The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898: Volume XII, 1601-1604
Edited by Blair and Robertson
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I consider your Majesty's permit in regard to the money going to the Philipinas as liberal and beyond the excess of what is carried as contraband, which is a very large amount. It is almost impossible to put a stop to this, notwithstanding that I do not give permission, expressed or tacit, in that commerce for one real more than the amount allowed; and I have ordered vigorous investigations on this point at the time of the despatch of the vessels. But if it is easy to hide the money, there is little to fear in the penalties, although orders are given that they be executed. Accordingly, in case of the cloth that can be brought to and unloaded at Acapulco, I think that, as it has bulk, it can be locked up in some warehouse and examined, or (which would be more efficacious), that no limit be placed on the use of this class of goods in Nueva Espana, so that those persons whom the viceroy considers needy might not be restricted in wearing it. I fear greatly that in the case of the money, as it is so easy to hide, no sufficient reform can be instituted for this evil, as I see that there is no remedy in other things of like nature, either in the armed ships or the trading vessels from those kingdoms. There, however, is less damage; for this is all in money which goes to infidels and never returns, and thus militates against this country, and that [Espana], and greatly weakens the commerce of both. I recently made arrangements with Don Pedro de Acuna (as I wrote to your Majesty on another occasion) for making a personal inspection at Acapulco; it was decided that I should reject the money, and, because there have never been confiscations that cause fear, that some part of each one's share should be actually applied to the treasury, and that the same should be done in Manila. Since letters received from there state that goods are very dear because of the great quantities of money that go there, it must be that this inspection was not promptly made; and I fear that there is too much laxity there. For it would appear that those islands should grow rich with the increase of money, and that if they buy at high prices they must sell the goods here at high prices; and on this account regard and favor for that land must not give the governor and Audiencia opportunity to take severe measures toward this region. I intend to use rigor at the coming of the ships this year; for this is demanded by the prevalent excesses and our actual experience of the difficulties that result therefrom.

[Endorsed : "Copies of parts of letters from the Conde de Monterey, [10] written to his Majesty, May 15, 1602."]

Points in the Petition from the Filipinas Islands in Regard to Their Commerce

First point

That the commanders, captains, and officers of the vessels plying on the line, be inhabitants of the said islands, and not of Nueva Espana, so that the losses, frauds, and injuries that they cause in loading their goods, and in the transportation by the ships of enormous sums of pesos in consignment and trust, may cease. This would save for his Majesty's treasury the salaries paid the officers of the vessels, and would benefit the islands. The citizens of the islands would receive such posts, when it should pertain to them, as a reward for their services, as the governors have been ordered to grant them to meritorious men.

The bishops of Paraguay and Nueva Segovia declare in information given on this matter, at the order of the Council, that for its remedy and the aid of the islands, it would be very advisable to establish a consulate in Manila; and that the [royal] ships, together with the vessels of the merchants, should go on its account. His Majesty should be given the hulls of the ships, and the masters and officials appointed in the said islands, to whom money from Mexico should not be committed, nor should it be given them in trust. The expense caused to his Majesty by them would thus be saved.

Second point

That the governors be ordered not to sell tonnage in the ships plying in the line to Nueva Espana, no matter what expenses are incurred.

The bishops assert that it is not advisable to sell any space, but that, in case of great necessity, it be done by the consulate; it would be better, however, not to sell it, for if it is sold, then there will be no freight-money for navigating the vessels.

Third point

That the viceroy of Nueva Espana be ordered not to give permission for any Piruvian merchants to go to the islands from Piru, under pretext that they are going to become citizens of the islands—because of the injuries that the islands receive therefrom; because of those merchants carrying, as they do, large sums of money belonging to themselves and others, and to companies; and because they only come to invest the same and return. On this account the prices of merchandise have risen more than fifty per cent. After investing their money, the commanders and masters, because of a money consideration, take these merchants back to Nueva Espana, without it being possible to institute any reform.

The bishops say that it is advisable that they should not go [to the islands] unless for the purpose of becoming actual citizens, for there the difficulties referred to in this point exist.

Fourth point

That the fund for the pay of the troops be placed in the treasury on a separate account, and that the said troops be paid therefrom, and from no other account, in order to avoid the disadvantages that result, and the many offenses and injuries committed by the soldiers under stress of their necessities and the opportunities that arise. This would provide a source for what money might be necessary, not only for the equipment of ships, and provision of ammunition and other military supplies, but for the pay of the soldiers, which is now spent in other things.

The bishops declare this to be inconvenient, and that the half-real which is given for the prebendaries should also be placed in the treasury on a separate account.

Fifth point

That the cabildo, magistracy, and regimiento of Manila be ordered to allot annually the lading of the vessels to the citizens of Manila, for much harm has resulted to the citizens from the governor allotting it—the lading being made illegally, and the governor having allotted it to many of his servants and relatives to the prejudice of the citizens and those born in this country. By this method the allotment would be honestly made without wrong to any one.

The bishops say that if his Majesty orders the consulate to be established in Manila, in such case it would be advisable for the consuls to make the allotment; and the governor cannot feel aggrieved thereby, since the consuls must navigate the vessels with the freight-money. However, if there are no consuls, it should be determined that the cabildo make the allotment, even though the governor be aggrieved.

The licentiate Alonso Fernandez de Castro

Various Memoranda

The question of limiting and restricting the trade between the Philipmas and Mexico has been discussed recently, and two points touching this have been determined: one, that it is not advisable for this trade to take place by way of Yndia; the other that it is not expedient to prohibit all trade between Pyru and Nueva Espana. There still remain five other points to be decided concerning this matter: (1) How many vessels shall take part in this trade. (2) How many toneladas shall be allowed. (3) What persons shall be permitted to take part in this trade. (4) Whether those who go from Mexico to the Philippinas shall be permitted to return. (5) Whether the sending of Sangleys to Manila be limited.


To lessen the coinage of pieces of four and of eight reals. [11] It should be noted that 200,000 and 400,000 ducados have been minted.

To grant a portion of what is confiscated to the informer.

To regulate the merchant-fleets.

To increase the dues, and impose customs.

The first four sections [12] refer to what is ordained in regard to this trade.

The fifth declares the irregularity in the appointments of officers for this fleet.

The sixth, seventh, and eighth treat of the disadvantages which result from not observing the ordinances, and of their violation.

From the ninth to the thirteenth and last, are given the remedies that appear suitable for the correction of these evils.

Five points of the recent document look to the correction of illegal acts, and aim at securing the observance of the ordinances and the accomplishment of other things.

It is noted that the ordinances permit merchandise to be sent by way of Rio de la Plata, which the Sevilla merchants have violently opposed.

The tranquillity of the Indians.

Other remedies proposed by the Conde de Monterrey, who states that he will send others, showing the violations of law. This is in his letter of May 25, of this year.

The conclusion was, the relationship between the said kingdoms, and the increase of trade. It is readily seen that the increase in the manufacture of wines, and in the production of grains, olives, and other foods, and the maintenance of stock-raising by means of the cultivation of grain—all aim at the same object.

It should be noted whether it would be advisable to forbid the coinage of pieces of four and eight, beyond a certain number and quantity—namely, only that necessary to supply the needs there, and for what must be brought here.

To make arrangements for the despatch of the fleet.

To ascertain whether the bishop of Yucatan was the one who had those contentions with the governor, and of whom the friars are talking. He is proposed for the bishopric of Mechoacan.


Considering that the trade should be preserved, and that the officials on the ships should be inhabitants of the Filipinas, and appointed there. That there be a consulate there, which should control the pancada. That the coinage of money be diminished. That the third part [of confiscated goods] go to the informer. That the duties be increased. That if Peru be allowed to trade, it be to a limited amount; and that dues and customs be imposed. That the trading fleets and armed vessels act in concert. That there be a warehouse in Acapulco, wherein to register the merchandise, and where violations of law may be detected; and that the same be done in Manila, with goods sent there. To forbid the use of stuffs for clothing from China.



In the ships which came this year to these islands from Nueva Espana, came the president, Don Pedro de Acuna, who thereupon took up the government; and in the ships which were afterward despatched to Nueva Espana, account was given to your Majesty of this, and of what else occurred on all sides.

A few days afterward, the president supplied himself with ships, military stores, and fighting men in the provinces of Pintados, in order to go against the hostile Mindanaos and Joloans—who, with the help of the Terrenate Moros of Maluco, are infesting them and overrunning those islands every day, with a great deal of damage. Just then word came from Andrea Furtado de Mendoca that with a number of galleons and a fleet of your Majesty's, he was descending upon the fortress of Terrenate to capture it; and conformably with a letter to the president from Arias de Saldana, viceroy of India, which he sent at the same time, he begged that reenforcements of vessels and some men, which he needed, might be sent him, in order that the purpose of the undertaking might be assured. Recognizing the great importance of this, and considering that, if that fortress were taken, besides the great profit from the cloves, [13] these regions would be safe from so fierce an enemy as that which is harassing and overrunning it, and especially that these islands would root out those Mindanaos and Joloans—it seemed to him expedient and necessary that part of what had been prepared for Pintados should be sent to the aforesaid fleet. In order to carry this out well, the president decided that he would go in person to the island of Sibu. May fervent prayers be offered to our Lord that He may give them the good fortune which is needed, in order that by it service may be rendered to Him, and that of your Majesty may be entirely fulfilled.

Of the ships which this year set out from these islands for Nueva Espana, the flagship and one other put in at these islands at the end of four months of stormy sailing, having lightened a quantity of merchandise and then having suffered damage to the goods, very much to the sorrow and loss of the residents of this realm. The commander of the flagship, Don Lope de Ulloa, a relative of the Conde de Monterrey, and an experienced and courageous knight, thought to make repairs in Xapon and from there, having made ready, to continue his voyage. So he went in search of a harbor in that kingdom, in the province of Toca, near the place where, in the year 96 just past, the galleon "Sant Felipe" entered. The natives gave him assurances of safety and all facilities for his departure; but when he had entered a harbor there came a governor of Dayfusama, with a number of fighting men—arquebusiers, musketeers, and archers. After having given the men on the ship the same promise of security, and after having had six Spaniards sent to Miaco with a present for Dayfusama, [14] according to the custom of the country, he captured on land some religious and some other Spaniards who had ventured to go out from the ship; and then made extraordinary efforts to stop the entrance of the harbor and to seize the ship with all its cargo. Seeing the deceit and violence which was being committed, it became necessary for the Spaniards to defend themselves, and to get out of the harbor by fighting, with loss to both sides and with great difficulty; and so, through the mercy of God, they came to these islands. When the Japanese saw themselves deprived of the capture of the ship which they doubtless already thought their own, we do not know what decision they may have reached regarding those who remained on land—nor, above all, what Dayfusama may have done. It appears only that all friendship with these infidels is dangerous, and that at least the religious who interfere in this, and consider it certain, allow themselves to be deceived easily by their ardent desire to enter these lands, which is caused by their zeal for the conversion [of the infidels]; and thus they facilitate certain matters, and are more confident in them than is desirable.

It seemed to be necessary, considering the absence of the president from this city and the arrival of the two ships of this expedition, to give an account to your Majesty of what was to be known about these matters, by way of India, in a Portuguese ship which is setting out from here for Goa. In this I have been influenced only by what is for the service of your Majesty and in order that your Majesty may be informed of what is being done in these remote regions, by every route. I beg your Majesty to pardon my boldness, and I pray our Lord to guard your Majesty for many long years. From Manila, on the first of December in the year 1602.

Doctor Antonio de Morga


Three Chinese mandarins at Manila. Geronimo de Salazar y Salcedo; May 27. Resignation of his office by the bishop of Nueva Segovia. Miguel de Benavides; July 4. Letters to Felipe III. Miguel de Benavides; July 5 and 6. Letters to Felipe III. Pedro de Acuna and others July-December. The Sangley insurrection. Pedro de Acuna, and others; December 12-23.

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

Translations: These documents are translated by Robert W. Haight—except the second, by Jose M. and Clara M. Asensio.


The licentiate Geronimo de Salazar y Salcedo, fiscal for your Majesty in the royal Chancilleria of the Philipinas Islands. In the month of February or March of each year there usually come from the kingdom of China to this city of Manila thirty ships, and sometimes more, with merchandise from that kingdom. This year they were detained until the middle of May, and only fourteen ships came. In one of them were three mandarins, who are the same as those whom we call "governors." Three or four days before they arrived at this city, the chief of them sent a letter to Don Pedro de Acuna, governor and captain-general of these islands and president of the royal Audiencia thereof. A copy of the translation of this letter will be sent with this. In this they gave us to understand that Oyten, a Chinaman who had been in these islands, told their king that in the port of Cavite there was a great hill of gold which had no owner, and that the people of that vicinity availed themselves of it to obtain a great quantity of gold. Their king had sent him to learn the truth, for there had been those who contradicted this; and therefore the governor should have no apprehension, and might rest secure.

On the twenty-third of May the three mandarins landed in this city, with many insignia of justice which they are accustomed to wear in China, attended by alguacils, executioners, and other officers, with wands and cords, and receiving much reverence. They had a small box in which were carried the patents of their offices. While I was on that day in the company of the governor, all three mandarins came in to visit him, and we saw them coming from a window. I told the governor that those mandarins could not be allowed to carry their insignia of justice; but he answered me that there was nothing worth notice in that. A short time after this, Pedro Hurtado Desquivel, clerk of the court of the said royal Audiencia, in behalf of the auditors thereof told the governor to take notice that he could not consent that the mandarins should bear the insignia of justice in this city. He answered in the same manner as he had replied to me. The mandarins having taken up quarters in houses which were made ready for them, I had information that they were sending thither Chinese and flogging them, in form of justice, according to the Chinese usage. This moved me to enter a petition in regard to it in the royal Audiencia, demanding that this be stopped. I was ordered to give an information, and I did so, as fully appears by the copy thereof which accompanies this. When the governor learned of this, he was much angered at me, and complained bitterly of me—saying that this proceeding was in opposition to him; and that I should have first given him an account of what I wished to petition, which I should have done very willingly [illegible in MS.] had I thought it of any use. But as he had seen what occurred, it appeared to me—with the report of the Audiencia, and what I had before said to him in regard to the mandarins not bearing insignia of justice—that any further discussion of the subject with the governor might be dispensed with, and that it was my duty to petition as I did. The Audiencia took no action, because the governor issued an act commanding that the mandarins should not administer justice, or bear their insignia of chastisement through the streets. The Audiencia commanded that this act be joined with the information which I had given, and the mandarins went back to their own country. As it appeared to me well that your Majesty should know of this affair—of which you will find full details in the information of which I speak—I have thought it best to give an account thereof to your Majesty, so that your Majesty may be pleased to command that the procedure be established in the case of mandarins coming from China to this city, and direct in what state they are to go through the streets; for the tokens of authority which those mandarins bore were excessive. I have even gone so far, in order that this may be better investigated, as to have a picture made of the style in which they went about, a copy of which will go with this, since the brief time prevents me from having another copy made. I have also had placed upon it what each figure signifies, the explanations being in the petition which I placed before the Audiencia, a copy of which goes with the documents above mentioned.

On the twenty-ninth of April of this year it was God's will that there should be so great a fire in this city that, within two hours, there were burned one hundred and fifty houses, among them the best of the city, and the thirty-two built of masonry, one of which was mine. [15] Not having any people to help me, I could not save its contents, and only with the greatest difficulty did I save my library. The cause of the lack of people to aid in putting out the fire, and taking out from several of the houses what they could, was that the governor had ordered the gates of the cities locked so that no Chinese or Indians could enter—although they would have been of much use, as they have been in other fires which we have had. In the passion of my grief, for I had lost more than six thousand pesos, I said that my house had been burned through the lack of people and the order to shut the gates of the city. This coming to the ears of the governor, he became angry about this also, although he has never said anything to me about it; for the resolution which he adopted of locking the gates could only be based on the idea that the Chinese should not enter, lest they might possess themselves of the city. This could have been guarded against by letting what seemed to be a safe number of Chinese enter—as they never carry arms, and are a wretched and miserable people—and by then shutting the gates of the city and having soldiers to guard the Sangleys who were going about on the inside; and so everything would have been provided against. These occasions of annoyance to the governor might induce him, as he is somewhat hot-tempered, to write to your Majesty concerning me, seeking to discredit me—which I do not deserve, considering the desire which I have to accomplish much in the service of your Majesty, whom I also beseech to be pleased to have me heard in regard to whatever is imputed to me. May God protect your Majesty according to His power, with great increase of your kingdoms and seigniories. Manila, in the Philipinas Islands, July 5, 1603.

The licentiate Hieronimo de Salazar y Salcedo

[Endorsed: "Manila; to his Majesty, 1603. The fiscal Hieronimo de Salazar; July 5. Examined on the second of July, 1604. No response to be given."]

Copy of a letter which Chanchian, the chief mandarin of the three who came to this city of Manila from the kingdom of China in the month of June of the year one thousand six hundred and three, wrote in the Chinese characters and tongue to Don Pedro de Acuna, governor and captain-general of the Philipinas Islands for the king our lord, and his president in the royal Chancilleria thereof, four days before the said mandarins arrived in the said city; translated from the original of the said letter by a Dominican religious.

Chanchian, of the lineage of Au, who governs the warriors of the province of Hoquien, the envoy of the king of the realm of China, and servant of the eunuch of the lineage of Cou. Because Tio Heng, who is considered a reputable man, has gone to the king of China [16] and told him that from this kingdom there could each year be taken for the king of China a hundred thousand taes of gold and three hundred thousand taes of silver at his expense, so that his vassals should not pay tribute or be molested, the king has sent a eunuch who is called Cochay to take charge of those who have said that there was gold. This Tio Heng with five companions say that outside of the boundaries of Hayten in a place called Lician there is a mountain which is called Heyt Coavite, one lonely mountain in the midst of the wide-spread sea; and that there is no realm to which it belongs or to which the inhabitants pay tribute. In that place is collected much gold and silver. The vassals of that mountain spend gold as freely as if it were garbanzos [17] and lentils. He has seen that the vassals of that mountain of Cavite dig and gather it from the earth, and in every house of Cavite he saw, if it were a poor one, a medida (which is three gantas), and in those of the rich a hundred gantas of this gold; and they store it up in order to trade with the Sangleys who come there to trade, so that they may buy their property. And he said: "At present you have no gold within your house to spend, and you have no place whence to get it, and it would be much easier to go and get it from that said place than to ask it from your vassals. It is true that I have seen it; and now I have come to tell you this; and I do not ask that you shall give me anything for going for it, but that you should give me permission to go for it. I alone will find the people, and spend what may be necessary to go and dig it. And this year, when they have brought this gold, you can go to see the gold which the captains and merchants have brought who come each year from Luzon. In two years from now I will give you twice the gold and silver that I have promised you, and with this you may be satisfied; and the kingdom and the vassals will rejoice. This affair is serious and of great importance." The king gave permission that this should be done, and the eunuch named Cochay, with these mandarins, is accompanying Tio Heng to Luzon to reach the mine of gold and see whether there is or is not such a mine, when they will go back to the king and inform him. From all provinces there came people to the king to tell him that this kingdom of Luzon was as small as a cross-bow pellet; and that they have never heard that there was gold there, as Tio Heng says, but that he is lying. On this account the merchants of Hayten did not go to seek permission, nor did they dare to go to Luzon; but the judge of Chiochio ordered that they should fulfil their contracts with the said Tio Heng, and see whether there was gold or not. This is all their business, and therefore the governor of Luzon may rest secure, and without apprehension or suspicion of evil. I am quite certain that Tio Heng is lying, and command that they shall go immediately to learn whether there is gold or not, and order that an interpreter [naguatato] should go with them to see whether or not there is gold. They say that they wish to hasten their departure, and that they do not wish to stay in this land, giving occasion for complaints, and, believe me, you cannot detain us. Dated the thirty-first year of the reign of Landec, on the tenth of the fourth moon, which is the present month of May according to their reckoning.

[At the beginning of the Spanish translation are the following sentences, apparently memoranda by some clerk or interpreter:]

Copy of the letter which the chief Chinese mandarin of the three who came to Manila wrote at sea to the president, governor and captain-general of the Filipinas.

Mandarin is the same word as governor in Castilla.

The viceroys of the kingdom of China are for the most part eunuchs, and to that end the king bring up a number of them in his house; it is said that there are fourteen thousand from whom he may choose.

Cavite is the principal port of the Filipinas, and lies three leagues from Manila. Luzon is the name of the island on which Manila is situated.

Copy of the petition and information given by the fiscal of the royal Audiencia of the Filipinas concerning the three mandarins who came to the city of Manila.

Most potent lord: The licentiate Geronimo de Salazar y Salcedo, your fiscal in the royal Chancilleria of the Philipinas Islands, will relate this as best he can. On Friday, which I reckon to be the twenty-third of this present month of May, there entered into this city three infidel Sangleys, who came in the last-arrived ships from the kingdom of China; and they wear the garments and caps which are usually worn in that kingdom by the great mandarins—for it is thus they call those who serve their king in some high office of justice. They say that they came by his order to see if there is a hill of gold in the port of Cavite; for he has been informed that his Chinese vassals who trade and traffic in these said islands bring a quantity of gold on which they do not pay him duty; and, that they may pay it, he wishes to know the truth. The said three Sangleys, who claim to be mandarins, go out from their houses on their way to this city, seated in chairs upon the shoulders of four Sangleys; and, attached to their persons, on each side go six of their guards armed as archers. Before them walk two Sangleys who bear suspended from their shoulders a porcelain case in which it is said they carry their chapas which indicate that they are mandarins, which is the same that we here call "decrees" and "royal commissions." Behind them goes another Sangley on a horse, who is said to be the secretary of the three mandarins. Before them go in file six Sangleys with staves upon their shoulders, on the ends of which are white tablets with characters of gold, which is said to be the insignia of alguacils. Six other Sangleys carry little banners of different colors, with characters written upon them in the Chinese tongue, which are said to indicate the great authority and wide jurisdiction of the said mandarins. One Sangley, who they say is a minister of justice, bears a piece of cane as thick as one's arm, lacquered in black. Among these goes a Sangley with two small kettle-drums and four others with canfonias and other musical instruments which they use, all of them playing. Before all these people go six Sangleys, two of whom carry two iron chains, which are said to be to put on those whom they are ordered to arrest; two others carry two cords tied to sticks upon their shoulders, which are said to be to tie those whom they are ordered to flog; the other two, who are called upos, which is the same as executioners in Espana, bear two half-canes four dedos wide and a braza long, with which they flog the delinquents, whom if they wished they could kill with a few strokes. Between these go two Sangleys each one of whom cries out in his own language from time to time, with loud shouts; and it is said that they are calling out, "Make way, for the mandarins are coming," and as soon as they come out of their houses, and until they enter them again, these cries are kept up. When the Sangleys meet the mandarins, they flee from them and hide themselves; and if they cannot do this they bend their backs very low with their arms extended upon the ground, and remain in this position while the mandarins pass, which is quite in the form and manner which is customary in the said kingdom of China. Sunday afternoon in front of the house of one of the said mandarins they [MS. torn—whipped?] an Indian or mulatto in the street before the house of the said mandarin (the latter being at the window), in judicial form according to the Chinese usage. Yesterday, Monday, they flogged a Sangley in his own house; and another one they put to the hand-torture, quite according to their usage. Two of those who are said to correspond to alguazils, bearing the said banners as a sign thereof (just as the long staves of justice are borne in Espana), seized a Christian Sangley in the [MS. illegible] of the licentiate Christoval Tellez de Almacan, your auditor of the said royal Audiencia, saying that they were going to take him before a mandarin, who had ordered them to seize him; but when they were outside of the house of Doctor Antonio de Morga, an auditor of the said royal Chancilleria, he came to a window at hearing the noise, and stopped them. He did so because this is administering justice, and all these things are insignia thereof—whence no little scandal has arisen in this city of Manila, on account of the grave offenses which have been committed here by the said persons who call themselves mandarins, and by the others whom they have with them. I give information of this so that suitable action in this matter may be decided upon and decreed, and which, if necessary, I offer my services to investigate. I beg and beseech your Highness to command and decree whatever may be fitting in such a case, and that information may be given concerning this my petition, and concerning what may be decreed in regard to it, in order to inform thereby the royal person of your Highness for which, etc., I demand justice.

The licentiate Geronimo de Salazar y Salcedo

In public session on the twenty-seventh of May in the year one thousand six hundred and three. Let the investigation be immediately made, and committed to the secretary, and the results brought up for judicial action.


[Then follows the above-mentioned investigation—depositions by various persons, corroborating the statements of the fiscal; and a decree by the governor, forbidding any Chinaman to insult or molest the mandarins, and the latter to exercise any rights of justice in Spanish territory.]


In the city of Manila of the Philippine Islands, on the fourth of July in the year one thousand six hundred and three, before me, the notary and the undersigned witnesses. The most reverend Senor Don Fray Miguel de Benavides, the first bishop of Nueva Segobia of the said islands, member of the Council of the king our lord, declared that—inasmuch as his royal Majesty Don Philipe the Third, our lord and king, had been pleased to choose him, and present him to the notice of his Holiness the most holy father, the Roman pontiff, as archbishop of this archbishopric of Manila, and appreciating so fully the grace shown therein by his Majesty, and desiring to fulfil the royal will and pleasure as a faithful vassal, and for other reasons important to the service of God and that of the said king our lord, and for the good of the souls in this land—from the present moment he did relinquish the said bishopric of Nueba Segobia. This he has done as soon as he can and ought, and in conformity with law, in order that his Majesty may present for the said bishopric whomsoever he shall please; and he accepted, and does accept, in such form as is authorized and required by law, the archbishopric of Manila; and he took, and does take when necessary, the duties and obligations thereof, and its government upon his shoulders, corporally and spiritually, in order to administer them conformably to the requirements of canonical law. And as he makes the said resignation and the said acceptance, he desires me, the present notary, to make public declaration thereof in due form, and asks that those present shall witness and sign it. The witnesses are: The father provincial of the Order of St. Dominic, Fray Juan de Santo Tomas; the father Fray Juan Bautista, guardian of the said Order; and the father Fray Pedro de San Vicente, vicar of the Christian Chinese.

Fray Miguel, bishop of Nueba Segovia.

I, Benito de Mendiola, apostolic notary. By the apostolic authority of the Holy Office of the Inquisition in this archbishopric, I was present with the other witnesses at the above notarial act, and at the end affix my signature, in testimony of the truth thereof.

Benito de Mendiola, apostolic notary.

We, the undersigned, do hereby certify and declare that Benito de Mendiola who has sealed and signed this instrument, is the notary of the Holy Office in this archbishopric, and exercises his office of apostolic notary for any documents which may be presented to him. Therefore entire faith and credit must be given to all documents which have passed or do pass before him in or out of court. That this may be evident, we give the present; at Manila, on the fourth of July in the year one thousand six hundred and three.

Fernando de Alanis, public notary.

Francisco de Valante, public notary.

Jhoan Fernandez de Aparicio, public notary.



I arrived in this city of Manila, having accepted the favor, so signal, which your Majesty has conferred upon this his most insignificant vassal and servant, by the royal decree of your Majesty; this was presented to the dean and chapter of this church, who complied with it promptly, and delivered to me the government, in which I am now installed.

I find this city and country in so afflicted and ruined a condition, and the minds of many of the Spaniards, including the principal ones here, so anxious, and desirous of leaving this country, that it causes me much concern. I am not overcome at confronting the very great and continuous hardships which result; but, without counting those dating back to the time of Don Francisco Tello, those of this year alone are enough to put us in great straits. Even the Indians have taken such courage against the Spaniards, that they came from Mindanao in battle array, to harry our coasts; and they have taken captive Spaniards, and even two priests—to say nothing of innumerable Indians, whom they seize to sell into slavery among infidels, where it is very likely that they will abandon the faith. They have destroyed villages and churches, and taken away much valuable spoil; and at one time it was only through the mercy of God that they failed to capture the governor, Don Pedro de Acuna. Other Indians, called Camucones, [18] a wretched people, have also brought misfortunes upon our people. There arrived this year two of the ships of those which went to Nueva Espana. The cloth sent in one of them came back badly wet, and ruined. On this day, the first of May, occurred in this city a conflagration—a most grievous loss, for, according to the account of those who were present, it was no ordinary fire, but burned the richest quarter of the city, and the convent of St. Dominic (which was the largest here), and the royal hospital for the Spaniards. It all happened in so singularly short a time that no goods or property could be gotten out of the houses; accordingly, much of the merchandise which arrived in the ships was consumed. This was especially disastrous as this poor Spanish people, who were expecting some alleviation of their misfortunes through the returns from their property sent to Nueva Espana this year, lost even that consolation; for the ships from Mexico for these islands this year were despatched thence very late, and arrived here at the time when those from here were departing. These are already very late, and are in great danger that what has happened in years past will occur again—that is, to return to port, or be lost in these seas. This is not the only evil, for very little of the money which has come belongs to the citizens of this country, whereas there is much belonging to Mexicans and Peruvians. It is said that not more than a hundred and fifty thousand pesos has come of the citizens' money, for all the islands, out of all the amount graciously allowed by your Majesty for this country, which amounts to five hundred thousand pesos; and that all the rest belongs to Peruvians or Mexicans. The calamity is so great that for some of the residents of these islands their agents in Mexico bought licenses at a high price, so that they might send them their own money. It is very certain that the viceroy of Mexico is not to blame for these things, as he is well known to be an excellent Christian; but some one or other is deceiving him, to the ruin of this community.

To all these troubles of ours is added another, which causes anxiety enough. One of the Chinese who came here, a chair-maker and carpenter, returned to China. He must be a man of courage and ambitious designs; for he went to the court of the king of China and, with others like himself, proposed to trouble our peace. They found a man of note, who by birth inherits from his ancestors, in the succession due the eldest son, the right to be captain of the guard of the king of China. His lineage is called Liang, and his office Pacu, while his own name is Yameng. He must be something of a spendthrift (for he is very poor), and restless in temperament. He gave ear to the said chair-maker, named Tienguen, and to his companions. The opportunity seemed to them favorable: and they decided to petition for the conquest of this country under the cloak and pretext which the situation afforded them, saying that there was a mountain here called Keit and that this mountain is entirely of gold, and other things—which your Majesty may examine, if you so wish, in the petition and memorial in this matter which was presented to the king of China, and a copy of which, translated into Castilian, de verbo ad verbum, I am sending your Majesty. This Keit is the port of this city, which we call Cabite, the Chinese calling it Keit. They imagined and told a thousand lies to one word of truth, all with the intention and desire of having the king of China give them permission to get together troops and go out to sea, and once there, either to come to conquer this country, or to become pirates and rob, in China itself or wherever they could. The king of China demanded pledges that what they were seeking was real, and not a deception by which they were to become robbers and pirates; and as this Liang Paou is a man of such standing, he furnished three hundred or more men as surety. All the viceroys of the realms and provinces of China and their councils (who reside with the viceroys)—to the number of thirteen great realms and provinces, which they call Pouchenti, beside the two powerful provinces and courts [or "circuits "] which they call Kin, one called Lam Kin, which means "the court of the southern region," and the other Pac Kin, [19] which means "the court of the northern region"—all the said viceroys and councils wrote to the king, trying with many arguments and examples to persuade him that what these deceivers said was false, and that he should beware of them; all this your Majesty may see, if you are so pleased, by the documents, which I send translated into Castilian. But the devil, who seeks his opportunity, furnished these evil men with a king so filled with greed and so overpowered by it that he is almost mad on the subject; and his actions indicate this, for he has had men made of gold and women of silver, and has them at his feasts and gives them drink. He sent to every one of his realms one of his eunuchs, who, in order to secure gold and silver for the king, exacted great tributes from the vassals. The empire of China feels very much oppressed by this, as the Chinese here tell us, without any secrecy, that they believe that there will be within two years, more or less, conspiracies and rebellion in China. As the king is such a man, and the adventurers furnished the said sureties, he was not willing either to follow the advice of the viceroys and their councils, or entirely to reject it. He commanded certain judges and mandarins to come to examine Keit personally, and see whether what was said of it was true or false. Accordingly, there came this year, in this month of May, three mandarins in all their majesty, to this city of Manila. Governor Don Pedro de Acuna received them and treated them very courteously and very prudently, although to some persons this seemed unreasonable; and it certainly was an irregular proceeding to give them permission to go to Cabite to see whether there was gold or not. They went there, and took with them the said chair-maker and carpenter Tienguen, whom they brought from China for this purpose. The mandarins commanded Tienguen, when they arrived at Cavite, to show them where the gold was and have done with it. The man answered with good courage, in a word, and said to them, "If you choose that this be gold, gold it will be; but if you do not, it will not be gold. I tell you that you should cut off the heads of the Indians of this country, and you will find their necks all covered with chains and necklaces of gold; and this is the gold that I told you of." Finally the governor sent back the said mandarins, apparently satisfied; and he wrote to the viceroy, the eunuch, and the inspector of the town and kingdom to which the Chinese who came here belonged. By one of these men Governor Don Pedro de Acuna wrote a very discreet letter concerning the matter. Now we are waiting to see how the greed of the king of China and of his eunuch will be affected by these things, and what measures the captain of the guard and the sureties will take to right their falsehood and save their lives; for, if they are declared impostors, they will lose their lives. We hope in the Lord, that He will look upon this Christian community which is being founded here, and will calm the feelings of the Chinese in this region; and that, if they come, they will find that the governor has the country so well prepared that either they will not go back, or will return in such a state that they will not desire to come here again. This country could be with little difficulty, if the viceroy of Mexico provides sufficient aid, put in such a condition that this war need not be greatly feared. I was the first one who learned of this matter, and who protested. I informed the governor of the matter, and afterward, on St. Dominic's day and on St. Francis's day, I likewise explained the whole affair to the congregation, quite publicly in the pulpit, so that the truth might be known—as well as the importance in which I held this, being a man who knows the language of these Chinese, and is acquainted with many of their affairs and customs in China, having spent many months there. I also did this that the affair might be taken up prudently and carefully, as there might be counselors to advise ill in the matter, not understanding it. With this affair, and its many misfortunes, this country is much troubled; and there is great need of aid on the part of your Majesty. Likewise, of late years, there have not been wanting omens and warnings in this country. A notable warning that they tell of, is two stars that fought with one another, going backward and then returning to the encounter—a thing which seems supernatural; finally, one of them moved toward Manila, and the other one toward China. I do not count these things for much; but this thing is of much importance, namely, a sadness and depression on the part of the Spaniards, which is so great that discreet and Christian people have remarked it. What makes me fear much, Sire, is not what I have told of, but what I shall now tell your Majesty—although I know that your Majesty will say that I am unreasonable, and will feel much aggrieved that I am so intrusive. The first matter is the continual sodomy which the Chinese practice in these islands to so great an extent, and communicate to the Indians—which is the worse, for the Indians were formerly most clean in this matter, so far as can be learned. God will consume us all with fire some day, or in some other way destroy us, since we, a Christian people, are tolerating and supporting in our own country a people so given to this vice. Each year one of the auditors takes in charge the expulsion of the Chinese, and this comes to no purpose except that such auditor gives a living or enrichment to some friend or relative of his; since for every license that they give for remaining here they take, besides the tribute for your Majesty, two reals from each Chinaman; this is a large tribute, as there are always eight or ten thousand of them. This is without counting the additional payments which, if the auditor or the person he appoints wishes to open his hand to receive, will amount to a great deal. While I am writing this, I am in receipt of a note from the commissary of the Holy Office, in connection with this matter, which, as it is so much to the purpose, I will give here in full. It is as follows: "Jesus be with your Lordship. Several Sangleys tried to persuade me to procure for them licenses to remain in the country, but I would not consider the matter. A few days later they came with the licenses, and told me that each one had cost them twenty reals, amounting to five tostons. If this goes on in this way, what they tell me of past years appears probable—namely, that the licenses cost seventy thousand pesos, since there was more fraud. May our Lord protect your Lordship." These are the words of the said commissary. [In the margin: "So great an excess seems to be an exaggeration, and it did not occur at a time when the auditors could attend to this."]

These two reals from each Chinaman for the license, each year, ought to be expended to pay the salary of the man appointed by the auditor, and for other matters. These Chinese are never effectually driven out, nor is their number diminished, and I fear that these Chinese will not be driven out until God, for the sins against nature which we permit in this country, has destroyed us; for it is our greed which maintains them. The Jesuits [20] alone, have on their cultivated lands about two hundred and fifty Chinese, each of whom is worth and pays to them each month four reals and a fowl (which is worth four more), and each Friday a certain number of hen's eggs, and an equal number of goose eggs. Besides this, the Chinese give either fruit or garden truck, and are made to plant fruit-trees. This is in a single small settlement, called Quiapo, situated near this city. The Jesuits have other fields also in this neighborhood. The Augustinians have many other fields in the village of Tondo, which lies directly across the river from this city; I am told that they have in these two hundred and fifty more Chinese. The master-of-camp, Pedro de Chaves, and other persons, also have farms, all full of this sodomy. With the protection of these and many other persons, these men are maintained, and this vice is kept alive in this your Majesty's land. Lord, have mercy; Lord, have mercy; Lord, have mercy! I beg of your Majesty to have compassion upon us, and, since your Majesty has conferred upon me the gift of this archbishopric, to favor and aid me; for greed is most puissant, and, if there be no fear of punishment, it will support the sodomites and heretics. The governors and the auditors all are glad to have the religious write favorably of them to your Majesty and to the auditors of the royal Council of the Indias; they will therefore, tolerate much, for they are unwilling to displease the religious orders. I must speak the naked and evident truth, Sire; and, for the love of God, those who are guilty of this vice should be sent out of the realms of your Majesty, and this black Parian be taken from them. They should all go forth and return to their own country; and those who come here for commerce should remain in their ships, at least at night. There are already enough married Christian Chinamen here who can and will care for the fields, and they will engage in other employments. If it be impossible to maintain all the buildings with the promptness and abundance of laborers and craftsmen that they have at present, yet this is a small matter, and such as occurs in Hespana and Ytalia. For if your Majesty gives permission for a hundred to remain here, ten thousand will remain; for the governors, auditors, religious, and confessors who are interested, and the captains likewise, will take advantage of the opportunity that your Majesty leaves open, with a thousand evasions, and arguments that since your Majesty gives permission for a hundred, it should also be given for other hundreds and other thousands. Accordingly, for the love of God, let there come a decree and with it a reiterated injunction from your Majesty similar to the most Catholic and potent decision of the Catholic monarchs, Don Fernando and Dona Ysabel, your Majesty's progenitors, putting an end at once to these evils and driving these people from the lands of your Majesty, as did the said sovereign monarchs. Not even considering their royal tributes, at one stroke they drove all the Moors and Jews from Hespana, and that deed they considered as their glory. Your Majesty must not think that these people are only in or about Manila, for they are through the whole country and scattered all about; and they are spreading this diabolical crime and other vices throughout the whole land, and even their evil doctrines. In spite of this even the religious, as well as the others, tolerate them for the temporal advantages in building and other affairs, which they find in the Chinese. If we be not very pure toward God and justice and reason, a thousand will lead us to love and take pleasure in temporal affairs and interests.

The second cause for these heavy punishments is the excessive wickedness which exists among the Spaniards and Indians in the sin of carnality. The third cause is the disregard of your royal decrees and mandates. This has brought ruin upon the country; and as, in truth, just laws are the strong walls of kingdoms, so on the contrary the violations of such laws are the breaches through which enters ruin. Besides this, into this country has come a doctrine of evil theologians and jurists and confessors, who, weakening the force of the laws of the kings in their relation to the conscience, open a very broad field for the violation of what your Majesty so justly and prudently orders. [In the margin: "I say this in regard to the decrees which concern commerce between these islands and Mexico, as well as several others."]

The fourth cause is a neglect of punishment against the alcaldes-mayor; nor is any investigation of importance carried on against them, nor are they in any way punished. This is a great pity, and as those who are going to be their successors take their residencias, they accommodate one another, and the Indians dare not speak. Other persons, more shrewd, even say that they will make any claims during the residencias, since that is of no use except to point out the way to robbery which the predecessor trod, so that the successor may follow him. These things have always caused me grief; but now that I have these souls in charge it weighs upon me much to see these evils and the little redress which comes, Sire, from your Majesty's powerful hand. I seek from your Majesty no more show of authority for the correction of these evils than belongs to me by right of office, in order to make no display of ambition; for even in matters which belong properly to my office I feel that my powers are very limited and not at all adequate to its demands. But I hope in the Lord that He will inspire in the heart of your Majesty a desire to introduce some effective remedy sufficient for these evils, since their character is self-evident. Manila, July 5, 1603.

Fray Miguel, archbishop elect of Manila.


I have written another more detailed letter to your Majesty, and in this I shall give a brief account of several matters that should be set right. I express the desire for this under a greater sense of obligation, and the more confidently, because your Majesty has so considered this minister, vassal, and servant of yours in appointing me archbishop of this city—which appointment I have received, and have delivered to the chapter of the church your Majesty's letter to that effect and announcing that I had been given the government of it, and its occupancy.

This city and these islands are most poverty-stricken, and harassed by a thousand troubles from heaven—what with the fires, and the enemies, and (worst of all) our own friends and brothers, the vassals of your Majesty. The people from Mexico have borne down on this unfortunate country this year, in a very inundation. To repair the ruin which the Mexicans and Peruvians are bringing upon us, and in order to discover and rid ourselves of those here who are in partnership with them, the cabildo of this city, through their procurator, presented me with a petition asking me for this purpose to excommunicate such persons. I, who hold the name of excommunication in great awe, when it is placed generally upon this land (where there is not so much fear of God as in Espana), did not grant the excommunication; but I drew up a petition, and presented it to the royal Audiencia. To this they issued the reply which I beg your Majesty to have examined together with my petition; I am sending your Majesty a copy of the aforesaid petition and of their action thereon. If the members of this royal Audiencia were auditors, and not court alcaldes, I would not have recourse over there, but here, as to alcaldes of court, giving information and denouncing a crime amounting to public robbery, and opposed to the general welfare of all this community—for the loss and thievery falls on all alike, and is greatly against this realm—which can be so easily proved; and since the proof is so easy, I do not dare enter with the power and sword of the church. This response, saying that they will inquire about it, is not a thing of today only. I am surprised at such a response in a criminal case, (for in this matter I have proceeded not only ad petitionem partis, [i.e., "as a private-suitor"] but also ex oficio), on acount of both the publicity of the wrongdoing, and the authority of the denunciation. I see here no evidence of the functions of the court alcaldes, although it is a country where this authority and this office is very necessary. If I speak in these matters, they can tell me that I am a theologian; and, in short, they will act as they please. Accordingly I present this to your Majesty, so that, if what I say has any weight, redress for this evil may be obtained. It is certain that even if it were only to keep anyone from imagining that this concerns any of the Audiencia, or any of their friends or kinsmen, it would be well to investigate this matter. Indeed, I do not know who could singly bring an action against the individual members of this company, but this should be done against all, for they all cause the loss to all. In short, the matter will remain without investigation, and the partnerships undisturbed, while our ruin will increase. Although I see this, I know not if I shall dare in spite of all this to impose an excommunication; for I have little faith in the consciences of some persons here, especially in matters touching their profits.

It is very necessary that your Majesty should order by royal decree and reiterated injunction [sobrecarta] in the immediate future, what you have already so justly ordered—namely, that the offices and profitable positions in the country be not given to the servants and kinsmen of the governors and auditors, who certainly obtain them from time to time. Such people alienate the residents here. Although I may appear impertinent in saying it, it is true that I fear it is of more advantage to be a servant, or married to a servant, of an auditor, than to be bishop. I say this not alone regarding those who are here, but also on account of the connection of the viceroy of Mexico with affairs pertaining to this country. On this subject I am sending, together with this, a clause of a letter written to me a few days ago by the fiscal of your Majesty, the licentiate Geronimo de Salazar y Salcedo, who went to inspect the ships which have just come from Mexico. It is very important for the royal exchequer of your Majesty, and to everyone, that neither the viceroy of Nueva [Espana] nor the governor here should have any authority in such affairs, nor in any in which they have an interest, or which concern the auditors; and all matters in this state should be removed from their power.

I am informed that the cabildo of the church and that of the city have written, and are now writing, in regard to the seating of the wives and daughters of the auditors, and what should be conceded to the city officials. It certainly appears unfitting that in the main chapel of the cathedral, which is not very large, the priest, the ministers, and the archbishop or bishop, when they are in the most exalted part of the ministration at the altar, should encounter immediately under their eyes, handsomely dressed women and girls. I do not think that this is in accordance with the sacred canons, or with the lofty contemplations which alone are fitting at the altar, and the devil greatly prizes all that he may gain there. This has come to such a pass that even the alcaldes-mayor desire that, in their own districts, their wives should enter into the main chapels, even though the bishop be present. One of them had a fierce quarrel with me over the matter, but both he and his wife paid for it to God, a short time after, and are still suffering for it; and we know not when their punishment will end, for they pay with their honor and peace of mind. Further, it is not right that the wives of the auditors should be placed ahead of the city officials. They tell me that even the children and brothers-in-law of the auditors are sometimes seated on the bench of the city, and in the best seats. I am told that in the days of the former Audiencia neither the wives of the auditors nor that of the governor entered the chapel. Certainly it seems that to have them enter (particularly in Holy Week) when the offices are celebrated below the steps of the great altar, cannot be endured. Moreover, in this time of sede vacante [21] a concession has been obtained from the clergy that is not customary, as I am told, in the chancillerias of Valladolid and of Mexico. I beseech your Majesty to have me advised of your will in all respects, and to be pleased to have much consideration given to the fact that the altar and its ministers are in much confusion, and that things should not be introduced which are vanity, but only such as are fitting to the grandeur due to the office of ministers of your Majesty. As for the cities, they too are representatives of your Majesty, and it is just that, as such, they should be honored. What I mention as allowed here sede vacante, which is not customary in Valladolid or in Mexico, is the giving, as is reported, of the pax [22] to the auditors.

The religious orders are generally defective in a matter pertaining to the instruction; it is a most serious defect, and demands your Majesty's interference. I fear that at times it occurs through ignorance or want of reflection; and I am not sure if there be not mixed with it, now and then, a lack of affection for the Indians. They are wont to maintain certain mission villages, where they have baptized several, or even a goodly number; and then they leave them, and the bishop has no one to station there; thus souls are lost, and those baptized return to their idolatries and old ways of life—as is the case even now. It is possible that if they abandoned missions of some value, some secular clergyman might be found to go to them. But they only abandon those that no one desires—unless it be the devil, to take them away with him to hell. We are not taught to do this by the theologians and the jurists in matters of distributive justice, wherein they say that in certain times of need the less valuable benefices are to be given in turn to the most worthy of the priests, on account of the greater need of faithful ministration among the souls in the poorer benefices.

Some of the religious, too, who are good missionaries and good linguists, leave here—their superiors giving them permission, as they find that they are restless, and cannot be quieted by kind methods. But this is a great pity: in the first place, on account of the religious, who thus go astray in soul; and, again, for the poor Indians, so needy as they here are. Neither is it right that your Majesty should go to such expense to bring religious here, and then have them depart one after another—perhaps because they are not chosen as superiors in their respective orders, and for other trivial reasons—or that the superiors of the religious orders should have power to give them permission to go away. On the other hand, it would be of great advantage to make arrangements with the governor that he should not give them passage; if your Majesty would give the governor notice of this, it would be well.

The Orders of St. Dominic and St. Francis here maintain very strict discipline among themselves, for which many thanks should be rendered to God. In the matter of instruction they are doing wonders in teaching, by word and deed, and in every way are very exemplary. They are, too, no great burden on the Indians, which is a serious consideration; but in the matter I mention, of leaving some missions, and abandoning them to perdition, those fathers are the most lacking, which is a very serious evil. There is no lack of friars to go to other realms, yet to relieve the royal conscience of your Majesty (for which purpose they came to these islands) and the consciences of the encomenderos, and aid these poor Indians to be saved, to take in charge mission-houses, and sustain the children that they have baptized—for these are their children indeed, to whom they are under greater obligation in spiritual matters than if they were their fathers in the flesh—these things they do not attend to. This gives me great sorrow, and particularly as I find that my friars are not very faithful in these matters, and the devil has disturbed them of late years with a spirit of unrest. There is not, and has not been discovered, a people better disposed to conversion than the Indians of these islands—I mean, as God has now disposed affairs.

It is very necessary that your Majesty should send a visitor for the religious of St. Augustine. He should be a friar from over there in Hespana, a man of great ability, very observant, fond of poverty, etc. He should not come alone, but with a considerable number of similar religious. He must not come as visitor and vicar-general for a limited time—for the affairs of this Order here are not such that they can be set right in two, three, or four years—but as some friar named de Montoia went to Portugal. If things are as reported—and they must be so, in large part at least—affairs are in a ruinous condition. The one thing that most needs remedy in these islands, Sire, is this matter of the Order of St. Augustine.

At present one of these fathers, [23] named Fray Juan Gutierrez, is being sent by their superiors to the feet of your Majesty. He has been definitor, and has had three offices in his Order, and it has been proposed to make him provincial. I consider him a very modest and religious friar, who will earnestly plead with your Majesty in this matter of the inspection and improvement of his Order. I beseech your Majesty to favor and aid him in all ways.

The religious of the Society live here in an exemplary manner, which is necessary here, and carry out well the Indian missions in their charge. They are reputed excellent in some of their methods of instruction, but it is very necessary that your Majesty should curb them in some matters. Your Majesty should command that what I here relate be investigated. Near this city there is a small Indian village, called Quiapo, which is assigned, it must be by the governors, for the service of the great church of this city. It is pitiful indeed to see how bare it is of every advantage. These Indians feel much aggrieved at the Society's religious, saying that the latter have taken from them their lands and inheritances, to their very houses. The poor Indians are in a most poverty-stricken condition, and certainly one must shut his ears, in order not to listen to what he hears in this matter. It is a great pity that some poor Indians are complaining against the religious having taken from them their paltry property. The said Indians are writing to your Majesty in the matter; I beseech your Majesty to command that it be noted that these are the children, grandchildren, and relatives of the former king of this city, who was here when the Spaniards captured it. He was called Raja Soliman. They only ask your Majesty to protect them from the Jesuits, [24] and to cause their lands and inheritances to be returned to them. They consider all laymen as prejudiced judges; for certainly the governors as well as the auditors usually are not willing to incur the displeasure of the religious, as they do not write anything against them either to your Majesty or to any of your Council. If this matter could be entrusted to some religious of St. Dominic or St. Francis, who have no income or property in this country, as the Augustinians have, or in the lands and property of the Indian villages; the former know the Indian language, and have no need of interpreters—and it is these last who often defeat justice. It would be a great thing if your Majesty could entrust to some of these fathers the affair of these Indians against the fathers of the Society. They tell me even that one of the Jesuit fathers, who went from here as their procurator, is about to claim on their behalf, the donation of the benefice and doctrina of the said village of Quiapo. The name of this procurator is Father Chirinos. They do not make this claim for the sake of the mission or benefice, for it is a very small hamlet; but only because, if they hold the said village as a mission, the Indians will not dare to make any claim against them, or to speak. For the love of God, your Majesty should right this, for the affair itself demands an effective remedy; and at least we, as ecclesiastics and religious, should not scandalize or oppress the poor Indians, or take their property from them. The worst of the matter is that the fathers of the Society maintain with infidel Chinese the lands of these Indians, on which there is only a Sodom. I believe that this infection has been communicated, to some extent at least, to the houses of the Indians; for their proximity, and the teaching that the Indians are receiving, are quite evident. But I have already written at length to your Majesty of this in my other letter, and all that I have written there is little in comparison with the gravity of the matter.

A proceeding that may cause much annoyance is, that the governors assign houses and hospitals to some of the religious without consulting and asking the opinion of the ordinary, and agreeing with the latter in the matter. For the governors, either to find someone to confess them and overlook these things, or to write to your Majesty and your councils in their favor, or not write to their prejudice, wish to satisfy the religious, and at times in a very unreasonable manner. Your Majesty is already informed of what Don Francisco Tello did here, giving the Augustinian fathers the chapel [25] of Nuestra [Senora] de Guia, where a secular priest was teaching, and some place or other at the port of Cavite, which came near resulting in great troubles. For the love of God, your Majesty should not leave our peace in the power of the ambition or the personal interests of a governor, but command that this be done immediately, as I understand your Majesty has already disposed and ordered.

It is very necessary that your Majesty should order that if any secular priest commit some transgression, your royal Audiencia should not immediately summon him, but should give notice to the prelate and ordinary to remedy it. This should apply to complaints sent by the alcalde-mayor against the clergyman; the alcades-mayor are not so abject that they would not have even then their share of the fault. In short, they are ecclesiastics; and it seems just that in the meantime the prelates should not be behind in punishing them, and in righting matters. The secular clergy should not go, on information that may often be false, before audiencias and tribunals that are not ecclesiastical; for thus the ecclesiastical state is much injured.

The liberty of the cabildo of the city, and due secrecy for matters discussed there are very necessary; and if any secretary or regidor has failed in this matter, it would be highly desirable that your Majesty command that he be punished. If this be not done, your Majesty cannot be informed, or right matters. For the love of God, will your Majesty favor in all matters the city and cabildo, and not leave this matter of favoring them to the governors and auditors; for it is clear that these persons will not be pleased that there should be anyone who can have power to advise your Majesty, or oppose them. I beg your Majesty to be pleased to issue your royal decree so that the city may rent out the privileges of the commission exchange, which they hold by your Majesty's favor; and that provision be made for them to rent it to the Chinese. Further, this concerns the trade of the Chinese, as there is no other trade here, and nothing else for which the said exchange could serve. These men, too, are in great need of aid, both for the marriages of their daughters and for the payment of their debts to the Chinese. Your Majesty should command that permission be given them to have all their money brought from Mexico, as it has remained there these two or three years—which is a great pity, in the condition in which this city is, and with the impaired credit of the Spaniards in their relations with the Chinese. The Chinese merchants, too, are being ruined, because the Spaniards are not prompt with their payments. They weep, and say: "If we owe anything to the Spaniards, we are straightway thrown into prison until we pay; and if the Spaniards owe us anything, we cannot collect it."

By my other letter and accompanying documents, as well as the letters of others, your Majesty will see how necessary it is that this country should always be in a state of defense. For not only do we fear the Japanese, but the Chinese also seek to disturb our peace. Don Pedro de Acuna is a good soldier, and God will aid him; may your Majesty be pleased to command the viceroy of Nueva Espana to aid with troops, powder, munitions, etc. In case of the removal of Don Pedro, and always, it is necessary that a good soldier should come here as governor; and if he were that, and supported, not by many powerful persons in Hespana, but by his own valor and virtue alone, it would be a great advantage.

The great church of this city is without ornaments, and greatly needs to be repaired, lest it fall to the ground. The services of worship there may cease, for there are only four salaried prebends who are obliged to come to the services of the said church, for the offices of the canonical hours, and to be vested at the altar, and to say the high masses and those for your Majesty. Even these four possess very little; and, if one of them should become sick, services could not be properly carried on. Your Majesty has already been advised of all this by way of the cabildo, and, I believe, through the royal Audiencia. I beseech your Majesty to have it remedied.

At the first founding of this city, a site was set apart for the episcopal residence. The place was very convenient, as it is close to the church; but it is very cramped, not containing in all more than about thirty-seven paces in width, and about seventy-four in length, which is not sufficient for an ordinary citizen's house, which should have a small court. With greater reason there is not room for a prelate, who cannot go out on the plazas for his health and recreation, to take a little air, but who must find some relief within his own house (especially in so hot a climate as this); and who must have apartments for servants, a prison, audience-chamber, and other rooms. I beg your Majesty to send an order that at any rate the archbishop should be assigned a site on which to build a suitable house. As for the building, your Majesty knows well that I have not enough for it unless I be aided; nor have I, either, sufficient to pay six hundred pesos for the hire of a house.

The fathers of the Society claim that your Majesty should give them a university for these islands. This your Majesty should not do, unless you grant the same to all the orders and the secular clergy as well. This is especially true now, among these intrusive machinations. If your Majesty were pleased to entrust to me the regulating of these matters I should endeavor to do so. Still less should the claim of the said fathers of the Society be granted, nor can it, in conscience, be allowed, that they appropriate for themselves, on the plea of using them for these chairs [of instruction], certain revenues from the funds left here by some of the old soldiers as restitutions to the Indians. With these moneys great good has been done for the poor Indians—now redeeming captives from those who carry them away to sell them among the Moros and other infidels, where they lose the faith; again, aiding them in their sickness, and famines, and the like. Indeed, I am unable to comprehend the consciences of men who would attempt to take this money from the poor Indians, and put an end to so good works. May God grant His light to us all.

It has been reported here that your Majesty, or your royal person, is being consulted in regard to the religious going to Japon by way of India. For the relief of my conscience, knowing so much as I do of this, I must say that those who propose such a thing either know nothing of affairs here; or else they know a great deal, and are talking very artfully in the matter, and for the sake of this country intend that the religious should not enter Japon; at any rate, saying that the religious must go through India to preach in Japon is the same as saying that they shall not go to Japon. Sire, the clear and evident truth is that by way of India there is little or no thought of preaching or conversion. Let none deceive your Majesty, our king and lord; for they are gravely in the wrong who would deceive you and not tell you the truth sincerely. Manila, July 6, 1603.

Fray Miguel, bishop and archbishop elect of Manila.


Letter from the Audiencia of Manila


With the letter which your Majesty graciously sent to this Audiencia informing it of the fortunate birth of the most serene infanta [26] our lady, we have received the great satisfaction which should be experienced by all the vassals of your Majesty. Since so great a part of the grace which our Lord has vouchsafed us has fallen to our share, measures will be taken with great care and diligence for the arrangement of celebrations and feast-days, in grateful recognition of so great a good, and of the obligation which your Majesty lays upon us. [In the margin: "There is no answer."]

On the twenty-third of this month this Audiencia received as its auditors, in accordance with the commissions which they bear from your Majesty, the licentiates Andres de Alcaraz and Manuel de Madrid y Luna. Doctor Antonio de Morga, who was an auditor thereof, and to whom your Majesty has extended the favor of promoting him to the place of alcalde of the criminal court of the Audiencia of the city of Mexico, will leave with these ships to take up the duty which your Majesty commands and orders him. [In the margin: "Idem."]

Last year, the ships called "Jhesus Maria," and "El Espiritu Sancto," left the port of Cavite of this city. After having sailed for a long time and encountered many hardships, the ship named "Jhesus Maria" arrived at the said port, having lightened much of its cargo, at sea, and having been at the point of being lost. The ship "Rosario" (which was the flagship of their commander, Don Lope de Ulloa) arrived, without masts and dismantled, at a port of Japon called Tosse, where it entered at great risk. When it had come there, it appeared that the people of that land were inclined to be friendly with them, and to give them what was necessary to go on and continue their voyage. The said general finding this to be so, and being prudent, as he is an experienced mart, and one who has done his duty in all other voyages to everyone's satisfaction, held a council with the religious and the most trustworthy persons in the ship. It was agreed to send a present of several articles which were in the ship, and which were most suited to that country, to the emperor of Japon. This was put into execution, and the present was sent to the said emperor. The Japanese who had gathered in this port at the news of the coming of the ship, moved by their great greed, made an attempt to seize the ship. To accomplish this, and to keep the Spaniards from going away, they began to close the harbor with timbers and trees. They showed their evil designs by giving occasion to the ship's people to quarrel with them. When the said commander learned this, without awaiting the response, with all diligence he managed to get together the men who were on land, and sailed from the port, preferring rather to submit to the risks of the sea than to the grave one which confronted him in this treachery which accompanied their departure. But when the Japanese saw that he was going out of this port and that their design was known, they had recourse to arms, trying to do by force what they had not been able to do by cunning. But our men defended themselves so well, inflicting some loss on those of that kingdom, that they returned to these islands, which was a very fortunate outcome. Those who were left there, not being able to embark with their commander, have all returned on the ships which come here to trade, together with those who took the present to the emperor. The latter say that they were well received. [In the margin: "Idem."]

On the eve of the feast-day of St. Philip and St. James, our Lord saw fit to visit this city with a conflagration of such magnitude that before nightfall half the city had burned, including one hundred and fifty-nine buildings, many of stone and others of wood. Among them were the Dominican convent and the hospital for the Spaniards of which your Majesty is patron; and almost nothing that was in them was saved. According to the investigations which we have been able to make, the loss will amount to a great sum. It has caused general consternation. Great care will be taken to procure safety from these fires, with which we have been much afflicted. [In the margin: "Let this be done."]

Your Majesty commands by decree of February 16, 92, that this Audiencia should give information concerning the expediency of having more of the churches in these islands of stone than of wood, as the latter decays and does not last long. Having investigated and considered this matter, the conclusion is that, although in some parts it would be much better to build the churches of stone than of wood, as the materials are found near at hand, yet in other parts it would be more expedient to make them of wood and tiles, as these materials are abundant there and the stone is at a distance. Beside, the cost which the stone buildings entail would generally be much more than those of wood; and, as your Majesty's treasury here is so embarrassed, it could not bear the cost of building expensive edifices. It therefore seems best that the governor should continue providing for this in the manner most convenient. [In the margin: "No answer to be given."]

We received another decree, of the said month and year, directing the order to be observed in the renunciations of clerical offices, which will be executed as your Majesty commands. [In the margin: "Let it be so done."]

We have received another decree of your Majesty, of the fifteenth of the said month and year, to the effect that cases in which your viceroys and prelates have by common consent vacated benefices shall not be heard in the audiencias of the Yndias. In so far as regards this Audiencia it shall be so done. [In the margin: "The same."]

Likewise there were received two other decrees, in which your Majesty demanded information as to whether it were well to sell the offices of depositaries of this city and of secretary of the cabildo thereof. The office of depositary is of so little importance that it is certain that no considerable price will be paid for it. That of secretary of the cabildo brings three hundred pesos salary—which, as they have no other funds worthy of consideration, the cabildo gives from its own income and property. Besides, deserving persons are kept in the office who have served in this country, where there is very little to reward them with. Your Majesty will order according to his pleasure. [In the margin: "Let the governor appoint to these offices only deserving persons who have served his Majesty and are very trustworthy, until his Majesty shall have ordered otherwise; and let him inform us concerning the person whom he shall appoint."]

Your Majesty ordered by another decree of the sixteenth of the said month and year that this Audiencia inform him whether it would be expedient to deposit with the royal crown of your Majesty the sum of about twelve thousand pesos, to pay the salaries of his servants. As this despatch arrived so close upon the departure of the ships, there was no time to make definite answer to your Majesty's command. The number and value of the encomiendas in these islands are not exactly known. On the first opportunity they will be ascertained, and your Majesty advised thereof. [In the margin: "Let this be done, and let them send the information if they have not done so."]

The decrees concerning personal services of the Indians, which are dated November 22, 602, were received in this Audiencia. In all its district there are no Indians held to personal service except when there is wood-cutting and the like to be done for the equipment of ships, or when some expedition is being made for the service of your Majesty, in which case a few Indians are taken. This cannot be dispensed with, because transportation in these islands is entirely by sea, and it is necessary to make levies for rowing the vessels. The same necessity obliges the encomenderos, the religious, and other persons who go from one part to another, to do the same thing. They are always paid justly for their work, and thus far it is not known that any grievance has been done them in any manner, nor have they been left unrecompensed. Great care will be taken that affairs shall be so conducted that they will live content, and the work be secured without harshness. May our Lord protect your Majesty many years, according to the needs of Christendom. Manila, July 2, 1603. [In the margin: "Let it be done as they say that they are doing."]

Don Pedro de Acuna

The licentiate Don Antonio de Ribera Maldonado

The licentiate Tellez Almacan

The licentiate Andres de Alcaraz

The licentiate Manuel de Madrid y Luna

[Endorsed: "Philipinas: to his Majesty; the Audiencia, July 2, 1603. Examined June 30, 604; provided within."]



The licentiate Geronimo de Salazar y Salcedo, fiscal for his Majesty in the royal Chancilleria of the Philipinas Islands. The most important reason why the said royal Audiencia is necessary is to redress the wrongs which the governor and captain-general may commit. Although he who is now in the office acts in a prudent manner, he may be succeeded by another who will not do so, and, if this were the case, nothing could be so suitable as that he who was governor and captain-general should not be president; for if he is so, he will be present at the hearings and meetings, in which case neither the auditors in decreeing, nor the fiscal in petitioning, use the power which they hold. An easy remedy for this would be that the archbishop of Manila should be the president of the Audiencia, his salary being somewhat increased, and that of the governor and captain-general decreased. He would be glad to do this and would not neglect the affairs of his archbishopric, which are not so pressing as to make it impossible for him to take up the duties of the presidency. I might well cite some things which I have seen, which appear to me to demonstrate the inconveniences which might follow from all three offices being joined in one person, but I prefer to pass them over. It is especially so as we are five thousand leagues from your Majesty, and those of us who are imprudent proceed under the impression that what we do here will not be known there. It is evident that the presidency would be better filled by the archbishop than by the governor; for when the latter is president he has means, if he so desire, to keep the auditor from judging and even the fiscal from petitioning, if they be lacking in courage. Your Majesty will order this to be examined, and provide in regard to it as may be most expedient. May God protect your Majesty according to His power and the needs of Christendom. Manila, July 4, 1603.

The licentiate Hieronimo de Salazar y Salcedo

[Endorsed: "Manila, to his Majesty; the fiscal, Hieronimo de Salazar, July 4, 1603. No answer to be given to this letter; June 30, 1604."]



On the fourth of the present month there left this port the ship "Nuestra Senora de la Antigua," one of the two from Peru that I brought in the convoy last year, with the reenforcements of troops, arms, and military supplies which came to these islands. On the morning of the next day the other ship, called the "San Alifonso," left; and in the afternoon arrived the advices and despatches from General Andres Hurtado de Mendoca, who has in charge the armed fleet which your Majesty ordered to be sent to Maluco, and from Captain Juan Xuares Gallinato, who conducted the reenforcements sent by me. By these I was advised of the result of the encounter there, as your Majesty will be particularly informed by the copies which accompany this, to which I refer you for the whole matter, merely adding that it has caused me much grief and anxiety, owing to the dangerous and embarrassed condition of affairs there—not only from the Dutch, whose trade is so well established there, and who are so prosperous; but from the encouragement which it will give to the people of Terrenate and Mindanao, and to others, their confederates and allies, to do all the mischief that they can in those islands. If, while the said armada was at the Maluco Islands the Mindanaos have dared to commit the hostilities of which I have written to your Majesty in other letters, we may fear worse things now that their friends the Terrenatans are victorious, and more skilful and expert through what their experience and the Dutch have taught them. May God in His mercy prevent this danger.

I would again remind your Majesty of this matter of Maluco and the punishment of the people there, and its importance—as well as of what I wrote concerning the matter from Mexico, and how much evil may result from attending to the matter from India; for that ends in nothing but expenditure of money, waste of men, and the loss of prestige, and results in giving more strength to the enemy. This affair urgently demands promptness, and a person who will give it careful attention. I make offer of myself again, and am right willing to sacrifice myself in the service of your Majesty on this occasion; and I believe that my desire to be of use will cause me to succeed in the fulfilment of my obligations.

With this goes a memorandum of matters which occur to me as necessary, and which, after due examination and consideration, with much thought and reflection, it has seemed best to me to send to your Majesty. The most important thing in these matters is promptness and secrecy, and the latter is most necessary in Hespana, since there watch can be kept upon the Dutch, so that seasonable preparations can be made in Spain, and they be prevented from becoming masters of Maluco, before we can do so—which would be a very great loss, and one very difficult to repair. May God grant success as He may, and protect the Catholic person of your Majesty, according to the needs of Christendom. Port of Cavite, July 20, 1603.

Don Pedro de Acuna

[Endorsed: "Draw up immediately a succinct relation of what resulted from this fleet that went from Yndia, to deliver to——." "Examined June 14, 1604; no answer to be given."]



The universal need of these Philipinas has influenced not only the governor and captain-general, the royal Audiencia, and the city government of Manila, but the religious orders as well, to call upon your Majesty, as rightful lord and king of all, seeking humbly the remedy which must come to us from the royal hands of your Majesty.

As for the uprising of the Chinese, I will only say that it might have been averted, if the decrees of your Majesty had been obeyed that prohibit so excessive a number of infidels, accustomed to treachery and perverse habits, from remaining here; and if they were plotting another conspiracy with those that ordinarily come from China, they have been blinded through the great mercy of the Lord, who by their downfall leaves us wiser and with fewer enemies.

The damage and robbery inflicted by the people of Mindanao in these islands could have been prevented if the garrison of Spaniards in that island, which held the pirates in check, had not been recalled. At present the need is all the greater, as they are encouraged by their victories, and our Bisayans are dispirited. In the islands where our humble Society of Jesus teaches, they caused great loss; and during the past month they attacked Leyte, and captured two of our religious, and more than eight hundred natives besides. This was at their first entry, and gave them courage to continue ravaging other neighboring islands, where the members of our Society are also in danger. This was written me from Zebu, by our provincial who is visiting those islands and missions, where there are many good Christians—and this at great risk to himself. It is a great pity that so new a Christian people should be molested by those from Mindanao, who are infected by the doctrine of Mahoma. It would be easy for your Majesty to give us remedy in this by ordering troops and aid sent from Nueva Espana, wherewith Don Pedro de Acuna may show his valor and accomplish his wishes; for his services are of great Importance here, as your Majesty knows.

Captain and Sargento-mayor Christobal Azuleta [sic; sc. Azcueta] Menchaca, who always has been an excellent soldier, likewise distinguished himself greatly in this affair of the Chinese Sangleys, achieving two noteworthy victories, wherein were killed more than five thousand of the enemy without the loss of a single Spaniard—of whom he took great care, as they are so few and precious here.

A complete relation of all matters will be given to your Majesty by Fray Diego Guevara [27] prior of the Augustinians of this city, who, as a person of so much religion, experience, integrity, and veracity, is going on this mission on behalf of these islands—where we are all beseeching God our Lord to protect us, and to prosper your Majesty for many years, with good measure of his choicest gifts, for the greater glory of His Divine Majesty, etc. From this college of the Society of Jesus, Manila, December 10, 1603.

Gregorio Lopez


During the month of June just past, in this year, we, of this metropolitan church of Manila, the vassals and chaplains of your Majesty, advised you by the ships which left these islands for Nueva Espana of the matters that seemed best for your royal service, and for the welfare and usefulness of both this church and this commonwealth, at that time; and to that we at present refer you. As new occasions have come to light, we inform your Majesty, in accordance with our bounden duty, that on the eve of St. Francis' day last past the Chinese Sangleys, who live in the outskirts of this city, rose against it, to the number of twenty thousand, setting fire to the houses, and killing several Spaniards and Indians who lived without the wall. They fought with some of our men, killing one hundred and thirty Spaniards, including many of the most prominent men. They attacked the city, stationing themselves in a large stone church building, which was being completed by the friars of St. Francis, standing three hundred paces from the wall—a very bad situation for it. The city was in great danger from their attack, for there were hardly a thousand Spaniards in it. Our men set fire to the alcayceria of these same Sangleys, which stood about twenty paces from the wall. Our Lord was pleased to deliver us from the many and great dangers in which this, your Majesty's city, found itself; for its loss would have destroyed the Filipinas, and the Christian community and faith of Jesus Christ our Lord in them, if He had not miraculously delivered us. The enemy abandoned the situation that they had seized, on account of the damage that the artillery did them, and retired to the country inland, where our men pursued them, cutting off and killing them in a very short time. Thus did our Lord remove the danger in which this city and these islands of your Majesty have been so many years, because the governors preceding the one we now have would not comply with and observe the royal decrees and mandates of your Majesty, although they were urged and advised to do so, both in private and from the pulpit. For the good government of this country it would be well for your Majesty to be pleased to provide some efficacious means for the observance and execution of your royal decrees and mandates; since from the failure to do this has resulted the loss we have mentioned, and perhaps still greater is yet to come. We also dread a very large fleet which is expected to come from the kingdom of China against this city. May our Lord, in His mercy, defend and protect this, His cause, and not permit this new plant to be killed.

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