The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 (Vol 27 of 55)
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The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898

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

Volume XXVII, 1636-37

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


Preface 9

Documents of 1636

Letter to Felipe IV. Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera; Cavite, June 30 21 Letter to Corcuera. Felipe IV; Madrid, October 11 36 Royal decrees. Felipe IV; Madrid, August-November 45

Informatory memorial addressed to the king. Juan Grau y Monfalcon; Madrid, 1637 55

Documents of 1637

Defeat of Moro pirates. [Unsigned; but probably written by Pedro Gutierrez, S.J., from Dapitan, in 1637.] 215 Auditorship of accounts in Manila, 1595-1637. [Unsigned; probably written at Madrid, in February, 1637.] 227 Conquest of Mindanao. Marcelo Francisco Mastrilli, S.J.; Taytay, June 2 253 Events in Filipinas, 1636-37. Juan Lopez, S.J.; Cavite, July 23 306 Corcuera's triumphant entry into Manila. Juan Lopez, Manila, May-July 330 Royal aid requested by the Jesuits at Manila. Francisco Colin, S.J., and others; Manila, July-August 341 Letters to Felipe IV. Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera; Manila, August 20 346

Bibliographical Data 365


Les Isles Philippines, Molucques, et de la Sonde (map of Indian archipelago); photographic facsimile of map by Sanson d'Abbeville (Paris, 1654); from original in Library of Congress, Washington, D. C. 74, 75 View of Acapulco Harbor, in Mexico; photographic facsimile of engraving in Valentyn's Oud en Nieuw Oost Indien (Dordrecht and Amsterdam, 1724), i, p. 160; from copy in library of Wisconsin State Historical Society. 163 Weapons of the Moros; photograph of weapons in the Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar, Madrid 223 Map of Borneo; photographic facsimile of engraving in Valentyn's Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indien (Dordrecht and Amsterdam, 1726), iii, between pages 236 and 237; from copy in library of Wisconsin State Historical Society. 317


The principal topics treated in this volume (1636-37) are the commerce of the Philippine Islands (especially with Nueva Espaa) and the punishment inflicted by Corcuera on the Moro pirates of Mindanao. The former is fully discussed by Juan Grau y Monfalcn, procurator of Filipinas at the Spanish court; the latter is related in various documents, written mainly by participants in the Mindanao campaign. Certain minor documents relate to the administration of the islands and to the religious orders there.

A letter from Corcuera (June 30, 1636) gives a brief account of the great ecclesiastical controversy of that year; we present it here, not so much for the new information contained in it (which is not extensive) as for its being evidently the direct expression of the governor's own opinions, and not (like some others of his reports) dictated more or less by other persons. Corcuera says that "the friars are lawless people, and he would rather fight the Dutch in Flandes than deal with them." He asks that the king will adjust these matters, or else send another governor to the islands, so that one of them may attend to ecclesiastical affairs and the other to temporal. Part of Cerezo's letter of August 10, 1634, to the king is answered by the latter (October 10, 1636) in his despatches to Corcuera; it relates to military affairs—approving Cerezo's action, and giving some directions to Corcuera.

A royal decree of August 14, 1636, commands the municipality of Manila to reimburse their procurator-general, Juan Grau y Monfalcn, for the time and money that he has spent in attending to their business at the Spanish court. Another document of this sort (November 6, 1636) gives Corcuera orders regarding certain matters which his predecessor Cerezo had laid before the Spanish government. A third document (of the same date) approves the proceedings of Pedro de Heredia as governor of Terrenate, and promises renforcements for the Spanish fort there.

The noted Memorial informatorio (Madrid, 1637) of Juan Grau y Monfalcn, procurator-general for Manila and the Philippines at the Spanish court, is here presented; it concerns the important and long-debated question of the restrictions imposed on the trade of the Philippine Islands with Nueva Espaa. Certain measures have been proposed to the Spanish government which the procurator regards as dangerous to the interests of the Philippines, and he hastens to urge against these proposals numerous forcible arguments. He claims that the adoption of the former must result in the ruin of the citizens. And thus the crown must either support the entire expense of the islands, or abandon its hold on them—the former a heavy tax on its means, the latter most damaging to its power and prestige. A royal commissioner has been sent to Acapulco to investigate the revenue frauds alleged there, which greatly disturbs those who are engaged in trade, both in Nueva Espaa and in the islands. The proposal to abandon the islands has been revived; the procurator rehearses the arguments advanced for this, and vigorously attacks them, urging that the possession of Filipinas be maintained by the crown as is that of Flanders. He proceeds to represent the importance of the islands, adducing many arguments to show this: the dependence of the Malucos on Filipinas, the size and number of those islands, the greatness and importance of Manila, the mineral resources of the islands, and, above all, their commerce.

The procurator describes this commerce, both domestic and foreign. Under the former head he enumerates the chief products of the islands, the diverse peoples who inhabit them, and the number of Indians and foreigners paying tribute to the crown and to private persons. He emphasizes the importance of the central location of the islands, and the restraint and hindrance that they constitute to the schemes of the Dutch for gaining control of the Oriental trade. Considering next the foreign trade of Filipinas, he represents it as far the most valuable part of that commerce, and gives a historical sketch of Oriental trade in general, with an enumeration of the commodities and products obtained therein, and much valuable information regarding the origin, quality, and prices of many goods. He relates how the Dutch were driven from Maluco, but afterward regained much of the spice region, notwithstanding the efforts of the Philippine Spaniards to prevent this. A list of the Dutch forts and factories in the archipelago is presented. From these data the procurator draws forcible arguments for the retention and support of the Philippine colony by the crown. This is fully justified by the importance of the clove trade, which otherwise would be lost to Spain; and by that of the Chinese trade, of which Filipinas enjoys the greater part. The maintenance of the Philippines will result in preserving the missionary conquests in the Far East, securing the safety of India, depriving the Dutch of their trade, relieving the expenses needed to preserve the American Spanish colonies, and maintaining the prestige of the Spanish crown. The royal treasury alone cannot meet all the expenses of the islands, nor is it wise to allow them too much commerce with Nueva Espaa; the king is therefore advised to combine these two methods of relief. For his guidance in this matter, valuable information is submitted by the procurator, regarding the expenses of maintaining and governing the Philippines (under eight different headings—civil, religious, and military—sufficiently itemized to give a clear outline of expenditures under each, and summarized at the end), the revenues of the colonial treasury, and the real nature of the deficit therein. He claims that the islands contribute more than what they cost, since they have to bear the great expenses of maintaining and defending Maluco against the Dutch (which includes more than one-third of all the expenses of Filipinas), and aid all public needs with their time, property, and lives, as volunteers—thus saving to the crown an enormous expense. The procurator asks that these services be duly rewarded by the crown, and recommends that for this purpose the magistracies in the islands be kept for rewarding such worthy citizens, and not sold, as heretofore, at auction. But chiefly he urges the importance to them of the trade with Nueva Espaa which is chiefly based on that which Manila carries on with China and India. Efforts have been made in Spain to suppress the former commerce, as being detrimental to that of Spain and the Indias. He admits that this last is decreasing, but claims that Filipinas is not responsible therefor. The causes of that decline are, rather, the greatly lessened yield of the precious metals in America, the enormous decrease of the Indian population in the colonies, the smaller consumption of goods among the Spaniards therein, and the exorbitant imposts and duties levied on the merchants. To deprive Filipinas of its commerce would be a measure both unjust and useless. The writer briefly reviews the history of that commerce, which at present is in a declining and feeble condition, owing to the many restrictions that have been laid upon it; and discusses certain misrepresentations that are current regarding supposed violations of the royal ordinances in the trade of Filipinas and Peru. Some of these acts are greatly exaggerated, and others, being inevitable in all trade, must be overlooked. Several instances are cited to show that even in Sevilla violations of the royal ordinances are taken for granted, and sometimes condoned even when discovered; and the procurator urges that the Filipinas be not more severely treated than other parts of the royal domain. He admits that their cargoes, like those from other colonies, contain some unregistered goods; but declares that the amount of this has been greatly exaggerated, for which he adduces various arguments. He also explains that the products of the islands themselves go to Nueva Espaa outside of the amount permitted, which has been incorrectly represented. He again presents for consideration the additional two per cent duty imposed on Philippine shipments, and with forcible arguments urges that it be abolished. The procurator even declares that the commerce of Filipinas pays higher duties than does any other, and that the citizens of Manila have lost in it more than they have gained—in proof of which he submits a list of shipwrecks, wars and military expeditions, insurrections, conflagrations, and other occasions of loss and damage since the foundation of Manila. He then enumerates the goods sent to Nueva Espaa from Filipinas, which are necessary to the former country for supplying the needs of its people; compares these goods with those sent from Spain; and discusses the effect of this Chinese merchandise on the Spanish silks. The memorial closes with a brief summary of the considerations and arguments therein contained, and a request for leniency in the imposition of duties on goods from Filipinas.

During the summer and autumn of 1636, a Mindanao chief named Tagal harries the coasts of Cuyo and Calamianes. Returning homeward laden with booty and captives, these pirates are attacked (December 21) by a hastily-gathered Spanish force of ships and men, and in this battle Tagal and many of his followers are slain, and most of their plunder recovered. This victory is a great gain to the Spaniards in maintaining their stand against the hostile Moros, and many of the latter are rendered submissive for the time being. An account of these events is given in a letter unsigned and undated, but evidently written early in 1637, and probably by the Jesuit Pedro Gutierrez.

By order of the royal Council a compilation is made (February, 1637?) of all information in the government records pertaining to the office of auditor of accounts at Manila. The writer (some clerk in the government employ) gives a brief historical sketch of this office, its relations with the royal officials, the advantages and disadvantages connected with it, and the proceedings of the council regarding this office, up to 1637.

The Moro raids of 1636 arouse the Spaniards to the urgent necessity of subduing those fierce and treacherous pirates; and Corcuera organizes an expedition to Mindanao, led by himself, for their punishment. Several accounts of this campaign (which had far-reaching consequences) are presented—largely from Jesuit sources, since members of that order accompany the governor, and it is their missions which are most endangered by the hostility of the Moros in Mindanao.

One of these is a letter (June 2, 1637) from the celebrated martyr in the Japanese missions, Marcelo Francisco Mastrilli, who went to Mindanao with Corcuera. He relates with much detail the events of the expedition, which the devil strives from the start to hinder. The Spaniards capture the Moro forts at the mouth of the Rio Grande, killing several of Corralat's best officers, and seizing many vessels and military supplies; then they destroy many villages belonging to him. On March 18, the Spaniards storm a fortified height back of the port where they first entered. Corralat is driven from it, and flees to a little village in his territory; and in the conflict his wife and many of his followers are slain. Some Recollect fathers, held captive by the Moros, also perish—one of them slain by them, in anger at their defeat. Corralat's treasure is seized, and divided among the soldiers; and much booty obtained by the Moros in plundering the churches in their raids is recovered. After destroying all that can be found, Corcuera returns to Zamboanga, leaving troops behind to subdue another Moro ruler, named Moncay. The wounded Spaniards—many of whom were injured by poisoned arrows—are cared for at Zamboanga, so successfully that only two men out of eighty die, and these "because they would not let themselves be cured." Mastrilli ascribes this success not so much to the antidotes that had been furnished from Manila as to the virtues of a relic that he had, of St. Francis Xavier, and to the patients' faith therein. In due time, the detachment sent against Moncay return, bringing that chief's brother as envoy to offer his submission, and a promise to aid the Spaniards against Corralat, and to receive among his people Jesuit missionaries. Corcuera returns to Manila, after sending an expedition to reduce the villages on the western coast of the island, and arranging for opening a mission on the island of Basilan and securing for its people (who desire to maintain friendship with the Spaniards) the protection of the Spanish fort at Zamboanga. Other Moros along the southern coast offer to become the vassals of Spain, and the Joloans hasten to secure peace with the conqueror. All this opens a broad field for gospel work, and Mastrilli urges that Jesuit missionaries hasten to till it.

The usual Jesuit annals are continued by Juan Lopez (1636-1637). The archbishop is now on very friendly terms with the Jesuits. The noted martyr Mastrilli comes to the islands, and is regarded with much veneration by the people on account of certain miracles vouchsafed him; he departs from Manila on his way to Japan. Certain Dutchmen, prisoners at Manila, are converted; some of these, and some discontented Spaniards, undertake to escape from the islands, but most of the fugitives come to grief. The Dutch are at swords' points with the natives of Java and Amboyna. The Spanish relief ships sent to Ternate encounter the Dutch and gain some advantage over them. A chief in Celebes and another in Siao have sent their sons to be educated in the Jesuit college at Manila; and to the former have been sent some soldiers and a missionary. The Camucones pirates were unusually daring in the year 1636, and carried away many captives from Samar; but on their return to their own country many of them perished by storms or by enemies. The Mindanao raid of the same year, and Corcuera's Mindanao campaign, are briefly described. The ruler of Jolo is hostile, and Corcuera is going thither to humble the Moro's pride. In Japan, all persons having Portuguese or Castilian blood have been exiled to Macao.

Returning victorious from the Mindanao expedition, Corcuera makes a triumphant entry into Manila (May 24, 1637), which is described by the Jesuit Juan Lopez. The festivities, secular and religious, last during several weeks, and include processions, masquerades, illuminations, masses, music, and dancing—and, finally, a dramatic representation of the conquest of Mindanao. The Manila Jesuits appeal (in August of that year) to the king, through the governor of the islands, for a further grant, to aid in erecting their buildings. This request is endorsed by Archbishop Guerrero.

On August 20, Corcuera sends the king his own account of his recent campaigns against the Moros of Mindanao; he promises to undertake next year expeditions to Jolo and Borneo. He asks the king to confirm his grant of extra pay to wounded soldiers; he also complains of the illegal acts of Pedro de Heredia, who has long been governor at Terrenate, and asks that an official be sent from Spain to take Heredia's residencia.

The Editors

June, 1905.


Letter to Felipe IV. Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera; June 30. Letter to Corcuera. Felipe IV; October 11. Royal decrees. Felipe IV; August-November.

Sources: The first document, and the first of the three decrees, are obtained from MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla; the rest, from the "Cedulario Indico," in the Archivo Historico Nacional, Madrid.

Translations: The first document is translated by Emma Helen Blair; the second, by Robert W. Haight; the third, by James A. Robertson.



Your Majesty was pleased to present for archbishop of this city Don Fray Hernando Guerrero, formerly bishop of Nueba Segobia. I avow to your Majesty, in all truth, that, [even] if I did not feel under obligation to give you an account of what is going on in these your islands, which are in my charge, I would not dare to inform any other person than my natural lord of the archbishop's harsh, unbending, and irritable disposition. By the galleons which arrived last year came his bulls, which, with the decrees of your Majesty, he presented in the royal Audiencia. He was admitted to his church, whose canons and dignitaries he had often threatened because they had not been willing to receive him before his bulls came. In the royal court of justice, before which he appeared to be presented [to his see], he swore upon the gospels not to interfere with your Majesty's jurisdiction, to respect your royal patronage, and to be always your royal vassal. All this he has violated, three or four times; and during the ten months while he has governed the church he has not failed in each of them to annoy me and disturb the peace. The first occasion was, that an artilleryman had killed a slave-girl belonging to the sargento-mayor; she had formerly belonged to the artilleryman, and he had maintained illicit relations with her. The said archbishop took her away from him, and made him sell her. [Then follows an account of the murder and the execution of justice on the criminal (the body of the latter "was borne to its burial by La Misericordia"), and of the early part of the controversy with the archbishop.] A fuller account of this will be given to your Majesty by the fathers Diego de Bobadilla and Simon Cotta, [1] who are persons of great truthfulness, and have much authority in their order; they are going, as its agents, to Rome. From this your Majesty may be assured that they will give you truthful information about whatever you may be pleased to know regarding these islands. I entreat your Majesty, with all respect, that you will be pleased to command that their affairs shall be promptly and favorably despatched; for this religious order merits such favor for the services that they render to your Majesty. They furnish chaplains for your galleons that sail to Therrenate, on which service no one likes to go, on account of the danger. The said fathers are also rendering the same service in the galleons which go to Castilla; they receive twelve pesos a month as pay, which has been assigned to them on account of the convenience of this service to your Majesty—although the said fathers would serve without pay, most willingly, in order to show better the affection with which they always engage in your Majesty's service.

The said religious order, to defend themselves from the flagrant injuries which the said archbishop was inflicting upon them—although they sought means, and those the mildest, for peace—could not avoid the appointment of a judge-conservator. He defended their rights, and compelled the archbishop to withdraw the acts [which he had issued against the Society], although the said judge-conservator allowed himself first to be excommunicated. Here there is occasion for making a long relation to your Majesty; but I will refrain from that, mindful that the said fathers will make a report to you. I made an offer to the archbishop to pay, out of my own purse, the four thousand ducados which the judge-conservator had sentenced him to pay for the crusade fund; and that I would take into my own charge his affairs, and the satisfactory settlement of them with the said judge-conservator. For this purpose I went to visit the archbishop at [the convent of] St. Francis, to which he had retired; and in the presence of the provincial and of another religious (an Augustinian, procurator for his order) I made him that offer—on the condition that he would detach himself from the religious orders, who, as I judged, were disturbing his mind with evil counsels. He would not accept my offer with that condition, preferring to remain [where he was] until affairs had gone through their proper course, and [thus] lowering himself from bad to worse. On the Friday before Christmas Eve, he came to my lodgings after evening prayer, and with much feeling asked that, since I would give a furlough the next day to the prisoners in the jail, I would also release him from the affliction that he was suffering, and adjust his affairs. He had been declared to be suspended [from his office] for four years. I was embarrassed at this, and doubted whether I could do him any service or accomplish anything for his aid. I called together the learned jurists and advocates of this royal Audiencia, that they might give me their opinions after having carefully studied the question whether I could demand that [relief for the archbishop] from the judge-conservator, and ask him to grant it for my sake. In this council were present the provincial and the rector of the Society of Jesus, the dean [of the cathedral] and other canonists, and the judge-conservator himself; and in it I asked this last, in virtue of the opinions rendered by the said lawyers, to restore the archbishop to his government, and to withdraw from him the pecuniary fines, which amounted to more than eight thousand pesos. I could not obtain a favorable answer then, nor indeed for more than a fortnight afterward—although I offered to the judge-conservator, and to his brothers and relatives, all the favors that I could show them not unworthily, in an official way. At this very time I am assigning a pension of two hundred pesos to a sister of his, a poor woman, the wife of Don Sebastian de Herbite—to whom your Majesty was pleased to grant, by one of your royal decrees, an encomienda of three hundred ducados. That decree has not yet been fulfilled, because he has not come from Espaa; and this sum has been given to his wife to aid in her support until her husband shall return, and your Majesty's command regarding him can be carried out. To another officer (a brother-in-law of the said judge-conservator), who has ability, and deserves reward for his own sake and for the services of his father, I gave the office of alcalde-mayor for Laguna de Vay. I assure your Majesty that the settlement [of this affair] cost me much care and effort, besides a thousand pesos in cash from my own purse which I spent for various matters. Peace having been concluded, and the archbishop having been absolved and freed from the penalties, he went to his own house in my coach; and I conveyed him to the holy church, and even to the choir—where I knelt, in order to set a good example to all, to recognize his authority; and I went to my own seat, to hear mass.

We remained in entire harmony about a month and a half. But the royal chaplain of your Majesty for the seminary of Santa Potenciana rang the bell for the Gloria, on Holy Saturday, a quarter of an hour before the cathedral bells rang; and for this the archbishop—although he knew that that chaplain is in charge of your Majesty's seminary, and only removable by you, and that he has no authority to wreak his anger on him, as he does on the others, his own clergy—commanded that two pairs of fetters should be placed on the chaplain, at the house of his fiscal. I was informed of this by a memorial from the directress of the said seminary, saying that it was left without chaplain and without mass. I sent by my secretary a message to the said archbishop, entreating that he would have the kindness to command that the chaplain be released, on account of the deficiency which his absence caused in the seminary; but he began to reprimand my secretary, as if the latter were the one to blame. For that reason, I sent by an adjutant an order to the said chaplain to come to me, to give his account of the affair; and within one hour he was sent back to his prison. Although the archbishop knew this, he left his house, going through the streets with a great disturbance, and attended with tapers, to consult with the religious orders whether he could excommunicate me; for he asserted that I had broken into his prison and taken away his prisoners. His fiscal hastened to tell him that the chaplain was already in his prison, at which the archbishop became quiet and returned to his house. He would not allow the chaplain to appeal to the bishop of Camarines; so the latter appealed for royal aid against fuerza—the archbishop having detained him six or eight days in prison because he would not pay the twelve pesos which he had been fined for having rung the bells for the Gloria too early. The fine was paid by a friend of his; and thereupon he was allowed to leave the prison.

After that, the archdeacon, Don Francisco de Valdes (who had been presented for that dignity by Don Juan Cereso de Salamanca), finding that his health was impaired, and being offended at the abusive language that the archbishop used, whenever he felt so inclined, to him and the other members of the chapter, in the choir, handed to the prelate his resignation of the said dignity—as much because he could not fulfil its duties on account of his infirmities, as for the reason just stated. He also placed his resignation before the government. The archbishop replied that Don Francisco must aid in the church services until Holy Week and Easter were past. After that time had expired, the archdeacon again demanded that the archbishop accept his resignation, and allow him to go to his own house to recuperate; but the prelate refused to accept it. Don Francisco therefore memorialized the government, placing the said resignation in your Majesty's hands; and it was accepted from him in your royal name, for the reasons that he alleged therein. For this cause he again became disquieted, and displayed his former bad temper. The juris-consults had affirmed that the said prebend was vacant, and that the government could present another person in Don Francisco's place—as was done, by presenting Master Don Andres Arias Xiron, cura of La Hermitta (one of the best benefices outside the city walls), who was provisor of this archbishopric while the bishop of Cib governed it, and has always given a good account of himself. The archbishop disliked Don Andres because he did hot resign his office as provisor before that prelate entered upon the government of his church, so that the latter might bestow that office on Don Pedro de Monroy—who caused so many disturbances in the time of Don Alfonso [sic] Faxardo, excommunicating the auditors, and constraining the Audiencia to exile him from the kingdoms. This man was made provisor when the archbishop began to govern, and he caused fresh disturbances when justice was executed on the artilleryman; and during the term of the judge-conservator the office of provisor was taken away from Don Pedro. As he left the city, through fear of the said judge-conservator—the ecclesiastical cabildo ruling [the archdiocese] and its dean being provisor—I gave orders at the city gates that the guards should not allow Don Pedro to enter them, to cause more commotions in the city. One day, at evening prayer, [his friends] brought him within the walls by a gate opening toward the sea, clad in the garb of a Franciscan, walking between two religious of that order; and the Dominicans received him into their house. The religious of both those orders, forcing their way through the guard and overpowering its commander, who was holding Don Pedro, smuggled in the latter through a little postern gate which the said Dominican fathers had.

Through the hatred and ill-will which the said archbishop bears to the said Don Andres Xiron, he refused to accept the presentation of the latter [to the archdeanery]; and in regard to this subject he has had so many disputes with the Audiencia of your Majesty over the fuerza which he committed against the said Don Andres, that he went so far as to excommunicate Auditor apatta for having rendered the decision that it was fuerza. By this act he excommunicated the entire Audiencia, as apatta alone remained of the auditors—for the rest of them are dead; the last one was Don Albaro de Mesa y Lugo, who died about six weeks ago—although it is true that, according to the concordant opinion of lawyers, the Audiencia cannot be held as excommunicate. I called together the advocates in the Audiencia, and named three for the defense of the case, who should continue to act with the authority that was given to them by the ordinance and iterative decrees of your Majesty. The royal decree having been issued, the archbishop yielded, and absolved the said auditor, Marcos apatta. But as he continued his display of fuerza against Don Andres Arias Xiron, an act and an iterative decree were also issued against the archbishop, which he refused to obey in any case. In this stand he was aided by the friars—Dominicans, Franciscans, Recollects, and Augustinians—at the time when the alguazil-mayor of court proceeded to execute the royal decree which exiled the archbishop from the kingdoms and deprived him of the temporalities. A friar carried to his house the monstrance with the most holy sacrament; he was clad in his pontifical robes, and, holding the monstrance in his hands, the three religious orders being present, he awaited the said alguazil-mayor with the said royal decree. The latter, seeing this array, did not know what he ought to do. The Audiencia commanded him to drive the religious out of the archbishop's house by force, with the assistance that he had, and to serve the royal decree. They ordered him to remain there with his soldiers, with all devoutness and respect, before the archbishop, and to wait until he should lay down the most holy sacrament, before executing the decree; also that he should not allow the archbishop to eat or drink, nor permit any one else to enter his house to give him food. The friars refused to go away, until the soldiers had to carry them away bodily. Then, at eleven o'clock at night, they were going about the streets, and finally obliged me to take other measures, after I had sent, in the name of your Majesty, protests to the provincial of St. Dominic and the guardian of St. Francis—informing them that their religious were gathered at the gate of the archbishop's house in the manner of a [religious] community, with lighted candles in their hands. The religious refused to go away until I gave orders that the soldiers should carry them in their arms to the convents. Their intention was to stir up the community, and cause scandals and tumults in it; and in truth they would have succeeded in this if your Majesty had not here your armed troops. For in these Philipinas Islands these friars are lawless people; and I would rather fight the Dutch in Flandes than deal with these friars, or have occasion for trouble with them. I will write further particulars about them in a separate letter and information to your Majesty, in order that you may be pleased to command that some corrective be applied to these disorders; and so that the governor may be enabled to conduct the government and attend to the service of your Majesty without being hindered by them.

The archbishop remained in the island of Maribeles—to which place he allowed himself to be conveyed for his disobedience—more than a fortnight. During this time the royal Audiencia set affairs in order, after having written to the bishop of Cib (to whom pertains the ecclesiastical government [in such cases]) that the bishop of Camarines—who is second in that succession, and was here in the city—was to govern the church. This he has done, removing the suspension of divine services, and absolving the excommunicated ad cautelam. The archbishop, before the alguazil-mayor of the court could arrive to notify him of your Majesty's royal decree, had declared excommunication against the auditor apatta and the governor of Filipinas—as your Majesty will see by the papers which I send, which were posted in the churches. However, all the matters that I have mentioned, and everything else, I will leave for the report which the said fathers of the Society, Diego de Bobadilla and Simon Cotta, will make to your Majesty, in your royal Council of the Indias; they will inform you of all the circumstances and details which here I omit.

The royal Audiencia, exercising the clemency, kindness, and affection with which your Majesty treats your vassals (especially the prelates and ecclesiastics), issued a new royal decree to restore the said archbishop to your Majesty's favor and to his archbishopric—all which has been carried out, for the sake of a good example to all the foreign peoples here; but making preminent the authority of your Majesty's jurisdiction in what concerns him. But we always remain hopeless that the said archbishop will govern his church peaceably, without interfering with the said royal jurisdiction or with your Majesty's patronage; for he is instigated [by others], and cannot be obliged, on account of the extent of his authority, to punish the ecclesiastics and his cabildo. He unites himself, on every occasion, with the three religious orders aforesaid—who do not content themselves with giving opinions which are not for his good, but force him to carry out these. They act thus out of revenge for my being told, when I first came here, of their shortcomings by the said archbishop; and they cannot revenge themselves for this in any other way than by driving him into the same uneasy disposition. In order that your Majesty may form some idea of the archbishop, I will tell you of what occurred on Holy Thursday. At half-past two in the afternoon, when he was in the choir to perform the ceremony of washing the feet of twelve priests, he began to put on his pontifical robes, and at the same time gave orders that the musicians should sing. The sub-chanter was not there, not having arrived at the church; and moreover the dignitaries (who do not have to put on their vestments with him) had not come. One of these was Don Francisco de Valdes, who resigned the archdeaconry; he had treated these ecclesiastics so badly with insulting language that, on the last occasion of that, the said archdeacon resolved that he would not serve in the church during the term of the archbishop. As he did not possess your Majesty's confirmation of his prebend, they all said that he could do so. At this time the singers came in, and began the offices; the archbishop became so angry (for he is exceedingly choleric) that he snatched the miter from his head and flung it on the floor. Thus he went on, throwing down the rest of his vestments, one after another; and when he had stripped off all of them he went to his own house, snorting with anger, and uttering a thousand insults against all the prebendaries, and leaving all the priests sitting, barefooted, on a bench. Such are the actions of the archbishop; and with his headlong tendencies, combined with the excellent counsels that the friars give him, I shall have plenty to do in keeping them all quiet, and endeavoring to live in peace. All these things demand from your Majesty suitable and efficacious correction.

For the honor of God and of your own service, will your Majesty be pleased to command that all these matters be amended, or else to send another governor, so that one shall take care of ecclesiastical affairs, and the other of the temporal, for one man alone cannot do both; for the hindrances which these religious orders put in his way are many, and he has no time left for the political government or military affairs, or for considering the general welfare of the provinces. May our Lord guard the Catholic person of your Majesty, as Christendom has need. Manila, on the last day of June in the year 1636. Sire, your Majesty's vassal kisses your feet.

Sevastian Hurtado de Corcuera

I, Alonso Vaea del Rio, public notary, one of the number [allotted] to this city for the king our sovereign, attest and give truthful testimony to the persons who shall see the present, that today, Friday, which is reckoned the ninth of May in the year one thousand six hundred and thirty-six, at about eight o'clock at night, a little more or less, Christoval de Valderrama, notary of this archbishopric, stationed himself at the corner of the archbishop's house, near the dwelling of the master-of-camp, Don Lorenzo de Olasso, to read a document. This he did by the light of a taper, in loud and intelligible words; and at the noise I, the present secretary, and several other persons went to the windows in the house of Captain Luis Alonso de Roa (which forms half a square), on the side where the said notary was standing. Continuing his reading, he said that inasmuch as the most reverend prelate of these islands had been making his official visitation on Master Don Andres Arias Jiron, a beneficed cura for the district of La Hermita; and in order to interrupt him, so that he could not continue that visitation, Don Sevastian Hurtado de Corcuera, governor and captain-general of these islands, had nominated the said Don Andres for archdeacon of the cathedral of this city; and besides, in order that the archbishop should accept him and bestow upon him collation and canonical installation, had issued against the said archbishop a royal decree in which he commanded him to give Don Andres the said collation—which was contrary to the bull In cena Domini: [accordingly,] the said governor and the licentiate Don Marcos apata de Galves, auditor of this royal Audiencia, had rendered themselves liable to excommunication; and he therefore commanded them that, within half an hour, they should withdraw the said royal decree—under penalty of four thousand ducados of Castilla to be applied for the Holy Crusade, and of the major excommunication, late sententia, ipso facto incurrenda; and he would place them on the public list of excommunicated persons. The aforesaid statements—with another, that he would proclaim an interdict, and would today impose a wholesale suspension of divine services—are those which I could understand; and I came to give an account of it to the said governor. Being in the apartment of the royal court, his Lordship, having sent away all persons except me, commanded that I should make an official statement of the affair—with a solemn declaration (which I made) that this demand was made with no intention of proceeding against any ecclesiastic, but only for the purpose of rendering an account of this occurrence to his Majesty and to his royal Council of the Indias. By this command I give the present; and it is witnessed by Captain Lope Ossorio de Soto, Eugenio de Rui Saenz, Captain Diego Diaz de Pliego, Captain Luis Alonso de Roa, and Alfrez Francisco Mexia—who all were with me, the present notary, in the house of the said Captain Luis Alonso de Roa, when what I have related occurred; and they also heard it. And, as witnesses that I attest the present deposition, were present Don Pedro de Arredondo Aguero, Alonso de ornoca, and Antonio Dias. This deposition is dated on this said day, at about nine o'clock at night, a little more or less; and I sign it, in testimony of the truth.

Alono Vaea del Rio, public notary.

[Then follows an attestation by other public notaries that the said deponent is an authorized notary, and worthy of trust. [2]]


The King: To Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, knight of the Order of Alcantara, my governor and captain-general of my Filipinas Islands, and president of my royal Audiencia thereof. The letter written to me by Don Juan Zerezo Salamanca, governor of those islands by appointment of the Marqus de Cerralvo, my viceroy of Nueva Espaa, upon the death of Don Juan Nio de Tavora, on the tenth of August, 634, which treats of military affairs, has been received and examined in my Council of War for the Yndias and is answered in this.

He says that the preservation of those islands depends upon not undertaking new enterprises, but keeping the indispensable garrisons well defended, and reducing those of less importance, whereby there will be troops in that camp sufficient to undertake large enterprises, as the governors did in other days. At present, on the contrary, for the reason given, they are contented with not losing anything that is in their charge. It has, therefore, seemed best to warn and charge you, as I do, to inform me very needfully in regard to this, and of what ought to be done for the greater efficiency of the government.

He likewise says that to withdraw the forces from the island of Hermosa would be a difficult thing, notwithstanding that it appears, by the explanation that he sends me in the letter which he writes me concerning affairs of government (a copy of which I send you with this), that this is expedient. Accordingly, the force there should be reduced to only two posts, doing away with the expense of rations for the others—although, in his opinion, all that is being done is superfluous. After considering the said clause of the letter, you will inform me of what occurs to you in this matter, and what is advisable to be decreed.

He declares that the fortress of that city is in a state of defense, although not with the completeness that was maintained in former times, and that the fortification of the city is a difficult task. The site of its settlement is admirable, because more than half of it stands on an arm of the sea, where it cannot be surrounded by any enemies, and another stretch of wall is bathed by the river. But the remaining side, toward the land, has some heights; and the ground is such that a trench can be opened up to the wall, which has no terreplein. The wall is seven palmos high; the redoubts are very small and irregular—on the contrary, being in the way of the casements. Of the three cavaliers which the wall has, the moat is so filled up that there is hardly a sign that there was one. Considering the great importance of that post, and the fact that building can be done very cheaply, at less cost than in any other part, he resolved to build a royal cavalier, by gathering up the remains of what stood there before to repair the fortifications, in modern fashion, at the weakest part of the wall. Without drawing from my royal treasury, he had commenced the work four months before, and hoped to have it finished in two more. The ditch was being opened effectively at the same time, and to reduce the number of posts for the defense of this city, and that it might be better fortified, all the redoubts which disturbed the communication between the cavaliers were to be destroyed, and the wall would consist of merely four bastions. You will inform me as to what has been done, and what you may judge should be done.

As for the careless storage of the powder; for [Don Juan says that] all there is on those islands is contained in a chamber of the fort of that city, and that in so prominent a place that it overlooks the wall; and that if by some accident (which may God avert!) this powder should explode, besides the risk to the city, there would remain no more powder in that whole country, nor material with which it could be made. To avoid so great a difficulty there would be built in some of the said four cavaliers two round towers, so that a large part of the powder could be divided and protected. Supposing that you realize how important it is that a part of the powder should be safe, and free from the accidents which might be brought about by any of it igniting, I charge you strictly to carry out this matter pertaining to the safety of the powder, that it may be more secure and suitably placed.

He says that one of the motives which led him to fortify the wall is that the religious orders have built churches close to it, so large that they are obstacles; and because one of the churches, which is called Minondo, is near the Parin where during the year there are settled twenty or thirty thousand Sangleys (who are the people that rebelled in times past); and through mild measures the people of the Parin have aided this work with four thousand pesos from the treasury of their common fund. This has appeared well to us, and you will take measures in it which you may judge most expedient, warning them that no height commanding the city must remain. If there is any difficulty, and the churches would receive loss, you will avert such injury; and will send a plan [of the building]; and for the future you will not consent that any work be built to the damage of the public.

He says that he had informed me that the galleys were of little importance, and that of Terrenate alone was worth maintaining; but that, having considered the matter further, he is of a different opinion. For they are necessary in order to renforce with them Terrenate on occasions of danger, but in the port of Cabite, where they are lying, they are not so useful as they would be if they were taken to the province of Pintados, in Otn, or Cibu, within view of the domestic enemies in Mindanao, Jol, and Camocn—who are the ones who rob the natives. And he says that if he had only had twenty oared vessels that year in that region, the enemy would not have come out from their country, causing disturbances and terrorizing the provinces as they usually do. With the first relation which notified Don Juan Zerezo to carry out this plan, in the past year of 635, I ordered you that, since the galleys caused great expense, you should do away with them; and that, if you found difficulties in doing so, you should advise me of it. In order that a decision may be made in this matter, I order and command you to inform me very fully of what occurs to you in regard to it, so that, having examined this, I may order such measures to be taken as shall be most expedient.

He says that Pedro de Heredia, governor of Terrenate, had advised him that many soldiers of that garrison were about to mutiny, and that he was letting the matter pass as well as he could, hoping that aid would arrive. This had been caused by the fact that Father Immanuel Rivero, commissioner of the Holy Office, had published an edict which affected many of them, concerning the crime against nature, whereby he gave them two months' time to be absolved; and to this was added the fact that it was understood that the governor was instituting an investigation as to who were absolved, whence arose their despair. On this account, as well as because the Dutch had a very strong galleon in Malayo and were expecting others from Chacarta, it was necessary that the ordinary renforcements should be much increased; for, if only the usual number came, they would infallibly be lost. At the time when this advice was received, two galleons and a patache were getting ready, for the affairs which he had mentioned gave him more anxiety than the enemy themselves. Several, in the council which they held, thought best that he should not take the risk or weaken his forces; and that this renforcement should be sent in light vessels, and to the usual amount. But considering the condition and the danger of those forts, it was resolved to renforce them creditably, sending the said two galleons manned with good infantry and first-class troops. He raised one company of volunteer soldiers from the camp, which was an important thing, and it is well that this should be done every year, so that no soldiers be forced to go; for, knowing that there will be many exchanged, they will go willingly. He appointed as commander Admiral Don Geronimo de Himonte [sic], who conducted himself extremely well, observing the orders which he carried, not to turn aside for other enterprises, but to place the renforcements in Terrenate, and to defend himself from whomsoever attempted to hinder him. The two [Dutch] ships that the enemy were awaiting were on the way for this purpose: they were boarded and burned by Indians of the Votunes from the kingdom of Macasan, who found them anchored, with the troops on land, and killed those who remained on board. But the ship from Malayo, trusting to its strength and extreme lightness, attempted to attack the renforcements all alone, taking this risk on account of the importance of the matter, knowing that the soldiers from the garrison of Terrenate were awaiting the outcome of this affair before resolving to kill the governor and higher officials, according as they had plotted. The said galleon fought with the ships which brought the renforcements eight days [dias; sc. horas] and escaped dismantled, with great loss. In the ships with the renforcements seven persons were killed, including the chief pilot. After this, the renforcements arrived safely, at the time when Pedro de Heredia had arrested a hundred and fifty persons; he had burned or garroted eleven, a number had died in prison, and forty more were sent back in the same ships which brought the renforcements. The case on the first hearing was brought before Don Lorenzo de Olasso, master-of-camp of the soldiery in those islands. Although the charges against them were not sufficiently substantiated, and some were of opinion that they should be leniently dealt with; yet, considering that if these forty soldiers were guilty they might infect the garrisons in which they were stationed, and as the affair was of such public importance and within sight of so many barbarians and particularly Sangleys—who are more than any other nation liable to this wretched practice, they ought to be proceeded against with much discretion and severity. The despatch of the renforcements, and what was done in its execution and fulfilment, are approved. In regard, to removing the soldiers, I ordered you by my decree of the filth of November of 635 to send two companies to Terrenate in two galleons, so that two others might be brought back from there; and in this manner that garrison would be exchanged every three years, and all the companies of the troops there would divide the labor equally. Accordingly, I charge you to have the foregoing executed; and you will see to it that thanks are rendered to Don Juan Zerezo for the care with which he prepared the renforcements which he sent. As for the delinquents arrested, you will do justice to them as is most fitting to the service of God our Lord and myself, proceeding very circumspectly.

He likewise informs us that Pedro de Heredia wrote to him that the natives of the islands of Terrenate, who hitherto recognized Cachil Varo as king of Tidore, have refused him obedience, and crowned in his place another Moro chief named Cachil Horotalo, saying that this one is the true heir of that kingdom and that Cachil Varo is an intruder. This makes him very anxious, because besides the fact that it is not his affair to disinherit kingdoms, the new one whom they pretend is the king has been hitherto retired in Malayo under the protection of the Dutch, fulfilling the duties of naval commander; and he had even sent him ambassadors, promising fidelity. Little dependence is to be put upon his words, and Cachil Varo is a very valiant Moro and my true servant, to whom hitherto presents have been given each year, and, before him, to his father. Besides having become hispanicized, and an ally of this crown, he has retired to his fort in Tidore, which is a more important one than those I hold, and he is obeyed by the people in general, with more than two thousand chiefs. This has appeared satisfactory; and I charge you particularly always to aid friendly kings with whom we have alliances and friendship.

He says there is nothing in that government so important as that the port of Cavite be well provided with the necessary naval supplies, and some person who is very competent and intelligent placed in charge of it. The other offices are given as favors, but for this one some person is sought who must be asked to accept it. Such has been the case with him who is stationed there as commander of the fort and river-master—namely, Captain Juan de Olaz, who attends to it in such manner that for many years the port has not been so abundantly supplied nor more faithfully administered—very different from the condition in which it was, lacking everything. You will give him many thanks on my behalf and let care be taken regarding his person, that favors may be bestowed on him when occasion offers.

He says that the rewards in these islands are scant, and particularly those which he has had to give, as he has not had authority to appoint to encomiendas; and that, as well on this account as owing to the events which have occurred in his time, he has promoted some worthy soldiers with commissions as infantry captains—considering that they are the ones who perform the labor which is most necessary; and that they have, aside from their pay, only their simple place as before. Several in consideration of this honor have settled down and become citizens, which is a thing much to be desired. The sons of principal men have been encouraged to enlist as soldiers, and have commenced to serve in the infantry, which was much run down. With especial care he has given none of these appointments to any servant of his—excepting his captain of the guard, as all the other governors did; and the offices of justice have been appointed from the veterans in service and the old settlers. In the foregoing cases you will observe the military ordinances.

The other clauses of the said letter have been examined and at present there is nothing to answer to them. Madrid, October 11, 1636.

I the King

By order of his Majesty: Don Gabriel de Ocaa y Alarcon


Ordering the city of Manila to compensate Grau y Monfalcon

The King: To the council, justice, and magistracy of the city of Manila of the Philipinas Islands. Don Juan Grau y Monfalcon, your procurator-general, has reported to me that you had many serious matters of great importance pending in this my court, on which depended the conservation of that community. Seeing also that the persons who had charge of these did not conclude them, you appointed him as your procurator-general; and, besides him, a regidor of that city council [ayuntamiento], who might come here to confer about those affairs, giving him a salary of two thousand pesos. The latter, coming to these kingdoms, died in Eastern India. Consequently, you again made a new appointment, [conferring it] on Don Diego de Esqueta y Mechaca, a regidor of that city, who is coming to this my court in the first trading fleet. All the papers, records, and instructions, which you gave to the said regidors for the despatch of the business having reached the hands of the said Don Juan Grau, he has attended to its expedition with so great promptness, personal care, and interest, that he has indeed settled your affairs, so that when the said Don Diego de Esqueta arrives here he will find nothing for him to do. Don Juan has attended to it all at his own cost, and since the time of his appointment as such procurator-general—more than six years—you have not sent him any of his salary, or anything for the expenses that he has incurred. He has expended considerable money from his own funds—something which few would have done, especially in so hard times—as he desired to give you entire satisfaction in regard to the matters with which you had charged him. By that means the great expenses that you might have incurred, if the said procurators had remained here with salaries so considerable, have been avoided. He petitioned me, in view of this, to be pleased to grant him the favor of a decree of recommendation, so that you may consider him as well recommended, in order to give him a reward for his service, past and present, in the said negotiations; and that you may assign him some fixed salary for his service in the future, for so long as he shall hold powers of attorney from you. He petitioned that he be remunerated for what he has spent, and that you also assign him a certain accommodation of lading-space in the ships that sail to Nueva Espaa. This matter having been examined in my royal Council of the Yndias, where the care taken by the said Don Juan Grau has been known and experienced; and after they had considered the aforesaid and the good account that he has given of the matters under his charge, with the diligence and carefulness of which you will have learned through the many despatches which he has sent and continues to send you; and because my will is that he receive in full the grace and favor which his care merits: I have considered it fitting to issue the present. By it I charge and order you that, since it is so just to make him compensation, you grant him that which he should have, in accordance with what you consider due him for his work, past and present, in your affairs and negotiations. You shall also pay him the sum which he shall have spent and what he shall spend from his own property in the said matters. What you shall thus determine, and what you think can be done for him, you shall give to the person who shall hold his power of attorney in that city. Thus is my will. Given in Madrid, August fourteen, one thousand six hundred and thirty-six.

I the King

By order of the king our sovereign: Don Gabriel de Ocaa y Alarcon

Signed by the Council.

[Endorsed: "Don Juan Grau. To the city of Manila, ordering it to endeavor to remunerate, as it shall deem best, Don Juan Grau y Monfalcon, procurator-general of that city, for his labor in the expedition of its affairs, and for the expenses incurred by him in them."]

Orders given to Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera

The King: To Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, knight of the Order of Alcntara, my governor and captain-general of the Filipinas Islands, and president of my royal Audiencia therein. A letter written to me by Don Juan Zerezo de Salamanca on August 10 of the former year, 1634, while he was governor ad interim of those islands, on matters pertaining to government and justice, [3] has been received and examined in my royal Council of the Indias. On the points therein that have needed to be considered, you are hereby answered.

The said Don Juan Zerezo declares that Geronimo de Fuentes, an inhabitant of that city, bid for a magistracy at auction. The judges of the auction knocked it down to him, and made out his title for it. Some of the regidors opposed this, and appealed to the Audiencia. The latter, in order not to make a precedent, so that the alcaldes or judges of the provinces should attempt the same with their successors, had the possession [of the magistracy] given to him, and left the party his right safe and in force. That is approved.

By my decree of August 26, 633, I ordered that, in matters of government and the expenses of my royal treasury which should arise from the petition of litigants, my fiscal should be allowed to see all the enactments of my governors, so that he may take notice of what appears to [concern] him. I am informed that he is so doing; and that it would be advisable to order the said fiscal that, in disputes over jurisdiction with the Audiencia, he shall defend the decrees which pronounce in favor of the government's jurisdiction. Notwithstanding that I order that Audiencia to observe and obey those decrees with special care. I have deemed it advisable to charge you—as I do—that you shall do what pertains to you in your offices, and shall observe the decrees, laws, and ordinances which are given for the good government of those islands.

I have determined that the ships which are despatched to Nueva Espaa shall sail without fail every year in the early part of June. Don Juan Zerezo tells me that it could not be established in the year of 634. I charge you straitly to attend to the execution and fulfilment of this, with the earnestness that I expect from your zeal.

As for the loan of sixty thousand pesos which the inhabitants of Macan made, as you have understood it, to my royal treasury of that city—the payment and reimbursement of which my fiscal afterward opposed, saying that the Portuguese were holding back considerable property of those citizens; and which was for that reason placed in a separate fund, where it is deposited—you shall order that those accounts be adjusted, and that what amount is theirs by right be paid to the parties, according to justice.

He mentions also that word was received from the kingdoms of Japon that the persecution of Christians was greater than ever in the year 633, and that more than twenty religious from all the orders were martyred; and that it would be advisable that no religious go to that kingdom for the present, because of the little good that they do, and that, on account of this, the intercourse and commerce of that kingdom with those islands has been closed. Since intercourse and friendship with them should not be lacking, and since you have understood how important this matter may be, you shall endeavor to attend to it with all the skill that is requisite; and you shall regulate yourself by the orders that are given, and in accordance with the needs of the church of Japon, and the benefit and utility which may accrue from the labors of the religious in those districts. Madrid,

November 6, 1636. I the King

By order of his Majesty: Don Gabriel de Ocaa y Alarcon

On Terrenate matters

The King: To Pedro de Heredia, commandant of the port of the island of Terrenate and governor of the soldiers there, or the person or persons in whose charge it may be. Your letter of May 13, 634, has been received and examined in my Council of War of the Indias. In it you state what soldiers are in those forts, and how inadequately they are aided with what is needful and requisite for their sustenance; while the infantry renforcements sent from Manila are of men who have no sense of duty (mestizos and other kinds of lineage), although men of courage should be sent; and that would be done, provided that one company of those who serve me in the camp of Manila should be sent annually to those islands. For more than one hundred and twenty of the soldiers [there] seeing that they could not leave it, and induced by their evil dispositions, conspired to seize that fort; and while they were awaiting an opportunity to accomplish their designs, one of them informed you of it, and that they had chosen a sargento-mayor, a captain, and all the other officers that belong to a company; and that the circumstances which you mention had been overlooked, in order to defer to a better opportunity the punishment that it was advisable to inflict. Desiring to get rid of this danger, you undertook their arrest, committing the matter to Sargento-mayor Juan Gonzalez de Casares Melon, a prominent officer; and he carried it out with great expedition and adroitness. Having arrested them, they made known the said conspiracy, and other abominable crimes, and that they had committed the sin against nature. Having proved the accusations, you executed justice on the leaders of the said conspiracy and sent the others to my governor of the Filipinas Islands. Although you had very few galleys in those forts, you sent the guard-galley of those forts to the island of Fafares—which is inhabited by hostile Moros, of the religion of Terrenate, and by the Dutch—with as many infantry as possible, accompanied by the king of Siao and the sargento-mayor, Juan Gonzalez de Casares Melon. They took such good measures that they defeated the enemy, killing four hundred Moros, with but little loss to our men, and captured about one hundred and fifty persons. The Spaniards took from them ten pieces of artillery, and many muskets, arquebuses, and other arms; and left their settlements destroyed and burned, and their fort razed. I thank you heartily for what you have done in my service. You shall always be regardful of what may be most to my service, and shall strive for the conservation of whatever belongs to us. You shall see that the enemy are checked, and that they do not become powerful with new forts. In my name, you shall give thanks to Sargento-mayor Juan Casares Melon for the good management displayed in what he has done; and tell him that account will be taken of his person in order to grant him reward. I have ordered my governor and captain-general of the Filipinas Islands to attend very particularly to all that concerns those forts. Because of the great importance to their conservation and condition of exchanging the soldiers in those forts, I have ordered two companies to be sent in two galleons, and two others that are there to be taken back; so that in this way the soldiers of that presidio shall be exchanged every three years, and all the companies of the army shall share in the work equally. I have thought best to advise you of this, so that having understood it, you may, on your part, secure, in what pertains to you, the fulfilment of it all. Madrid, November 6, 1636.

I the King

By order of his Majesty: Gabriel de Ocaa y Alarcon


By Juan Grau y Monfalcn, Madrid, 1637.

Source: This document is obtained from a printed book in the Academia Real de la Historia, Madrid, collated with the MS. copy in the Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid.

Translation: This is made by James A. Robertson.


Informatory memorial [addressed] to the king our sovereign, in his royal and supreme Council of the Indias, in behalf of the distinguished and loyal city of Manila, capital of the Filipinas Islands, in regard to the claims of that city and of those islands and their inhabitants, and the commerce with Nueva Espaa: by Don Juan Grau y Monfalcon, their procurator-general at this court. Madrid, in the royal printing office, 1637. [4]

Number 1. Intention of this memorial, in which are discussed all the principal matters of the Filipinas Islands.


Don Juan Grau y Monfalcon, procurator-general of the distinguished and ever loyal city of Manila, capital of the Filipinas Islands, makes, by authority of that city, the following declaration. Since the preservation of the islands is the most efficient means for that of all the states which this crown holds and possesses in Eastern India and adjacent parts, and consequently [of all those] in the Western Indias; and as it is positively known that there is no other way of assuring this end except by the commerce conceded to the islands with Nueva Espaa—which is in such a condition that by only reducing it, or by deranging it as regards its amount, or the manner in which it is carried on, it will be necessary that it cease; and that if the inhabitants lose what supports them, all the islands will be lost: some persons, and especially Captain Francisco de Vitoria Baraona, with less attention and knowledge than is requisite in treating a matter so remote, serious, and politic—which demands so much more than ordinary foundation for its proper understanding [on account of not understanding it—MS.]—proposed to your Majesty certain expedients or counsels; but, although these should be directed to the increase of the forces which the arms of Espaa maintain in the seas of the Orient, in order to oppose them to the numerous enemies who are trying to overthrow our power in those seas, and have the desire to end it, one would believe that they were directed with especial purpose to weaken and obscure that power, and thereby to extinguish the best and most creditable [finest—MS.] military post that this great monarchy possesses outside of Europa. And inasmuch as the matter pertains not only to the conservation of those vassals, but also to the general subject of your Majesty's service, your vassals, attending more to this consideration than to even that result—although the one does not suffer without the other, since some orders originating from the expedients proposed by the said Captain Francisco de Vitoria, have begun to be put in force in Nueva Espaa—and recognizing from their beginnings how much the issues are in danger and how important it is to heed in time the dangers that threaten, and successfully to prevent them, on account of the impossibility that they can be checked later (for it is easy, at the beginning, to overcome what, when it is once introduced, is usually impossible to conquer), are attempting to represent those dangers in this informatory memorial, which they lay at your Majesty's royal feet. In it, taking occasion from that which is most important and weighty, all the affairs of the Filipinas Islands will be touched upon, and those of their conservation, government, and commerce—and all with the truth, thoroughness, accuracy and knowledge that ought to be used, not only in general, but in each one specifically; so that once explained, in a complete report of the disadvantages and advantages existing in each point, the decision most advantageous to the service of God and of your Majesty, and to the welfare of those islands, may be made in them all. The claims made in behalf of the islands are reduced to the petitions which are presented in a separate memorial, through which the inhabitants hope to receive the favors that their necessities and condition demand.

Number 2. Condition of the commerce of the islands, and dangers from any changes therein

To begin with the fact that furnished a reason for so purposely discussing these matters: it is presupposed that the commerce of the Filipinas to Nueva Espaa was carried on with some degree of prosperity, although with all the restriction that could be endured—albeit the royal orders were in certain cases less closely observed than seemed desirable, and it was an obligation to attend only to what demanded correction, and to what was sufficient to adjust the commerce, and reduce it to its best method. But another method was proposed which would have completely checked or suppressed it, by advising measures that would so alter the former one that, even if there were any irregularities in the old method which are avoided in this, that is accomplished by impeding and ruining the commerce; so that it will become necessary, in order not to permit one slight loss, to cause many, so irreparable that either the ruin of the islands will follow from them, or the total expense of their conservation will fall back on your Majesty's royal treasury. And although it is always right (and today more than ever) to take care that since your revenue is not increased, it be not diminished, it is not a successful expedient to represent the saving of expense and the increase of income, if from what is gained on the one side, results on the other, either the loss of what it is advisable to defend, or the addition of heavier expenses for its defense. For there are matters which have attained so even and regular an equilibrium and balance, that, from whichever of its parts one subtracts or adds, the other side inclining is unsettled, and the structure that they compose is destroyed. One can easily understand that if your Majesty were to dispense with the payment of avera [5] on the royal treasure that comes from the Indias in the war and trading fleets of their line, there would be a clear gain annually of more than half a million, in both silver and gold; but from that gain would result the failure of means to maintain the principal. And if the freighters, and those who are interested in the rest [of the trade] can with just cause excuse themselves from attending to the avera; and it is necessary that this treasure, as well as that of private persons which is brought with it, be accompanied by an armed force sufficient to resist those who have so great desire to pillage it: the alternative is either that it come without that force, and thus liable to lose more in one year than the expense for its defense in ten, or that all the cost be loaded on to your Majesty's treasury, by which doing away with the avera would be a greater expense than would paying it. Who can deny that if the customs duties in the ports of Espaa were to go up to fifty or one hundred per cent, they would not be worth ten times more than they are worth at present? But who would say that such an expedient would ensure the duration of commerce, and the ability of your vassals and the foreigners to maintain it? If the immediate result of increasing the duties must be the loss of the principal from which they are collected, the ruin of trade, the desertion of the ports, the impoverishment of your vassals, the depopulation of the cities, and the ruin of everything, one can easily understand that this scheme would, under pretext of increasing the royal treasury, ruin it and destroy the kingdom. These examples are no different from what is observed in the commerce of Filipinas. It is represented that, by the measures which are ordered to be put in force, the duties in the port of Acapulco alone will be increased one million seven hundred thousand pesos; and although this calculation, as will be seen, has no foundation, supposing that it did have, that increase would result in such a decline of trade there that everything would go to ruin. [In the margin: "In numbers 83, 85, and 91."] [6] And if the wealth on which that trade depends should fail, either your Majesty will alone sustain the Filipinas, or you will have to abandon them. The first is almost impossible without spending twice as much as is now spent. The second has the disadvantage that will be explained. [In the margin: "In numbers 6-44."] Therefore the execution of the methods proposed at once carries with it irreparable injuries, which, after they have happened, will be so difficult of remedy, that the return of things to their present condition may not be possible. As this [present] condition has become established during the course of many years, it is preserved both by the wealth that those who sustain it have acquired during those years, and by merely allowing it to continue. But, if those two requisites fail, first will be experienced the loss of courage in the ruin [that will ensue], as the return [of courage] can be seen in the restoration [of the present condition].

Number 3. Commissions given to Licentiate Quiroga, and their execution

Your Majesty was pleased to order Licentiate Don Pedro de Quiroga y Moya, who went to Nueva Espaa the past year of 635, on this and other affairs, by instructions in regard to the commerce of Filipinas, to establish a new system in the port of Acapulco, which is the point where their ships arrive. And although it is understood that the mandate was general, in order to correct and prevent the illegalities which are committed at that port in the trade of the islands by taking greater quantities of silver away from Nueva Espaa, and bringing in more cloth from China, than is allowed by the [royal] permission; and although he was ordered to attend to this with the greatest care—not only to investigate the past but to provide for the future—and that he should issue ordinances for everything, give instructions, and advise your Majesty in the royal Council of the Indias, with full commission limited to certain times among both the officials and those who are not, with appeals to the tribunal whence it emanated: orders were also given him to go to Acapulco to visit the ships from the islands, and ascertain whether they transgressed the law by carrying either more than was allowed, or without register what they were allowed to carry in the ship, in order to escape the royal duties. This is what is known of his commissions in general terms; and in detail some memorials were given to him and information of the damages, and of the remedies that could be applied; so that from these he could accept what was practicable, and might either execute or give advice of what he deemed most advisable, both in the increase of the duties, and in making the appraisals of the merchandise, in which consists the most serious and the most dangerous aspect of the matter.

Number 4. Uneasiness caused in Nueva Espaa, and what can be feared in the islands

The innovation and disquiet caused by these commissions in Nueva Espaa (where it is known that they have arrived) has been very great, and as notable is the uneasiness and embarrassment among the citizens and exporters of Filipinas, who—without recognizing in themselves any guilt which accuses them, any crime which burdens them, or any proof which condemns them—have, for the sole purpose of not becoming liable to denunciations, [7] whether false or true (for all denunciations are troublesome), and to what ignorant witnesses, the evil-intentioned, or their enemies may depose, tried to serve your Majesty beyond what their wealth allows and their abilities permit. On that account, so great has been the assessment on the inhabitants of Filipinas, that it will be impossible to pay it without their total ruin, and they are not those who are guilty of the violations of law which some are attempting to prove. Consequently, the inhabitants have petitioned that this assessment be not made. Nothing is said at present of the other things that will result from it to [the harm of] the islands. [In the margin: "In numbers 45 and 87."—Ex. his.] This memorial will hint at some things, and time will continue to show them, if not by the causes that are now operating, then by the effects, which will reveal themselves. And even if these are less than those that may be expected, they will require very considerable attention and cause very sensible injury—as is usual with any innovation of the magnitude of this; for that which only changes and embarrasses the course of affairs, causes more damage than gain in what it reforms.

[V. Purpose to which this memorial is directed.—Ex. his.]

In order to avert the dangers that threaten, it is the intention to present some measures and the reasons on which they are based; so that, without departing from what must be considered in the first place (namely, the service of your Majesty), and then the conservation of those islands and of their citizens and residents, the evils may be corrected, the violations of law prevented, and the welfare of that so remote and afflicted community attended to—which, although so far away, attends so conscientiously to its obligations, ever preferring those duties to the possessions and lives of those who form and sustain that colony, risking and even losing them for the defense of that (although remote) very important part of this Catholic monarchy.

[VI. Proposition to abandon the islands, and its foundations.—Ex. his.]

The Filipinas Islands, which dominate the archipelago of Sant Lazaro, merit, for many claims, causes, and reasons, the esteem in which they have always been held. Contrary to all these, it was represented already, in the times of the sovereigns your Majesty's grandfather and father, that it seemed advisable to abandon the islands, and leave them to whomever cared to occupy them. It was remarked in the Council of State, where the matter was ventilated, and where a consultation was held, the question being presented with the motives for this resolution, that those islands not only did not increase the royal revenues, but even decreased and diminished them, and were a continual cause of great and fruitless expense, as they are so many, so remote, and so difficult of conservation. The instigators of this proposition availed themselves, as says the author of the History of the Malucas, [8] of the example of the kings of China—who being the sovereigns of the islands, and so near that they could renforce them in a short time, as being so adjacent and near their great continent, abandoned them, in order not to be under obligation for the expenses and cares that were necessary to maintain them. They said that Espaa's method of governing them was very burdensome and prejudicial to the monarchy, and was without any hope of being improved, because of the great amount of silver that was sent to the islands from the Indias on that account, both for the ordinary expenses of war, and for the conservation of commerce—all of that silver passing to Assia, whence it never issued. They said that the states, so scattered and so weakened by so many wide expanses of water and remote climes, could scarcely be reduced to union; nor was human foresight sufficient to introduce union in that which nature itself, and the way in which the world was put together, separated by so distinct bounds. That was proved not only by reason but also by experience, which had discovered and proved how difficult and even impossible was the conservation of those islands, unless the cost were very greatly in excess of the profit—although, in this matter, one should first decide whether [questions of] honor and polity counted for anything.

Number 7. More attention should be paid to the conservation of states than to the increase of the royal revenues.

These reasons, and others which were advanced, were originated and accepted by some who paid more heed to the increase of the royal revenues than to the advantage with which those revenues ought to be, and generally are, spent; for, although kings are obliged to regard that increase as the blood of the mystical body of their states, it must be without injury to the reputation of the states. For since, as is a fact, they must try to acquire riches in order to preserve their reputation and to increase their treasure by avoiding superfluous and little-needed expenses, it will not be a well-founded argument that, in order to avoid spending their revenues, they should allow what they already possess and enjoy legitimately to be lost. Such a course would be to prefer the less to the greater, and the means to the ends; since we see not few millions spent on the conservation of a fortified post to which belongs, at times, nothing but the reputation of arms. If its defense is justifiable for that reason, it would be more justifiable if on such a place depends not only the reputation of the crown, but the preservation of many other reputations, which would be risked by losing that post, and which will be assured by maintaining it. Such is the peculiar importance of the Filipinas Islands, as will be proved in this memorial. [In the margin: "In numbers 41, 42, and 43."]

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