The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898
Emma Helen Blair

Part 1 out of 5

Prepared by Jeroen Hellingman and the Distributed Proofreaders Team

The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898

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

Volume VI, 1583-1588

Edited and annotated by Emma Helen Blair and James Alexander Robertson
with historical introduction and additional notes by Edward Gaylord

Editorial Announcement

The Editors desire to announce to their readers an important
modification in the scope and contents of this work. As originally
planned and hitherto announced, the series was intended to furnish
the original sources, printed and documentary, for the history
of the Philippine Islands only to the beginning of the nineteenth
century. To most of our readers, the reasons for this are obvious:
the fact that the classic period of Philippine history is thus bounded;
the comparative rarity and inaccessibility of most material therein to
the general public; the vast extent of the field covered by Philippine
history, and the necessary limitations of space imposed upon the
selection of material for this work; the closing of foreign archives
to all investigators after an early date in the nineteenth century;
and the greater difficulty, in that later period, of securing a proper
historical perspective. But so many and urgent requests have come to
us, from subscribers and reviewers, for such extension of this series
as shall cover the entire period of Spanish domination, that we have
decided to modify the former plan in the manner here briefly indicated.

It is our purpose not to exceed the number of volumes already
announced, fifty-five. We are able to do this because in our original
plan, to avoid a subsequent increase in the number of volumes,
a certain amount of space was purposely left for possible future
changes as a result of later investigations to be made in foreign
archives, or on account of the necessary excision of extraneous or
irrelevant matter from the printed works which are to be presented
in this series. The new title will be "The Philippine Islands:
1493-1898." The early and especially important history of the
islands will be covered as fully as before. For the history of
the nineteenth century, we will present various important decrees,
reports, and other official documents; and provide a clear, careful,
and impartial synopsis of some of the best historical matter extant,
down to the close of the Spanish regime. Throughout the series will
be used, as has been done from the beginning, all the best material
available--historical, descriptive, and statistical--for reference
and annotation. With the copious and carefully-prepared bibliography
of Philippine historical literature, and the full analytical index,
which will close the series; the broad and representative character of
the material selected throughout; and the impartial and non-sectarian
attitude maintained, the Editors trust that this change will still
further enable scholars, historical writers, and general readers
alike to study, with reliable and satisfactory material, the history
of the Philippine Islands from their first discovery by Europeans to
the close of the Spanish regime, and incidentally the history of the
entire Orient.

Contents of Volume VI

Preface ... 13

Documents of 1583-85

Foundation of the Audiencia of Manila
(concluded). Felipe II; Aranjuez, May 5, 1583 ... 35

Two decrees regarding the religious. Felipe II;
San Lorenzo, June 21, 1583, and Aranjuez, April 24,
1584 ... 45

Annual income of the royal exchequer in the
Philippines. Andres Cauchela, and others; Manila,
June 15-30, 1584 ... 47

Letter to Felipe II. Melchor Davalos; Manila, July 3,
1584 ... 54

Letter to the archbishop of Mexico. Santiago de Vera;
Manila, June 20, 1585 ... 66

Two letters to Felipe II. Fray Geronimo de Guzman
[Madrid? 1585]; and Fray Jhoan de Vascones [1585?] ...

History of the great kingdom of China (extracts relating to the
Philippines). Juan Gonzalez de Mendoza; Madrid, 1586 ... 81

Documents of 1586

Memorial to the Council by citizens of the Filipinas
Islands. Santiago de Vera, and others; Manila,
[July 26] ... 157

Letter to Felipe II. Alfonso de Chaves, and others;
Manila, June 24 ... 234

Letter from the Manila cabildo to Felipe II. Andres
de Villanueva, and others; Manila, June 25 ... 242

Letter to Felipe II. Antonio Sedeno; Manila, June 25
... 247

Letter to Felipe II. Domingo de Salazar; Manila,
June 26 ... 251

Letter from the Audiencia to Felipe II. Santiago de
Vera, and others; Manila, June 26 ... 254

Letter to Felipe II. Pedro de Rojas; Manila, June 30
... 265

Letter to Felipe II. Juan de Moron; Manila, June 30
... 275

Measures regarding trade with China. Felipe II, and
others; Madrid and Manila; June 17-November 15 ... 279

Brief erecting Franciscan province of the
Philippines. Sixtus V; Rome, November 15 ... 290

Documents of 1587-88

Letter to Felipe II. Alvaro, Marques de [Villa]
Manriquez; Mexico, February 8, 1587 ... 295

Letter to Felipe II. Santiago de Vera; Manila, June
26, 1587 ... 297

Letter from the Audiencia to Felipe II. Santiago de
Vera, and others; Manila, June 25, 1588 ... 311

Bibliographical Data ... 323


Title-page of _Historia del gran reyno de China_, by Juan
Goncalez de Mendoca (Madrid, M.D.LXXXVI); from copy (Madrigal
edition) in Library of Congress ... 83

Title-page of "Itinerario" at end of Goncalez's _Historia_,
from copy in Library of Congress ... 135

Signature of Alonso Sanchez, S.J., from MS. in Archivo general
de Indias, Sevilla ... 228


The present volume covers the period of 1583 to 1588 inclusive. At
the close of two decades of Spanish occupation in the Philippines,
the native population is decimated, and the Spanish colonists are poor,
heavily burdened with taxation, and largely non-producing. The islands
are but nominally defended by a small, irregular, demoralized force of
unpaid soldiers, whose lawlessness and arrogance render them dangerous
to their own countrymen, and tyrants over the helpless natives. The
Audiencia is a costly institution, a burden of which all the people
complain. They have other grievances and many needs, which finally
impel them to send a special envoy to Spain, to procure relief and aid
from the home government. The documents in this volume contain much
valuable information regarding the economic condition of the colony,
and its commercial relations with China and Mexico respectively. As
the Spanish settlers in the Philippines find that they are largely
dependent upon China for their food, those who are wise see the
necessity of encouraging and extending agriculture in the islands;
but others are fired with the lust for wealth and conquest, and urge
upon Felipe II a scheme for subduing China by force of arms, thus to
give Spain the control of the great Oriental world, and incidentally
to enrich a host of needy Spanish subjects.

In Volume V was presented the greater part of the royal decree
establishing the Audiencia of the Filipinas; the document is
here concluded. The duties of certain subordinate officials of
that tribunal--commissioners of examination, jail-wardens, and
interpreters--are carefully prescribed. Such commissioners are
forbidden to play games of chance, except for articles of food ready
to be eaten. Prisoners in jail shall not be allowed to gamble, except
for food. The document closes with a general provision for a tariff
of official fees, and for the care of the Audiencia's archives.

Felipe II decrees (June 21, 1583) that the Audiencia aid the
Franciscan missionaries in the islands; and (April 24, 1584) that the
religious orders there continue to receive from the royal treasury
the gratuities originally bestowed upon them by Legazpi. The officials
of the treasury furnish a statement of their accounts, which shows a
yearly deficit in current expenses; and extraordinary expenses besides,
which nearly equal the total revenue for the year. Alarmed at this
condition of affairs, the Audiencia institutes an inquiry (June 15,
1584) into the commercial and industrial status of the colony; the
witnesses all testify that great scarcity of supplies, and poverty
among the people, are prevalent; that a considerable portion of the
native population has perished; and that the non-productive elements
of the population are much too large.

One of the auditors, Melchor Davalos, writes (July 3, 1584) to the king
a letter which, withal containing some valuable information regarding
matters in the islands, is a curious mixture of pedantry, bigotry,
egotism, and vanity. He mentions the arrival and establishment of the
Audiencia at Manila, complains that he cannot obtain the salary due
him, and relates the services which, he thinks, entitle him to better
treatment. He asks for instructions as to what shall be done with the
Mahometans, and cites the permission formerly given to Legazpi by the
king to enslave the Moros in certain cases, also the example set by
the sovereigns of Spain and Portugal in expelling or crushing the Moors
who inhabited their dominions. Davalos also desires the king to settle
the question of slaveholding by the Spaniards, which he is inclined
to justify; and to take such action as will prevent the Chinese from
obtaining all the money which comes to the Philippines. The utmost
poverty prevails among the Spanish soldiery, who are unpaid; and
Davalos advises that they be sent to make fresh conquests, by which
they can support themselves. The Spanish post in the Moluccas is
menaced by the native king of Ternate, and a large force of troops
is to be sent to its aid. A controversy arises among the Spanish
officers over the appointment of a commander for this expedition,
which Davalos proposes to settle by himself going as commander--thus
satisfying all the discontented captains, as he informs his royal
correspondent. He desires the king to grant him authority to punish
the Chinese for vicious practices, and thinks that the friars should
convert and baptize these heathen more rapidly than they are doing.

The new governor, Santiago de Vera, writes (June 20, 1585) to the
archbishop of Mexico. He encounters many difficulties--coolness on
the part of the bishop, lack of support from his associates in the
Audiencia, and but little acquaintance with the needs of the islands
in the royal Council of the Indias. His duties are onerous and his
responsibilities too great; he asks the archbishop to aid him in an
appeal to the king for relief from these burdens and vexations. Vera
cannot yet procure the quicksilver which he has been asked to send to
Mexico, but will try to obtain it from the Chinese traders. The king
of Ternate has revolted, and affairs there are in bad condition;
more troops are needed, but cannot be spared from Manila. Vera
discusses various matters concerning some of his officers, and
affairs both military and civil. He sends to Spain, under arrest,
two prisoners--one of them Diego Ronquillo, a kinsman of the late
governor Gonzalo Ronquillo de Penalosa, charged with defalcation in
the trust of the latter's estate.

A Franciscan official in Spain, Geronimo de Guzman, sends to the
king (1585) certain recommendations regarding the government of the
Franciscan friars in the Philippines. An Augustinian friar, Jhoan de
Vascones, who has evidently gone from the islands to Spain, writes
in behalf of his brethren there (1585?) to ask the king that more
religious be sent to the Philippines and to other Oriental lands;
that these friars be sent from Spain by way of India instead of Nueva
Espana; that the authorities of India, secular and ecclesiastical,
be commanded to aid the friars in their missionary journeys; that
the latter be permitted to build monasteries as they may choose, "in
remote and infidel lands," without awaiting government permission;
and that the authorities at Manila be not allowed to send, at their
own pleasure, the friars to other lands.

From the _Historia del gran Reyno de China_ (Madrid, 1586) of the
Augustinian Juan Gonzalez de Mendoza, we have translated such matter
as relates to the Philippine Islands--portions of part ii, and of
the "Itinerary" appended to Mendoza's work. He narrates (book i,
part ii) the efforts of the Augustinian friars to carry the gospel
to the Chinese. These are unavailing until, after the defeat of the
Chinese pirate Limahon (whose exploits are narrated in some detail)
by the Spanish forces, a Chinese officer named Omoncon, who has come
to Manila in search of the pirate, forms a friendly acquaintance with
the Spaniards, and, in return for favors at their hands, promises to
convey to China some Spanish friars. For this mission are selected
Fray Martin de Herrada (or Rada) and Fray Geronimo Marin, with two
soldiers as an escort--one of whom is Miguel de Loarca, author of the
curious "Relation" which appears in Volume V of this series. They are
well treated by the Chinese, but are unable to establish a mission
in that land, and finally are sent back to the Philippines. In the
second book is related the voyage made by the Franciscans to China
in 1579. At first they ask permission to go thither, which Sande is
not willing to grant; but the conversion of a Chinese priest through
their efforts makes them still more desirous of opening a mission in
that country, and, Sande still refusing to allow this, they decide
to go without informing him of their departure. To this account
is appended an "Itinerary" of the journey made by another party of
Franciscan friars from Spain to China and return. The writer relates
various particulars concerning the Ladrones and Philippine Islands
and their people, both historical and descriptive; the custom of
slavery among them, and their religious beliefs; and the progress of
Christianity in the archipelago--stating that the conversions therein
now number 400,000. A supernatural appearance of a dead man's spirit,
who describes the delights of the Christian heaven, is related in
detail; this leads to many conversions among the natives, but some
declare that "because there were Castilian soldiers in glory, they
did not care to go thither, because they did not wish the soldiers'
company." The products of the islands, and the articles imported from
China, are enumerated, with mention of some current prices for produce.

A general junta, or assembly, of the estates of Manila--the church, the
religious orders, the army, the royal service, and the citizens--is
held on April 20, 1586; and a statement of their grievances and
needs (signed on July 26) is sent to the home government by the
hands of Father Alonso Sanchez, a Jesuit. They complain that the
cathedral church has no suitable building, equipment, or provision
for its services; and there is no means of support for the bishop
and the clergy. They ask that tithes shall be paid, or else that the
prebends be replaced by a few curates, who shall care for the souls
of the Spaniards and their Indian servants. The royal hospital and
that for the Indians are both in great destitution, and should be
aided by royal bounty. More religious instructors are needed; and,
in order to support them, more tribute should be required from the
Indians, and the encomenderos should be compelled to pay tithes. The
city of Manila demands some public property, with which to meet its
necessary expenses; and the abolition of the duties hitherto imposed
on commerce. They ask that the commutation of the royal fifth to
one-tenth be made perpetual; and that offices and encomiendas be
bestowed only on actual residents, who have rendered services in the
islands. Workmen and mechanics in Manila should be paid there, and
not in Mexico; a special official should be placed in charge of the
ships; and there should be no commissary of the Inquisition in the
islands. Complaint is made that too much money is sent thither from
Mexico, apparently by speculators interested in the Chinese trade;
and request is made that the export trade of the islands with Mexico
be confined entirely to citizens of the former. It is asked that
all future cargoes of goods from China be purchased at wholesale, by
Spanish officers appointed for that purpose, and "afterward apportioned
to the Spanish citizens, the Chinese, and the Indians, by a just and
fair distribution," at cost price; that Chinese hucksters in Manila
be suppressed; and that no Chinese be allowed even to remain outside
of that city, save the Christian converts and those who are farmers
or artisans, or who trade in food supplies. The Audiencia has become
a burden; and it should be abolished, or its expenses be paid by
the Mexican treasury. As the country has no agricultural industries,
the king is asked to send farmers, with their families, as colonists;
to exempt these from taxes, for a time, and from military or other
personal service; and to forbid them to change their occupation. The
Indians should be taught European methods of agriculture; cattle and
horses should be imported into the islands and the native buffalo be
domesticated and bred. The cultivation of lands granted to encomenderos
should be enforced. Women should be brought from Spain, and provided
with dowries, in order to become the wives of soldiers and workmen;
and dowries should be provided for some native women, that they may
marry poor Spaniards. Offices should not be sold; and encomiendas
should be made large enough to pay their necessary taxes and other
expenses. The Indians should not be obliged to pay the royal share
of their gold; and their lawsuits should be despatched in the courts
with simplicity and promptness. Tribute should not be collected from
them by force, and without giving them religious instruction; and
the boundaries of some encomiendas should be changed. A "protector
of the Indians" should be appointed, who should not be also the royal
fiscal; he should, besides, have charge of the Chinese. The soldiers
are compelled to serve, yet are allowed no pay, from which many evils
ensue; the troops have become demoralized; and the very existence of
the colony is thus endangered. A regular paid force, of about three
hundred and fifty men, should therefore be maintained; they should
not engage in trade, or serve the officials; the officers should be
clothed with suitable authority; and those sent from Nueva Espana
should be soldiers, not boys and pages. Urgent request is made that
the city of Manila be strongly fortified; this will inspire respect
among their neighbors, and keep in awe the natives and the Chinese,
who are liable at any time to revolt. Luzon is menaced with invasion
by the Japanese, Malays, and English; and forts should be erected at
various points for its defense. The coasts should be protected against
pirates by a small fleet of light, swift vessels. It must be understood
that no confidence can be placed in the natives, who kill Spaniards at
every opportunity. The conquests hitherto made by the Spaniards should
be further extended; and the districts and islands in which the natives
are disaffected should be subdued and pacified. These will employ and
reward the poor Spanish soldiers, and will afford protection to the
converted natives, who are continually harassed and raided by their
heathen neighbors. The regions that should be subdued range from
the Liu-Kiu Islands to Borneo. The governor should be authorized
to make such conquests, and even "to entrust them, by contract,
to other Spaniards." The king is called upon "to aid in atoning for
the wrongs inflicted on the Indians by the first conquerors," for
which the latter are held responsible by the church, which refuses to
absolve them from sins until payment for these wrongs be made to the
Indians. This the conquerors are unable to do, and request for it aid
from the royal treasury. The king is asked to compel the encomenderos
to give religious instruction to their Indians. The abuses that prevail
in the collection of tributes from the Indians are enumerated; in some
places the natives are revolting, because treated so unjustly. Some
Spaniards still hold Indians as slaves, in defiance of royal edicts;
moreover, the natives themselves hold many slaves; and the priests
are unwilling to grant absolution to either unless they release these
slaves. Request is made for regulation of the system of slavery among
the Indians. Complaint is made that the friars go from the islands
wherever and whenever they please; thus they neglect their duties,
arouse ill-feeling among the Chinese and other foreigners, and in many
other ways do harm. This evil should be corrected by forbidding all
Spaniards to leave the islands, or to give assistance to the friars
in doing so, except by special permission from the authorities.

Then follows a curious scheme for invading and conquering China;
this would bring much wealth to the crown of Spain, and be the
means of converting innumerable souls to the Christian faith; the
king is urged to undertake this enterprise at once. The arguments in
justification of this conquest are left for Father Sanchez to explain
to his Majesty. The forces, equipment, and supplies necessary are
enumerated in detail, as also what part of these can be furnished in
the Philippines themselves, where preparations for the expedition have
already begun. The fleet which is expected to come from Spain with
men and supplies should land in Cagayan, Luzon; the routes which may
be taken by those vessels are described, and that by the Strait of
Magellan is recommended as the shortest and safest. It is desirable
to induce the Portuguese to take part in the proposed conquest; and an
auxiliary force will probably come from Japan. The Jesuit missionaries
who are in China are expected to act as guides and interpreters for
the expedition. The troops should be so numerous and well equipped that
they can at once awe the Chinese into submission; but they should not
be allowed to ravage the country, nor should the native government be
destroyed, as has so often been done in other Spanish conquests. It
must be understood that the proposed expedition is not to deal with
the Chinese as if they were Moors or Turks; it will be sent only
to escort the preachers of the faith, and to see that any converts
that they may gain shall be unmolested by the Chinese authorities;
it should therefore be commanded and officered by honorable, humane,
and Christian men. The gains which would result from the conquest
of China are enumerated--at first, mainly religious; these include
the foundation of many schools, churches, and monasteries for the
Chinese, wherein they will speedily become Europeanized. The writer
praises the natural abilities and excellent qualities of the people,
and especially the virtue of their women. As for worldly advantages,
these are many and great. Every year China can furnish to the Spanish
treasury galleons loaded with gold, silks, and other treasures; much
silver from its mines; and large amounts in rents, taxes, etc. All
China can be divided into encomiendas; and there will be many offices
and dignities to be enjoyed by the king's faithful vassals--indeed,
"a great part of the Spanish people could come to reside there, and be
ennobled." On account of the great virtue, modesty, submissiveness,
and beauty of the Chinese women, they would prove to be excellent
wives for the Spaniards; thus the two peoples would mingle, and
"all would be united, fraternal, and Christian." It is for lack of
such amalgamation that European experiments in Oriental colonization
have hitherto failed; but the proposed scheme will ensure to Spain
success in such expansion. They have thus far failed therein in the
Philippines, scorning the natives as inferior beings, who are fit only
to be their slaves. The Spaniards care only for their own enrichment,
and treat the natives cruelly; consequently the latter are steadily
diminishing, and the condition of the islands is deteriorating. But in
China all will be different, in both temporal and spiritual matters;
and both Spaniards and Chinese will be greatly benefited, enriched,
and increased. Certain minor advantages to arise from the conquest of
China are enumerated--the establishment of numerous episcopal sees; the
foundation of new military orders, and the extension of the old ones;
the creation of many titled lords, and appointment of viceroys for the
conquered provinces. China, thus subdued, will be a vantage-ground from
which Spain can control all Asia and a land-route to Europe. Chinese
colonists can be imported into the Philippines, "and thus enrich
themselves and this land." And, finally, the immediate occupation of
China will forestall any advance into the far Orient by the French,
or the English, or any other heretical nation. This scheme--which as
it proceeds acquires, like a soap-bubble, great size and brilliant
coloring, and proves equally unsubstantial and transient--is signed
by the governor, bishop, superiors of the religious houses, and a
long array of other notables in the islands.

By the mail which carries the "Memorial" are sent various letters
supplementing the information contained in that document, or commending
the envoy, Father Sanchez. The military officials write to the king
(June 24), reminding him that the foothold gained in the islands by
the Christian faith can be maintained only by the presence of troops
there. The soldiers (whose courage and loyalty in the past are praised)
are discouraged, because they have not received the rewards which
they expected; they are lawless and demoralized, and their officers
cannot control them. The defense of Manila is thus imperiled, and
the natives are led to despise the Spaniards. The officers who write
this letter complain because they have been unjustly treated in their
efforts to improve this condition of affairs; they ask for redress,
and for the abolition of the royal Audiencia. A letter from the cabildo
(municipal council) of Manila commends Sanchez as their envoy to the
king. They complain that the Audiencia "cannot be maintained here
without the total destruction of the state," which cannot bear the
burden of this expense; and ask that it be abolished. They ask for a
garrison of three hundred paid troops, and the grant of an encomienda
to the city of Manila. They complain of the losses inflicted not only
upon the merchants of that city, but upon the colonial government, by
the trade which Mexican merchants carry on through the port of Manila
with the Chinese; and demand that this traffic be restricted to the
citizens of the islands. They ask the king to see that more friars
be sent out, both Augustinians and Franciscans. The cabildo recommend
that the archdeacon Juan de Bivero receive from the king some reward
for his hitherto unrecompensed services in the Philippines. On the
same day Antonio Sedeno, rector of the Jesuits at Manila, writes a
letter commending Sanchez for this present embassy, and recounting
his past services to the Philippine colony. On June 26 Bishop Salazar
writes a short letter, regarding some points outside of Sanchez's
commission. One of these concerns the respective precedence of
the bishop and the Audiencia on public occasions. The bishop also
describes the quarrels between the president and auditors of the
Audiencia, and his success in reconciling these differences. He has
delivered, although against his better judgment, certain prisoners
to the Inquisition, in obedience to a royal decree. A letter from the
Audiencia of the Philippines to the king (dated June 26), recommends
an increase in the rate of tribute paid by the Indians; the money
thus obtained could be used to pay the soldiers, which would greatly
improve the standard of military service in the islands. The colonial
treasury is greatly embarrassed by heavy expenses, and the salaries of
the Audiencia would better be paid from Mexico; then the encomiendas of
Indians now taxed for that expense could be assigned to the soldiers
who have so long been serving in the Philippines without pay. The
king is asked to make an annual appropriation for the military and
marine expenses of the islands. Father Sanchez is recommended by
the Audiencia also, as their envoy to the home government. Their
dissensions are now all settled, and some matters which caused these
disagreements are referred to the king for his decision. They notify
him of certain changes which they have made in the customs tariff of
the islands, especially on the Chinese trade; it appears therefrom
that the economic dependence of the Philippines on China is very
close, especially in the matter of supplying food and cattle. Certain
extension of authority which had been granted to the bishop is asked by
the Audiencia for him. The participation of the Spaniards in the rich
Chinese trade has aroused the jealousy of the Portuguese in India,
who are endeavoring to shut out the Castilians from that country;
the king is asked to take such measures as he deems best in this
matter. Complaint is made that a certain Mexican officer has gone,
in disobedience to his orders, to China, apparently to trade.

Pedro de Rojas, a member of the Audiencia, also writes (June 30) in
commendation of Sanchez. He relates the dissensions in the Audiencia
over the appointments to offices, and asks for royal action which
shall settle this difficulty. He seconds the request made in other
letters for the removal of the Audiencia, provided a capable and
honest man be selected for governor, and gives advice regarding
the conduct of colonial affairs. He complains of the injury to the
interests of the colony which results from the Chinese trade in silks
and other luxuries, and advises that it be stopped; then the Chinese
will bring cattle, food, and other supplies, to the advantage of
the Spaniards. The latter have devoted themselves to commerce; and,
as most of them are soldiers, they neglect their military duties,
lose their courage, and have become vicious and demoralized. Rojas
urges that they be restrained from engaging in traffic, leaving the
islands, or transferring their encomiendas to the crown. A seminary
for girls should be established at Manila, and young women from
Spain should be encouraged and aided to come to the islands. The
gold obtained in the Philippines should be sent to Mexico, and a
specified sum of money, in coin, should be sent thence to the islands
each year. Rojas recommends that Bishop Salazar be made governor,
and praises his qualifications for that office; next to the bishop,
the auditor Ayala would be most suitable.

Juan Moron, a military officer, sends (June 30) a report of his
expedition to Maluco with troops to succor the Spanish fort there. He
urges that a stone fort be erected for the defense of Manila, and
that some encomiendas of Indians be granted for the support of the
municipal government; and commends the envoy Sanchez.

A group of documents which contain "measures regarding trade with
China" (1586-90) throws much light on economic conditions in the
Spanish colonies at that time. The first of these (dated June 17,
1586), although unsigned, is apparently written by a member of the
royal Council of the Indias. He cites letters from several Spanish
officials of high standing, to show that the Philippine-Chinese trade
is injuring that of the mother-country and of Mexico; and the complaint
is again made that Spanish money is continually flowing into China,
thus depleting the wealth of the colonies. The writer recommends that
the latter be forbidden to import Chinese goods; and that the viceroy
of Nueva Espana be directed to take measures to accomplish this. Two
days later, a decree to this effect is signed by the king. Extracts
from a letter written (November 15) by the viceroy, after referring to
the success of the efforts made to sustain the Spanish colony in the
Philippines, and to propagate the Christian faith among the natives
there, indicate the desirability of continuing the trade begun with
China. Through this agency, his Majesty's subjects in the colonies
are benefited, and (a still more important consideration) an open
door for the entrance of the Christian faith into that heathen land
is secured. If the Chinese trade be cut off, the Spanish population
of the Philippines cannot be maintained, and the natives will rebel
against their conquerors. The encomenderos depend upon the Chinese
for clothing and food, and for the opportunity to dispose of the
goods received from the Indians as tributes. In view of all these
considerations, the viceroy has abrogated the royal decree for the
present, and has, besides, ordered the collection of a heavy duty on
all cloth imported from Spain to Mexico.

A brief of Sixtus V (November 15, 1586) erects into a province the
former custodia of the Franciscan friars in the Philippines.

The viceroy of Mexico advises the home government (February 8,
1587) to encourage the merchants who carry on the Philippine trade,
especially by selling to them ships made in the royal shipyards.

Santiago de Vera, governor of the Philippines, writes to the king
(June 26, 1587). He entreats that more soldiers be sent, and that
they be supplied with food and other necessaries; for, as those
hitherto sent have received no food or pay, most of them have died
from their privations, or from the unhealthful climate. In view of the
recent destruction of the city of Manila by fire, Vera has forbidden
the people to build any more houses of wood, obliging them to use
stone for that purpose. Finding the city practically defenseless,
Vera has begun to build near it a fort and other means of defense;
and he asks for a small number of paid soldiers as a garrison for
the city. He has assessed on the encomenderos and other citizens
and on the Indians the expenses of these works. Another fort is
needed at Cavite. The king is asked to grant money and workmen
for completing these fortifications. Copper has been discovered in
adjoining islands, also sulphur. The trade with China is important
and flourishing; and the products of that country are offered at
Manila at very low prices. The Chinese ask that the Spaniards will
establish a trading-post in their country. Friendly intercourse with
Japan is commencing, and the Jesuit missionaries there are freely
allowed to preach the Christian faith. Vera has remitted the duties
on goods brought to Manila from Japan and Macao. A controversy has
arisen between him and the bishop, the latter having ordered that
the Chinese converts to the Christian faith should cut off their long
hair, which causes many to avoid baptism: the king is asked to settle
this question. Vera has sent to Macao for the recalcitrant Mexican
officer who was mentioned in a previous document. A Japanese prince,
a Christian, offers to aid the Spanish with troops in any warlike
enterprise that they wish to undertake.

A letter from the Audiencia to Felipe (June 25, 1588) reports the
capture of the treasure-ship "Santa Ana" off the California coast,
by the English adventurer Thomas Candish, which has caused much loss
and hardship to the Spaniards in the Philippines. Complaint is made
of vexatious imposts levied on the Philippine trade by the viceroy of
Mexico; the Audiencia ask that he be ordered to cease these measures,
also that he shall not meddle with letters sent from Spain to the
islands, or with the personal affairs of officials there. The existence
of the Philippine colony is endangered by the trade which is beginning
between Mexico and China; and, having lost its best ships, colonists
are no longer sent to augment its population. Gratuities from the royal
treasury have been bestowed upon the various religious communities. The
Audiencia commends the labors of the Jesuits, but advises that a
college be not established for them, as they request, since "there
are in all this country no students to attend their teachings." The
hospitals should receive more aid from the crown. The difficulties
between the bishop and the Audiencia are explained; but they are now
adjusted, and peace prevails. It will be well to send many religious
to the islands, provided they belong to the orders already there.

The Editors

August, 1903.

Documents of 1583-85

Foundation of the Audiencia of Manila (concluded). Felipe II;
Aranjuez, May 5, 1583.
Two decrees regarding the religious. Felipe II; San Lorenzo,
June 21, 1583, and Aranjuez, April 24, 1584.
Annual income of the royal exchequer in the Philippines. Andres
Cauchela, and others; Manila, June 15-30, 1584.
Letter to Felipe II. Melchor Davalos; Manila, July 3, 1584.
Letter to the archbishop of Mexico. Santiago de Vera; Manila,
June 20, 1585.
Two letters to Felipe II. Fray Geronimo de Guzman
[Madrid? 1585]; and Fray Jhoan de Vascones [1585?]

Sources: These documents are obtained from the original MSS. in the
Archivo de Indias, Sevilla--excepting the royal decrees, which are
found in the _Cronica_ of Santa Ines and in the "Cedulario Indico"
of the Archivo Historico Nacional, Madrid, respectively.

Translations: The first document is translated by Henry B. Lathrop,
of the University of Wisconsin; the second and fourth, by Alfonso
de Salvio, of Harvard University; the third, by Arthur B. Myrick,
of Harvard University; the fifth, by Jose and Clara M. Asensio;
the sixth, by Herbert E. Bolton, of the University of Texas.

Foundation of the Audiencia of Manila (_concluded_)


251. [Examinations not to be repeated.]

252. _Item_: We command that the said commissioners of examination
[_receptores_], and special clerks who go on inquiries, shall not
play games of chance, except for articles of food ready to be eaten,
on pain of removal from office.

253-259. [Form of entry of witness's oath; fees charged must be
endorsed; cases must be accepted promptly, in due order; absence and
accounting for writs; fees received must be recorded; commissions may
not be begged for; reports of investigations made out in public form
must be given to the parties.]

260-264. [Taxing of charges; discharge of commissioners on completion
of commission; commissioners may not be employed if they are relatives
of clerks, attorneys, or advocates, or if they have boarded or lodged
with them within a year; procedure on second trial.]

265-272. [Procedure in the assignment of commissions; cases accepted
must not be thrown up; requests of parties for summoning of witnesses
are not to be entered on the record; testimony is to be taken before
local magistrates, if so desired; rights of commissioners-in-ordinary
and of supernumerary commissioners to assignments.]

273. _Item_: A commissioner of inquiry may be appointed as soon as
there shall be two court clerks appointed, or even one, that possible
frauds may be avoided.

274-277. [Procedure in the event of challenge of commissioner;
procedure for appointment of commissioners within and without the
five leagues; oath of commissioner for outside cases; commissioners
and clerks to take down testimony themselves, with no other person

278. _Item_: No supernumerary commissioner shall be appointed
without being examined, and giving bonds for the administration
of his office. No dependent or member of a household of our said
president and auditors may be appointed to such commissionership,
under penalty that the clerk appointed contrary to this ordinance
shall lose all fees and salary for the time during which he shall
occupy himself with the commissionership.

279-280. [The number of lines on a page in a record of inquiry; the
number of words in a line; the excellence of handwriting required;
the dating of reports of examinations.]


281-284. [The bailiff's [_portero_] duties; his fees those of the
bailiffs of the royal council; a lodging to be given him in the
building of the Audiencia; tardiness fined one peso; excessive fees
to be repaid sevenfold to the exchequer; presents for good news
not to be accepted--penalty, fourfold repayment to the exchequer;
the bailiff to enforce rules of precedence.]

Jail Wardens

285-286. [The warden [_carcelero_] shall accept no gifts from
prisoners or others for them; shall not oppress them, or relax their
imprisonment, or dismiss or arrest them without warrant; his oath.]

287. [His fees are those assigned to alguazils in the official table
of fees.]

288. [A separate ward must be provided for women.]

289. [Nightly inspection is required. If prisoners escape through
the warden's fault or negligence, he must suffer their penalty,
or pay their debt]

290. [A full record of the prisoner's name and the circumstances of
his imprisonment must be kept]

291. _Item:_ He shall not entrust the keys of the prison to any Indian
or black, on pain of being compelled to pay in his own person and
estate the damage and injury which shall follow from his having so
entrusted the keys.

292. [Warden and jailers are to have no business dealings or
familiarity with the prisoners, or eat or gamble with them.]

293. [The jailers must live in the prisons.]

294. _Item:_ There shall be a chaplain in the prison, to say mass
before the prisoners daily; and the ornaments and other things
necessary therefor shall be provided and paid for from the exchequer
fines. The jailer shall take care that the chapel or place where mass
is said shall be clean.

295. _Item:_ He shall cause the prison and the cells thereof to be
swept twice a week; and to be provided with clean water, so that
the prisoners may drink without paying any fee. No jail-fee shall
be charged to boys arrested for gambling, or to officials of our
Audiencia arrested by order of our president and auditors--under a
penalty of a fine of four times the amount, paid to our exchequer.

296. _Item:_ No permission or opportunity for gambling shall be given
in the jail, for money or other things except food. Wine shall not
be sold to the poor; or, if sold, shall be sold at the price it is
worth, and no more. No jail-fees shall be received from the poor
under penalty of a fourfold fine for our exchequer.

Interpreters of the Audiencia

297. _Item:_ We ordain and command that there shall be a body of
interpreters for our said Audiencia; and that before they are admitted
to exercise that office they shall swear in due form to perform their
duties well and faithfully, in declaring and interpreting the case
or matter committed to them, clearly and openly, without concealment
or addition--declaring simply the fact of the crime, business, or
testimony under examination. They shall likewise swear not to be
partial to either side, or to favor one more than the other, and not
to accept any reward for their service beyond the fee assessed and
fixed for them, under the penalty decreed for forswearers, and the
damages and interests of the parties, and a sevenfold return of the
amount received, and removal from office.

298. _Item:_ They shall receive no gifts or promises from Spaniards,
or from the Indians, or from other persons who shall have or shall
expect to have businesses or suits with them. They shall not accept
such gifts or promises, of great or small amount, even for articles of
food or drink; and even if these are voluntarily offered, without any
request for them being made by the said interpreters or by others. In
case of violation of this ordinance, they shall pay sevenfold what
they have taken, for our exchequer; and charges thereof shall follow
the procedure prescribed for charges against the judges and officials
of our Audiencia.

299. _Item:_ We ordain that the said interpreters shall not listen,
in their own houses or out of them, to Indians who shall come to plead
or do business in our Audiencia; but shall take them, without listening
to them, to the said Audiencia, that there the case may be heard and
determined in conformity with justice. In case of violation of this
ordinance, they shall suffer for the first offense a penalty of three
pesos for the court-room; for the second, double the penalty applied as
aforesaid; and for the third, in addition to the said double penalty,
they shall be dismissed from office.

300. _Item:_ They shall not arrange the pleadings of Indians, nor be
attorneys or solicitors in their cases and affairs, under the penalty
prescribed in the preceding ordinance, applied as aforesaid.

301. _Item:_ They shall be present at the meetings of court, at
hearings, and at inspections of prisons, on every day that is not
a holiday. At least in the afternoons they shall be present in the
house of the president and auditors. All the above-mentioned duties,
and each and every part and matter thereof, they shall take care
to distribute among themselves in such a way that there shall not,
by the default of them or of any of them, be any failure or delay in
determining cases or other matters--under a penalty of two pesos for
the poor for each day when the interpreters, men or women, or any of
them, shall fail to do their duty in any of the aforesaid matters;
and that, in addition, they shall pay the damages, interests, and
costs to the party or parties detained for this cause.

302. _Item_: They shall not absent themselves without license from
our president, under penalty of losing salary for the time while
they were absent, and a fine of twelve pesos for the said court-room,
for every instance of violation of this ordinance.

303. _Item_: We command that when they shall be occupied with suits
or matters outside of the place where our said Audiencia shall sit,
they shall accept nothing from the parties, directly or indirectly,
beyond the fee assigned them. They shall make no bargains or agreements
with the Indians, or partnerships, in any manner--under penalty
of repaying sevenfold that which they thus accept and bargain for,
and of perpetual discharge from office.

304. _Item_: For each day when any one of the said interpreters shall
go out on commission and by order of our said Audiencia, from the
place where it shall sit, they shall take as fee in addition to their
salary two pesos, and no more; and shall accept no food or anything
else from the parties, directly or indirectly, under the penalty of
being obliged to repay it sevenfold to our exchequer.

305. _Item_: For each witness examined, if the interrogatory is of
more than twelve questions, they shall receive two tomins; if the
interrogatory is of less than twelve questions, one tomin, and no
more, under penalty of paying fourfold to our exchequer. But if the
interrogatory shall be long and the case laborious, the auditor before
whom the examination is conducted may assess, in addition to the other
fees, a moderate sum proportionate to the labor and time consumed.

306. _Item_: We command that the interpreters, each in turn, shall
be in attendance at nine in the morning on every day when cases are
heard, in the offices of the court clerks, to receive the memorandum
which will be given him by the fiscal for summoning witnesses whom
it shall be desirable to examine for the dues of the treasury--under
a penalty of half a peso, for the poor of the prison, for every day
of failure to be present.

307. And since, in regard to the fees to be taken by the officials
of the said Audiencia, an official tariff [_arancel_] has been made,
we command that what is contained therein shall be observed and
fulfilled until other provisions are made and decreed by us.

308. _Item_: We ordain and command that, in the rest of the cases and
matters, coming before the said Audiencia not here determined upon,
shall be followed the ordinances made by us, and to be made by our
said president and auditors.

Tariff of fees

309. [A list on which shall be entered the official tariff of fees
must be posted in the court-room, and copies must be kept in the
clerks' offices.]

310. _Item_: We ordain and command that our said president and auditors
shall make a tariff of fees, in accordance with which our chief clerk
of mines and the other officials who have no official tariff shall
take their fees; and that they shall do the same in all the governments
of their district, paying consideration to the nature of the offices,
the region where they are situated, the expenses there, and the lack
of supplies that may exist therein. These tariffs of fees are to be
sent when made, with the signatures of the president and auditors,
to our said council, to be examined and confirmed; and in the interim
the tariffs which shall be made shall be observed.


311. _Item_: We command that in the house of our Audiencia there
shall be a room in which there shall be a cabinet wherein shall be
deposited the records of cases determined by the said Audiencia, after
the decrees of execution [_executorias_] have been transcribed, the
records of each single year being placed one above another. The court
clerk shall place on each record of a case a strip of parchment stating
the persons and the subject of the case. This shall be done within
five days after the decree of execution has been transcribed. And
in another part of the said room another cabinet shall be placed, in
which shall be deposited the grants, decrees, and documents pertaining
to the state, preeminence, and jurisdiction of the said Audiencia and
provincial court [_provincia_] of its district. All shall be locked
and the key be kept by the chancellor [_chanciller_]. All records
shall be covered with parchment.

312. _Item_: We ordain and command that whenever an event occurs
for which no provision or decree is made in these ordinances, and in
the other decrees, provisions, and ordinances enacted for the said
provinces, and in the laws of Madrid made in the year [one thousand]
five hundred and two, and the provisions therein, [1] and command
that our president and auditors, clerks and advocates, and other
officials of our said Audiencia shall each, within thirty days,
take the copy of this ordinance.

313. _Item_: We command that in the said Audiencia there shall be a
record in which shall be entered all royal orders [_cedulas_] which
we shall send or shall have sent to them; and they shall take care
to observe and obey the same. And since it is our will that the said
articles and ordinances above written shall be observed, and since
it is likewise fitting for our service and the administration of our
justice, we give commandment to our said president and auditors of
the said Audiencia, which is accordingly to be established in the
said city of Manila of the said island of Lucon, and to our fiscal,
alguazil-mayor, and the officials and servants thereof whom the content
of the said ordinances affects--both to those whom we now send and
to those who shall be appointed henceforth--to each and every one of
them, that they shall regard, observe, and perform them, and cause
them to be observed and performed, in everything and for everything,
as is contained and decreed in the said ordinances; and that they
shall not proceed or act, or permit any to proceed to act, in any
manner contrary to the tenor and form of these and of their contents.

Given at Aranjuez, May fifth, one thousand five hundred and

I The King

I, Antonio de Erasso, secretary to his Catholic Majesty, caused this
to be written at his command.

The licentiate _Diego Gasca de Salazar_
The licentiate _Alonso Martynez Espadero_
The licentiate _Don Gonsalvo de Cuniga_
_Don Lope de Vaillo_
The licentiate _Emojosa_
The licentiate _Francisco de Villafane_

Ordinances to be observed by the Audiencia established by your
Majesty's command in the city of Manila, of the island of Luzon,
of the Philipinas.

[_Endorsed:_ "Establishment of the Audiencia of Manila, and the
ordinances which must be observed. In the year 1583."]

Two Royal Decrees Regarding the Religious

The Audiencia to Aid the Franciscans

The King: To the president and auditors of our royal Audiencia,
established at our order in the island of Luzon in the Filipinas
islands. To those islands have gone recently descalced religious of
the order of St. Francis to preach the holy gospel, and to engage
in the instruction and conversion of the natives therein; and more
will go thither regularly, both from these kingdoms and from Nueva
Espana. Now because we hope that, by means of their instruction and
example, much fruit will be gathered among those natives, therefore
we desire--a thing befitting the service of God, our Lord--that they
be aided, and held in all estimation, so that with more energy and
fervor they may continue their good purpose; and we order you that, as
far as you are concerned, you aid them to the utmost of your ability,
and extend to them all possible protection, whenever occasion offers,
as their exemplary life merits. San Lorenzo, June twenty-one, one
thousand five hundred and eighty-three.

I The King

Countersigned by Antonio de Eraso, and approved by the members of
the council.

Legazpi's Aid to the Religious Approved

The King: To Doctor Santiago de Vera, president of our royal Audiencia
established in the city of Manila, in the Filipinas islands; or,
in his absence, to the person or persons to whom the government of
the islands has been entrusted. Father Andres de Aguirre, [2] of
the order of St. Augustine, has reported that the adelantado Miguel
Lopez de Legaspe gave orders in my name to pay, as a gratuity for the
support of each of the religious who were engaged in the conversion
and instruction of the natives of those islands, one hundred pesos of
Tepusque and one hundred fanegas of rice. Thus the religious have been
aided, although in later years the judges and officials of my royal
exchequer have paid this gratuity with some reluctance, alleging that
for such payments my orders must be produced. The matter having been
examined by my Council of the Indias, it was agreed that I should
issue this my decree, by which I command you to provide for giving
the aforesaid gratuity to the said religious, as above stated. This
decree is to be executed without fail.

I, The King

By order of his Majesty:

Antonio de Eraso

Aranjuez, April 24, 1584.

Annual Income of the Royal Exchequer in the Philippines

Report of the annual income from tributes and other sources of
profit appertaining to his Majesty in these islands of the West,
and the ordinary expenses therein.

The tributes from the villages belonging
to the royal crown amount in one year to
twenty-two thousand pesos of eight reals
each XXII U. [3] pesos

Dues from tithes and assays of gold, four
thousand pesos IIII U. pesos

From import duties on merchandise which
comes from Nueva Espana and China, six
thousand pesos VI U. pesos

Fines accruing to the exchequer, one
thousand pesos I U. pesos


XXXIII U. pesos

Salaries and ordinary expenses

The yearly salaries of the president,
auditors, and fiscal of the royal
Audiencia amount to sixteen thousand
five hundred and forty-four pesos of
the said gold XVI U. DXL[IIII] pesos

The salaries of two royal proprietary
officials, and of another who serves to
fill a vacancy, four thousand six
hundred and eighty-seven pesos and four
tomins IV U. DCLXXXV[II] pesos

Gratuities to the religious orders,
three thousand pesos III U. pesos

Collection of tributes, one thousand
five hundred pesos I U. D pesos

Ordinarily there are a hundred seamen,
shipwrights, and forge-men, whose wages
are paid from the royal treasury in
Nueva Espana; and some assistance,
charged to that treasury, is given to
them in this island, as aid for their
support, besides their ration of rice--
which amounts in one year to two
thousand pesos II U. pesos

Item: Fifty-five Indians who are
carpenters, and a like number of iron-
workers, for work on the ships; and a
hundred other Indians for services in
casting artillery, building houses for
the royal service, work on the
fortifications, manning the oars on
three fragatas, and ordinary service--
who earn two thousand pesos II U. pesos

Item: Twenty thousand fanegas of rice
for the sustenance of the seamen,
shipwrights, and iron-workers, and the
Indians for the above works and services;
at the rate of two tomins a fanega, this
costs five thousand pesos V U. pesos

Five hundred quintals of iron, at one
peso a quintal U. D pesos

Also five hundred quintals of cordage,
net weight, at one peso a quintal U. D pesos

Also five hundred quintals of pitch,
at one peso a quintal U. D pesos

Five hundred pesos' worth of charcoal,
for the forges U. D pesos

One thousand pesos' worth of timber,
logs, and planks, for the dockyards
and work on the ships I U. pesos

For the repairing of magazines, royal
buildings, and fortifications, and for
timber for the same, one thousand
pesos more I U. pesos

The said expenses amount to forty-one
thousand eight hundred and thirty-one
pesos XLI U. DCCC. XXXI pesos

Accordingly, in one year the exchequer
incurs a debt of eight thousand eight
hundred and thirty-one pesos; usual
debt of the treasury each year VIII U. DCCC. XXXI pesos

The said account does not include extraordinary expenses that arise,
such as the pacification of the natives throughout these islands, and
certain other expeditions, and material for their defense--expenses
that occur each year (especially for the past three years), in this
region. With the aid sent to Maluco, repairs on his Majesty's galleon
which came from that place, the rebuilding of the fort and magazines,
and the buildings which have been erected for the royal Audiencia
and its president and auditors, the said works have cost his Majesty
in all more than thirty thousand pesos in the said three years for
extraordinary expenses, for which sum the royal exchequer is indebted.

Extraordinary expenses for three years, XXX U. pesos

Andres Cauchela
Juan Baptista Roman
Domingo Nerdules

In the city of Manila, in the Philipinas Islands, on the fifteenth
day of June, one thousand five hundred and eighty-four, the honorable
president and auditors of the royal Audiencia established in this said
city stated that, in order that his Majesty might be informed of the
value of provisions and other articles sold in this island, as well
as of the harvests therein and of the supplies that are brought from
Nueva Espana and the realms of Castilla, they gave orders to make,
and they did make, before me the following investigation.

Luis Velez Cherino

And, for the said investigation, the honorable licentiate Rojas,
auditor of the royal Audiencia, took and received an oath before God
and the blessed Mary, and on the sign of the cross and on words of
the holy gospels, from Don Antonio Gofre Carrillo, treasurer of his
Majesty's royal exchequer in this city and the Philipinas islands-under
which obligation he promised to tell the truth. Being asked regarding
the tenor of the title of this inquiry, he said that this witness knows
that every year one or more ships come from Nueva Espana to these
islands for traffic, which bring, as merchandise, velvets, satins,
damasks, taffetas, ribbed cloths in colors, velvet caps, shoes and
stockings, linens from Holland and Rouen, wine, vinegar, oil, olives,
capers, preserves, hams and fat bacon, flour, soap, hats, netted hose,
Cordovan leather, raisins, almonds, and many other articles from the
produce of Espana and Nueva Espana. All these things are in this land
usually worth double their value and cost in Nueva Espana. Many times
we have experienced lack of wine for saying mass and for the sick;
sometimes a jar holding an arroba of wine has been worth at least one
hundred gold pesos, and even much more. These things which are brought
from Nueva Espana are so necessary that the people, especially those
of gentle birth, could not do without them. For instance, they cannot
clothe themselves with stuffs that are made in this land, or with
those that are brought from the mainland; for these are thin silks
of such quality that garments made of them are worthless, for lack
of durability and fineness. Consequently, they would not be worn if
the people were not very poor. The supplies that we have at present
in this country are pork and buffalo meat, fowls, rice, wax candles,
and lard; and the Sangleys' flour, which is very poor and cannot be
eaten. It is now held at so high a price that what was bought four
years ago for a toston cannot now be bought for three pesos. Where they
used to give six fanegas of rice for one toston, they now ask three
pesos, at one toston a fanega. They used to sell twelve to sixteen
fowls for four reals; at present, when there are no large fowls,
they cost two or three reals apiece, instead of a toston. A hog that
used to cost alive four to six reals now costs six or seven pesos,
and no one is found to buy. This witness thinks that the cause for
the high prices in this country is that so many Spaniards have come
hither, that so many of the natives of these islands have perished,
and that so few people cultivate the soil or breed fowls or swine. [4]
The witness knows this because, during the four years that he has
spent in this land, he has seen that the conditions and events are as
he has described them. He asserts this to be the truth, on the oath
that he has taken. He declares that he is twenty-seven years of age,
rather more than less; that he has no personal interest in this affair;
and is fully competent to be a witness. He signed this with his name,

The licentiate Pedro de Rojas
Don Antonio Gofre Carrillo

Before me:

Luis Velez Cherino

[Then follow the depositions of Juan Arze de Sadornel, Andres
Cauchela, the captain Juan Pacheco Maldonado, Pedro Carballo,
the ensign Christobal de Axcueta, Don Juan de Bivero (treasurer
of the Manila cathedral, and a priest), and Don Juan de Armendares
(canon of the cathedral, and a priest). They are couched in almost
the same words as the foregoing. The testimony of all shows the high
cost of living in the islands, and ascribes the cause to the great
number of Spaniards, the deaths by disease and war of many natives,
and the coming of great numbers of Chinese for purposes of trade,
they as well as the Spaniards being non-producers. Of the natives
many have engaged in trade and but few till the soil, thus increasing
the dearth of provisions and forcing prices still higher. The two
priests do not take the oath in the same form as the laymen, but by
"placing the hand upon the breast, and swearing by their priestly
word." After all of these depositions, each of them attested in due
form by the notary, the document continues:]

All the above, according to what passed before me, the said clerk of
the court, I have given and delivered, signed with my name and signet
[i.e., flourish] to the honorable president and auditors, written on
ten sheets together with this present, accompanied with my signet. In
the city of Manila, in the Filipinas islands, on June thirtieth,
in the year one thousand five hundred and eighty-four--the witnesses
being Rodrigo de Leon and Alvaro Mendez de Herrera.

Luis Velez Cherino.

The words are crossed out where is read _poner, a, y, queste de_; and
corrected where is read _hacienda, tostones_, and _come_; and _de_
has been inserted between the lines. I, Luis Velez Cherino, court
clerk of the royal Audiencia established in this city of Manila,
have written this and caused it to be written; and here I affix my
signet to such document, in witness of the truth.

Luis Velez Cherino.

Letter from Melchior Davalos to Felipe II

Royal Catholic Majesty:

It was through divine inspiration, we may believe, that your Majesty
appointed a president and auditors for this extremity or beginning of
the world; for at the very time when Governor Don Gonzalo Ronquillo had
just died or was about to die, in this city of Manila, the Council,
more than four thousand leagues from here, resolved upon and decreed
the foundation of the royal Audiencia in Manila, and we came hither--as
president and governor, Doctor Santiago de Vera; I, who was living
quite neglected in Mexico, as first auditor; the licentiate Rojas
as second auditor, and the licentiate Ayala as fiscal. It is said
that another auditor, the licentiate Bravo, remained in Castilla;
all of us excepting him came here. We set sail from the port of
Acapulco on the ninth of March, according to the new computation of
time which your Majesty, by order of the supreme pontiff, commanded
us to observe. I mention this point because we who came enjoyed an
experience never known before--namely, that while at sea we kept
Ascension day, Whitsunday, Trinity Sunday, and Corpus Christi day;
when we landed we kept and celebrated the same feast-days in Manila,
because the new reckoning was not yet in force there, and does not come
into effect until the fifth of October of the present year. It is a
memorable event that according to the said new reckoning we arrived
here on the twenty-sixth of May, and according to the old on the
sixteenth of the same month. [5] The Audiencia was established with
all the authority and pomp possible. We found the city burned down,
and no habitable houses except those of straw, rushes, and boards,
which could easily burn down again any day. Concerning this and other
matters, a report will be sent by the president. The officials of
the royal exchequer not only refused to lend me money, but did not
even pay me more than half of the three months' salary due me from
the time when I left Acapulco. The others have drawn their salaries
from the time when they left Castilla, the president since he left
Mexico, and I only from the day when we set sail. I am not unworthy of
favors, most potent sire; for I have spent forty years in continual
study, thirty of which have given me much experience in matters of
justice and legal pleading, and this is well known in Mexico. If
the records of the past be examined in the Council, it will be seen
that in the ten or twelve months while I was fiscal of that royal
Audiencia I accomplished more than did my predecessors for twenty
years. Besides all this, I am a man of good repute. I was an advocate
for the Inquisition during more than eleven years, namely, from the
time when your Majesty established it in Mexico. My uncles and the
relatives of Dona Maria de Sandoval, my wife, won Nueva Espana, as can
be seen by the records of the royal Council of the Yndias; and no one
is more worthy to receive the remuneration for his services than are
my wife and I. By virtue of a decree ordering me to remove my entire
family and household, the royal exchequer of Mexico lent me for the
space of two years two thousand pesos to aid me on my voyage. This
assistance was not sufficient, and, not being able to sell my estates,
I was obliged to leave them deserted, because I had already sold my
negroes. I shall be entirely ruined unless your Majesty release me
from the payment of those two thousand pesos, or at least give me
a continuance of ten years. I entreat your Majesty for this, since
in order to foster decency among the women I brought here three sons
and a nephew, whose exceedingly honorable and virtuous reputation is
known throughout Nueva Espana, where I brought them up.

With the help of God, who in His infinite mercy made me pleasing
and well liked, I shall endeavor to live, administer justice, and
deal with others irreproachably. Since this is so, and I dwell in
a land where there is so little stability and truth, I beseech your
Majesty not to judge me without first hearing me. I greatly honor the
president, and the authority which even a duke would maintain if he
were here as your Majesty's lieutenant; for in distant regions this
befits the service of your Majesty. Nevertheless, in what concerns
the administration of justice, I strive to lose no opportunity. The
president is in poor health at present, and I do not know whether in
his letters he has touched upon the matters which I shall mention here.

I wrote from Mexico beseeching your Majesty, for the peace of the
royal conscience and of the consciences of us who serve here, that
a consultation be held to decide upon what shall be done with the
Mahometans, of whom these islands are full. I sent a report, and
said that, keeping the matter in mind, I would send a more detailed
account from here; but I could not find time for study, on account of
my continual occupation in the sessions of the Audiencia and rendering
opinions. This year I am probate judge, and for the first four months
of the year provincial alcalde; and since people find that matters are
readily settled I am beset by the natives with their petty lawsuits. I
wish that I might have had more time to collect what can be put
together, and to write on law. However I shall not neglect perchance
to make some slight report. The following is a clause from a letter of
your Majesty which I found, addressed to the adelantado Miguel Lopez
de Legaspi, the first discoverer of these islands, in effect this:

"We have also been petitioned in your behalf concerning the Moro
islands in that land, and how those men come to trade and carry on
commerce, hindering the preaching of the holy gospel and disturbing
you. We give you permission to make such Moros slaves, and to seize
their property. You are warned that you can make them slaves only
if the said Moros are such by birth and choice, and if they come to
preach their Mahometan doctrine, or to make war against you or against
the Indians, who are our subjects and in our royal service. But in
no way or manner shall you enslave the Indians who have embraced the
doctrine of Mahoma; on the contrary, you shall endeavor to persuade and
convert them to our holy Catholic faith by kind and lawful methods."

To make universal arrangements is to pass infallible rules, and in
law we can hardly find such a rule; therefore we must distinguish
in both times and occasions. With due respect, it seems to me that
all Mahometans are enemies of the Church; and all the Ismaelites,
their allies, confederates, and descendants must have the words of
the Scriptures (as found in the 16th chapter of Genesis) written in
their hearts: _Hic erit ferus homo, manus ejus contra omnes et manus
omnium contra eum_. [6] Wonderful events occurred (and it would be
well for your Majesty to have them examined and investigated) in the
histories of Portugal, in the _Decadas_ of Barros and in the books
of Osorio, the good bishop of Algarve, [7]--who, by command of his
Majesty the king, Cardinal Don Enrrique, wrote in Latin the history
of the life, deeds, and virtues of the most renowned king Don Manuel,
your Majesty's grandfather. All these books abound in accounts of
field and naval battles, which the viceroys and captains-general of
Malaca, Goa, Calicud, Ormus, and many other places, fought against
well-known Moros of that region and those from Samatra, Java, and
Bornei, who were aided by Turks, Mamelukes, Moors from Tunez [Tunis],
and Moors who were driven away from Granada at the time of the
Catholic kings. In a battle against Alfonso de Albuquerque [8] were
seven hundred Mamelukes, three hundred Turks, and a thousand Moors
from Tunez and Granada--sent there by the Sultan of Egipto [Egypt]
before the Turks had defeated him. They peopled and filled these
islands. Every year Turks come to Samatra and likewise to Borney; in
Maluco and in Ternate these Turks are gathered against your Majesty,
and have caused a great number of Christians who were instructed in
the Catholic faith to apostatize. Moreover the king of that place
is allied with the English heretics, and the Moros have inflicted
terrible martyrdoms upon the Christians of these regions. The care
with which the Turks have always offered help, both past and present,
and that showed by the sultan at the time of Pope Julius the Second,
is well known, and can be verified in the history by the said bishop of
Algarve, book 4, folio 122. The sultan wrote to the pope, complaining
of the said kings Don Manuel and the Catholic Don Fernando--saying that
the Moors whom the latter had driven away from Granada and Castilla
had gone to Egipto to complain; and that King Don Manuel was pursuing
the Moors through the Red Sea and neighboring regions. He added that
if this were not remedied, by ordering the said princes to desist
from persecuting the Mahometans, he would destroy the holy house at
Jerusalem and the sepulcher of the Redeemer. As can be verified, the
letter contains many profane remarks against Christianity. It was sent
by a Franciscan friar who lived in a monastery on the mount called
Sion, and who was guardian there at Jerusalem. The said pontiff, as
soon as he saw the letter, sent a copy of it to Castilla and Portugal
through the same friar. King Don Manuel, your Majesty's grandfather,
sent the celebrated answer to the pontiff, saying that he gave advice
neither to the Apostolic See nor to the sacred council of cardinals;
but what he answered (and he would do it with all his might) was to
persecute Mahometans forever. He added that the Holy Father was much
to blame for the sultan's pride, since he did not gather and unite
in peaceful alliance the Christian princes, who were divided by wars
in their own interests, and were neglecting so common an interest
as that of undoing the power of Moors and Turks. He also answered
that he understood his father and father-in-law, the Catholic king
Don Fernando, to give the same answer. As I have said before, the
histories of Portugal are full of these old enmities. It seems as if
this evil sect had increased and multiplied in the West as well as
in the islands and countries of the East. Indeed the various causes
for this are to be found in the condition of these regions and in
the measures, decrees, or instructions like those issued for Peru,
Nueva Espana, and the other Yndias.

Concerning slavery, the main thing to be noticed is that we have
here many kinds of slaves: some are slaves because their fathers
and grandfathers were such; others sold themselves _ad pretium
participandum_, either to make use of the money or to pay their debts;
others were captured in war; others became slaves because, being
orphans, they were held in that condition for food and expenses; others
were sold in times of famine by their fathers, mothers, or brothers;
others bear that name because of loans, for interest multiplies
rapidly among the Indians and the Moros, and thus a poor man becomes
a slave. There are men who become slaves on account of crimes, and
failure to pay fines and penalties; and others for not having paid
the tribute or tributes of their lords. Each of these reasons is an
argument for justifying slavery. I chose to mention these details
because it is proper to notify your Majesty and your Council of them.

Your Majesty has passed laws forbidding any one to take money out
of your realms, or to buy or sell to pirates. But every year the
Chinese take away all the money there is. There are many ships here,
twenty-five or thirty in number, with four thousand men who have
come here to trade. We fear no extortion on their part, because of
the great importance to them of our commerce; but, as we have no
merchandise to give them, having nothing except reals, it will be
advisable for your Majesty to send orders as to what we should do,
and how we are to decide the question of slaves, since there are so
many classes of them, as I have shown above.

The poverty of the soldiers who come here is extreme, for they draw
no pay, and the country cannot support them. It would be advisable
to send orders to employ them in conquests, and to send over many
soldiers. Also orders should be given to build some galleys which
should not lie idle and become ruined, as did those left by Doctor
Sande. Although the Indians and Moros here have taken to the oars with
reluctance, we are greatly aided by having here, usually, Chinese who
are willing to be hired at a low price. In all this may your Majesty
take such measures as are most advantageous to your service.

About twelve days ago we received letters from Maluco, in which the
captain commanding at that place says that the king of Ternate is now
powerful, and has seized the most important stronghold. A reenforcement
of eighty or a hundred men, with supplies, had been sent to him before
the arrival of the Audiencia; and he says that he can hold out until
the end of October or November. Speaking of the war which is to be
carried on, the president was and is about to send four hundred men
and a thousand friendly Indians. He is perplexed about the election
of the captain-general, for each of the captains who seek that post
desires to be sole commander, while the rest show displeasure that
one of their equals should be appointed. Moreover, no one of them is
pleased that Captain Bartolome Vaez Landero may be the commander. He is
a Portuguese, who came here from Macan through the agency of Governor
Diego Ronquillo, and remained here to protect this land with two ships,
well equipped with artillery, in the service of your Majesty. On seeing
this controversy, I proposed to the president on St. John's day that
I and my sons, with our weapons, would go with the soldiers to serve
in this expedition. The captains who are candidates are satisfied to
have me for their general, and the Portuguese captain and his men are
even more pleased. The president says that we shall deliberate upon
what should be done, and still he has not come to any decision with
me. He will wrong me if he withholds from me the leadership in this
affair. In all that pertains to justice, I shall always be ready,
with the help of God, who will favor me, to recover your Majesty's
territories and to punish your enemies.

It is also important for the service of God that, by order of your
Majesty, some decision be made as to the punishment that we shall
inflict upon the Chinese or Sangleyes for the infamous crime which,
as people here tell me, they practice on board their ships. [9]
I am studying the question in order to inform this Audiencia; but,
since the punishment may hinder commerce, it will be necessary to
observe moderation, until your Majesty shall inform us what should
be done in this matter. I have reproached and admonished the friars,
telling them that they ought to exhort these wretched people. Some of
them tell me that they are unwilling to baptize the Chinese, because
they feel sure that they will apostatize as soon as they return to
their own country. I tell them that they should do what it is in
them to do; and that, if God does not choose to call these people,
at least it should not be left undone by the friars. I shall always
insist upon this.

When I spoke of Ternate, I forgot to mention a very important matter,
which perhaps is already forgotten. There was a king in Ternate
called Cachil Boleyfe, aged and very prudent, regarded by the Moros
as a prophet. He was taken to Malaca because of a certain crime;
and, having been acquitted, he received baptism and died there as a
Catholic. He said that, having no legitimate successor, he constituted
King Don Juan the Third of Portugal his heir to the kingdom and islands
subject to Ternate. This will was brought to Ternate, and all the
chiefs of the kingdom swore allegiance to the new king, with great
feasting and solemnity. Possession of the kingdom was taken, with
all the ceremonies required by law. This is what the historians say,
especially Juan de Barros--in the third _Decada_, book five, chapter
six. At the end of the seventh chapter, he says that the fortress now
held by the tyrant was built by Captain Antonio de Brito, who began
the work with his own hands on St. John's day, in 1522. He did this
with the consent of all the Moros, and therefore called the fort San
Juan. It is well that your Majesty should know the very foundation of
your rights, and should at least understand that my endeavor is to give
information and service. May God permit your Majesty to live, without
setting a bound to your life; for the human race and the Church of
God have need of this. From the city of Manila, July 3, in the year 84
(according to the old reckoning, as I have said). Most powerful Lord,
your most humble servant kisses the feet of your Majesty.

The licentiate _Melchior Davalos_

[_Endorsed:_ "To the sacred royal Catholic Majesty of the
king, Don Phelipe, our sovereign lord. In his Council of the
Indies." "Philipinas. To his Majesty, 1584. From the licentiate Melchor
de Abalos, July 3." "Examined; there is nothing to be answered."]

Letter from Santiago de Vera to the Archbishop of Mexico

Most Illustrious Senor:

I was more content to learn of the health of your illustrious Lordship
[10] than to know that you governed that land--since the first is
of so great importance, and the other is merited by your Lordship. I
hope that our Lord will bestow on you the see of St. Peter, that all
may be as we your servants desire.

After having written another letter which accompanies this, I received
that of your illustrious Lordship which came in the ship "San Juan." As
in the other I have referred to some things that may be omitted here,
and as I do not wish to weary your Lordship with a long account of
business attendant on your charge, I write this only to assure your
Lordship that you may command me.

Great satisfaction was felt in this country that the ship "Mora"
arrived so miraculously at port. The death of the crew, I assure
your Lordship, was not for lack of supplying themselves here with the
necessaries for the voyage; for although but little time was spent in
despatching the ship, I exercised much diligence in seeing that more
men and provisions were shipped than is customary. There are things
which our Lord permits; since it was His will that they should die,
it was an instance of His great clemency.

I have always tried to fulfil your Lordship's commands in regard to the
lord bishop, and he may command me and I will obey; but I know of no
means in the world whereby I can preserve his love and make it lasting.

I kiss the hands of your illustrious Lordship for the kindness that
you do me in encouraging me to the work of this office; but as I am
old and worn, the extra duties are very heavy for me, especially
since I receive so little aid from my associates, and since the
Council [of the Indias] so poorly seconds my efforts. As they are
so far away and do not know affairs here in detail, they make some
regulations so far from what is proper that, if they were complied
with, it would be the undoing of this land, and his Majesty's service
would suffer greatly. In order that your illustrious Lordship may
understand how affairs stand, I declare that everything concerning
the government and war in these islands depends on the president. He
must attend to everything punctually; and, in order to comply with
his Majesty's commands, he must pay over and spend from the royal
treasury what is necessary for the affairs of government and of war. No
account can be given thereof, and in delay there would result great
inconveniences. The despatch of the ships would cease, as well as
the work in the shipyards, the defense of these islands, and the
supply of aid to other islands, in accordance with his Majesty's
commands. Knowing all this, which is evident, I received the decree
of which a copy goes with this. This gave an opportunity for the
officials to excuse themselves from honoring my orders for money,
and soon the Audiencia commanded that they be not observed. For
the revocation of this decree it is necessary to wait three years,
and although in my commission his Majesty has given me full power for
everything, I am prevented for the most trivial reasons from exercising
my authority. I am writing to his Majesty, but it will be of more
effect to give an account thereof to your illustrious Lordship; for,
if nothing is done, it is of no use whatever for his Majesty to have
a governor or captain-general, nor is there any reason for his Majesty
to go to such expense from the royal exchequer only to have it lost.

I have tried to make arrangements with the Sangleys here for them to
bring me a quantity of quicksilver, [11] according to your Lordship's
orders; but for some time past they have been carrying it to the
Japanese; in that country there are many silver mines, where they
receive a good price for it. On this account the quicksilver has
increased in value, and they are so shrewd merchants that they will
not believe that this kind of traffic is desired. I shall proceed with
them gradually, until it can be seen whether they will give it at the
price which your Lordship has fixed. I shall advise your illustrious
Lordship of the result thereof.

I appreciate greatly the favor which your illustrious Lordship has
done me, by the favorable and prompt despatch of these ships. I kiss
your Lordship's hands a thousand times and everyone here does the
same, as I have informed them of the difficulty of the task which your
Lordship has so easily accomplished. Although I have tried to despatch
the ships here with all haste, I am informed by sailors who understand
the matter that it is not safe to send them out until the twentieth or
twenty-fifth of June. The weather is not settled until then, and they
usually put into a harbor during bad weather. Nevertheless, henceforth
I will have them sail from here in the middle of June, in order that
there shall not be the inconveniences to which your Lordship refers.

Although much merchandise has come from China this year, little has
been sold for lack of reals, and the Indians hid and kept the goods
until now. At the news of the arrival of the ships, and the knowledge
that they bring considerable money, they have taken courage and have
rejoiced exceedingly. In order that these Indians may increase their
trade to any extent, it is necessary that money be sent in sufficient
amount and at regular intervals.

Your illustrious Lordship commands me to observe the orders given to
Francisco Gali about the discovery of the route from these ports toward
Nueva Espana. I will keep your Lordship's commands to the letter,
and will try to advise you soon, although the ship "San Juan" is of no
use, as it is worm-eaten and old. I shall have carpenters examine it,
and if it will not serve, I shall have them inspect the ships which
I have here, to see if any are fit, and to avoid the expense and delay.

Your Lordship commands that the mining of gold be done with the aid
of quicksilver, as is done in Talpaxagua. In another letter I gave
an account to your Lordship of what has been done in mining here.

We have seen the royal decrees concerning the harmony which his
Majesty commands us to maintain with the viceroy and captains of
India and Maluco, whom we must aid. On one occasion they sent an
urgent request from Maluco, the captains assuring me that with two
or three hundred men the whole matter could be settled, and the fort
and islands be restored to his Majesty. They had been usurped by
the petty king of Terrenate, as will appear in a copy of the letter
accompanying this. As these men could be spared from here without
risk, I sent about four hundred arquebusiers and a large number
of natives with artillery, powder, and ammunition. There were also
twenty-seven small boats and fragatas and one galley, sufficiently
provided for one year. Although they became separated on the way,
and because of the weather six boats were lost on the coast of Panay,
I had others provided, and they continued their voyage--all except
one boat with two pieces of artillery and fifteen or twenty men,
and some powder and ammunition. Moreover a galleon sent as succor
from India with two hundred Portuguese did not arrive; and the
Moros had fortified themselves, together with many Jabos [Javanese],
Turks, and those of other nationalities. There was also negligence
on the part of Diego de Acambuja, the commander of that fort, [12]
by whose order this aid was sent, in accordance with the commands of
his Majesty. Some suspicions were entertained of this commander and
there were indications that he did not wish the war to end, because
the bartering in cloves and the trade thereabout would also come to
an end, as your illustrious Lordship will see by the accompanying
relation. Although in our camp there was great eagerness to attack
the Moro, nothing was accomplished--a result partly due to the
controversies between Captain Pereyra, whom his Majesty had commanded
to take charge of the place, and Diego de Acambuja, who held it, over
the latter's surrender of the fort. I have been assured by persons who
have witnessed the affair, and I have so understood, that, should his
Grace desire not to abandon that holding and to keep the government of
Maluco in the power of Castilians, there will be great difficulty in
winning it. No more aid can be sent from here unless his Grace supply
aid to this country, with an allowance for the former object--as is
done in Florida, which is of less importance. Provision should be
made for sending troops and arms, since his Grace has not enough in
the royal treasury for our needs here, and there are no more troops
than are needed for defense. I beseech your illustrious Lordship thus
to explain the affair to his Majesty.

In regard to Don Diego de Alcaraso, I have no merit in favoring and
advancing him, since he deserves it, and is extremely judicious and a
thorough gentleman. He is supported without any trouble or annoyance
whatever. He is the governor in the fort at Mindoro, and is at present
in this city. Don Pedro de Angulo has not arrived from Maluco, and,
as to affairs there, I am particularly anxious in his behalf. For
some months I have had Bustamante employed at a salary which he still
enjoys, and now that I know that your Lordship is pleased with this
I shall put him in a better place. Captain Machuca has been guilty
of great stupidity, for as he was about to depart to take charge of
the governorship of a fort, provided and appointed according to his
deserts, he got married, and not as well as I could have wished. I
shall give a present to Father Pina, as your Lordship orders.

Your illustrious Lordship grants me grace so often that I can only
show my gratitude by beseeching our Lord to keep your Lordship for
the many years necessary, and during which I would have you live. I
well realize the favor done my daughter, and it is enough that your
Lordship has shown her kindness, to have all the nuns do the same.

Although there are facilities in this country for making ships of all
kinds, and the best yet built has not exceeded in cost six thousand
pesos--and many private individuals would after this engage in it
for the sake of gain if they could maintain the industry--yet the
expenses incurred with the necessary force of sailors and workmen,
can be sustained only by the king. The greatest difficulty is in the
bringing of the anchors and rigging from Vera Cruz. Your illustrious
Lordship knows from experience what it costs his Majesty to transport
sailors to Mexico, from there to these islands, and from here to the
port of Acapulco; and the expense of overhauling the ship, and of
keeping it there a winter. Therefore although I wish to aid Captain
Esteban Rodriguez in the despatch of the ship that he has built,
I do not know if it can depart hence for lack of men. It is hard to
find them; for, although a large number of sailors usually come here
from Nueva Espana to bring the ships here, they are all needed on the
return. They bring here the fragatas and vessels which convey hither
aid and means of defense for this land, and take back the provisions
and other supplies needed in the king's service. Nevertheless,
I shall do everything possible for the said captain.

I believe that Baltasar de Aldana, nephew of the schoolmaster Don
Santiago Sanchez, will embark in this ship, which he is permitted to
do through your illustrious Lordship's orders.

I understand thoroughly that I am importunate, but the requirements of
health and the discontent of Dona Ysabel oblige me again to beseech
your Lordship to favor me and try to influence his Majesty to grant
me grace in Espana--in the meantime permitting me to act as auditor in
Mexico, with permission to serve his Majesty there, as I have fulfilled
my commissions here, and am of little use, being now old and worn. It
is just that I be established in a place where I can leave my wife
and children. I hope, by the grace of God and that of your illustrious
Lordship, that I may shortly be delivered from this captivity.

The artillery which I brought returned in the ships "Mora" and "San
Martin;" and because the ship "Santa Ana" is of such importance,
I ordered three excellent pieces of bronze artillery to be placed
on board besides powder and ammunition. In order that we may not
suffer from the lack of artillery in giving this, I beseech your
illustrious Lordship to have the artillery returned in the same ship,
"Santa Ana," as the Japanese have commenced to show signs of hostility,
and it is not desirable that they or other pirates should make light
of our power.

By two conveyances I am sending plans of the site and city of
Terrenate to his Majesty; one goes through the Council and the other
directly to the royal person, both being transmitted by the hand of
your illustrious Lordship--whom I beg to send them with the letter
packets, so that the one for the royal person is delivered through
Antonio de Heraso, and the other directly to the Council.

There is one Juanes Viscayno, whom we wish to hold in the criminal
court, as he was a false witness in a serious case against one Artiaga
Panadero, a resident of that city [Mexico]. He is sent as a prisoner;
may your Lordship be pleased to command that he be delivered to
the alcaldes.

I ordered Diego Ronquillo, the former governor of these islands, to
present himself at the royal criminal court at Madrid, to account
to his Majesty for the large sum of money that had been delivered
to him as the executor and trustee of Don Goncalo Ronquillo. [13]
He is escorted by an alguazil to the royal prison of that Audiencia,
so that, in case sufficient bonds are not given at his presentation
in the criminal court of his Majesty, he may be held a prisoner, in
accordance with the said residencia, which I am sending. I beg your
illustrious Lordship to command that these arrangements be carried out.

Juan Martin Coyfino will, I believe, escort these prisoners; and,
as he is a very zealous man, I have recommended that he take with
him the Sangley religious. [14] I entreat your illustrious Lordship
to see that his companion is rewarded, also to order the payment
of their expenses. May our Lord watch over the illustrious person
of your Lordship and may the prosperity of your house increase as
we your servants desire. Manila, June 20, 1585. Illustrious Lord,
your servant and client kisses the hands of your illustrious Lordship.

Doctor Santiago de Vera [15]

Two Letters to Felipe II

With regard to the letters of Fray Joan de Plasencia, custodian
of the descalced friars of the custodia of San Gregorio de las
Philippinas--communicated to me by the secretary, Joan de Ledesma,
in pursuance of an order by the council--I declare that the truth
is that Fray Joan [16] de Talabera, commissary of the same descalced
friars, who went from here, took a commission from the nuncio (quite
contrary to the custom among religious orders), from which no benefit
has resulted. Accordingly, although the said commission is clearly an
affair of no value in law, the office of the grantor having expired,
yet since those religious are very scrupulous, and have but little
knowledge of this matter, it might be well that the present nuncio
revoke the commission, and that the said custodia be governed by the
authority of the order, as are all the other provinces of our order.

Hitherto the province of San Josepe [in Mexico], of the descalced
friars from Castilla, has had charge of that custodia, by apostolic
brief; and it was not subject to me, nor might I send friars thither or
remove them. But when the said province considered how inadequately it
could govern the custodia, the brief was renounced in the session of
the chapter which was held in this year 85 at the town of Cadahalso,
and that custodia has been assigned to me; and henceforth whatever
may be necessary can be supplied for the said province, [17] by order
of the council.

As for sending friars to the said custodia, I have information that a
religious of the same descalced order, who comes from that country to
discuss this matter, went direct to Monzon without going to Madrid
to report the needs of his custodia to his Majesty. Therefore it
appears to me that the sending of religious, and other matters,
might be suspended until his arrival.

Fray Geronimo de Guzman

That which the order of our glorious father St. Augustine, resident
in the Philipinas and the lands of China, humbly asks from his Majesty
and from his royal Council of the Indias is the following:

First, that his Majesty cause to be sent to those realms the greatest
number of religious who can possibly go, in response to the very
pressing need (which is felt now more than ever) for preachers
of the gospel of God. They ask this not only for the lands held
by his Majesty which are now at peace (where there is much need),
but also for the great kingdom of Cochin China, for that of Sian,
and for other foreign lands--to which those who lack so great a
blessing, since they have no one to show them the way, beseech and
call us. Herein the religious of that province beg of his Majesty
that he reward the hardships which they have suffered, and are now
suffering, in his service and that of God.

Item: that the said religious shall not go [from Spain], as
heretofore, by way of Nueva Espana, inasmuch as the majority remain
there, and not a third part of those who have departed for those
regions, at the expense of his Majesty, have ever arrived there. Nor
even of those who have come from there [the Philippines] has a single
religious returned; because all have remained in Espana, or in the
province of Mexico. This has occasioned no little trouble to those
of us who reside there. From this it follows that the intention
of his Majesty is defeated, and the result which is attempted is
not attained. On this account our order there begs his Majesty to
command that the said religious shall make the voyage by way of India
to Malaca, and from Malaca to Macan, [18] where friars of our order
have gone to settle. The vicar-general has my instructions as to what
the religious should do if they go thither, as I hope they will.

There are better opportunities for the friars to distribute themselves
from Macan, for the preaching of the gospel, than from any other
place--especially too, as the said journey is no less short and
safe by this route than by Nueba Espana; for it is quite certain
that the religious may not remain in any place where they are not
greatly needed, or where they may not produce much fruit among
infidel heathen. Herein there is need of a decree to the effect
that neither the viceroy nor the archbishop of India, nor any other
authorities whatsoever, ecclesiastical or secular, shall hinder the
said religious from making any journey or from asking alms; but that
they shall give the said religious every aid and protection, in order
that they may go from India to Malaca, and from Malaca to Macan,
and from Macan to whatever place their superiors may order. Still
another decree is needed, that the said religious or any others of
our order may, provided that they have instructions to that effect
from their superiors, freely build monasteries in remote and infidel
lands--without awaiting mandate, order, or permission from the viceroy
or archbishop of India, or from other authorities. This requirement is
very inconvenient and a hindrance, inasmuch as in many of those places
it is not possible to go for and return with the said permission within
the space of a year--during which time it may well happen that the
opportunity would be lost, and with it the fruit which it might bear.

Another decree is also needful in order that the governor and the
Audiencia of Manila, the bishop or any other person, may not cause
hindrance or opposition to the provincial of our order by sending
religious at will to countries of China or other infidel lands,
as seems best to him for the service of God; for the instruction
in the faith, which the religious have established in the islands,
is sustained at their charge.

This our community begs and entreats from his Majesty, at this time;
and for this purpose they have sent to these lands of Espana a native
religious, named Fray Jhoan de Vascones, interpreter and minister of
these districts.

Fray Jhoan de Vascones [19]

[Endorsed: "The Augustinians of the Filipinas. Council General of
the Indias."]

History of the Great Kingdom of China

Compiled by Father Juan Gonzalez de Mendoza. Madrid: Printed by Pedro
Madrigal, in the year 1586.

Source: A copy of the Madrigal edition of Mendoza's _Historia_,
in the Library of Congress.

Translation: The translation is made (of such parts as relate to
the Philippine Islands) by James A. Robertson.

History of the Great Kingdom of China

[Juan Gonzalez de Mendoza's [20] _Historia_ is divided into two
parts--the first part containing three books; the second two books,
and an "Itinerary" of certain Franciscan priests, who made the
circumnavigation of the globe. Much of the matter for the _Historia_
was gathered from Chinese books carried to Manila from China by Martin
de Rada and his companions, the first Augustinians to go to China, and
translated by them. In addition, much information was obtained from the
Augustinians and their lay companions, and from the Franciscans--in
especial from Father Martin Ignacio, one of those who composed the
"Itinerary." The Philippine Islands are treated in portions of the
second part, and in a portion of the "Itinerary;" this matter we
reproduce in translation.

The first book of Part I consists of ten chapters, wherein is given a
rapid survey of the country of China and its people and government;
of certain social and economic conditions, and of its products. The
second book, consisting also of ten chapters, treats of the religion
and superstitions of the Chinese (wherein some peculiar parallels with
the Christian religion are drawn), their mortuary and marriage customs,
and treatment of the poor and infirm. The third book has twenty-four
chapters, wherein are treated, in some detail, many different matters
relating to China. These include an historical account of the kings of
that empire; a description of the royal city; the fifteen provinces
of the empire, their government, garrisons, and means of defense;
laws of warfare; the royal council and its method of procedure; the
judiciary and the execution of justice; scholarship and education; [21]
ceremonies at banquets and on other occasions; their ships and certain
of their occupations; and their morals. Our author finds interesting
the use of artillery and the knowledge of the art of printing in China,
prior to their invention in Europe. This part concludes with an account
of Chinese courtesy to foreign ambassadors; and of the embassy to that
country, entrusted to Gonzalez de Mendoza and other religious in 1580,
by the Spanish king, but not carried into effect.]

Second Part of the History of the Great Kingdom of China

This second part is divided into two books and an itinerary, and
discusses the following topics.

The first book contains in sequence the things witnessed and heard in
that kingdom by Fathers Martin de Herrada, provincial of the order
of St. Augustine in the Felipinas Islands, and his associate Fray
Geronymo Marin, [22] and some soldiers who accompanied them.

The second, the miraculous voyage to this same kingdom by Father
Fray Pedro de Alfaro, custodian of the order of St. Francis in the
Felipinas, and his associates.

An itinerary of the father custodian of the same order, Fray Martin
Ignacio, who went from Espana to China, and thence back to Espana,
by way of East India, thus circumnavigating the world; the very
remarkable things that he saw and heard during the voyage.

Book First

The departure of the Spaniards from Mexico to the Felipinas
Islands, and the information obtained there of the great Kingdom of
China. Chapter I.

While Don Luis de Velasco, viceroy and lieutenant for the Catholic


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