The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898: Volume XIV., 1606-1609
Author: Various
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as much of their possessions as possible and went to the other side of the river, where stood the residences of the wealthy merchants. That afternoon a council of war was held in the enemy's camp. They determined to send late that night Sangleys in pairs to the walls, to ascertain whether we had any artillery, and whether all the people manning the walls were Spaniards; for they thought that this was not possible, unless we had brought the images of the saints which were in the church. They did not think wrong, either way, for they were a thousand holy religious, who had laid aside their holy habits for such an occasion, and they were encouraging all with holy words and valorous deeds, and now with musket, now with arquebus, pike, or spear, and sword and buckler, were standing as sentries and helping on the walls day and night. The enemy began to make grimaces and gestures within musket-range, making obeisances, and doing other things worthy of their shamelessness. In reply, they remained there as if born there, so that of the many Sangleys who came, it was found that only one escaped, and that all were killed with the balls fired at them from the walls; for both day and night, no one took his eyes from the enemy, who went retreating to the river in the midst of his camp, for the other side of it was defended by a wall, and that precaution was not a bad one, if it had availed anything. Thursday morning, on the seventh or the said month, the governor and council of war determined to attack the enemy. Between eight and nine o'clock, one hundred and fifty Spanish arquebusiers and five hundred Japanese left the city, under command of Sargento-mayor Gallinato, who was accompanied by other captains. Attacking with greater spirit than concert, the Japanese entered in the vanguard, and the Spaniards in the rear, and assaulted the Sangleys. They gained the gate of the river, and the chapel, where the camp was situated. They killed five hundred men, besides wounding many others. They gained possession of the enemy's flags. Then the Sangleys, perceiving that the Spaniards were becoming greedy, attacked them on both sides with more than fourteen hundred men—and so vigorously, that the Spaniards were compelled to retire, in spite of their disinclination, when they saw the Japanese retreating as rapidly as possible. Consequently they were forced to turn and retreat to the city, and to lose what had been gained. The enemy with loud cries went to attack in their course the gates of the city and the lowest and weakest part of its wall. All the army hastened to that side, to the assistance of those on the walls. They kept their matches ready, and, with each pikeman between two arquebusiers, Sargento-mayor Gallinato retreated to the city. As soon as he was in safety, the artillery began to play, and gave the enemy a shower that softened their fury, and compelled them to halt upon recognizing their danger. Sargento-mayor Gallinato, encouraging his men, attacked anew, issuing with his men by the lower gate, and the city was very joyful on that account. As soon as they had cleared the country, they halted, in order that the same thing might not again happen as before. Had they not been near the city walls, and had not Sargento-mayor Gallinato with only ten soldiers defended the bridge with great spirit, they would all have been killed. After this Gallinato sent to the governor asking for orders, for the men were fatigued and the sun extremely hot, while he was badly used by two wounds with stakes that he had received. Such are the weapons used by the Sangleys; and they first wound with the point like a spear and then draw it through from behind, with so much force that they cut a man all to pieces. The governor ordered them to retire, and they did so accordingly. Having informed the governor of what had happened, a spark fell into a flask full of powder and burned three people. From that another spark fell into a jar full of powder and burned five more soldiers. And had not the sargento-mayor been so agile, it would have injured him. Meanwhile those in the Parian were not rejoicing when they saw that, the day before, half of the Parian had been burned. As men determined to conquer or die they came that night in two machines that they had made with so great skill that one side was low and the other high so that they overtopped the walls of the city; thus they could with very little trouble throw thirty men into the city each time when they attacked. Behind these machines came a great throng of Sangleys, of whom the fury of the artillery killed a great number. At the same time the artillery broke up the machines. At this juncture reenforcements of one thousand men entered the city—Pampanga Indians, comprising arquebusiers and pikemen. They sallied out with some Spaniards and attacked the enemy. They killed more than a thousand of them and set fire to the rest of the Parian. In the fire three hundred of the most important and richest merchants were burned. These, in order not to die at the hands of our men, hanged themselves and burned themselves alive with their belongings. The Japanese, seeing that the Pampanga Indians were destroying and sacking the Parian with great fury, gradually joined them. Together they killed all the Chinese whom they met, and went away, this man with a chest, this one with a pair of breeches, [and others with] bags filled with silks and rich articles. But no Spaniard had any leave to take part in the sack. However, some who took part in it, at all hazards, profited very much from the enemy. The sack lasted all the afternoon and part of the night. The enemy, upon seeing the Parian burned in every part, and their goods lost, were discouraged. Having held a council that night, they very silently went to a village called San Pablo. They were pursued by Don Luys de Velasco with five hundred Spaniards and one thousand Indians, by order of Governor Don Pedro de Acuna, before they reached San Pablo. The Sangleys killed of our men six Spaniards and four Japanese, but it cost them fifteen hundred of their men. So great was their number, and the confusion among all of them, that our men did not hesitate to kill as many of them as they met on the road and elsewhere. The governor immediately sent word to his Majesty's villages and ordered them not to spare any, but to put to the sword whomsoever they found. Of all the Chinese, except thirty who were taken to the city—and who died Christians, to all appearances, for they asked for the water of holy baptism—no others are known to have taken the road to salvation, out of more than twenty thousand who were infidels. The governor having seen that they were killing all the Sangleys in the islands, ordered, for just reasons, that none of those coming to the city should be killed. As soon as this news was given out, about four hundred came. Had they been ten thousand, they would have been received, for they were needed in the city. They all accused Bautistilla, a Christian, who, as above stated, was their governor, saying that he was the cause of the insurrection, and that he had been made king of all the country. They also accused Miguel Onte and Alonso Sagoyo—both Christian Sangleys, and the chiefest men. Having taken their depositions, and through the sufficient proof that was furnished, since all blamed Bautistilla, the latter was condemned to be hanged and quartered, and his head set in the Parian. He was declared a traitor, and his property confiscated for his Majesty. His houses were razed and their sites sown with salt. This sentence proceeded from the royal Audiencia, and was executed on the eleventh of the month of October. At the foot of the scaffold he said that that death was not due him for his conduct, and that he had always been a loyal vassal of his Majesty; and that God knew what was in his breast, and the thoughts of his heart. He died with the marks of a good Christian. Then on the fifteenth day of the said month, the two Christian Sangleys were executed. They were condemned by the sargento-mayor and master-of-camp. One of them, in order to save himself, declared that the mandarins had come with the cunning purpose of spying out the land, and that the insurrection had been by their orders. He said that they were coming soon to attack the city, and that the Spaniards should not neglect to act very carefully. Accordingly the governor set about taking all necessary measures. He and the sargento-mayor worked in a way wonderful to behold. May God strengthen their hands! Four days later, when the enemy had fortified themselves quite strongly in San Pablo, Captain Don Luys de Velasco went out at the head of sixty Spaniards. Having reached the calaco, he attacked so spiritedly that the Sangleys retreated. He entered the camp of the enemy in his eagerness, whereupon, uttering loud cries, they returned in a large mob to attack him, so that it cost him his life and those of four soldiers. The others, on seeing their captain killed, retreated and went down the mountain. This news reached the city, whereupon Sargento-mayor Ascoeta went Out with 220 Spanish arquebusiers, 400 Japanese, 2,000 Pampanga Indians (of whom 1,500 were arquebusiers and musketeers, and the others were armed with spears, swords and arrows), 200 Monos, [21] and 300 blacks, who came as friends to take part in this war. After having gone only seven leguas, they met the enemy, and having rested four days, they formed their camp. After having found where the enemy could retreat, and holding them at every point, they attacked the Sangleys, of whom they killed more than four hundred. Their master-of-camp retreated to a little elevation near by, after defending himself with great courage. Our men rested until morning of the next day, when they went to give them the "Santiago," and killed fourteen hundred. Three hundred fled, and hid in the thickets and woods there-about. Our men fortified themselves with the food that the enemy had there. On the morning of the following day they went in pursuit of the three hundred who had hidden and attacked them, and not one of them was left alive. This victory was obtained without the death of more than twelve Christian Indians. Our camp rested for three days, and on the fourth began to march to another village, on the seashore, called Batangas. There they found a troop of twenty-five hundred hostile Sangleys with ships and boats, with the intention of going to their own country. After five days' march our leader sighted the enemy, whereupon he ordered a halt and drew up his men. On the morning of the next day he gave battle with great fury, and killed one thousand one hundred and two Sangleys. The rest, badly crippled, sought refuge in the mountains in the interior. The Spaniards did not go in pursuit of them, for they were very tired after their six hours of fighting, while some were wounded. Consequently Sargento mayor Ascoeta sent an Indian chief, one Don Ventura de Mendoca, with two hundred Pampanga Indians, to pursue them. In a few days all the Sangleys were killed. After this good result and victory the sargento-mayor retired with his camp, without losing a man outside of twelve Indians and one Japanese, while seventeen Spaniards were wounded. The most dangerously wounded was the captain of the guard, Martin de Herrera, who was wounded with two spear-thrusts through the thighs. He has proved himself a very honorable and gallant soldier on all occasions. The sargento-mayor immediately sent a messenger to the governor, to tell him of the victory. This was on the twelfth of November, at eleven o'clock on St. Martin's day. After the arrival of this news another piece of news, of no less importance to this country, was received, namely that the king of Mindanao wishes peace with us. As security he sent his son and his nephew as hostages, and with them all the Christians captive in his land. He offered to help the governor as a true friend. It is a notable thing that even the animals have tried to show the mortal hate that ought to be extended toward this canaille. Many thanks have been and are given to our Lord for all. Hence the most holy sacrament has been exposed for forty days. Every monastery has observed its octave with great solemnity and processions, accompanied ever by their good mother [i.e., the Virgin] and the propitious St. Francis, by whose help we have obtained the victory on all occasions offered us. The plans of the Sangleys were as follows. On the day of St. Francis, both workmen and merchants were to enter as usual into the city, some of the merchants with shoes and others with clothes. The barber was to attend to his duties. Then with four Sangleys in each house, they were to put all the Spaniards to the sword, reserving the Spanish women. These they had already distributed, the young girls for their enjoyment and the old women to serve in the house. For this purpose each of them was to carry a catan, or sort of cutlass, under their long robes. Besides this they had ordered a body of five hundred to assemble, who were to assault the monastery of St. Francis, and leave no one alive there. Doubtless they would have killed all according to this plan, if God our Lord had not been pleased, in His divine mercy, to disclose it, the day before. Although there had been some rumors of the insurrection nine days before, the Spaniards would never believe it; for the life of the Spaniard is all confidence, and he thinks no one can dare to do such things. The cause of the enemy dividing into so many troops was the factions among them, so that out of the more than 22,00[0] Sangleys in all these islands, not 800 have survived. [22] On the twenty-fourth of October they began to dig the trench about the city wall, at which three hundred men, all Sangleys, worked. The one thousand Moros were engaged in other works, not only on the fort and in the new retreat, but on the wall and the supplies for it. The ditch is seventy feet wide and two estados deep. As soon as the war began, three hundred Sangley Christians who lived in Tondo and Minondo embarked in some small boats with their wives and children, and went down the river to the governor, to whom they said that they had no wish to revolt. These were sent away safely, and returned to their houses. The Spaniards are living with great caution toward them, for they are treacherous and cunning in what they do. They exercise their trades in this city. Each of them is considered as well employed, in exchange for which they must not commit offenses as in the past, which were great and numerous. On the fourteenth of November, Sargento-mayor Ascoeta entered this city, marching in good order with his camp, both Spaniards, and the Pampanga Indians and Japanese. They brought in the banners won from the enemy. They were very well received by the governor and Audiencia, and by all the city. Don Pedro showered a thousand compliments on all the Pampanga captains for their good services. They were much pleased at this, and offered their persons, lives, and possessions to the service of his Majesty. The Japanese and Pampangas had a share in all the wealth of the booty, and it was large, for it consisted mainly of gold, silver, reals, and pearls.

I do not mention the stratagems of war, the instructions, and the orders throughout the course of it, in order not to prove wearisome, and, moreover, to leave them for one who can write them in a better style. Only, as an eye-witness, I affirm what I have here told, and that all in general have behaved themselves very well as honorable soldiers (especially the leaders), both of the ecclesiastics and of the laymen; and that in this, as in other matters, our Lord has shown us a thousand favors.

Among the enemy's flags were two that contained characters in the Sangley language, which, translated into our Castilian vernacular, read as follows:

"The leader and general of the kingdom of Espana ... [23] so that all the Chinese take part together in this affair and obey us by destroying root and branch these hostile robbers, whom we have against our will, both Castilians and Japanese. We the Sangleys swear that after the conquest of this city we shall share the lands, even to the very herbs, with equal shares, as brothers." That which gave the traitor Bautistilla more courage in undertaking so great a treason was a stratagem and subtilty which he employed to know those on his side. This was to order each Sangley to bring a needle and deliver it into his hand. This they did, and he put the needles in a little box. He thus ascertained that twenty-two thousand one hundred and fifty Sangley Indians could gather in Manila on the last of November, the day of St. Andrew, patron of this country. He had determined and ordered that the insurrection be made on that day both in this city and in the other districts of these islands. But upon seeing the governor raising the wall and taking other precautions, because of the many rumors about the mandarins (who had departed to their own country, and which the governor did not believe), the traitor determined to make the attempt on the day of St. Francis, since our Lord permitted it thus for our welfare. Blessed be He forever! Amen!

On the tenth of December, Captain Marcos de la Cueva left this city as ambassador to the kingdom of China, accompanied by one hundred and forty Spaniards and two friars, in order to inform the eunuch who is the viceroy at Canton of the above events. Many thought that he ought not to go, for if the matter were learned there, and war-vessels were to come, then the island would be supplied with men to be able to receive them in the same manner; and if they came for peace they would be received in peace. In the latter case they were to be informed of the truth of the matter, to which the Christian law binds us, and told that we did not intend to take their possessions, or refuse to pay them what was owing them. Nevertheless, he went, ordered to do the contrary by the Council. May God direct everything for His holy service.

On the seventeenth of February of 604, the said ambassador, Marcos de la Cueva, put back to port on account of a storm that struck him, which caused his vessel to spring a leak. He was again sent out in another and very good vessel with one hundred and fifty picked soldiers, under the leadership of Captain Cueva, a very honorable and brave soldier. He left on Thursday, the twenty-fifth of the said month, in the ship "Santiaguillo," which was quite well equipped for whatever should happen—a very necessary thing. He arrived at the trading-post where there are Portuguese who trade with the Chinese, and delivered his letters to them, in order that they might be given to the eunuch. For the period while he stayed there, no reply was received to the letters, but he was put off with words; whereupon, growing impatient, he returned to Manila, leaving affairs in that condition. With the vessels that came from China this year of 605 to this city, the eunuch sent three letters—one to the governor, another to the Audiencia, and the third to the archbishop. All were similar. The eunuch stated that he had received the letters taken by the ambassador. The people who had been killed were very properly killed, as they were an abandoned people. By the information that he had received from some Sangleys he learned that many Sangleys had been condemned to the galleys. He asked for them in his letters since they were still living, asking that they be sent with the property that had been taken from them. If not, then he would go there with a war-fleet of one hundred armed ships and conquer their land, and give the same to others who better merited it. [24] The governor, with the advice of the others, answered this letter to the effect that he refused to send the Sangleys; and that before the one hundred armed ships reached here, he would go to meet them with five hundred, for he would rejoice to put an end to such canaille, and had enough men to do it. This letter was given to a Sangley, one Juan de San, a prominent man among them, and very wealthy, who had lived many years among us, that he might give it to the eunuch. This man and others who came in this year of 605 brought news that in [the province of] Canton, three hundred leguas in the interior, a river overflowed so that it drowned two hundred thousand Sangley Indians, and much property was lost. It was also said that earthquakes had occurred, two hundred leguas in the interior, and as far as Canton, which lasted for two months. They were so terrific that they shook the very strong palaces, while other houses and mosques were overthrown. This misfortune and plague has been by the permission of heaven. At another part, the Japanese of Great Corria have revolted, and are warring with these Chinese, so that four hundred thousand of them have banded against the latter, by which the Chinese are receiving great injury. [25] Thus, by these and other things, the Chinese are being consumed and finished, although much time is needed for it. May God be mindful of us, as He is able, and ever give us His protection.

[A list of the chief Spanish inhabitants of Manila who were killed during the Chinese insurrection follows. It contains such well-known names as Luyz Perez de las Marinas, Juan de Alcega, Juan de la Pena, Captain Villafana, Juan de Ybarra, Marcos Diaz, Luys de Vetasco, Estevan de Marquina, Tomas Bravo de Acuna, besides many others, both officers and men, among them a number of friars. [26]]

Letter from the Audiencia to Felipe III


By the death of Don Pedro de Acuna, governor of these islands, who died on Saturday, June 24, this Audiencia succeeds to their government. In it has been considered a new order which your Majesty commands to be followed in sending out the merchant ships that are to go from these islands to Nueva Espana. Since those which are to go this year are already laded, and must set sail within three or four days, it has not been possible to put your Majesty's commands into execution for the present year. Although this city has prayed for this new order and for the decrees which have been granted in pursuance of it, yet on account of the many fires which have occurred in this city in recent years, the wars, the forced return of some ships, and the loss of others, by which a great amount of property has been lost, the inhabitants of these islands are burdened with heavy afflictions and necessities, which render them unable to pay the new duties imposed by the royal command. Although these necessities are well known, the new order of your Majesty will be followed next year, in spite of the fact that some details involve much difficulty, and that some sections might well be moderated and limited in the form in which each one is stated. This matter is of importance to your Majesty's royal service, and to the welfare of the inhabitants of these islands.

In the first section your Majesty commands that only the inhabitants of these islands and no others may ship the merchandise which is to be transported to Nueva Espana, and that the amount invested therein shall not exceed two hundred and fifty thousand pesos of eight reals, as was previously determined by other orders and decrees; while the returns from this shall not exceed, in principal and profit, five hundred thousand pesos. As for this section, it deserves serious consideration that after the expenses of sending out a cargo—including the fees to be paid here and in Nueva Espana, which amount to thirty per cent in all, with the addition which the new decree imposes—it is impossible to recover from five hundred thousand pesos the principal and the [present] profits on the investment of the said two hundred and fifty thousand pesos which are granted by this permission. To reach this amount, it is considered necessary that at least three hundred and fifty thousand pesos be spent on the cargo. In addition to the charges referred to, many expenses fall upon the inhabitants of this city for the maintenance and provision of their houses, and thus are consumed and expended a part of the profits made on the investments which they make here. If your Majesty were pleased to permit that the amount of these investments might be at least three hundred thousand pesos, wherewith all expenses might be paid, then the permission to bring back five hundred thousand might well stand. Until it is known what decision will be reached on this point, your Majesty's commands shall be fulfilled. Care will be taken that the investment shall not reach three hundred thousand, or pass far beyond two hundred and fifty thousand. It should also be considered that when his Majesty, the sovereign of the realm, who is now in heaven, granted this permission, it was at a time when these islands were beginning to be settled. Then there were no inhabitants who could invest so great a sum, while now there are many. They do not send as much as they might lade in the vessel; and if this condition of affairs continues to increase, there is no other means of support than this trade, nor does the country produce those means. If it shall diminish, the people who come to live in these islands will likewise become fewer in number. If it should increase somewhat beyond the new grant, so many more people will come to the colony here. This population, however great it is, is all very necessary, in view of the way in which this country consumes the whole of it, no matter how many come.

The second section provides that four freight ships should be built, each one of two hundred toneladas; and that two of them shall make the voyage every year, very early, while the other two lie in port, ready for the following year. In this matter your Majesty's will shall be fulfilled, and the first ships that shall be built will be of this tonnage.

The third section provides that there shall be only one commander for the said two ships, with a lieutenant who shall be second in command. The intention of this section is to avoid the great expense which has previously been incurred in this voyage. The section also provides that each vessel may carry a military captain in addition to the master, with as many as fifty effective and useful soldiers on each ship, who shall receive pay. They may also have the necessary seamen, a certificated pilot, and an adjutant. If this section is to be fulfilled in this form, then, instead of avoiding many expenses, it will be the means of increasing again many others which are much greater. Such will be the result if fifty soldiers sail in each vessel, since because of the requirement that the capacity of the vessels shall be so small, they cannot carry so great a number of people. The voyage is so long that five to seven months are spent in it, and the seasons are very severe. Many people die at sea; and it is necessary to carry so many sailors and ship-boys that a great amount of provisions must be taken for them and the other men. For this reason the late governor of these islands kept down the number of permissions to go hence to Nueva Espana to a very small number. He granted them so seldom that he did not allow the tenth part of those who asked for them to go. Yet in spite of all this, the commanders of the vessels were obliged, on account of the great amount of space occupied by the necessary ship stores, to send on shore, before leaving these islands, some of the few passengers who had received official permission. In the despatch of the ships this very year, our experience is of the same sort. There had returned from the expedition to Maluco many captains, ensigns, and soldiers detained on shipboard, whom it is necessary to send back again to Espana. It was found very difficult to put more than thirty soldiers on a ship of the capacity of four hundred toneladas, although its cargo amounted to no more than three hundred and fifty. As for this number of fifty soldiers voyaging [in one ship], the regulation cannot be carried into effect. If it were to be done, it could only be at the risk that most of the men on board the ship should perish, while all would travel in great discomfort. Further, at the time when the ships are sent out, it would be hard to find in the city two hundred soldiers having the qualifications necessary for them to be useful in any battle. It would be a serious evil for this garrison to be left with so small a number of people. It is considered as beyond doubt that those who go away from here will not return again to this city; this will also cause others to abandon the idea of coming here. Hence it seems that on this point it is not desirable to make any innovation upon that which has hitherto been done, as that would be of little advantage, and cause much expense. When the ships return to these islands they are of much use in defense if they come well supplied with arms and ammunition, with a hundred soldiers in each as reenforcements for the troops in these islands. As for the regulation that the officials who are to go on these ships are to be appointed here, and that they shall be chosen from among the most influential and most honored citizens of these islands and those best qualified for such posts, and that they shall give bonds and that residencia shall be exacted from them, your Majesty's decrees shall be fulfilled.

As for the fourth section, it provides that the commanders and seconds in command, and the officers of the said ships, shall have in the voyage no trade or commerce, either small or large. As regards the commanders and seconds in command, your Majesty's decrees shall be executed; as for the other officers, we refer to the following section.

The fifth section deals with the salary paid to the commander, being four thousand ducados, while the second in command receives three thousand for each voyage, including the going and the coming. It seems that this might be reduced, and that it would be sufficient to allow the commander three thousand pesos and the second in command two thousand. As for allowing salaries and regular pay to the captains, soldiers, seamen, and gunners who sail in the said ships with the regulation that they shall have no trade or commerce, it seems, with reference to the pay of the captains and soldiers, that for the reasons referred to in the third section these expenses might be avoided. It would be sufficient to give wages to the gunners and seamen, without prohibiting them to trade; for the amount of their trade is very small, and with the permission to take two bales of cargo granted to each of the seamen and gunners the whole of their small capital would be expended. Under these circumstances, if the ship were to be in any peril from storm they would obey commands with greater zeal and willingness because of their share in the treasure of the ship. Without such bait as this, which induces many seamen to come to these islands, without doing any harm to the residents, it would be difficult to find anyone willing to come here. If this permission were taken away, the wages alone would not be sufficient to support the men.

The sixth section provides that only so many officers shall be appointed as may be needed, that no one shall go as a gunner who is not one in fact, and that only one gunner shall go for every piece of artillery carried on the said vessels. In this matter your Majesty's commands shall be obeyed.

The seventh section provides that an inspector and an accountant shall go on the said ships to take the accounts and inventory of all the cargo. It directs that they shall keep books, in which they shall enter the merchandise shipped from these islands and that which comes back on the return voyage. It would seem that this expense also might be avoided, since this account and inventory are taken by the royal officials of these islands, and also by the royal officials of the port of Acapulco. By their account it is possible to know the cargo which goes there, and what returns. From here is sent to the viceroy of Nueva Espana a statement in which is contained the amount of the merchandise sent in the cargo, and the names of the consignors, in order that in conformity therewith license may be given, to the citizens who have shipped the goods, for sending back the money which their merchandise shall have yielded. In this way the account and inventory required by your Majesty are obtained, since only the inhabitants of these islands send consignments, and the proceeds thereof are returned to them and no others.

The eighth section provides that the vessels shall be no more heavily laden than they ought to be, and that room be left in them for everything that is necessary for the men that sail in them. This section also provides that sufficient provisions shall be carried for this long voyage, so that the men may not perish for lack of food. This section also decrees that the vessels shall not be overladen and thus embarrassed and endangered; but that they shall be laden so as to be buoyant, and able to meet dangers from storms and enemies. It is also provided that in lading the vessels a proper division of the space should be made. In all these matters your Majesty's will shall be carried out.

The ninth section decrees that the freight charges to be paid on cargoes in the aforesaid vessels, for the voyages both going and coming, shall be determined and regulated in proportion to the expenses of the voyage, no more being charged than is necessary to meet them without any supply being required for this purpose from your Majesty's treasury. The section provides that for these expenses the duties shall be increased—by two per cent on the goods carried in the ships, and another two per cent on the money sent to these islands as proceeds from the shipment. It provides that this fund shall be put in a chest apart, and kept in this city, to meet the expenses of the said ships and the men in them. This sum is to be kept together with the freight charges collected. The contents of this section require careful consideration. When the ships return to these islands, they come laden with the forces intended for this military district and garrison, and artillery, arms, and ammunition; and with the religious, and the colonists who come to settle in these islands, in addition to other things required for the service of your Majesty. Although they do indeed bring the money for the citizens of this city, they at the same time bring much required for the reenforcement of the military establishments here. If these freights are to be apportioned as your Majesty commands, there will be a large amount which might fall upon your royal treasury. Hence it seems that, if your Majesty should be pleased, it would be well for the present not to change the custom which has hitherto been followed; and that only to assist the expenditures which your Majesty incurs in sending out these vessels should the citizens of these islands be charged two per cent on the merchandise which they ship, and two per cent more for the money sent them in return. For, although it is said on the other side that the profits are large, they commonly are not; while the freight, fees, and duties are very great. From these profits there is paid to your Majesty in this city five per cent, including the new increase, and in Nueva Espana sixteen per cent; while the expenses of the ships which had to put back to port, and the goods lost in those which have been wrecked since the year one thousand six hundred, come to more than a million. It will take many years for the profits to make up for such a loss. May God keep the Catholic and royal person of your Majesty. Manila, July 6, 1606.

The licentiate Telles de Almacan The licentiate Andres de Alcarez The licentiate Juan Manuel de la Vega

Letter from the Fiscal to Felipe III


Last year, sixteen hundred and five, during which I began to serve your Majesty as fiscal of this Audiencia, and as protector of the natives [27] of these islands by appointment of the Audiencia, I sent a statement of everything of importance which within the short time of my service I was able to discover. Since that time I have considered with care and attention the things of greatest consequence to your royal service, and have found that I ought to give your Majesty an account and statement of the condition in which I found affairs, and that in which they are at present.

I reported to your Majesty the uprising of the Sangleys in the year sixteen hundred and three, leaving military matters to the official reports which I knew were sent. I reported to your Majesty that it was well to consider with care what was necessary to be done for the good government and protection of this kingdom. Afterward I saw that, just as if the said uprising had not occurred, permission for Sangleys to remain in this city continued to be given. They were allowed to have habitations, dwellings, and shops—a permission which has caused much comment and discussion. The reason is that the Audiencia took upon itself the administration of this matter, assigning it year by year in turn to each auditor. With the course of time the permission has been extended, not by the will of the auditor alone, but by the decree and direction of the Audiencia itself. The Audiencia granted of its own free will and pleasure, without the assent of the city and its cabildo, permission to the Sangleys to remain. The city and cabildo remonstrated, but the Audiencia granted licenses to as many as it pleased. In the year sixteen hundred and four, there were 457; and in the year sixteen hundred and five they had increased to 1,648, as is shown by the official statement which I enclose. From this it will be seen that during this said year of sixteen hundred and five there came from China 3,977, and that 3,687 returned; so that 290 remained here, making with those of the previous year a total of 747. There actually remained 1,648; hence it is evident that, besides those who were registered, 901 came here. This has been done by granting licenses to many to live and make their abode outside of the city, among the mountains and in other places, where they easily receive those who disembark before the vessel has come here, or after the ships have set out on their return voyage.

In view of this disadvantage I petitioned the Audiencia that no Sangley may have permission to be absent at any time, especially when the ships are arriving or setting out. Although this demand was so just, they did not take action as I requested; and affairs remain as they were before. Inasmuch as the despatch of the vessels is not yet completed, I do not now make a statement of the evil results which I expect to follow, until I am able to state them with accuracy. All this results from a failure to observe the ordinance of the Audiencia with regard to the number which each ship may carry; for, although the number allowed was limited to two hundred in the largest vessel, one ship of no great size has brought about five hundred, so that this year six thousand five hundred and thirty-three Sangleys have arrived, of which I send a sworn statement. These, added to the almost two thousand of the previous year who remained, make up a great number. This is within two years and a half after so dangerous an uprising, and it promises more danger to follow. Therefore, in order to set this matter right, I reported that since this city and commonwealth could not allow and did not desire the Sangleys to remain, and had remonstrated against it (although it would be for their service) I therefore demanded, since this was necessary for the safety of the kingdom, that not one Sangley should [be allowed to] remain in these islands. I also asked that the number of ships to come from China each year and the number of men to be carried in them might be definitely stated, this number being made as small as possible, and severe penalties being assigned to anyone who should violate the rules. Although the community requested that what I asked for might be conceded, and the city confirmed what it had previously said (of which an account has already been given to your Majesty), the Audiencia has commanded that this year one thousand five hundred Sangleys shall remain. I fear that many more will stay, since they are scattered in the provinces, in the rural districts, and among the surrounding mountains, from which they could be brought out only with difficulty. The reason for so many Sangleys being brought in the ships every year is, that the penalties are so light and the execution of them is so relaxed. As it is to the advantage of the owners of the ships to get large returns from their vessels, they are not troubled at being obliged to pay the small fine levied on them by the city. In spite of the fact that the city declares that it does not wish Sangleys to remain, they have built many shops on the site of their old residence, named Parian, as will appear from the official statement which I send; and in every one of these live three of four persons, and in some are many. I opposed the building of these shops and caused it to cease, because if they were not under restriction the Parian would become very large. It is now as large as before the uprising. This evil result follows from the fact that your Majesty granted the city the income received from these shops; and many ducados are received for them, as is manifest in the said official statements. To remedy this wrong, it is desirable that your Majesty command the number of shops to be definitely limited, and direct that in one shop one man only may live, who shall have some known occupation and be a Christian. It would be well also to limit the number of ships which may come and the number of persons that they may carry, commanding that when the number is full no more shall be received into the port, and that no vessel shall be admitted which carries more than the appointed number. It would be well to provide also that if the city exceed these limits, in the number and kind of the shops, the grant allowed for the same be revoked.

When I entered upon the functions of this office, I discovered a serious irregularity in the succession to encomiendas of Indians. Your Majesty commanded that such encomiendas should descend from father to son or daughter, and, in default of children, to the wife of the encomendero, definitely stating that the succession should come to an end there. Yet without attracting the attention of anyone, important as the matter is, the wife has succeeded to her deceased husband, and then after she has married a second time and has then died, the second husband has succeeded the wife, and so on ad infinitum. Thus it has come about that nearly all the encomiendas are far from their original assignment, the majority being in the hands of undeserving persons. The result is that it is a marvel if an encomienda is ever vacant; for none has been regarded as vacant unless the possessor has died without being married or without issue. Since this wrong is universal, and is of great importance—affecting, as it does, the common interests of all the islands—I have deemed it proper to advise your Majesty of it, in order that you may ordain that which shall be most to your Majesty's service. This may be carried out by commands given by your Majesty to the governor to declare all encomiendas vacant in which the rule of succession shall have been transgressed. Then since some of them are in the hands of deserving persons, in spite of the improper way in which they have been obtained, they may be regranted; while many others will remain unassigned and open for granting to soldiers who have served, but who remain in poverty and almost in despair of ever receiving a reward. The only reward in these islands is the encomiendas; and, as they are perpetuated in the way described, one is never vacated except in very unusual circumstances—unusual, that is, for this country. Here, for a woman to be of advanced age is not enough to prevent her marriage, so much is the succession to her encomienda coveted. The reason for failing to institute proceedings against all these people is, that they are in possession; and if proceedings follow the law of Malinas the cases can take no less time than would be consumed if your Majesty were to command them to be declared vacant, as I suggest. As for those which have been vacated during my term of office, I have begun to put a stop to this improper custom, and shall continue to do so until I am informed of your Majesty's commands. It is desirable that these be sent very promptly and clearly, since correction of this evil will be rendered very difficult if there is any uncertainty.

The same illegality occurs in another way: an encomendero dies, and is succeeded by his wife; if she marries and has children, these have succeeded her, and even, when they are married, their wives or husbands succeed them. This is contrary to the statute that the succession shall end with the wife of the first encomendero. For all this your Majesty will make suitable provision.

By a section in a letter from your Majesty to Don Pedro de Acuna, late governor of these islands, your Majesty commands that the wine for celebrating mass which was provided to religious in charge of the instruction of Indians on private encomiendas shall not be given by the royal exchequer. This decree has caused resentment on the part of those concerned. They instituted legal proceedings against the execution of the command, claiming that the previous usage should prevail, and affirming that the wine is thus furnished in Mexico and Piru. I presented decrees showing that this is a grant made by your Majesty to the religious of those provinces for a limited time; and the Audiencia, on appeal, directed your Majesty's commands to be executed. The encomenderos declare that your Majesty should meet this expense, and are sending documents on the subject. I give this information in order that your Majesty may be assured that this is entirely an act of bounty on your Majesty's part, and that your Majesty has many obligations and expenses on these islands, which must be met; and that since your Majesty gives the wine on the royal encomiendas, they can and should provide it on their own.

Your Majesty has commanded that no offices or places of profit shall be given to those who hold Indians in encomienda. There are some encomiendas so small that they are insufficient as a means of support, and sometimes these are held by persons very well fitted for such offices as are to be granted. It would be well if your Majesty should command that which shall be most to your service on this matter, that no doubt may exist. The fiscal my predecessor, whenever offices were given to such encomenderos, was accustomed to begin suit appealing from the governor's appointments; and he likewise appealed and brought suit against some of those to whom the governors made grants, on the ground that they were against decrees and the instructions of the governor. This was a fruitful source of irritation, the governors declaring that the offices are thus granted for the good of your Majesty's service, although it appears that the appointees are making gain of them. Since that which has occurred and that which may occur is of moment, your Majesty will ordain according to your royal pleasure, observing that the governors are subject to residencias, and that it is difficult to bring a lawsuit with reference to every one of their decisions made after this manner, or to undertake to settle the question whether or no such decisions are proper.

This city of Manila is very near the villages of some Indians who support themselves by agriculture. If there are any places unoccupied they use them as sites for dwellings. They make use of the grass to cover their houses and also to cover their fields, for they always keep these covered thus during the time while the crops begin to grow. These Indians have suffered great oppression, for there have been established in the vicinity of this city more than twenty-four cattle-farms. From very small beginnings they have multiplied so greatly that in some there are more than four thousand head, while all of them have more than a thousand. These cattle, on account of their number, spread and wander out of bounds, and do much damage. Finding this wrong in existence when I assumed office, I began some suits to cause the cattle-farms to be abandoned. On one of the farms, which belonged to Captain Pedro de Brito, near the villages of Capa, Namayan, and Santana, the Audiencia on appeal decided that he must keep his cattle within bounds; and that such cattle as might be found straying might be killed by the Indians who found them in their fields. Being a wretched race, they dare not do this, and suffer much from this and other causes. There are some persons who charge Indians with having wronged them, and who take the Indians into service that they may work off the damage done. So far is this custom carried that the service is converted into slavery. There is now a great abundance of cattle outside of this district, and so many cattle-farms are not needed. It would be well for your Majesty to command that all of them within three leguas of towns and cultivated areas should be abandoned, in order that this molestation may cease.

The province of Panpanga is twelve leguas hence. It is the most fertile in all the islands, and the inhabitants have done more in your service than have any others. It lies low and is bounded by some mountains which slope down to it. The natives of the mountains are called Zambales. They are a race that live like beasts, without settled habitations; and they are so murderous that their delight is cutting off heads. For this purpose they come down upon this province, and, as its inhabitants are a race entirely devoted to agriculture, they take them unawares, and have wrought and do work great outrages upon them. The effort was made to put a garrison in their country, and some Spanish troops were stationed there. Since the country is rough and mountainous, it is impossible to march in it; and as there is no certain day on which the attacks of the mountaineers can be anticipated, it is impossible to prevent them. The Panpangans have often asked for permission to destroy these others, by killing or enslaving them; but no decision has been given them in all the years during which the matter has been discussed. The remedy for the evil is easy, for if they be given for a time as slaves to any man who can capture them, this will encourage the making of inroads upon them. This has not been done, because of your Majesty's commands not to enslave any of the inhabitants of this archipelago and island. This would he a temporary slavery, and by it much or all of this evil described would be corrected; and the expense which it causes would be prevented. The same thing happens in the mountains of Yllocos and in other regions, for every day the mountaineers attack and murder members of the tribes at peace—who, as they have no permission to kill them and no hope of making use of them, permit them to return and harass them.

In this matter of slavery there has recently arisen anew a great problem. This is that among these Indians there is a custom that while [in Spanish law] the child follows the womb, among them it likewise follows the father by half. Thus the son of a free mother and a slave father was half slave, like the son of a slave mother and a free father; so there were slaveries of the fourth and eighth part. The former Audiencia, regarding this as absurd, commanded that the rule should no longer be observed, and that the son of a free mother should hereafter be free. This decision, being accepted without difficulty, produced no opposition, and many were in the enjoyment of liberty who had been married as freemen, and were such. But now, in a late case, the Audiencia has decided that the old custom shall be observed. Hence much disquietude has resulted; for, in addition to the infinite number of suits as to freedom, there is now much trouble as to marriages. This race is very fickle in that matter; and some who were married as freemen are already talking of having their marriages annulled by saying that they are slaves. Since in all these years there has been no disturbance regarding this matter, I trust that your Majesty will ordain that the disposition of the former Audiencia may stand.

On the death of Francisco Sarmiento, who held the office of government secretary of these islands, and on the renunciation of it by Gaspar de Azebo, who bought the office in the time of the former Audiencia, the governor, Don Pedro de Acuna, granted the office to Antonio de Ordas, who acted as his secretary. This was at a time when your treasury was in very great need, and suffered most urgent demands upon it, especially for the building of a ship to go to sea that year. The governor planned to sell this office, and for that purpose the said Antonio de Ordas surrendered it; but when they set about executing the governor's purpose this city interposed with objections, and presented a petition that it might not be sold but might be given as a grant. The basis of their contention was that your Majesty had commanded in one section of the instructions given to Gomez Perez as to the sale of clerical offices that they should be thus managed, and should be given as grants to the well-deserving. It was urged that this should be understood of all such offices, not only of government but of the court of the Audiencia. I opposed the city, and found a special decree to the effect that these two offices should be sold. This decree was issued in the time of the former Audiencia, and in conformity with it this office was sold. Alleging that the said Ordas, although he had already received that grant, renounced it so that the office might be sold, and a way be found for meeting urgent necessities, I succeeded in effecting the sale, which was made for seventeen thousand pesos to Gaspar Albares, who paid down that sum, with which many matters were attended to. It was distributed in accordance with the decision of the Audiencia in meeting the most important demands, and especially in paying for the building of the said vessel, which would otherwise have been impossible. I also brought forward the argument (which I refer to your Majesty) that an office of such value is a very large grant in these islands; while those who are entitled to receive favors—that is to say, soldiers—are not fitted for such offices. I add that your Majesty is very poor here, and needs to take advantage of all resources. Thus your Majesty will command that which will be most to your service; for all these measures have been taken on condition of receiving your Majesty's approval.

Among the irregularities which I discovered was the following. Although your Majesty has commanded that clerical offices shall not be resigned more than once, and that the resignations shall be confirmed within a limited time, still, of four public notaryships which are in existence here, three have been resigned three or four times, without receiving any confirmation; but from the sales and resignations it has been customary to place a third part in the royal treasury. I entered an action to have them declared vacant; and after having carefully considered the question, I found that if they were to be granted as a royal bounty, and then were vacated, your treasury would be the loser by being obliged to return the thirds which it had received. On this basis, it is better that things should continue as they are. I have arranged that if they should be vacated they may be sold; for the demands upon the treasury are many. If this plan shall receive your approbation I shall bring the cases to a conclusion; if not, I shall suspend them until your Majesty gives such commands as are most for the good of your service. When these notaryships have been resigned they have brought eight hundred pesos, and latterly one thousand two hundred. They are now worth more than three thousand, so that with a single one it would be possible to pay everything due for the thirds on all. This will remedy something of the much which requires remedy. The same thing can be done with the clerkships of registry, which will be worth more than eight thousand; and with those of probate and of the estates of deceased persons, which will be worth another good sum; and they have all been given for nothing.

It has been very unfortunate that the funds which your Majesty has commanded and decreed to be set aside for special objects have been employed for other purposes. This has been especially the case with the fund for prebends and for the payment of troops, which should be performed with the utmost regularity. I have done all I could to put this in order; but since the current from the past was very strong it was impossible to accomplish my purpose. The reason given was that one fund ought to aid another. The evils resulting are serious; for both ecclesiastics and soldiers perform their service, and all they get is nothing but poverty. Hence they lament with reason that their salaries are not paid to them. This is a reason that the soldiers are wretched and poor, some of them going about begging for alms. An attempt will be made to correct this when new officials of your exchequer enter their offices; and more certainly your Majesty will provide relief in this direction, so that the soldiers' pay may not fall into arrears. If the Audiencia had not assumed authority to set apart in the treasury the money which came [from Mexico] during the preceding year, one thousand six hundred and five, for persons who had died in previous years in the war with the Sangleys and in other conflicts, to be used to pay the soldiers, it would have been a very great misfortune. With this the matter was set right, and the pay has been kept up; but your Majesty has been obliged to remain in debt for the sum which was taken for this purpose.

The president and the auditors have likewise suffered in their salaries, which are at the present time due them for more than a year. Although for these salaries certain specified encomiendas had been set apart, the returns from these have been mixed with other funds. During the term of the former Audiencia, your Majesty commanded that for this purpose certain encomiendas should be assigned to the crown; but no more than six thousand pesos was thus realized. Since the number of encomiendas above referred to will have to be vacated, your Majesty can decree that some shall be set aside for this purpose; then the treasury will be in a somewhat easier condition.

One of the most important institutions possessed by your Majesty in these islands and in this city is the seminary of Santa Potenciana, in which care is taken of orphaned and poor girls, the daughters of conquistadors; there are in it more than a hundred. The seminary prevents many evil results. The girls leave it, when entering the married state, respected and instructed; and the seminary also serves as a shelter for other women during the absence of their husbands, and for many other good purposes. Your Majesty is its patron, and hence, ought to remember it. During Easter week the house, which was very well built, and roofed, was burned to the ground, and its inmates were dispersed. Since it was under the patronage of your Majesty, and on account of the good work that it was doing, the archdeacon of this diocese and I determined to ask for subscriptions in order to rebuild it. The city zealously entered into the work, and we collected about two thousand five hundred pesos, with which we immediately began to build the structure. God was pleased that by the feast of Pentecost we were able to have the greater part of the inmates sheltered, within narrow quarters but under a roof. The work has been continued ever since, and I hope that soon it will be established in its previous condition. Still the institution is very poor, and is in great need. I trust that your Majesty will command that some Indians be assigned it, or that some grant be made to it; for great service is done to God by this institution, through its good works and by preventing the evil which would result in the community if its inmates were left without shelter.

This city was also in need of a hospital in which care might be taken of Spanish women, of whom there are now many here. So great was their need that some were cared for in a hospital maintained by La Misericordia for the care of slaves. God aroused the zeal of a conquistador of this country, by name Joan Ximenes del Pino; and, encouraged by his own zeal, by suitable measures he bought a building next to the royal hospital for the Spaniards, which could be connected with the latter, and which he has given to the hospital for this purpose, that women may be cared for in it. It cost him five thousand pesos; and besides this he assumed the expense of putting it into a proper state for this purpose, with which intent he placed in my care a sum of money which is being spent. In view of the fact that the expense is increasing, the said hospital will require some grant of aid. I beg your Majesty to give it, for all these institutions are under your protection.

The hospital of the Spaniards also suffers from inadequate service, for lack of attendants; and it is necessary for your Majesty to provide a remedy, which can best be done by sending for this purpose brethren of St. John of God; [28] for although Franciscan friars live there they attend only to the administration of the sacraments, and of everything else there is a lack. [29]

Since men here are placed in danger they are continually giving out, and when any of them die others take under their guardianship the children of those who are left. Sometimes the guardians give sufficient bonds, and sometimes not; but with the progress of time these cases have grown steadily worse, and the poor minors lose their estates. There are many thousands of ducados in the hands of guardians; and although the alcaldes-in-ordinary have tried to make them render accounts, no accounts have ever been finished during the three years since they were begun, for they are all banded together. This is a wretched state of affairs; hence, in order to correct this, it will be well for your Majesty to give commands that the Audiencia shall take charge of this matter. It should be committed to one auditor, for it can be done in no other way. This community suffers from this evil.

The governor, Don Pedro de Acuna, being obliged to be absent from the city on the expedition to Maluco, appointed as his lieutenant in the governorship and in matters of war the licentiate Christoval Tellez de Almacan, second auditor of this Audiencia. As soon as the governor left the city the licentiate Don Antonio de Ribera Maldonado asserted that he, as the senior auditor, had the right to command in war and the Audiencia to direct the government, in conformity with the decree which declares that if the governor shall become unable to perform the duties of his office, the Audiencia shall govern, and the senior auditor shall perform the functions of captain-general. With regard to this the Audiencia determined that the licentiate Don Antonio should fill the office of captain-general, under certain limitations which were set, while the governorship should remain as the governor Don Pedro had left it. If it were necessary to carry out the decree, and if the chief command in military affairs should have to be given to the senior auditor, it ought not to be with limitations. Likewise the Audiencia should assume the functions of the governor. Accordingly, I give a statement of that which has happened, as I am looking to the future. An explanation of the said decree is needed to determine whether, when the governor is absent from the city without leaving the jurisdiction, he shall have authority to appoint whomsoever he chooses, or if the decree must necessarily be carried out. The decree states that, in case the governor thus fails to act, it is necessary to send a report of the facts to your Majesty, that you may take suitable measures; and it seems to refer to the event of death. For deciding this question, it must be considered that it might happen that the abilities required for the conduct of military affairs would be lacking in the senior auditor, while they might be found in the one whom the governor should appoint. From this it will be clearly seen that for the conduct of military affairs—especially in the condition in which these islands and the new conquest of Maluco at present are—it is undesirable not to be provided in this jurisdiction with a person of much distinction and experience in the conduct of war.

Since your Majesty is at such a distance, and the remedy for these difficulties must come so slowly, there is no one to correct certain ecclesiastics. Their superiors sometimes pay very little attention to the complaints made against them, and hence there have existed and do exist serious acts of impropriety, especially among the religious. Since there is no one who has authority to investigate their cases or to write reports regarding these, matters are in a most lamentable condition, and mainly to the injury of the Indians. The religious make assessments on the natives under the name of benefactions, and employ them at their will, without limit. I have striven to find means to correct this, and have entered suit against the agents whom they employ to carry out their plans; these are called fiscals, and are cruel executors of the will of the religious. I offered my plea, and accordingly the Audiencia decided that none of them should have the right to hold Indians in service or should collect any contributions; and a certain amount of abatement of this unjust practice seems to have resulted. Those who are most notorious in this matter, and who are worse than all the others, are the members of the Order of St. Augustine. They are practically incorrigible, on account of having as provincial Fray Lorenco de Leon, a friar of much ambition and ostentation. He left these islands to ask your Majesty for bounty, and now he is striving to go again, and for that purpose has collected a large amount of money. He has even taken the silver from some of the mission churches of his order; and when he visited the province of Ylocos, he even carried away the monstrances for the most holy sacrament from Ylaguan, Vantay, Candon, Tagudin, and other places. It will be well for your Majesty to decree and grant authority to the Audiencia, that it may cause official investigation to be made into these matters and others which may arise, and that it may proceed as do the viceroys of Piru and Mexico. For, so soon as friars are interfered with in any respect, they begin to declare that ecclesiastical censures have been incurred and disturbances are raised, which give occasion for scandal to the common people. When I saw this, I petitioned the said Audiencia for some correction of the unlawful acts of the said provincial; and they directed that the bishop of Nueva Segovia (who was present in this city) and the vicar-general of this archbishopric should make an official report in the matter. This they have done in a secret document, stating the great transgressions of this friar. When I petitioned that some decree should be passed in session of the Audiencia, it was decided that a remedy should be provided; but I have not learned that anything has been done. I inform your Majesty of this, that you may take such measures as shall be necessary.

A great aid in making a beginning in correcting the unlawful proceedings of these religious of the Augustinian order has been the coming of the discalced friars of the order. They have been very well received and several of the others have begun to join with them, intending principally to escape the tyranny of their provincial. In this way the others and he himself, will be corrected, when the good result of their coming shall be evident in this effect, and in the conversion of souls which your Majesty has so much at heart. I have aided them in so far as to provide them with a house, where they now are.

In the vicinity of this city, and within it, there are Indians without number who have come from their native places to escape the labor of tilling the soil and raising animals as they have been commanded. They make their living by buying and selling provisions and other things, to the great damage of this community. I have brought suit that they may be compelled to return to their native places; and finally they have been commanded to do so, a certain number of them being retained for the service of each religious order; these are gathered by the religious into villages. The execution of this decree is very necessary, and your Majesty accordingly ordained it at the suit of this city. Your Majesty will please command that this decree be enforced without exception, especially by directing that these villages for the service of the religious orders be broken up. Each order having been allowed as many as thirty Indians, that number has greatly increased by the protection given to them. The reason why they protect them is, that the Indians serve them either for nothing or at less than the ordinary rate of pay, and the sum allowed them for these Indians who serve them is distributed among those who remain; but, in order to get these servants cheaply, the religious contrive that there shall be many of them. If those who are necessary are permitted to remain, it is but just that the religious should pay them the regular rate.

Your Majesty has commanded that no one shall enjoy any positions of profit in these islands without being resident here; and that if encomenderos are absent they shall not receive the tributes. In particular, your Majesty has decreed by your royal letters, at the suit of this city, that the encomiendas of the mariscal Gabriel de Ribera, who has long been absent, shall be vacated. The governor accordingly vacated them, giving part of them to Don Jhoan Ronquillo, and placing part of them under the administration of the royal treasury. After this had been executed and settled, another royal letter arrived in which your Majesty granted to the said mariscal the privilege of receiving his tributes during his absence. When his attorney presented this letter I opposed it, and declared that it had been obtained by some improper statement, as I now allege, and as will appear by the documents which I send. Nevertheless, they commanded that the encomiendas in charge of the treasury should be returned to him, bonds being taken; accordingly, they were given to his attorney, because he himself did not come to demand the fulfilment [of the Audiencia's decree]. With regard to this matter your Majesty will take such measures as shall please you—considering that there are many here who, although they have seen service, still suffer need; and who are discontented that others should be rich and, even while absent, enjoy what these men are protecting at so great risk.

The expedition against Mindanao having been arranged during the year ninety-five with Captain Estevan Rrodriguez de Figueroa, who was under obligations to carry it out, he began to do so, going thither in his own person; but in the year ninety-six he died, at the first assault. The army being unprovided with a commander, the governor of these islands, Don Francisco Tello, selected one. For the continuation of this expedition a very great expense was incurred by the command of the said governor, with the assent and advice of Dr. Antonio de Morga, his assessor and lieutenant. A suit from the heirs afterward followed, on the ground that they were not obliged to continue the expedition, and were not responsible for the expenses thereof. The Audiencia, as a court of appeal, revoked the governor's command, and declared the estate free from obligations. I appealed the case to your Majesty, and sent the original documents. This I did, not only that the principal case might be decided, but also because the heirs claim that your Majesty should cause them to be paid for the expenditure of their property. I offer the advice that even if they were not obliged to carry out the conquest, your Majesty is not their debtor, since you have commanded that such conquests are not to be made on your account and at your cost. Hence these expenses are owing by him who commanded them to be incurred. Since I have been in your Majesty's service I have placed this matter in a clear light, as was not previously the case. When claims were made for wages and other expenses, the Audiencia commanded them to be paid from the royal treasury; and thus many such payments have been made on the account of those who really owed them. At the present time the judges, being informed in regard to these claims, have decided that they are not due from your Majesty. Accordingly your Majesty is not only not obliged to pay them, but has a right to claim satisfaction, for the expenditures from the royal treasury, from the property of the governor Don Francisco; and, in case it is insufficient, from the property of the assessor by whose advice they were incurred.

As to the provision of an incumbent for this office, it should be noticed that most affairs in this country depend upon it—especially the proper care of the Indians, which is most important; for with this office is united that of being their protector. I have always striven to attend to this matter carefully, as I have done in other matters pertaining to your royal service. This I shall continue to do in these islands until an appointment is made: and I petition your Majesty to grant me, when that shall come, permission to leave this kingdom, the governor that shall be in office making me a sufficient allowance for my passage hence. God keep the Catholic personage of your Majesty, with the increase of your realms. Manila, July, 1606.

The licentiate Rodrigo Diaz Guiral

The Terrenate Expedition


In the Council of War for the Indias there have been presented two letters from Don Pedro de Acuna, governor and captain-general of the Filipinas, written to your Majesty on the first and seventh of July of the year 605 just past, copies of which are enclosed. In them your Majesty, if so pleased, will see in what condition is the expedition for the capture of Terrenate, and how the governor went in person with it, with a great deal of confidence in a favorable outcome, on account of the excellent reenforcement that had been sent to him under the command of the master-of-camp, Juan Desquivel. Although they were fewer in number than what he had asked for, nevertheless he was pleased with the companies that he had seen, and he expected to join with them some men from that garrison and some other available men, and some Indians (Panpangas and others from that vicinity) among whom are excellent arquebusiers and musketeers, who approve themselves very well when in company with Spaniards. He says that he foresaw this undertaking as soon as he began that government; and for that reason he had built five galleys, as he considered them to be the vessels most effective for the defense of that realm. He wrote that he would take four of them, and five ships and seven brigantines; and besides this five lorchas, which are very good vessels after the Chinese and Japanese style, for both oars and sails, and are more capacious and better suited for carrying food than any other kind of oared vessel. He thought, then, that he would make that expedition, taking with him all these galleys on your Majesty's account, and providing that for the private persons and the encomenderos there should go seven or eight other medium-sized vessels, with high freeboard, in which their masters should take a quantity of biscuit, rice, wine, meat, and other things—which would help greatly, because a large number of volunteers were going. He had made every possible effort in urging these latter to go, representing your Majesty's service to them; and he said that they greatly needed this opportunity, on account of the losses and troubles which they have suffered, and because they are poor and much disheartened. With this force he thought that he would set out from Manila, after St. Francis's day, for the town at the port of Oton, in the island of Panay, where the infantry was stationed, in order that the whole fleet might sail from there at the end of January or the beginning of February of this year, which is the best time for Maluco. He says that he has no doubt of encountering vessels from Olanda and Zelanda, and more this year than in others—according to the reports which he has that in the city of Nostra Dama, and in another near to it, they were getting ready twelve or thirteen large vessels with the intention of coming to the Indias to capture Ambueno and the Malucas; and that they were bringing a large number of men, and also lime and cut stone, as ballast, with which to fortify themselves. He says that he fears greatly that this may be so because the king of Tidore informed him that the king of Terrenate had sent to the Dutch, offering to permit them to build a fortress and factory in his land, in order to keep them satisfied so that they should help him against the aforesaid king of Tidore and against the Portuguese and Castilians; and that for this reason the forts there and at Ambueno were in great danger. Don Pedro says that, if this is true, there will be a great deal of difficulty in his undertaking. This report by the king of Tidore seems to be confirmed and made more sure by another which he sends with the aforesaid letter of the seventh of July, a copy of which is enclosed. This was made by a Portuguese of Ambueno and a religious of the Society of Jesus, both of whom were living there. It tells more at length of the state of affairs in Maluco, and of the lawlessness of the Hollanders, and their motive in going there with twelve large ships well equipped with artillery, in the year 604 just past; and how they came to Ambueno on the twenty-third of February of 605, with eight ships and six pataches, and captured the fort which was there, and took possession of the Portuguese town—because, those within it, seeing the great number of men and pieces of artillery which they carried, made no defense. Then, with the brick, lime, and stone which they had brought they began to rebuild the fort which the Portuguese had, and they left there about one hundred and thirty men as a garrison. The same thing may be learned from the brother Gaspar Gomes of the Society of Jesus, who has come from the Filipinas, sent by the aforesaid Don Pedro de Acuna and bearing letters from him. He says that the aforesaid Don Pedro had told him that, when the affair of Maluco was accomplished and the land made safe, he intended to go quickly to settle affairs in Ambueno, because he had heard that the Hollanders who had obtained foothold there were expecting a son of Don Antonio. [30] On this account he desired, as quickly as possible, a special order from your Majesty; and he, the brother Gaspar Gomes, comes to ask for it in the name of Don Pedro. This should be considered with great care, and also what he says in that letter about the king of Japon, in regard to keeping friendship with him—as your Majesty, if you are so pleased, may examine in greater detail in the letter. It is well to note also what he says about the delay that there might be in his receiving succor because your Majesty is so far away, and the great hindrance that it would be to him if they were not very careful and prompt in sending him from Nueva Espana more men, arms, gunpowder, and munitions in plenty, and also money; for, although the men had been paid for a year, already more than half had passed, and when he shall have started from Oton the year will be entirely completed. It is also necessary that another goodly amount of money be sent to the treasury of the Filipinas Islands, on a separate account, because it is so empty and depleted. The garrison also is lacking in men, and this should be provided for in part. All this having been reviewed and examined with the attention which a matter of so much importance requires, it appears that Don Pedro de Acuna has the Terrenate undertaking well under way, and that he should be thanked for it, as well as for going thither in person, on which account it seems that that matter will have better support, and that better results may be expected from it, on account of the good judgment and experience which he is known to possess. The information which we have of the care with which the rebels are fortifying themselves in those regions and getting control of the trade with them is very important; for from this results very great loss to your Majesty's exchequer, and great benefit and increase to that of the enemy, which may be the greatest support they have for the war which they are carrying on. If God grants good success in the Terrenate undertaking, as is hoped, and if Don Pedro can put that stronghold in a state of defense with a sufficient garrison for safety, and if it appears to him that, with the remainder of his men and what fleet may be left to him, he can regain Ambueno and drive the Hollanders out from that island, as he has given notice that he can do (relying on what the aforesaid brother Gaspar Gomes has said), the aforesaid Don Pedro de Acuna might be commanded to do so, and to place it in such a state of defense and security as is necessary to that stronghold—which is of the greatest importance for the preservation and security of the trade of the crown of Portugal, and for obstructing and hindering the designs of the enemy. Since that nation [i.e., the Dutch] has more steadiness and courage in its military actions than the Indians, and as it is quite a different thing to fight with them, it is of great importance that Don Pedro should not lack sufficient forces, and that he should be succored from Mexico immediately. For this purpose the Marques de Montesclaros should be written to, and a despatch-boat sent to him, ordering him that without loss of time he should proceed to help Don Pedro with the men, arms, gunpowder, munitions, and money which he requires for this Terrenate expedition, and whatever may result from it, so that the expense which has been already incurred in this may not, for any lack of these things, be put to risk, and that the Holland rebels may not be allowed to get a foothold and establish strongholds in that land; for the honor of the state is imperiled, and very great loss to your Majesty's exchequer is made possible through the hindrance of the trade in spices, if they get it under their control. What should be still more thought of and defended, since it is in greater danger, is the Catholic faith, because the land is infested with heretics, and the Indians are a very pliant and changeable people. Don Pedro should be informed of what the marques has been commanded to do for his help, in order that he may understand, and arrange and provide for everything as is best, in order that the desired result may be obtained.

Dora Pedro writes also, in regard to the pay of the men who were sent to him for that expedition, that it seems to him that what a soldier of that military department gets—namely, six pesos a month—is little, when the fact is considered that the country is incomparably more dear than when the pay was fixed; and that the eight ducados which the soldiers of the expedition earn are a great deal. He thinks, therefore, that it would be well if both were paid at the rate of eight pesos of eight reals a month, besides the customary thirty ducados which are regularly given in addition to each company in Spain and other regions; and that the captains should earn at the rate of fifty pesos a month, and the sergeants ten, as they do now. As the captains of that region get no more than thirty-five pesos, and those of the expedition get sixty ducados, it seems best to him that these salaries should be adjusted in the way that he states—giving to each at the rate of eight pesos of eight reals a month, and the customary thirty additional ducados a month which are usually given to each company in Spain and elsewhere; and that the captains should receive equally at the rate of fifty pesos a month, and the ensigns twenty, and the sergeants ten, as he says they receive now. Thus all will have pay that is equal and well adjusted, by taking away from some and adding to others, in the way which Don Pedro has proposed. Your Majesty will examine and consider all this, and will order what is best for your service. In Madrid, August 5, 1606.

His Majesty orders that the enclosed report of the Council of War of the Indias concerning the Terrenate undertaking be considered in the Council of State, and that he be informed of what it shall decide. God keep your Lordship. St. Lorenzo, August 15, 1606.

The Duke The honorable secretary, Andres de Prada


The Council, having seen that your Majesty sent for the enclosed report and the papers of the Council of War of the Indias, voted as follows:

The Cardinal of Toledo—that if the injury which the rebels are causing in India were seen here nearer at hand it would cause great commotion; and that because it is far away it should not be regarded as of little importance, but rather, in order to secure a remedy, we should consider that it is very near. Accordingly, we should attend to it with the greatest diligence, and agree to what has seemed best to the Council of War of the Indias and to Don Pedro de Acuna—to whom many thanks are due for the good courage with which he prepared for the undertaking and the care with which he gave notice of the things that were necessary for it, from which, with the favor of God, we may expect good results. The completion of the undertaking is of the greatest importance for the state and for its good repute. This consists in helping Don Pedro with all that he needs, in order that for lack of it he may not leave the work unfinished, and that what has been gained may not be lost again; for the greater the foothold that the rebels get in those regions, and the stronger they grow there, the harder it will be to remedy the matter, and the greater will be the harm which will come from them to your Majesty's realms and to their honor. It is well to order the Marques de Montesclaros to assist and help Don Pedro de Acuna in every way that he needs, and to do it so promptly that he shall not fail to succeed in the undertaking for lack of it. Besides, he thinks it well that your Majesty should favor Don Pedro in matters which are so properly under his charge as the matters of war are, so that the archbishop and the Audiencia may know that in these things they are to respect him and allow him to do what he thinks best; and that Don Pedro should be advised that in matters which concern government and justice he should have a great deal of respect for the archbishop and the Audiencia.

The Constable of Castile—that he has nothing to add to the report of the Council of War of the Indias since the importance of the matter shows how proper it is that the Marques de Montesclaros should give prompt assistance to Don Pedro de Acuna, and that it should be ordered exactly so. He thinks that it is very well that the archbishop and the Audiencia should not be mixed up in matters of war, since they do not understand them. In regard to what concerns Portugal, he supposes that your Majesty probably has had notice sent to that Council; and if not, that it would be well to do so.

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