( Continuation of page 1 )
Title: The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803
Volume III, 1569-1576
Author: E.H. Blair
Documents of 1573
•Expenses of expedition to Western Islands, 1569–72. Melchior de Legazpi; March 2.
•Affairs in the Philippines, after the death of Legazpi. Guido de Lavezaris; June 29.
•Relation of the Western Islands, called Filipinas. Diego de Artieda.
•Letter from the viceroy of New Spain to Felipe II. Martin Enriquez; December 5.
Sources: The first two documents are from MSS. in the Archivo de Indias at Sevilla; the third, from a MS. in the Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar, Madrid, collated with another copy at Sevilla; the fourth is taken from Cartas de Indias (Madrid, 1877).
Translations: The first document is translated by James A. Robertson; the second, by Arthur B. Myrick; the third, by Alfonso de Salvio; the fourth, by Francis W. Snow. Page 155
Expenses Incurred for the Expedition to the Western Islands 1569–72
I, Melchior de Legazpi, chief accountant for his Majesty in this Nueva España, hereby certify that from the original books and orders for payment pertaining to his royal accountancy, now in my possession, it appears that from the twelfth of February of the year five hundred and sixty-nine—when the alcalde Bernardino de Albornoz entered upon his duties as royal treasurer in this Nueva España—until the end of December in the year five hundred and seventy-two, there has been audited and paid from his royal chest (the three keys of which are in charge of the treasurer of the royal estate) the sum of three hundred and twelve thousand one hundred and seventy-six pesos, seven tomines, and eight grains of common gold, each peso of the value of eight reals.1 This sum includes whatever pertains to the expedition of the Western Islands—for the crews and outfits of the royal ships that were built to send aid to the said islands; the tackle, food, and necessary armament for the said ships; the wages of the soldiers and mariners sailing therein, besides the wages of the sailors who have been serving in that capacity in the said Western Islands since before the years above mentioned, and those of other men; the furnishing of provisions to those who for the said time have been engaged in the work of preparing and despatching the said vessels; and the gunpowder, artillery, military supplies, and other necessary articles sent in the vessels to his Majesty's camp, established in the said islands in his royal name. All this is as set forth in detail in the said books of his Majesty's accountancy, to which I refer.
In certification of the above, and in order that by the same it may be manifest, I give the present—by command of the most excellent Don Martin Enrriquez, viceroy, governor, and captain-general for his Majesty in this Nueva España—in duplicate, in Mexico, on the second day of March in the year one thousand five hundred and seventy-three.
Melchior de Legazpi
[Endorsed: “Expenses incurred by the royal estate for the expedition to the Western Islands in the years dlxjx. lxx. lxxij.”] Page 157
1 The peso was a money of account, commonly supposed to be worth fifteen reals vellón. There was also a silver coin called a peso, which was valued at eight reals of silver, and weighed one onza (a trifle more than the English ounce). The real (=34 maravedis) is equivalent to nearly five cents of United States money; it is no longer coined, but is still a unit of value throughout Spain. The tomin for gold was equivalent to 8.883 grains (United States weight), and for silver to 9.254 grains. From a document published in Doc. inéd. Ultramar, vol. ii, pp. 461–463, it appears that seven tomines of gold were equivalent to one peso of gold.
Affairs in the Philippines After the Death of Legazpi
Sacred Catholic Royal Majesty:
When I came to these islands in company with the general Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, I gave your Majesty an account of the events of the expedition. Since then I have not done so, understanding that the governor sent word by every ship, as was proper, how affairs were going here. Now was our Lord pleased to take him from this life, and I, being treasurer of the royal exchequer, succeeded him in the office by a royal provision, emanating from the royal Audiencia of Nueva España. To make myself better understood, your Majesty perhaps knows that in the year forty-two, I came to these regions as accountant, with General Villalobos, who sailed from Nueva España, sent out by the viceroy Don Antonio de Mendoça. I was in the Maluco Islands, and went thence to Yndia and from there to España and Nueva España, to inform your viceroy of the success of the expedition. I brought with me from Yndia the ginger root, which has grown so well in Nueva España. Don Antonio de Mendoca sent me to España to inform your Majesty of the proceedings that should be taken in this discovery. After that mission, I returned with your Majesty's despatch to Nueva España, where they were commencing to build the ships and fleet in which General Miguel Lopez de Legazpi came for the discovery of these islands. In his company, I passed thither, for the second time, in the year sixty-four—serving your Majesty as treasurer of your royal exchequer until, as I have said, Miguel Lopez died, on the twentieth of August in last year, seventy-two.
In a chest was found the royal decree, by which, in your Majesty's name, he enjoyed and exercised his office as governor and captain-general. Before his death, the said Miguel Lopez had founded, on the island of Cubu, where we first resided, a city called El Santisimo Nombre de Jesús [“the most holy name of Jesus,”] because of an image of the child Jesus that we found there. Here in this island of Luçon, he founded the city of Manilla, where from that time until his death he resided, with all his people. He had commenced to levy taxes, and was assigning repartimientos in the islands and towns that were being pacified; and I am now doing the same. This island of Lucon is large and well populated. The greater part of it has been explored and reduced to your Majesty's service. On account of the lack of men, and the little time that we have spent here, we have not been able to investigate everything. The land contains many rich gold mines. The natives in general acquire, possess, and trade great quantities of gold. The country abounds in provisions—rice, wine, fish, hogs, Castilian fowls, and wild buffaloes; in short, it is so well provided that it can maintain many Spanish settlements, which will produce good fruit, both spiritual and temporal. Ships from China come to trade at many ports of this island. It is understood as certain that the mainland is very near us, less than two hundred leagues; so that, if we are reënforced, I hope in our Lord that much fruit and service will result to God and your Majesty. For reënforcements have come to this island so slowly that, in eight years, only seven hundred soldiers have arrived; and, moreover, when some arrive others are dead as a result of the hardships and distress that have been encountered. Nevertheless, our Lord indeed be praised for having given us, now and in the future, greater repose in a larger land.
Of the natives of this island, some are Moros and Mahometans, especially those living near the coast. Those in the interior are pagans. Their arms are numerous and good, namely: culverins, large and small; lances, daggers, and arrows poisoned with herbs. They wear corselets of buffalo-hide and of twisted and knotted rope, and carry shields or bucklers. They are accustomed to fortify themselves in strong positions, where they mount their artillery and archery, surrounding them outside with ditches full of water, so that they seem very strong. But our Lord (who assists us, because his holy faith is at stake) has always given us the victory, to his and your Majesty's honor and glory.
The Chinese have come here on trading expeditions, since our arrival, for we have always tried to treat them well. Therefore during the two years that we have spent on this island, they have come in greater numbers each year, and with more ships; and they come earlier than they used to, so that their trade is assured to us. Those that come here are, like the people of this land, almost naked, on account of the hot climate. They do not bring to sell the silks and beautiful things that they take to Malaca. They say that, if there were any one to buy them, they would bring all we wanted; and so, since trading with the Spaniards, they bring each year better and much richer wares. If merchants would come from Nueva España, they might enrich themselves, and increase the royal customs in these parts—both through trade and through the mines, the richness and number of which are well-known to us.
Your Majesty knows how antagonistic the Portuguese are in everything here. When they can do us no harm in their own persons, they try to do so through others. Last year Chinese vessels came to this city to trade and told us how the Portuguese haa asked them not to trade with us, because we were robbers and came to steal and commit other depredations, so that these people wonder not a little if this be true. As the treatment accorded to the Chinese neutralizes these reports, more vessels came this year than last, and each year more will come. I advise your Majesty of this, because it is better to have certain peace or open war with the Portuguese, and not to be uncertain, and not to have them trying to harm us at a distance. Every year we are disturbed by fears of their coming. This year I had news from Moro merchants, who came from the island of Borney, that last year their king had collected a large fleet to descend upon us. After having embarked, he gave up for the time the voyage because of the severe storms; but gave out that he would return this year and bring the Portuguese with him. I exerted myself to get together the Spaniards, who were pacifying these islands and had the island of Borney reconnoitred in two parts, by oared vessels of the sort that the natives use. I instructed them that if they could get any of the Moros from Borney, they should bring them, in order to get at the truth; and so they did. The people whom I sent for this purpose arrived near Borney, and because they did not dare bring small boats near the island itself, they halted about eight leagues from it, and captured six Moros. By these I was informed that the coming of the king of Borney was uncertain, and that he lives in great privacy and prudence, keeping himself informed about us. With the people that I sent for this purpose was a pilot, who had mapped the islands and lands that he saw on the way. He said that it was about two hundred leagues to the west from here to Borney. With this relation I send your Majesty the map of this island, and of those near Borney and China.
Last year, seventy-two, the governor Miguel Lopez despatched two ships to Nueva España a few days before his death; but, as it was late when they started, and the weather bad, they could not that year make the voyage. They came back, therefore, much disabled and disordered. After the death of the governor, who had made liberal provision for their repair and [the MS. is torn here] rigging and pitch, which it has been no little trouble to find. This year, therefore, God willing, three ships will go, so that they may not for lack of vessels neglect to send reënforcements.
Since the death of the governor, Miguel Lopez, I have had made from the gold that has been brought and given by the natives as tribute and service, some jewels, which I send to your royal Majesty and to the Queen our mistress, with some specimens of the articles brought by the Chinese. These two ships now carry one hundred and thirty-six marcos1 of gold, just as it was obtained from the natives who gave it as tribute. I hope in our Lord, that henceforth your Majesty will be better served with the first fruits of this land. I am also sending to Nueva España three hundred and seventy-two quintals of cinnamon, which I had brought from the island of Vindanao, where there is a great quantity of it. There is no longer any necessity for the Portuguese to export hereafter any more cinnamon into your Majesty's kingdoms and seigniories; because a greater quantity can be brought from these districts than can be sold in Europe, if ships are supplied. I am sending also to Nueva España shoots of the cinnamon and pepper trees, so that they may be planted there and benefit your Majesty. I have also sent previously a tamarind tree, and have been informed that it is already bearing fruit in Nueva España. I have tried to have some rigging for the ships made on this island, because what is brought from Nueva España is completely rotten and useless, and for want of rigging the vessels have many times been unable to sail. God has been pleased that we should succeed in our endeavors—a thing that will be of great service in the despatching of the fleets that your Majesty will cause to be constructed here. I have also procured pitch for the same purpose; and, although there is not much of it, what has been discovered will be of great assistance. Page 163
The baptism of the natives steadily continues, and they are being received into our holy faith and religion. I hope in our Lord that the spiritual and temporal good will continue to increase day by day, to the glory of our Lord and to your Majesty's honor. It will conduce much to the conversion of these natives to have some religious of the society of Jesus, and friars of the order of St. Francis, come to these districts; because it has a most edifying influence upon the covetous disposition of these barbarians, to see that those fathers do not receive or have anything to do with money—which will be a good example for them. May your Majesty provide in this regard according to your pleasure, for it would certainly greatly rejoice everyone to see those holy people here.
As the labors that have been endured and are being endured in this expedition are prolonged and heavy, it has happened that many of the encomenderos2 to whom repartimientos were given have died. Understanding that it will be for the good of your Majesty's service, I have reapportioned and am reapportioning the Indians, as is done in Gautemala and other parts of the Indies. I beg your Majesty to favor this and send confirmation of it, because in no other way can this island be maintained for the present.
I send to beg your Majesty to grant me favor regarding certain petitions made in my own name. I am confident of receiving this as from a lord and prince so magnanimous that he will take into account that I have busied myself almost all my life in your royal service. So also those who have served your Majesty in these regions send, severally and jointly, to beg your Majesty to reward them, having recourse to your Majesty as to a fountain of all liberality, all being confident of receiving what they ask, as they are continually receiving favors.
Martin de Goiti has served and serves your Majesty in this country in the capacity of master-of-camp. With great faith and diligence has he served, and serves, notwithstanding his age or sufferings. On the contrary, he is just as ready today to undergo hardship as he was the first day. So on account of his qualities and his experience in warlike matters and the Christian spirit which he shows in all dealings with the natives, and the fidelity and truth that has always been found in him, I recommend him in general terms to the most important office in your Majesty's service. I most humbly beg you that all favors may be granted him, because he is worthy and deserving of them.
Juan de Salcedo, grandson of the governor Miguel Lopez, has served and serves your Majesty in these districts in the capacity of captain of infantry. He is one who has exerted and does exert himself in whatever he has been commanded—not only in the conquests, discoveries, and pacification of these islands, but in everything else that has occurred and occurs from day to day in your Majesty's service. In all of these, and in expeditions of great importance entrusted to him in this land, he has given a very good account of himself. He merits, and it is fitting that your Majesty should resolve to grant him, some favor. In paying his grandfather's debts and for the repose of his soul, he has spent all his possessions. What the governor left was but little, and did not suffice for this, because he had spent his income in helping some poor soldiers, and in other matters of your Majesty's service, and was therefore poor and needy.
The governor, Miguel Lopez, in this city of Manila appointed in your Majesty's royal name certain regidores to serve as long as it should be your Majesty's pleasure. I did the same in the town of Santísimo Nombre de Jesus.3 The said governor changed the cabildo of the said town at the end of the year, and I believe would have done the like in this city, had he lived; because I assure your Majesty that it is a thing of great inconvenience and disturbance to have perpetual regidores. The regidores in this city from its foundation discharged their duties little more than a year, during which time there were among them parties and factions; as a result of this, the governor, seeing certain of them maltreat or affront one of the alcaldes-in-ordinary in the town-hall, sent two of the said regidores with the record of their trial, referred to your royal Audiencia in Nueva España. I removed the said cabildo, and appointed new regidores, as in the first town. And so I think it a matter very important to your Majesty's service that, for the present, there should be no perpetual regidores in these parts, but those who are elected annually; because in this way they will do their duties well, understanding that the office is to last but a short time. On the contrary, they will, if elected in perpetuity, become careless, as experience shows. I advise your Majesty of this so that if perpetuity of these offices is demanded, you may do what seems best.
After the departure of these ships if it be our Lord's will, I shall continue the repartimiento of this land, in those places discovered by Captain Juan de Salcedo and the master-of-camp in this island of Luzon, on the coast of Yloco; for it would be impossible for this fleet to sustain itself in any other way, on account of the great privation and poverty endured in the past and present by the soldiers, especially since they are not now permitted to make raids. These were wont to be made formerly, in order to support themselves; but they proved of great harm and prejudice to the natives; and by them God our Lord, and your Majesty were not served. With this remedy these evils cease. Everything will be done which is thought most suitable for the service of your Majesty, and the support of this your camp and fleet. May our Lord for many and fortunate years guard and prosper your Majesty's state with increase of greater kingdoms and seigniories, as we, your Majesty's faithful vassals, desire. Manila, June 29, 1573.
Your Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty's faithful vassal and most humble servant, who kisses your royal feet.4
Guido de Lavezaris
Page 167Page 168
1 The table of weights to which the marco belongs is as follows: 12 granos = 1 tomin; 3 tomines = 1 adarme; 2 adarmes = 1 ochava or dracma; 8 ochavas = 1 onza; 8 onzas = 1 marco; 2 marcos = 1 libra (= 1.016097 United States pounds).
2 Encomenderos: persons to whom repartimientos or encomiendas were granted (see Vol. II, note 18).
3 The name first given to the present city of Cebú, on the island of that name. Another early name was San Miguel, given because the settlement was founded on St. Michael's day.
4 Bound with this MS. is an abstract of the same, evidently made for the royal council by some secretary. In the margin are noted, opposite the various points, instructions for the governor of the islands. In reply to this letter Lavezaris is to be thanked for his care, and exhorted to continue it. The licentiate Francisco de Sande is about to go from New Spain to the Philippines, to take account of Legazpi's administration and to act as governor. The king is advised to reward Lavezaris, and suitable rewards should be given to Martin de Goiti and Juan de Salcedo. Sande is to be instructed to accord good treatment to the Chinese, in order to invite their trade and win them to the faith. Peace and friendship must be maintained with the Portuguese. The lists of encomiendas granted by Legazpi and Lavezaris, with full information regarding them, must be sent to the government. Sande should be instructed to do what he considers best, in regard to the appointment of regidores.
Relation of the Western Islands Called Filipinas
(Captain Artieda, who went to those islands for the king, wrote this relation.)1
Nueva España has two ports in the South Sea. That which is called Acapulco is [very] good and can give shelter to many ships, no matter how large they may be; it is in seventeen and one-half degrees of north latitude. The other is called Puerto de la Navidad; its entrance is shallow, and it can therefore give shelter to small ships only. It is in nineteen and one-third degrees of north latitude. From whichever of these ports one goes to [any of] the Western Islands, the best route is to sail strictly in the latitude in which lies the island that one wishes to reach; for in the season of the brisas, which is the right time to make the voyage, favorable stern winds are never wanting. The season for the brisas lasts from the end of October to the end of April. From the end of April to the end of October the vendaváls blow,2 which will be of help on the way back; but let it be remembered that he who wishes to return ought to take a higher degree of latitude, because there the winds will not fail him.
In view of your Majesty's command and orders from Don Luis de Velasco, viceroy of Nueva España, the expedition commanded by Miguel Lopes de Legaspi has discovered since November twenty-first, 1564, the following islands to the west, in the South Sea:
North-southwest from Puerto de la Navidad, in about ten degrees of north latitude, and at a distance of eleven hundred and twenty leagues, were found some islands running east and west. The inhabitants were dressed in a sort of cloth made of thin palm-bark. The men wore long beards, and for that reason the islands received the name of Barbudos.3 No weapons were found among them, from which we can infer that they are a peaceful people, and that they had never come into conflict with other men. They live on cocoanuts, roots, and fish. It was learned that they kept some Castilian fowls. These islands may be about one hundred and seventy-five leagues from Nueba España [S: Nueva Guinea]. Page 170
[Further west by a distance of four hundred leagues lie the islands called Chamurres or Ladrones, which, according to report, number thirteen islands. The largest of all is not forty leagues in circumference. They are all alike in appearance, trade, and food products. I have seen but the island of Guahan. Their weapons consist of slings and clubs hardened in fire, which they use instead of lances. They hurl stones to so great a distance with their slings, that they are beyond range of the arquebuses. They live on rice, bananas, cocoanuts, roots, and fish. They have great quantities of ginger.]
Further west is the island of Mindanao, with a circuit of three hundred and fifty leagues. It is in its greatest measurements one hundred and forty leagues long, and sixty leagues wide. The northern promontory juts out between the two rivers of Butuan and Zurigan, famous for their gold, although the Spaniards who went there were able to find but little—or, to be more accurate, none. According to what I have learned, all the gold mines of this island are so poor that the natives offer their labor for a gold maes4 or three reals per month. In this island cinnamon grows. I believe that, if good order be established there, we shall be able to barter for eight hundred quintals, and even [one thousand]5 for a year of this article; for I was present at the barter of that which was lost with the flagship. In one month we bartered for more than six hundred quintals of cinnamon at three reals per quintal, this money being reckoned in iron of that land. This island contains pitch. [I do not declare here the trade, rites, clothing, weapons, and food of this island, because many others are just like it; and I will place this information at the end of these islands, in order to avoid prolixity.] The middle of the island lies in fully seven and one-third degrees of north latitude.
Northeast of Mindanao is another island called Tandaya. There are certain rocky islands with an island called San Lorenzo in their midst. The fact of their being small and uninhabited does not debar anyone who wishes from finding them on the chart. Tantaya has a circuit of one hundred and forty leagues, and is almost triangular in shape. [The clothing, weapons, rites, and food of this people are the same as that above.] Its center lies in fully twelve degrees north latitude.
Nearer the island of Mindanao than the above-named, and extending in a north and south direction ten leagues from the point of Mindanao, is another island called Baybay. It has a circumference of ninety-eight leagues, and forms a strait on the east with the island of Tandaya, less than a league wide; and another on the south with a very small island, called “Panae the little,” 6 through which strait one cannot pass, except in a small and light vessel. West of this strait is the island of Mazoga. It is reported here that this island is very small, and that it has a population of six or eight Indians. [It forms another strait, which can be passed by any ship.] The center of the said island of Baybay is in eleven degrees of latitude. [It has the same people, weapons, trade, and customs as the islands above.]
There is another island, called Zubu, where the camp was established, and remained until broken up by the Portuguese, on account of the excellent harbor formed by it with another island called Mattan—which is almost uninhabited, unwholesome, and a large part of it covered with swamps. It is here that Magallanes was slain. The port has two entrances, opening northeast and southwest. Through my influence and with [S: against] the consent of most of the men, the camp was removed to the island of Panae. I went there by order of the governor, and drew the plan of a fort, which now is being built. [It has the same people, and trade, and customs as the islands named above.] The center of it is in about ten and two-thirds degrees of latitude.
Farther west is another island, called Buglas, or Negros, because the inhabitants are black. It is one hundred and twenty-five leagues in circumference with a distance north and south of forty-five leagues, and east and west of twenty leagues. Its center lies in ten and one-third degrees. [It has the same people and weapons as the islands above.]
Northwest of Buglas lies Panae, an island abounding in rice and all kinds of provisions. The camp was moved thither, and, as abovesaid, I drew the plan of the said fort between the two arms of a river, because it is impossible to effect an entrance by one arm. In the other arm and below the fort, fourteen gabions were made and twelve large pieces of artillery mounted for the defense of the entrance and passage. The fort is situated two and one-half leagues inland, and the ground all the way to the fort is a swamp, covered with tangles of bushes; so that enemies can approach the said fort only through the river, where are planted the above-mentioned gabions and artillery. The position is excellent, and such that it needs only a few men to defend it against many. The bar of the river is not more than one braza deep; and its coast thereabout, for more than twenty leagues, is very forbidding. Its center lies in about eleven and one-third degrees of latitude.
Northeast of Panie is the island of Masbat, with a scanty and poor population. There were found gold mines from two to four estados7 in depth, somewhat more or less, although I have not measured them. I understand that the mines yield very little on account of the scanty population, and its trade is of slight value. [The people are the same as those of the above islands.] The center of this island lies in thirteen degrees of latitude.
Farther to the northeast of Masbat lies the island of Ybalon or Luzon. It is a large island, with many rivers, in which gold is found—although, as I have ascertained, in but little quantity, because its most influential inhabitants are Moros. While I was in Panae, [S: the leading man among its people] sent a Moro, his steward or treasurer to trade there; but he could hardly get for me one marco of gold in exchange for four of silver, which he bought for me. Buffaloes are to be found here. We have [M: not] explored much of its coast, and I have seen no one who could inform me fully concerning its south-eastern, southern, and eastern parts, because no one has sailed around it. Between this island of Ybalon and that of Panae, lies Masbat. Farther on, and lying north and south, are some other small islands, in one of which is to be found much brazil-wood. Although all the others have it, I mention this because the Anglis [S: Sangleyes] from the mainland of China come for it, in order to dye their silk.8 In this island of Luzon are three settlements of Moros, who do not know the law of Mahoma in its entirety. They eat no pork, and pay reverence to the said Mahoma. [The rest of the inhabitants are the same and have the same customs as those above.] The southern portion of this is in about thirteen and one-third degrees of latitude.
South of [that island of] Zubu, between it and Mindanao, is another small one, called Bohol; between Bohol and Matan lie [as already mentioned] many small islands—uninhabited, except for game; for which reason they contain many deer and wild boars, as is generally true in most of the islands. However, this is so warm a region that the game spoils on the very day when it is killed. This island contains many palms and roots, on which the natives live. Rice is lacking.
Southwest by south from the port of Cavite, which is in six and one-half degrees of latitude in the island of Mindanao where cinnamon grows, lies a small island, called Taguima.9 There the natives captured from the Portuguese a small vessel, killing or making prisoners many of its crew. The latter were ransomed by the people of Jolo, with whom the Portuguese are on friendly terms. We have not seen this island of Jolo. Its inhabitants are pirates.10 It lies to the southwest. Goats are found in Taguima, but no rice is harvested. Civet cats are found there. While we were bartering for cinnamon, men from two towns of that island came to us, and asked to be received as subjects and tributaries of your Majesty. One of these towns lies in seven degrees of latitude.
There are no lords in these islands. Each man is master of his own house and slaves; and the more slaves one owns, the greater and more influential is he reckoned. The people are divided into three classes. The Datos, who correspond to knights, are the most important; the Tigamas [S: Timaguas] are the freemen; and the Orispes are the slaves. The Datos boast of their old lineage. These people rob and enslave one another, although of the same island and even kindred. They are cruel among themselves. They do not often dare to kill one another, except by treachery or at great odds; and him who is slain his opponents continue to strike even after he is dead. Page 176
The word for mourning is marabae [S: marahaze; margin: magarihe]. Among their customs is this: that when some relative is killed, they do not cease mourning until they have avenged him [(on the Spaniards)]. If the dead person is a near relative, they quit mourning, when they have either killed a man or taken captive a woman. They cut their hair. In time of mourning, they withdraw into the house of the principal and nearest relative; and there, covered with old and filthy blankets, they crouch on the floor and remain in this position without talking or eating, for three days. During this time they only drink. After the three days, they eat nothing which has come in contact with fire until they have taken vengeance or observed their custom [S: ceremony]. They place on their feet and wrists some rings of a certain wood, called bejuco.11 When the reasons for mourning are not so serious, they are released from it by striking with a lance or a dagger a deer or a wild boar, even if the animal be already dead.
In every port [S: village] we find that the people have their god. All of them call him divate [S: Diuata], and for surname they give him the name of their village. They have a god of the sea and a god of the rivers. To these gods they sacrifice swine, reserving for this especially those of a reddish color. For this sacrifice they rear such as are very large and fat They have priests, whom they call bailanes; and they believe that the priests talk with their gods. When they are about to perform the sacrifice, they prepare the place with many green branches from the trees, and pieces of cloth painted as handsomely as possible. The bailan plays on a heavy reed pipe about one braza in length, such as are common to that land, in the manner of a trumpet; and, while thus engaged, the people say that he talks to their gods. Then he gives a lance-thrust to the hog. Meanwhile, and even for a long time before commencing the rite, the women ring a certain kind of bell, play on small drums, and beat on porcelain vases with small sticks—thus producing a sort of music which makes it very difficult for them to hear one another. After the hog is killed, they dress it, and all eat of the flesh. They throw a portion of the dressed animal, placed in nets, into the river or into the sea, according to the location of the village; and they say that they do this in order that the god of the river or that of the sea may eat it. No one eats of the part touched by the lance-thrust, except the bailan. These people believe that their souls go down below; and they say that world is better, and that [since] it is cooler than the world above, where the heat is so great. They are buried with their riches—blankets, gold, and porcelain. When chiefs die, slaves are killed and buried with them, so that they may serve their masters in the other world. If the dead man is renowned as a seaman, they bury with him the vessel in which he sailed, with many slaves to row him, so thathe may go in it to the other world.12 Page 178
Considering their size, those islands are very thinly populated. The people are generally very dark, more so than the natives of Nueba España. There are but few islands where blacks are not found among the mountains. The inhabitants of the lowlands are of the former kind, and are accustomed to tattoo their bodies, arms, legs, and even their faces, where a beard should grow, with very carefully-drawn and handsome figures. The greater the chief, or the more valiant he is, the more he tattoos himself, leaving untattooed only the parts covered by the breech clout—the [clothing or] dress worn by them, and which covers only the privy parts. Both men and women suffer no hair to grow on their bodies except on the head. They wear the hair long and take good care of it so that it will grow. The men bind their hair on the crown of the head with a small piece of gauze, and the women bind it with bands made of the hair itself. All of them, both men and women, are fond of [wearing] beads, earrings and perfumes. The garment worn by them [the women] is made of linen drawn together like a bag or sleeve with two very wide openings. The amount by which this garment is too wide they gather up into many folds upon the left side, which, knotted with the same linen, rest there. A small, tight-fitting shirt is worn, which does not reach to the knees [S: waist], and covers no more than the breasts. They wear garlands of flowers on their heads. It is a very immodest dress, for it leaves uncovered the greater part of the legs and body. The women are generally depraved. They are given to abominable lustful habits.
The weapons they use are the following: shields, breast-high, and little more than half a vara13 wide; lances, two and a half varas long, with iron and steel points a third as long as the lance, and as wide as the hand. In some districts the lance-points are long and ground to a very fine edge. Cutlasses or daggers, from a half to three-fourths of a vara long, are made of the same shape as the lance-points. Those people have armor consisting of cotton-lined blankets, and others of rattan. Some wear corselets, made of a very hard black wood resembling ebony. They use bows which are very strong and large, and much more powerful than those used by the English. The arrows are made of reeds, the third part consisting of a point made of the hardest wood that can be found. They are not feathered. They poison the arrows with a kind of herb, which in some regions is so deadly that a man dies on the same day when he is wounded; and, no matter how small the wound is, there is no remedy, and the flesh will surely decay unless the antidotal herb, which is found in Luzon, be first applied to the wound. Arrows are also discharged through blow-guns with the same effect, although not with the same range. The Moros, who trade with the Japanese and Sangleyes [S: Indians or Japanese], possess in their houses, and bring in their vessels, bronze culverins, so excellent and well cast, that I have never seen their equal anywhere.
Rice is the main article of food in these islands. In a few of them people gather enough of it to last them the whole year. In most of the islands, during the greater part of the year, they live on millet, borona, roasted bananas, certain roots resembling sweet potatoes and called oropisa, as well as on yams [yuñames] and camotes14 whose leaves they also eat, boiled. They eat Castilian fowls and pork. In the islands inhabited by Moros, some goats are raised; but there are so few of them that wherever fifteen or twenty Spaniards arrive, no goats will be seen for the next two or three years. The cocoa-palm offers the greatest means of sustenance to the natives, for they obtain from it wine, fruit, oil, and vinegar. These people eat many kinds of herbs which grow both on land and in the sea. Some of these herbs have been used by our people as articles of food. The scarcity of all kinds of food here is such that—with all that is brought continually from all these islands, in three frigates, one patache, and all the other native boats that could be obtained—each soldier or captain could only receive [as his rations] each week two almudes of unwinnowed rice—which, when winnowed, yielded no more than three cuartillos. This ration was accompanied by nothing else, neither meat nor fish.
The natives sustain life by eating little and drinking much—so heavily, that it is a marvel if they are not drunken all the time, or at least from noon on. And the more important their position, the more intoxicated do they become, for they have more to spend for this purpose. The inhabitants of the coast are fishermen who barter their fish and buy from those living inland, who till the soil, the above-named foods. They eat all kinds of shell-fish and slimy plants which grow at the bottom of the sea. Page 181
They are but ill supplied with cloth. They use a kind of cloth made of wild banana leaves15 which is as stiff as parchment, and not very durable. The natives of Panae and Luzon manufacture a cotton cloth with colored stripes, which is of better quality. This cloth is used by the Spaniards when they can find it; otherwise they use the cloth above-mentioned. Both kinds are so scarce, that we are suffering great privations for lack of clothing. The people are very poor. There are few islands where, as it is reported, gold does not exist—but in so small quantities that quite commonly [as I think I have said] a native can be hired to dig, or to work as he is commanded, for three reals a month. A slave can be bought for fifty reals, or sometimes for a little more. It is therefore evident that it is not possible to save from the mines much gold, as can be seen by any man who zealously wishes to serve your Majesty who laments the great expenses of both men and money incurred here.
In that land people buy and sell slaves to one another in great numbers, and even bring them to the islands of the Moros. Most slaves are children and grandchildren of slaves from time immemorial. In this connection, it seems to me that it would be less troublesome, and that God would be better served, if the Spaniards bought these slaves and took them to Nueva España, where they would become Christians; they would thus supply the great need for slaves there, and would prove a resource for the Spaniards who live there.
Farther north than the aforesaid islands are others, the nearest to Luzon being called Xipon [S: Japan]. We have not seen this island, and what I shall say about it has been related to us by the Moros who carry on trade with that land. It is said that the island possesses silver mines, and that silks and other necessary articles from China are purchased with the silver; for all the people, both men and women, are well clad and shod. And because of being so near China, they have acquired the civilization of that country. These people manufacture very good cutlasses, which they call legues. These have single or double hilts, are very sharp, and are curved like Turkish cutlasses. On the side without any edge, they are about half as thick as the finger, but the edge is very sharp. It is said that Theatin religious have gone thither from Portugal; but I do not know the result of their mission. The Portuguese tell me that the natives of that land are considered very warlike. The women are virtuous, modest, and very jealous of the men [a very rare thing for these regions]. They [S: the men] shave or pluck out the hair from their heads.
A little to the east between these islands and China are the islands of Lequios. They are said to be rich; but we have been unable to learn much about them, for I have not seen any one who has been there. For this reason I conclude that they must be small, and that the people are not much given to comme
Likewise immediately north is the mainland called China. This is a vast country—so much so that, as we are assured, it extends as far as Tartary; for merchants who have traded there say that the two nations are at war with each other. The Chinese are highly civilized. They work iron with tools. I have seen iron inlaid with gold and silver, as cunningly and skilfully wrought as they could be in any part of the world. In like manner they work in wood and all other materials. The Portuguese say that the Chinese are good people—that they possess somewhat of the light of the world, but they see it with only one eye. They make gold into threads as is done in Milan, and weave raised designs of it on damasks and other silken fabrics. They possess all kinds of weapons that we have. Their artillery, judging it by some culverins I have seen that came from China, is of excellent [S: better] quality and better cast than ours. They have also a form of government; but they do not elect a governor (or captain, as they call him) unless he is a great astrologer and has first foretold the weather, future events, and the true outcome of things; so that he may be able to provide for future necessities. In each city and province there is an armed garrison. The people dress well; they wear beards and are as white as ourselves. The women are very beautiful, except that they all have small eyes. They wear long shirts and robes, reaching to the ground. They dye and dress their hair carefully, and it is even said that they rouge and color their faces. It is said that the king of that land is so great a lord, that his camp is composed of three hundred thousand men, two hundred thousand of whom are mounted on horses. On painted articles I have seen pictures of horsemen armed with coats of mail, Burgundy helmets, and lances. The country is so fertile and well provisioned, that it is believed to be the best country in the world. The Moros with whom I have talked have told me that the Chinese are not as warlike as we are, and are heathens. They possess matrices16 with which they have printed books from time immemorial.
If your Majesty desires to have this land explored, I am at your service provided I be given two ships of about two hundred and fifty tons each, with forty soldiers to each vessel, and all the artillery, ammunition, and provisions that will be necessary. Then, with our Lord's help, and bearing some power of ambassador to the lord of the land, I will enter the country myself, returning by way of Nueva España after having explored the coast. I will ascertain how both trade and conquest must be carried on there. I will carry out all other orders that your Majesty may be pleased to give me, as well as whatever your service shall demand. Southeast [S: west] by east from the island of Zubu are the islands of Maluco, where cloves are found; and it is not known whether they exist in any other regions. They lie below the equatorial line The names of the islands in which cloves are found are: Maluco, Gigolo [S: Jilolo], Maquian, Motel, and Momoy. Near those islands [it is said is one called Sunda, which contains pepper. To the east of those islands], at a distance of one hundred and twenty-five leagues, is Nueba Guinea, and three hundred and thirty-two leagues west of them is the island of Burney. This island is well-provisioned; and according to what some Moros, natives of Burney, told me, it belongs to one lord. It is said that there are a great many pearls of enormous size, even as large as pigeon's eggs; but my opinion is that all the natives of that land are great liars, and exaggerate things.
All these islands with more than two hundred and fifty leagues hereabout, are included in the compact which the sacred Majesty now in glory made with the most serene king, Don Juan of Portugal. Even if it were outside of the compact, if your Majesty does not wish to continue the spice trade, on account of the great expense and the little profit that it now yields, or will yield in the future, I think that it would be advisable to withdraw the people from the islands, as your Majesty can hope to draw no other profit from this land. I say this as a loyal subject of your Majesty, for it grieves me to see so much money wasted on a land which can be of no profit whatever.
If your Majesty prefers the spices, I think that it would be better to break the agreement, since it is for so small an amount, that three hundred and fifty thousand ducats17 would be gained in two ships going from Nueba España to those regions. When this is done, your Majesty's domains will extend as far as Maluco, according to what was told me by the Augustinian friar, by name Fray Martin de Herrada, a native of Navarra, who was prior at the time when I left the Western Islands. He is a great arithmetician, geometrician, and astrologer [—one of the very greatest in the world]. He has measured this, and told me so. He has also written a book on navigation and the measurement of the earth and the sea, east and west. I believe that he will send the book by Fray Diego de Herrera, prior of the aforesaid islands of your Majesty. Then we shall be able to trade in spices with the whole world; for as I have said before, cloves cannot be found save in the five islands of Maluco.
I have written all that can be said on this subject; and I say this because I have seen other accounts both in print and in manuscript, which depart very much from the truth. In order that your Majesty may not be deceived, I sign this account with my name.
If your Majesty should desire to know especial details about that land, I will, at your command, give oral information.
[Endorsed on Sevilla MS: “Superb! Excellent! Relation of the route to the Western Islands.” And in a more modern hand: “By Captain Juan de la Ysla. Islands of the West.”] Page 187
1 Regarding the authorship of this document, see Bibliographical Data. In its presentation here, we have interpolated in brackets the additional matter found in the Sevilla copy; and likewise words which alter the sense, prefixing to these “S:”, to indicate the different reading of the Sevilla document. Matter in the Madrid copy which would give a different meaning from that at Sevilla is indicated by “M:”. The title of the latter is: “Relation of the Western Islands, and the route thither from Nueva España.”
2 The brisa is the north, northeast, or east wind, the vendavál the south or southwest wind. The observations made for a considerable period at the Jesuit observatory in Manila indicate the main prevalence of winds as follows: north and northeast, November to January, inclusive; east, February to April; south and southwest, May to October. See Algué's account of these winds, in his Archipiélago Filipino, vol. ii, ch. iv; also (with additional observations, and citations from other authorities) in Report of the Philippine Commission, 1900, vol. iv, pp. 227–256. In these is discussed the question whether these prevalent winds can be properly termed monsoons.
3 Probably some of the Marshall Islands.
4 The Chinese tael (weight) is equivalent to 1 1–3 United States ounces avoirdupois. The mace (masse) is one-tenth of the tael, and equals 60.42 grains. These terms are also applied to moneys of account in Chinese trade.
5 The words “one thousand” do not appear in the Madrid copy, having probably, in the course of time, been worn off (as have other words or letters) from the edges of the paper.
6 Now Panaón; separated from Leyte (here called Baybay) by Panaón Strait. Tandaya was the early name of Samar Island, which is separated from Leyte by San Juanico Strait. Mazoga is the same as Massava of other early writers; it is now Limasaua Island.
7 The estado was equivalent to 1.85472 English yards, having nearly the same value as the braza.
8 Probably the sibucao (Cæsalpina sapan); its wood produces a red coloring-matter which is highly valued, especially by the Chinese. Some varieties of it are more highly esteemed than are those produced in Brazil. These “Brazil” Islands are apparently the small groups north of Luzón, now known as Batanes and Babuyanes.
9 An archivist's marginal note on the Sevilla MS. reads: “Doubtless this should be Bassilani”—which is the modern Basilan, an island southwest of Mindanao.
10 Regarding piracy in the Philippines, see Barrantes's Guerras piraticas de Filipinas (Madrid, 1878); and Montero y Vidal's Historia de la piratería en Mindanao, Jolo y Borneo (Madrid, 1888).
11 A term (imported from America, and from the Nahuatl language) applied to several species of Calamus: the rattan—a plant of great use to the natives for many purposes.
12 Compare the custom among the Norse vikings—a warrior, at the approach of death from natural causes, embarking alone in his vessel, floating out to sea, and setting it afire, that he might perish with it.
13 The table for Spanish measures of length: 12 puntos = 1 linea; 12 lineas = 1 pulgada; 6 pulgadas = 1 sesma; 2 sesmas = 1 piè (the foot, = 11.128 U. S. inches); 3 piès = 1 vara; 4 varas = 1 estadal. Also, 9 lineas = 1 dedo; 12 dedos = 1 palma. The legua of 8,000 varas equals 4.2151 United States miles.
14 Camote: the sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas.)
15 An interesting reference to one of the earliest and most characteristic industries among the natives of the Philippines. The “wild banana” is the abacá (Musa textilis); its product (made from the fibers of the leaves) is commonly known as “Manila hemp,” and is one of the chief exports from the islands. Two kinds of cloth are now made by the natives from the abacá, called sinamay and tinampipi; in making them, they use only primitive handlooms. See Zúñiga's description of this manufacture, in Estadismo (Retana's edition), vol. ii, pp. 41, 42: cf. pp. 94, 95, where he praises the cotton cloths made in the Philippines.
16 The Spanish word is moldes; this sentence regarding the art of printing in China is not in the Sevilla MS. Gonzalez de Mendoza gives an interesting account in his Hist. gran China (Madrigal edition, Madrid, 1586), part i, book iii, ch. xvi, fol. 87–87b; he says that the Chinese understood and used the art of printing more than five hundred years before Gutenberg. He supposes that this invention was carried to Germany via Russia and Muscovy, or by way of the Red Sea and Arabia. The Augustinian Herrada and his associates took to the Philippines a great many books, “printed in various parts of that kingdom [China], but mostly in the province of Ochian [the former province of Hu-Kwang, now forming the two provinces of Hou-Nan and Hou-Pe] ... for therein were bookshops of the largest size,” where books were sold at low prices. In ch. xvii (fol. 89–91), Mendoza enumerates the subjects treated in the books procured by Herrada; they included history, statistics, geography, law, medicine, religion, etc. See also Park's translation of Mendoza (Hakluyt Society, London, 1853), vol. i, pp. 131–137, and editorial note thereon regarding antiquity of printing in China.
17 See the Treaty of Zaragoza, Vol. I, pp. 222–239.
Letter from the Viceroy of New Spain to Felipe II
Royal Catholic Majesty:
On the fifteenth of November there arrived at the port of Acapulco one of two ships, which sailed from the Philipinas islands on the first of July. The second, the flagship, entered on the twenty-fourth, for it was leaking so badly that they succeeded in making port only with great difficulty. On account of this danger, knowing the nearness of the land, the flagship had determined to keep off shore, thinking this course possible because of its better sailing qualities. Ultimately they availed themselves of the land only for the purpose of taking aboard water because their supply was failing. They entered harbor without having lost either any people or any of their cargo. Don Pedro de Luna, the captain, died of illness two hundred leagues away from land, as did a few sailors also.
Fray Diego de Herrera had taken passage in one of these vessels. It was his intention to continue the journey to Spaña to give your Majesty an account of the wrongs committed in those islands, because of the lack of justice; and to tell you that the soldiers, inasmuch as they are unpaid and receive no rations, are being supported at the Indians' expense, and that on this account many extortions are practiced. The factor Andres de Mirandaola, Captain Juan Pacheco, and Juan de Morones, sergeant-major, also came. The factor and sergeant-major were sent because of certain crimes which they are said to have committed; however, I do not think that these are very serious. By these men I have been informed of matters relating to those islands, and of the nature of the land. They give a very good account thereof, especially of the island of Luzon, where there are settlements very thickly inhabited, by both Indians and Moors [Moros], although the latter must not be thought of as really of that race, but only as having had the name attached to them.1 It is not believed that they are very sincere in the profession of the Mahometan religion, as many of them both drink wine and eat pork. There are many gold mines, which are worked similarly to the silver mines here. A few of some depth were seen there, although the people, naturally indolent, work them but little—and then only to the extent of their necessities, when the opportunity of barter is offered them—declaring that whenever they have any need for the gold, the mines are close by. Fray Diego de Herrera gave me an account of many other things likewise. I am sending an abstract of his report today, which has been confirmed by those who have come from those regions.
Every one asserts that the chief deficiency of that land is justice; and without justice there is no safety. He who at the present time exercises the duties of general is not, I believe, held in much esteem; for they knew him when he held the inferior position of a bookseller here. To enter into this subject is very disagreeable to me, but, as your Majesty's servant, I am obliged to mention this; for I am convinced that, if this venture is to succeed, as I hope in God that it will succeed, your Majesty must appoint a man to that office who will be respected and esteemed, and who possesses the necessary qualifications both for peace and war. I beg your Majesty not to make trial, especially in the case of those who are to participate in the administration of justice, of men from the Indias.
As for the question of helping the Philipinas islands, I have up to this time adhered to the instructions which your Majesty has ordered to be given me. Since I came here, I have never failed in any year to send a ship or ships with reënforcements and munitions; but sea and land and climate have their effect, and the number of men is constantly diminished; so that, although people are regularly sent thither, they are actually but little increased in numbers. The object and plan which should be pursued in matters yonder I do not know; but, whatever it may be, people are necessary, for the islands are many. As for the mainland of China, it is so large a land and so thickly settled that one of its hundred divisions, according to report, is as big as half the world itself. It is learned from the Chinese that they admit strangers only with reluctance to their land. For this reason, more and better soldiers would be needful than those who could go from this land, for those born here are but little used to hardship—although it is also understood that the people of China, in spite of possessing weapons, horses, and artillery, are but little superior in valor to the Indians. Commercial relations are now beginning to be established with the Chinese; but until this is definitely completed the hopes of the merchants here will not rise, in spite of all I do and contrive with them to encourage and spur them on; for, to tell the truth, no certain information comes of a nature to induce them to go. And one of the difficulties consequent upon this commerce and intercourse is, that neither from this land nor from España, so far as can now be learned, can anything be exported thither which they do not already possess. They have an abundance of silks, and linen likewise, according to report. Cloths, on account of the heat prevalent in the country, they neither use nor value. Sugar exists in great abundance. Wax, drugs, and cotton are super-abundant in the islands, whither the Chinese go to obtain them by barter. And thus, to make a long matter short, the commerce with that land must be carried on with silver, which they value above all other things; and I am uncertain whether your Majesty will consent to this on account of having to send it to a foreign kingdom. I beg your Majesty to consider all these matters, to inform me concerning them, and to give explicit orders to the person in charge here so that no mistakes may be made.
The management of affairs here is attended with great difficulty, especially concerning the people who shall go; for it is almost necessary to force them to go. Also with regard to the ships, which are taken wherever they can be found. Usually they are miserable little vessels, which draw but little water, and cost almost as much in employing them as a ship of six hundred toneladas—necessitating, as they do, pilot, master, mate, and sailors. Nor is it possible to get along with less, especially for the different watches, for otherwise the vessels could not possibly be navigated. And, inasmuch as it does not appear that the merchants are inclined to buy and fit out ships with a cargo, I am not sure, if this business is to go on at your Majesty's expense, whether it would not be wise to have two ships of about five hundred toneladas constructed; and to arrange that one of them should not return the same year it went, in order to have time to collect thoroughly all the articles of barter; but that it should return the following year, and another ship then set forth from here. In this way, and in accordance with this plan, after the first expedition a ship would sail from there every year, while another would depart hence every year. One of them alone would be sufficient to contain the people going to those islands, and keep business progressing and increasing there, since there is no regular expedition.
These ships bear one hundred and thirty-six marcos of gold for your Majesty and some few gold jewels and other things, as your Majesty will order confirmed by this memorandum which the general sends. Likewise they carry almost two hundred and eighty quintals of cinnamon, besides some belonging also to individuals, which I have not seized from them, but have paid them a moderate price for it, of which a previous account has been given to your Majesty. Since your Majesty has not had any answer sent me regarding it, I gather that your Majesty does not desire that this should be done. Likewise I infer the same with regard to other things to which your Majesty has had no answer made me. And besides all this, the ships carry silks of different colors (both damasks and satins), cloth-stuffs, a little gold, and a lot of cotton mantles, both white and colored; a quantity of wax, glazed earthenware; and other knick-knacks such as fans, parasols, desks, and numberless other little manufactured articles. On account of its being an initial attempt, and because the merchants' interest in this commerce has not been roused or acquired, the matter of import and export duty, as I have written your Majesty, has not yet been settled upon. For the future, however, I will see that they make payment like the rest.
I do not believe that the cinnamon will prove a success in this land, for it is very little used, because of the use here of other spices which grow in these regions. I beg your Majesty to order what disposition is to be made of the same; and likewise to be pleased to advise me whether cinnamon imported by individuals shall be allowed to be brought here.
They say that in an island called Cauchi, not two hundred leagues from Manilla (where the Spaniards are settled now), there is a great quantity of pepper, and that the Chinese resort thither for trade. This seems to be the best site which could be chosen, and to secure it would obviously be attended with but little difficulty. I see no other objection in this, other than that I fear the opportunity for general trade, which is desired there, may not exist; and that the Chinese will resent being deprived of their trade, which must be very lucrative to them, or having to depend upon the Spaniards to carry on the same. But all the ability to remove these obstacles, and to arrange everything satisfactorily, depends upon the person whom your Majesty may place there to administer justice, and to see that no wrongs are done; for in the absence of unjust conditions, self-interest will attract people.
Your Majesty orders that no Portuguese shall go to the islands; yet it is understood that some have gone there, and have married Indian women. Will your Majesty please order whether they shall, on this account, be allowed to remain; or whether they, together with the Indian women, shall be sent away?
I had given orders that, when any ship should come from the islands, it should reconnoiter the coast of China on the way, in order that more information of the land and its commerce might be obtained. I gave your Majesty an account of this before the step was taken; and I likewise enclosed the instructions concerning the procedure, which I thought should be observed. General Miguel Lopez had ordered that it should be adhered to; but when he died, it appeared to Guido de Labezarii to be a dangerous enterprise on account of the coast being unfamiliar and unknown, as well as a region where our ships might fall in with Portuguese or other people. This is a fact, but nothing of importance can be done without danger. Still we shall postpone the carrying out of this until your Majesty shall arrange matters concerning that land; and the person who manages affairs there will make all suitable provision, since he will have more information upon the subject.
As I have already written your Majesty, there is a lack of artillery here, for those islands take it all—so that I have no artillery for a ship which I am now despatching, and which was built in the port of Acapulco; and I shall have to take some of that brought by the other vessels coming here. In future, will your Majesty kindly order some to be sent both for an emergency like this, and for these royal settlements?
Together with this ship, I will endeavor to send one of those that have arrived here which may be repaired; and in them I wish to send all the people able to go—a number not in excess of one hundred and eighty men—and some munitions. The flagship, which is of larger tonnage, will be repaired and put into shape, for it is in bad condition; as well as another ship which was to sail thence within twenty days. Afterward, the vessels will remain, in order that they may go from here in a year, and take more people with them. Meanwhile, your Majesty will have time to make such provision as you think best.
The rigging which is bought here is that conveyed by the ships from España, and is very costly and very inferior in quality; but nothing else can be done. I beg your Majesty, therefore, to send from yonder a large quantity of rigging, both small and cable size, for ships of small tonnage and for larger vessels (provided your Majesty think it is well to do so). Please have sent also a lot of canvas. Your Majesty will have to order the officials to make selection of both, and to see that it is very good; or else let them send to Vilbao [Bilbao] where they say the best rigging is made, and at the most reasonable prices. This must come, moreover, with the fleet, if it is to be utilized by these ships.
The accountant Melchor de Legazpi, on hearing of the death of his father, wished to go to throw himself at your Majesty's feet, in order to beg you to remember his father's services, and how he had died in your royal service; and he had for this purpose sold his property, and was poor and even not free from debt. However, I prevented him from going, by telling him to write to your Majesty, and recall his father's services to your Majesty. Certainly, from the accounts I have received, his father did perform such services; and I understand that he was a good man, and served with all possible loyalty.
The boon which his son desires does not lie in those islands, but must be given by your Majesty in this land, and to the extent that seems best to you, in order that certain of his sisters, who are of a marriageable age, may not be left unprovided for. In those islands he was to have had a repartimiento which they say was a very good one. This repartimiento possessed a large amount of provisions, and is called Vitis and Lau. I believe that it was this which General Miguel Lopez wished your Majesty to grant him and the same thing is desired by the successor to his office. My opinion is that it would be well to annex it to the royal crown, in order to supply soldiers and sailors with provisions from it. Your Majesty could order the accountant Legazpi to be given such recompense in this land as your Majesty may be pleased to give him; for by remembering the dead your Majesty will encourage the living—so that, in addition to the mere duty involved, they may die for you with the utmost zeal. Whatever your Majesty may do for him, moreover, I shall consider as a favor done to myself.
As for the procedure which this royal Audiencia is to adopt with the Inquisition, there is only a mere document which bears no signature; a copy of which I send which relates thereto. Neither the auditors nor alcaldes are satisfied with this, and they think that they should possess more authority than an unsigned paper. Your Majesty will send whatever orders seem best to you, for there is no other provision here save the general order which your Majesty gave for all the Inquisitions.
I am sending your Majesty today copies of some letters which were Written to me from the islands, in order that your Majesty may have an account of those regions, up to the departure of these ships. One is from General Miguel Lopez Legazpe, and another from Guido de Labezarrii; two from Fray Martin de Rada, and two from Fray Francisco de Ortego. I am sending also a copy of the list of gold mines of the islands; the certificate of the villages which have been annexed to the royal crown; the procedure adopted by the master-of-camp, Martin de Goyti, in making the treaty with the Indians; the peace made with Indians of Manilla; the account, given by a Chinese, of the coast of China, and the picture of the same; a little book which Fray Martin de Rada sends your Majesty, de latitudine et longitudine locorum invenienda, the memorandum sent by General Guido de Labezarii to your Majesty; and, finally, the instructions which I had given to the person who was to go to explore the Chinese coast. I enclose also the ordinances which your Majesty ordered sent to the officials of Veracruz with affidavit of delivery; and a copy of the decrees which Cardinal de Siguenca, inquisitor-general, sent.2 May our Lord preserve the royal Catholic person of your Majesty many years, and grant you the increase of kingdoms and seigniories, as we your Majesty's servants desire. Mexico, December 5, 1573.
Your Majesty's loyal servant, who kisses your royal hands,
Don Martin Enriquez
[Superscription: “To His Royal Catholic Majesty, King Philipe our sovereign, in his Royal Council of the Indies.”] Page 196
1 The term Moros (“Moors”) was applied by the Spaniards and Portuguese to these Malayans, simply because they were, at least nominally, Mahometans. Their residence was mainly in the islands of Mindanao, Jolo, Paragua, and Balábac. Most of them were pirates, who for centuries harassed not only the Spanish settlements, but those of the Filipinos.
2 A note by the editor of Cartas de Indias says: “The documents here named do not accompany this letter.”
Documents of 1574
•Letter to Felipe II. Andrés de Mirandaola; January 8
•3Las nuevas quescriven de las yslas del Poniente Hernando Riquel y otros; January 11
•Decrees regarding Manila and Luzon. Felipe II; June 21
•Opinion regarding tribute from the Indians. Martin de Rada; June 21
•Reply to Fray Rada's “Opinion.” Guido de Lavezaris, and others; [June?]
•Two letters to Felipe II. Guido de Lavezaris; July 17 and 30
•Slavery among the natives. Guido de Lavezaris; [July?]
Sources: The second of these documents is from a MS. in the archives at Simancas; the third, from Doc. inéd. Amér. y Oceanía; the remainder, from the Archivo general de Indias at Sevilla.
Translations: The second document is translated by José M. Asensio; the third, by Frederic W. Morrison; the sixth, by Alfonso de Salvio; the remainder, by Arthur B. Myrick. Page 197
Letter from Andres de Mirandaola to Felipe II
11. The1 mines of which we have been informed, and which have been seen thus far are those of Masbad, which are good, from the rivers of which it is said to be taken. Much gold is found in the island of Vindanao, in the districts of Butuan, Curigao, and Parasao. It is said that much gold is mined there and that it is the loftiest of all these islands. In the island of Luzon, where we are at present, are the following mines and rivers: In Patro there are mines, as well as in Bondo and Pacorago, and in Malabago, in the district of Galvan. There are mines likewise in the province of Ylocos, in the neighborhoods of Balatao, Turrey, Alingay, and Dinglas. These are very rich mines from which, it is said, much gold is extracted, and that there are many metals and rivers which have not been examined. On the other coast there are also mines, which are called those of Paracali, and a river is near by; from there much fine gold is taken out. In other parts there are more mines, which will yield a great deal of gold throughout, if Spaniards operate and work them.2
12. The kinds of gold that are found among the natives of the city and vicinity of Manila are: Bizlin, which is worth two pesos a tael. The weight of a tael is one and one-eighth ounces. The second kind is Malubay, and the third is Linguinguin. These are the kinds of gold with which the natives trade and barter. The Malubay gold is worth the same as the Bizlin. The Linguinguin gold is worth four pesos. There is another kind of gold which the Spaniards call orejera [earring], which is worth five pesos. The Indians call it panica. There is another finer sort of gold which they call ylapo and another which they call guinuguran. From what I have heard this last is the standard, because in assay it is equal to the wrought gold of Spanish jewelry. All these fine golds in the possession of the natives are never used by them except for some marriage or other important affair. For goods for which they trade and barter, they use Malubay and Bizlin and Linguinguin.
13. And if your Majesty attempt henceforth other and more important things in this land, it will be necessary to have towns and ports here, because this land is in the near neighborhood and almost in the midst of other lands—Japan, China, Jaba, Borney, Malucos, and Nueva Guinea, so that one can go to any of those regions in a short time. It is a healthy land of tolerable climate, and it has sufficiently good harbors where there is abundance of wood and timber, and other things necessary for the building of ships; and it would cost but little to bring workmen, sails, and some articles which are not to be had there. It is also necessary to make a good harbor there, in order that ships from outside may find anchorage. It is very dangerous for large and deep vessels to pass among so many islands, with their shoals and tides. It would therefore be necessary to build there galleys and light-draught oared vessels, in order to go to those regions that I mention above, and to carry cargoes which the heavy vessels would have to carry to this Nueva España; the latter would not leave any port of those islands which might be settled for this purpose. They could thus cruise and trade in all places in a very short time; and the heavy ships would only have to go to the harbor, to take on their cargoes and return.
14. Of the mainland I will make a report conforming to what I have heard, and what I have been able to get from the natives of it—both those who lived in Manila, and those who have traded between the city of Manila and the mainland, whence come the ships that have visited the Spanish settlements. From what I have heard, there are, for two hundred leagues (rather less than more), towns and fortresses ready for conquest, on the coast whence have come these ships, as far as Canton. On one river there is a fortress, containing a certain number of soldiers as a garrison; but their number I could not ascertain from those people. There are at the mouth of the river a few islets and shoals. There is another fortress and town, about fourteen leagues farther up the coast, in a little bay, called Occia. Opposite the bay are a few islets, which are apparently uninhabited. About ten leagues farther up the coast there is another river, with a town and fortress called Sihua. Farther up the coast about twelve leagues there is another large and very swollen river which from what I have heard makes a junction with the river of the city of Canton. There is a town and fortress here called Cincin. It is understood that from that port sail the ships that come to Manila, and others that go to Vindoro, Balayan, and Elen.3 Farther up the coast is a large bay with many islets at its mouth, one of which is called Amyhu. Within the bay there is a fort and a town called Aycum. Farther inland there is a very broad river that leads to Canton; about two leagues up there is another fort and town called Cionciu, from which ships also come hither for our trade, because, as I learned from the natives, that is a large province, and has a great amount of commerce. About ten leagues farther up the coast there is a broad river with a fort and a town named Tisciu. Opposite this river there is an island called La Mao. About fourteen leagues farther is the great river of Canton where it is said there is a large fort with an ordinary garrison—as nearly as I could make out, of about six or seven hundred soldiers, who guard the fort, and their captain and governor, from the city and province of Canton. Opposite this river are islets where the Portuguese go to trade, because they are not allowed to enter Canton.4 The first of these islets, as one enters the river, is called Tanquian; and then come the islands where the Portuguese anchor their ships, where there are neither houses nor anything else; but it serves as a harbor for their vessels. The place where they are is called the quiao of Canton. Even as far as Paquin [Peking], which is the city of the king of China, it is said that one would have to be on the road a year; and all the route would be found full of cities and large provinces. Those on the road are Chincheo, Cantun, Hinchiu, Mimipou, Ouchiu, Yrinari, Sisvan, Conceonau, Nanguin, and Paquin, where the court and the king reside. There are other provinces, namely Suchiu, Veou, Histau, Cencay. The last king, who died two years ago, was named Ontee, and his son who succeeded him is called Tayçii.5 The latter has issued a general pardon for all those, who were out of their native lands, who should return freely to the condition in which they were during the life of his father; for, before, there was a law that he who did not return to his country within a year should be condemned to death, and his goods confiscated for the expenses of justice. But this new law ordered that the former law would not be enforced for four years, within which time those who wished to return to their former conditions might do so freely. Therefore some of those converted to our holy faith, who were in the city of Manila, have returned with their wives and children. Father Fray Augustin de Alburquerque who is charged with the conversion of the Chinese, wished to go to the mainland this year with these Christians and the traders who came to the port of Manila. It seemed that there was no way of getting there—because, as we are told, a law had been passed that no foreigner whatever might enter the mainland under the penalty of losing his life; and those who convey them thither should receive the same punishment. Accordingly, no one dared to take foreigners thither. The fertility, abundance, riches, and curiosities of die land need not be related here, on account of the notoriety that, from the beginning, exists regarding these things. Of all the things that Europe has, cloth and velvet are the only ones lacking in this country; in all else it is better supplied—both in food, and in other particular and interesting articles. In the City of Mexico, January viii, MD. LXXIIII. Catholic royal Majesty, your Catholic royal Majesty's faithful servant, who humbly kisses your Majesty's royal feet, and commends himself to your royal favor,
Andres de Mirandaola Page 204
1 The latter part only of this document is here presented; for somewhat more than half of it is practically a duplicate of Legazpi's Relation of 1570—which see (ante, pp. 108–112), with footnotes indicating all important variations therefrom found in the first half of the Mirandaola letter. The part appearing here is matter additional to the Legazpi Relation.
2 For localities in which gold is found in the Philippines, see Philippine Gazetteer, pp. 83, 84. See alsoCombés's Hist. de Mindanao, lib. 1, cap. iv, with Retana's note thereon, col. 787; in the note is information apparently obtained from this document of our text.
3 The viceroy of New Spain, Martin Enriquez, makes the following interesting comments on the Chinese trade with the Philippines, in a letter to the king dated January 9, 1574: “Since I wrote to your Majesty by the despatch ship, I have seen some of the articles which have been received in barter from the Chinese; and I consider the whole thing as a waste of effort, and a losing rather than a profitable business. For all they bring are a few silks of very poor quality (most of which are very coarsely woven), some imitation brocades, fans, porcelain, writing desks, and decorated boxes; indeed, did I not have respect for more than the good government of this land, I would not permit a single one of these things to be brought into this kingdom. To pay for these they carry away gold and silver, and they are so keen that they will accept nothing else. I am told that they took away more than forty thousand ducats in gold and silver from the islands; and if this were not regulated, they would always have the best of it—although, if the Spaniards who traffic there with them were business men, they themselves would reject the goods carried to them, and would try to ascertain what goods the Chinese have and their value, and arrange so that the exchange should be profitable. I tell your Majesty of this because I shall write the general no more than that he must not permit Spaniards to carry on barter with gold that has not paid the tax.”
4 In 1560 the Portuguese obtained the loan of a spot near the mouth of the Canton estuary, where they were permitted to establish a trading-post, which was named Macao. Before many years elapsed, more than five hundred Portuguese merchants resorted thither annually to trade. “By the regular payment of their rent (five hundred taels a year), as well as by a judicious system of bribing, the Portuguese long enjoyed the practical monopoly of the external trade of the great mart of Canton with the West.” See D. C. Boulger's History of China, ii, pp. 146, 169.
5 The Chinese rulers here referred to are known in history by different names from those here given, even after making allowance for their pronunciation by Spaniards. Moutsong, twelfth emperor of the Ming dynasty, died in 1572, and was succeeded by his son Chintsong, better known under the name Wanleh. As this prince was then but six years old, his mother acted as regent during his minority.
News from the Western Islands by Hernando Riquel and Others
I have always given advices of affairs hereabout, and therefore do so at the present, referring to some things which have happened since I last wrote—a letter sent by the last ships which arrived in that kingdom in the year 1570. I will mention the most notable events, leaving other and unimportant matters for other writers who may be less occupied than I; and I refer you to the captains, passengers, and other persons who go in these ships.
On the seventeenth of November of the year 1570, the governor Miguel Lopez de Legaspi left the river of Panai for Cubie.1 According to the orders given him by his Majesty, he established a town of fifty inhabitants, to whom he allotted repartimientos of Indians,2 with the approbation of the provincial, FraMartin de Herrada, and of the master-of-camp and the captains. Page 207
After establishing this town he returned to Panae, where, after his arrival, he remained until he prepared for the expedition to Manila—a city in the island of Luzon, and at present the principal settlement and camp of his Majesty. He set out on the sixteenth of April of the year one thousand five hundred and seventy-one, on Easter Monday. They embarked on the galley called “La Leona de España,” completed in that season. On the way, they were detained thirty-two days before arriving at the said town of Manila. Before arriving there, and at about four leagues' distance, there came a spy sent by the chiefs to ascertain the purpose of the Spaniards in going thither. He was told by the governor that his purpose was one wholly of peace and friendship; and that, in order to confer about this more conveniently, and further to please the chiefs and natives, he was coming in person. The spy appeared greatly pleased at this, and then it was explained how the governor happened to go there, as has been said. He was well satisfied thereat, and, having received some presents from his Lordship, he returned to his people. The governor continued his voyage toward the port, with a mild and favoring wind. As the spy had not yet returned, the people of the town, as soon as they perceived us, commenced to set the houses on fire. As soon as the spy came, he made them put out the fire, explaining that our purpose was peaceful. They were thus reassured, and the chiefs—the aged Rraxa [Raja], Aljandora, Maguno, Marlanavay, and Salelaxa, the principal men of that land—prepared to come to receive us on the way. Raxa Soliman, through fear on account of what he did last year, did not accompany the others. When the governor learned that he did not come because of fear, he sent him by these chiefs assurance of safety. On the following day he came, but displayed continual fear. He excused himself for the past with fluency and adroitness; and, according to the reasons which he gave, there was no guilt in his actions. “As you already know, there is no king and no sole authority in this land; but everyone holds his own view and opinion, and does as he prefers. There were some persons more powerful than I, for, without license from me, they violated the peace and friendship, thus obliging me to be guilty of a lapse of duty. But if it had not been done in this wise, and they had done it with my approbation and advice, I would merit punishment. If I were king of this land, instead of being only the master of my own estate, the word I had given would not have been broken. But as this depended on the many, I could not, nor can I henceforth, do more than personally endeavor that my subjects and friends keep the peace and friendship that was established.” When the governor understood the cause, he granted general pardon for the past, charging that now and in the future the promises made must be fulfilled. Therefore, in the name of his Majesty, he granted full grace. Because of these and other reasons, and by means of many presents, this Raja and all the other chiefs were satisfied, and peace was well established. A camp was formed in the land, and we have established a settlement, as well as we could; and every day more is being accomplished.
On the day of Pentecost there came to the shore of this settlement certain Moros of the region hereabout, some seventy in number, and with as many boats; they sent word to the governor that they came to fight with his troops. He replied that they must consider well what they were doing, as he was not willing to command that they be killed, or to inflict any harm upon them. On the contrary, he offered asylum and right of residence, that they might freely carry on their traffic. Many other arguments, promises, and presents were given them, and Christian exhortations made; but to no effect, for they stubbornly grew more boisterous. At this, the governor commanded that the master-of-camp, Martin de Goyti, should attack them. This the latter did with exceeding promptness, taking with him such troops as he chose. They embarked on several of the ships which had been made ready, leaving orders that the soldiers whom he had designated should follow him. They proceeded to a place marked by certain estuaries, to engage the enemy in naval battle. This was done, and the enemy were completely defeated; and they surrendered after inflicting but little injury upon the Spaniards, notwithstanding the great force of the enemy, and their many pieces of artillery. When they saw that they were conquered by so few Christians, they were astonished; and fear was inspired in all the natives of the country, who hold the Moros in high estimation. By this success, the country remained quiet for some time.
After this earnest efforts were made to come to friendly terms with the natives, and they were told of the treatment which had been accorded to the first ones. Several of those who had not been in this group declared that they desired no peace or friendship with the governor, or with his people; nor did they wish even to see or hear them, as no profit resulted to them thereby. On this account arguments were given pro and con; and in view of their obstinacy it was necessary to undertake to subdue them. This was done in many places, especially in a well-populated province named Panpagan [Pampanga], near this city of Manila. Demands and admonitions were given to all that they should render obedience to his Majesty. Those who refused to do so, it was necessary to fight and subdue, which was accomplished without much damage.
When the affairs of this country were in this condition, the governor heard of the arrival of two ships, the “Santiago” and the “San Juan.” This caused universal satisfaction; and although the ships arrived in a bad condition, they were repaired as well as they could be, in order to make the return voyage to that Nueva Spaña. The same pleasure was experienced at the coming of Don Pedro de Luna4 in the ship “Spiritu Santo.” Of the three ships, two were despatched last year; but on account of their late departure they experienced stormy weather on the sea, and were compelled to put into port again. Accordingly, God willing, they will sail at the beginning of the month of July of this year, 1573.
On the twentieth of August of the past year, 1572, our Lord was pleased to call to Himself the governor, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi. He died suddenly, having that day arisen in good health. In his cabinet a provision of his Majesty was found, issued by that royal Audiencia during his administration, on account of the death of the viceroy, Don Luis de Velasco. Therein were designated the successors of Miguel Lopez; and the office at this time fell to the treasurer, Guido de Labasaris. The authority was therefore delivered to him by the master-of-camp, his Majesty's officers, the cabildo of the city, and other officials. Everything is at peace and at his Majesty's service.
At present we reside in this city of Manila, in this island of Luzon, which is the most important of these districts. Both the former and the present governor apportioned the land, and the inhabitants thereof who were pacified. Thus as the land is subdued, it will be divided. Taxation is imposed in such a manner that every tributario must pay annually a piece of cotton cloth, which is very abundant in these islands. It must be ten [?] varas5 in length and two varas wide. It is a thin cloth used by the natives for their clothing. Moreover, there must also be given two arrobas of rice, and one hen. It must be understood that this can be levied without difficulty, as there is an abundance thereof, and everyone possesses these articles. There are many people, so it is evident that there will be some very important repartimientos, yielding good profit.
In this island, there are many gold mines, some of which have been inspected by the Spaniards, who say that the natives work them as is done in Nueva Spaña with the mines of silver; and, as in those mines, the vein of ore here is continuous. Assays have been made, yielding so great wealth, that I shall not endeavor to describe them, lest I be suspected of lying.6 Time will prove the truth.
The natives use this gold and mix it with copper, so cleverly as to deceive the best artisans of España.
Many traders have been encountered in this land; so, it is plain, the country will have them and the best trade which has been or may be discovered in all the Yndias.
A year ago there came to the port of this city three ships from China, and to the neighboring islands five more. Those which came here brought merchandise such as is used among the Chinese, and such as they bring here ordinarily. The distance from this island to the mainland is not great, the voyage lasting about eight days.
When those ships came in sight of the port, they sent from the sea to ask for assurance of safety. The governor granted it, and they were treated very well. They brought some trifles, although but a small quantity, as the natives, with whom they come principally to trade, commonly use, and for them are brought only large earthern jars, common crockery, iron, copper, tin, and other things of that kind. For the chiefs, they brought a few pieces of silks and fine porcelain; but these goods are not especially out of the common. For the Spaniards they brought some fine ware and other articles, which they readily sold, since we who are here have plenty of money, and the Chinese need it. They are so delighted that they will surely return in six or seven months, and will bring a great abundance of many very rare articles.
They brought specimens of many kinds of goods peculiar to their country, in order to arrange the price at which they can be sold—such as quicksilver, powder, pepper, fine cinnamon, cloves, sugar, iron, copper, tin, brass, silks in textiles of many kinds and in skeins, realgar,7 camphor, various kinds of crockery, luscious and sweet oranges; and a thousand other goods and trifles quite as many as the Flemings bring. Moreover, they brought images of crucifixes and very curious seals, made like ours. The cause of this unusual visit is that freedom, and passage to their own country, were given to some Chinese who were slaves among us; those people spread the news of this settlement, where they could come with safety and trade freely; accordingly they came, with the ships and goods to which we have already referred.
It must be understood that those people are very peculiar in their traffic, costume, and customs; every day this is more evident, since some of the inhabitants of this city are natives of China. From them it is learned that the land is very rich and thickly populated. The king is well prepared for war and the frontiers are well fortified with many forts with artillery and garrisons wherein strict watch is kept. They say that from the city of Canton, one of the strongest towns on the coast of the mainland, there is a distance of one year's travel before arriving at Paquin [Pekin], the residence of the king; this means from coast to coast of the land. There are many very populous cities on the way, but if his Majesty would be pleased So to command, they could be subdued and conquered with less than sixty good Spanish soldiers.
There are a few other small matters to be mentioned concerning Xolo, which will be made clear by what is sent in these ships. The matter most essential to this country is what I have already referred to today, regarding trade. May the good prospect of riches and traffic be all to the service of our Lord.
Relation of what was brought by the two ships which came from the islands of the West, and other things referring thereto given that the resources of those provinces may be better understood.8
448 marcos of gold, of different degrees of purity.
712 pieces of all kinds of silks.
312 quintals of cinnamon.
22,300 pieces of fine gilt china, and of other kinds of porcelain ware.
11,300 pieces of cotton cloth, each worth 2 pesos or more of common gold.
930 arrobas of wax, each arroba worth 15 pesos of common gold.
334 arrobas of cotton thread, each arroba worth 17 to 20 pesos of said gold.
Many other small articles were brought, the value of which cannot be given as it is not known.
By another ship which is now being loaded and which we expect every day, it is understood that there will come a large quantity of all the goods which these two ships have brought.
For their Majesties individually, are sent from those provinces many jewels and crowns of gold, with silks, porcelains, rich and large earthen jars, and other very excellent things which are sent by the chiefs in token of their allegiance. For the first fruits of that land two ships are being prepared in which reënforcements of two hundred soldiers will be sent. In the meantime, more ships are being prepared in which it is understood that many people will sail. This good news is forwarded to his Majesty by two duplicates in different ships, which, may it please our Lord, may arrive in safety. From Mexico, January xj, 1574.
[Endorsed at beginning. “Relation of the news written from the islands of the West, by Hernando Rrequel, government notary thereof, and others, whose letters came in one of two ships which left the port of Manila on the first of the month of July, 1573, and anchored at the port of Acapulco of this Nueva Spaña on November 15 of said year.”]
[Endorsed at end: “News of the Phelippinas Islands.” In another hand: “1573, 1574. Information about the Western (now Filipinas) Islands and China, written by Hernando Requel, government notary thereof, and others in the year 1573; sent from Mexico in 1574, whence he addressed them.”] Page 224
1 The Ultramar MS. (see Bibliographical Data at end of this volume) reads, “the river of Panaca to Cubo.”
2 From this point this paragraph in the Ultramar MS. reads as follows: “As justly as possible. But although it was done thus, complaints were heard, because not so many natives were found as the list made by the person who had visited this district gave us to understand. This list was so summary that it could not be true. The encomenderos urged that the governor should make the number of each repartimiento equal to the list. Therefore each encomendero received the number for which he petitioned.”
3 The Ultramar MS. reads here: “named Cebu, he set out for Prognal.”
4 Martin Enriquez writes to the king (January 9, 1574), urging that a new governor for the Philippines be appointed: “I beg your Majesty to appoint, within a very short time, some person who shall have the necessary qualifications for governing that land; for otherwise neither Christianity nor the royal estate will be able to make much progress there. Even since I wrote to your Majesty, I have heard fuller details of certain things from among the many which are bound to occur, and all through lack of justice. I had charged Don Pedro de Luna to bring me a detailed relation of everything that he should hear concerning matters there, and, as he died at sea, I sent word to the Alcalde Mayor of Acapulco to look through his coffers for all his papers, and send them to me, suspecting that I would not like to trust everything to his memory. In this way I have ascertained from them that there is beyond question need that your Majesty should endeavor to secure better administration of justice there, and provide some one to take greater care of your Majesty's finan
5 The Muñoz letter (see Bibliographical Data at end of this volume) says, “four varas.” The reading of our text is uncertain, as the number is not written in full, but is designated by a contraction difficult to read.
6 The Ultramar MS. has the following: “It is enough to say, and I swear it on my oath as a Christian, that there is said to be more gold in this one island than iron in Vizcaya.” This is very similar to the reading in the MS. copied by Muñoz.
7 The red sulphuret of arsenic.
8 This and what follows was apparently added by the officials in Mexico.
Two Royal Decrees
Bestowing Titles on Manila and Luzon
Don Phelipe, by the grace of God, etc.
Inasmuch as we have been informed by the council and by the judicial and executive departments of the city of Manila, in the island of Luzon of the West, that the citizens and inhabitants of the said city have served us with much faithfulness and loyalty, and have endured great hardships; and that, after the said island was discovered and pacified, and the said city founded therein, the governor, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi (now defunct), in our name, gave to the latter the title and designation Ynsigne e siempre leal Cibdad, [“Distinguished and ever loyal City”], and to the said island of Luzon that of Nuevo Reyno de Castilla [“New Kingdom of Castilla”]; and inasmuch as supplication has been made to us, for the greater welfare of the said city and the perpetual remembrance of the services of its citizens, that we order the confirmation of the said title Insigne e siempre leal Cibdad de Manila, and to the said island of Luzon that of Nuevo Reyno de Castilla, and that it might be our will that they be so designated and named, or however else might be our pleasure: now therefore, we, after careful consideration of the above, and of the good and loyal services that the said city and its citizens have rendered us, do regard favorably the above supplication; and by the present we do confirm and approve, to the said city of Manila, the title Insigne e siempre leal Cibdad, given it, in our name, by the said governor, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi; and to the said island of Luzon, the said title and appellation Nuevo Reyno de Castilla. And we do consent that the said city of Manila bear forever the designation and title Insigne e siempre leal, and the said island of Luzon that of Nuevo Reyno de Castilla, which we, by this, our decree, grant as title and appellation, with leave and permission to be so designated and called as abovesaid, and to place the same on any or all documents that are drawn up and contracted, and on all letters that are written. And we do hereby order the same, under our hand and seal, and with the confirmation of my Council of the Indies. Given at Madrid on the twenty-first day of June, in the year one thousand five hundred and seventy-four.
I The King
Granting to Manila the Office of Corredor de Lonxa for the Estates of the City
Don Felipe by the grace of God, etc.
Inasmuch as we are aware of the services which the city of Manila in the island of Luzon, entitled el nuevo Reyno de Castilla [“the new Kingdom of Castilla”], and its citizens and inhabitants, have rendered us; and considering our desire for its honorable increase and colonization: it is our pleasure to bestow upon the said city of Manila, as we do, by this present, the office of corredor de Lonxa1 thereof, for the estates of the city, for such time, and no more, as may be our pleasure. And it is our wish that in said office be vested the jurisdiction and administration of the same according to and in such manner as our corredores de Lonxa have exercised and do exercise it, in the cities, towns, and villages of these our kingdoms and seigniories, as well as in those of our Indias, islands, and Tierra-Firme of the Ocean Sea; we will also that there be appointed for said office of corredor de Lonxa, the person or persons whom the city may see fit to appoint; and that the said person or persons through the said appointment, and by virtue of this, our decree, shall be authorized to enjoy and exercise the said office in all cases and matters pertaining to it, in such wise as the other corredores de Lonxa of the other cities, towns, and villages of these our kingdoms, and of our aforesaid Indias, enjoy and exercise it. And they shall enjoy the income and fees annexed and pertaining to the said office, provided that the income which said persons shall give each year be for the estates of said city, to be expended and distributed for the common welfare of the same, and not for any other thing—for which purpose we direct the present decree to be given, signed by my hand and countersigned by our secretary. Madrid, June twenty-one, one thousand five hundred and seventy-four.
I The King
1 Corredor de Lonja (Lonxa) is undoubtedly a commission merchant: apparently the decree confers upon the city the right to appoint brokers of this class.—A.P. Cushing.
Opinion of Fray Martin de Rada on Tribute from the Indians
Most Illustrious Lord:
Your Lordship1 asks me to give, in writing, my opinion of affairs in this land; and to invent a remedy which shall result more to the service of God, our Lord, and of his Majesty, and to the security of the consciences of those who live in this land. I say the same that I said lately in conversation with your Lordship, when your Lordship asked me in the autumn whether it would be right that the Indians should give tribute. I told your Lordship that I had determined to call an assembly of all the religious that were in this land, so that all of us in common could discuss the affairs of the country. Until then, it did not seem to me that any change should be made, except that the Spaniards should raise tribute by similar methods to those employed farther down on the coast—namely, a small amount of rice, equivalent to seventy gantas,2 and a piece of cloth, for each Indian giving tribute. Having assented to this—although some religious, and that rightly, have found fault with the tribute, both in the pulpit and in the confessional, and in other and private discussions—I waited until all should come here, and the conference should be called as I desired, in order that everything might be better reasoned out. Seeing now the great delay of some, and that we would have to leave this town—some alone, and others in company—have taken the opinion of all the fathers who were to be found here. They unanimously affirm that none among all these islands have come into the power of the Spaniards with just title. For, although there are many and just causes for making war on some nations or towns, no governor or captain can do so without an express mandate for it from his Majesty, excepting only that war which is waged in defense of their persons and property, others being unjustly undertaken; since neither in the first instructions that we received, nor in later ones, has his Majesty ordered us to make war on the natives of these islands. Rather did he order the contrary, in a letter that Juan de la Isla brought from his Majesty, written from the Escorial to the governor (who is now in glory), and which I saw. That letter declared that any conquest made in these islands by force of arms, would be unjust, even if there were cause for doing so. All the more unjust are these conquests that in none, or almost none, of them has there been any cause. For as your Lordship knows, we have gone everywhere with the mailed hand; and we have required the people to be friends, and then to give us tribute. At times war has been declared against them, because they did not give as much as was demanded. And if they would not give tribute, but defended themselves, then they have been attacked, and war has been carried on with fire and sword; and even on some occasions, after the people have been killed and destroyed, and their village taken, the Spaniards have sent men to summon them to make peace. And when the Indians, in order not to be destroyed, came to say that they would like to be friends, the Spaniards have immediately asked them for tribute, as they have done but recently in all the villages of Los Camarines.3 And wherever the Indians, through fear of the Spaniards, have left their houses and fled to the mountains, our people have burned the houses or inflicted other great injuries. I omit mention of the villages that are robbed without awaiting peace, or those assaulted in the night-time. Pretexts have been seized to subjugate all these villages, and levy tribute on them, to such amount as can be secured. With what conscience has a future tribute been asked from them, before they knew us, or before they have received any benefit from us? With what right have three extortions, of large amounts of gold, been made on the Ylocos, without holding any other communication or intercourse with them, beyond going there, and demanding gold of them, and then returning? And I say the same of Los Camarines and of Acuyo, and the other villages that are somewhat separated from the Spanish settlements. In all this is it not clear that tribute is unjustly raised? Likewise he who sends them for it or orders it, as also the captain in the first place, next the soldiers and those taking part in it, and those who advise it; and those who, being able to, do not prevent it; and those who, being able to make restitution, do not do so—all these together, and each person individually, are entirely responsible for all injury. And it is the same in the villages in the neighborhood of the Spanish settlements; because, although they may have some religious instruction, and under the shelter of the Spanish are safe from their enemies, and some injuries which have been done them have been redressed, they do not fail to receive great molestation and injury through the continual presence of the Spaniards, and never-ending embarcations. Finally, they were free, and, to speak openly, not reduced to vassalage. And when base and foundation fail, all that is built thereon is defective—all the more as the Indians are not protected from their enemies, nor maintained in justice, as they should be. Many piracies go on as before, and those most thoroughly subdued suffer the worst, because, being robbed by others who are not so subject, they are given neither any satisfaction nor allowed to secure it for themselves. And there is not sufficient reason for his Majesty to have ordered that the land shall be allotted and divided into encomiendas; because his Majesty was ill informed, as appears by his own letter, since he had been assured that, without any war, they had of their own accord become his Majesty's vassals. Therefore it seems to have been entirely against his Majesty's will. If at any time we have been of opinion that the land should be allotted, as indeed it now seems to us, or likewise if the land is to be maintained, it was and is to avoid greater injury and robberies, which are committed without any remedy, when there are no repartimientos. Therefore, only one thing now works injury. We are trying to render the land orderly, and not turbulent as it was before, when no one knew anything about it. Even now some of the Spaniards treat the natives very ill. More than all, the tribute which is now raised (three maez [mace] for each Indian) is excessive, in our opinion, considering what we saw from the beginning among them and our intercourse with them, and our knowledge of their labors, and of the tools with which they cultivate the ground, and their great difficulty in supporting themselves—for they even live a part of the year on roots; and the common people can scarcely obtain a robe with which to clothe themselves. Whence it happens that, at the time of collecting the tribute, some of them demolish their houses—which at the least would be worth as much as the tribute itself, if they should be sold—and go into hiding, in order not to pay the tribute. They say that afterward they will return to build, with the labor of a month or two, another house. From others it is necessary to demand the tribute with arquebuses and other weapons, and men, in order to make them give it; and most of them it is necessary to imprison to make them provide the tribute. Therefore most of the owners of encomiendas maintain stocks, in which they keep as prisoners the chiefs or timaguas [freemen] who do not supply the amount of the tribute from their slaves when they themselves cannot obtain it from the latter. Thus, considering all this and other inconveniences, that, in order not to go into greater details, I do not set down, it was the opinion of the majority of the fathers, that—even if the whole affair were justified, and the Indians maintained in peace, justice, and religious instruction—for the present, and until the Indians have other opportunities, and other and better tools to cultivate the land, and until the land is more fertile, all that is taken from each Indian, in general, above the value of one maez, in food and raiment, is cruelty, and oppresses them too heavily.
Your Lordship should consider that in Nueva España, the Indians at first gave nothing but food (then worth a great deal) and service. And all times are not alike, for now they can give little, but in course of time, the earth growing more fertile, they can give more; so that what is collected of all this that the Indians now, in strict justice, do not owe, and that which until now has been raised, has been unjustly raised, on account of the evil way in which these Indians have been conquered, and because his Majesty's orders regarding them have not been obeyed.
And because your Lordship asks my opinion as to what ought to be done, I say that, considering that the land is already subjugated and divided into repartimientos—and for many reasons which, in order not to be prolix, I omit—there is no reason to abandon it, since it is very necessary that those who reside here should be supported. Your Lordship ought, in the opinion of the majority of the captains, to send his Majesty a true, simple, and clear report, without dissimulations, of the methods that have been adopted in all this conquest; and of its present condition, and the methods adopted in collecting the tributes, so that his Majesty, as a thorough Christian, may decree what is to be done in the matter. In the meanwhile, the least amount of tribute possible should be taken for the support of all, considering that it is not owed; and those who have repartimientos should support those who have not. It seems to me that if the tributes should be regulated to the one maez of food and raiment for each Indian, which I spoke of above, there will be sufficient for both classes if our people aid themselves with other profits that may be obtained. In order that this may be collected with some tribute, your Lordship should in every way try to protect these natives, and to do them justice; and to abolish abuses and punish pirates, etc. We on our part, shall do what we can to aid them, instructing them in our holy faith. Since this is my opinion I sign it with my name. Done at San Pablo of Manila, on the twenty-first of June, one thousand five hundred and seventy-four.
Fray Martin de Rrada
[Endorsed: “These opinions are to be kept on file, in order that they may be passed upon by the Council.”] Page 234
1 This document is evidently addressed to the governor, then Guido de Lavezaris.
2 The ganta = 8 chupas = 3 liters.
3 An ancient province of Luzon, so called from the name given in Manila to the many porticos constructed out of the nipa palm. It was erected into a province during the governorship of Guido de Lavezaris, and was conquered by Salcedo. It is mountainous, and contains rich mines of various metals, and a fertile soil. It is now (since April 27, 1901), under American government, known by the name of Ambos Camarines.
Reply to Fray Rada's Opinion
Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty:
Replying to the opinion that was given by the father provincial, Fray Martin de Rada, of the order of St. Augustine, on affairs in this land, and on the raising of tribute from its natives, we confess that it was zealously done, in the service of God, our Lord, and for the security of our consciences. In this estimation we hold and repute him. But, as sometimes the very wise are misled—now through too great zeal, and again by their ignorance of some things, which if they had understood fully, they would not have been misled—we shall not fail to point out in the “Opinion,” certain things which we consider harsh, harmful to this whole community, and very prejudicial to the development of this land. Taking up the principal point to be answered in the “Opinion”—namely, that his Majesty was ill informed of the affairs of this land, as thus appears by his letter which Captain Juan de la Ysla brought, we affirm that it is very erroneous. For what his Majesty says in his letter is the same of which report was made before he wrote it, and the same which was occurring when the report was made of the affairs of this land, and so to say, more clear, public, and notorious—namely, that the governor (who is now in glory), when he entered this land, entered it in peace, inviting to his friendship all the natives. Thus in the island of Ybabao which was the first of these Filipinas islands of which possession was taken, Indians came to the ships from the shore, who made friends and rendered obedience to his Majesty. These came of their own will, to make friends, and at the first, before any bartering of food and other small articles was made, and without anything of their possessions being asked. The same was done on the river Calayan, where were Captain Andres de Ybarra and father Fray Diego de Herrera. Peace was made, and nothing was asked or taken from them; and they remained friends. And although in the island of Ybabao certain Indians treacherously killed there Francisco Gomez and another Spaniard, no war was made upon them for that reason. Rather the governor was always calling for peace from all the natives of the islands where he went, without making war on anyone. So in Bohol the chiefs gave their obedience, and came to the ships of their own will. From that place a contingent was sent to Butuan to make friends with the chief. Captain Juan de la Ysla and that same father provincial went there and made friends with Limanpao, lord of Butuan. From there they went to Cubu, where they summoned and from the small boats invited the natives to make peace, proclaiming for two or three days the summons, until those natives shot arrows from the shore at those in the boats, who were continuing to summon them peaceably to make peace. Therefore father Fray Andres de Urdaneta, he who was calling upon them for peace, made a harangue to the people, saying that they were apostates, and that war could be made against them legitimately. The governor disembarked there, with the opposition of the natives. After having planted a colony there, many Indians of the neighborhood, and even those of Cubu, came in peace to render him obedience. Thus a true report was made to his Majesty, for many Indians became friendly in these islands and made submission without war being waged upon them. Nor would it have been made against any others, without first quietly and pacifically calling for peace, making much of them, and giving them clothes, articles of barter, food, and other small articles, which they asked for. If afterward any occasion arose for making war for the pacification of the friendly Indians who were disturbed by the others who were not friendly, it cannot be said on that account that a false report was made to his Majesty; for whatever was going on in the land at our arrival there has been written to him, and true reports of what has happened have always been sent him. Therefore, by the above, it is clear and manifest that true and faithful reports have been made to his Majesty.
The “Opinion” says further that no land among all these islands has come with a just title into the power of the Spaniards. To this we have only to reply that we came to these districts by his Majesty's order, and therefore are here, obeying his royal mandate; and, as we are not lawyers, we shall cease discussing the justice, title, or cause that his Majesty has or can have in these islands. In what concerns the robberies and injuries that have been committed (if any have been) in this land, the natives have given the occasion for it, some of them being traitors and breaking the peace, as they have broken it at different times, especially in this city of Manila. The master-of-camp, Martin de Goiti, having come hither the first time and entered in peace, and having made and ratified it with the rajas of Manila, without the Spaniards on their part giving them any occasion, the natives tried to kill the latter, discharging at them five or six pieces of artillery, the greater part of which hit the junk on which was the said master-of-camp. Thus the Spaniards were forced in self-defense to fight and enter the city, as it was entered. And, if the city was burned, it was for the security of the few Spaniards who had entered it, that the natives might not attack them among houses closely joined together. The same natives confessed that they themselves had begun the war. Further, as for assaulting villages at night, this has been done in the case of rebellious villages that defied the Spaniards. It was necessary for the security of our friends to break and crush their pride, to avoid greater evil. If some have gone to excess in this matter, it is the individual excess which casts blame on the community in general, because the instructions that the governors have given and do give, whenever any expedition is made, are Christian in tone, and quite in conformity with those which they have from his Majesty. If sometimes the commanders have inflicted injury or waged any war, it is because the malice of the natives is so great, that wherever they sally out in war, with their ambuscades and other treacheries they provoke the Spaniards to self-defense. If the latter go with the mailed hand, it is for the security of their own persons; for, if they were unarmed and unprepared, the natives would kill them—as they have done to many Spaniards whom they have caught astray and alone, killing them and practicing great cruelties upon them. Therefore it is necessary to go everywhere with weapons in hand, for the security of the Spaniards; for there is so little justice and reason among these natives, and they never obey one another, or have lords or headmen among them, but all sorts of disorders, clans, and factions. Before the Spaniards came hither, the natives killed one another in their own villages for very slight causes. Wherefore it is clear that wherever the Spaniards go, they must go ready and prepared to defend themselves, as they are but few among many infidels, and loyal among traitors. Therefore it is a perfectly good argument to say that wherever they go they go with weapons in hand. As to the matter of maintaining the natives in peace and justice, it is a just one. Therefore we try in every way to protect those who are friendly to us. Those who are in the neighborhood of the Spaniards are very well protected and defended—not only from their enemies, who aforetime were wont to make war on them, but even from their servants and the members of their households, who among them were wont to kill, punish, and enslave one another, a thing not done now. And if this is done in any remote district, it is in places in which, on account of their remoteness, no remedy can be had from the Spaniards. Thus it is of great use and profit that the Spaniards have come to the natives hereabout, on account of the security that they have from one another, and because they have free recourse to their trade and interests without being hindered or robbed by any one. They were not accustomed to this security before the Spaniards came hither, because it is a thing publicly known and notorious that even in their own houses they were captured and robbed. They were not free to go fishing on the sea without being captured. Now not only are they safe in their houses, but they go safely to different places, without any harm being done them. If there are piracies, they are very far from this town and in places where the Spaniards do not go. It is a very ancient custom that the natives had among themselves, of capturing, robbing, killing, and imprisoning one another. Now there are few injuries committed, in comparison with what used to be committed before the Spaniards came here. Every day there will be fewer, because we are ever striving to take and punish such pirates, as today there were some taken in this town. In regard to the tribute that has been raised, and the amount of tribute in gold that is collected from Los Ylocos and Los Camarines, without giving them any greater benefit than going there and collecting the tribute, it is a matter clearly to be understood, that, for the support of those who live in this land, it is quite necessary that the natives assist with tribute as they do in the other part of the Indies. They are not considered friends, nor do they have any security, without first having paid the tribute—which is, in proportion to their condition and wealth, very little; and which they are willing to give gladly and without compulsion. In each island, district, and village, the natives give what they please, for in some places they give provisions, and in others wax, cloth, and other things which they obtain from their harvests. To them it is little, and almost nothing, because they have those things abundantly. If gold has been collected from the Ylocos and the Camarines, it is because the land is very rich in mines, and because they have great quantities of gold. Cloth and provisions are worth more to them than in other districts, and so the natives would rather give the tribute in gold, of which they have an abundance, than in cloth and provisions, which they lack. If up to this time the said districts and villages have not been settled, it is on account of having so few men in the land and because it is not possible to do anything else. Moreover, Captain Juan de Salcedo has already settled in Los Ylocos, has built a village there, and has a cleric to instruct them in the tenets of our holy Catholic faith; and he made a settlement in Los Camarines shortly after they were pacified and discovered. Although we have not gained a complete knowledge of the nature of the land and settling it, because Spaniards are going about everywhere still, exploring and making an end of pacifying it. When there is any possibility of settling it, that will be done, as has been done in the other districts where the natives have made and are making peace.
As regards the excessive tribute which in the “Opinion” is said to have been collected from the natives, to generalize from individual cases is to confuse the whole matter. We say this because a great part of this country is taxed differently in different places, and the natives vary in wealth. In some parts they are rich, in others farmers, in others merchants, in others miners; and, again, in others they live by robbery and assault. So the late governor taxed this bay of Manila and its vicinity—being informed of, and having seen with his own eyes, the quality and fertility of the land, and the wealth of its natives—two fanégas each of unwinnowed rice for a year's tribute, and a piece of colored cloth of two varas in length and one in breadth; and, in default of this, three maes of gold—in gold, or in produce, as they prefer. This said tribute is so moderate, that with six silver reals, which an Indian gives to his encomendero each year, he pays his tribute entirely. A maes of gold is commonly worth two reals, and, when gold is worth more, the maes is worth two reals and a half; so, even at that, it is not half the tribute that the Indians pay in Nueva España. The Moros pay this tribute of three maes as being more wealthy people, and because they are excellent farmers and traders. They are so rich that, if they would labor and trade for four days, they would gain enough to work off the tribute for a year. They have various sources of gain and profit; and so they have an abundance of rich jewels and trinkets of gold, which they wear on their persons. There are some chiefs in this island who have on their persons ten or twelve thousand ducats' worth of gold in jewels—to say nothing of the lands, slaves, and mines that they own. There are so many of these chiefs that they are innumerable. Likewise the individual subjects of these chiefs have a great quantity of the said jewels of gold, which they wear on their persons—bracelets, chains, and earrings of solid gold, daggers of gold, and other very rich trinkets. These are generally seen among them, and not only the chiefs and freemen have plenty of these jewels, but even slaves possess and wear golden trinkets upon their persons, openly and freely. To say, then, that the Indians are so wretched that they live on roots during part of the year, and in some places are accustomed to support themselves for a certain part of the year on sweet potatoes, sago bread, and other vegetables they find, is wrong. It is not so in all districts, but only in some of the Pintados1 islands; nor is this through any lack of prosperity, but because they are vicious, and eat all sorts of food. They are so lazy that they will not go four leagues out of their villages to buy rice, but spend their time in drunkenness, idolatries, and feastings. As they get along also with those eatables until they harvest their rice, they do not miss it; because they are a people who, when any of their relations die, will, as mourning, willingly go without eating rice for four or six months, or even a year. They live on other foods and grains that they possess, and in many parts of the Pintados they live a part of the year on borona, millet, beans, fish, swine, and fowl, and many kinds of wine. Not for that reason do they fail to be rich and have golden jewels, slaves, lands, and gardens. The Pintados are not as rich as the natives of this island of Luzon (who are called Moros), because they are not as capable in labor and agriculture. So they are taxed to a less amount, each Indian being taxed for a fanéga and a half of unwinnowed rice, and a piece of cloth, white or colored, woven from a plant.2 In other districts they have other tax-rates, each suitable to their prosperity. Up to this time the natives have not been injured, nor are they now injured, by paying the tribute which is imposed upon them, because it is so moderate that they can pay it without any labor. For by breeding four fowls under their houses every year (which can be done without any cost), they can pay their tribute, over and above which they have many advantages and profits. Now more than ever, with the stay of the Spaniards in these regions, they have established and increased their trade, and they continue to increase it every day. The “Opinion” states that the encomenderos can be supported with the one maes that each Indian gives every year. It is very certain that no one can be supported on so small a tribute, because there are many encomenderos who cannot be supported on a tribute of three maes, and they live in great poverty, through having so few Indians. One of these encomenderos has for his share less than three hundred Indians, and many five and six hundred, and as very few have over a thousand, especially are they in need where goods are so dear and gold is valued so slightly. A pair of shoes is worth a half-tael of gold, which would be the tribute of eight Indians. A shirt is worth six pesos, and so on; all other Castilian articles are worth double their price in Nueva España. Then, if the Indians here should pay every year two reals (the equivalent of one maez) as tribute, one could not live here by any means, especially since the natives are so rich, and have so many profits and sources of gain, and are more rich in lands than those of Nueva España. They have a great deal of cloth with which to clothe themselves; many silken fabrics worked with gold, greatly esteemed and of high value; many porcelains and fine earthenware jars; lances, daggers, bells, and vases; and many adornments for their persons, of which they make use. They also have great quantities of provisions, which they gather every year from their irrigated lands; palm wine, and wine of the nipa palm, which they collect ordinarily every day during the whole year and many other wines, made from rice or cane—to say nothing of the great profits they make from wax and gold, which are ordinarily produced in all the islands. There is a great deal of cotton, which they work and spin, and make into fine cloths; these are very valuable to the Indians in their trade. The Chinese bring them many silks, porcelains, and perfumes; with iron and other articles, from which they make great profits. For all this and many other reasons and causes, which are well known everywhere, the said natives can pay the tribute which is imposed upon them, and much more, without any difficulty. If some natives in some of the villages decamp in order to avoid paying the tribute, as is stated in the “Opinion,” it is not on account of any lack of means, but because the natives are spirited, and make it a point of honor to pay the tribute only when forced. They like to be compelled to do so. This is not the case with all of them, but only with some who, after debaucheries and guzzling of wine, come to the Spaniards, and say that they have nothing wherewith to pay the tribute. This is not true of whole villages, but of certain individuals, who, as they seldom obey their chiefs, do whatever wine incites them to. All this is no reason to detract from the prosperity and riches of the natives; for if some Indians go without robes and loin-cloths, they must be slaves and laborers—not because they lack cloth, since it costs them so little to make a robe that there is no one who cares to work who has not one; and not only robes, but many other valuables. For all these causes and reasons, then, although the “Opinion” of the father provincial and the other religious has been given with good and holy zeal, it is, nevertheless, exceedingly harmful to the augmentation and settlement of this land, and the perpetuation of the Spanish rule therein. To the natives themselves it is pernicious; because, if they do not pay tribute to the Spaniards, the latter have to take from them their provisions and such things as they possess, in order to support themselves—as was done before the land was divided into repartimientos, and before the natives paid tribute. It is, therefore, most useful and profitable for the natives to pay tribute, by which the said Spaniards can be supported comfortably, and without vexation to them; and if the tribute is too small and the Spaniards can not be supported on it, it will come to the point of taking away their property on the sea, as was done before the land was divided into repartimientos, but does not happen now. On the contrary the natives are all very secure and quiet, and come and go to trade, and are altogether much profited and enriched by the repartimiento.
Guido de Lavezaris.
Martin de Goiti.
Luis de la Haya.
Salvador de Aldave.
Joan de la Ysla.
Amador de Arriaran.
The licentiate Chacon.
Gabriel de Rribera.
In my presence,
1 The early name of the islands now known as Visayas (or Bisayas)—the group lying between Luzón, Mindanao, and Mindoro; so named from their inhabitants, known as Pintados (“painted men”) from their tattooed bodies.
2 Referring to the abacá, or wild plantain (note 68).
Two Letters from Guido de Lavezaris to Felipe II
Sacred Catholic Royal Majesty:
In the past year of seventy-three, I sent to your Majesty, by two ships despatched to the kingdoms of Nueva España, a written account of what had occurred in these regions until that time. A few days after the departure of these two ships, I despatched another one, which had taken more time in its preparations. The last-named vessel followed a different course from the others, and put into a harbor again, after having sailed all around this island of Luçon, on account of the bad weather with which it met. The ship has been detained until now in order to repair it, and to make all the necessary preparations. We are waiting every day for the arrival of the ships from Nueva España, for it is already time that they should arrive; but, in order that the vendavales may not prevent the navigation of this ship, we shall not detain it here until the others arrive—although it would have been much better for the service of your Majesty to receive an explanation of matters regarding which an answer was expected.
With the service of God and that of your Majesty in mind, as soon as the ships left for Nueva España, I despatched Captain Juan de Salcedo in July, seventy-three, with one hundred and twenty soldiers in vessels like those used by these natives, to win over and conquer Bicor River and the province of Los Camarines, on the east side of this island of Luçon. He brought under the dominion and obedience of your Majesty all that region, with about twenty thousand of its natives, with as little injury as possible. Some villages paid their tribute in gold. They have abundant stores of food, and possess goldmines. The people are the most valiant yet found in these regions; they possess much good armor—as iron corselets, greaves, wristlets, gauntlets, and helmets—and some arquebuses and culverins. They are the best and most skilful artificers in jewels and gold that we have seen in this land. Almost all the people of Los Camarines pursue this handicraft. Close upon the province of Los Camarines and Bicor River are the mines of Paracali. As soon as the ships arrive, I shall try to effect a settlement near those mines with the people that may come, for I consider it a matter of importance for the service of your Majesty; and I shall continue the apportionment of the discovered and peaceful district of that region.
In July of the past year, seventy-three, a ship despatched by the viceroy Don Martin Enriquez arrived at these islands from Nueva España. It brought us news which caused great joy and satisfaction in this camp of your Majesty. We learned that God had granted the Queen, our lady, the delivery of a prince,1 so much desired by all, and that her Majesty is enjoying the good health so needful. Our Lord was pleased to grant us such a marked favor, and we beseech Him to preserve your Majesty, the Queen our lady, and his Highness many years for us; for only thus shall we not fear any adversity, nor can we desire greater things in this new world.
In order that we might better celebrate this news, we heard at the same time of the victory won by the most serene of Austria over the fleet of the Turk, a victory which has proved as great and signal as we expected from the zeal of his Holiness and from your Majesty; for God having seen that both had taken His honor so at heart, has been pleased to show part of His strength, so that in a single day He has made your Majesty master of the sea. Considering the great Catholic zeal of your Majesty, God will be pleased also to make your Majesty master of the land in which His holy faith is exalted, and afterward He will grant you a share in heaven, as one employed in matters so holy deserves. I pray that God may preserve your Majesty and so great a brother many years for the welfare and prosperity of Christianity.
On account of the necessity of visiting the islands of Cubu, Panae, and others near by, and for the arrangement of matters therein necessary for the service of your Majesty, and the preservation of those natives, I went there in the month of November, of last year, seventy-three, and found that the town of Nombre de Jhesus in the island of Cubu was almost deserted, and that its inhabitants were roaming about in the neighboring islands. I ordered them to assemble and resettle the said town; and since in doing so they would be poor and needy, I gave and distributed among them in the name of your Majesty all that was near at hand. Then I visited all the other towns until I reduced all things to the order and arrangement necessary, and left the natives quiet and reconciled. It took me four months to accomplish this so that I returned to the city of Manila in the month of March of this year.
As I considered the friendship of the king of Borney an important matter for the service of your Majesty, I sent to him a Moro, a native of this island, as messenger, with certificates of security so that his people may freely come to these islands to trade, as they were accustomed to do. For the friendship of this king and the commerce will open us a way for the establishment of a community and the erection of a fort in that island; and if people come [hither from Nueva España] it will be necessary for me to go or to send others to settle that island, for the service of your Majesty requires it.
The lord and chief of Bindanao River3 has also notified me, through letters, that he wishes to be our friend and your Majesty's vassal. This is also an important matter, for the place is suitably situated for your royal service. That river is the most important one in the island and the latter receives its name from it. If I have the opportunity I shall send men there; and, if convenient, we shall make a settlement there.
In case I have people and ships enough, I intend to send men to discover the islands of Lequios [Liu-Kiu] on this side of Japan. This will be of much importance to the service of your Majesty.
Inasmuch as this island of Lucon is so large, and as, for the preservation of the natives, we need some settlements of Spaniards to protect and defend them, and teach them our holy Catholic faith, it seemed best to send Captain Juan de Salcedo with seventy or eighty soldiers to people the coast of Los Ylocos, on the shores of a river called Bigan. There I ordered him to found the town of Fernandina in memory of the prince, our master4 (may he live many happy years); and I continued to apportion, in the name of your Majesty, all that had been discovered and won over thereabout, reserving for your Majesty what had been ordered me through your royal decree.
The Chinese, in view of the kind treatment that they have always received and do receive at our hands, continue to increase their commerce each year, and supply us with many articles as sugar, wheat, and barley flour, nuts, raisins, pears, and oranges; silks, choice porcelains and iron; and other small things which we lacked in this land before their arrival. This year they gave me a drawing of the coast of China, made by themselves, which I am sending to your Majesty.
There is great need in these regions of Franciscan, Dominican, and Theatin religious, and of some ecclesiastics, for the conversion of the natives. The Theatins are much and especially needed; for, as an eyewitness, I know the great results that they have obtained in Yndia. With the coming of more people, it will be necessary to found a few Spanish settlements in this island of Lucon, which is large, and in other islands; for already these natives are being baptized daily, and are embracing our holy faith and religion. They are very quiet and reconciled, and will be more so when many religious of the said orders have arrived; for at present we have only ten Augustinian religious here, and they are not sufficient for the great labor demanded of them. I repeat that the service of your Majesty requires the presence here of Franciscan religious and of some Theatins.
This year we have brought from the island of Bindanao three hundred quintals of cinnamon for your Majesty. This ship, being small, will carry no more than eighty quintals, so that we have here three hundred and fifty quintals more to send in the ships which may come later.
I am also sending to Nueva España cinnamon plants, and pepper plants of the round and large variety; also roots taken from Chinese stock, so that they may be raise here for your Majesty.
I am sending a bundle of cinnamon branches with leaves, and three flasks of cinnamon water, for her Majesty the Queen, our lady.
Last year I sent to your Majesty in this ship a cup and fourteen earrings of gold. Now I do the same, and add four daggers of the kind used by these natives.
For his Highness the prince our master, I am sending a crown, two gold chains, and two daggers. Not considering the objects themselves, or the person who sends them, may your Majesty accept them as articles sent from regions so far away, with the desire of serving your Majesty. Page 252
For the good management of your royal exchequer, we need two men to fill the offices of treasurer and of factor. These offices are vacant at present; for while the governor Miguel Lopez lived I served as treasurer, but at his death I succeeded him in his charge, and sent the factor under arrest to Nueva España for certain charges made against him. Your Majesty will also see that we are supplied with an attorney-general, for we are in much need of one.
Juan de Ledesma and Valmaseda, your Majesty's secretaries, sent to this your camp three of your royal decrees, in which we are ordered not to fill again the office of purveyor-general or any other office in these islands; and that from the gold, silver, and jewels discovered, the royal fifths shall be taken.5 This will be heeded and carried out according to the orders of your Majesty. I am also ordered to send a report concerning the slaves of these islands, how and for what reasons they are enslaved; and also concerning the Augustinian religious who are here. In fulfilment of the latter command, I say that at present there are only ten religious of the said order in these islands. As to the slaves, I am sending to the members of your Royal Council of the Indies the report which your Majesty orders me to make, and in which I explain the conditions and causes of their slavery.6 Page 253
We do not notify your Majesty of the many details which arise here, because we have reported, and do report all to your viceroy of Nueva España, who attends to your royal service in all that we need here with much diligence and promptness, so that nothing has been overlooked.
Since we came to this settlement of the city of Manila, the religious who reside in these islands have shown so much scruple in regard to collecting tribute from reconciled and apportioned communities that some of them have several times affirmed in the pulpit that one could not conscientiously levy tribute, and have made other assertions at which all have been grieved. Since this idea is being stirred up now more than ever, I asked the provincial of the order to give me his opinion concerning the matter in writing. He did so, and gave me an opinion which, although prompted by holy zeal and commendable in certain respects, is nevertheless severe; and, if it should be heeded, this land could not be maintained. To anticipate the religious who might notify your Majesty, or send copy of the said “Opinion,” and to keep your Majesty informed of the truth, a reply to the “Opinion” was drawn with the consent of the master-of-camp, captains, and other prominent persons. The contents of the reply will be verified and proved by many Spanish and native witnesses; accordingly, may your Majesty, together with the members of your royal Council, be pleased to provide what is most necessary for the service of your Majesty.
While this ship was on the point of departure, one of two ships which your viceroy Don Martin Enrriquez despatched from Nueva España arrived here, on the fifth of the present month. Through these ships he sends one hundred and fifty soldiers, some married men, and three Augustinian religious. The other ship has not yet arrived. This camp of your Majesty was much pleased at the news of the birth of the new infante. May he rejoice your Majesty for many years.
The officials of your royal exchequer who reside in Mexico write that they are not empowered by your Majesty to provide this camp with some very necessary supplies which were asked from them for this land. May your Majesty be pleased to exercise your accustomed magnanimity, and order them to provide us with what is necessary for your Majesty's service, and for the maintenance of this camp and commonwealth, according to the memorials which the royal officials of these islands shall send to them.
This last ship brought a decree from your Majesty issued at San Lorenço el Real on June fourth, seventy-two. The decree orders me and the officials of your Majesty to send, by the first ships which shall leave this place, a report of your royal exchequer from the time this land was discovered and settled until the day when the report is sent, and to do so at the beginning of every year to come. This order will be heeded and carried out according to the wishes of your Majesty—although, these ships having already departed, we shall not be able to do so until the departure of the others a year from now.
Last year, I wrote to your Majesty that the Indians who were deserting the encomiendas were again being allotted to the Spaniards who serve your Majesty in this camp. The same is being done now, since it is necessary for the service of your Majesty, and the preservation of this land. I beseech your Majesty to favor this measure and to confirm what has been already done, and whatever allotment should be made hereafter; for the soldiers have suffered much, and no day passes away without the death of some one. Unless the land were thus allotted, it would lack means of sustenance.
The office of treasurer, which I filled when Governor Miguel Lopez was alive, is now vacant; and since I sent the factor under arrest to Nueva España, thus leaving here only the accountant, I appointed as treasurer for the proper management of your royal exchequer, Salvador de Aldave, until your Majesty be pleased to provide otherwise. He has served almost a year in the said capacity, with all diligence and care, and he possesses all the qualifications required for such an office. From the time he came here, over seven years ago, he has served your Majesty loyally in the discovery, conquest, and pacification of these islands for more than seven years, namely, from the time of his arrival. He fills the office well, and is worthy of whatever favor your Majesty may be pleased to grant him. May our Lord preserve the sacred Catholic royal person of your Majesty, and add greater realms and seigniories, as we your Majesty's faithful subjects desire. Manila, July 17, 1574. Sacred Catholic Royal Majesty, your loyal subject kisses the royal feet and hands of your Majesty.
Guido de Lavezaris
[Addressed: “To the Sacred Catholic Royal Majesty, the King Don Philipe, our sovereign.”]
[Endorsed: ” Philipinas, 1574. To His Majesty. From Guido de Labezaris, July 17, 1574.” “Let it be made into a relation.” “Received, March 7, 1575.”]
Referring to the birth of a son to Felipe II and Anna of Austria—probably that of Jacobo (or Jaime), born in 1572 or 1573, who died in 1582.
2 The name and title of this commander are, by some lapsus calami, omitted in the MS. The reference, however, is obvious, to Don Juan of Austria, illegitimate son of Cárlos I (but finally publicly acknowledged by him); this prince gained signal renown in wars against the Mahometans.
3 The Rio Grande of Mindanao.
4 The first-born son of Felipe was Fernando, born in 1571; he died at the age of four years. The town named for him is now called Vigan; it is located on Abra River, and is capital of the province of Ilocos Sur, Luzón.
5 Of the decrees here referred to, two may be found in Recopilación de leyes de las Indias (5th ed., Madrid, 1841), lib. viii. One (tit. iv, ley xxiv) provides that vacancies in crown offices shall be filled by the viceroy, or by the president of the Audiencia; the other (tit. x, ley xviii), that gold and silver found in seaports, which has not been duly taxed and stamped, shall, if there be no smelting establishment in such place, be forfeited to the royal treasury.
6 See post, p. 286.
Slavery Among the Natives
Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty:
By one of your royal decrees, dated Madrid, May 18, 1572, your Majesty commands me to send you an account of the slaves that exist in these parts; and how, and with what justification, they are slaves. What has been ascertained about them, to the present time, in this island is as follows:
Some are slaves from their birth. Their origin is not known, because their fathers, grandfathers, and ancestors were also slaves. But although the reason for their slavery is not known, we may believe that it was for some one of the causes here named. Some are captives in wars that different villages wage against each other, for certain injuries and acts of injustice, committed either recently or in ancient times.
Some are made captives in wars waged by villages that have neither treaty or commerce with them, but go only to rob, without any cause. This is because a chief of any village, when he dies, imposes upon it a sort of mourning or grief; all his near relatives promise to eat no bread (which is rice), millet, or borona, and to wear no gold or any holiday dress, until they take some booty, or kill or capture men. They would go to do this, wherever they could, and where there were no friends or powerful towns who could easily avenge themselves. Some, especially those who pride themselves on valor, have a custom, after gathering their harvests, of going to rob, without any cause, towns with which they have no commerce or relationship; or whomsoever they meet on the sea, where—a thing that causes wonder—they exempt not even their relatives, if the latter are less powerful than they. Some are enslaved by those who rob them for a very small matter—as, for instance, a knife, a few sugar-canes, or a little rice. Some are slaves because they bore testimony, or made statements about some one, which they could not prove. Some are thus punished for committing some crime; or transgressing rules regarding some of their rites or ceremonies, or things forbidden among them,1 or not coming quickly enough at the summons of some chief, or any other like thing; and if they do not have the wherewithal to pay, they are made slaves for it.
If any one is guilty of a grave crime—that is, has committed murder or adultery, or given poison, or any other like serious matter—although there may be no proof of it beyond the suspicion of the principal person against whom the hurt was done, they take for their slaves, or kill, not only the culprit but his sons, brothers, parents, relatives, and slaves.
If any one who is left an orphan come to the house of another, even of a kinsman (unless it be his uncle, paternal or maternal), for food only, its inmates enslave him. Likewise in time of famine and distress, during which they may have given relatives food only a few times, they have sold the latter for their slaves.
Many also become slaves on account of loans, because these loans continue to increase steadily every three or four months; and so, however little may be the sum loaned them, at the end of little more or less than two years they become slaves. And now, sacred Majesty, if it be forbidden, in those places where the Spanish live, to acquire slaves in any shape or manner—those who were made slaves and were slaves before we came here and are slaves now, and whom the natives buy and sell among each other, as merchandise or other profitable wares that they possess—without them this land cannot be preserved. This, your Majesty, is all known here of the slaves that I have been able to find out, having diligently sought and made the acquaintance of persons who know their language and customs.
Guido de Lavezaris
1 Apparently a reference to the custom of taboo (or tabu), of which traces exist among primitive peoples throughout the world, but most of all in Polynesia. The word means “sacred”—that is, set aside or appropriated to persons or things regarded as sacred; but the custom, although doubtless originating in religious observances, gradually extended as a social usage. It is among many peoples connected with totemism, and is considered by many writers as the gradual outgrowth of animistic beliefs.
Documents of 1575–76
•Part of a letter to the viceroy. Guido de Lavezaris; [1575?]
•Letter to Felipe II. Juan Pacheco Maldonado; [1575?]
•Encomiendas forbidden to royal officials. Francisco de Sande, and others; May 26, 1576
•Letter to Felipe II. Francisco de Sande; June 2, 1576
Sources: These documents are obtained from MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias at Sevilla.
Translations: The first document is translated by Alfonso de Salvio; the second and third, by Arthur B. Myrick; the fourth, by José M. Asensio. Page 264
Part of a Letter to the Viceroy by Guido de Lavecaris
I am very glad that your Excellency adjusted matters by ordering the return of the negroes and Indians who had been carried from this land; for all of us were very anxious as to the number that we were to send hereafter in the ships which should leave these regions. May our Lord prosper your Excellency's life so that it may be of service to our Lord and to his Majesty, as it has been thus far.
In this voyage our men seized two Chinese junks laden with merchandise, plundered all the goods, and brought here one of the laden junks and four Chinese. Afterward these Chinese, together with the others, who had remained in those islands where they had been seized, were sent back, so that they might return to their own country. I was exceedingly sorry that such an injury should be inflicted upon men who had neither offended us nor given us occasion to justify this action; and what grieves me most in this affair is the news which the Chinese will carry to their own country about us, and about the good deeds which were done to them, and which they saw done to others, for our credit in China.
As a result, most excellent Sir, the commerce between us and these Moros of Lucon has come to a standstill, on account of the ill-treatment that they have received at our hands. They carried back to their land all that they could, and in so doing they caused us no little injury; for we had a share in the commerce maintained with them, since the Moros brought and sold to us provisions. This suited us well, for already there was no other place where we could settle in this neighborhood except Lucon; but now I do not know what plan and arrangement can be made. May our Lord adjust matters as it pleases Him best, for certainly there is need of it.
A few days ago I went to the island of Cubu to set free some friendly Indians whom some soldiers had seized in a village which had paid tribute, and which held a deed of security. It was very difficult to get them back, for they had been sold and were already among the Indians. This cost me no little labor; but our Lord, who helps good intentions, favored me, and all the Indians were returned to their village at my expense. This success caused much joy and satisfaction among the Indians of the neighborhood.
Your Excellency should also try to send all the married men who can possibly come. For with the existence of settled communities the natives of this land will feel more secure, and the married Spaniards will devote themselves to sowing and raising the products of the land; but, if married men do not come, order and harmony will be lacking, as they have been hitherto.
The recent arrival of married men caused great joy among all the natives of these islands, for they do not feel safe with us—saying that we do not intend to remain in the land, since we do not bring our wives with us. Up to this time they have mistrusted us much; but, on seeing the arrival of women, they have become somewhat reassured. If your Excellency orders many to come, and if a community of married people is established, the natives will become totally reconciled and will serve us better.
Between this island of Panae and that of Cubu we have found a pearl-fishery, from which the natives are accustomed to obtain their pearls. This year the governor1 sent there a Spaniard to fish for the pearls, in company with the Indians of an island called Bantayan, which lies near the fishery. Some of the pearls he brought were as large as hazel-nuts, or a little smaller, and others were much smaller. It is said that, on account of bad weather, he was not able to fish there more than two hours, and consequently he did not gather very many pearls. Many fisheries of a similar kind are to be found in these islands.
One of the things, most excellent Sir, which has caused and still causes us much injury, as it concerns both the souls and the peace of mind of these wretched natives, is our incurable greed, which is so deeply rooted in our hearts. The eyes of the understanding are so closed in that respect that only God could uproot it from our hearts. May our Lord remedy it according to His knowledge of what is necessary for His service.
I beseech your Excellency kindly to send me a cipher system, so that I may give notice of what we need for the service of God and of his Majesty. I beseech your Excellency to forgive my boldness, for certainly my desire and intention is to be fully successful in the service of his Majesty and of your Excellency. Page 268
1 This was Doctor Francisco de Sande, who entered upon his duties as governor of the Philippines in August, 1575. He had previously been a member of the Audiencia of Mexico. While governor, he desired to undertake the conquest of China; but Felipe II ordered him to confine his activities to the preservation of what Spain had already gained in the islands. Sande was recalled in 1580.
Letter from Juan Pacheco Maldonado to Felipe II
Catholic Royal Majesty:
In the year of seventy, your Majesty's camp being in the island of Panae, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, your governor, was informed that the island of Luzon was very fertile and well populated, and afforded a good opportunity for trade. Since the island of Panae was poor, and the men there were in great extremity, he sent the master-of-camp, Martin de Goiti, with a sufficient force to examine the island of Luzon, and offer peace and friendship to its natives. The said master-of-camp, having arrived at the said island of Luzon, at the port and city of Manila, found that the natives had built a fort and mounted six pieces of heavy artillery and a number of chambered guns, and had collected a large force to defend the entrance. The said master-of-camp, seeing that the people of the said town of Manila had taken up arms, required them many times, by means of an interpreter whom he brought, to receive them in peace; because the governor sent them to win their friendship, and to see if there was any place where they might come to settle, and not to do them any harm. The natives of Manila would not admit these reasons, on the contrary they began to discharge their artillery, trying to sink the vessels that the said master-of-camp brought. The latter, seeing that they made war on him, disembarked his men, took the fort without assault and its artillery. The men fled inland, forsaking the town and fort, where the said master-of-camp awaited them four days, to see if they would make peace, to which effect he questioned them many times. When he saw that they would not accept his terms, he took their artillery and ammunition and returned with these to the island of Panae, where was the aforesaid governor Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. When the latter heard the true report and relation that was brought from that land, he left, in the year following (of seventy-five)1 the island of Panae, where he had settled, for that of Luzon, because the latter is well populated and has a considerable trade with the neighboring islands and the mainland of China. He entered the harbor with his fleet and by means of the interpreter whom he carried with him, using on many different occasions, the necessary means, he urged and notified the natives to receive him in peace, as vassals of your Majesty. He told them that by your Majesty's order the Spaniards had come to that land to protect the natives from their enemies, to instruct them in civilization, and to preach to them the gospel and the way of salvation—for such is the attitude that your Majesty is pleased should be taken toward them—but the said natives would not consider it. They put the governor off with long delays for four days, during which the latter permitted nothing to be landed from the fleet. Thus he made the natives certain of his intention. At the end of the four days, the chiefs of the said town and vicinity came to seek peace for themselves and their villages. The said governor, in your Majesty's name, received the acknowledgment and vassalage which they owed your Majesty. Peace and friendship being thus effected, the governor disembarked with all his men, and in your Majesty's royal name took possession of the whole island of Luzon. He founded and settled the city of Manila, and called the said island El nuevo reino de Castilla [“the new kingdom of Castilla”]. Having done this, he tried in every way to bring the most of the natives to actual acknowledgment. Many did not do so, nor have they been willing to; on the contrary, they induced others not to submit, saying that the Castilians, as they call the Spaniards, could not remain in that land, since they were so few; and that the people, by making war on them, could make an end of them. So it was necessary to subdue those rebels. This made trouble, because in the end they will be subjected by the said governor and the troops whom he has brought with him. The governor was diligent in reconnoitering the said island, which he found to be very rich in many gold mines, which the natives improve and work, especially in the province called Ylucos. The latter is very fertile, abounding in provisions: rice, fowls, swine, goats, buffaloes, deer, and many kinds of lake-birds, all in great abundance. In this island there are many provinces, and in each one of them there are different tongues and customs. The greater number of the people are Mahometan Moros and Indians; besides other Indians who tattoo themselves in the fashion of their ancestors, and invoke the demon. They have no native king. Certain of the richest individual chiefs rule the country. They wage war with one another, take prisoners in their wars, enslave them, and sell them from province to province.
This island of Luzon is sixty leagues from the mainland of China. The city and harbor of Manila is in thirteen degrees north latitude. This island measures five hundred leagues in circumference. It has fine harbors, bays, and rivers of good depth, better harbors being found along the south side. This island is little more than one hundred leagues east of the island of Burney. Likewise the islands of Maluco, Filolo [Gilolo], Tidore, Ternate, and Ambon, called the Malucos, are three hundred leagues south of this island of Luzon. So also the rich country of Japan, whence is brought great quantities of silver, is three hundred leagues, more or less, distant from die island of Luzon. Every year Japanese ships come to these islands laden with merchandise. Their principal trade is the exchange of gold for silver, two to two and a half marcos2 of silver for one of gold. Two hundred leagues south of Luzon is the island of Mindanao, whence is brought cinnamon. Likewise about one hundred leagues north of Luzon, and very near the mainland of China, is an island that they call Cauchi, which has a great abundance of pepper. The king of China maintains trade with mis island, and so there are many Chinese there. They have their own agency for the collection of the pepper. Twelve or fifteen ships from the mainland of China come each year to the city of Manila, laden with merchandise: figured silks of all sorts; wheat, flour, and sugar; many kinds of fruit; iron, steel, tin, brass, copper, lead, and other kinds of metals; and everything in the same abundance as in España and the Indies, so that they lack for nothing. The prices of everything are so moderate, that they are to be had almost for nothing. They also bring a great deal of bronze artillery, very well wrought, and all sorts of military supplies. This island of Luzon is very suitable and convenient for trade with China; men can reach the mainland from this island, because it is so near. On this same island there is very good material for building ships and galleys, if it should please your Majesty to send workmen for this purpose. As has been pointed out above, the said island of Luzon is very clearly shown to be fertile and abounding in provisions, cloth, apparel, and whatever is most necessary for the preservation of human life. Therefore this island ought to be settled and pacified, and what there is in it sought out and discovered, because the island is so large and powerful. For that reason, it is desirable that your Majesty be pleased to provide what is necessary for that purpose, and for his plans for the future, as follows:
The first thing necessary, in order to secure and settle the said island of Luzon, to gain accurate information of what is yet unknown about it, and to sustain the claims that we have advanced, is to send Spanish people—that is, religious and soldiers.
The religious whom your Majesty might send for the present are forty or fifty friars—learned theologians of mature age and good life and habits. With these and the religious of the order of St. Augustine, who have five monasteries in the neighboring islands—namely, one in the island and town of Cubu, another in the island and town of Oton [in Panay], another in the island and town of Mindoro, another in the city of Manila, and another in Tondo (which is in Luzon)—great results will be achieved; for the religious of these five monasteries have labored much and assiduously in the conversion of the natives, and our Lord has been well served. By the preaching of the gospel to them, which has been done by these said religious, there have been converted to our holy Catholic faith, receiving the water of baptism, a great number of Indians, especially those from the island and town of Cubu, who were pagans,3 and easily converted. And likewise in the island of Luzon, some native Chinese who were settled there, being people of greater intelligence, have recognized the truth of the divine law and are baptized and live as Christians. As the rest of the people are Moros, it has not been possible to secure the desired result, on account of their resistance. This may be attained, by the favor of God, if your Majesty be pleased to send the said number of forty to fifty religious, of the kind above described.
Second, your Majesty will be pleased to send also, with the said religious, a prelate, creating bishop or archbishop of the said city of Manila the reverend father Fray Diego de Herrera, of the order of St. Augustine. The father is a man of learning and of good life, who has labored much for the conversion of the Indians of those islands. With him send as many of the secular clergy as your Majesty pleases, who can act as prebends, canons, and chaplains; these likewise should be persons of learning and good life, and should all be subject to the above-mentioned prelate.
The third has to do with soldiers. May your Majesty please to send five hundred soldiers here, who may be posted in the said island of Luzon, so that by their help the said governor can subjugate and settle the said island of Luzon, and discover other neighboring islands.
Fourth: These said five hundred men can come at less cost, provided your Majesty be pleased to keep to the following order: that the said troops should be collected in España under the pretext that it is done for the convoy of the fleet which goes from these kingdoms to the said Nueva España. Accordingly, of the two hundred men who ordinarily are accustomed to go from Sevilla to Nueva España in convoy of the said fleet, one hundred may be left behind, the number of these hundred being supplied on the journey over from the number of the said five hundred; on the return trip of the said fleet from Nueva España to these kingdoms, the places of the said hundred soldiers may be taken by a hundred passengers, from those who generally come. As a result, at each trip and return one hundred soldiers will be spared, and thus between seven and eight thousand ducats saved.
Fifth: When the said five hundred men have arrived in Nueva España, on the very day when they disembark in the harbor of Vera Cruz, they shall go directly to the harbor of Acapulco, which is one hundred and twenty leagues, more or less, from the harbor of Vera Cruz. For when the said troops arrive at the port of Acapulco, it will be more than two months since the fleet from the said island of Luzon will have arrived at the port of Acapulco. So the troops can be embarked immediately on the said fleet, and make their way to the island of Luzon and other islands. To try to raise the said five hundred soldiers in Nueva España would be impossible, on account of the great cost that would result; because each soldier would cost more than one hundred and fifty pesos as a gratuity (the sum usually given), or even a greater sum; and even if the said expense should be incurred, they could not arrive under the banner of the hundred soldiers above—and that with great trouble and vexation, as is well known.
Sixth: It is necessary, on the arrival of the said five hundred soldiers, at the said islands, to effect immediately the purpose for which they were brought—namely, to subjugate, settle, and explore both the said island of Luzon, and those regions nearest China: the Japans, the Lequios, and the island of Escauchu; this is a very important matter. It is necessary that your Majesty should send us workmen, masters to build ships and galleys, locksmiths, and blacksmiths to the number of fifty. For all of these workmen your Majesty, if he so please, could take the negro slaves whom your Majesty has on the fortifications of Habana, considering that the fortifications are finished now, and the men are no longer needed there. Page 276
Seventh: When the said fifty workmen have arrived, considering in these islands the great plenty and abundance of wood, iron, and other materials most necessary for building the said ships, the said workmen should build three or four vessels each year, so that the trip can be made from Nueva España to the said islands and return, with two fleets. Likewise from the larger islands can be made voyages of discovery, subjugation, and colonization, and thus ascertain thoroughly the secret of the so great riches and trade possessed by the said islands, in order that your Majesty may be best served in everything. I beseech and supplicate this, and especially that your Majesty be pleased to provide promptly everything thus requested—seeing that delays might cause bad results, because of the small number of the Spaniards, and the great work to be done at present in this island of Luzon; and because those here deserve all the reward and kind succor that your Majesty may extend to them.
Juan Pacheco Maldonado
1 Thus in the original (setenta y cinco); but it must be a slip of the writer, since Legazpi removed to Manila in May, 1571, which was organized as a city a year later—as is shown by the “Documents of 1571–72,” ante.
2 The marco was the unit of weight used in weighing gold and silver in the different Latin countries. In Spain it was equivalent to O.507641 lb.
3 “Most authors use this nomenclature: 'Moros' are Mahometans, of more or less pure Malay race, in whose civilization are the remains of Oriental barbarism; 'infidels' or 'pagans,' [gentiles], Filipinos whose only religion is one of the idolatrous rites, more or less absurd, which are natural to savages: and 'Christians,' the Indians whom our meritorious religious have converted to the faith of Jesus Christ.”—Retana (Zúñiga, ii. p. 9*).
Encomiendas Forbidden to Royal Officials
In the city of Manila, on the twenty-sixth day of May, one thousand five hundred and seventy-six, the very illustrious doctor, Francisco de Sande, governor and captain-general for his Majesty of these islands of the West, and auditor of his royal Audiencia established in the City of Mexico in Nueba España, declared that it is an encumbrance and damage to the royal treasury for his Majesty's officials to hold encomiendas of Indians; and, as such, his Majesty has forbidden this by laws, and recently in a letter which his Majesty wrote to the said officials in the year seventy-four, in which it appears they ask from him permission to own Indians. In this letter there is a paragraph of the following tenor:
“As for what you ask concerning repartimientos of Indians—namely, that favor be granted you, because you have served as discoverers of these islands—such a thing has appeared to us unsuitable, considering your offices; and therefore there is no good reason for acceding to your request in this matter. In other affairs, there will be occasion for granting you rewards (and you will bring it to mind when you send to our Council of the Indies reports of what has been in your charge), and when it has been seen in what ways you have served. The same will be done in regard to increase in your salaries. Madrid, April twenty-five, one thousand five hundred and seventy-four.”
The governor says the same; and because the aforesaid persons are freed from private affairs in order to fulfil their duties, as they are obliged, he did order, and now so orders, that they shall not hold the said Indians in encomiendas, and retracted those which were granted them by Guido de Laveçares, treasurer of these islands—who at that time filled the office of governor thereof, on account of the death of the governor Miguel Lopez. He said that he placed, and he did so place, the villages which the said officials at present hold, under the rule of your Majesty's royal crown. They are as follows: the natives of Balayan and the river Aguan, and of the villages of Bulabuty, Mata, Amblaca, and Mabulau; the river Mabotan, the mines of Gumun and Gaogao, the river Bacoun, the village of Longos; the river Ysin, and the villages of Minangona and Mina—who, it is reported, are held by the accountant Andres Cauchela; the natives of the coast of Tule who, according to report, are held by the factor, Andres de Mirandaola; and a thousand Indians, who, according to report are held by the treasurer, Salvador de Aldave in the Sunguian Emasingal valley. In order that his Majesty may possess them as his royal property, like the others that he personally holds, the governor ordered the officials of the royal estate, whether present or future, that they shall hold those encomiendas as the royal property, make collections, and have the natives instructed in the tenets of our holy Catholic faith. He charged this upon their consciences, and in the royal name, relieved his Majesty and himself from that responsibility. And, further, he ordered a duplicate copy of this act to be drawn up, and to send the same to his Majesty.
Doctor Francisco de Sande
In the city of Manila, on May twenty-six, one thousand five hundred and seventy-six, I, the notary undersigned, read and made known the act of his Excellency, herein contained, to the accountant, Andres Cauchela, official of his Majesty's royal treasury, who said he heard it, and that he will answer it. Witnesses, Alonso Ligero, and Balthasar de Bustamante.
Diego Aleman, notary-public.
In the city of Manila, in this said day, month, and year aforesaid, I, the notary undersigned, made known and read the act herein contained, decreed by his Excellency, to the factor and inspector, Andres de Mirandaola, official of his Majesty's royal treasury, in his own person, who said that he heard it, and that he will answer what seems to him necessary. Witnesses, Gaspar de Yola and Melchior Corila.
Diego Aleman, notary-public.
In the city of Manila, in this said day, month, and year aforesaid, I, the notary undersigned, made known and read the act herein contained, decreed by his Excellency, to the treasurer, Salvador de Aldave, official of his Majesty's royal treasury, in his own person, who said that he heard it. Witness, Antonio Caballero.
Diego Aleman, notary-public. Page 280
In the city of Manila, on May twenty-six, one thousand five hundred and seventy-six, the very illustrious Doctor Francisco de Sande, governor and captain-general for his Majesty in these islands of the West, and auditor of his royal Audiencia established in the City of Mexico in Nueva España, said that whereas, since the officials of the royal treasury have been in these islands, they have collected from the trade and royal estate in their charge, many pesos of gold; and whereas, it is reported that, on account of their salaries, they have—despite the decree of his Majesty in their letters-patent, and notwithstanding this letter which they have also received—held Indians without his Majesty's permission, and contrary to his decrees and letters: therefore the governor said that he ordered, and he did order, that whatever they have collected from the Indians held by them in encomiendas be understood as counted toward the salaries which his Majesty may have ordered to be paid to them; and from this time, each third of the year, when they shall collect their salaries, they shall go before his Excellency, so that having seen the needs and the state of the treasury, they shall be paid proportionally, in accordance with the same. And they shall do nothing contrary to this, under penalty of five hundred pesos for the exchequer for each person and for each violation. Because in this present year of seventy-six, we have been informed that each person has collected the said tributes for the whole year, they, shall all declare, clearly and specifically, under oath, the amount thus collected, and for what persons and by whose hand it was collected, so that when the first third comes due, it may be suitably adjusted, according to the above declaration. From now on they shall collect no more, except on the account of the royal treasury, under whose royal jurisdiction they are this day placed. This act shall be filed with the other, and a duplicate shall be made of the whole, to be sent to his Majesty. It was signed by Doctor Francisco de Sande.
In the city of Manila, on the twenty-sixth day of the month of May, one thousand five hundred and seventy-six, I, the notary undersigned, read and made known the act of his Excellency, herein contained word for word, to the accountant Andres Cauchela, official of his Majesty's royal treasury, in his own person. I took and received his oath, which he made before God and the blessed Mary, with the sign of the cross +, in due legal form; and under this charge he promised to tell the truth. Being asked what tributes he has collected from the villages herein mentioned, the form in which they were collected, and under whose direction and by what persons, he said that in this present year of seventy-six, he sent to the villages of Bacayan (which is his encomienda) Juanes de Betaria, now defunct, to collect the tribute from the natives thereof. This man went thither, and collected nine hundred small pieces of white cotton cloth, three or four of which each one gave him as tribute. Likewise he collected, and brought to this deponent, one hundred and fifty pesos in broken silver and testoons, and six tae[l]s of nejas gold, all of which he has, as said, together with seventy fowls. All this he gave and delivered to this deponent, and said that he had collected it from the natives of the said villages of Bacayan. The said Juanes de Guetaria [sic] went by the order of his Excellency to collect the said tributes. He declared that, during this said year of seventy-six, he had not collected anything else from the said villages; and from the others that he holds as encomiendas he has not collected anything since he has held them. This is the truth, which he signed with his name, the witnesses being Alonso Ligero and Baltasar de Bustamante.
Before me, Diego Aleman, notary-public.
In the city of Manila, this said day, month, and year aforesaid, I, the notary undersigned, made known and read the act herein contained, decreed and ordered by his Excellency, to the factor and inspector Andres de Mirandaola, in his own person, from whom was taken and received the oath. He swore before God and the blessed Mary, and on the sign of the cross +, in due legal form, under which obligation he promised to tell the truth. This deponent, being asked what tributes he has collected in this present year of seventy-six, from the villages which he is said to hold as encomiendas, in the lowlands of Tuley, and what persons have collected them, and what they collected, says that it is true that this deponent sent to the said villages of the lowlands of Tuley one Pedro de Bustos, a soldier, who collected the tributes from the natives thereof. This was for the present year seventy-six. This said Pedro de Bustos, this deponent being out of this city, went to the villages, and collected a certain number of bales of cotton, which might weigh thirty quintals, a little more or less. This deponent did not receive anything else, nor did the said Pedro de Bustos give him any account of what he collected, because at that time he was out of this city with the sergeant-major, Juan de Moron. This deponent has not collected anything from the said villages during this present year, seventy-six. This is the truth, and what actually took place, which he signed with his name, the witnesses being Juan de Navarrete and Melchor Correa.
Andres de Mirandaola
Before me, Diego Aleman, notary-public.
On this said day, month, and year aforesaid, I, the notary undersigned, read and made known the act herein contained, decreed by his Excellency, to the treasurer, Salvador de Aldave, official of his Majesty's royal treasury, in his own person. From him I took and received an bath, which he took before God and the blessed Mary, and on the sign of the cross +, in due legal form, under which obligation he promised to tell the truth. Being asked what tributes this deponent has collected from the villages which it is said he holds as his encomiendas in the provinces of Yloco, and the amount thereof, and what persons have collected them in his name, he said, under obligation of his oath, that Bartolome de Vega, a soldier, who about fifteen or twenty days ago came from the province of Yloco, told this deponent that in this year of seventy-six he had collected, from the said villages, tribute from two hundred Indians. This tribute did not come to the hands of this deponent, but went to the factor Andres de Mirandaola in payment of a debt of the royal exchequer, owed to the said factor, and which this deponent was ordered by his Excellency to pay, although he did not owe it. Thus this deponent has received nothing out of what the said Bartolome de Vega collected this said year, of the said two hundred tributes, beyond one hundred and sixty pieces of white cloth from Yloco, which the said Vega gave and delivered to this deponent—a little more or less, he does not remember exactly. This said treasurer said that he was making this declaration to execute his Excellency's order, and protests that he should incur no loss, because the content of the said act ought not to extend to his case, as he is not the proprietor of the said office and duty of treasurer; and because, in all the time that he has held it, he has received neither salary, gratuities, nor allowances, as will appear by his Majesty's books. To those he refers, because he, as holding and occupying the said office which the treasurer Guido de Lavaçares had held, has conducted and exercised the said office as others have done, who at the present day hold encomiendas of Indians. This he said was his declaration, and he so made it, and signed the same with his name.
Salvador de Aldave
Witness, Anton Caballero.
Before me, Diego Aleman, notary-public.
I, the said Fernando Riquel, had this copy made from the original acts, which are in my possession. Therefore I here affixed my name and customary flourishes, in witness of the truth.
Letter to Felipe II by Francisco de Sande
Catholic Royal Majesty:
Although I have served your Majesty in Nueva España as attorney, criminal judge, and auditor in the royal Audiencia of Mexico, I have not written to your Majesty since the year 67, in order not to disturb you; I have always written to the royal Council of the Indies what I considered meet to your royal service. Now I have come to and reside in these Filipinas islands, where I serve your Majesty as your governor and captain-general. As I am so far away, and have grown old in your Majesty's service, and have examined affairs here, and seen the importance, the isolation, and the dangers of this colony, I venture to address your Majesty briefly. I write at length, however, to the royal Council of the Indies, to whom I give account of the voyage, and its events, and of the needs of this land, and I refer you to that letter; I have also written of its condition, and of matters concerning the mainland of China, with what I consider it fitting for your Majesty to order. I humbly beg that your Majesty be so good as to examine the above-named relation, and provide therefor, as what refers therein to the expedition to China is a matter of great moment to your Majesty's service. Page 286This enterprise would be easy of execution, and of little expense, as the Spanish people would go without pay, and armed at their own cost. They will be chosen from the provinces, and will be glad to pay the expenses. The only cost will be for the agents, officers for the construction and command of galleys, artillerymen, smiths, and engineers, and the ammunition and artillery. Food can be supplied to them here, and the troops are energetic, healthy, and young. This is the empire and the greatest glory which remains for the king of the world, the interest which surpasses all others, and the greatest service to God.
I think that I have drawn a true picture of the people, as they are the best in the world for tributarios. They have waged war against the king of Tartaria.1 If they made war on this coast, his occupation, and even that of both, God helping, would soon be over. They have many enemies in this archipelago, who are more valiant than they and who will be of great help. I beseech your Majesty to provide what is most fitting, that the power and laws of so just and great a king may encircle the world.
In these Filipinas islands there are at present five hundred Spaniards in all, and if there were ten thousand, all would be rich. As there are so few we suffer many hardships, since we are among so many enemies. Our only consolation, and mine in particular, is that we are serving your Majesty. Our diligence is unremitting, and we hope for your Majesty's favor. Your Majesty will provide in this for your own cause, and that of the Catholic church. As I write at length to your Majesty's Council, this letter is but brief. May our Lord guard the royal Catholic person of your Majesty, and increase your kingdoms and seigniories, is the wish of your Majesty's vassals and servants. Manila, in the island of Luçon of the Filipinas, June 2, 1576. Royal Catholic Majesty, from your Majesty's loyal vassal and servant, who kisses your royal hands,
The doctor, Francisco de Sande
1 Referring to the Tartar chief Yenta, who harassed the Chinese empire from 1529 until 1570—raiding the frontiers, carrying away rich plunder and many captives (in one campaign, it is said, 200,000 persons), and even threatening Pekin itself. Finally (1570) peace was restored, Yenta acknowledging the sovereignty of the Chinese emperor, and receiving in return the title of prince of Chuny. Yenta died in 1583. See Boulger's Hist. China, ii, pp. 141–144, 150, 154.
All the material of the present volume is found in the archives of Spain—mainly in the Archivo de Indias at Sevilla, and in two patronatos therein; from transcripts of these documents our translations are made, except as otherwise noted. One of these patronatos is thus described: “Simancas Secular; Audiencia de Filipinas; Cartas y expedientes del gobernador de Filipinas vistas en consejo; años 1567 á 1599; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 6.” Under this pressmark are found the following documents: 1569—letters by Lavezaris and Legazpi (this a copy, perhaps made by the viceroy to send to the king), and confirmation of the latter's title; 1570—the last two; 1573—Lavezaris's relation; 1574—Lavezaris's letters to king; 1576—the last two. The other patronato is: “Simancas—Filipinas; Descubrimientos, descripciones y poblaciones de las Yslas Filipinas; años 1566 á 1586; est. 1, caj. 1, leg. 2
24.” This is the pressmark for the following documents: 1569—Mirandaola's letter, and Legazpi's relation; 1570—the first three; 1571–72—all; 1573—Melchior de Legazpi's certificate of expenses; 1574—Mirandaola's letter, Rada's “Opinion” and reply of officials thereto, and Lavezaris's report on slavery; 1575—both documents.
Mirandaola's letters of 1569 and 1574 are bound Page 289together. Regarding the MS. of “Requisitions of supplies” (1571?), see Bibliographical Data of Vol. II, under “Letter to Audiencia of Mexico” (1565). The account of the conquest of Luzón (1572) has been published by Retana in his Archivo bibliófilo filipino, t. iv, no. 1; our translation is made therefrom. The original MS. of Diego de Artieda's relation (1573) is conserved in the Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar at Madrid; its pressmark is “711, 20–3a, caja no 22.” The MS. ascribed by some former archivist to Juan de la Isla, but apparently almost identical with Artieda's (see notes thereon in the text), is in the Archivo de Indias at Sevilla; its pressmark is: “Simancas—Filipinas; Descubrimientos, descripciones y poblaciones de las Islas Filipinas; años 1537 á 1565; est. 1, caj. 1, leg. 1
23.” It is out of its proper chronological place. We have adopted the Madrid MS. for our text, because it contains Artieda's signature; but have incorporated therein all additional matter, or important changes found in the Sevilla copy, as has been stated ante, note 54. The letter of Enriquez (1573) is taken from Cartas de Indias (Madrid, 1877), pp. 290–296; the material for this publication is found, as stated by the editors, in the Archivo Histórico Nacional, Madrid; but they do not locate therein the documents selected by them. Riquel's relation (1574) is a MS. in the Archivo general of Simancas; its pressmark is: “Secretario de Estado, leg. 155.” In Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar, Madrid, is a MS. containing part of the material of this document; it is bound with the Artieda relation. In the Real Academia de la Historia, Madrid, is another MS. (a copy by Muñoz) which is similar to the document of our text, in part; the MS. from which we translate may be a compilation from these other documents and from other letters written by Riquel which are alluded to therein. The document of our text was written partly on shipboard (in a vessel which left Manila July 1, 1573), and completed at Mexico, from which city it was despatched to Spain in January, 1574. The royal decrees of 1574 are taken from Doc. inéd. Amér. y Oceania, xxxiv, pp. 68–71; the originals are probably in Sevilla. The decree forbidding encomiendas to royal officials is at Sevilla, its pressmark being, “Simancas—Secular; Audiencia de Filipinas; Cartas y expedientes de los oficiales reales de Filipinas vistos en el Consejo; años 1564 á 1622; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 29.” Sande's relation of 1576 has been published in Retana's Archivo, ii, no. 1.
It may be well to explain here the method of, arranging and locating documents which is employed in the Sevilla archives. The first division is that of patronatos (sections), designated by names which show the character and source of the documents therein—as “Simancas—Bulas,” that is, papal bulls, which had been brought to Sevilla from Simancas. Each patronato is divided into estantes (shelves), these into cajons (cases), And these again into legajos (packets); the legajo is sometimes further divided into ramos (parts) and números (numbers). Any document may thus be easily and accurately located.
End of Project Gutenberg's The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803, by E.H. Blair
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