The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898: Volume XIV., 1606-1609
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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 XIV, 1606-1609

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 1605

Complaints against the archbishop. Pedro de Acuna, and others; Manila, July 1-4 29 Relations with the Chinese. Pedro de Acuna, and others; Manila, July 4 and 5 38 Letters to Felipe III. Pedro de Acuna, Manila, July 1-15 53

Documents of 1606

The Dominican mission of 1606. Diego Aduarte, O.P., and others; 1604-06 81 The Dutch factory at Tidore. Joan ——; Tidore, March 16 112 The Sangley insurrection of 1603. Miguel Rodriguez de Maldonado; Sevilla, 1606 119 Letter from the Audiencia to Felipe III. Telles de Almacan, and others; Manila, July 6 140 Letter from the fiscal to Felipe III. Rodrigo Diaz Guiral; Manila, July 149 The Terrenate expedition. Council of the Indias; San Lorenzo, August 5 and 15 173 Decree establishing a way-station for Philippine vessels on the California coast. Felipe III; San Lorenzo el Real, August 19 182 Chinese immigration in the Philippines. Pedro Munoz de Herrera, and others; July-November 189 Letter to Acuna. Felipe III; Ventosilla, November 4 193

Documents of 1607

Petition for a grant to the Jesuit seminary in Leyte. Madrid, January 18 199 Artillery at Manila in 1607. Alonso de Biebengud; Manila, July 6 201 Letter from Audiencia to Felipe III, on the Confraternity of La Misericordia. Pedro Hurtado Desquivel; Manila, July 11 208 Trade of the Philippines with Mexico. Madrid, December 18 214 Passage of missionaries via the Philippines to Japan. Conde de Lemos, and others; Madrid, 1606-07 218

Documents of 1608-09

Annual receipts and expenditures of the Philippine government. Pedro de Caldierva de Mariaca; Manila, Aug. 18, 1608 243 Decrees regarding way-station for Philippine vessels. Felipe III; [Aranjuez.], September 27, 1608, and San Lorenzo, May 13, 1609 270 Letters to Juan de Silva. Felipe III; May 26 and July 29, 1609 278 Expeditions to the province of Tuy. Juan Manuel de la Vega; Passi, July 3, 1609 281 Petition of a Filipino chief for redress. Miguel Banal; Quiapo, July 25, 1609 327 Despatch of missionaries to the Philippines. Diego Aduarte, and others; [1608-09?] 330

Bibliographical Data 339


Aqvapolqve (view of harbor of Acapulco, Mexico); photographic facsimile of engraving in Levinus Hulsius's Eigentliche uund wahrhaftige Beschreibung (Franckfurt am Mayne, M. DC. XX), p. 60; from copy in library of Harvard University 103 View of Japanese champan; photographic facsimile of engraving in T. de Bry's Peregrinationes, 1st ed. (Amsterdame, 1602), tome xvi, no. iv—"Voyage faict entovr de l'univers par Sr. Olivier dv Nort"—p. 42; from copy in Boston Public Library 223


The documents here presented range from 1605 to 1609. Many of them concern the Chinese revolt of 1603 and its results, of which much apprehension still exists; but the threatened danger passes away, and the ordinances excluding the Sangleys from the islands are so relaxed that soon the Parian is as large as in 1603. The usual difficulties between the ecclesiastical and the secular authorities continue; and to the religious orders represented in the islands is added a new one, that of the discalced Augustinians, or Recollects. Acuna conducts an expedition to drive out the Dutch from the Moluccas, and soon afterward dies. Various commercial restrictions hinder the prosperity of the islands; and the new fiscal, Guiral, complains of various illegal and injurious proceedings on the part of officials. The expenses of government are nearly double the amount of the revenues. The province of Cagayan is explored by certain private adventurers, attracted by the prospect of gold-mines.

In July, 1605, several letters of complaint against the archbishop of Manila are sent to the king, Acuna writes that Benavides is arrogant and self-willed, and quarrels with everyone; and suggests that hereafter bishops for the islands be selected more carefully. The provincial and other high officials of the Augustinian order state that the archbishop's rash utterances had much to do with precipitating the Chinese insurrection, and that his quarrels with the governor are unnecessary and notorious—moreover, he opposes their order in every way; and they ask the king to interpose his authority and restrain Benavides. At the same time the Audiencia complain that he interferes with their proceedings, treats them with little respect, and assumes precedence of them to which he is not entitled.

Interesting documents of similar date touch on the relations of the colony with the Chinese. The archbishop appeals to the Audiencia, in memorials presented June 10 and 13, to accede to the demands of the Chinese emperor by making restitution to the Chinese merchants for property of theirs left in Manila at the time of the insurrection and sold by the Spaniards; and by sending back to their own country those Chinese survivors of the revolt who were sentenced to the galleys. The letter sent to Acuna in March, 1605, by a Chinese official is now answered by the governor (apparently at the beginning of July). He blames the Portuguese of Macao for not having delivered the letters to Chinese officials which he wrote after the Sangley insurrection of 1603; and claims that the Chinese slain therein were themselves to blame for their deaths. To maintain this position, he cites the kindness with which the Chinese in the islands were treated by the Spaniards; and declares that they revolted without provocation, and killed or abused many Spaniards and Indians, and that the survivors were punished with great leniency. He sends a part of the money due to Chinese merchants who owned property in the islands, and promises to send the rest next year. A letter from one of the auditors at Manila informs the king that the number of Chinese allowed to remain there is now (1605) restricted to one thousand five hundred.

Letters from Acuna (July 1-15) to the king give his usual yearly report of affairs. Reenforcements of troops have arrived from Mexico, very opportunely for the expedition which Acuna is preparing for the recovery of Ternate. He details these preparations, and the condition of his troops and ships. He complains of the opposition which he has encountered from the archbishop and the auditor Maldonado. Various private persons have volunteered to go with him, carrying their own provisions. He plans to leave Panay in February, 1606; and has been informed that the Dutch are preparing a large fleet to drive the Spaniards from the Maluco Islands, and to establish themselves more firmly there than before. Acuna needs more money, to pay his troops in the Maluco campaign; he asks for further supplies, urges the desirability of cutting off the Dutch from their treasury of the Spice Islands, and recommends a vigorous prosecution of hostilities against them. He recommends better adjustment of the soldiers' pay. In another letter Acuna reports the failure of this year's trading voyage to Mexico, one of the ships being compelled to return to port and the other being probably lost—which causes the utmost distress and poverty in the islands. Acuna relates the non-residence in the islands of Gabriel de Ribera, in consequence of which his encomiendas have been taken from him and given to others. The Moro pirates are apparently disposed to make peace, so Acuna is discussing this with them; but he has little confidence in their promises, except as he can inspire them with fear. The difficulties arising from the slaughter of the Chinese in their revolt of 1603 have been a source of much anxiety to the Spaniards; but these are in a fair way to be settled. The fiscal, Salazar y Salcedo, has died; and the Audiencia has appointed temporarily to that post Rodrigo Diaz Guiral, whom Acuna highly commends. The governor complains that the archbishop has been meddling with his appointments of chaplains for the galleys. He also asks for money to maintain galleys for the defence of the islands. In a third letter Acuna complains of the unjust and tyrannical conduct of the auditor Maldonado, and asks for redress from the king. This evil conduct has been especially noticeable in Maldonado's efforts to secure the hand and property of a wealthy minor heiress.

A group of documents relating to the Dominican mission which reached the islands in 1606 depict the difficulties, besides the long and toilsome voyages, which the missionaries encountered on their journey to the other side of the world. Diego Aduarte, one of the most noted of the Dominican missionaries in the Far East, is in charge of a reenforcement to go to the Philippines, and applies (at some time in 1604) to the officials of the treasury in Spain for the money necessary for their expenses in this journey; a grant for this is made. He furnishes a list of the friars who are to go with him, with the names of the convents that send them. In a document written by Aduarte (January 20, 1605) he relates at length "the difficulties of conducting religious to the Philippine Islands." The hardships and perils of the long voyage daunt many at the start, and he who is in charge of them must use great discretion in managing them. At the court, he cannot get his documents without much importunity, locomotion, and red tape, and long and tedious delays. The sum of money allowed for the traveling expenses of the missionaries to Sevilla is far too small; and, arriving there, they encounter more red tape and delays. Besides, the amount granted for provisions on the voyage is utterly insufficient, as is also the allowance for the friars' support while waiting for the departure of the fleet. The royal council requires that the list of missionaries be submitted to it for approval which cannot well be done in the short time which they spend at Sevilla; besides, they are unnecessarily annoyed by the examination to which the council subjects them. Those who finally reach the port of departure are confronted by extortionate demands for fees, which are renewed in mid-ocean, and again on landing in Nueva Espana, at Mexico, and at Acapulco; and at all these places, the missionaries encounter afresh the annoyances and hindrances which had beset them in Spain. Aduarte makes vigorous complaint about these difficulties, and requests the government to make less rigorous rules and more liberal allowances for the missionaries; this petition is partially granted by the authorities.

While the Spanish expedition to the Moluccas is at Tidore, one of the Dutch prisoners is interrogated (March 16, 1606), and his deposition gives various interesting particulars as to the plans and actions of the Dutch in the Spice Islands. He explains the treaty made by them with the ruler of Tidore, the goods brought by the Dutch for this trade, and their intention of establishing a colony in those islands. Another account of the Chinese insurrection of 1603 is here presented (at this point, because printed in 1606), written by a soldier in the Philippines, but edited by one Maldonado. He describes, in a plain and simple narrative, the circumstances of that revolt; and many of these are not found in the official reports (see Vol. XII). For instance, he relates that a great many religious took part in the defence of Manila; he gives details of each battle with the Chinese, and tells of their attacking the city with machines which overtopped the walls; and describes the sack of the Parian, the slaughter of the Chinese in the villages beyond, and the execution of the ring-leaders. At the end of the narrative of the insurrection some additional information is given. The governor sends an envoy to China with the news of this tragic affair. The writer relates bits of news which have come from China to Manila—of ravages occasioned therein by floods, earthquakes, and a war with the Japanese.

In a letter dated July 6, 1606, the Audiencia informs Felipe III of the death of Governor Acuna. New regulations for the commerce of the islands have been received from Spain, of which complaints are made. The amount of the Mexican trade has been limited to two hundred and fifty thousand pesos, and the returns therefor to five hundred thousand pesos; the citizens of the islands claim that this restricts their profits too much, and that they should be permitted to invest a larger sum. This liberty will tend to increase not only their prosperity, but the number of new settlers in the islands. The proposal to send on each ship from the islands fifty soldiers is quite impracticable, as the ships are too small and crowded. Instead of paying to the men and subordinate officers the salaries and wages proposed by the government, it is better to continue the present system of allowing each to do a little trading for himself. The auditors recommend that some changes be made in the duties levied on goods, which are onerous on the merchants.

By the same mail goes a letter from the new fiscal, reporting to the king the condition of affairs in the islands. He complains that the Sangreys are allowed to remain in Manila, and that this is done by the Audiencia without heeding the remonstrances of the city officials and himself. Many Chinese also come without registry, evading even the slight restrictions heretofore imposed. Their number is steadily increasing, and the Parian is now as large as it was when the revolt occurred. He advises further and more severe restrictions on the Chinese immigration. Guiral also notifies the king that the laws regarding the succession to encomiendas are being constantly violated; and recommends that all which are wrongly held shall be declared vacant and be reassigned. The encomenderos resent his enforcement of the royal decree that they should furnish to the priests who instruct their Indians wine for celebrating mass. He recommends that the matter of granting offices to small encomenderos be further examined. The increase in extent and number of the cattle-farms near Manila causes much damage to the Indians and Guiral recommends that these farms be abandoned within a certain distance of all towns. The peaceful Pampango Indians are frequently harassed by the head-hunting Zambales; the only way to stop this is to allow the latter to be enslaved by anyone who will capture them. Certain questions regarding the status of children of slaves should now be settled. Guiral makes various recommendations as to the sale of offices and the use of certain funds. The seminary of Santa Potenciana recently lost its house by fire, which has since been rebuilt; the king is asked to aid it. A public-spirited citizen of Manila has established a hospital for Spanish women, and royal aid is asked for this also. The hospital for Spaniards is not properly cared for, and the king is asked to send over hospital brethren of the Order of St. John of God. The guardians of minors often prove unfit for such trust, and they should be called to account by the Audiencia. Disputes having arisen over the rights and prerogatives of the Audiencia in case of their succession ad interim to the government of the islands, Guiral asks for the royal decision of such questions. The fiscal complains of the tyrannical conduct of many friars, especially among the Augustinians, toward the Indians; he has opposed this as much as possible, but asks further redress from the king. The coming of the discalced Augustinians (Recollects) has been a useful check on the other branch of that order, especially on its arrogant provincial, Lorenzo de Leon—of whose unlawful acts Guiral complains, and demands an investigation. He has obliged the stray Indians about Manila to return to their native places; and he asks that those who are retained for the service of the religious orders shall be kept within the allotted number, and that the friars be compelled to pay these servants fairly. The Audiencia has allowed Gabriel de Ribera to resume his encomiendas, vacated by his illegal absence from the islands; and the fiscal asks for correction of this procedure. He advises the king to refuse the claims made by Figueroa's heirs for release from the debts incurred by the conquest of Mindanao; and states that Tello and Morga are the ones responsible for part of these expenses, and for others which were paid from the royal treasury by the Audiencia. Guiral ends by requesting permission to leave the islands as soon as a permanent appointment to his office of fiscal can be made.

Proceedings in the Council of the Indias (August 5 and 15, 1606) deal with Acuna's effort to recover the Maluco Islands, from, the Dutch, summarizing his letters of July 1-7, 1605, and recommending the measures to be taken by the Spanish government in regard to it. Later advices emphasize Acuna's statements as to the gravity of the situation in the Spice Islands. The Council commend Acuna's action, and advise the king to further his efforts and supply him (from Mexico) with troops and money. The Council of State act thereon, seconding these recommendations, and advising that the archbishop and the Audiencia of Manila be warned not to meddle with affairs of war.

Of special interest to American readers is a royal decree (August 19, 1606) addressed to Governor Acuna, establishing "a way station for Philippine vessels on the Californian coast". The king recounts the results of Vizcaino's exploration on that coast in 1602, and the advantages of Monterey as such station. It is believed that gold abounds in that region, and that many other advantages would accrue from a settlement there. The king appoints Monterey as a way-station for the Philippine vessels, and Vizcaino as the commander of the expedition to establish it; and directs Acuna to send with him two men from the Philippines to learn all that is necessary about the new station, so that they may command the next galleons from Manila.

The Chinese immigration to the islands continues, the official statement for 1606 showing that over six thousand five hundred land at Manila in that year. On November 4 following, Felipe III sends warning to Acuna not to allow any more of them to remain than are necessary for the service of the community. The king also writes a letter of the same date to the governor, commending his action in sending troops to defend Samar from the Moros, in reducing the expenses of government, and in various other matters; and gives directions for rebuilding the hospital and for certain other measures.

On January 18, 1607, the request of the Jesuits for confirmation of a grant in aid of their seminary for the Indians in Leyte is approved by the royal council. A report is made (July 6) by the chief of artillery, showing the number and description of pieces which are mounted on all the fortifications at Manila—in all eighty-three pieces, of various sizes and power. At the king's command, the Audiencia furnish (July 11) a statement of the aim, scope, and labors of the charitable confraternity, La Misericordia, at Manila. It has one hundred and fifty brethren; they have established and maintained a hospital for women and a ward therein for slaves, besides their principal labors for the succor of the poor and needy of all classes. They provide food and water for the poor prisoners, aid to the inmates of Santa Potenciana, and homes for orphan boys; and assist many transient persons. They also settle many quarrels and reclaim dissolute persons.

The question of restricting trade between the Spanish colonies is discussed by the Council of the Indias (December 18, 1607); they think it necessary to restrict trade to some extent, but hesitate to take too vigorous measures. At various times (1606-07) the Council of the Indias deliberate on the question whether religious shall be permitted to go to Japan via the Philippines. Certain objections to this are stated (May 30, 1606); that the Japanese suspect the Spaniards of desiring to conquer their country; that the constant flow of Mexican silver to China should be stopped; that the Jesuits, who are already established in Japan, desire to exclude the other orders from that country; and that the Portuguese desire to keep out all Spaniards from both Japan and China. The Council answer all these objections, and recommend that religious be required to go to Japan via Manila, but to embark there in Japanese, not Castilian, vessels. Ten months later (March 31, 1607) the same matter is again brought forward; and, as before, the Council of Portugal object to the entrance of Castilian religious into Japan. The Council of the Indias oppose this view, citing the profitable commerce of the Philippine Islands with Japan, recently begun; the successful work of the religious orders there, and the need of more missionaries in that broad field. They adhere to their former opinion regarding the passage of the religious to Japan, and recommend that the Philippines be allowed at least a moderate trade with that country. Both these reports are discussed in the Council of State (September 7 and December 20, 1607), where complaint is made against the methods of the Jesuit missionaries in Japan; and the king is advised to allow religious from other orders to enter that field, and to prohibit trade from the Philippines to Japan, The king thereupon requests from Rome the revocation of the briefs obliging friars to go to Japan via India, and a new one placing this matter in Felipe's hands.

An itemized statement of the "annual receipts and expenditures of the Philippine government" (August 18, 1608) enumerates these. The receipts comprise the tributes, by encomiendas; the royal tenths of gold, and the ecclesiastical tithes; customs duties; and fines from the courts. All these sources of income amount to over one hundred and twenty thousand pesos. Then are mentioned, in order, the expenses: for salaries of government officials, alcaldes and other local magistrates; wages of government workmen, pilots, sailors, and others; supplies in the ship-yards, etc., and purchases for various purposes; salaries of ecclesiastics, and other expenses for churches and missions. To these are added "extraordinary expenses:" the cost of embassies to neighboring rulers; salaries paid to collectors of tribute, and others; expenses of the soldiers and their officers; and salaries to the wardens of forts. All these expenses amount to over two hundred and fifty-five thousand pesos a year, more than twice as much as the income.

Felipe III writes to Velasco, the viceroy of Nueva Espana (September 27 1608), regarding the proposed way-station for Philippine vessels. After summarizing a letter on this subject from Velasco's predecessor, Montesclaros, the king approves the latter's advice to choose, as such way-station, the islands called Rica de Oro and Rica de Plata (afterward found to be fabulous) instead of Monterey; and orders Velasco to see that a port and settlement be established there, the enterprise to be conducted by Sebastian Vizcaino. Another decree (May 3, 1609) states that, as Velasco has not carried out this order, and advices have been received that the said exploration and settlement should be made from the Philippines, the king decides upon this latter measure, and the enterprise is to be placed in the hands of the governor of the islands. Letters from the king (May 26 and July 29) to Juan de Silva, the new governor of the islands, direct him not to allow the Indians to pay their tributes in personal services, and to inform the king regarding the proposal of the Dominicans to found a college in the islands.

Explorations have been made at different times along the Rio Grande de Cagayan, in the northern part of Luzon. An account of these, with later information, is compiled by Juan Manuel de la Vega (July 3, 1609). He gives a brief summary of the efforts made by Lavezaris, Vera, and Dasmarinas to bring this province under Spanish control. The third of these (July, 1591), under the command of Luis Dasmarinas, is the first effective expedition to the valley of the Rio Grande. He secures the submission of various native villages, and treats the natives with great leniency. A few weeks later, Francisco de Mendoca follows on the route, and finds the Indians hostile, refusing even to sell him food. Not finding Dasmarinas (the main object of his expedition), he follows the Rio Grande to the city of Nueva Segovia, thus ending his journey. In November of the same year, Pedro Sid goes with some soldiers to Tuy, and now finds the natives friendly. He finds gold among them, which they tell him is brought from the country of Igorrotes. He makes some further explorations, and receives submission from all the chiefs whom he encounters. Three years later, Luis Dasmarinas sends Toribio de Miranda (October, 1594), with soldiers and friars, to explore further and to pacify the province of Tuy. The natives are apparently peaceable, but several instances of treachery occur, and the Spaniards are obliged to be on their guard continually. As in the other accounts, mention is made of each village visited, in succession, and various interesting details are related. At Anit the houses are decorated with the heads of men and of animals; "such was their custom". At Bantal Miranda builds a fort, and requires hostages from some hostile or treacherous chiefs. At Agulan the little children are wearing golden necklaces of good quality, "good enough to be worn in Madrid". At Tuguey and some other villages the natives resist the entrance of the Spaniards, but are terrified at the sound of firearms, and quickly yield submission. Retracing their route, the Spaniards find that the villages which they had left in peace are now revolting; they seize the chief who has most disturbed the people, and send him to Manila. The governor feasts him there, and sends him back to his own village, apparently well pleased with the Spaniards. Miranda searches for gold-mines, but cannot find them; and finally, sick and discouraged, as also are his friars, returns to Manila. Captain Clavijo is sent to search for the mines, but is compelled to retreat, being assaulted by more than a thousand Indians. In 1607 many chiefs from Tuy come to Manila and offer their submission to the Spaniards; but the Audiencia take no interest in the matter, and pass it by. Later, those chiefs send requests to Manila for protection and religious instruction. The richness and fertility of their country is described; and an interesting account is given of the gold-mines in the adjacent mountains, and the primitive mining operations conducted by the natives. These are Igorrotes, of whose appearance and customs some mention is made. As they are pagans, and lukewarm even in idolatry, it will be easy to make Christians of them. There is great reason to believe that the Igorrote country abounds in gold. To this account are appended several others bearing on this subject. One of these relates the circumstances which induced Dasmarinas to explore Tuy; another is a copy of the warrant and instructions given to him by his father the governor. These are followed by a curious document, apparently written by Vega on behalf of himself and others interested in the conquest of Tuy and the Igorrote gold country, and addressed to some high official in Spain—perhaps Lerma, the favorite of Felipe III. It contains further stipulations, in matters affecting the interests of these parties. A suitable reward shall be given, in the form of small shares in the galleon's cargo, to the officers and men who serve in the expedition to Tuy; and these must be used only in certain specified ways. These promoters ask for authority to appoint the officers and soldiers necessary as garrisons in the conquered country, and to fix the pay of these men, which shall be provided from the royal treasury. If they have important despatches to send to Spain, they wish to send them directly from the Pacific coast of Luzon, rather than via Manila. If they shall succeed in pacifying those barbarous tribes, they expect permission to allot those natives in encomiendas, at their own pleasure. They also ask for commutation of the royal fifth of gold to one tenth. Still another list of stipulations is given, also over Vega's signature. The promoters of the Tuy scheme demand that answer be made to it by return mail; otherwise, they will be released from all obligations. The cost of this conquest should be borne by the royal treasury. Vega commends himself and his associate—some man of affairs—as heads for this enterprise, and urges that the royal sanction be speedily given to it. The boundaries of the province of Tuy are declared; and certain stipulations are made regarding the encomiendas to be allotted therein, also the authority to be granted to Vega, and the privileges to be accorded to the soldiers.

On July 25, 1609, a petition is sent to the king by Miguel Banal (a descendant of the Moro ruler dispossessed by Legaspi at Manila), praying for redress against the Jesuits for depriving him and other Indians at Quiapo of their lands; he asks the king to investigate this matter anew, and to protect him from further spoliation. The Dominican missionary Aduarte makes a declaration (in a document undated, but of 1608) of the reasons why some of his religious belonging to the mission of 1606 had remained in Nueva Espana, instead of completing the voyage to the Philippines. Some died on the way, some failed to reach the port of embarcation, and the ship assigned to the missionaries was too small to carry all of them. Aduarte remonstrates against the embarrassments and restrictions with which he and other missionaries have had to contend; and complains, as before, of the scanty allowance made for their traveling expenses—illustrating this from his own and others' experiences. This is followed by a request from the discalced Augustinians (1609?) for extension of previous permission to send more of their friars to the Philippines.

The Editors April, 1904.


Complaints against the archbishop. Pedro de Acuna, and others; July 1-4. Relations with the Chinese. Pedro de Acuna, and others; July 4 and 5. Letters to Felipe III. Pedro de Acuna; July 1-15.

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

Translations: The first letter in the second document, and the first two in the third, are translated by Henry B. Lathrop, of the University of Wisconsin; the remainder, by Robert W. Haight and Emma Helen Blair.

Complaints Against the Archbishop


Ever since I began to have dealings with the archbishop Don Fray Miguel de Benavides, and have recognized his temper, I have perceived the difficulties that he would cause me; accordingly, I have always acted with great moderation and care. But the occasions which he gives for such caution are so many that great patience is necessary to bear them; for he persuades himself that everything, both spiritual and temporal, pertains to him, and that there is not a king, or patronage, or Audiencia that can change his will as to what he will do. It therefore results that he very often has quarrels with the Audiencia, with me, with the orders, and with all those of his church; and nothing occurs in connection with the patronage which he does not desire to adjudicate, so it is on that subject that he has had controversies with me. His scruples are insufferable, and they are continually increasing; accordingly, we dread the lengths to which they may carry him. Notwithstanding that he is a religious who is greatly respected, and one of learning and exemplary life, and has always had this reputation, I believe that he would be better in his cell than in the archbishopric or bishopric; and that it would be much better for his conscience and peace of mind, and that this commonwealth would gain much thereby. It is noticeable that his order, knowing him as they do, and regarding him as of good character and reputation, as I have said, have never employed him in any way in their government, as they do not find him qualified for it. I beg your Majesty to be pleased to order that he shall not meddle in those affairs which do not concern him, and that he shall be quiet and treat me and the auditors with respect; and that he avoid disputes and quarrels, since from them can result nothing but evil to the service of God and your Majesty, and scandal to the public. Your Majesty may believe that what I write here is stated with the utmost moderation, considering the outrages which he has committed. I therefore doubt not that many complaints of his proceedings will be sent. The Audiencia have grievances, and sometimes have been so provoked that they have been at the point of sharply correcting him; but some of them are afraid of him for private reasons, and dare not do so. In order not to stumble against such obstacles, I take it to be an efficacious remedy, for the future, that your Majesty should not appoint to the archbishopric or bishoprics of these islands friars who have been trained in these islands without first obtaining a report from the Audiencia of their qualifications and experience in government. May our Lord protect the Catholic person of your Majesty, according to the needs of Christendom. Manila, the first of July, 1605.

Don Pedro de Acuna

[In the margin: "Have all the letters which treat of this, and those which concern the archbishop placed together, and have them taken to the Council."]

[Endorsed: "Manila, to his Majesty; 1605, Don Pedro de Acuna, the first of July; writes about the archbishop." "July 21, 1606, examined, and decreed within."]


In countries so remote as are these Philipinas Islands, and which lie so far from the royal presence of your Majesty, we are bound, not only by our obligation, but in conscience as well, by our feelings in regard to the sights that every day meet our eyes, and by the commands laid upon us by special instruction from your Majesty and your presidents and auditors, always to give information [of affairs here]. We do so, likewise, in order to secure the aid of the relief which faithful vassals ought to look and hope for in their hardships and calamities from their natural king and lord—whose light, like that of the sun, ought to be equally communicated to all; and whose fatherly protection it is just that we should recognize on all occasions which arise, since we cannot appear personally before the feet of your Majesty. Yet doing what we can in this, we present ourselves with due submission, giving information that is reliable, and derived from experience, of the injuries both to the public and to individuals which this commonwealth, and we the religious of the Order of our father St. Augustine, are suffering from the presence of Don Fray Miguel de Venavides, archbishop of this archiepiscopal see—who, we believe, should be occupying a cell in some convent of his order in exemplary and peaceful life, as he did before he rose to the position of bishop and to the dignity which today he holds. In that position, [1] either because he wishes to assume more authority in the [ecclesiastical] government than is his due, or on account of some grave scruples which, continually increasing, so harass and disquiet him that were not the valor and prudence of Don Pedro de Acuna, governor of these islands, so great, and the royal Audiencia which your Majesty has here composed of councillors so wise, Christian, and moderate, fear would often have arisen (and with good cause) of various scandals for which the said prelate has given occasion. For with his revelations and prophecies, of which your Majesty has been informed, he publicly stated that the Chinese were about to rebel, from which it resulted that poor soldiers, and other persons who belong to peoples that resort here, were eager for such an opportunity; and it is believed that the cowardly Chinese were thus led to mutiny and rebellion, putting this whole land in danger. All this arose from the fears of the archbishop, which were not communicated to the person who could, without exciting comment, have taken precautions and prevented the trouble—namely, the governor, with whom he has usually had collisions. These were principally in matters concerning the royal patronage, which loses footing out here; [such conduct is therefore] the less to be tolerated. Your Majesty will have heard long ago of some ill result, for the governor has tried to manage the archbishop with due gentleness, treating him with respect, giving him a wide range in affairs, and temporizing with him in order to avoid contention. During his sicknesses, which are frequent, the governor has entertained him as a guest in his own house, keeping him there a long time. This has been of so little use that he takes every opportunity to disturb, and sometimes without opportunity disturbs, the general peace—at which all of us, not only ecclesiastics but laymen, are so distressed that there is no way of expressing it to your Majesty. We believe that if it were possible for you in Espana to see how we suffer here, your Majesty would immediately remedy it; for we are led to think that you do not realize the trouble which this matter is causing, or else that it is one which is not to be discussed as it should be, on account of the archbishop's many scruples. As a result, the condition of affairs is intolerable, which is a most unfortunate thing and one of great importance. Accordingly, as he is a prelate and we are religious, we are writing to your Majesty's Grandeur; and we make these statements with great circumspection, that it may not seem as if passion were carrying us away.

Coming, then, to what concerns us, not even the least important incident has occurred in which he has not shown himself opposed to an order such as ours, causing us infinite annoyance—as if it were not we who discovered these regions for your Majesty, and founded with infinite toil this new church, and by whose industry your Majesty has innumerable vassals. Every day, too, we are expecting to open up a greater conversion [of the heathen]; and we continue what was begun by those first fathers who trained us here. We desire not only that the number of the faithful be multiplied, but that the royal crown of your Majesty be increased. To this end, there has been no expedition in which we did not send religious for the consolation and encouragement of the troops. And on the so sudden and dangerous occurrence of the rising of the Chinese, we doubt not that the governor has given your Majesty an account of our proceedings; for in public and aloud he thanked us in your Majesty's name for our humble services, though our desire was great for the service of our king and lord. Not a fortification has been made upon land, nor a ship or galley built, where we have not rendered service; and in ministries to the Indians and Spaniards, we believe that no religious order has surpassed us. In spite of all this, the opposition which the said archbishop displays toward us in everything is well known. Thus we find ourselves without protection and in a very wretched state, whence we hope to extricate ourselves with the aid and powerful protection of your Majesty, who will consider himself pleased with these his household, and will command that we be treated in all matters as is right. If it were not for the president and royal Audiencia, who restrain these acts of violence, this poor commonwealth would be separated by five thousand leguas from its real deliverance and father, who is your Majesty—whom may our Lord prosper, and increase his realm, according to the desire of us his faithful vassals. Dated in this your city of Manila; [undated].

Fray Lorenzo de Leon, provincial of the Augustinians. Fray Jhoan Baptista de Montoya Fray Estevan Carrillo, definitor. Fray Pedro de Aguirre, definitor. Fray Roque de Varrio, new definitor.

[Endorsed: "No. 6. Manila; to his Majesty. No date; the religious of the Order of St. Augustine."]


Considering its importance to the service of your Majesty, it has seemed best to this Audiencia to give an account of the manner in which the archbishop of these islands proceeds; for he is harsh of temper and resents the acts of the Audiencia which declare that he has committed fuerza. [2] He has often said, for this reason, that they treat him very ill, and put him in such a position that he must retire to his cell and give up his office altogether; for they do not esteem him nor allow him to administer justice. The Audiencia having declared him guilty of fuerza in having imposed excommunication on those who without his permission entered the house of retirement of Santa Potenciana—which was established by your Majesty's order and at the expense of your royal exchequer, that orphan girls and poor maidens might be sheltered there, and instructed and taught, and remain there until they should be married—he would not obey the act of the Audiencia, thus imposing on them the responsibility of employing the correction and severe measures which your Majesty commands by his royal laws; but if these were executed in a land so new as this it would cause a scandal, which would result in much harm that could not be remedied. To avoid this, it was agreed to send the record of their proceedings and to make a report to your Majesty, so that you might command what should be most expedient for your royal service.

[In the margin: "Let this clause, with the proceedings referred to, be taken to the official reporter; provision and decree have been made elsewhere."]

He treats the Audiencia with less respect than he ought to, and desires to be preferred in matters of authority; for he will have it that those who preach, when the Audiencia and archbishop are present, should bow first to him and not to the Audiencia. When the holy water is given on Sundays, he has ordered it to be taken to the choir, or wherever he may be; and, after he has received it, he who is giving it shall go back and give it to the Audiencia. As this seemed to be derogatory to the authority which the Audiencia represents, a proposal was made to him that two vessels of holy water should be carried—one to the choir for him, and the other to be left for the Audiencia; but he would not agree to this. He has ordered that the pax which is given to the Audiencia and the archbishop should be given to him by the deacon, and to the Audiencia by the subdeacon; and he says that they should be thankful that he has consented to give them the pax, for there is no reason why it should be given to them.

In public he places his seat before those of the Audiencia; and, as they felt that consent to this ought not to be given, a message was sent to him by the court clerk on St. Potenciana's day—since, as she is patron saint of this city, the Audiencia and cabildo go to celebrate mass in her church on that feast-day—to notify him that it was not proper to put his seat in front of the Audiencia. He answered that he must place it there, as his Holiness and your Majesty ordered and permitted it. When this determination of his was known, it was agreed that the Audiencia would not go [to mass] on that feast-day, in order to avoid another encounter of this sort; and to maintain a firm attitude in regard to what your Majesty commands to be done in his service.

He is quite at variance with the ecclesiastical cabildo, and the prebendaries in particular make many complaints of him; and it would be well worth your consideration that this should be checked. Both they and others demand this from your Majesty, and you will be pleased to grant such relief as is most expedient. May our Lord protect your Catholic person for many years. Manila, July 4, 1605.

[In the margin: "Have the decree for Santo Domingo and Nuebo Rreyno [3] brought, so that it may be examined and the proper decree issued."]

Don Pedro de Acuna The licentiate Tellez Almacan The licentiate Manuel de Madrid y Luna

[Endorsed: "Manila; to his Majesty, 1605. 58. Governor and Audiencia." "January 15, 1607, examined, and decreed within."]

Relations with the Chinese

Restitution of Chinese Property

Official statement of the memorials presented in the royal Audiencia of Manila on the part of the most reverend archbishop of the Filipinas, concerning the demands of the king of China.

Most potent lord: The archbishop of these Filipinas declares that, as such archbishop, he is under obligation to look after the condition of these islands and of the Christian religion in them; and, as a member of the Council of his Majesty, to protect the interests of his royal crown, and of this his dominion—all of which, according to the counsels of prudence, is at the present moment in great danger. This danger is one of the greatest that could be, for the powerful king of China has threatened us with an enormous fleet of ships, saying that there will be a thousand of them if we do not grant what he demands in regard to two things. One of these is clearly just; for it concerns a great quantity of property which was brought into this city by the Chinese merchants last year, six hundred and three, when the Sangleys rebelled against this city. Your governor commanded that the said property, as belonging to enemies (as those who brought it here were), should be kept, and taken into custody, and should be given back to them. A great part of this property was afterward sold among the Spaniards and more than thirty thousand pesos of the proceeds of the said goods came into the possession of Diego de Marquina, general depositary of this city, by whom it was all (or nearly all) turned over to your royal treasury. The rest of the Chinese property came into the possession of Captain Sebastian de Aguilar, and any other person who may have received into his keeping and custody other goods belonging to the said property. The other thing which the said king of China demands is, that certain Chinese (of whom there are not many) who remained alive after the war and were at that time taken prisoners, and are in the galleys, should be given their liberty that they may go back to their own country. This is a matter for your Highness to examine carefully, to ascertain whether this be a just demand, and whether it can be justly exacted. Even if it were clearly and evidently just that the said Chinese should remain as convicts in the said galleys, this demand requires much consideration, on account of the condition of the faith and of the realm, whether this commonwealth must be forced to break with so powerful an enemy and enemies as he would be. He brings forward his arguments with much reason and consideration; by one of his demands—which of itself is not very important, although more so when, arriving at the question of justice—he brings up another doubt as to whether it is just for the said Chinese to be condemned to the galleys. This is questionable, in the first place, because they are not vassals of his Majesty, and therefore were not traitors; and likewise whether they should, on account of the hostilities which the Chinese were generally committing, immediately be condemned, without recourse, to the galleys, without being heard individually or their exceptions being received—especially as no one doubts that the said uprising and rebellion was not voluntary on the part of all the Chinese, but was contrary to the will of many; and it may be that some, and even a considerable number, of those who are on the galleys were not captured in war, but while hidden in the country districts and on the mountains. To say that the said Chinese are necessary to work the galleys which your governor must take on a certain expedition, which it is said he must make, does not affect the proposition; for the said expedition is not made by the will of his Majesty, but in his very exact instructions he neither requires nor permits the said expedition to Huaca [sic; sc. Maluco] with the said Chinese. Moreover, they are so cunning and shrewd that perhaps they will again do what they did to Gomez Perez, and even worse; and they may be the cause not only of the disastrous ending of the said expedition, but even of our complete ruin. There can be no doubt from the relation sent, as to the attitude of the king of China; for the three greatest magistrates whom he has in the province and dominion of Oquen (to which belongs the province of Chiencho)—that is, the viceroy, the inspector-general and the eunuch—write this, each one of them, in two letters, one of which is for the said archbishop and the other for the said governor of these islands.

In view of these considerations, I entreat and beseech your Highness to command that the said property [of the merchants] be immediately sent to the said kingdom of China, either by suitable messengers, or by the Chinese captains who are at present about to go there. The most certain and the first which should be sent would be that which comes into the royal treasury of his Majesty from the proceeds of the said goods of the said Chinese, even if it be necessary to ask for this a loan from the citizens of this country, or to economize, or to go without other things. As for giving their liberty to the said Chinese who are in the galleys I beseech your Highness to order that this be decided and examined into in great detail, especially as concerns justice; it should also be examined to ascertain the rights of the state. For this purpose, both in this affair and in other things which are presented before his Majesty's Council, some one who has great experience in Chinese affairs should be associated with them, and say what he thinks. The archbishop demands justice, and an attestation of this petition, and of what may be decreed in this matter, and of the entire proceedings; and that the decision may be made at once, so that these Chinese ships may convey the appropriate answer. As for our reputation, nothing will be lost by sending back the said Chinese, especially those who are not found to be very guilty; for no one loses reputation by doing justice, and the king of China and his ministers know very well that the decision of justice, and the separation of the innocent from the guilty, in so grave a case has demanded all the time which has elapsed up to the present. Finally his Majesty the king, our sovereign, [must be considered]; what he requires is that this colony, as the chief of all [his possessions here], where he has established so much good, should not be placed in danger by other matters which might be of uncertain success—especially for this consideration, which is of so little importance. Rather it is fitting to set free these Chinese, as far as possible, as experience has always proved to us, with so much cost of our blood, and so great danger of the ruin of this land.

Fray Miguel, archbishop of Manila.

At Manila, on the tenth of June, 1605, the lords president and auditors of the royal Audiencia and Chancilleria of the Filipinas Islands, being in session, this petition was read, and examined by the said lords. They commanded this petition to be joined with the ones presented by the Chinese in this matter, and brought to the session on Monday.

Before me:

Pedro Nunez de Herrera, notary royal.

Most potent lord: The archbishop of the Filipinas declares that he has presented a petition, discussing therein what is demanded on the part of the king of China in a letter from certain of his ministers, as is explained more at length in his said petition to which he refers you. He now says that, of the two things which are demanded, although the money is a matter of importance to the Chinese, yet what most grieves them is the men who, as they see, are here in the galleys, with such hardships and in a climate so hot and oppressive as this is—especially as they have parents, children, wives, and relatives in that country who are continually beseeching the Chinese magistrates and people. And he seeks the liberty of those who are here in our power, captive and condemned, and begs and entreats from your Highness what he has sought in the other petition. And more particularly he asks in this other if your Highness will order that especial attention be given to this; that even if it be true that the king of China will not make war upon us, as he threatens, yet I am warned by those Chinese who are our best friends that they know, from their own histories, that it is quite probable that the king of China will at least cut off the trade with these countries, under the heaviest penalties, which would be the total ruin of this commonwealth. The king of China did this to the Japanese, who formerly had trade and commerce with the Chinese between the two countries, the Chinese going to Japon and the Japanese going to China. The king of China, seeing that the Japanese did not maintain their trade with the care and honesty that they should, did not make war upon them, but took away their trade and commerce under a singularly vigorous penalty—which is, that if any Chinaman trades with the Japanese not only he but his father, mother, and relatives shall be put to death. This has remained the law up to the present, inviolably; and no Chinaman has transgressed it, unless it be some villainous and desperate man. This is one of the most important considerations to be judged in the present case. He begs and entreats your Highness to command that this be considered, and commands me to give an attestation of this petition and procedure.

Fray Miguel, archbishop of Manila.

In the city of Manila, on the thirteenth day of June of the year 1605, the lords president and auditors of the royal Audiencia and Chancilleria of these Filipinas Islands being in session, this petition was read; and, having considered it, they decreed that the depositaries should be commanded to render an account as soon as possible, of the property which they have held on deposit, so that it may be surrendered; and that, when the ships shall have arrived from Castilla, what is owing shall be paid into the royal treasury. As concerns the Chinese who are in the galleys, the matter is being examined, so that suitable measures may be taken in the matter, and that a decision shall be reached and a decree issued before the Chinese leave. The attestations which he asks will be given to the archbishop, in the manner that he desires.

Before me,

Pedro Hurtado Desquivel

In fulfilment of which I, Pedro Hurtado Desquivel, notary of court for the king our lord in his royal Audiencia and Chancilleria of these Filipinas Islands, have given this copy of the said petition and command, which is certified to be a true copy, corrected and compared with the originals which remain in my possession. Witnesses to the examination, copying, correction, and comparison: Pedro Nunez de Herrera, Geronimo de Peralta. Manila, the seventh of July, of the year one thousand six hundred and five. In witness thereof, I have set my seal in attestation of truth.

Pedro Hurtado Desquivel, court notary.

Letter from Acuna to the Viceroy of Ucheo

Don Pedro de Acuna, etc. By the hands of Captain Juan San I received the letter of the lord viceroy in which he informs me that news has been carried to China that the Sangleys who came to trade with this realm of Luzon have been put to death by the Spaniards. He states that after having investigated the cause of their death, and having asked the king to execute justice upon the author of so great a wrong, he learned that on account of the lies uttered by Tioguen we had suspected that the Sangleys were going to make war against us. On this account, as he was informed, we had put to death more than thirty thousand Chinese. The king had punished Tiogueng by commanding his head to be cut off and hung up in a cage, and had ordered Anglion, his companion, to be executed. He declared that the Chinese who had been slain in Luzon were not in fault. I reply to this that that which happened in this case is as stated in the accompanying letter—which I sent as soon as the event occurred, with a ship and a proper messenger, by way of Macan to the Portuguese who live there, who are vassals of our king. It was my intention that they should give it to the viceroy; and I sent similar letters to the eunuch and to the mandarins who were there. But the Portuguese were not well disposed to us, solely on account of their belief that the Chinese were in close friendship with us because of the trade and the large amount of commerce which we had with them; and that this is the cause why they are not able to buy merchandise at very low prices, as they would certainly do if the trade from here were to come to an end. Hence they brought it about that these letters were not delivered; and thus the truth of this matter could not be known in China, nor the fact that the Sangleys were greatly to blame for the losses which they incurred. If these things had been known the Chinese, well disposed as they are to the execution of justice according to law, and desirous that crimes should be punished, would certainly have regarded the fault of those people as greater than the punishment which was inflicted on them.

The penalty imposed on the Sangleys who piloted the two Dutch ships that were on the coast of Chincheo was very just. These Dutch are not friends of the Castilians, but bitter enemies; for, although they are vassals of the king of the Hespanas, my sovereign, they and their country have revolted, and they have become pirates like Liamon in China. They have no employment, except to plunder as much as they can. Hence they did not come to Luzon; and, if they should come, I would try to capture and punish them.

As for the statement that the letter is sent to let me know the greatness of the king of China and of his realms, and that they are so great that he governs all upon which the moon and the sun shed their light; and the other statement that he desires me to be acquainted with the great wisdom with which that kingdom is governed, vast as it is, and that no one should dare offend it, and referring to the war in Corea—to this I answer that the Spaniards have measured by palmos, and that very exactly, all the countries belonging to all the kings and lordships in the world. Since the Chinese have no commerce with foreign nations, it seems to them that there is no other country but their own, and that there is no higher greatness than theirs; but if he knew the power of some of the kings with whom my sovereign, the king of the Hespanas, carries on continual war, the whole of China would seem to him very small. The king of China would do well to notice that from here to the court of Hespana the distance is five thousand leguas; and that on the voyage thither are two kingdoms, Nueva Hespana and Peru, whose teiritory is so great that it is almost equal to that of China, without mentioning very large islands in those seas. At the same time I know that the kingdom of China is governed with much wisdom, and all the people here know, and I know, of the war in Corea.

The Sangleys who were killed here when they revolted were not thirty thousand, or even half as many.

As for the statement that after the death of the Sangleys was known in China, many mandarins joined in a concerted petition to the king that they might be allowed to avenge those deaths—accusing the Spaniards of being cruel and ungrateful, and charging us that after the Chinese had aided us to erect our walls and other buildings, and in our gardens (all to our profit), we ought not to have done this—to this I reply that the Spaniards are not cruel of heart, and never make war upon anyone without just reasons. We regard ourselves as a just people and as having a standing in the world; and we would be greatly grieved if it could be said of us with truth that we have done wrongs or injuries to anyone—especially to our friends, and to those who are sincerely friends to us. Thus in the case of the Sangleys who were here, we treated them as brothers and sons; and, without any precaution, we permitted them to enter our houses at all seasons and at all hours, as if they had been Spaniards. So true was this that, if God had not delivered us by revealing their treachery, they might for that very cause have been able to succeed in it.

I have noted the answer given by the king of China to letters written by the viceroy and others with regard to this matter. I think that he ought to be fair in all matters, and that he should not be influenced to make war on Luzon without first knowing whether we are in fault or not; for if he should do otherwise we could not say, as we have said, that China is prudently governed.

The viceroy also writes to me that, since the Spaniards are a sensible and prudent people, we must therefore be grieved for having slain so many people, and repent thereof. He also informs me that if we deal justly with the Chinese return the Sangleys who have survived the war, and pay the money due on the goods taken from the Sangleys, he will maintain amity with us and will send merchant vessels every year. If not, the king will not permit ships to come, but will command a thousand war-vessels to be built, manned with soldiers—both the relatives of those who are dead, and men from the other nations and kingdoms who pay tribute to China; and, without mercy on anyone, they will make war upon us, and afterward the kingdom of Luzon will be given to that people which pays tribute.

To this I answer that, although in truth we are grieved for the loss which the Chinese suffered, we have nothing to repent of therein; since what we did was to put to death those who would have done the same to us (although we had given them no reason for it), and who would have done so if we had not anticipated them. When we were living in great peace they rose in revolt against us, simply because they were wicked; left their Parian for a fort which they had built without my knowing anything of it, and sallied out thence against the farms to kill Spaniards and Indians. This they succeeded in doing by catching them unawares, and they inflicted very great cruelties even upon the Spanish women and upon their slaves, both male and female. Since this is true, as the very Chinese who have survived will declare, let the viceroy judge what could have been done, and what he would have done if such a thing had happened in China.

The crime is such that all of them justly deserve to die for it; but, moved with pity, I permitted some few to serve in the galleys of the king, which is a punishment inflicted by us upon criminals to avoid putting them to death. After they had been placed in the galleys, I get free some of them who, as it afterward appeared, had not been so much in fault; and others furnished some slaves, who received the same treatment. It is well known that kingdoms and provinces where crimes are not punished cannot maintain themselves; and if this crime were not punished, and the Chinese were to see that they received their liberty even when they had committed so great a crime, another day they would do the same thing. Hence I have not yet set at liberty those Sangleys who are condemned to the galleys, that they may go to China and even convey to the viceroy knowledge of what has happened. I am certain that when he knows the facts he will regard their punishment as very slight in view of their crimes; but, if he should deem otherwise, let him inform me of his will.

The property which was in existence during the past year, for whom owners or consignees appeared, was surrendered to them; there was a great quantity of it, and now they take [blank space in MS.]. This is the amount which I have been able to send from the royal treasury, where some of the property of the Sangleys was deposited for which an owner was not to be found; next year I will endeavor to send the rest. During the past year one ship arrived; and the other, which was on its way to Castilla, was lost with a very great quantity of Chinese stuffs and other goods. For this reason it has been impossible to discharge this obligation in full at the present time. Let the viceroy notice that this is and will be done because it is just, and not because he has written that unless the people and the goods are sent he will make war on Luzon; for I am sure that the king of China and his ministers, being prudent, politic, and discreet persons, will not wage war for causes so light. Still, if they desire to do so, the Castilians are well able to defend their lands from all who may attempt to take them away; and they even know how to attack their enemies and to seek them out in their own dwelling-places, when their opponents suppose that they have them conquered.

As regards the licenses for ships coming from China to trade with Luzon, it is not so dangerous to grant such permissions that the king [of China] or other persons there will consent to lose the great advantage which they possess in the large quantity of silver which is carried hence every year; for this remains in China, without a single real leaving there, while the goods which they give us in exchange are consumed and used up in a very short time. Hence we may say that in this trade the Chinese have as great an interest as the Castilians have, or even more.

Chinese Immigration Restricted


By commission from the royal Audiencia, I have this year attended to the investigation of the Chinese ships, and the Sangleys who have come to this city. I myself went to examine them, in order to avert the injuries which might be inflicted on them. Eighteen ships having arrived, with merchandise and five thousand five hundred Chinese on board, besides five hundred more who remained in this city from last year, I ordered the cabildo and regimiento of the city, if Chinese were necessary for the public service, to enter petition therefor within four days, giving a memorandum of the number necessary and the duties that they were to perform. As they did not do as I had ordered, for a number of days, and as the ships wished to return to China, and I to despatch in them all the infidel Chinese who were here, I reported the case to the royal Audiencia here. Considering what great lack of service there is in this city, and how necessary workmen are for its restoration, as it has been ravaged by two fires—more than a hundred of the houses formerly standing having been destroyed during this year of six hundred and five, and more by the other fire that occurred in the year six hundred and three—they determined to have one thousand five hundred infidel Chinese stay here for the rebuilding of the burned part, and the service of the city. They commanded me by an act to give permission to the said number of infidel Chinese, choosing them from the crafts which should appear to me most necessary. This I did with exactness and fairness, being personally present, and not entrusting this task to any other person. In this way, the said number will not be in any way exceeded; it has appeared necessary and sufficient, and it will be important for the service of God and of your Majesty that this number be not exceeded in years to come. May God protect the Catholic person of your Majesty. Manila, July 5, 1605.

The licentiate Manuel de Madrid y Luna

[Endorsed: "To his Majesty; Manila, 1605: The licentiate Manuel de Madrid y Luna. July 5." "That, by commission of the Audiencia, the inspection of the ships of the Chinese Sangleys has been attended to; and by order of the said Audiencia, considering the great necessity of labor and repairs, permission was given for a thousand and five hundred of them to remain in that city, as they are very necessary. And in compliance with this they will be allowed to stay for this purpose, without the said number being exceeded. March 22, 1607. This measure is in the letters of the governor."]

Letters from Pedro de Acuna to Felipe III


On the twenty-fifth of February of the current year, 1605, there arrived in the port of Cabite a ship from Nueva Hespana, and in it Brother Gaspar Gomez of the Society of Jesus, with news of the decision which had been reached regarding the matter of Maluco; the order for this military service also came. There were, besides, in the said vessel about two hundred infantry, in two companies, of those who are to go on the expedition. Their arrival was very seasonable and caused much rejoicing in these islands, because it occurred at a time when we had received news by way of Macan that an army was being prepared in China to come here. [4]

The diligence shown by the viceroy of Nueva Hespana in despatching these advices, and informing me of the condition of the embarcations there, was of great value in assisting me to prepare some necessary supplies; for nearly everything has to be obtained from different provinces, while some supplies must be imported from distant kingdoms, as China and Japon. Hence time is requisite for this purpose—and, indeed, even more than we have; but all will be made ready although with some difficulty.

The master-of-camp, Juan de Esquivel, arrived at the opening of the strait of Capul June 11, and came to Cabite June 17, after having disembarked the forces in the port of Ybalon—where he received my order to do this, and found ships in which to send them on to the island of Panay, where provisions for them are provided. The number of troops who have come with the master-of-camp are six hundred and fifty men, including thirty who came afterwards in a small vessel which had been left behind. These men had gone from Acapulco to Tehuantepeque for four pieces of artillery which were cast in Nueba Hespana for this expedition.

The forces for which I asked from Nueva Hespana for this undertaking were one thousand five hundred men, including sailors and soldiers. As for the five hundred who have served in old companies and are not altogether new recruits, I was told by the master-of-camp, that those from his regiment are for the most part good soldiers. What I can assert is, that the troops in the two companies who arrived first, and the troops of the master-of-camp who are here, have satisfied me very well. From this garrison and from the paid soldiers as large a force will be formed as can be spared, in order to leave matters here with a safe guard; since on account of the importance of this enterprise I must, if God gives me health, go on this expedition in person. I intend to take with me some Panpango Indians and some Indians from this region, among whom there are many good arquebusiers and musketeers. In company with Spaniards, they prove to be very good soldiers.

I asked for five hundred quintals of powder; and your Majesty informed me that the viceroy would send them. Although he did not send the whole amount, two hundred and thirty-five quintals of powder and a hundred quintals of saltpetre arrived. We shall be obliged to use what there is in the royal magazines here, that we may not lack so necessary a thing; yet the whole is but little.

The said viceroy wrote me that the troops came paid for a year, and that from the wages of the troops he had retained sixty-five pesos in the case of each soldier. The total amount is forty thousand pesos, which sum was sent under registry on the account and at the risk of the said forces. This is a piece of excellent foresight; for if the total amount of wages had been paid, as is customary, they would have gambled and spent the whole in two days, and would be in need the whole year, from which great evils would follow. For the expedition the viceroy sent sixty thousand pesos, without considering that the treasury here is in such a state that, even if the whole amount should be paid into it on account of these islands, there would not be enough to pay unavoidable debts and the loans which have been taken throughout a whole year from private persons, some of which were granted on my credit. I was expecting some good quantity of money on a separate account; and I also hoped for the ordinary soldiers who are sent every year to supply the places of those who are drowned and those who die of disease and in battle. We are continually waging war in one province or another, and sometimes at home. But I have been disappointed in all this, and must expend my efforts to get on as best I can, using some methods to prevent the service of your Majesty from failure.

As soon as I was informed that your Majesty would be pleased to command this expedition to be undertaken, I began on the very day when I arrived here to busy myself with the preparation of the materials and other things necessary to build the galleys and also to keep them in proper condition. I regard them as the most effective means of defense for this kingdom, on account of the causes which I have previously written to your Majesty. Accordingly, I have five equipped. The flagship has twenty-two benches, the second in command [patrona] and another have nineteen each, and two others seventeen each. One of these two which have seventeen will be launched within a fortnight, and has the necessary supply of rowers. These vessels are not made larger, being thus more suitable for these regions, because there are many shoals here; and when they are of this size they are sufficient for the contests which they have to carry on with the oared vessels employed by the enemy Another reason is the advantage of keeping down the number of rowers and reducing the expenses, as I have written your Majesty. These galleys have turned out very well, because I found here a good foreman; and although he died a few days ago, I have had the good fortune to find a second, a Genovese, a good workman. He is well known in Cartagena, where he built a galley. I have met with much opposition from the archbishop and from the licentiate Don Antonio de Rivera Maldonado, auditor of this royal Audiencia. If I had had to follow the opinion of either of them so that they could restrain my hand, the first stick of wood would still have to be worked. God knows what I have had to undergo in this, and what I am still undergoing; and He knows the evil results which follow from such a state of things in a region so distant from your Majesty, when those persons undertake to correct matters of war, and to meddle with them, who do not understand them and have nothing to do with them.

I expect to take with me on the expedition four of these galleys, and a vessel which has arrived here just now from Acapulco, which was made here and has capacity to carry a large amount of troops and provisions; it is of seven hundred toneladas. This vessel I will have fitted and put in good order. I expect also to take another of moderate size, of two hundred and fifty toneladas, which I have had built in the province of Camarines. I shall have three Moro ships from Peru. These will be very light, the largest being of a hundred and fifty toneladas, and the other two of a hundred and thirty each, more or less. Thus in all there will be five, in addition to seven brigantines and five lorchas, vessels built after the fashion of China and Japon. These are very good with both oar and sail, and have greater capacity and accommodation for carrying provisions than any other kind of vessels with which oars are used.

I expect that this expedition will include the foregoing vessels and galleys on account of your Majesty; and that in addition there will go seven or eight other ships belonging to private encomenderos and other persons. These will be ships of moderate size, with a high freeboard, in which their owners will take a quantity of biscuit, rice, wine, meat, and other supplies; these will be of great assistance, since a number of volunteers will go. This provision made by private persons is of considerable usefulness, and on that account I have had it made. To induce them to go it is absolutely necessary to encourage them to it, and to urge upon them the service which they will render to your Majesty. This I have had to undertake, since in view of the losses and misfortunes which they have suffered, they are poor and discouraged. They finally volunteered to go with a good will, and their going will be an assistance of no little consequence; as a result of it, I am certain that we shall have provisions for more than a year.

I have commanded the whole of this body of vessels to assemble in the island of Panay, at the town and port of Oton, where the infantry is on shore. When they have assembled there they will proceed, and I will leave this city after the day of St. Francis, taking advantage of the north winds. I shall attend to whatever shall be necessary there, and get it all in order by the end of January or the beginning of February. That is the season best suited for the voyage to Maluco. It will then be most likely that we shall have the benefit of the monsoon which is likely to blow with gentle and favorable brisas. In this way I shall not be forced off my course by vessels with a high freeboard; this accident happens very often, because of the great number of currents among these islands. I have no doubt that we shall encounter some vessels from Olanda and Gelanda, and more this year than others, since this is the year of the clove monsoon more than the two previous years; for in the third year the clove-trees bear much more heavily. The fruit is like olives, and the trees resemble olive-trees in their leaves and in their size, as I am told. [5] I had further information from Enrique de Castro, a Fleming, a native of Amberes [i.e., Anvers?], a man of good reputation, able to speak several languages, and very sensible; he told me that he came as a soldier in one of the companies brought by the despatch-boat which reached here February 25. He said that he had left Olanda fifteen months before, from the city of Nostradama [i.e., Amsterdam]; and that there, and in another city in the same country of Olanda, they were preparing twelve or thirteen large vessels with the purpose of coming to the Yndias. He was told that they were to seize Ambueno and the Maluca Islands, and that they were carrying a large number of men, besides lime and cut stone in ballast, to make a fortress. I am much afraid that this is true, because of what I have previously written to your Majesty with reference to the advices which I have received from the king of Tidore. He states that the king of Terrenate had sent to invite the Dutch, offering to permit them to build a fort and a factory in his country, in order to make them willing to assist him against the said king of Tidore, against the Portuguese, and against us. Accordingly the forts there and in Ambueno are in danger. The one at Tidore is a matter for jest; and the commandants, as well as the commanders of galleons, think of nothing but merchandise and of making their fortunes. The same thing is true throughout the whole of Yndia. If this news should prove true, there would be much difficulty in this enterprise. May God turn all things well for His cause.

The forces of the regiment of the master-of-camp, Esquibel, have received their pay for a year in advance, as the viceroy informs me by his letter. At the present time more than half the year has passed, and by the time they leave Oton the whole year will have been completed. Inasmuch as in the order for this expedition which your Majesty commanded to be given, I noticed that the Marques de Montes Claros was directed, in case the forces should be retained in the service of your Majesty for a longer period than the said year, to send me money to pay them in case I advised him thereof, it seemed well to me to advise him of this matter immediately, and to tell him that during the coming year he should send me what is needed for a thousand men in addition to the sea force. It is plain that this will be necessary for by the time that the fleet leaves these islands the [soldiers'] year will be at an end. I therefore beseech your Majesty to be pleased to give him imperative commands to fulfil this requirement; since soldiers in a country of enemies, and so far from their own country, serve badly if they are in need. Thus many important opportunities might be lost, and even considerable disadvantages might be experienced without there being any possibility of remedying them. If the enterprise turns out prosperously—as by the grace of God I hope it will—I expect that it will provide the means for maintaining the conquest, for paying all the expenses which have been and shall be incurred, and for affording a large quantity of cash surplus in addition to the expenses, besides repairing the losses incident to this affair. In particular, I think that to drive the enemy from the Maluca Islands and from the inlands of Banda will be of great advantage for our affairs in Flandes, since the rebels of Olanda and Gelanda harvest the product of these islands and draw from them great wealth, by means of which they carry on war and become rich. I, therefore, again beseech you to be pleased to give commands that this expedition may be adequately provided with supplies. I also beg that what is necessary for the expenses of the fleet and for other requisite objects may likewise be sent. I further request that for the regular expenses of the government a liberal supply may be placed in the treasury of the islands on a separate account, since the treasury is so needy and so heavily burdened with obligations.

Weapons and gunpowder are always opportune, and generally the lack of these causes a great deal of trouble. I accordingly beg your Majesty to be pleased to command that as large an amount thereof as possible may be sent, and that the forces at Manila may also be supplied. I suggest that although what is now of most importance, and what must primarily be considered, is merely the regaining of the fort and island of Terrenate, still the care and attention which will be necessary to protect and sustain the conquest, at least for the first few years, will not be small. During that time it will be necessary for us to keep it under control with arms in our hands. We shall have contests every day with the natives of the country, and likewise with the Dutch, who will not at once be willing to abandon it without testing the defense which it can offer, for the reasons which they publish there and in the other Maluca Islands, and in the islands of Banda. With regard to this matter I have written to your Majesty. We must be on the watch everywhere, making Terrenate our center.

By the first section of the orders which your Majesty was pleased to command to have sent to me for this expedition, it appears that the captains who come on the expedition receive sixty ducados a month and the privates eight, whether they were recruited in Hespana or in Nueva Hespana. I was commanded that if this rate of payment for the soldiers might be moderated in view of what is paid the soldiers here who are of the same rank, I should reduce it, but with fairness. I have to state that the pay of a private in this garrison is six pesos a month. This is little, in view of the fact that the country is incomparably more expensive than when their rate of pay was fixed, as I have previously written your Majesty. The eight ducados which the soldiers of the expedition receive is high pay; and accordingly, in my judgment, it would be well to pay the infantry in both forces at the rate of eight pesos (of eight reals) a month, in addition to the thirty ducados of extra pay which are allowed every company in Hespana and other regions. I should advise that the captains of both forces should be paid at the rate of fifty pesos, the ensigns at twenty pesos, and the sergeants at the rate of ten, as they are now paid here. The captains here receive only thirty-five pesos, while those of the expedition are paid sixty ducados, which amount to eighty-two pesos and six reals. Your Majesty will give such commands as you shall be pleased to issue. Until we receive the decision of your royal will in this matter, the accounts of the members of the expedition will not be closed. May our Lord keep the Catholic and royal person of your Majesty, as Christendom has need. Manila, July 1, 1605.

Don Pedro de Acuna

[Endorsed: "The requests in this letter were honored, in virtue of advice given to his Majesty by the council, August 5, 1606."]


In two ships which left here for Nueba Hespana last year, 1604, General, Don Diego de Mendoca, of my order, [6] wrote to your Majesty in duplicate, giving information of all the events which had happened here. It pleased God that the flagship should return to port, after having suffered from a tempest during which it was obliged to cut off the mainmast. It returned to this port today, four months after it had left it, although without any loss of the property which it carried, [Marginal note: "Let him be informed that this letter has been received and that the council has been advised of what he reports."]

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