants, cannot be termed new discoveries, as they are already known and considered—as, for instance, Babuyanes, the island of Hermosa, the island of Caballos, Lequios, the islands of Ancion, Jabas, Burney, Pacaguan, Calanyanes, Mindanao, Sido, Maluco, and many others. Since, as it is reported, the condition of these provinces is daily becoming worse, and it is advised that it would be necessary to pacify them for the welfare and safety of the Spaniards, and that delay might make that task more difficult, you shall inform yourself as to how the said pacification and conquest can be best and most quickly made. You shall perform it with Page 234the advice and opinion of the Audiencia, in the form and manner most advisable. You shall always observe in everything the form above mentioned, and no other.

As I have thought it advisable that you, whom I trust so completely, should, with the advice and opinion of the Audiencia, have power and authority to make the said expeditions of entry and pacifications at the cost of my royal exchequer, in consideration of the fact that, if you in lands so remote were compelled to await a reply from here, important opportunities and occasions might be lost, I have resolved to empower you for this purpose. Accordingly I give you this power, and I order the officials of my royal exchequer of the said islands to honor all your orders on them for the said purpose, from the moneys in their power. But you are to take note that you shall exercise the said power only in the most important matters that arise. You shall beforehand communicate regarding these, not only with the Audiencia, as above stated, but also with ecclesiastical or secular persons, or such of them as you shall deem suitable and of greatest merit and experience, in order that whatever is done be concurred in by all and the expense be no greater than what is unavoidable. You shall endeavor to make as safe as possible the regions pacified and subdued. You shall advise me, with the minuteness and circumspectness required by the importance of this matter and my desire for its execution, of what you do, of what is pacified, the means that you employ, and the condition in which it shall be placed and left.

In order that this may be done better and at the least expense, I authorize you, after having resolved Page 235upon the expeditions of entry and the new pacifications that it is advisable to make, in the form above mentioned, to covenant and agree with captains, encomenderos, and any others, in regard to the said expeditions of entry and pacifications. They shall make them wholly or partly at their own cost, as you may deem more advisable. These men shall be given title as governors of the islands or provinces that they discover or pacify, and for a limited time as captains and masters-of-camp. However, you shall not grant them title as adelantados or mariscals; but, when anyone claims such a title, you shall refer the matter to me, with a relation of the services, character, and merits of the claimant. The said contracts and covenants that you shall make, may, with the concurrence and advice of the Audiencia, remain in force until I approve them, in order to gain time, but on the condition of referring everything to me. For this, in conformity with it, you shall bind the parties to produce the said confirmations within a certain brief period fixed by yourself. They shall bind themselves to observe in their pacifications the said orders and instructions given by me for making the said pacifications and new discoveries, and, after they are made, for conserving them; for in this matter you must make no exemptions, nor shall I make any in any case, nor shall any contract be kept with those who do not observe and keep the above.

I have been informed also that there has been, and is at present, much irregularity in the collection of the tributes from the Indians, because the former governors of the said islands made the appraisements in a very confused and haphazard manner. For, although each Indian's tribute is worth eight reals, Page 236paid in whatever the Indian possesses, yet on account of certain words in the said appraisals and of the articles which are assigned for tribute—such as cotton cloth, and other products of the country—occasion is given for the said irregularity. This has resulted in each one's collecting whatever he wished, to the great offense and wrong of the said Indians; for when gold is plentiful, their encomenderos demand money, and when the latter is abundant and gold scarce, they demand gold, even though the said Indians have to seek and buy it. In short, they always demand the said tributes in those things that are scarce. Thus for the tribute of eight reals, some collect fifteen, and others twenty, twenty-five, thirty, and more, according to the value of the products that they demand, which they cause the Indians to seek and bring from other districts, to their great distress and affliction. As it is advisable to remedy this disorder and excess, I charge you that, with the concurrence and advice of the Audiencia, you shall endeavor to have the decree followed in regard to the payment by the said Indians of their tribute in money, gold, or land products—as they choose, without being forced or urged to pay it in any other thing or product whereby they suffer the said wrong, or any similar wrong; this shall be observed in the payment of the said tributes.

In regard to the lawlessness that has existed and exists, in the departure of the said religious from the said islands to the mainland of China and other places, without permission from the governor or archbishop (declaring that, because of their universal power, they will excommunicate those who prevent them) I have previously made known what Page 237was regarded as advisable—namely, that the religious should go to the said Philipinas Islands fully resolved to settle there, and not to go to any other place without your permission and that of the said archbishop; for I am sending them for this purpose, and they go there at so great expense to me, in order that my obligation to furnish instruction might be fulfilled. It is not right that, when they go there, they should frustrate all the above for their own individual ends and purposes, in order that they might secure and enjoy the privileges on which they are established; without being bound to their ministry, which they have no right to abandon. This must be understood as affecting the religious who go there for the purpose of settling and remaining in the islands, and not those who have my permission to go farther to other districts; for, when the latter is given or granted them, it will be after weighty consideration.

I have been informed also that, in order to correct the license that has existed, and the wrongs that have resulted from the departure of some from the said islands for China and other countries without order or permission, it would be advisable to ordain, under severe penalties, that no Spanish layman may leave the islands for any place, or to attend to any business, or give fragata, supplies, or any other aid to any of the said religious, except by my special order, or by your permission and that of the said archbishop. Inasmuch as this is coördinate with the contents of the preceding section, you shall note what is provided therein, for the same must be understood in what touches this matter, which it covers completely. Page 238

I have been informed that wrongs are inflicted on the heathen Chinese Indians who go to trade at the said islands, both in permitting the guards stationed by my royal officials on their vessels to take bribes (which are brought from China to give to private individuals, in order to allow them to do certain things), and in the conduct of those who register the vessels, who seize and take from them all the best merchandise, and leave them only the worst. This they pay for only at the price brought by the rejected merchandise. The Chinese, because they fear lest those who register their vessels should take their merchandise from them at the time of appraisal, value them at prices much in excess of their true value. The result of this is that, as the goods are sold afterward at very low rates, the Chinese pay my duties at the rate of valuation. Moreover, the masts are taken from their vessels in order to place them in Spanish vessels, as they are light; and in exchange they are given others, which are so heavy that they are lost. This is not right and ought not to be permitted. Therefore I charge you not to allow it, or to permit any wrong to be inflicted upon the said Indians. On the contrary, both you and the said Audiencia shall take special care to remedy the said wrongs, and to punish those who inflict them. You shall show all kind treatment and attention, both to the above and to all others who went there before for trade and commerce. You shall expedite them in every way and treat them well, as is advisable—not only so that they may continue the trade, but also so that they may be led to abandon the idolatry and blindness in which they live, and to receive instruction in the law of the gospel. Page 239

Because of the importance of attention to duties of citizenship on the part of citizen encomenderos—both for the conservation and defense of the said islands, and for their settlement and increase—I charge you to grant leave to no encomendero, under any considerations, to absent himself from the said islands, even if he should have permission from the viceroy and Audiencia of Nueva España. If anyone should absent himself without permission from me, or unless you shall have granted him permission for unavoidable reasons, you shall deprive him of his encomienda, and bestow it upon another and more deserving citizen. Inasmuch as Mariscal Gavriel de Rivera, Captain Juan Pacheco Maldonado, and other citizens went to Nueva España by permission of former governors, and although they have petitioned me for a prolongation of their stay there, not only have I not conceded this to them, but I have answered them bidding them to return. They were warned that their encomiendas would be declared vacant, as the time granted by their permission is already expired, unless they should have returned within the period by which they were bound. If you ascertain, upon your arrival at Nueva España, that they have not returned to the said islands, then you shall deprive them of the said encomiendas, and give the same to others. You shall admit no objection or excuse, for whatever you do contrary to this, now and henceforth, I hereby declare as invalid and null and void.

As I was petitioned, in behalf of the said islands, to grant them a concession ordering exemption from the duties on the first sale of the goods that they send to the port of Acapulco and other places, and also that Page 240the twelve pesos per tonelada of freight shipped by the citizens of those islands be not collected at the said port of Acapulco—this is the duty imposed by Don Gonçalo Ronquillo—answer was made them that the proceeds from these duties were very necessary in order to pay the soldiers and for other expenses. Accordingly Gomez Perez was ordered in his instructions to have them collected for the above-named purpose, and you shall do the same, until I ordain and order otherwise.

Much has been reported of the disadvantages arising from the trade between those islands and China. The Portuguese have complained of this, and declared it to be of great harm to them in their trading. They allege other reasons, in order to persuade me that this trade should be prohibited. But other reasons, proving the contrary, have not been lacking here, the first and foremost (and it is true) being that, by this means, the land already discovered can be conserved, and the gospel can be introduced into other lands farther on—a matter that under any other régime would be difficult and almost impossible; and although the Portuguese offer other important arguments, this is what most influences me. Therefore, in order to adopt the method which will best harmonize these difficulties, my council discussed the matter, and advised what you will see in the decrees which have been despatched on this occasion, and which shall be given you. I order you to have them observed and obeyed to the letter. However, if any disadvantages should result, or if there are any other more desirable methods, you shall advise me of all, so that after investigation, the advisable steps may be taken. Page 241

Because of my great desire that the contents of section seventeen be obeyed to the letter, I charge and order you that, whenever you write me and send me despatches, you shall send a minute and exact relation of all the meritorious persons who claim reward for services that they have performed in the reduction, pacification, and conservation of that land, with the character, seniority, and other circumstances concerning each of them. You shall send also a list of those whom you shall reward, with the means, method, reason, and justification of the reward that you shall have given them. This shall include both the vacant encomiendas that you shall have allotted, and the posts that you shall have filled, or any other means that you shall have employed in granting the said rewards. For if I have this information regarding them all, then the reason for the complaints and grievances of certain men can be investigated, who assert that they do not receive the reward and remuneration that they demand. In order to bind them more closely to the fulfilment of the aforesaid, a decree of like tenor shall be sent you, and you shall examine and obey it.

As you will find out, especial care has been taken that the ecclesiastics and friars who present themselves to give instruction should learn the language of the Indians whom they are to teach and instruct; and that chairs should be established where the said language may be taught, so that there may be plenty of priests and ministers who know the language, in order to fulfil the above purpose. But inasmuch as this method has not proved, nor is it now, a sufficient aid by which the Indians may be taught and instructed in the Christian faith and religion, so that Page 242they may receive as much benefit therefrom as is advisable and desirable—and as they would have received had the same care been taken to teach all the Indians Castilian, by which plan more and better ministers would have been had for their teaching and instruction, and they would have fallen into fewer errors, or none, on account of their idolatries and other former vices and superstitions—it has been deemed advisable to provide in this regard the decree2 that will be given you with these instructions. Accordingly, after you shall have caused that decree to be proclaimed in the usual public places, with the necessary solemnities and other ceremonies, you shall meet with the Audiencia and secular and regular ecclesiastical dignitaries, and all together you shall decide and ordain how the contents of the said decree may be observed, obeyed, and executed exactly and to the letter, both in that city and in all the other cities of those islands and provinces, so that all its contents may be fulfilled and executed. You shall have the care in this that I expect from you, and as is demanded by its importance. Thus will our Lord be very greatly served, and the souls of the Indians advantaged. Whenever opportunity offers, you shall advise me of what shall be ordained for its fulfilment, and the manner and method of executing it.

And inasmuch as I have ever exercised especial care in maintaining all the kingdoms and provinces subject to me in peace, tranquillity, and justice, for this same purpose and object I established an audiencia in that said city and province, in order that everything Page 243might be governed by means of it, and justice administered with the universal equality, mildness, and satisfaction desirable. After its establishment I ordered it to be suppressed, as experience proved it to be unnecessary in a land so new and unsettled. In its place I sent a governor; and although his administration was excellent, yet, inasmuch as that community has grown and, it is hoped, will continue to grow, I have thought it advisable to found and establish the said Audiencia again. Accordingly, after having appointed you in the place of Gomez Perez, your predecessor, I have determined to establish the said Audiencia again. It shall be located in those districts, in order that their government may be similar to that of the other kingdoms under my dominion. I have appointed for it persons as auditors, a fiscal, and other officials. I have renewed the former ordinances3 by which that said Audiencia was founded. You shall examine those ordinances, in order to have them observed and obeyed with the exactness that I expect from you. You shall mamtain the necessary peace and harmony with those acting as auditors, so that your government may be all that is needful and as I desire for the consolation, relief, and happiness of that community, and of its inhabitants, and my vassals therein. You on both sides [governor and Audiencia] shall administer the government with care, understanding—especially those of you who might be the cause of disturbing the peace, harmony, and friendly relations with which you, on both sides and jointly, must carry on the government—that I shall consider Page 244myself well served in the accomplishment and execution of this. I charge this upon you, and expect you to accomplish it with the good example that is due from you in everything.

You shall exercise great care not to send judges on special commissions except in necessary and unavoidable cases, in order to avoid the harm that they generally cause to communities. This must be avoided there, chiefly because that community has been settled so recently. It is advisable to act with greater caution in this matter, as in everything else, for the better conservation and increase of that community.

You shall exercise the same and greater care to maintain thorough harmony and unity with all the ecclesiastical dignitaries, both secular and regular, and with all the ecclesiastical estate; for many consequences, very important for the general and individual good of all that land and all those provinces, can be expected from the good example resulting from this. At Toledo, on the twenty-fifth day of May, in the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-six.

I The King

By order of the king, our sovereign:

Joan de Ybarra

Signed by the president and members of the Council. Page 245

1 Contract for disposing of goods by wholesale.

2 As early as 1550 a decree was issued that, “when possible, schools should be established for the instruction of the Indians in the Castilian language” (Recop. leyes Indias, lib. vi, tit. i, ley xviii); but apparently this was not fully enforced.

3 See the document here referred to, at the end of Vol. V, and completed in Vol. VI.

Letter from Luis Perez Dasmariñas to Felipe II


With some misgiving and anxiety, Sire, I have considered whether or no I should write this to your Majesty, but necessity and not my wish obliges me. For some reasons I would like to leave it unwritten, particularly because I do not care to contradict myself and appear, in what I am about to write and ask of your Majesty, to change my ground from what I have written to your Majesty before about some of my affairs. I cease not to fear and dread that the reason of this may appear from what I write now and what has before been written, to be an invention, artifice, or plot. It is not so, although I confess it does in some wise appear so. Speaking with frankness and truth, Sire, which is the way in which I have concluded to write this, and as one should always write, particularly to your Majesty, the fact is, Sire, that my affairs have taken a different turn from what I expected when I wrote to your Majesty. By the compassion and grace of God I have no longer that wish, intent, and desire, which I have expressed in other letters to your Majesty, concerning my wish and desire of obtaining a state more quiet and safe and less disturbed, and less dangerous for my past and present Page 246salvation. In order not to tire or occupy your Majesty with an affair of so little weight and moment, although it means much to me, I declare, Sire, that, according to my desire and intention, I wrote to your Majesty exempting myself and bidding farewell to human and temporal pretensions, thinking that they were not necessary for me, and rather desiring to assist with what I had, some persons in need, debt, and obligation. Since then my affairs here have gone in the usual and ordinary way of the world, which is unlike, even contrary to, human project, plan, and judgment. Many times things are planned very differently from what actually happens afterwards, as is verified by my case. For I thought to have something to leave, and I am obliged to ask for aid; and I may truly say that it is not for myself, but for those whom I owe and am under strict and just obligations to satisfy and pay. The debts are such and so many, that no calculation can be made. In December, when I wrote to your Majesty by way of Malaca, according to my understanding the debts were somewhat more than thirty-eight thousand pesos. Although it is true that some were paid later, I have not adjusted or liquidated my debts so that I can state the amount; yet I can assure your Majesty that altogether I owe a very large sum at present. God knows how overcome with confusion I am when I consider my debts and obligations and the little I have to satisfy them. Thus, Sire, your Majesty cannot fail of the assistance which is necessary for one who has so little and owes so much, and who has to pay it and, moreover, answer and give account for his father and himself. Besides what was paid and spent by my father, after his death were contracted debts not far from twenty-five Page 247or twenty-six thousand pesos, and in addition to the aforesaid, there are other things not yet cleared up of which the amount is not known. On account of all this I have ventured to give a report to your Majesty, so that, knowing the burden of obligations and the plight of this least of your Majesty's servants, who is in this land so distant and far from his own, your Majesty may be pleased with your royal and most pious compassion to take pity upon and show mercy to this, his most insignificant servant. For his relief, after God, he depends on the royal graciousness and aid of your Majesty, as from his king and lord, from whom and from whose magnanimity, after God, depends my weal, succor, and liberty. As necessity teaches those who suffer to seek plans and modes for relief, I shall propose to your Majesty what seems to me the most convenient and speedy remedy. I desire that your Majesty may be pleased but to grant me grace and license to send and despatch to Peru, if perchance it be expedient, and I am able so to do, a ship of two hundred and fifty or three hundred toneladas, with articles and goods from China—although I do not know what I can do with my small capital and means. Yet it is to be considered that here a ship is made and built at much less cost than elsewhere; and, if it were of no more than the said tonnage, it might be done in some way or other. This would be exceeding grace and relief for this least of your Majesty's servants, who humbly begs that it be so done. I ask it not with designs, plans, and desires for greater profits and riches, to be held and enjoyed; but for the relief and payment of so great necessities and strict obligations, and in behalf of others. If there should be anything left over after fulfilling Page 248these obligations, and should your Majesty be pleased to grant me this grace according to my plan, there might result profit to this commonwealth. The cargo sent there could at the same time bring aid to me and relief to the commonwealth—or, as I say, convenience and profit. A ship of so little tonnage sent only once to Peru cannot take an excessive or inordinate cargo. For this reason also, I beseech your Majesty to grant me this grace; and although I have many excuses wherewith to move and incline the royal heart and compassion of your Majesty, by referring to several of my affairs and services, I omit to do so. I only supplicate your Majesty most humbly by the royal magnanimity and the necessity of this least of your Majesty's servants. May your Majesty be pleased to grant me this grace. Above all, I beseech the Divine Majesty of God our Lord that, if this be not meet for His glory or service, or if there may result therefrom some damage or prejudice to His cause or that of your Majesty, His Divine Majesty will move your Majesty not to permit or concede me this grace which I ask. May His Divine Majesty preserve your Majesty as He is able, and as we all desire and need. Amen: Manila, June 30, 1596.

Luis Perez Dasmariñas

[Endorsed: “Manila. To his Majesty, 1596; Don Luis Dasmariñas, June 30.” “Keep this letter until the report of the residencia which is to be taken in his case and that of his father shall be received.”] Page 249

Letter from Doctor Antonio de Morga to Felipe II


At the close of the past year, ninety-five, I wrote to your Majesty via Malaca, giving a full account of some affairs of this place. The duplicate of that letter accompanies this, and I refer you to the same.

Every day the peace of this land is becoming more secure. Xapon is kept quiet by the presence of the Franciscan religious whom we have there. They have built churches and hospitals; and in March they wrote to us again, telling how they preached publicly and have made a large number of converts. They are fearful lest the fathers of the Society of Jesus will insist that they leave that country. Such a change would disturb everything, for the king loves them on account of their poverty and charity. If they did so, we should return to the former days of uneasiness.

Captain Esteban Rodriguez de Figueroa set forth on the first of last April on the expedition for the pacification of Mindanao, with about fifty sail, large and small, two hundred and fourteen Spaniards, one thousand five hundred armed Indians, and a good store of artillery, ammunition, and supplies. In a week's time he came to the mouth of the river of Mindanao. The king and his people had retired Page 250twenty-five leguas up the river to a village named Buhayen, where they fortified themselves. Governor Esteban Rodriguez followed them with the fleet, and landed the majority of the troops, whereupon an engagement took place there. The governor went with a few troops to arrange for an agreement, and an armed Indian assailed him. The captain received so severe a cut on the head with a carmpilan that he became unconscious and died within thirty hours, without having declared a successor to the government. The camp and fleet were fortified in a convenient place and a city was founded, which was called Murcia. The cabildo thereof elected as governor Captain Juan de Laxara, a captain of infantry of this camp, who had accompanied Estevan Rodriguez and the troops here assigned to the latter, and whom Estevan Rodriguez had appointed submaster-of-camp. He is in the said city, fortifying it, and claims to carry on the government thereof without being subject to this or any other, for he is a bold man. He asks aid, and it will be sent in due time. In the meanwhile steps are being taken to mollify him so that he will come to reason and not become petulant, on account of the inconveniences which might arise therefrom to the service of your Majesty, and the peace and welfare of this state. Since there is doubt as to what will happen, it will be even more desirable than when Estevan Rodriguez was living that your Majesty now give definite commands in respect to this matter. The said island of Mindanao is very large and rich, and is inhabited by many people. There is a steady increase in the number of those who submit to the sway of your Majesty, in addition to those already pacified. It is the first of these islands to recognize Page 251your Majesty, and is the most important for their security and the conquest of Maluco and other countries. By the papers which the governor sent in regard to the agreement that I had made with the said Captain Estevan Rodriguez, your Majesty will find that he is obliged to conclude the pacification and settlement, and maintain everything for one year, at his own expense. Your Majesty gave him the government and a certain repartimiento for two generations. He left a very considerable estate with which to carry out the agreement, and your Majesty will not go beyond your right in taking charge of it. There are left here two daughters, his heirs, the elder being four years old, by whom and their guardians efforts are being made that the undertaking may be carried out and aided as far as possible, until they become of age. To enjoy its control and favors, it would be well for the estate to be administered from this city. Upon this point your Majesty will provide according to the royal pleasure.

The governor persisted in his determination to carry out the expedition to Camboja, and at the beginning of this year despatched one ship and two junks, with men, artillery, and ammunition, under command of Captain Juan Xuarez Gallinato. Thus far we have received no word whatever from them. The governor is sending the document referring thereto; and, although it is rumored that but few troops were taken by them, in fact two hundred men left this city, and artifice was used, in order that the real number should not appear at the departure. They had, in truth, gone ahead some days earlier and awaited the vessels outside.

At the same time, he sent another expedition to Page 252China; but as those who set out returned here, it seems as if God had, for the present, closed the door for that voyage; and so it stands.

This year so many Chinese have come under pretext of trading, that we have been very cautious, and suspicious of an uprising. For by these expeditions we have been left so greatly in need of troops, that there was good cause to be fearful and on the watch. I undertook to put the Chinese out of the country, and by this time more than twelve thousand have embarked. About as many more remain, and much diligence is being observed. They are a people with whom one must live with much watchfulness and caution, of which but little has hitherto been exercised. The city has been cut down in size, extending from the border of the fort and royal house by the garrison, furnishing a retreat in case of necessity for the few people here and the women and children. In fact the whole change is only setting the city aright; for the fortifications were wrongly planned from the beginning.

Your Majesty's exchequer has suffered so much damage and loss by the mismanagement of the officials, that, although various gentle means were taken to relieve and repair it, they were of no effect. Consequently, when the governor saw himself so hard pressed, he commenced to investigate the accounts; and the officers are suspended from the exercise of their duties until the state of their offices shall be ascertained. They are alike in their bitter enmities and difficulties with one another, making the despatch of the matter impossible. The papers are sent in order that your Majesty may see what has been done, and the condition of affairs here at present, Page 253which if investigated thoroughly will be found to contain other things of much moment in the matter. Your Majesty will decree in everything what will be most expedient for your service. I assure your Majesty that had any other means been found of dealing with the said officials besides the one used, until your Majesty should be advised thereof, this final measure would not have been taken—which was necessary, since no other effectual means were at hand.

Your Majesty has yet in this kingdom a revenue amply sufficient for all the expenses thereof, if it be administered with fidelity and care, and if many present superfluous expenses be suppressed. There are not more than a hundred paid soldiers in camp, and six captains of infantry and their officers draw salaries. The forts are without garrisons; but for more than a year the wardens thereof have been improperly drawing salaries. Your Majesty has no galleys whatever, and there is one commander, who, though unemployed, draws a yearly salary of eight hundred pesos; and there are many officers who get a salary in the same manner. There are many garrisons of soldiers, sailors, artillerymen, and others in various capacities who draw pay from your Majesty's exchequer; and they are of no service, nor will they ever in their lives be of any use, except as servants and attendants upon the officers and other persons, who pay them from your Majesty's revenues. In this way much of your Majesty's revenue is being spent and wasted. It would be necessary to institute a reform, and to make many investigations of the accounts of your Majesty's debtors and the collectors of your Majesty's revenue, in order to regain much property which is lost. Every day more will be wasted unless your Majesty Page 254orders a speedy remedy, with punishment of the guilty, which shall serve as a warning for the future. In the meanwhile much suffering will be felt here, as at present; and even a large part of your Majesty's estate in Nueva España will not suffice to meet the needs here.

There are very few in these islands capable of handling the arquebus, although they used to be the best and most skilful soldiers in the Yndias. The cause of this is that they have so devoted themselves to trade that they have no desire for anything else. Nevertheless, your Majesty ordered, in the instructions given to Gomez Perez, when he came here to govern, that those who drew pay from your Majesty as fighting men should not be allowed to trade. Afterward in a clause of the letter of January, 1593, replying to another of his, your Majesty ordered the same thing. This has not been complied with, however, and as the captains and higher officers are rich and rewarded by their salaries and grants, it is not just that they be merchants, as is the case. They are so diverted from military exercise that they are as useless as if they were in Toledo; and elsewhere they engross, by their large shipments, the space required for the merchandise and freight of the citizens. Your Majesty therefore spends the revenue on them and their soldiers uselessly; and it is necessary that this be corrected, in order that affairs may return to their normal condition.

The city was sufficiently supplied with public endowments, because in addition to what the governor held, he made a grant to it, in the name of your Majesty, of the shops and rents of a new parián, which had been built after my arrival for the Chinese, outside Page 255the walls, on the border of Sant Gabriel. Consequently there comes in from the property more than four thousand pesos annually, which is fully sufficient for necessary expenses, and in the future should be used for public buildings, which are needed. None such have ever been attempted, except the wall and fortifications which were built by the governor Gomez Perez. In respect to the traffic of the citizens of these islands and the administration of their commerce, your Majesty made suitable provisions by a decree of the same month of January, ninety-three. This is as is necessary; and since the returns from all the merchandise from Nueva Spaña come to them without limitation, there is left them no just ground for complaint. When I came here I found that, although the said decree is so precise, the execution of it was so far forgotten here that, when I took steps for its observance, it was ill received, as will appear by the accompanying reports thereof. Nevertheless, the execution of the decree will be attended to on my part, until your Majesty may decree otherwise. There is no doubt that by this is decreed what is expedient for this kingdom; and if the officials took proper care to execute your Majesty's orders, these difficulties would be obviated. But, as I have before written, it is not done with due exactness.

Governor Don Luis Perez Dasmariñas was daily expecting a change in this government and his removal, and owing to this and his mildness of disposition, affairs in general suffer. Although he is a man of good intentions and of much virtue, he is governed in everything by the friars, and particularly by the Dominicans, who are enjoying this favorable opportunity and make use of it to advance their own Page 256interests and those of their friends. The youth and inexperience of the governor does not permit of anything else. Now with the news that your Majesty is to send Don Francisco Tello to this government, it seems as if everything would take on new life; for, if there is more delay, it would be at the cost of the service of your Majesty, and the welfare of these islands. Everything has declined greatly from the condition in which matters were left by his father; and although I have done what I could it is but little, on account of my slight and inadequate authority. Nevertheless, some of the most important things have been looked after with more spirit than at first. The people of this land cannot be pleased with everything, for they are fond of liberty; and for this reason there are some complaints. But I endeavor only to further the service of God and of your Majesty, not to consult their tastes or to manage affairs so that they may write to your Majesty in approbation of me. As things have happened, there may be a lack of persons to approve my proceedings; but this does not vex me, because I expect that, with God's help, time will show the truth; and no other reward is needed than to satisfy your Majesty, as is my earnest desire.

The jurisdiction of your Majesty in this kingdom is so hampered by that of the ecclesiastics that on no occasion can we have our own way. As there is no one to withstand them much damage is experienced; and we see ourselves in great troubles and hardships, tied hand and foot, because the ecclesiastics and religious interfere in everything. They rebel against and hinder the accomplishment of your Majesty's commands; and even among themselves they have many dissensions and disagreements. It is a pitiable state of Page 257affairs, and even if it were for no other purpose than to moderate these excesses and licenses of powerful persons, it would be best to have here the royal Audiencia, which your Majesty ordered to be suppressed. I beseech your Majesty, as I likewise urged from Nueva Spaña, in the report which your Majesty already has, that in case the royal Audiencia is not reëstablished, a remedy be provided. There should be someone to oppose the ecclesiastics in a land so far away from the Audiencia of Mexico; for, no matter what question is sent there for decision, at least two years must elapse before despatches can be returned.

The bishop is very much missed in this land by all the ecclesiastics; and it would be very beneficial for the future if he should come this year with the arms sent from Nueva Spaña. May God bring them, although they are already late in arriving. If they should fail to come, great need would be felt everywhere. All these islands are now pacified, and the only need is for ministers of the gospel, on account of the many heathen who are without instruction. Many of the Spaniards who people the land and come here for its defense, die here. Thus we are in need, as I have said.

The college1 founded by the fathers of the Society for the education of Spaniards in this city, at the expense of your Majesty's exchequer, is now closed, by the new contract which was made with Captain Estevan Rodriguez de Figueroa regarding the patronage which was given him from this house and Page 258college. According to the wish of your Majesty, this work was changed into a college for natives which they wished to found. The same income of one thousand pesos a year has been assigned them, in addition to the fourth of the tribute paid where there is no instruction, and other sums from similar sources. I think it would be well to further this work; for besides the receiving of a good education by the sons of natives, which would strengthen them greatly in the things of the Christian religion and right living, it would be a hidden blessing to have the sons of the principal natives in this college, for our safety is thereby assured on any occasion whatever. The papers in this matter are sent, in order that your Majesty may have provision made according to your pleasure.

At the beginning of this year, a galleon arrived at these islands from Piru, and later a small fragata in its convoy, wherein it appears that Adelantado Alvaro de Mendaña had set out from Piru in April of last year to discover the western islands in the Southern Sea. This he did not succeed in doing, and lost his flagship and afterward another fragata. He formed a settlement on another island near Nueva Guinea, where the men quarreled among themselves, and the said adelantado died with many of his people.2 His wife inherited that settlement, and arrived at these islands in great need and after many hardships, where she married Don Fernando de Castro, cousin of the governor, and returned to Piru with her Page 259ship. I am sending your Majesty the report of the matter which has been received, and an account of their voyage and adventures, which are therein stated at greater length.

After such long voyages I am left in very poor health, and with little hope of recovery, on account of the climate of this country. I am very poor and spent, with fewer children than those I brought with me, for they have died on the way. Therefore I strongly desire that your Majesty grant me grace if it be possible, and permit me to go to España, and be pleased to provide for this garrison. With this I should feel well paid and satisfied after all my hardships and wanderings. Even though I do not deserve the rewards of my predecessors, I shall live content in returning to my home and fireside, God willing, to give your Majesty a true account of the many things I have seen, and of what would be best for the better service of your Majesty. I humbly beseech your Majesty to grant me this favor as soon as possible. May our Lord preserve for many years the royal person of your Majesty, as is necessary to Christendom and your Majesty's servants. Manila, July 6, 1596.

Dr. Antonio de Morga Page 260

1 Figueroa, “before leaving Iloilo, made his will, endowing the Jesuit college at Manila with two thousand pesos of income; and directed that in case his daughters should die their inheritance should pass to that college of San José” (Montero y Vidal's Piratería en Mindanao, i, p. 140).

2 See Discovery of the Solomon Islands (Hakluyt Soc. publications, 2d series, nos. 7, 8; London, 1901); this contains Mendaña's and other narratives of his expeditions in the southern Pacific Ocean.

Letter from Francisco Tello to Felipe II


Through God's help, I entered the channel of these islands on the third of June of this present year, 1596. As the weather was bad, it was was necessary for me to make port at Ybalon, where I was forced to remain several days, because of contrary winds. Considering that this condition of affairs might endure longer, I determined to go overland to Manila; and did so, although with considerable hardship, as the country was completely overflowed on account of the heavy rains. However, I derived some advantage from this, for I thus saw a portion of the country and its products. It was of advantage in enabling me to master the affairs of the country, and to know what things it is advisable to provide to put it in good condition. I entered Manila on the fourteenth of July. As this letter is being written only three days after my arrival in this city, I cannot inform your Majesty thoroughly of the condition of this community. But my first sight of it has honestly pleased me very much. God and your Majesty must be thanked fervently, that in lands so remote and obscure the name and religion of God exists, and the authority and power of your Majesty; and this with so great hopes and disposition Page 261of being able to work great things, worthy the royal soul and heart of your Majesty. For this object I think we shall need troops, arms, and money, which is the common strength. Also I found the colony somewhat weak both in its forces and in the faulty system and arrangement of its fortifications. I found also great need of royal buildings, and buildings for the cabildo, a slaughter-house, a prison, clean streets, and other public works. This may be because of the smallness of means. I shall remedy what I can, and give your Majesty a more detailed account of it later.

I find this kingdom safe from all fears of the Japanese at present, although not from the swarms of Chinese who resort hither in a haphazard and disorderly manner, unless we maintain the caution and foresight demanded by the little trust that we can place in their companionship and fidelity.

In respect to the person of Don Luys Perez Dasmariñas, whom I found acting as governor, I assure your Majesty that all his thought and life is dedicated to God and virtue. However, in matters of government I do not know what will be the outcome of some things, which I find very confused and remiss. I shall give you a more detailed account of them in a later letter, for now this vessel is on the point of sailing, and is outside the port.

The archbishop of this country remained in Mexico. This does not fail to cause a want, because of the great scarcity of prelates here.

I hear that the trade of this country, upon which its perpetuation chiefly depends, has greatly decreased, not only on account of the low prices of merchandise in Mexico, and the unprofitable exchanges and other misfortunes suffered by commerce, but also because Page 262of the numerous impositions and duties levied; so that I find this community much discouraged and disheartened. I shall try to repair this as well as possible, and will give your Majesty a more detailed account, both in this matter and in what concerns the two communities of Indians and Chinese, and whatever else there is to relate.

A founder of artillery is very much needed here. I entreat your Majesty to have one provided, as well as the fifty farmers mentioned in your Majesty's instructions. Above all, I entreat your Majesty, since this new plant and undertaking depends so much upon your Majesty in person, that you will have the kindness to consent to have soldiers sent to us annually; for, Sire, the hospital (where many die) takes its share every year, and another part is taken by certain expeditions and reënforcements that are sent out. As for those who are left, your Majesty should consider, if the ship from Mexico fails to come for even one year, how surrounded by so many fears of enemies is this country. Therefore I beseech your Majesty to order that the viceroy of Mexico shall be careful to provide troops each year, and that they be sent armed, of which there is little care.

As Captain Esteban Rrodriguez died while pacifying Mindanao, and left it almost reduced, and settled with about two hundred Spaniards, and as the country was being brought to your Majesty's obedience, it will be desirable for your royal service to continue the work. From what I have learned in these few days, I believe that your Majesty will be served by ordering that this pacification be continued at the expense of the heir of Esteban Rrodriguez, and with the latter's possessions, as they are sufficient, until the Page 263agreement be completely fulfilled. By so doing your Majesty's treasury will be eased, and I think the reward of this work will be obtained by him who most deserves it—namely, the successor of the man who perished in it, since he left it to him, although he did not name him. It only remains for your Majesty to be pleased to declare, in favor of this kingdom, the subordination of that pacification to this one, since the latter proceeds from the former, and is, as it were, filial to it. There are other conveniences and arguments that favor this plan; and in the contrary plan there are many inconveniences, of which I understand that your Majesty is advised by these vessels. Now in the meantime, I am considering what it will be best to provide in the service of God, and of your Majesty, whom may our Lord preserve, etc. Manila, July 17, 1596.

Since the above was written, news has come of the expedition [to Camboja] which was made here. It is not such as we wished to hear, for of the three vessels that were taking part in it, one [illegible in MS.] a storm, and fell into the hands of the king of Cian. No news has been heard of the two others, although it is believed that Captain Gallinato still remains [illegible in MS.].

According to my understanding, it is very desirable that there always be galleys in this land for defense from its ills, and the conservation of its reputation from so many enemies by whom we are surrounded. Inasmuch as those here are found to be quite dilapidated and useless, I have deemed it fitting to your Majesty's service to build three or four.

Don Francisco Tello Page 264

Documents of 1597

Sources: All these documents are obtained from original MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla.

Translations: The first document is translated by James A. Robertson; the second, by Robert W. Haight; the third, by José M. and Clara M. Asensio. Page 265

The Pacification of Mindanao

Letter from Juan de Ronquillo Governor Tello

[This report of Ronquillo's is in places abridged, as he repeats many of his statements. He set sail (from Oton) on February 8, 1597, the earliest date possible after the receipt of supplies. Two virreys had been sent ahead under Francisco de Torres, with orders to coast from island to island, in order to avoid the dangers of the open sea; they had not yet been heard from. At the port of La Canela (i.e., “cinnamon;” modern Cáuit) Ronquillo found Captain Juan Pacho, who had gone for fish and salt for his command; and, as the men were scattered in Zamboanga and Taguima, there was a delay of three days in getting them together. Pilots from these forces were placed in each vessel to guide the ships to the river. Ronquillo then embarked on his fragata and ordered the Sangley vessel and those of the Indian chiefs from Danganlibor to follow. The brisas or northeasters were dead ahead, and to avoid the force of the winds he took his course inside of some islets. The Sangley vessel did not enter, as its draught was so great that the navigators feared to make the attempt. Since the Sangley vessel seemed to be in difficulties, he sent a captain to it; but he came back with the report that all was well. Ronquillo then sent directions as to their course. He had been informed by the sailor Page 266whom he sent as pilot in the Sangley vessel that there was water enough in the strait of Mangayao; but, if this should not be so, they were to keep outside. They remained outside, and the rest of the fleet sailed safely on to the point of Las Flechas (“the Arrows”), twelve leguas from the river (Rio Grande, in Mindanao, where the letter was written). The wind being heavy and the vessels old and deep in the water, he anchored in a river never before entered, so far as was known, cutting away trees and branches to do so. When the fragata was safe, he sent the master-of-camp for the galleys, which were sinking because of their rottenness. At the same time a virrey was sent to look for the Sangley vessel. The virrey returned without news; and though Ronquillo was very anxious he kept on to the river toward which he was sailing, all assuring him that he would find the Sangley ship here. A fire was seen at night, apparently a signal that the vessel would go to La Canela for water, being unable to make the river because of the winds. After taking in water they left port, and the next night the Chinese crew mutinied, and killed the Spaniards. The Chinese had been disarmed, and committed the deed with clubs and wooden hatchets. Ronquillo asserts that all possible care had been taken. The vessel carried the bulk of their provisions, clothing, tow, and some ammunition. In spite of this loss the expedition had been very successful. Upon reaching the river whence he writes, he spent five days in repairs upon the fleet; and then, after completing the fort of Tampaca (modern Tabaca) and storing the ammunition and food in it, he ascended the river, leaving a guard of thirty-four men under Sargento-mayor Diego de Chaves, one of Page 267whose legs had been cut off. The force which went up the river numbered two hundred and thirty, including sailors and gunners. The enemy retired behind some parapets as soon as the artillery opened upon them, and brought some artillery to bear on the flagship (one of the galleys), but could not retard the Spanish advance. Continuing, Ronquillo writes:]

I answered their fire with so great readiness that I forced them to withdraw their artillery. But, as if they were goblins, they remained here behind a bush or a tree, firing at us, without being seen. Thus did they keep us busy until one o'clock at night. I remained three days without landing, awaiting the arrival of Lumaquan—a chief of the tingues [i.e., hill-people], the best Indian of this island, and our best friend—and five hundred Indians, who were coming to aid us. On the very day of his arrival I landed in the following order. I formed a square of twelve ranks of thirteen men each, closing front, side, and rear guards with halberds and pikes. There were two captains in the van-guard, one in the rear-guard, and two at the sides, so that, wherever the enemy should attack, the soldiers could, by facing about, fight without at all breaking ranks. I detailed two files of forty arquebusiers and two captains to go ahead to discover ambushes. Under cover of their arquebuses went the pioneers to clear the way. As I heard, according to reports, that the enemy would halt upon this day, I went ashore and marched straight forward at the head of the squadron, at times going through the ranks to see if anything was needed. Upon that day, we busied ourselves until sunset in clearing the way as fully as great toil and diligence would allow, without the square being Page 268thrown into any confusion, or any man falling out. But as we could not come in sight of the fort, I returned to pass the night in the fleet, for until the road should be open and known, and its distance, I did not care to land my artillery, as I had so few men. Besides those who were clearing the path, I had no men to fire the artillery. Immediately on the following day I continued my plans in the same order. As one of my legs pained me, because of a fall backward two days previously down the hatchway of the galley—and by good luck I did not break my neck—from which I am still suffering, I did not go ashore. Also, I thought that, since the enemy had not attacked us in the most dangerous places, they would not do so in places not to their advantage. Thus the path was cleared, upon this day, without encountering any enemy or sighting their fort. Again the men returned to the fleet for the night. On the third day, as the work of reconnoitering was proceeding, a large ambuscade of Indians attacked us in the open near a palm-grove. As was learned later, they numbered about two thousand. They attacked us with the greatest fury and determination, in small bodies of skilful troops. As the soldiers were ordered immediately to form their square, when the enemy arrived in front of it, and saw it so well ordered and bristling with halberds, they did not dare to break it, but turned and fled. In the assault five of their men were killed with arquebus-shots, and several others wounded. Among those killed were two of their bravest and most esteemed men. One was from Terrenate and was a casis1 who instructed them in Page 269their religion. Of a truth, they showed clearly that they were brave; for I do not believe that there are many peoples who would attack with so gallant a determination, when they were armed with nothing but shields and canpilans. They killed five of my Indians who were clearing the path, who did not use good judgment in retiring. This took place quite near their fort. As soon as I was advised of this occurrence, for I had not gone ashore on this day also, I sent at once as many men as possible from the galleys, with axes, shovels, spades, and wicker baskets. I ordered them to entrench themselves in as advanced a position as possible.

They commenced to attack the fort. The enemy begged for peace on the second day.2 The next day I landed my artillery, and went with it to attack the enemy's fort. As the distance was quite great, I moved my entrenchments nearer twice, and with great difficulty, for the enemy never ceased shooting at us. They wounded three gunners and several other men; surely they were very lucky shots. Finally I planted my battery of eight pieces somewhat over one hundred paces from the fort. Although I battered the fort hotly, I could not effect a breach through which to make an assault. All the damage that I did them by day, they repaired by night. Immediately on the following day they began to call from their walls. When I asked them what they wanted they said that they wished to be friends. I was very short of ammunition, for I had only three thousand arquebus-bullets left, and very few cannon-balls; Page 270and both would be spent in one day's fighting, during which, should we not gain the fort, we would be lost—and with no power to defend ourselves while withdrawing our artillery and camp. At the same time, I reconnoitered the fort and its situation, for it is located at the entrance of a lagoon, thus having only water at the back, and swampy and marshy ground at the sides. It has a frontage of more than one thousand paces, is furnished with very good transversals, and is well supplied with artillery and arquebuses. Moreover, it has a ditch of water more than four brazas wide and two deep, and thus there was a space of dry ground of only fifteen paces where it was possible to attack; and this space was bravely defended, and with the greatest force of the enemy. The inner parts were water, where they sailed in vessels, while we had no footing at all. Again, I reflected that those who had awaited us so long, had waited with the determination to die in defense of the fort; and if they should see the contest ending unfavorably for them, no one would prevent their flight. Further, if they awaited the assault it would cost me the greater part of my remaining ammunition, and my best men; while, if the enemy fled, nothing would be accomplished, but on the contrary a long, tedious, and costly war would be entered upon. Hence, with the opinion and advice of the captains I negotiated for peace; and told them that I would admit them to friendship under the following conditions:

Treaty of peace and conditional covenants

First, that first and foremost, they must offer homage to his Majesty, and pay something as recognition.

Obligation to return their prisoners to his Majesty. Page 271That all the natives who had been taken from the Pintados Islands last year, must be restored.

To break friendship with Terrenate. That they must break the peace and confederation made with the people of Terrenate, and must not admit the latter into their country.

Friendship with those who were friends formerly. That they must be friends with Danganlibor and Lumaquan, chiefs of this island, who have rendered homage to his Majesty; and must not make war on any of their vassals.

That all the chiefs must go to live in their old villages.

They accepted all the conditions, and Raxa Mura, Sala, Silonga, and the other chiefs swore to keep the peace on these conditions, and paid homage to his Majesty, paying a certain sum in gold as recognition. Inasmuch as they had taken the Vizcayans whom they had enslaved to a great distance, so that they should not escape, they paid another like sum of gold as pledges that they would deliver them to the Spaniards. As the friendly Indians said that the end for which I was making peace was, under pretext of it, to seize the chief men and hang them and separate them from the others, the chiefs did not venture to come immediately. However, they said that when they should ascertain our treaty, and if our purpose was not as aforesaid, they would come. Although such a thing had not even entered my mind, as I shall not make any promises in his Majesty's name that cannot be fulfilled, it was true that the friendly Indians said it; for they wished to break trie peace, in order to see if they could not rob these people at our cost.

After making this treaty and securing this result Page 272(which, of a truth, your Lordship may regard as most felicitous and of great importance, and as the beginning of much good), I retired to my fleet. Next day the chiefs came to the river-bank, and I made them friends with Danganlibor and Lumaquan, and they embraced each other. Some of them boarded the galleys, and began thus to lose their fear gradually. Already some of the chiefs have started to go to their villages, and have collected their people in order to settle them. I hope, God willing, that everything will assume a settled and quiet condition. And albeit that my toil and my service rendered to your Lordship in this affair do not equal my desire, still your Lordship can represent it to his Majesty as one of the greatest that have been rendered in these islands. I am not going to leave them; so, when any greater opportunity arises, your Lordship may entrust it to me. I assert that if this occasion had not had the almost unexpected favorable ending, and if our Lord had not evidently been pleased to lend His aid, your Lordship would suffer great anxiety and all the islands would be in great straits; for, with the alliance that they had formed with Terrenate, there would be no safety in the entire district.

[The victorious troops were in the greatest need. There were many messes of four or five with only one shirt among them, which they wore by turns. There was only ammunition enough for two hours. There was only rice enough to allow fifteen gantas a month to Spaniards and ten to Indians; and even this ration would only last till the end of August. They had no meat or fish. Ronquillo had “set a dragnet,” and taken the rice of all the people within reach, beginning with himself. Then he sent out officers in fragatas Page 273to search for rice, giving them four hundred pesos for the purpose, and directing them to pay as long as the money lasted, and then to take provisions in any way in which they could get them. They were, if necessary, to use force to obtain supplies from encomenderos or Indians, for their pay giving them orders on the charges of the land (situado), or the tribute, or to be paid when possible. As for the other parts of the island, the very chiefs were perishing of hunger, because of the war, and came daily to beg for rice. This they received, in order that they might be bound to the Spaniards. Accordingly Ronquillo asks for assistance and supplies from Manila until the stress should be over in Mindanao. He gives honorable mention to his officers and troops, many of whom were wounded. He looks forward to great difficulties as soon as any attempt shall be made to collect tributes. The leading chiefs collect tribute from their vassals; and the only demand hitherto has been for open friendship and the recognition of the sovereignty of Spain. If these men—Raxa Mura, Sala, Silonga, and Lumaquan—are now told that they must not collect tribute, but that all the tribute must be paid to his Majesty and to individuals, “it will be a very bitter draught for them to swallow.” These Indians, Ronquillo says, are not like those in Luzon, but are accustomed to power and sovereignty. Some collect five or six thousand tributes. If the tributes are to be collected, two hundred more soldiers and a large quantity of ammunition will be necessary, or much additional time. The troops have not been paid what Figueroa owed them; and it is plain that no profit is to be expected in the island for a long time to come. When it does come, the encomenderos, Page 274who have fraudulently remained at leisure in Manila, will get it. Hence the soldiers have petitioned that the property of Figueroa in the island be sold and the proceeds applied to their payment. Fourteen hundred pesos of worked silver was sold; and the soldiers received six pesos each. The captains also asked and received some compensation. The discontent was so great that Ronquillo declares that no resolution can command men so ragged and starving, penniless and unpaid; and that they are already saying that they cannot eat good words. He concludes this section by asking for twenty thousand pesos and eight hundred Indian rowers, and for some exchanges of his men.]

That the country is not such as it has been painted, and not so excellent as has been reported. Hitherto it has not been possible to tell your Lordship anything certain of this country, except that it will be of but little advantage to his Majesty, but a source of great expense. It has far fewer inhabitants than was reported, and all are very poor, so that their breakfast consists only in cleaning their arms, and their work in using them, and not in cultivating the land, which is low and swampy in this river. There is no chief who can raise twenty taes of gold. Rice is very scarce; in the tingues is found a small amount, which is used for food by the chiefs only. They are some swine, and a few fowls that are very cunning, and less fruit. It abounds in fish in some districts, but this river contains only eels. They are as good as those of España. They are not found all the year round, but only during the rainy season. The climate does not differ much from that there. It has very dense fogs. I have been unable to make a complete map of the island. I am sending your Lordship only that Page 275of this river, made with exactness, with all its arms and estuaries, and their settlements. The arithmetical symbols represent the number of people in each, and the letters the names of the chiefs. I have corrected it with all care. We have already examined almost everything from the coast of La Canela, Dapitan, and Botran [Butúan?]. There is a full report there which may be filed with this map.

The island of Matheo is excellent, and a better expedition could be made there. Concerning the island of Matheo, I have been able to learn from men who have been there that it is very fertile, thickly populated, and rich in food products, including rice. The inhabitants are not very warlike. Would to God that your Lordship had expended there what was left here, for with less effort we would have gained more. Terrenate has some dealings with this island. [I say this] in case anything is to be done before it has more. Of Maluco I have not ascertained anything new, except that things are in their usual condition.

He has not effected a settlement, as he has not found a convenient site. He is awaiting the pleasure of your Lordship, and [a more favorable] season. As yet I have not effected any settlement, as I have not found a suitable and convenient location for it, for all the river above is swampy; and, if we were to look for dry land along its course, it is so far away that it would take a week to reach it from the mouth of the river. Although beyond this river, toward La Canela, there is a good place for a settlement, yet it is not advisable to leave this river now until matters are more settled and quiet. This river is the residence of the chief men of the island. Accordingly I shall wait the result of this rainy season; and if the discomfort Page 276be not too great, I shall settle on the site where I am now established, which is in a very good position, and here I shall await your Lordship's decision.

That the Indians are warlike and have fortified themselves, with their forces now there, and others that they will collect, when the proposal is made that they must pay tribute. Hence, reënforcements of soldiers, ammunition and food are necessary, and time. Although things have so fortunate a beginning as I have related, it is by way of peace. All the chiefs retain their full complements of artillery and arquebuses, so that, whenever they wish to defend themselves, they may do so. Beyond any doubt, on the day that tribute is demanded from them, not only our new friends, but Danganlibor and Lumaquan as well, who rendered homage of their own free will, will rebel. For the speedy subjection of them all, we need a large force. Hence I repeat to your Lordship, in order that you may not be deceived by certain opinions of persons who have not seen this region for many years—for it is not as of yore, and they did not know it, and the inhabitants are Indians only in name—that a great force of soldiers is needed, as well as ammunition, in order to make them pay tribute. This matter is of prime importance. I would not be complying with my obligation unless I entreated your Lordship to consider this matter deeply. You should consider whether this enterprise must be given up or sustained, for it is very costly, and we must not allow odds to be taken of us when we have our best opportunity. Thus I think that we can finish this matter at one time, and that your Lordship should send two hundred men in one summer. With this number we can overrun all districts, take away the natives' artillery, Page 277and collect tribute. This manner of proceeding would be very economical.

All the men, counting those maimed, number two hundred and sixty. The number of men that I found in this island and those who should be brought from Zibu fell far short of what I expected. All that I could gather together—gunners, sailors, and maimed men—do not number more than two hundred and sixty-four men. Some of them have died. I am sending there the crippled and maimed, who are useless, so that I shall have left in this river a trifle above two hundred men, many of whom are sick, because of past hardships and their wretched existence.

That medicines and delicacies be provided. The master-of-camp is sick, and I fear lest, with the advance of the rainy season, the sickness will continue to increase; for it cannot be alleviated by medicines and delicacies, because we have none. This is a great pity. I entreat your Lordship to have medicines and some delicacies provided for the sick, and clothing for the hospital.

That religious are not going there to furnish instruction. Father Chirinos3 came to this island with Page 278the sargento-mayor, and on his first sight of it was so discontented that for no other reason, he turned his back upon it, and was in so great a hurry to return that he declared that if a vessel were not given him immediately in which to leave, he would swim away. He went away speaking ill of this place, and has caused great annoyance and wrong to these poor soldiers. If a religious who ought to be happy with a hard life, and who ought to seek hardships in which to serve God better, refused those which might be offered him here, the soldiers, who are less perfect and less filled with God, will do but little. Father Juan de Sanlucar asked me for leave likewise to go there with this vessel, in order to go to get a companion, as he could not stay here alone. I did not grant it him. If the fathers of the Society are to have this place in charge, it will be right for them to send religious. If not, then they should say so, and your Lordship should request the ecclesiastical government to provide ministers. The one here at present has labored to our great approbation and has set a good example. But he is greatly grieved at being alone, and he is not without reason, for he has no one to whom to make his confession.

The ration given to these people is so small that it can only be endured in times of great stress. Indeed it is doubtful whether a Spaniard could live on only one-half ganta of rice, without anything else; and even the Indian is unable to do so without having some fish with it. For the future we need abundance of provisions; for, as I have noted, we cannot expect this land to furnish them, because it does not have Page 279any. Your Lordship must have them provided in accordance with the accompanying memorandum.

That it is advisable to send hither the encomenderos, and from there to give the soldiers and captains some gratification and pay. All the captains and soldiers of this camp perform their duties grumblingly, since the encomenderos enjoy the fruits of their labor. Through false representations the encomenderos have remained behind, instead of coming here on this pacification. If each encomendero has to live on his encomienda, and the heirs of Estevan Rodriguez in some part of the island, there is nothing left for the captains and soldiers. The owners should come, therefore, to reduce their encomiendas to subjection, since they take the gain. They do not go very far upon the road, and it is not a good argument to say that each one will pacify his own encomienda; for so long as this river is unpacified, nothing is pacified. Your Lordship should order all of them, without any exception, to come in person, and to bring some soldiers at their own cost, with sufficient food for a year's maintenance. In this way, something will be done; for an encomienda cannot be pacified with only one soldier, paid by an encomendero. I entreat your Lordship to decide quickly upon the course to be taken, and, with the same haste, to send me immediate advice by a birey. The route is open, and the virey can come here any time in June; thus I may be advised in advance of your Lordship's orders as to the course to pursue here, and this needy people may be encouraged with the hope of speedy relief. Your Lordship should write to them, thanking them for their labors, and encouraging them with their pay, to continue their work. May God preserve your Lordship Page 280many years, with the increase of dignities that we your servants desire. Tanpaca, May 10, 97. Your Lordship's most humble servant.

Don Juan Ronquillo

[Endorsed: “Mindanao, 1597. General Don Juan Rronquillo.”]

The campaign

The sargento-mayor of the city of Manila left for Mindanao on the thirtieth of December of ninety-six, and arrived at the city of Zebu on the fourteenth of January. He left there for La Caldera4 on the twenty-ninth of the said month, and arrived at La Caldera on the second of February, where he found the fleet of Mindanao, which had gone away for lack of supplies. The whole fleet left La Caldera on the sixth of said month, in the direction of Mindanao; and on the eleventh Captain Torivio de Misa was sent forward with a galliot and two lapis, as he suspected that the unfriendly Indians had surrounded the friendly natives from Tanpacon. On the fourteenth he sent Sargento-mayor Diego de Chaves with two galleys, and other light vessels, to follow up Torivio de Miranda; and he remained behind with the three fragatas, which, as they were heavy vessels, could not follow the rest of the fleet.

On the fifteenth of December, Captain Graviel Gonzales, who was on board one of the lapis which accompanied Torivio de Miranda, was drowned while passing Las Flechas, at the edge of the river of Page 281Mindanao. On the seventeenth, Captain Torivio de Miranda entered the river, where he found that the enemy had drawn a blockade about our friends of Tanpacon, and had killed more than seventy of them; but at his arrival they raised the blockade, and retired to their fort in flight.

On the eighth of January, Captain Chaves arrived with his fragatas at the river, and on the twelfth planned and founded the fort of Tanpacan near this settlement of our friends. On the twenty-fifth, the sargento-mayor sailed for the river of Simay to capture certain vessels belonging to the enemy, in which they were going to seek aid from Terrenate. During a certain battle which they had there with the enemy, he had a leg cut off, well toward the thigh, and recived a shot in the helmet above the ear. One of his comrades, who was fighting at his side, had his right leg cut off. On the tenth of March, the master-of-camp arrived; and, on the twenty-first, General Don Juan Ronquillo.

On the tenth of April the enemy's fleet came up, and on the seventeenth they landed, sweeping along the allies in front of them, together with forty arquebusiers, who were escorting them in their line, and on their right wing. A few days ago the enemy made an attack from ambuscade, with more than two thousand men. They came on, closing in until they reached the squadron, where they encountered the resistance of arms to their advance, and retired fleeing. They left some of their bravest dead, together with a few Terrenatans, without doing any damage to us, except killing five Visayans. Accordingly our squadron, which consisted of a hundred and sixty-nine men, on the fourth day intrenched themselves as best Page 282they could; and little by little moved the intrenchments forward until they were a hundred and sixty-six paces from the enemy. During this time the enemy defended themselves with a park of small artillery and two large guns. On the twenty-fifth, the general sent to consult Sargento-mayor Diego de Chaves, who was in the fleet; and by his opinion a traverse was built as a half-moon, where were stationed seven pieces of artillery, with which they battered the fort of the enemy.

On the twenty-eighth, when the enemy saw the damage which our artillery was doing them, they rendered obedience and sued for peace; and on the twenty-ninth peace was agreed upon with the following conditions: They were to return the Visayan slaves whom they hold, and pay tribute, and must not receive Terrenatans in their country. They were to give obedience to his Majesty, and the chiefs were to give oath; and in pledge of this they gave a golden chain. They are all going back to their villages, and gathering up the Visayan slaves. It will be well to reënforce the Spaniards with troops and money this year, so that matters may remain settled and they shall not try to create a disturbance again. Page 283

1 A title given among Mahometans to certain persons of religious profession.

2 This and other italic headings to paragraphs in this document are, in the original MS., marginal notes in another handwriting—probably made by a clerk, for convenience of reference.

3 When Figueroa began the conquest of Mindanao (1596) he was accompanied thither by two Jesuits—Juan del Campo, a priest; and Gaspar Gómez, a lay brother. The former was carried off by a fever, dying on August 10, 1596, at the age of thirty years, after little more than a year's stay in the islands. In his place, Juan de Sanlúcar and Pedro de Chirino accompanied Ronquillo's expedition in the following year. Sanlúcar entered the Jesuit order in 1570, and came to the Philippines in time to join the Mindanao expedition; he died at Palápag, April 26, 1612.

Pedro de Chirino entered the Jesuit order in 1580, and arrived at Manila ten years later. He died there on September 16, 1635, at the age of seventy-eight. His noted work, Relacion de las Islas Filipinas (Roma, 1604), will be presented in subsequent volumes of this series. La Concepcion says of him (Hist. de Philipinas, v, p. 198): “A man of great industry and of studious habits, Page 278nwho devoted to study and books all the time which was not occupied by his ministry to souls.”

4 La Caldera, “the Caldron”—a port in the extreme south of Mindanao, not far from Zamboanga; its primitive name, Cauite.

Memorial on Navigation and Conquest

[This memorial, addressed to Felipe II by Hernando de los Ríos, is prefaced by a letter from Luis Perez Dasmariñas, as follows:]

Sire: In these islands resides a person named Hernando de los Ryos, a colonel, a man of much information concerning important matters, and particularly learned in mathematics and astrology, and possessed of such virtue and such uprightness of life, and so zealous and desirous of the service of God and your Majesty, and of the common welfare, that I know not if there be a man in these parts to exceed him in this; and may it please our Lord to give us many who shall succeed in being so disinterested in worldly things and earthly claims. At any rate, in the secular estate, in my opinion and perhaps that of many good men, I know not if you will find in this country, or even for the most part in others, a man of more learning, respectability, and virtue, accompanied by other good qualities and gifts with which God has graced him, and which are so well employed and profited by, as in himself. For his sole object is to serve God and desire his service and that of your Majesty, and the great good which can be accomplished in these regions; and he is not interested in Page 284the occupations and advantages of office, although it would be well indeed if all those who hold them had the qualifications that he has for them. At any rate, he has refused and rejected some of the best offices of this country, particularly an offer to be a royal official of the royal exchequer of your Majesty, when I desired him to be so during my government, as I understood that he was a fit man for the service of God and of your Majesty. It was impossible, however, to persuade him. His intention, as I have understood, is to become a priest. He has made a very peculiar instrument of general usefulness in many curious and important ways, particularly in navigation, for getting bearings and taking measurements, which are rendered very easy. I do not send one to your Majesty, because he has not finished a book of description and explanation of this instrument. I have persuaded him to send one to your Majesty, as I also shall do, as I consider it well that your Majesty should have information of the learning, virtue, and parts which are found in him, as it may be of use and importance for the service of God and your Majesty—whom may our Lord protect many years of life, according to His power and the desire and need of us all. Manyla, June 27, 1597.

Luys Perez Das Marinas


Indeed, the desire which possesses me of serving your Majesty and ending my life in your service, as I am a humble vassal of your Majesty, was too mixed with awe to allow of this boldness, if Don Luis Perez de las Marinas, former governor of these islands, had not encouraged me and persuaded me to give information Page 285to your Majesty of several matters concerning these parts, as a person who has spent nine years here. I could wish that it was with better reason, if time had been given me to finish a book which treats of the use of an astrolabe, very important for the service of your Majesty, for use in the art of navigation. This I would send you this year, with an ample relation of various matters, if Don Francisco Tello, governor of these islands, had not occupied me in ridding them of a great number of Chinese and Japanese Sangleys, who, under pretense of being merchants, were seeking to remain in this country, and with whom there is no manner of safety. They know how to set about so cunningly to gain the good-will of the citizens that it appears almost impossible, if your Majesty does not send and order a remedy, to better the matter here, although I have used all possible diligence in it. The reason for this is that each particular citizen defends those whom he needs, as they are a people who are cunning at all crafts. Accordingly they keep them in their houses, and hide them; so that they sleep inside the city at night, to the number of about two thousand. There are more than five thousand who remain this year with the governor's license in the service of the colony, for they tell the governor that this is exoedient. It appears to me that three thousand is enough, and even with this number more care and precaution could be taken than is done here, and there should be no more of the infidels. I give this account ...1 as a person who has them in his charge, in other matters touching ... that which Don Luis Perez Page 286de las Marinas gives your Majesty ... I have informed him so that, being so Christian and zealous a knight in the service of your Majesty, he will give a true and certain relation of all.

With this astrolabe, which, with the aid of God, I have discovered, can be found the altitude from the pole, and the latitude of any region whatsoever at any hour of the day, and at the same time it will tell the hour, in the same way that it gives directions at night by any known star more easily than the mariners usually take it at midday. Besides this, it also serves like other astrolabes at midday, to indicate the various points of the compass, and show and verify with precision the deviations and deflection of the needle from the pole. In this way it serves to give the longitude where one is sailing, on whatever parallel to the equinoctial. Likewise it shows the position of the stars, even when all their latitudes [i.e., altitudes?] and declinations are unknown, so easily that even the most uninstructed can in a short time learn it. It is of use in other curious, useful, and important ways, for the perfection of this art, which can by its aid be verified. As it is an article so curious and useful, the said Luis Perez de las Marinas persuaded me to give an account of it to your Majesty, with a brief relation and discourse concerning the information which I have of these parts.

Although your Majesty has so little profit from these islands, we can see that it is a place of much importance for the service of your Majesty, and the spread of the most holy Catholic faith, since it has as neighbors, and surrounding it, many extremely rich and fertile countries. The disposition of matters is ... that they are propitious for your Majesty Page 287easily to make himself master of those lands. Your Majesty will see that this is so by the relations which the governor of these islands, and likewise Don Luis Perez de las Marinas, formerly governor of them, have sent you.

It is very necessary and expedient that several expeditions and conquests should be made in these parts for the service of your Majesty in view of the advantages that the Castilians would gain if they held a good post on the mainland—such as the kingdom of Sian, which is very rich and abounds in many things, and could be conquered and kept with a thousand men, according to everyone who has been there; or the kingdom of Canboxa, which is seeking our friendship, and offers to maintain troops at its own expense, and furnish them to us on occasions when aid may be necessary; or the kingdom of Chanpa, which could be conquered and maintained with three hundred men, and is the pass for this archipelago, and the key to Cochinchina, which is a very rich and fertile country, and could be conquered with a thousand or fifteen hundred men. The latter is more to the east than the said kingdoms between Chanpa and China, close to these islands, and with everyone ... of them on account of the many wars and enmities, which exist among them, this ... would be easy to spread the royal sovereignty of your Majesty with great ... so that all would seek for our friendship and alliance; for ... said, and with a little shrewdness and cunning a great deal of it might be gained ... with our protection and oversight the ministers and preachers ... could spread over all those parts in safety; to convert those souls and bring such a great multitude of Page 288heathen to the true knowledge of our Lord God. It is no little shame to consider that among those peoples, by way of Burnei and other Mahometans the venom and poison of their false doctrine is being scattered—although this is of so great importance, as your Majesty must see by the accounts which are sent you, and to which I refer.

But for the present the thing which appears very expedient and necessary, and should be attended to at once, is to take a port on the island of Hermosa, which lies distant from the farthest part of this island (which is the province of Cagaia), thirty-six leagues in a northwesterly direction. In circumference it measures about two hundred leagues, and stretches in the same direction from the twenty-second to the twenty-fifth degree. From there to the mainland of China is not more than twenty leagues. ... informed by a person who has been there that it is fertile and inhabited by a people similar to the natives of these islands, who rob and kill those who go there in vessels, as it is the necessary route from China to this city, from Japon here, and to other parts. The country is well supplied with provisions. It has few ports, but there is one which lies at the head of it, on the side which faces toward Japon, which is very well formed and strong. It is named Keilang, and at present has no defense. If three hundred men were placed there with a fort, all the power of those parts would not be sufficient to dislodge them; for the entrance is very narrow, and with artillery they could resist any efforts which were made against them. It is a large port with deep water, and the entrance is closed by an island on the northeast part, inhabited by about three hundred Indians. I have sent a carefully Page 289traced sketch of this to your Majesty with this letter. The reason why it is very necessary to occupy this port is for the safety of these islands; for it is known to a certainty that ... that if a fort is built at ... which is very ... will be able to send it from there without great difficulty, and being installed there, would make us anxious at all times, and harry the land, without there being any help for it, For they are a warlike and numerous people. The other reason is because all the trading ships which sail for this city from China make land there, and will not dare sail from their own country. They are very much afraid of those people, and will cease their trade with this city, and thus that will be lost—even more than the great wealth which the ship “San Felipe”2 carried, which arrived in their country in the past year, ninety-six. That wealth made them covetous of it; and perhaps their principal intention is to come here and attack these islands. It is not worthy of the Spanish reputation to allow this barbarian to use us thus, without experiencing our power through some injury. It would be a great loss to him to take that passage from him; and, for any purpose that your Majesty may desire, it will be a very important station; since, if your Majesty sends a large number of troops by way of Nueva España or of India, that is so difficult an undertaking, and entails so much expense and the death of so many.

It is of no less importance to give an account to Page 290your Majesty of two routes which can be explored at little expense and are short and easy. The first is by the strait which is called Danian [i.e., Anian], which lies between the farthest land of China and the regions of Nueva España ... a relation which I [received] there, which was left in manuscript by Fray Martin de Rada, of the order of St. Augustine, a great mathematician, of whom your Majesty had information in this ... of the letter.

A worthy Vizcayan, named Juanes de Ribas, a native of San Sebastian, told me that while he was going after whales to Terranova [i.e., Newfoundland] he received information that in the year forty-five some Bretons were carried [by storms] from the cape of Breton, which lies about eighty leguas west of the cape of Bacallaos, which lies in forty-nine or fifty degrees of latitude. He said that in latitude fifty-two degrees, after sailing to the northwest a hundred leguas, they encountered a strait. And, according to this relation, some Portuguese came to India and China; they say that in forty-five days they arrived from Ucheo at Lisboa; and, believing that the king would show them favor, they gave him an account of it. But he threw them into prison, and they died there. One of the Portuguese who went in that ship afterward came to Nueva España and accompanied Francisco de Ivarra in the exploration of Nueva Viscaya.3 The said Francisco de Ivarra intended to go to explore this strait, but there were difficulties in the way, and they, did not accomplish it. This Vizcayan and the Portuguese became friendly Page 291and told to each other what each one had seen and knew. They said that from the cape of Breton they go to the northwest until they reach the mainland and afterwards coast down toward the southwest, as the coast runs in this direction, and they come upon the entrance which, although it seems very small, yet is large and deep. Then sailing to this sea of China to the west-southwest, they said that at the mouth of the strait, toward the South Sea as toward the North Sea, there are many small islands, although more ... in the direction of the north, coming from China outside of ... which to Manil .... The country of China is very high, and wooded with pine trees and ... partly lower, also with forests. He said that in the strait they use no wind at all, but that the currents take them in and float them through. They said that those who consider that the island of Bacallao is all one are wrong; for it consists of several small islands in a chain, reaching to Cape Gata, which is in sixty-two degrees, and where there is a deep channel which enters into the great bay. They say that the point of Vacallaos is in fifty degrees, and they run along the coast of this island as far as Cape Breton, about eighty leguas. Those who place Cape Breton on the maps should put it on the same large island, and it lies nearer to the point of Vacallaos than to Cape Gata.4 Page 292

It may also be inferred that these seas communicate with each other, because on the coast of Nueva España those who are coming from these islands in forty-two degrees latitude see a great number of whales, who must enter by that strait to winter in a warm climate. Accordingly your Majesty can send as many troops as you wish in this way with ease, and become lord of these parts. Although this voyage being in so high a latitude appears to entail some difficulty, there will be none, in view of the fact that by leaving España at the end of March, when they arrive in the high latitudes it is the hot season, and the days are long and the weather is fair; and the winds are brisas, as is necessary. Thus they will come here very easily, and in the island of Hermosa, in this port of Kielang, your Majesty may send and have stationed a considerable fleet, safe and well provisioned; for the country is fertile, and productive of food stuffs, rice, meat, and so much fish that they load every year two hundred ships for China—especially as the coast of China is so near, where for money ... what they wish in abundance; and also from Japon they can ... examine.

The other route for navigation is through Nuevo Mexico, in forty-five degrees of latitude. This was related to me by a friar named Fray Andres de Aguirre, of the order of St. Augustine, who died about three years ago, being prior of the convent of his order in this city. He was learned in cosmography. He said that in his presence, at the time when Don Luis de Velasco the elder was governor of Nueva España, a Vizcayan gave an account of this route, who said that he had seen it while he was sailing with a French pirate. They entered through an Page 293arm of the sea above the main coast opposite Florida, and after sailing west for many days they found that the said arm ended in a bay. They saw straightway a half a league distant another arm of the sea, and building a brigantine they went through it sailing for several days, and came upon a very populous city, where they were furnished with whatever they needed, and had built for them some wooden houses on the shore, until, on account of a certain difficulty which one of them had with a woman, they were driven out of the country, and went back. From this it may be inferred that in that region, which they said lay in forty-five degrees of ... From here having ships there, rather ... of this. Father Antonio Sedeño, rector of the Society of Jesus of this city, who died about two years ago, said that it was told him many times by Pero Melendez in Florida.5

These two explorations will be very easy to make, at little expense, from these islands rather than from España. For their entrances from that side are difficult to find, and from this side one cannot go astray, nor is there any obstacle. The first year after Gomez Perez de las Marinas arrived in this country as governor, he conferred with me about sending me to explore the strait of Danian. By reason of the expedition which he intended to make to Maluco, he deferred the other; and when he was so unfortunately killed it put an end to the project. He, I believe, Page 294would have far advanced the affairs of these parts if he had lived, and would have done good service for your Majesty, judging by the valor and zeal which he showed; and his absence, and the need for him, have brought this city to a sense of what they owe him, and now they deplore his loss.

I have given this brief account to your Majesty, begging humbly that you will pardon my boldness (which zeal for your royal service and the good of these regions has caused) in advising your Majesty, that you may see how glorious opportunities our Lord God has kept for you to extend and widen out the holy Catholic faith. But it is necessary that your Majesty should entrust this to a person of high rank and great worth, and that he should not come for a limited time, with the intention of gathering riches and the fruit of the land, and then returning; for those who have this intention will not be watchful for its welfare, nor zealous for the honor of God and for the service of your Majesty. I have informed the governor of these islands, Don Francisco Tello, of this, so that he may write to your Majesty and make use of the opportunities which are offered him. I know not what he will do. May our Lord God, for whom we labor, protect your Majesty many years, according to the needs of Christendom, and augment your estate with greater lands and majesty, for His glory and the good of ... may it prosper. Manila, June 27, 1597.

[Endorsed: “Examined on the thirteenth of September of 1599. As to what he says of the astrolabe, have a copy made and delivered to Cespedes, that he may examine it and give his opinion in regard to it. As for the rest, join everything in regard to this Page 295matter, and have all the papers brought in a bundle.”]

[Memoranda at beginning of document: “Memorial addressed to the king, dated at Manila on June 27, 1597, by Colonel Hernando de los Rios, which gives an account of a book which he is engaged in composing, concerning the approved usage and art of navigation, and of the importance of taking a port on the mainland of China, and particularly in the island of Hermosa, of which he gives a very circumstantial description, accompanying it with his map, and finally a very valuable discourse on the two routes which are the most expeditious and direct for navigation from Spaña to those kingdoms, that can be found. The first is through a channel or narrowing of the sea which enters Nuebo Mexico above Florida at forty-five degrees latitude, according to the information received from Father Federico of the Society of Jesus, and from a friar of the order of St. Augustine, who was very learned in cosmography, and who died in that city. The other is through the strait called Anian. There is inserted in the said memorial a relation which was left written by Fray Martin de Rada, of the order of St. Augustine. It was received from a Vizcayan named Juanes de Rivas, a native of San Sevastian, wherein he sets forth that various Portuguese have passed by that way to Yndia and China, and by way of Ucheo returned to Lisboa in forty-five days of voyage. He gives a condensed description of the ship's courses, and the navigation which must be accomplished until they have arrived in the harbor, either here or in China, etc., etc.

Memorial directed to the king of España by Benito Page 296Escoto, a Genoese noble, in the year 1616, giving an account of a certain method which he had discovered of putting together certain tables of longitudes in maritime voyages and navigation, etc.; and to find that navigation which, up to that time, so many serious men and mariners had sought and had not found—namely, the passage by the northern part of China, Japon, Malucas, and Philipinas, with a condensed discourse concerning the advantages which will accrue from the proposed action. And in continuation a letter from the prior of the convent of Santa Maria, written to ... in recommendation of the good circumstances and worthy qualities both of the author and his work.”] Page 297

1 The original MS. of this document is illegible or torn in many places: these are indicated by leaders (...).

2 This ship was wrecked on the coast of Japan, driven thither by tempests; and its rich cargo was seized by the Japanese. Detailed accounts of this event and its consequences are furnished by Morga in his Sucesos (Hakluyt Soc. trans.), pp. 75—79; Santa Inés, in the Crónica, ii, pp. 252—272; and La Concepcion, in Hist. de Philipinas, iii, pp. 106—119, 143—148.

3 Francisco de Ibarra was a prominent Spanish officer in Mexico (1554—72); he subjected to the dominion of Spain the province of Copala, which he named Nueva Vizcaya, founding therein the cities of Durango, Sinaloa, and others.

4 For accounts of early explorations on North American coasts, see the following works: On the northeastern coast, Winsor's Narrative and Critical History of America, iv, pp. 33—102. On the Pacific coast, H.H. Bancroft's History of the Northwest Coast, i, pp. 1—136. The voyages mentioned in this document are regarded by Bancroft as apocryphal. Bacallaos (“cod-fish”) was an early designation of the island of Newfoundland, but was afterward extended to the mainland of eastern Canada. The cape of Breton evidently refers to Cape Breton, on the island of that name.

5 Sedeño, as vice-provincial of his order in the islands, governed all its missions there. On a journey of inspection he suffered greatly from the hardships of a stormy voyage, and died at Cebú on September 1, 1595. La Concepcion gives an interesting sketch of his life and labors, in Hist. de Philipinas, iii, pp. 7—12. Before coming to the Philippines, Sedeño had accompanied the expeditions of Pedro Melendez in Florida.

Letter from Luis Perez Dasmariñas to Felipe II


Although the duties and obligations of my office are ended, I have no less obligation as a private individual for the service of God and your Majesty. That service and recognition is due while life shall last, and therefore it does not seem as if I were fulfilling my duty by keeping silent and not informing your Majesty of some things which have been proposed and set forth elsewhere. I beseech your Majesty to be pleased to regard and consider them as things very important to the service of God and of your Majesty.

What I have thought fit to submit particularly to your Majesty are the injuries, hindrances, contradictions, and great disturbances which are experienced here, whence follow results very offensive and contrary to the service of God our Lord, and of your Majesty. They are also prejudicial to the common spiritual and temporal good of this land, and the quiet, safety, and preservation of these districts and islands, and of the vassals who live and serve your Majesty here. One (and a general) injury is the unrestricted presence of a great number of Sangleys or Chinese heathen who live and mingle freely with Page 298us and the natives of these islands in their trading occupations, and business. They serve but to consume, make scarce, and enhance the price of both supplies and money, and to cause uneasiness, fears, and distrust. Of all the aforesaid we have had experience, and the particular instances are not referred to, in order to avoid prolixity. On occasions when there are expeditions, or when it may be expedient to make them, there are some persons who do not desire to do so—either for their own interests or convenience, or for other considerations, ends, and motives which they have for opposing the accomplishment of the expedition. They say that there are many Sangleys in the land who are inclined or are able to revolt. This and other things they say in excuse; but although this consideration and caution should not be condemned but praised, together with everything else which may be classed under the name and title of preservation, I doubt whether they are always most advantageous to the service of God and of your Majesty. I am only certain that it is of great importance to be rid of these disturbances and contradictions, which are contrary to all good. These heathen are the whole year living on, and, little by little, consuming and obtaining, the goods and money of the state in their traffic, business, and occupations. This does not take into account the sale and profitable trade in merchandise which takes place every year. All the money goes and passes to China, and remains there from year to year and in fact always. Although it is true that the profitable trade and sale of merchandise is the sinew and support of this state, and very necessary, and cannot nor should be checked, nevertheless, it would at least be fitting for the Christians Page 299to gain what is gained by the heathen from year to year in these islands and state, in their damaging trades and occupations. Thus would a great part of the poverty and necessity of the Christians be done away with, and they would be relieved, maintained, and aided. They could live more comfortably, and there would be avoided the inconveniences of discontent, murmuring, and offense, which exist when the people see themselves so little favored, helped, and appreciated. They become discouraged with the condition of affairs when they see that the heathen are much more favored and treated more kindly by us than they themselves, solely for the advantage arising from what they give, and greed for it. They carry on their pretensions and business with us while we ourselves fail in many respects to give an example of Christian charity which should be observed, and to show the zeal and consideration which is due to the service of God our Lord and the common good. The evils which may result from trading are very common, and these heathen secure many things which they desire, and obtain by means of payment and reward. In doing this, although they are exceedingly avaricious, yet in behalf of their vices, unchastity, and abominations, and for their wishes and desires, for the sake of gain and profit, they do not stop at trifles; nor are they stingy and careless, but open-handed and generous, and endeavor and negotiate in a thousand ways to procure what they purpose and desire. The Spaniards themselves favor, intercede and negotiate for them for the sake of their own private interest and their gain in doing so. This manner of carrying on affairs has been continued until they are now accustomed to it and perhaps confident therein because Page 300of their experience in conducting business in this way. In addition to this, there has been negligence and laxity in enforcing decrees in their cases, thereby causing the heathen to hold the orders given them in but little estimation, and with good reason to mock and jest, and make sport of our mode of government and our decrees. It is almost impossible, or exceedingly difficult, to enforce or execute the latter, or to remedy the very great inconveniences which result and are caused by these heathen, because of the many defenders whom they have and find for their pretensions. Two things in regard to these people are most worthy of consideration. One is that, as these people mingle so freely and at large among the natives in these islands for their trading and business, they can very easily under this pretext and appearance with all safety, security, and freedom, investigate and note the ports, islands, and settlements; they can also see how careless and negligent the forces have become, and can observe the lack of troops, forces, and defense from which we suffer. Thus they may dare to interfere, and can bring to these islands any enemy or enemies whatsoever, who are covetous of the islands; or they may plan some alliance and deviltry with the natives. The latter being aggrieved, querulous, and dissatisfied can be moved by their persuasions, or inclined and persuaded toward their traffic, modes, and customs of more gain, comfort, and liberty, with less subjection, oppression, and ill-treatment, than are suffered and received by many. Consequently, there is no little cause, disposition, and opportunity for any evil whatsoever, since we are so confident and these Sangleys are a people very covetous, cunning, and treacherous—as has been experienced in the mutiny Page 301on a ship and the killing of the Spaniards who were on their way to the province of Cagayan, a few days ago. There was also the rebellion of Cayalera, so costly, severe, and injurious, and which hindered so greatly the service of God and of your Majesty, which was to have been accomplished. There was afterward the case of another ship of Portuguese and religious, which was bound for Malaca; and now this year, but a few days ago, a ship, with about thirty Spaniards aboard, was going to the island of Mindanao. Many were killed, and the few who escaped were wounded and injured. The second point is that, in addition to what has been said about this nation, they have unchaste, shameless, and abominable ways of life and customs. Besides having enough proof and experience to be able to say this, I certify to the truth of having heard this from a religious—a man very zealous in the service of our Lord and a minister who has charge of the Sangleys at present. The Christian Sangleys who had acquired sufficient knowledge and experience before conversion, tell of the habits, customs, and mode of life of the heathen. Those who were born, or reared from childhood, in these islands have heard and noted this. They say that they would dare to certify or swear that at a certain age all, from the sons of great mandarins down to the lowest class, are guilty of one vile and abominable sin. There is a wicked rumor here that even their king himself is no exception. That this evil exists among this people, is not only declared, but it is a thing which has been proved, and investigated on complaint, and has at times been punished by justice. This is the case, Sire, and the number of infidels here is very great; for in the past year, ninety-six, more Page 302than twenty-four thousand persons were said to have come. Thirteen thousand were sent away from the country, and the number would have been greater if the ships from Castilla had arrived, thus supplying means for deporting more. These people come to these islands and settlements, and trade very freely with the natives, who are naturally weak and covetous; and, too, they remain constantly with us. Many of them live and sleep within the city and in the houses of the Spaniards, whose wives, children, men and women servants—and of these last, not a few—are there also. Even if there were no more evils and opportunity for wrong than for these women and children to be eyewitnesses of what happens in houses where there are people so vile, bold, vicious, and shameless—who are, although generous, covetous, cunning, and treacherous—these alone are sufficient evils and causes for Spaniards not to permit the Sangleys, or consent, as they do, to their staying in their houses. This they allow on account of the gain, rent, and payments given them, and for greater convenience and shortening of their own labors. Consequently, these people are not separated on account of their aforesaid customs, nor of the danger and opportunity offered them for connivance and knavery. They could burn the city in a night; and should they rise, they could before the blow was felt kill with their weapons many of the persons who keep and permit them to stay in their own houses, finding them asleep and unaware; and they know very well how to do it, to our cost and injury. But neither this injurious and painful experience, nor all the aforesaid dangers, are sufficient to check or remedy this grave evil. It is greed which is the road and means of perdition, Page 303and which destroys, corrupts, perverts, and hinders everything; this it is that jeopardizes and has, perhaps, embarrassed, checked, diminished, and restricted the service of God and of your Majesty, and the welfare, honor, and prosperity of your vassals in this land. Thereby have been retarded in this new world the good and fruitful spiritual and temporal results which would, perhaps, have been realized ere this, were the desire for money less, and the love, zeal, and desire for the service and glory of our Lord greater. There should be more interest in the common good and less self-interest, which is the loss, impediment, and ruin of everything. Indeed, this greed and covetousness is the knot, tie, and strong bond between us and this nation, so different, injurious, and contrary to our own, as experience and past events have shown. It is an expedient of the devil that this people shall obtain all or nearly all that they want. As their communication, presence, and trade is so prejudicial, and as from it and their interest and greed result so many common evils and great sins, abominations, and offenses to our Lord, it seems as if His Divine Majesty were taking a hand in this and punishing the offenses of those who are in this land, as also our neglect of correcting them, and our lack of zeal for His honor and service—both by our great loss of property, and by this nation, and the injuries that we have received from them, and our mishaps with them, since thus we lay ourselves open and deserve to be punished. It seems that He punishes them too with us, by the injuries, afflictions, and annoyances that they suffer. And thus His Divine Majesty is punishing both nations. For except for self-interest as a medium, we are mutually contrary and hateful. Page 304

[The rest of the letter is badly torn, but a sufficient amount remains for the general meaning to be discovered. The writer calls for the expulsion of the Sangleys so far as this is possible. The city desires them to remain only from avarice, desiring the rents from their shops, and the profits arising from their business. The Sangleys have corrupted some of the most illustrious persons in the country. Severity is requisite.]

June 28, 1597.
Luis Perez Dasmarinas

Notes regarding the Sangleys

First, it is meet that the governor order, with all care and exactness, an investigation and exact and unexaggerated calculation to be made of the number of Sangleys who are needed in the ordinary and necessary occupations for the service of the commonwealth, in this city of Manila, and in Cagayan and Cibu. This done, it should be ordered and brought about that the Christians occupy and serve in those occupations which they understand and formerly filled. Thus it will follow that fewer heathen will serve in these occupations; and that the Christians will profit thereby, and will be occupied and provided for, and many other difficulties and injuries would thus cease. And then, having diminished the number of Christians who understand and can be used in occupations, and having left, as is necessary to the service of the commonwealth the required number of heathen, who are not imprudent or gamblers (for there are many who are too dangerous and cunning to be permitted to remain), all the other heathen Sangleys of these islands should be collected, put on vessels, and sent Page 305back to their own lands, with great care, rigor, and despatch. This diligence should last until this country is cleansed and freed from people so injurious to it.

But I must also say, in order to relieve my conscience, that the person to whom this business and the execution thereof is entrusted should be worthy of the greatest confidence, and as good a Christian as can be found. He should claim no temporal interests, but look only to the service of God our Lord, and that of your Majesty, and to the common welfare of this land. If he be not such a one, no better opportunity could be imagined for large thefts and substantial bribes, involving thousands of pesos, thus failing to provide the relief which is meet and due.

Item: That every year, as some Sangleys are converted and made Christians, care be taken that they be given occupation, and an equal number of heathen who have hitherto filled positions be expelled.

Item: That in the trading-ships which come every year, it be not permitted to bring more than the sailors necessary for the care of the vessels (according to the capacity and tonnage of the ship), and the merchants who come with their property. The latter must return to their land that same year after the sale of their goods, and must not remain in the country; nor shall they be permitted to do so for any reason whatever. The ship shall return with all the persons whom it brought, together with those who came before and had remained in the country.

Item: In no case shall license or permission be given for heathen Sangleys to carry on trade and contracts, sales, and business in these islands and at large among the natives. The Christians, however, shall Page 306be allowed such occupation for their convenience and greater safety, and in order to avoid many distrusts, dangers, and troubles.

Item: No Sangley who is not a Christian should be allowed to go inland more than two leguas from the city, or remain or trade in the settlements of the natives, especially those of Christians, under a severe penalty for doing so, and one much greater to the magistrate who should consent thereto.

Item: It is meet that the religious do not keep or aid heathen Sangleys, in their convents and districts, by giving them advantages and employments; for these may be accomplished by the natives, without employing the Sangleys, thus avoiding no few inconveniences, as can be seen and understood. It is scarcely less (and perhaps even more) to the service of our Lord that these works be postponed somewhat, or that some of them which are less urgent be abandoned; as it is not meet that for neatness or greater excellence in the work, the Sangleys live as they do at present.

Item: That to no heathen Sangley should be given license to make rice-wine as so much of this is consumed. If license be granted it should be to some poor Christians, in order to aid and relieve their necessity.

Item: It is of great importance that neither consent nor permission be given to any Sangleys to enjoy or exercise any occupation whatever, outside of the parian and the public place assigned to them and to the service of the state. They should not be allowed either to live and remain during the day, or to sleep at night, in the city, in any convent or in any house of any citizen of whatsoever rank, under a Page 307heavy penalty. Upon the citizen who should consent to and conceal this act, it is meet that a greater penalty be imposed and executed. It would even be proper to add to the penalty incurred by him in person and estate the penalty for treason to the service of your Majesty, and to punish the guilty person as a traitor. Thus would this evil be corrected and remedied; for it is a pity, sorrow, and shame, that it should exist and be permitted for the aforesaid causes and reasons. Consequently, it is meet that the penalty be executed with more severity on the citizens, since—as they are responsible for the greatest injury, and are most to blame—from them must emanate the remedy, which consists of applying severity and chastisement.

Luis Perez Dasmarinas

Page 308

Bibliographical Data

The royal decree of April 27, 1594, is taken from Santa Inés's Crónica, ii, p. 607; those of June 17, 1595, and March 20 and May 15, 1596, from Doc. inéd. Amér. y Oceanía, xxxiv, pp. 86–98 and 101–103. All the other documents in this volume are obtained from original MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, their respective pressmarks being as follows:

1. Second embassy to Japan.—First part: “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.” Second part: “Simancas—Filipinas; descubrimientos, descripciones y poblaciones de las Yslas Filipinas; años de 1582 á 1606; est. 1, caj. 1, leg. 3|25, ramo 50.”

2. Letters from G.P. Dasmariñas.—June 20: The same as No. 1, second part (but no ramo). September 27: “Simancas—Filipinas; cartas y espedientes del presidente y oidores de dha Audiencia vistos en el Conscio; años de 1583 á 1600; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 18.”

3. Memorandum of troops.—The same as No. 2, first part.

4. List of Philippine villages.—“Simancas—Secular; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y expedientes Page 309del presidente y oidores de dha Audiencia vistos en el Consejo; años de 1583 á 1599; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 18.”

5. Letter to king of Camboja, 1594.—The same as No. 4.

6. Investigation of the hospital.—The same as No. 2, first part.

7. Report by Ortega.—“Simancas—Eclesiastico; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y espedientes de religiosos misioneros de Filipinas vistos en el Consejo; años 1569 á 1616; est. 68, caj. 1, leg. 37.”

8. Reply to Japanese emperor.—The same as No. 1, first part.

9. Letters from L.P. Dasmariñas, June, 1594.—The same as No. 4 (except that of June 22, the same as No. 1, first part).

10. Letter from Carbajal.—The same as No. 1, first part.

11. Letter from Morga, 1595.—The same as No. 4.

12. Expedition to Camboja, and Instructions to Figueroa.—The same as No. 2 (letter of June 20).

13. Reëstablishment of Audiencia.—“Audiencia de Filipinas; registros de oficio y partes; reales ordenes dirigidas a las autoridades y particulares del distrito de la Audiencia; años de 1568 á 1605; est. 105, caj. 2, leg. 11, libro 2, fol. 100a–101b.”

14. Letter from Dasmariñas, December 6, 1595.—The same as No. 4.

15. Instructions for Tello.—The same as No. 13 (except fol. 146—170).

16. Letters from Dasmariñas and others, June–July, 1596.—The same as No. 4.

17. Pacification of Mindanao.—The same as No. Page 3102 (letter of September 27). The last section (headed, “The campaign”): “Simancas—Filipinas; cartas y espedientes del presidente y oidores de dicha Audiencia vistos en el Consejo; años de 1600 á 1606; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 19.”

18. Memorial by Los Rios.—The same as No. 17, second part.

19. Letter from Dasmariñas, June 28, 1597.—The same as No. 4.

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