The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898, Volume XX, 1621-1624
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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 XX, 1621-1624

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


Preface Documents of 1621

News from the province of Filipinas. Alonso Roman; Manila, [July?]. Death of Dona Catalina Zambrano. [Unsigned]; Manila, July. Letter to the king. Alonso Fajardo de Tenca; Manila, July 21. Letter from the archbishop of Manila to the king. Miguel Garcia Serrano, O.S.A.; Manila, July 30. Letter to the king. Geronimo de Silva; Manila, August 1. Affairs in the Franciscan province. Pedro de Sant Pablo, O.S.F., and others; Manila, 1620-21. Letter to the king. Alonso Fajardo de Tenca; Manila, December 10.

Documents of 1622

Letters to the king. Alvaro Messa y Lugo; Manila, 1621 and July 30, 1622. Letters from the archbishop of Manila to the king. Miguel Garcia Serrano; Manila, 1621-22. Royal decrees regarding the religious. Felipe IV; Madrid, December 31.

Documents of 1623-1624

Letter to Fajardo. Felipe IV; Madrid, October 9, 1623. Royal permission for the Dominican college in Manila. Felipe IV; Madrid, November 27, 1623. Expedition to the mines of the Igorrotes. Alonso Martin Quirante; Alingayen, June 5, 1624.

Bibliographical Data.


Autograph signatures of Valerio de Ledesma and Alonso Roman; photographic facsimiles from tracings in the Ventura del Arco MS. Weapons of the Igorrotes; photograph of weapons in the Colegio de Agustinos Filipinos, Valladolid. Weapons of the natives of North Luzon; photograph of weapons in the Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar, Madrid.


The years 1621-24, although not marked by great battles, conquests, or calamities, contain much that is of interest in the internal development of the Philippine colony; and these documents vividly illustrate the ceaseless play and interaction of human interests and passions—especially in the romantic but tragic love-affair of Fajardo's wife, in which is material for a brilliant novel. The usual conflicts occur between the civil authorities and the friars, and between the governor and the Audiencia; but the records of these controversies furnish an unusual revelation of human nature and its complicated phenomena. The alliance between the Dutch and the English menaces this far Oriental Spanish colony with even more dangers than it has already experienced; and its feeble defenses and insufficient equipment of arms and men keep its people in constant dread and anxiety. For defense against the expected attacks of the heretics against Manila more ships and fortifications are constructed; but this imposes additional burdens on the poor Indians, which the governor tries to mitigate by endeavors to protect them from the oppression that they endure from the Spaniards. Controversies arise between the various orders, and within that of St Francis, which are settled by the intervention of the bishop and governor. Reports made by the orders show that over half a million of the natives are receiving religious instruction; but the bishop deprecates the favorite missionary policy of gathering the converts into "reductions," and advises that all the missions should be placed under the supervision of the bishops. The foreign population of Manila still increases beyond the safety-line, and spasmodic efforts are made to restrict it; but corrupt and lax officials render these of little use. The difficulties involved in the Chinese trade and its economic effects on the Spanish colonies are still discussed, but without any satisfactory solution to the problem. The gold mines in northern Luzon are explored and tested, but with meager results.

A Jesuit at Manila, Alonso Roman, gives the "news from Filipinas" for 1621. He recounts the persecution of Christians that is still continuing in Japan, with many martyrdoms. Various encounters between the Dutch and English occur until, an alliance being concluded between Holland and England, their ships unite to prey on the commerce of China, Portuguese India, and the Philippines. The writer relates several naval encounters, and captures of trading ships. In one of these the Chinese, pouring melted sugar on the enemy, "sent fourteen of the Dutch in a conserve to hell." Roman concludes his letter with an account of the tragedy in which Governor Fajardo slays his wife and her lover (May 11, 1621)—the latter being a renegade Jesuit, named Joan de Messa. Another account of this affair adds some minor details.

Fajardo sends his annual despatches to the king (July 21, 1621). He describes his measures for the prompter despatch of the trading-fleet to Nueva Espana, and the recent hostile demonstration made by the Dutch and English at Manila Bay. He takes all precautions for defense against them, but is unable to attack them, owing to his lack of troops—a deficiency which he proceeds to explain. Thus far, the enemy have done little harm, especially as Fajardo promptly warned the Chinese, and other trading countries near by, of their arrival. He learns of other hostile fleets that are preparing to attack the islands, and takes all possible precautions for their defense. He asks that, until the affairs of the islands are in better condition, the Audiencia of Manila may be discontinued, as the auditors embarrass and hinder his efforts, and are not competent to fulfil their duties. The religious also make the governor's duties a burden; and their exactions from the Indians prevent the latter from serving the crown. The Dutch know betters how to deal with the natives; they exempt the latter from tributes, personal services, and religious instruction. Little has been done in opening the Igorrote mines—a task which Fajardo is warned to push forward. He has sent troops and supplies safely to Ternate. He is having much trouble in regard to the residencia of his predecessor, the late Juan de Silva; and complains of the shelter and countenance given to Auditor Messa by the Dominicans. Fajardo recounts various matters of government and his procedure therein; also the annoyances and hindrances which he experiences from the friars. He commends, however, the Jesuits and their work, suggesting that more of them should be sent to the islands. He is perplexed and hindered by the lack of soldiers, but is doing his best with his small forces. The Council orders the viceroy of Nueva Espana to send every year to Filipinas all the reenforcements in his power.

The archbishop of Manila sends to the king (July 30, 1621) an account of ecclesiastical and some other affairs in his diocese. He asks permission to hold an ecclesiastical council, and to hold the feast of Corpus Christi at some other and more convenient date than it has on the calendar. He complains of the poverty of the Manila cathedral, and asks for aid; also of the governor's failure to consult him regarding appointments to prebends, and of the incapacity for canonical offices of certain royal appointees. Serrano commends the members of his chapter, some of them individually and by name. The two colleges in Manila are training so many students that they cannot find positions in the church, and the archbishop is greatly pained by their consequent poverty and humiliation. He asks for more competent bishops to be sent to the islands; and for authority to be given to religious ministers there to grant absolution for certain impediments to marriage which render divorces among the natives too easy. The friars who have charge of instructing the natives ought to be subject to inspection by the bishops, and thus various abuses would be corrected. Affairs in Japan are in great confusion, on account of the persecution of the Christians; and Serrano recommends that Fray Sotelo be not allowed to go thither as bishop of Japan. He details a controversy that has arisen between the Jesuits and the Dominicans in Manila over the refusal of confession to the dying Juan de Messa; the archbishop is obliged to call an ecclesiastical council to settle the matter, and they decide in favor of the Jesuits. Trouble arises in the Franciscan order over the appointment of a visitor, which is quelled by similar action on Serrano's part, and the governor's interference in the matter. More laborers are needed for the Jesuit missions, as well as for those conducted by the friars. Serrano urges that the hospital order of St. John of God be established in the islands, as the hospitals there need better care than they are receiving from the Franciscans. He complains that the officials of the orders give letters of recommendation too easily; that the Audiencia are lax in their attendance at church feasts; that the ships are sent too late to Nueva Espana, and also return too late to the Philippines: that workmen in government employ in the islands are defrauded of their pay; that the city of Manila is overrun with Chinese and Japanese, far beyond the numbers allowed by royal edicts or regard for the safety of the Spanish citizens there; and that private persons, by collusion with the officials, illegally secure for themselves the best of the Philippine trade with Malacca and other adjacent regions. At the end of Serrano's letter is the papal bull changing the date on which the feast of Corpus Christi may be celebrated in Oriental regions.

A letter from Geronimo de Silva to the king (August 1, 1621) states that one of the ships to Nueva Espana has been forced back to Manila by adverse weather, which has caused great distress in the islands. The annual relief for Ternate has been sent; attacks on Luzon by the Dutch and English are expected, but result in the enemy capturing only a few Chinese vessels. Silva mentions the pitiably small forces of the colony for defense, and urges that reenforcements and other aid be sent for this purpose. Undesirable inhabitants of the country are being sent away, especially the Japanese, who are more dangerous than the Chinese. Silva refers to the difficulties between the governor and auditors, and asserts that these are due to the existence of the Audiencia there, which is a costly and useless burden on the colony, and a hindrance to the administration of justice and to the fulfilment of the governor's duties.

Affairs in the Franciscan province of the Philippines are in unsatisfactory condition; an account of them is sent to the king (July 31, 1620) by the provincial of that order, Pedro de San Pablo, in behalf of the province. He states that a visitor has been sent to it from Nueva Espana who is not one of the discalced, and is therefore persona non grata to these (of whom are the Franciscans of Filipinas); also that other friars "of the cloth" have slipped in among the discalced, simply to gain admission to the regions of the East. Hence arise factions, dissensions, and loss to their religious interests and work; and these intruders seek to rule the others. San Pablo asks the king to issue such decrees that only one branch or the other of the order may send religious to the islands; thus "there will be peace." The intruding Observantines have attempted to deprive the discalced of the Japan missions and of the convent of San Francisco del Monte, near Manila; and the royal authority is invoked to restrain their encroachments. This letter is accompanied by another (July 20, 1621) signed by San Pablo and other officials of his order, further entreating relief and redress for their province; and by still another letter of similar tenor (dated only 1621), complaining of Auditors Messa and Rodriguez for their unjust and arbitrary action in the case of the unwelcome visitor sent to the Franciscans, and urging the king to furnish redress therein and rebuke the auditors.

A letter from Fajardo to the king (December 10, 1621) concerns various matters of administration and business. He explains the late departure of the ships for Nueva Espana, and the consequent mortality reported on one of them. He discusses the question of diminishing the drain of silver from Nueva Espana to the Orient, and recommends that the export of silks and other fabrics to that country from the Philippines be prohibited; but he remonstrates against the proposed abandonment of Macao, which would surrender the Chinese trade at once to the Dutch and English, and thus ruin the Philippine colony. Fajardo suggests that only vessels of moderate size be allowed on the Nueva Espana line, and that more definite measures be postponed until the subject of this trade can be more thoroughly investigated. He denies the assertions that he is interested in the shipments of goods to that country, and places upon the auditors the fault of certain matters in which he, as governor, has incurred blame. He also accuses the Dominican friars of aiding and sheltering his enemies. A royal decree of 1610 has placed most of the appointments of subordinates in the hands of the auditors and fiscals, rather than (as formerly) those of viceroys and governors; and preference is given therein to the descendants of conquistadors and settlers. Fajardo remonstrates against this, adducing various arguments to show how this decree hampers the efforts and authority of the governor, creates difficulties between him and the auditors, disturbs the course of administration in the islands, and injuries the public service. Fajardo seconds the demand of the citizens of Manila that the Audiencia be suppressed, alleging that it does more harm than good. He has sent the usual supplies to Ternate, and has despatched a small troop of Spaniards to Celebes to fortify a post there, with some Franciscan missionaries to minister to the natives. He has secured the release of certain Spanish prisoners, and is building two ships. Some of the natives have revolted, and troops have been sent to chastise them; Fajardo tries to keep the Indians in due subjection, yet to treat them with justice and kindness, and he complains that his efforts to do so are hindered by the oppressive and harsh conduct of the friars (especially of the Dominicans) toward the natives, and by their ambition to rule in all matters. The governor is exerting every effort to maintain the fortifications at Cavite and Oton, and to repair and equip the few vessels at his disposal; he has news that Dutch and English fleets are coming to harass the Spaniards and their Chinese trade.

Fajardo's chief enemy in the Audiencia, Alvaro Messa y Lugo, writes to the king (apparently in 1621), complaining of the governor's official conduct as ruining the country. Messa accuses him of reckless expenditures of public funds; of using these to invest for his own profit in the Mexican trade; of allowing Indian claims for wages to be sold at a third of their value, and cashed in full; of issuing too many licenses to Chinese residents, and using these fees for himself; and of neglecting to audit the accounts of the government. According to Messa, Fajardo intimidates the Audiencia, interrupts the course of justice, recklessly liberates criminals, persecutes citizens who differ from him, neglects to observe the royal decrees, threatens even the clergy and friars, and tyrannizes over the entire community. It may be noted that Messa bases most of these accusations on report and hearsay, without citing any definite authority for his statements. Messa accuses the governor of neglecting his duties, and failing to provide for the defense of the country, while spending the royal revenues lavishly; and even assails Fajardo's personal character. He relates, in tedious detail, various difficulties between himself and the governor, and arbitrary acts of Fajardo against him; and recounts his deliverance from prison through a miracle wrought for him at the intercession of the Virgin Mary. Messa has taken refuge in the Dominican convent, and entreats the king to redress his wrongs and punish the governor and his abettors. He recounts at much length the reasons for which he supposes the governor arrested him. In this connection Messa relates his version of Fajardo's killing his unfaithful wife, adding much gossip of the town that is uncomplimentary to the governor. He also states that the Audiencia is virtually non-existent, and so there is no high court in which justice may be sought. Messa urges the king to send a new governor, and gives his advice as to the character of him who should be sent. He intimates that Fajardo has illegally obtained wealth to the value of perhaps almost a million pesos, and that even this sum will not repay the claims held against him. Messa gives account of certain residencias entrusted to him, and claims that all his efforts to do this work have been blocked by the governor, especially in the case of Juan de Silva. He complains that the authority of the governor and that of the Audiencia conflict, especially in time of war; and that the former has too wide a jurisdiction in that he may try cases brought against the auditors. Messa recommends that aid for the Philippine colony be sent in the form of men and money, and that the necessary ships and artillery be constructed in the islands. He complains that the Chinese traders are illegally compelled to pay assessments, from which the fiscal, who is nominally their protector, receives additional pay. Messa asks for honors and promotion for himself, by way of atonement for the ill-treatment that he has received from the governor; and closes with the request that Fajardo's property in Mexico be sequestered.

With this letter is another by the same writer, dated July 30, 1622—a postscript to a duplicate of the preceding letter. He relates how Fajardo has summoned him to resume his duties as auditor; but he has no confidence in the governor's sincerity. He accuses the latter of various illegal and crafty acts, among them sending contraband gold and jewels to Mexico. Messa recounts the proceedings in the Santa Potenciana scandal, blaming the governor's course therein. At the end is a letter from the Audiencia advising the king to refuse an increase of salary to the archbishop of Manila, with a note by Fajardo recommending such increase.

The archbishop of Manila, Miguel Garcia Serrano, writes (1621) a report for the first year of his term of office—which, however, he does not send until 1622. He has been occupied in official visitations, mainly in the city of Manila. Among the clergy therein he finds no offenses, save that a few have gambled in public; these are promptly disciplined. The cathedral is the only Spanish parochial church; it cares for two thousand four hundred souls. Another curate is in charge of the Indians and slaves of Manila, who number one thousand six hundred and forty and one thousand nine hundred and seventy respectively; but many of these confess at the convents of the various orders. The Indians should have a suitable church of their own, and Serrano recommends that the king provide one for them. At the port of Cavite is a parochial church, which ministers to over three thousand souls. The Indians in the archdiocese of Manila are mainly in charge of the religious orders, as follows: Of the Augustinians, ninety thousand souls; Franciscans, forty-eight thousand four hundred; Dominicans, twenty-eight thousand; Jesuits, ten thousand six hundred; Recollects, eight thousand. Besides these, twenty thousand Indians are under the care of secular priests—making a total of two hundred and five thousand. Serrano describes the method of government and administration that is followed in the missions; the natives could be more easily reached and instructed in a few large villages, but the effort to collect them in these "reductions" has proved to be neither satisfactory nor profitable, in the Philippines as well as in Nueva Espana. Chinese converts residing in the outskirts of Manila number one thousand five hundred souls, in charge of the Dominicans and Franciscans. Among the Japanese who are in the islands there are more than one thousand five hundred Christians. In the bishopric of Cebu are two hundred Spaniards; the Indians and other people under instruction amount to one hundred and nineteen thousand six hundred and fifty. Of these about sixteen thousand are in the care of secular priests; nearly fifty thousand, of the Augustinians; and fifty-four thousand, of the Jesuits. In the bishopric of Cagayan (in northern Luzon), there are but seventy Spaniards; the Augustinians instruct fifty-eight thousand, and the Dominicans seventy thousand, Indian natives. The bishopric of Camarines (in eastern Luzon) has only some fifty Spaniards; eight thousand six hundred natives are cared for by secular priests, forty-five thousand by Franciscans, and three thousand two hundred by Jesuits. The total number of souls of natives under religious instruction in the islands amounts to over half a million—apparently not counting therein the children. But the great number of Indians still unconverted demands many more missionaries, whom the king is urged to send. The archbishop gives some account of the hospitals and their management; he recommends that they be placed in care of the hospital order of St. John of God. He also enumerates the various religious and benevolent confraternities in Manila, with their purposes and revenues; of these the chief is that of La Misericordia. Serrano describes the character and present condition of the two colleges in Manila, San Jose and Santo Tomas, and of the seminary for girls, Santa Potenciana; for the former he requests faculty for granting decrees to their students, and for the latter substantial pecuniary aid. He states that, in general, the Indians are well treated by their religious teachers; but he recommends that more power over these ministers be given to the Philippine bishops. The constant menace of the islands by the Dutch enemy, however, lays cruel burdens upon the Indians, in ship-building and in other preparations for war which they are compelled to make by the royal officials. Serrano closes by answering certain questions about prebends, curacies, etc.

A royal decree (December 31, 1622) orders the Dominicans in the Philippines not to meddle in affairs of government. Another of the same date confirms and enforces a previous decree (1603) of Felipe II, ordering that all religious who are missionaries to the Indians be examined as to their competency for such work, especially in their knowledge of the native language, by the archbishop or some person appointed by him. A letter from the king (October 9, 1623) directs Fajardo to push the exploration of the Igorrote mining region, and to send nutmeg from the islands to Nueva Espana. Various matters mentioned by the governor receive perfunctory and formal answers. On November 27 following, Felipe IV confirms the permission given by the governor and archbishop to the Dominicans to found a college at Manila.

At the close of the year 1623, an expedition is sent to explore and pacify the province of the Igorrotes (in northern Luzon), already famous for its rich gold mines. The report of this enterprise, furnished (June 5, 1624) by its leader, Alonso Martin Quirante, narrates its progress from day to day, the plan of the campaign, the encounters between the Spaniards and the Igorrotes, and the success of the former in repulsing the attacks of the natives and obtaining ore from the mines. Martin describes the country through which he passes; the native tribes, their customs, and their methods of obtaining gold; the mines, and the ore secured from them. He considers the general idea of the richness of these mines incorrect and exaggerated; he examines them, however, carefully, and obtains specimens of the ore from each. Then follows a report of the various tests and assays made thereon, from which the results are not very satisfactory; a table showing the values of the metal obtained in each of the assays; and the action of the Audiencia of Manila thereon—they deciding to abandon further attempts to explore or work the Igorrote mines, and to send to Nueva Espana for further test the ores brought by Martin to Manila; moreover, the men now at the mines are to be sent to Nueva Segovia, to subdue the revolted Indians there.

The Editors September, 1904.


News from the province of Filipinas. Alonso Roman; [July?]. Death of Dona Catalina Zambrano. [Unsigned]; July. Letter to the king. Alonso Fajardo de Tenca; July 21. Letter from the archbishop of Manila to the king. Miguel Garcia Serrano, O.S.A., July 30. Letter to the king. Geronimo de Silva; August 1. Affairs in the Franciscan province. Pedro de Sant Pablo, O.S.F., and others; 1620-21. Letter to the king. Alonso Fajardo de Tenca; December 10.

Sources: The first of these documents is obtained from a MS. in the Real Academia de Historia, Madrid; the second, from the Ventura del Arco MSS. (Ayer Library), i, pp. 509-514; the remainder, from MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla.

Translations: The first of these documents is translated by Arthur B. Myrick, of Harvard University; the second, fourth, fifth, and sixth, by James A. Robertson—except the Latin bull in the fourth, translated by Rev. T.C. Middleton, O.S.A.; the third and seventh, by Robert W. Haight.

News from the Province of Filipinas, This Year, 1621

By letters which we have received from Japon this January, 1621, we heard how bitterly the persecution of God's religion is carried on in Boxu, the country of Masamune, [1] who has been accustomed to send embassies to Spain in past years. The spread of the holy gospel and uninterrupted preaching went on until the return of the ambassador. Hitherto Masamune had dissimulated for reasons of state, hoping that he would be allowed to send one ship from his kingdoms to Nueva Espana, where he had large interests. Seeing that this would not be conceded, he commenced to persecute Christians openly and secretly. On the twentieth of September, 1620, he ordered prohibitions and edicts to be issued in various places, in which it was ordered that no one should receive the religion of God; and that all those who had adopted it should abandon it, under penalty of being deprived of the property and incomes which the chiefs of equal rank hold from the tono [i.e., daimio], while in the case of the common people, the plebeians, they should be put to death. He also commanded that any person having any knowledge of any Christian should denounce him; and that all preachers of the holy gospel should leave his kingdom and state. In case that they would not abandon the religion which they preached, the officials of Masamune commenced to execute their orders. Many were therefore banished and dispossessed of their property, others abandoned the faith, and to six fell the best lot of all in giving up their lives, being beheaded for this reason.

In the city of Nangasaqui, as all its people are Christians, the persecution is directed not so much against the Christians, for that would utterly destroy the place, as against those who conceal the religious who are under penalty of death.

On the seventeenth of December, they arrested two religious of St. Francis, one a priest named Fray Pedro de Avila, [2] and another a layman, Fray Vicente. On the twelfth of February they beheaded two leading natives for their faith. On the thirteenth of the same month they bound to the stake, in order to burn alive, a man who had two religious in his house. On account of his anxiety to escape the fire, he confessed; and leaping from it (they say) he begged them not to kill him, saying that [illegible in MS.]. They cut him to pieces, however, without mercy, and he was sent to the Lord.

At this same time they seized in Nangasaqui a servant of the father provincial, Matheo Couros, who was washing his clothes. When he was thus recognized, they inflicted sharp torments upon him, to make him disclose what he knew; but he, although mangled, bravely gave up his life in the torture rather than betray the father. There are at present in Japanese prisons [MS. torn] of religious and Christians: of the Order of St Francis there are five; of that of St. Dominic, three or four; of the Jesuits one, Father Carlos de Espinola. There were three, but one was burned alive for his faith; and the other, who was a Portuguese brother, [died] [3] with the hardships of the prison, and it is thought to be certain that [his death was hastened] by poison.

The Dutch and English seized, on board a Japanese ship which sailed from Manila for Japan, two religious—one a Dominican, and the other an Augustinian—who were identified by letters and papers that they had with them. [4] The letters [MS. torn] nevertheless, presented at court, for it was not considered wrong for them to have [MS. torn] a ship of Japanese, who extended them a kindly welcome to their kingdom. They jointly presented a petition, stating to the emperor that until [MS. torn] destroy Manila and Macan, there would be no lack of religious in his [empire]; and that they should deliver over to them in orderly manner two or three thousand Japanese, who [MS. torn] will destroy these two cities. This petition was not granted them; instead, decrees were issued in which the emperor ordered the governor of [Nan]gasaqui to notify the tonos of Firando and other places that under pain of [MS. torn] they should allow no Japanese to embark with the Dutch and English. [MS. torn] It was observed and carried out even against the wishes of the heretics, who wished to assist [MS. torn] of them against us.

On the twenty-sixth of July there arrived at the port of Firando, two Dutch [vessels] with some of their men wounded and their masts pierced by shots; [MS. torn] they had fought in the Philipinas with the ships that had come from Nueva Espana, and had sunk one of them. The truth of the affair was afterward found out, that [MS. torn] fought with ours, and it is presumed that one was sunk. [MS. torn] Not more than two arrived at Firando, to the great pleasure of the Christians of Japan when they heard the truth and the evil deed of the enemy.

A Dutch ship and patache sailed from Japan in February, 1620, with the intention of lying in wait for the Chinese ships that were going from Manila, laden with the silver which they had received for the goods which they had sold, but during a heavy storm the vessel with all its cargo was wrecked on Hermosa Island. Six of the Dutch were drowned. Those who escaped seized two boats that they found on the shore, and robbed three Chinese ships of more than three hundred thousand pesos. The patache was never seen again, and there is not much doubt that it was lost with all hands on board. They sent another large ship to Bantan, where they have a factory. This vessel, loaded with supplies, went ashore and was lost; and one hundred and twenty Japanese and three Dutchmen were drowned.

The English and Dutch being on the point of settling their quarrel by fighting a pitched battle off Bantan near China in which both parties must have been destroyed, chance would have it that two despatch-boats arrived, one from Ynglaterra and the other from Olanda, bringing the news of the confederation which had been formed between those two states, [5] so that their quarrel was converted to rejoicing and merriment. Then they sent off sixteen English vessels and ten Dutch ships. One English ship was lost on the coast of China, as a result of trying to capture a Portuguese vessel which was on its way from India to Macan. Nothing was ever heard of three of the Dutch ships; but the others came to lie in wait for the Portuguese galliots loaded with silks which the Portuguese import into Japan. They followed these as far as Nangasaqui without being able to chase one of them, because they were too light, whereupon the enemy took shelter in their port of Firando. The agreement of the confederation was as follows: In order to avoid dissensions on both sides, they were all to come into the English Company, and they should render accounts of what either side had lost in the wars that they had waged; and whatever was over and above, the other side was to pay. Item, that both parties could alike enter the regions conquered by them, with ships, men, and supplies; and that anything that they should acquire by conquest should remain in the form in which the said States [of Holland] and the English Company had there agreed. Item, that the spice trade should be equally divided, each loading as many ships as the other, and that they should go shares in their seizures; finally, that an English captain was to be commander of the whole fleet this first year, and the next a Dutchman, and so on alternately in succeeding years. This is their plan, which meanwhile is to redound to our injury, since they intend to make themselves masters of the Philipinas, the Malucas Islands, India, and the whole of this archipelago. There is cause for alarm when they bring one hundred and ten ships into these seas without any means of resistance on our part.

These pirates were fitting out an armada in great haste in Japan. The report was current that they were going to attack Macan, while others said that they were coming to the Philipinas, of which we had information. The people at Macan were also warned that trip English and Dutch allies were coming to attack them, whereupon they set about providing supplies, and dug some trenches, which the Chinese quickly dismantled, fearing lest that fortification was made against themselves; for they have never consented to wall the city, cast artillery, or make other preparations for war. The Portuguese, seeing themselves ill-prepared for defense, decided to send out a ship with Father Geronimo Rodriguez of the Society of Jesus, who had been rector in the college at Macan, to ask our lord governor for some heavy guns for their defense. He arrived at Manila toward the end of December. He explained his errand, and the lord governor gave him six pieces of artillery—one thirty-pounder, three twenty-five pounders, and two eighteen-pounders—together with a good ship to convey them there. It was sent away on the last of January. When they sailed out of the bay they caught sight of the enemy's fleet, which was headed for these islands. One of the enemy's ships followed it, but seeing that they could not overtake it they retired; and our ship continued its voyage, and in a short time arrived at Macan.

The assistance which went this year to Maluco, arrived within sight of our forts, where three Dutch ships were waiting to seize it or cut off their passage; but the captain of one of the largest of our ships approached the enemy to keep him busy fighting, while the reenforcements entered under the fire of our artillery. He fought for three hours, at the end of which time, having seen our ships in safety, he squared away and left the enemy tricked, because he had a very fast vessel.

We had some trouble with the Tidorans, who have been our friends and the enemies of the Dutch; whereupon they poisoned a well where the men came to drink. The crime was immediately discovered, and so no harm was done. We have made friends with them again, and we continue as before.

With six galleons the Dutch came to the Solor Islands, which are near the Malucas, where the Portuguese have a fort. They landed more than six hundred of their men and more than one thousand Moros of the country, who also came in their ships. The Portuguese, who numbered perhaps thirty soldiers, defended themselves so well that they killed over seventy Dutch and many Moros, while many were wounded.

Another Portuguese captain, who went out to sea with some vessels, captured some of the little galliots of the Moros and some Dutch lanchas. They retired at this loss, the Portuguese remaining victorious.

A Dutch ship went aground on a shoal on the island of Jolos, near these Philipinas Islands. Being seen by the Indians and natives of that land, the latter attacked them, and put them all to the sword, leaving only the captain alive for the ransom that they can get for him. For two years there have been such droughts in the Malucas Islands that many clove-trees have been destroyed, causing a great famine.

In the beginning of February of this year, 621, nine hostile ships arrived in the bay of Manila, five Dutch and four English, who seized the passage by which enter the ships of all these islands from Japan, China, Macan, Maluco, and India. The commander of this fleet was an Englishman, according to the agreement between them. They sighted our forts and saw how few ships we had to oppose to them; thereupon they sailed in as if on their own seas and in a safe port. The greatest resistance which could be made against this enemy was to take care that they did not seize any of the China ships aboard of which much of our wealth comes to these islands. So two ships were despatched with all haste to the coast of China, in order to inform them of the enemy, and warn them not to sail at such a time that they would fall into the hands of the enemy. They did not arrive in time, so that some of the vessels had sailed, three of which were captured by the enemy. These were of little value, but two of some importance were taken. One of them was sighted by a small patache belonging to the Dutch, who were under difficulties in attacking it, because the Chinese after their manner of fighting—with caldrons of melted sugar, and stones, and clubs—defended themselves so well that with their boiling sugar they sent fourteen of the Dutch in a conserve to hell. Finally it was surrendered, after the death of one hundred and twenty Chinese. The English commander ordered the other ship, which was the fifth, to be set afire, because of quarrels between the Dutch and English over the capture and division, so that their booty was diminished. The enemy, as I have said, being masters of the sea, and the inward passage, God chose to allow an entrance to our fathers (who were coming to a meeting of the congregation), by permitting them to come. Scarcely had they entered when the enemy returned to occupy his position. The same thing happened after the meeting, and the return of the fathers, a remarkable providence of the lord.

A few days after, three galliots arrived from Macan, laden with a rich cargo of silks and other merchandise. They entered without finding any obstruction, because the enemy had gone out to sea; and the four hours of their absence were enough to enable the galliots to enter. They had news of it, and returned at dawn the next day to see if it was true; and were furious at seeing them anchored in our harbors. At this same time the king's ship arrived which had carried to Macan artillery for the defense of that city, and it brought back a cargo of silks. Being informed that the enemy were lying off the entrance to the port of Manila, they rowed over to an island near here, and collected a quantity of green boughs and trees, putting bunches of palm-leaves on the tops of the trees, so that they seemed to be cocoa-palms, of which there is a great abundance on that island. The stratagem worked, because the ships went about from one tack to the other without being seen by the Dutch. In the same way, another Portuguese galliot, also of Macan, escaped, although it cut down its masts. The Dutch, having seen that they were likely to get little booty on this coast, made sail for that of Macan, to lie in wait, as we understood, for ships from India.

Last year two ships sailed from these islands for Nueva Espana. The almiranta, while sailing out of a strait where these islands come to an end, encountered seven hurricanes, so furious that it seemed as if the sea would swallow it up; and those who were aboard gave themselves up a thousand times for lost. They tried to make port in Japon, but it was impossible; and they finally arrived at Manila, rounding Cabo del Bojeador. The men arrived in very bad condition, and many of them blinded with the salt water which had dashed into their eyes. Three days before these tempests commenced they sighted the capitana, but never saw her again. We do not know here what became of her, whether she was lost or arrived safely in Nueva Espana.

At nine o'clock in the evening on the eleventh of May, there was an occurrence in this city as pitiable as it was unfortunate, the cause of it being a man who had been expelled from our Society. After having been a member of it for seven years, he left the Society, and was married three times, although he was not yet thirty years old. Our Lord often brought him back, warned by bitter experience of troubles and remorse of conscience; so that for a long time he did not dare to go to sleep without first confessing himself—especially on the long trip from Nueva Espana to these islands, where he was wrecked on a ship which was on its way with silver and other wealth belonging to these islands. The vessel escaped miraculously, with sails torn by shots from three Dutch vessels, which they took for one of their own. They ran aground, but all the silver was saved. Among others Joan de Messa (the name of the outcast of whom I have just spoken) removed all the silver and goods, to the value of thirty thousand pesos or more, belonging to people in Mexico. It had been entrusted to him, and he kept it, as was done by all, in a house and church of one of our residences, situated where the ship happened to halt. While he was there he proceeded as if he were a religious, both in example and in frequenting the sacrament, until he came to this city of Manila—where, with certain curious articles, he obtained entrance to and communication with the wife of the governor of these islands, Dona Catalina Sambrano, who had little care for what her position and her dignity demanded. Their sin began on Holy Thursday, with so little secrecy and so bad an example, that the affair was beginning to leak out. So badly did it appear that certain persons came to one of our fathers, advising him to warn Joan de Messa that they would kill him. The father did, but Messa took no notice of it. The governor, meanwhile, was informed of his wife's evil conduct; and, wishing to detect them, he pretended to go down to the harbor and fort of Cavite, situated two leguas from here. He had been wont to do this on other occasions, because the enemy with nine ships was within sight of the fort. He retraced his steps, leaving his entire retinue about a legua from here. He entered the city with the intention of accomplishing the deed (which he did later) in his own house; but before entering it he was informed by a page that his wife had gone, disguised as a man, to the house of Joan de Messa, where she had often gone in the same dress. After receiving this information, he sought his retinue, taking counsel with his servant and three captains, whom he placed in four streets in order to let no one pass. The governor alone arrived at the house at the very moment that his wife entered, and was going upstairs with Joan de Messa, and behind them a very noted pilot, on account of whom the ship that I mentioned above was celebrated. The governor attacked him and pierced him with a mortal thrust. With that he rushed out of the house, calling for confession; but, those who guarded the street, not giving him time for that, put him to death. Immediately Messa went up the stairs, and safely reached a large room where two candles were burning on a buffet. If these had been extinguished, he might have escaped. He drew his sword and defended himself for some time. As the governor perceived that he was clad in armor, he aimed at Messa's face and pierced him through the neck, so that he fell down stairs, where he who guarded the door tried to finish him; but as Messa was well-armed he could not do so readily until he wounded him in the face. During all this time Messa was not heard to ask confession or even say "Jesus," or any other words, except: "Whoever you are, do not kill me; consider the honor of your lady." While this was going on in the street, the governor found his wife in hiding. After wounding her three times, she asked confession; and he, as a knight and a Christian, went out to look for a confessor, and brought one. He resigned her to the priest, urging her to confess herself well and truly, which she did for some time, until the confessor absolved her. With three or four more wounds, and the words with which he aided her to die, he finished with her. The three dead bodies remained there until seven or eight o'clock in the morning before anyone dared to remove them. The master-of-camp, Don Geronimo de Sylva, who had been governor of Maluco, and was a knight of St. John, had the body of the governor's wife removed to her house, to wrap it in a shroud; and that night she received solemn burial by the Recollects of St. Augustine. The two bodies of Joan de Messa and the pilot remained in the street all day, while a multitude of people, of the various nations who are in this city, collected to gaze at them, manifesting awe at seeing a spectacle so new to them, and one never seen before in these regions. At night, some members of La Misericordia carried them away, without clergy, lights, or funeral ceremony. They carried the two bodies together on some litters, and buried them both in the same grave. This was the disastrous end of a poor young fellow, upon whom our Lord lavished many and most gracious gifts—although he knew not how to profit by them, but offended Him who had granted them. Those who will feel it most are the owners of the property [confided to him]; for God knows when they will collect it, because it is sequestrated. Will your Reverence communicate this to Brother Juan de Alcazar.

Alonso Roman

Death of Dona Catalina Zambrano

May 12, 1621, occurred the unfortunate death of the governor's wife, which I intend to relate here, as it is a peculiar case. The governor of these Filipinas Islands, Don Alonso Fajardo de Tenza, suspected that his wife, called Dona Catalina Zambrano, was not living as was fitting for such a personage. One afternoon, that of May 12, he pretended that he was going to the port of Cavite, where he generally went because the Dutch enemy were in this bay with their fleet. The governor went, but, leaving all the men who accompanied him, returned alone. Entering the city secretly, he concealed himself in a house, where a captain in his confidence brought him a young page who was in the service of his wife—the one who carried the messages, and knew everything that went on. The governor placed a dagger to his breast in order to get him to tell what he knew of his wife. The page openly confessed that she was maintaining a sinful alliance with a clerk, an ordinary person, called Juan de Messa Suero, who had been a member of the Society of Jesus for some years at Coimbra; and that his wife was dressing in the garb of a man, in order to go outside of the palace, as she had done at other times. Juan de Messa came with a very eminent pilot. The governor's wife left the palace clad as a man, with her cloak and sword and all went together to the square. Thence they began to walk toward a house of Juan de Messa. The governor, with three other men who accompanied him, went on ahead of them, and awaited them near the door of the said house, hidden in a recess. The governor's wife entered first, then Juan de Messa. Then the pilot stopped to shut the door. Thereupon the governor attacked him alone, and giving a violent push on the door, opened it. He entered, and found himself with the pilot alone, for the other man, Juan de Messa, with the governor's wife, on hearing the noise, fled up the stairs. It appears that the governor stabbed the pilot in the breast. The latter left the portal of the house, whereupon those who accompanied the governor and had remained to guard the door, attacked and killed him there. The governor went upstairs and found Juan de Messa in the hall. He chased the latter around a table that held two lights. The governor made a strong thrust at him, which almost knocked him down; but showed that he was clad in armor. By the force that the governor exerted in the thrust, he felt that he himself was wounded in the hand. Apparently the pilot had given him that wound, and he had not felt it before that. The governor's sword began to grow weak, and he said: "Ha, traitor, thou hast wounded me." Juan de Messa lost his head, and ran down stairs, thinking that his safety lay there. The governor attacked him, and on the way down stabbed him in the neck, with such force that he tripped and fell down. Below, the governor and the guard finished killing him. The governor would have been in great peril, both with the pilot and upstairs with Juan de Massa, had not the miserable man lost his head. Had he at least extinguished the candles, and stationed himself on the stairway, which was narrow, he could have prevented the governor from ascending, and could even have killed him. The latter went immediately to look for his wife, and found her hidden in an attic, hanging to a beam. He stabbed her from beneath, and passed half of his sword through her body, and at that the poor lady fell. She requested confession. The governor restrained himself, and said that it was a timely request. Leaving the three men whom he brought with him as a guard, he in person going to the Franciscan convent, which was near by, to summon a confessor, met a secular priest on the way, who had left his house at the disturbance. He took the latter with him and told him to confess "that person." He confessed her very slowly, delaying more than half an hour. The governor, in the meanwhile, was walking up and down. When the father had finished, he stabbed his wife, telling her to repent of her sins and to confess to God who would pardon her. This happened at nine o'clock at night. A large crowd gathered immediately, and the alcaldes made investigation of what was passing. The dead bodies of the two men were guarded until next day, for justice to do its duty. That of the governor's wife remained there until eight in the morning, when the master-of-camp, Don Geronimo de Silva, of the habit of St. John, ordered it to be taken up and carried to his house, in order to have it buried from there, according to the rank of her person, and not according to the so disgraceful event and death that had happened. They buried her body in the Recollect convent, with the greatest pomp possible. Then the two bodies of the men were buried, carrying them together from the street to the grave. The royal Audiencia took charge of the matter. They found almost two hundred notes from the governor's wife in Juan de Messa's possession, and in hers a great number from him. A report was made of all and sent to his Majesty. It was the first instance in which a so common person had an alliance with so powerful a lady, who was here as is the queen in Espana. [6]

Manila, July, 1621.

Letter from Fajardo to the King


Although at present, up to the nineteenth of June, the ship "Sant Andres," the capitana, has not arrived from Nueva Espana, even at this late date, which is the one that I despatched last year to that province, and I have no letters from your Majesty to answer, I am making a beginning of this one in order to gain time in the despatching of those ships, so that it may be somewhat earlier than usual in past years—although at present, having the war on our hands which we have, and as the ships are later from China than is usual, and there are very few that come for fear of the war, there will be more difficulty and labor in the despatch. [In the margin: "Council; examined."]

According to the despatch which the said ship carried, measures were to be taken to secure its preparation and departure from Acapulco for this country without waiting into the month of April, or without delaying more than two or three days in that month; and it was not to depart later because of the danger of encountering contrary winds in its voyage here, or being forced into the ports of Japon—and likewise because this was the best, considering the course which it must steer to make the port it was ordered to; for it was understood that the enemy were coming back again, as they did last year, to Cape Spiritu Santo, with a larger force of ships. This route was decided upon with the advice of the pilots and other persons of most experience on these seas, each one giving and signing his opinion separately, without any one of them knowing that of the others, or any one of them knowing which one I chose. This order I gave secretly and sealed, and it was to be opened seventy leguas before arriving at the said port; in which manner I have taken the precaution and preliminary steps in so far as I have been able for its reception and protection. Hitherto this plan has not been made known here, which has been of no small importance in order that the enemy should not be aware of it. [In the margin: "This is well, and the course which he has marked out for these vessels has appeared good; accordingly let him exercise in the future the care which he has shown in this, in order to keep informed of the design of the enemies; as for the departure of the ships, have a letter written to the viceroy directing him not to let it run into April, as he says." In another hand: "Have a letter written to the viceroy of Nueva Espana to the effect that the despatch of the ships for the Filipinas shall be accomplished in any event by the end of March, so that it shall not run on into April, on account of the great importance of their arriving thus early, and not having them go with those despatched later—thus compelling them to take refuge in other ports, or be wrecked."]

In command of these ships is placed Don Fernando Centeno Maldonado, who has served in the position of commander of the galleys both there and here, and has served many years in these islands (most of the time in the Maluco Islands); his services are of high repute, as are his merits and good qualities. I am sure that your Majesty has been informed of them, on account of the favors which he has received from your royal hand; and in the same way I am certain that you know of the good qualities of Captain Francisco de Salazar, who is filling the office of admiral on the said ships. [In the margin: "Examined."]

Besides what I wrote your Majesty last year by way of Nueva Espana, with the duplicate which I send by way of India, I have added what occurred to me in the despatch which I sent with Captain Gregorio de Vidana, regidor of this city, having decided to do so on account of the accounts and news which I receive, and which your Majesty will already have learned—of all which I now send another copy with this. [In the margin: "Examined."]

The news of the confederation of the Dutch and the English proved to be correct; and on the second of February they arrived on these coasts, with nine ships of war—seven large and two of moderate size, five of them being Dutch and four English—with the number of a thousand to twelve hundred men of both nations, exclusive of the servants and Japanese; they carried between forty and forty-four pieces of artillery, in each of the large ships, and the others each according to its capacity. It has been learned that this is true from the depositions of two prisoners, and from Chinese who were in their ships; from Japanese who, while coming from their land with provisions and supplies for this country, passed by the enemy, saw them, and entered their vessels; and likewise from the advices which I have received from Japon.

This matter found me well advanced in the preparation, because I had so anticipated the news that, although they entered the bay and port at Cavite with their fleet, they did not dare—as I had caused to be made several trenches with stockades, and bastions with batteries of artillery, which appeared to me sufficient; and had placed sufficient artillery in the two vessels which were fit to receive it—to resolve to do anything against either the ships or the land; and when they found out that these defenses were there, and had seen them, they went out of the bay with all their boats. Having come back to it a few days later, and seen that the preparation of the capitana and almiranta galleons was in good condition; and that we had also a moderate-sized ship, another smaller, two galleys, and another on which the work was more backward (which are the vessels that can be made ready), they went out again—going now along the coast, and now in the mouth of this bay, without separating or dividing the fleet so as to be out of sight of one another. If they had done this without guarding against encounters, I would have engaged him with the capitana and almiranta galleons, which are the ships that could be manned, although with difficulty on account of the few men whom I have here; for I had to leave the maimed and sick, and some as guard for the gates of the city, which takes as many as are necessary for all the vessels. Even if they were not divided, I should have tried my fortune with him, but having made all preparations and efforts, and issued proclamations to assemble the Spaniards who could be found for this purpose, those who gathered in Cavite, aside from the paid soldiers, would not number seventy; nor were there more than four hundred soldiers outside of the maimed and sick, and one company and a detachment from another—amounting to about a hundred men, more or less, who remained in this city, prepared also to embark. These had been brought as detachments of the companies from Nueva Segovia, Cibu, and Oton—all of which will appear by the depositions of paid officers and the secretary of the governor, which accompany this, with the papers referring to the above mentioned matter. [In the margin: "The matters contained in this clause are the concern of the Junta, and have been examined there." "Examined; the Junta is taking care to send reenforcements; and let him be careful to maintain what he has there in so good condition as may serve for whatever occasion may arise there, as is expected from him. Have a letter written to the viceroy of Nueva Espana, telling him to send all the best part of the troops which he can, considering that the governor writes that in past years so few troops have gone there that he is now almost without any in the service; and accordingly he should decree that it be such which he sends. Advise Don Alonso of what is written to the viceroy of Nueva Espana."]

The reason for there being so few troops is, that after the year one thousand six hundred and sixteen, when a ship called the "Angel de la Guarda" came, in the following year, sixteen hundred and seventeen, there came no reenforcements of infantry, but only a patache called the "Sant Geronimo," with the archbishop Don Fray Miguel Garcia, and a number of friars; and in that year there died in the engagement which Don Juan Ronquillo had with the enemy, and were drowned in the six galleons, more Spaniards than I brought in the year one thousand six hundred and eighteen. Since my arrival I have sent almost four hundred soldiers to Terrenate, and this number has not come in the two reenforcements from Nueva Espana which arrived in the past years of nineteen and twenty. Then besides these—and a number who have left with good cause and permission (although these are few), and others who have managed to flee without permission, and others who have turned friars—there are so many who have died in the hospital and outside of it, that it may be said that all the soldiers in the country are found in this jurisdiction [of Manila.]. I have wished to give your Majesty an account of this so that it might be fully understood, and that you may learn the truth of it; and that you may know how great is the lack of men here, as I say. That of vessels is not so great as some people here say, who know nothing of this matter, or who desire to build them, on account of the money which they usually obtain from this work, or which is paid to them—without considering the loss to the natives, or whether the work is necessary or not. [In the margin: "Examined."]

The enemy having seen that the equipment of the vessels which he saw in Cavite was making progress, and not having separated his vessels, or despatched them to get booty—on account, moreover, of the warnings that I gave in various parts of this archipelago whence vessels came to this place, and particularly at Macan and several ports of China—thus far, thanks be to God, he has taken nothing more than five Sangley ships from that country. One of these disappeared with the guard which he had placed on it, and they have not been able to find it again, and another of them was burned, so that he has not taken more than three, and two of them of almost no value, and the other not very valuable; for the rich ones remain in China, and those that made bold to come kept to the course which I marked out for them, and have arrived safely, making ports in this island. Even if they arrived here, which is possible, this will be of importance, in order to make merchandise cheaper; nevertheless, even if no goods arrive on the ships which have come from Macan, there is more cloth than money in the country to buy it; and, besides them, we are expecting others from Camboja and Sian, and from Yndia, which, if God bring them in safety, will also be of importance. [In the margin: "Examined. It is hoped in God that this and other worse things will have happened to the enemy; and let him take the greatest care to advise the Chinese and other merchant ships which go there, marking out the course which appears safest for them, according to the information which they have, so that in regard to them the enemy may fare as they have been doing, according to this statement."]

The fleet of the enemy left the place where they last halted, and came in sight day before yesterday in the morning. Some vessels were sent in pursuit, in order to bring me word of the course which they steer, and whether they are together or separate, [In the margin: "This is well, and let him take good care until the news from them be known."]

I have received a letter from Malaca, which Antonio Pinto de Fonseca says that he received from your Majesty, with notice and order to give it to me, to the effect that there and in these regions the confederated Dutch and English were about to come with fifty-one ships—sixteen of which had already left, and thirty-five were in two squadrons which were being equipped. Of these the sixteen which had left Holland have already arrived at their factories in Sunda, whence, likewise, it was learned that they say they are expecting this year the remainder. Fadrique Lopez de Soysa, commandant of that city [i.e., Malaca], gave me almost the same information. Conformably to this, and to several advices which I have had from Japon, and to others which I have been able to secure through my own investigations, it appears that these enemies are considering carrying on this war in earnest and with energy; for with these ships which have arrived, those which are expected, and more than sixty which I wrote to your Majesty in the last despatch that I understood they had, those of both nations amount to more than a hundred, without counting those which the French have. If I had the eighth part of that number, and sufficient men to man them, and to keep this city and the important posts and forts of this island garrisoned, it would not trouble me much to see them involved in the cost and expense of such a fleet; for if I had the means with which to withstand their first attack, or to inflict upon them some severe blow; or if they did not know my position, and I could cause them anxiety or divert them from their object—there is no doubt that their fleet itself would be disarmed and destroyed. But since I lack such resources, and the time is passing in which I expected the aid which your Majesty has offered to these islands—having sent the pilots to Malaca to guide and bring them here from there—I shall be obliged to make the best of the little which I have, and to take the best precautions that I can. I am raising and fortifying a few stretches of wall which are necessary, expelling the Japanese, and lessening the number of the Sangleys—who, although there appear to be a great many of them, will certainly, by the proper management of the licenses, and care in obliging the Sangleys to secure them, be much fewer than I found here, and than have been here for many years, on account of those who have died and left the country and the few who have come in my time. In every way I shall do my best to drive out as many as I well can so that the country may be less burdened with suspicious people; and shall likewise take other necessary precautions which may be in my power. In these efforts I feel sadly the lack of money; but in times of such need I have been obliged to try to obtain it in the most guarded and cautious ways. I am not a little glad to have with me at such a time Master-of-camp Don Hieronimo de Silva, both on account of his good counsel and aid, and likewise because if I should fail in this country there would be someone to defend it; and your Majesty may be certain that he will do this with the favor of God, and that with this everything will turn out well. I beseech your Majesty that, confident of this, you will continue sending the said reenforcement, and will hasten its coming by way of Nueva Espana to Panama—sending infantry and money, the things which cannot be supplied here. [In the margin: "This is well; and let thanks be given him for the excellent courage which he shows. As for the information that he gives, he has learned the reason for the fleet not leaving, and the accident which happened to it; accordingly, let him exercise all care to take what precautionary measures are there necessary, as he is expected to do. As for the Japanese and other nations that are there, let him decree what shall seem most expedient to him for the service of God and his Majesty, and the good of the commonwealth, as well as its guard and preservation."]

As we have to carry on the war in this way, so that the expense and labor may bring the best results, I beg your Majesty that while it shall last you may be pleased to discontinue the Audiencia here, as it is this that most hinders and opposes the administration and the government, as will appear by several depositions which accompany this. This is the enemy which most afflicts this commonwealth, and most causes dissensions, parties, factions, and hatreds between the citizens—each auditor persecuting those citizens who are not wholly of his own faction, especially those who extend aid and good-will toward the governor, against whom, as it seems, they show themselves always in league. They always make declarations of grievances [against him], because they are not each one given, as used to be and is the custom here, whatever they may ask for their sons, relatives, and servants; and they habitually discredit the governor by launching through secret channels false and malicious reports, and afterward securing witnesses of their publicity. They even, as I have written to your Majesty, manage to have religious and preachers publish these reports—to which end, and for his own security, each one of the auditors has formed an alliance with the religious order which receives him best. As I have given your Majesty an account of this matter and of the actions of the said auditors—which in God and my conscience I know to be true, and which will be evident by the depositions and papers which I have sent and am today sending with a letter and relation giving particulars regarding this matter—I shall not go more into detail thereon in this letter; I refer you for its substantiation to the said documents, and to the fact that I consider this government much more difficult, with the auditors of this Audiencia, than it is or would be even if there were more war, for that war which they cause within its boundaries appears beyond remedy, on account of their abilities and rank. If your Majesty be not pleased to withdraw them from here I beg you, as I owe it to your royal service, that you will take measures so that in no way and at no time shall they be able to succeed to the government of this land; for I hold it beyond a doubt that they will bring it to ruin, and destroy it in a very short time, even though there came to it no more enemies than that of their own tendencies. If I wrote to your Majesty, in the first days after my arrival here, that the auditors were not necessary except for the Audiencia sessions, I beg now that more be added. It appeared to me that for the citizens and for the affairs of these islands, those who were here were sufficient; at present I am of the opinion that if the presence of this tribunal must be continued, more members are necessary, in order to avoid the difficulty which has been found to result from the alliance of Doctors Don Alvaro de Mesa, and Don Antonio Rodriguez, for neither more nor less justice can be secured than they choose, and they are even disturbing the government and good order which ought to prevail. Even if I should not attain and enjoy the benefit of this improvement, I beseech your Majesty that, if more auditors are to be sent, they may be persons of tried experience in Audiencia duties—to whom it would be well to give senior rank therein, for those who are in it now are totally ignorant of its procedure, never having had any experience in so responsible positions, so that they could know how to act. If they had only been able to learn from the licentiate Alcaraz, who was experienced and very prudent! but they were estranged from him, or rather they estranged themselves with their singular behavior—so that, a long time before he died, he took an oath not to return to the Audiencia, and kept it. And I myself, if I could, would do the same, for the reasons I have given and for many others, which make me desire to merit that your Majesty would be pleased to use me in some other way, away from this country. To such a point has it gone, that if this country were not involved in the perils of war as it has been, and as they are still threatening it, I should beseech your Majesty to place it in charge of some other person, who would be more interested in documents. But may God not choose that I should be relieved from the service of your Majesty, in which from the age of fifteen years I have been engaged; and I offer this so heartily that if your Majesty were pleased to send another governor who should labor somewhat, and I might aid and assist him some little time, I would do so with the greatest good-will. It would be no little pleasure to me to be employed in naval and military affairs, and other things in which, with my counsel and my personal aid, I might be able to help; and to know that the matter of auditors and their demands, their rivalries, and their faultfinding, should concern another, and that he would have to oppose and resist those things, which would be not a little. Nor would there be overmuch time to satisfy, quiet, and render content the many religious—which is another labor and servitude, with which there is no way to deal; for it is without remedy, since each one wishes to be the sole distributer of goods and favors, the moderator and judge of punishments, and the governor of the governor, or else his persecutor. [In the margin: "Not to be read in the Junta. Join with it the letters which the auditors write against Don Alonzo Faxardo."]

In so far as concerns the Indians, no more help can be drawn from them for the service of your Majesty, on account of what the fathers demand. Nor can they be exempted from labors and penalties if the latter need their services, or wish to punish them; and may God will that this bring not loss some day. For one of the ways with which the enemy best succeeds in winning over the natives is that, besides exempting them from tributes and personal services, they will not have to support religious instruction or ministers. Although there are many good Christians, not all are so forward in this matter. In the same manner in which I have already stated this, I can declare, and assure your Majesty, that there are in all these religious orders men of most holy and exemplary life, who have gathered a great harvest of souls, [In the margin: "If there are several papers on this matter, let them be joined together and brought in."]

In the prosecution of the work of pacifying, reducing, and subduing the Indians who are called Ygolotes, and gaining thorough knowledge of the mines of gold that are in those countries, the riches and profit that might be obtained from there could not be secured this year, after the death of Captain Garcia de Aldana, who understood these matters and had them in charge. This is due both to the loss of his personal supervision, and to the lack of troops at this time, when the enemy's fleet were so near; but, if it be possible, nothing shall be lost. [In the margin: "He was written to concerning this last year, as far as the matter was examined; at present let him again be charged to continue all the care which he has been taking in the working of these mines, and, since he sees the importance which lies in this, let him do all in his power to find persons in every way satisfactory to go there. Let him inform us every year of what he may be doing; for he knows in what great straits the royal estate is, and how much is being spent in those regions, without there being any results from it, while so much profit lies in those mines, as we have been informed, and as has been written to him. And let him again be charged to take the care which is expected of him that this may have the result; let it be known what he has done in cultivating and improving a matter of so much importance."]

On account of word that I had of the distress in which the city of Macan was, with the news that had been received there that the Dutch and English were about to sack the place, and as they sent from there to ask me to help them with six large pieces of artillery, I sent it, and the aid reached them. The people of that city have shown themselves grateful for this, and send in return the value of the said pieces, invested in useful and necessary articles for the service of your Majesty, which have already been received. Immediately upon sending the guns I had six other larger ones cast, for from twenty-five to thirty-pound balls, and incomparably better. For we are continually becoming more skillful in foundry-work and in working the metals; so that, of almost forty pieces which have been cast in my time, with the assistance and care of Don Hieronimo de Silva, commander of the artillery, only one has been a failure. [In the margin: "Let him be thanked for what he mentions here, and let him continue to act thus when occasion may arise. As for what he says of the artillery, it has seemed very satisfactory; and let him continue to cast pieces as he may have need of them, as he says he is doing."]

The reenforcements which this year went to Terrenate arrived there safely, thanks be to God; and a small ship which routed the enemy with two or three large ships of war, which he keeps there at the entrance to those forts, came back thence with Captain Antonio Gomez, who had the responsibility of conveying the succor, and collected and made it ready very well with one galley. [In the margin: "This is well, and let him always try to send to these places as much as he can, both of troops and other things which are ordinarily sent; for he knows how important a thing it is to keep the forts there in proper condition."]

With this was sent the ordinary quantity of rice and provisions, and even considerably more; and likewise arms, munitions, clothes, cloth, and money, and more than a hundred and twenty Spanish soldiers, who are to remain there. This year I shall try to send more and better relief than I was able to this time—and earlier than ordinary, for then it will run less danger from the enemy.

The master-of-camp, Don Luis de Bracamonte, writes me from those parts that he has news of many vessels of the enemy, and that he has put those places into the best state of defense that he could—although there was not much that he could do, because they were in good condition before, and never so well supplied with troops, money, and other necessary things as they have been at this time. [In the margin: "Examined."]

He told me of nothing else of any importance except that he gave the present or gratuity which is usually given in your Majesty's name to the king of Tidore and his son, and that they are quite peaceful and well disposed. [In the margin: "Examined."]

He also tells me that he has negotiated and agreed with the Dutch for the ransom of Martin de Sosa de San Pago, governor and commandant of Fernanbuco, and Dona Angela Benegas, his wife, and their children; of Captain Sequera y Miranda, and a father of the Augustinian order; and of other prisoners, soldiers, and sailors, in exchange for some of theirs, whom we had in our power. [In the margin: "Examined."]

The purchase of cloves which was ordered was made in those islands—which, according to the hopes that have been held out to me, must have amounted to even more than two hundred and fifty baras of six hundred and forty libras each. I am told that it could not be secured in so great a quantity as I wished to send your Majesty, on account of a crop failure, and small harvest; and the little which was bought was used for the needs of those forts, and to have means to satisfy and confer favors on the Portuguese—who, with their galliots, aid our people with rice and other things. [In the margin: "What he says here is well; and as he has already been told at various times how important it is that this [i.e., the cloves] should be brought here, let him again be charged to continue the endeavors that he has exercised, in such manner that he may bring this about, since it is so important a matter; and let him charge the governor of Terrenate to maintain this [trade], so that it will not there be applied as he says it is. Let him use all possible care in this, and advise us of what he does."]

I shall take care that the accounts of Governor Lucas de Vergara Gaviria shall be ready; and no more has been possible on account of the many things which I wrote in regard to this matter, as will appear to your Majesty by the copy which is brought by Captain Don Jacinto de Quesada Figueroa. [In the margin: "This is well; let him advise us of what he is doing, and tell him that those papers have not arrived."]

Of the residencias which are entrusted by your Majesty's orders to the auditor, Don Alvaro de Mesa, he has just finished despatching that of the fiscal, Don Juan de Alvarado Bracamonte. Unreasonable demands have been made upon the latter, and he has suffered more than I can tell—for as it were, behind enmities and oppositions Don Alvaro has taken him under his jurisdiction, and has given him very good cause for merits. [In the margin: "It is well."]

As for the residencia of Governor Don Juan de Silva, my predecessor, I have not wished [Don Alvaro] to undertake or begin it, because that business would prevent him from going out to inspect this country; and, as this is very necessary, I had assigned that duty to him, in order that he might accomplish it. For this reason, and for others arising from his fearful and obstinate temper, his behavior became so furious that one session day, the last before Palm Sunday, he drove me to such an extremity that, losing somewhat my self-control and moderation, we might both have ruined ourselves. But God held me in His hand, and I am satisfied, in so far as that matter concerned me, with the remonstrance and sufficient correction which was necessary for his presumption, leaving it for a later time to write of it, and begin a process in the matter, conjointly with the alcaldes-in-ordinary, as your Majesty commands. This is being done, although in his absence and with his opposition; for he broke from his imprisonment in the buildings of the cabildo of the city, in which he resided, and retired to the convent of St. Dominic, where he has been joined by a certain Pedro de Lussarra and another named Pedro Alvarez, who was in that of St. Francis—who were also absent, as I have written to your Majesty in other letters. All three are there sowing discord, stirring up feeling, and trying to make people envious of me, and write down their envious complaints; and for this end they employ means which ought not even to be written. They also avail themselves of the religious of St. Dominic, and likewise in order to make and forward such papers and despatches from the shelter and covert of the tribunal of the Holy Office, the commissary of which here belongs to this religious order. It is not hard to accomplish it in this way because they have always done so, and lately with Don Joan de Silva, my predecessor—against whom, among other despatches, they made one with full and authenticated documents, which a friar of their order, named Fray Francisco de Sant Joseph—who was carrying the papers, and whom they considered a holy man—being at the point of death, and having scruples of conscience, ordered to be thrown into the sea. As I am making, in another letter, a longer report to your Majesty in the matter above mentioned, referring to the auditor Don Alvaro, I shall add nothing more in this, except to say that his case must be dropped, and the Audiencia will be obliged to do so, through its need of judges. The auditor Don Antonio Rodriguez has not been present at it for a long time, although I have warned and commanded him to do so. He gives as his excuse that he is in ill health; but it is certain that that does not fail him for being present almost regularly for the documents and councils made by the said doctor Don Alvaro, and with the same intention and wish, influenced by their alliance—which is known certainly by an investigation which I have made for your Majesty's information, and send with this, concerning his trading and trafficking in merchandise, with so much greediness and meanness of spirit that that and other things which are told about him, and are said to be well authenticated, would appear to besmirch the honor that the robe and insignia of his office carry with them, which makes him unworthy of it. But, as you wish me to tell what is true, I promise myself honors and favors from your Majesty, and punishment to him who dares to write or to say what is not true. This does not give me so much trouble as the preparation and disposal of military affairs, and other obligations of my office, which I could not fulfil if I had to go about conjecturing what ill-affected persons do and write against me, as in this case; and in verifying the facts time would be lost. I do not know whether he will leave, even if nothing else should be done, [In the margin: "Have the letters and documents in regard to this matter joined together."]

As there is a lack of money in the royal treasury, and great need thereof for the maintenance of all the paid sailors and troops, measures to supply this need were decided upon in the session of the Audiencia, for this and other objects for the service of your Majesty—to the effect that thirty thousand pesos could be drawn from the treasury of estates of deceased persons, lent for this purpose. Although the orders and documents proper and sufficient for this were despatched, the auditor Don Alvaro, judge for the said estates, would not transact the business which pertained to his office, and what he is under obligation to do for this purpose. Accordingly it was necessary that the lock (of which he held the key) be broken open. Of the acts and measures taken in this case a copy is sent in this despatch. It is understood and likewise said that the opposition shown by the said doctor Don Alvaro in the case referred to, was because he was indebted for some deficiency, to be placed in the said funds, of what should have been therein, or had been taken from it—a thing which I do not assert, and which indeed I do not believe (although appearances indicate it), until I am more certainly informed. [In the margin: "See whether there are documents in regard to this, and have them brought."]

The documents that are drawn up commanding that, for the present, the license fees of Sangleys who are baptized without cutting their hair should be paid, I send with this, as I offered to do in the last letter to your Majesty, that you may be pleased to command that what is the most just action in this matter shall be decided upon. I likewise send a sworn statement of the money which various people have imported, and that all of it has been carefully placed in the royal treasury, [In the margin: "Have these papers joined and brought."]

On account of my continual occupations at various times, and other delays due to the obstacles made by the auditors to whom this duty belongs, whom I appointed for the council on accounts, some time has passed since I have been able to audit the accounts. Together with the work done thereon by the accountant and inspector of them, they were despatched in the last session of the council up to the accounts for the year past, nineteen. They are sent sealed with this despatch to Nueva Espana. [In the margin: "It is well; and let him continue this diligence, always sending the accounts to Mexico, as usual."]

The office of clerk of the court is about to be sold, having been placed at fifteen hundred pesos. He who served in it during the last eleven years, since the death of the proprietary incumbent, had been treasurer and chief official of the said office since the time the Audiencia was founded, and was the most competent and best fitted person for it who is known in these islands, as well as a settler of thirty years' standing here. After months of bidding, during which there was no one who would pay the price set on it, a man obtained it who was incapable, and lacking in talent and knowledge of the law; wherefore he has been indicted and accused, as will be seen by the documents of the case, which I shall try to send with this. At one stroke the price was raised to eight thousand pesos, with the aid and encouragement of the auditors, wherein each one of them personally aided him, in order to hold the new clerk on his side, and to drive out from the Audiencia a man of integrity and faithfulness. Although the trouble which will result to them from transacting their business with such a man as is he whom they are trying to place there will be enough punishment for such guilt, yet looking more to the service of your Majesty and the prompt despatch of the administration of his royal justice, I did not interfere in the matter; but rather I think that, if there is no other more competent person, it should be given by purchase to him who was serving in it, even though it were not at so high a price, because his competency and knowledge of the law for the service of your Majesty will be very much greater. With this object in view, he has been continually paid his salary from the judicial expenses. [In the margin: "Let this clause be taken to the fiscal. This has been done."]

The income which your Majesty orders me to give to Don Miguel de Legaspi, grandson of the former Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, I have now given him, assigning him an encomienda with what appeared to be a sufficient number of Indians. [In the margin: "It is well."]

For some time past I have withheld the appointment to several encomiendas which have been vacated, not only for the aid which resulted from their tributes to the expenses of the royal treasury, but particularly because their number was not sufficient to satisfy and render content so many claimants as there are here—some of them deserving, and others with a backing of auditors, ecclesiastics, and religious. These latter are the ones whose demands are most pressing, and who make the most outcry with their claims and complaints—going so far as to murmur and consider it unjust that such rewards are given to those who have not been here so long—although the services of the latter were rendered in Terrenate, under such hardships and during war—desiring that their longer residence in this city should be preferred to the services of the others. [In the margin: "Let him deal out justice as seems most fitting to him."]

The bishop of Camarines, Don Fray Diego de Guevara, died in his bishopric. He had ardently desired, as he explained and told me many times, to leave it and go to Espana to beseech your Majesty to approve his departure from this country—for it appeared to him that no bishop was necessary in that region [of Camarines], nor so many in so small a country as are these islands—if it were not that the disagreements and difficulties which he had with the friars of that province obliged him to remain. There was lost in his person one of the most zealous for the service of your Majesty that were here; and one who labored for it with most affection, good sense, and integrity, without aiming at private ends or his own aggrandizement. [In the margin: "There is already a person appointed in his place."]

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