The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898: Volume XXII, 1625-29
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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 XXII, 1625-29

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


Preface Documents of 1625

Report of the Spanish Council of State on the appointment of a governor for the Philippines. Madrid, March 7. Royal decree granting income to the Society of Jesus. Felipe IV; Madrid, June 1. Letter from the archbishop of Manila to Felipe IV. Miguel Garcia Serrano; July 25. Royal festivities at Manila. Diego de Rueda y Mendoza; Manila, August 1. Letter to Felipe IV. Fernando de Silva; Manila, August 4.

Documents of 1626

Letter from the archbishop to Felipe IV. Miguel Garcia Serrano; Manila, July 25. Letter to Felipe IV. Fernando de Silva; Manila, July 30. Letter from the sisters of St. Clare to Felipe IV. Jeronima de la Asunsion, and others; Manila, July 31. Petition for aid to the seminary of San Juan de Letran. Juan Geronimo de Guerrero; Manila, August 1. Royal decrees. Felipe IV; Madrid, June-October. Military affairs of the islands. [Unsigned]; Sevilla, 1626 (but written at Cebu)

Documents of 1627

Importance of the Philippines. Martin Castano; [undated; 1627?] Relation of 1626. [Unsigned and undated; ca. 1627] Letter to Tavora. Felipe IV; Madrid, September 3. Laws regarding the Sangleys. [From Recopilacion de leyes de las Indias]; 1594-1627. Decrees regarding the religious. Felipe IV; Madrid, May-November. Decrees regarding the Chinese. Felipe IV; Madrid, September 10 and November 19. Inadvisability of a Spanish post on the island of Formosa. Juan Cevicos; Madrid, December 20.

Documents of 1628-1629

Relation of 1627-28. [Unsigned]; Manila, July, 1628. Report of appointments made by the governor. Juan Nino de Tavora; Cavite, August 2, 1628. Letters to Felipe IV. Juan Nino de Tavora; August 4, 1628. Economic reasons for suppressing the silk trade of China in Spain and its colonies. Juan Velazquez Madrco; October 7, 1628. Decrees regarding the Chinese. Felipe IV; Madrid, June, 1628-March, 1629. Relations of 1628-29. Hernando Estrada, and others; Manila, etc., 1628-29.

Bibliographical Data


Autograph signature of Fernando de Silva; photographic facsimile from original MS. in Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla. Plan of the city and port of Macao; photographic facsimile of engraving in Bellin's Petit atlas maritime ([Paris], 1764) no. 57; from copy in the library of Wisconsin-Historical Society.


The present volume covers (1625-29) the governorship of Fernando de Silva, and half of that of Juan Nino de Tavora. Besides the staple topics of trade restrictions, conflicts between the civil and ecclesiastical authorities, and hostilities with the Dutch, it contains more than usual matter which sheds light on social conditions in Manila and the internal affairs of the colony. A vivid and picturesque description of social life in Manila is furnished in the document on "Royal festivities;" and educational interests are represented in others, regarding aid to the Jesuit college there, and a school for orphan boys. An order of nuns has for some time been established in Manila, and they ask for more liberty to receive novices—a proceeding apparently objected to in that community: they receive liberal aid from many persons, especially wealthy women. A solid bridge of stone has been built across the Pasig River, facilitating intercourse and traffic among the people. The Parian has been destroyed by fire, but is rebuilt in better and more extensive form than ever before. Special efforts are made to protect the Chinese resident there, who are often wronged and ill-treated by the Spaniards. In this volume is much concerning the persecution of Christians in Japan, the proceedings of the Dutch in the Eastern seas, affairs in China, and the raids of Moro pirates upon the Pintados Islands. The limits of Spanish domination are somewhat extended by the establishment of a military post on Formosa Island; but many feel that this is an expensive and burdensome enterprise.

The Spanish royal Council of State send to the king (March 7, 1625) a report on the appointment of a governor for the Philippines, in place of Fajardo, who had in 1623 asked permission to return to Spain. Many candidates for this office are enumerated, with the merits and services of each, and the number of votes given to each in the session of the Council; the whole is submitted to the king that he may choose from them. On June 1 of the same year Felipe grants to the Jesuit college at Manila an annual income for sixteen years.

A letter from Archbishop Serrano to the king (July 25, 1625) reports the arrival of the new governor, Fernando de Silva, and the auspicious beginning of his rule. The persecution of the Christians in Japan is increasing in severity, and Serrano therefore tries to prevent any further passage of missionaries to that country; but the zeal of the friars outruns their discretion, and some have gone to Japan. Serrano asks the king to interpose his authority, and restrain the friars. The bishop of Nueva Segovia is dead, and Serrano has placed an ecclesiastic in charge of that diocese. The officials of the Philippine government should be officially inspected, for which duty he recommends one of his own subordinates, Juan Cevicos. He asks the king to aid the Jesuit college at Manila.

The accession of Felipe IV is celebrated at Manila (January, 1623) with "royal festivities"—bull-fights, games, decoration of the streets, etc., which are described in picturesque and enthusiastic terms by a citizen of Manila. Fernando de Silva, appointed successor to Fajardo, notifies the king (August 4, 1625) of his arrival in the islands, and reports the condition of affairs there, and various events of interest. He complains that the Audiencia arrogates undue authority to itself, and he has already annulled their action in assigning encomiendas. Geronimo de Silva has been deposed by them from the military command, and some of them have made illegal appointments to army and navy offices; the governor has annulled these also. Hostile Dutch ships are menacing the rich trading vessels that ply to Nueva Espana; Silva has taken measures of defense and precaution against them. A powerful Dutch fleet has already reached Ternate; he hopes to obtain some ships, provided by the missionaries, to defend the islands against the foe. The royal treasury and magazines are, however, empty; and he has had to send a cargo to Japan to buy supplies. But the persecutions of Christians in that country lead to great restrictions on the commerce of Spaniards there; and the embassy sent from Manila was not even received by the Japanese. The rebellion in Cagayan will be punished as severely as possible; and Silva will endeavor to improve the condition of affairs in the Moluccas. He recommends that the captive Ternatan king be restored to his own country. The attempt to work the Igorrote gold mines has been abandoned. Silva has sold certain municipal offices, but recommends that hereafter these be conferred on deserving citizens. The export duty on goods sent to Nueva Espana should be lowered. The governor complains of the lawless conduct of the religious, who pay no heed to the civil authorities and do as they please with the Indians; and he asks for more authority to restrain them. More troops are needed in the islands; and Silva desires to check the Dutch who are getting a foothold in the island of Formosa. Complaint is made that the treasury officials of Mexico exceed their rights in auditing the accounts sent them from Manila. Silva closes by recommending to the royal favor certain of the Spanish citizens of Manila, and asking for his wife permission to absent herself from the islands in case of his death.

The archbishop of Manila writes to the king (July 25, 1626) about various ecclesiastical matters. He enumerates the salaries of the archbishop and his prebendaries, and asks that these be increased. The cathedral's income is very inadequate, and needs aid. Serrano enumerates the number of secular benefices in his diocese, and the number of convents and priests belonging to the respective orders, with the number of souls under their spiritual charge. The same enumeration is made for the suffragan dioceses under his care. The archbishop then commends the government (ad interim) and procedure of Fernando de Silva, recounting various acts of the latter which are beneficial to the colony. The new proprietary governor, Juan Nino de Tavora, has arrived at Manila. The Dutch have not made their usual raids on the islands, and trade with China, India, and other nations has consequently been more flourishing, during the past year. Moro pirates have, however, inflicted considerable damage; and one of their fleets even assaulted Serrano and his company while on an official visitation—the latter barely saving their lives by flight. Serrano commends the auditor Messa y Lugo, and asks for promotion for him. Dominican religious have established a mission on the island of Hermosa, where a Spanish post was recently formed.

Fernando de Silva makes a final report to the king (July 31, 1626) of his government, up to the arrival of his successor, Juan Nino de Tavora. Affairs in both the Moluccas and the Philippines are in a quiet and safe condition; the royal magazines are well supplied, and the forts equipped with artillery. Silva has lessened the burdens imposed on the natives, and quieted the revolt in Cagayan; and he has punished the savage tribes who harassed the peaceful Indians. Barracks for the troops, and a stone bridge over the Pasig, are improvements made at Manila. The Spaniards are excluded from trade in Japan; and the Dutch have built a fort on the island of Formosa. Silva sends an expedition to that island, and establishes a Spanish post at its northern end. He explains the advantage of this in restoring to Manila the Chinese trade, which has been injured by both the Dutch and the Portuguese; it will also be a point of vantage for the Japanese trade. Silva concludes by expressing his personal opinion of the characters of the respective auditors, and renewing his request that his wife may enjoy possession of her encomiendas in the islands, without residence there.

In 1620 the order of Poor Clares had been established in the Philippines; and, six years later, they write a letter to the king (July 31, 1626) asking that they be not restricted in the number of women whom they may receive into their order. A seminary for orphan Spanish boys was opened, at nearly the same time, at Manila; its founder asks the king, in letters of 1626, to assist his enterprise with money and other aid; in accordance with this request, the government assigns an income to the school. A royal decree of June 19 in that year orders that the religious (especially the Augustinians) in the islands shall cease to commit lawless acts in contravention of the civil authorities. Another of the same date commands that municipal court sessions be not hindered by treasury auction sales. A third (dated October 16) orders Tavora to see that the hospitals in Manila be suitably aided and conducted.

The military affairs of the islands are related in an unsigned pamphlet (Sevilla, 1626). The Moros of Mindanao discontinue their plundering expeditions for a time, and ask aid from the Spaniards against other Moros who are their enemies; this is promised, but hostile encounters soon arise between them and the Spaniards, which are related in detail. The Dutch besiege the Portuguese settlement in Macao, but are repulsed with great loss. Captain Fernando de Silva conducts a Spanish expedition from Manila to relieve Macao. News has come that he is in Siam, and in danger of attack from enemies there. In Japan the persecution of Christians increases, and all trade with the Philippines is strictly prohibited.

In an undated document (1627?), Martin Castano, procurator of the Philippine colony at the Spanish court, urges upon the king the importance of keeping his possessions in the Far East, and not allowing his enemies the Dutch to profit by the wealth therein. Castano urges the duty of extending the Christian religion among the heathen, for which the Philippines offer the best opportunity in the world. This object is being frustrated in Japan by the influence of the Dutch heretics, who also are monopolizing the trade of that country, and injuring that of the Chinese with the Spaniards. If the Dutch gain Filipinas, they will soon conquer Portuguese India, and even harass the Spanish colonies in America. Castano calls attention to the natural wealth of the islands in gold and cloves, and to their valuable trade with Japan and China—all which sources of profit should be kept for the Spanish crown.

A. "relation of 1626" (actually covering part of 1627)—unsigned, but evidently by a Jesuit of Manila—recounts the leading events of those years in the countries of the Far East. In the Moluccas there has been peace; but it is expected that, as soon as the wars in Flanders cease, the Dutch ships will again infest the eastern seas. The pirates of the Camucones have harried some of the islands, plundering and killing; punitive expeditions are sent against them, but accomplish little. Better success, however, has attended an enterprise of this sort against the Mindanaos. A relief expedition is sent to Macao, under Captain Fernando de Silva. On his return, he is forced by a storm to land in Siam; and there is slain, with most of his men, in a fight with the Siamese and Japanese. Governor Fernando de Silva sends two Jesuits as ambassadors to Siam, to recover the property of Spaniards that was in Captain Silva's ship; but most of it has been plundered by the Siamese soldiers. One of the Jesuits remains there, and begins a mission. The settlement in Formosa has been successful, and the natives are now on friendly terms with the Spaniards. Tavora sends supplies for the troops there, which finally reach them after long delays from stormy weather. Trade from Manila to Japan is even more strictly prohibited than before.

Felipe IV writes to Governor Tavora (September 3, 1627), in answer to his letters of the previous year. The king approves of his establishing a fort at the northern end of Celebes, promises to send him aid and arms, and gives him directions for procedure in various matters of detail.

From Recopilacion de leyes de las Indias are translated a group of laws (1594-1627) relating to the Chinese in the Philippines. It is decreed that they shall be charged no fee for leaving Manila; the sale of their goods is regulated; no oppression or injury to them shall be permitted; they shall not be allowed to live in the houses of Spaniards; their suits shall come first before the governor of the Parian, with appeal to the Audiencia, and that neither auditors nor municipal officials shall begin such suits; the Audiencia shall not meddle with the affairs of the Parian, which shall be in charge of the governor of the islands; and assessments of fowls shall not be made upon the Chinese. The governor is ordered to promote agriculture among them, and not to exact personal services; their number must be limited to six thousand, and no bribes or fees for licenses may be exacted; they must be kept in due subjection, but always through mild and just methods; provision is made regarding the fees for their licenses; Chinese converts are exempted for ten years from paying tributes; and a limit is placed to the assessment made upon them for the royal service.

The king orders the Audiencia of Manila (May 21, 1627) to punish certain Augustinians who have attacked a government official. On June 11 following, he grants certain additional supplies to the Augustinian convent at Manila. Later (November 4) the Council of the Indias recommend that a grant be made to the Recollects in the islands, of a certain amount for medicines. In a decree of September 10, the king orders that a protector for the Chinese be appointed, who shall not be the royal fiscal; and that any balance in the fund that they maintain for the royal service shall be left to their disposal, or credited on the next year's assessment. Another decree, dated November 19, recites the oppression of the Chinese in the Parian in compelling their hair to be cut at baptism, and levying from them an extortionate tribute; and orders that both these vexations be abolished.

Juan Cevicos, a resident of Manila who is at the Spanish court, writes a memorial (December 20, 1627) on "the inadvisability of a Spanish post in the island of Hermosa." He thinks that the Dutch have established themselves there not so much to pillage the Chinese merchant ships, as to establish a factory on Formosa, from which they can gain the Chinese and Japanese trade. Their success in this would result in the destruction of Macao and ruin the Japan trade for the Philippines; therefore they should be driven out of Formosa, and before they have time to lure the Chinese trade also from the Spaniards. But, even then, it is an expensive and undesirable enterprise for the Spaniards to maintain a fort there, as the island of Formosa is of little importance for its products, and there would be no advantage in making it a way-station for the Chinese trade. To attempt this would but shift thither the scene of hostilities with the Dutch, and impose new burdens on the already overtaxed people of the Philippines. It is useless to keep the island as a port of refuge for the Spanish ships; there is danger that the Chinese will attack it; and even for the conversion of the heathen the king is not under obligations to do more than is required by his subjects in the Philippines.

The Jesuit chronicle of events for 1627-28 has much of interest. In July and August, 1627, Tavora equips an expedition to expel the Dutch from Formosa; but it sails too late, and is compelled by storms to return to Cavite, some of the vessels being lost. One of the ships reaches the Spanish fort in Formosa, only to find that one of its officers and some of his men have been slain by treacherous natives. The ship supplies the garrison with the food of which they are in need, and returns to Luzon. Soon afterward a richly-laden Portuguese fleet sails from Manila to Macao, and two Spanish galleons are sent with it as escort, to defend it from the Dutch. The galleons, on the return from Macao, pursue a semi-piratical career for several months, capturing several Siamese vessels with valuable cargoes, by way of reprisal for the injuries inflicted on Spaniards in Siam; and taking other prizes, not all of which are regarded as lawful.

The Christian religion is flourishing in China. The coasts of that country are infested by pirates, who even capture and destroy towns. The noted stone of Singanfu has been discovered, making known the early establishment of Christianity in China. The Manchu foe Noorhachu is dead. In Formosa the Chinese are making inquiries as to the Spanish occupation; and the commandant Carreno rescues the mandarin envoy from hostile natives. The relief expedition to Ternate is attacked by a Dutch ship, the Spaniards losing two vessels. The Camucones pirates are repulsed this year. Some strange people, probably from distant islands, are blown ashore on Cebu. A shipyard is established in Camarines; it is attacked and plundered by Joloan pirates. Accordingly a Spanish expedition is sent against them from Oton and Cebu; and the Joloans are heavily punished, their finest town being destroyed and their ships and supplies of rice burned. The revolted province of Cagayan (Luzon), is also entered and laid waste. Several destructive fires occur, among the losses being that of the Parian at Manila—which is, however, rebuilt within four months.

Another relation for the same period contains some additional information. An earthquake occurs in northern Luzon. Two Spanish galleys enter and reconnoiter the Dutch port on Formosa; then a storm drives them back to Luzon, and finally destroys them. The old king of Ternate, who has been captive at Manila for many years, at last dies there.

In conformity to the royal commands, Tavora sends to the king (August 2, 1628) a report on the appointments made by him, with their salaries, revenues, etc.; he also recounts the merits or services of each, for which such appointment was made. This list includes grants of encomiendas, and appointments to offices of justice and war.

Two days later, the governor sends a full annual report of administration in the islands—judicial, financial, and governmental. Under the first, he refers to the king certain legal difficulties that have arisen in the courts of the islands. These relate to the possession of two encomiendas by married persons, the decision of Indian lawsuits, the jurisdiction of the Audiencia in affairs concerning the Chinese, and the privileges of the governor's office. Tavora takes especial pains to describe the character of the Chinese, and the power that they have secured over the Spaniards among whom they live, through their control of all trades and of commerce. He advises that they be tried and punished by the methods in vogue in their own country, and not allowed to appeal to the Audiencia.

In the letter relating to affairs of the treasury, Tavora makes some explanations regarding his relations with the royal officials at Manila. He finds it necessary to supervise their drafts on the royal treasury, since its funds are so low; and he has taken charge of the business of issuing licenses to the Chinese who remain in the islands. Tavora is endeavoring to reduce expenses and secure economy in the necessary expenditures of government. He asks that notarial offices be not sold, but filled by appointment, and changed annually. In regard to the question whether the Indians should pay their tributes in kind or in money, he urges that the former be required, as otherwise the natives will not, through laziness, produce food supplies. The treasury of the islands is heavily indebted, on account of unusual expenses arising, with scanty receipts from the revenues. The soldiers suffer great hardships, and some are deserting. The viceroy of Nueva Espana must aid the Philippines more liberally; and the governor of the islands must know on what aid he can depend, Tavora asks to be relieved from his present office unless the means necessary for carrying on the government can be supplied.

A third letter relates to general affairs of government, in which he reports that peace and harmony exist among the various departments. The bridge across the river Pasig is being constructed. The Parian at Manila was destroyed by fire in January, but has been rebuilt in better style; and other destructive fires are mentioned. The rice crop has been abundant, and agriculture is improving. In conjunction with the other royal officials, Tavora has allowed the citizens to send goods this year to Mexico without the usual restrictions, on account of the impoverished condition of the islands. He finds the Indians much harassed by the exactions made upon them for the public service, and, with the consent of all interested—the royal officials, the encomenderos, and the ecclesiastics—prepares new instructions and ordinances, which are designed to relieve the natives from all oppression, and provide fair wages for their labor on public works. The royal officials are endeavoring to secure more satisfactory methods of government for the Chinese who are in the islands, both residents and transients. Tavora asks for a printed copy of all the royal decrees that apply to his government. He has done all in his power to aid the seminary for orphan boys at Manila, but it needs more; and he asks the king to grant an encomienda in support of this charity. He is doing what he can for the hospitals, but asks that brethren from a hospital order be sent to manage them. The ships from Mexico were sent late this year, and were almost lost through storms; Tavora urges that this be not allowed to occur, as the very existence of the Philippine colony is thus imperiled.

A document dated October 7, 1628, presents (apparently to the Council of the Indias) various arguments for suppressing the silk trade of China in Spain and its colonies. The old complaint is reiterated, that the silver coin of Nueva Espana is being drained away into China; besides, this trade deprives Spain of all this money, and the customs duties are greatly decreased from what they might amount to. Large quantities of contraband goods are, moreover, carried to the South American colonies, thus injuring the exports from the mother country. The Chinese wares are apparently cheap, but their poor quality, and their depreciating effect on the values of Spanish goods, diminish the real profits of the Chinese trade. The necessity of protecting the silk industry in the kingdom of Granada is used as a strong argument against allowing the Chinese silk trade in the Spanish colonies, as the former adds greatly to the revenues of the crown. If Chinese silks were prohibited, those of Granada (the sale of which is much diminished) would be in much greater demand; and the producers there could meet their obligations, while the royal revenues would increase accordingly.

Some decrees are issued by Felipe IV for the protection of the Chinese. One (dated June 8, 1628) orders the governor of the Philippines to protect them from extortion and oppression in the matter of tributes and that of permissions granted them to travel in the islands; another (August 17) refers to him the demand that all Chinese except the married Christians be strictly confined within the Parian. On March 7, 1629, the king orders him to ascertain whether the Chinese need a protector; and, if so, to send him a list of persons from whom such official may be chosen by the Council of the Indias.

The Jesuit annals are continued for 1628-29; there are two relations for this year, one of which consists of letters from various fathers of the Society, merely strung together. Hernando Estrada relates the success of a Spanish fleet from Oton in punishing the Joloan pirates. Pedro de Prado writes of the raids made by the Camuzones, other pirates, and the dangers encountered by the missionaries; and describes the animals and products of the country. Another letter (unsigned) states that the Dutch have been driven out of their establishments in Eastern India.

A second general relation (but unsigned) for the same year contains mention of various events both ecclesiastical and secular. On the night of November 25 the Jesuit church falls in ruins, for the third time; it is being rebuilt. The monstrance and host kept in the cathedral are stolen by sacrilegious hands, (an occurrence which causes the death of Archbishop Serrano). An image of the Virgin Mary is seen to weep, as if lamenting the ravages made by pirates in the Pintados. In these raids several of the Jesuit missionaries have narrowly escaped death. The Dutch in Java have been attacked by the natives, and are menaced by the Portuguese there and elsewhere. The Spaniards go to Camboja for lumber, and Dominican missionaries go with them to labor among the heathen. Affairs with Siam are not yet restored to a peaceful condition. The missions in Cochinchina and Tonkin are doing well. The Chinese, at war with the Tartars, borrow aid from the Portuguese at Macao. In Japan the Christians are being exterminated by torture and death. There was talk of expelling the Dutch from that country; but news arrives there of the destruction of a Japanese ship off Siam by the Spaniards, and the Japanese begin to talk of uniting with the Dutch to attack the Spaniards in Formosa and even Manila. "The Philipinas Islands are at present in a ruinous condition." A postscript to this relation describes an encounter between a small Spanish ship from India and a large English ship, at Fayal, in which the former saves itself, after inflicting much damage on its opponent.

The Editors

October, 1904.


Report of the Spanish Council of State on the appointment of a governor for the Philippines. March 7. Royal decree granting income to the Society of Jesus. Felipe IV; June 1. Letter from the archbishop of Manila to Felipe IV. Miguel Garcia Serrano; July 25. Royal festivities at Manila. Diego de Rueda y Mendosa; August 1. Letter to Felipe IV. Fernando de Silva; August 4.

Sources: The first, third, and fifth of these documents are from MSS. in the Archive general de Indias, Sevilla; the second, from Pastells's edition of Colin's Labor evangelica, iii, pp. 754-755; the fourth, from a pamphlet, Toros y canas (Barcelona, 1903).

Translations: These are all made by James A. Robertson.



On the occasion of a letter written to your Majesty by Don Alonso Fajardo de Tenza, governor and captain-general of the Filipinas Islands, and president of the royal Audiencia established therein, on the seventeenth of August of the past year 623, petitioning among other things for permission to come to Espana, the Council advised your Majesty of what occurred to them with regard to the appointment to that office. Your Majesty was pleased to order that persons be proposed for it, and that a relation be made, in the report of the Council, of the pretensions of Don Alonso; and that action be immediate, so that he whom your Majesty should appoint might sail in the trading-fleet bound for Nueva Espana—or, if he should be in the Yndias, that he might be advised so that he could sail in March of the coming year for Filipinas. [Your Majesty also ordered] that Don Alonso's pay should run until his departure thence in the first vessel, and one year longer, in order that he might come here. In fulfilment of your Majesty's orders, it appears that the demands of Don Alonso Fajardo are reduced to a better office in reward for his services and those of his father and forbears; and that your Majesty, by providing what you deem best, make good his pay during all the time while he should be detained there without power to embark, and one year longer, to enable him to come to these kingdoms, offering his person to serve in this interim at the order of his successor. Don Juan Fajardo, his brother, wrote to me, the president, in a letter of November 4 of the past year that, since Don Alonso desires leave to go to Espana, it must be after there has been time to conclude the inspection that was ordered to be made of him and the Audiencia, and after your Majesty has assigned him a post in the Council of War with an adequate salary. In accordance with the charges against him, Don Juan petitions that the permission be revoked until he himself shall return from the expedition of Brazil and come to this court. Will your Majesty show him the favor that may be your pleasure.

The Council having examined personally the services and merits that follow for this office (which carries a salary of eight thousand pesos de minas, of four hundred and fifty maravedis apiece), those who are considered most fitting to receive that office—which must be held for eight years, in accordance with the order given regarding it—are proposed to your Majesty. The first two have seven votes.

Don Geronimo Agustin, of the habit of Calatrava, who has served from the year 88. In that of 89, the duke of Terra Nova, while governor of Milan, assigned him a Spanish infantry company of arquebusiers in the regiment of Lombardia. The same year he went to Flandes, where, at different periods, he served for ten years with appointments and infantry companies; and the last three years as captain and sargento-mayor of the regiments of the masters-of-camp, Don Ynigo de Borja, Don Alvaro Huaser, Don Fernando Giron, and Don Alonso de Leyla. He commanded some of the regiments; and for special services that he performed, the king our sovereign (may he rest in peace), your Majesty's father, granted him four hundred reals [1] income in Milan. In the year 60-[?] he was appointed master-of-camp of a regiment of men in the fleet of the Ocean Sea, in which he has served. Embarking with his regiment, he went to the Terceras to relieve three ships of Yndia which had arrived there in a dilapidated condition; and afterward went with the marquis of Santa Cruz to the undertaking of Alarache. Thence he went to the Mediterranean Sea until he sighted Tunez [i.e., Tunis], in whose bay were burned twenty-two pirate ships and one galliot. [2] On his return from the expedition, he took part in the expulsion of the Moriscos [3] from Valencia, Aragon, and Murcia. Finally, he went with his regiment to La Mamora, and was in full command of all the companies in which served the seigniors and cities of Andalucia and three hundred soldiers of the coast of Granada. Through his determination, the men whom he headed were landed; and they gained and occupied those positions, responding with great courage to their defense and to the fortifications. In consideration of that, he was in the former year of 617 considered for the offices of governor and captain-general of the province of Panama and those of Chile, and as president of the royal Audiencia of those provinces. On account of your Majesty's assurance in his person and services, you granted him the office of viceroy of Mallorca, which he holds at present.

Don Gaspar Ruiz de Pereda, of the habit of San Tiago, has served for more than thirty-six years in the Terceras, in the expedition to Ynglaterra, in the States of Flandes, and in the fleet of the Ocean Sea, where considerable pay and appointments were granted him. Afterward he served in Bretana; and the Council of State entrusted to him matters touching the right of the infanta to that state. [4] He was corregidor and war-captain of the four towns of the seacoast. He attended to the preparation and building of ships and the despatch of fleets satisfactorily. At the conclusion of his office, he returned to that coast, and became superintendent of it all from La Raya of Portugal to Francia. The king our sovereign (may he rest in peace) granted him the government of Habana, which he exercised for nine years. In the residencia taken from him he was regarded as free from blame; and, on his arrival at these kingdoms, was appointed corregidor of Malaga. Later, on account of the satisfaction given by his person, your Majesty appointed him inspector-general in the States of Flandes.

The following three have five votes apiece.

Don Juan Nino de Tavora, who, having been gentleman of the bed chamber to the archduke Alberto, and cavalry captain in the States of Flandes, is at present master-of-camp of Spanish infantry there. With his services and capacity there is entire satisfaction. He is the son of Don Gabriel Nino, formerly chief master-of-camp of the king our sovereign who is in glory.

General Don Juan de Venavides, of the habit of San Tiago, is the son of the marquis of Jaralquinto. He has been in the service for the past twenty-two years, seven of them with additional pay under the marquis of Santa Cruz in the galleys of the kingdom of Portugal, and thirteen years with the pay of thirty reals [sc. ducados?] per month in the trade-route to the Yndias. He made five voyages, in that of 610 going as captain of one of the infantry companies of the trading-fleet of Tierra Firme. That same year, the flagship of the galleons having been lost at the departure from Buen Aire, he, having escaped naked, stayed to rescue the men of the ship; and having done this, took them in a patache to Cartagena. In the year 613 he went as admiral of the trading-fleet of Nueva Espana. On the return trip some ships of the fleet were lost in a storm. He was carrying in his ship more than one million [pesos] of silver belonging to your Majesty and to private persons. The masts and the rudder were snapped in twain; the ship began to leak at the bow; and yet he repaired it and anchored in the port of San Lucar without having thrown anything overboard. In 615 he again filled the same office of admiral, and, the flagship from Honduras having been wrecked, he saved many of its crew. In 617 he was recommended as commander of the trading-fleet of Nueva Espana, and was granted the office of its admiral. Finally, he was twice proposed as commander of the Filipinas fleet. On January 13, 620, he was appointed commander of the trading-fleet of Nueva Espana, from which post he came with good reputation and fame. Licentiate Pedro de Vergara Gaviria, in a letter that he wrote to your Majesty from Vera Cruz, where he was inspecting the royal officials, declares that he has seen in his person an excellent zeal and a manner of procedure quite different from what is said there of other commanders, and accordingly he is obliged to give account of it; and that the honors and rewards that your Majesty would be pleased to bestow on him will be well employed. In the year 623, he was for the second time granted the office of commander of the said trading-fleet of Nueba Espana (whence he had come the year before); he took the fleet and brought it in safety. While at the port of Vera Cruz, the Mexican Audiencia committed to him, on the occasion of the rebellion of that city, the fort of San Juan de Ulua, and appointed him as its commandant, and as military captain of all that coast. He served in that capacity until he returned to Espana, desiring to obtain the quiet and peace of that kingdom. In the residencias that have been taken of the appointments as commander that he has held, he has been declared a good official, and worthy of greater honors and emoluments. This present year he was proposed for the office of commander of the trading-fleet of Nueba Espana.

The master-of-camp, Don Francisco Zapata Ossorio, knight of the habit of Santiago, has served for twenty-two years, sixteen in Flandes, at fifty reals [sc. ducados?] pay. He was later captain of a Spanish infantry company, with which he took part as occasion offered. He, went to Napoles and was there governor and military captain of the province of Calabria. In the residencia taken of that office, he was exonerated. He commanded the galley of the Napoles squadron at the appointment of Cardinal Capata, in the absence of the regularly-appointed commander, with pay of one hundred and fifty reals [sc. ducados?] per month. In the year of 622 the said cardinal appointed him master-of-camp of the seven companies of Spanish infantry that went to the state of Milan, and captain of one of them, namely, the one that belongs to him as master-of-camp. He came with the permission of the duke of Alva, who wrote to your Majesty recommending him and mentions the said Don Francisco. Your Majesty has ordered him to go to visit the duke of Lorena; also that, going to Flandes, he be given there the first regiment that falls vacant, and that in the meanwhile he enjoy the salary of master-of-camp of halberdiers—namely, one hundred and sixteen ducados per month. His father served more than fifty years, and was in the battle of Lepanto, in the States of Flandes, the war with Portugal, the Terceras Islands, and the expedition to Ynglaterra; he served twice in the inspection of many men in the department of Sevylla, and served in the government of Alcantara, and as corregidor of Joro, and lastly in that of Cordoba. His uncle, Don Juan Capata Ossorio, was bishop of Camora; and his other ancestors, paternal and maternal, died in the service.

Don Garcia Giron has four votes. He has served since the expedition to Ynglaterra. He was lieutenant of the cavalry captain, Don Fernando Giron, his brother, in Lengua-doc [i.e., Languedoc], whence he went to Bretana as arquebusier captain. He took part in all the sieges and in all the reenforcements that occurred during his time, many times having in charge convoys. When the said his brother took two thousand infantrymen for the fleet, he served on it. The adelantado-mayor of Castilla gave him command of a galleon, and later the command of twenty companies when coming from Vigo. When some thirty companies went to Ytalia with the count of Fuentes, he took charge of them by order of the duke of Medina-Sidonia. On those occasions and in Flandes, while serving as captain and sargento-mayor, he gave an excellent account of his person and served with satisfaction to his superiors. In the year of 610, his Majesty who is in glory bestowed upon him the government of Cartagena, I mean of Benezuela. At the expiration of the time for which he was appointed, he was granted the government of Cartagena, and now he has been given that of Habana.

The following seven have each one vote.

Don Antonio Sarmiento, son of Count Gondomar. After having served on various occasions, your Majesty bestowed upon him a post in the Council of the Treasury, in which he serves with approval.

Don Sancho de Zeyba, of whose capacity and of the services of his forbears and his own, your Majesty has full notice.

General Don Geronimo Gomez de Sandoval, of the habit of Santiago, captain of a company of men-of-arms in the guards of Castilla, who has served for twenty-three years past on various occasions. In 602, the city of Cartagena appointed him to raise one hundred and fifty infantrymen who were embarked in the galleys of Espana. He went on the expedition of Argel with appointment as Spanish infantry captain. In the year of 604, his Majesty who is in heaven granted him twenty-five ducados pay, which was later increased to thirty. His father being appointed governor and captain-general of Ysla Espanola [i.e., Hayti], and president of that Audiencia, Don Geronimo went with him, having been appointed commandant of the fort of Santo Domingo. At the order of the Audiencia, he took command of the ships of the fleet there for its defense for more than four years. As commander of them, he sailed out at various times to clear that entire coast of enemies, engaging them with great valor. Once he captured two lanchas, and on another occasion a ship, while he sank another. His services were held as very considerable at that time. Having come to this coast to request the office of commander of some fleet, he was granted the post of admiral of that of Nueba Espana, which came in 621. On that voyage, he helped the ships that were unmasted and unrigged, both going and coming. By his great diligence he helped to withdraw one that was burning in the port of San Juan de Ulua from among all the fleet, by which act the greater part of the fleet escaped the fire. It was a great peril, for all the silver and merchandise was embarked for the voyage. In respect to that service, the prior and consuls, as those interested in it, petitioned, in a letter to your Majesty, that you be pleased to give him the place of commander of the fleet in the following year. Having consulted in regard to it, your Majesty was pleased to grant him that of admiral for the good account that he had given of the offices which he had had in charge. Your Majesty will have an account of his person. On this voyage he served with especial approval as an excellent and careful mariner, and is fitted for employment in any command of importance of this kind. Accordingly, he was proposed for the place of captain-general of the trading-fleet that is to go to Nueba Espana this year, which your Majesty bestowed upon Don Lope de Hou y Cordova; and now your Majesty has bestowed upon him that of Tierra Firme. He is the son, as above stated, of Don Diego Gomez de Sandoval (whose capacity is very well known), who, having served more than forty years in various offices, died in the past year of 623, as governor and captain-general of Ysla Espanola, where he was for five years. The Audiencia, the archbishop, and the secular cabildo of Santo Domingo wrote in a letter to your Majesty how well he served in governmental affairs, and in those of war, justice, and peace. He left many debtors because he had conducted his government uprightly; and his property was not able to pay them. They consider Don Geronimo, his son and successor, as capable and worthy of what your Majesty pleases to do for him and what charge you may give him.

Don Rodrigo de Vivero, who, having come to these kingdoms from Nueva Espana, where he was born, and having served Queen Dona Ana, your wife, who is in heaven, as a page, returned to that country. There he was appointed from his youth to the most important duties by the viceroys, for they knew his ability and good qualities. That being known to the king our sovereign who is in glory, your Majesty's grandfather, he appointed him governor and captain-general of the provinces of Nueha Vizcaya, where with great valor, continuous toil, and at his own cost, he made war upon the rebel Indians, until he had reduced more than sixty towns, and brought down many men from the mountains, where they were committing great depredations. By those means they were able to discontinue several presidios, and save the great expense that these occasioned to the royal revenues. Having been attacked by a serious illness that was induced by the hardships of the war, he was forced to return to Mexico, where the viceroy, Marquis de Salinas, his uncle, appointed him governor and captain-general of the Filipinas Islands, because of the arrival at that juncture of news of the death of Don Pedro de Acuna. Without stopping to consider the discomfort and lack that he was causing his family, and the short time in which his successor would arrive, he accepted and went to take charge of the said duties. During the period of his government, he made peace with the Mindanaos, and reenforced the kingdom of Maluco, then besieged by the Dutch, besides performing other special services. Don Juan de Silva, his successor, having arrived, and he having embarked to return to his home, a storm overtook him that forced him to put in at the coast of Japon. There the ship foundered and many of those aboard it were drowned. He escaped on a plank, and was captured with the others who were rescued. That emperor afterward treated them well, gave them a ship and passage, and lent money to Don Rodrigo. He asked the latter to make a treaty with the king, our sovereign (may he rest in peace), in his name, in regard to certain matters touching trade and commerce with Nueba Espana. He granted passage to those who wished to return to Filipinas. Everything was well directed on account of Don Rodrigo's energy. The viceroys, and finally the marquis of Guadalcazar, have given very approving relation of the good qualities that concur in his person, and of his character, prudence, and good management. Thereby it is learned that they are thoroughly satisfied of his person by their treatment. In consideration of that, he was in the former year of 620 elected governor and captain-general and president of the Audiencia of Tierra Firme, which office he at present holds.

Don Diego de Cardenas, of the habit of Santiago, brother of the count of La Puebla de Llesena, has served ten years, six of them in the States of Flandes, on all the occasions that offered in his time, especially at the siege of Ostende for thirty months, where he was wounded by an arquebus-shot in the face and a pike-thrust in the arm. Through the satisfaction that Archduke Alebrto had in his person and services, he was given command of a company of Spanish pike infantry, which he had at the victories of Alinguin, Aldoncel, and Arinverque, and at the capture and relief of Grol, and in that of Bolduque, Obstrat, and Gave. After the conclusion of the war, he came to Espana, by the permission of his Highness; and his wife, infanta Dona Isavel, wrote to the king, our sovereign who is in glory, your Majesty's father, recommending him. The marquis of Espinola did the same, and in the year 609 granted him a permit to raise two hundred and fifty infantrymen, whom he led to the expulsion of the Moriscos from the kingdom of Valencia. Having been retired on half-pay, he went with the marquis de la Ynojosa on the expedition of Alarache. Lastly, he was in that of La Mamora, serving at his own cost. In the year of 620, your Majesty rewarded him with the office of governor and captain-general of the province of Yucatan, which he is filling with approval, and with especial attention [to his duties], which he exhibited in the gift that that province sent to your Majesty.

Don Juan de Velasco Castaneda, of the habit of San Tiago, has served for thirty-eight years, commencing his service on the expedition to Ynglaterra. Thence he went to the States of Flandes. There he was given thirty ducados pay to serve near the person of the duke of Parma. He was present at many sieges, captures, and reliefs. He came to these kingdoms in the year 96 to the relief of Cadiz, with Don Pedro de Velasco, who gave him command of an infantry company; and in the year of 593 the adelantado-mayor of Castilla gave him another. With it, he returned to the said States, taking under his charge a troop of ten companies. He continued his services on all occasions that offered, fighting and proving himself therein as a gallant gentleman and a valiant soldier, until the year of 609, when he took part in the expulsion of the Moriscos from Andalucia and the kingdom of Granada. Later he was at Milan where the constable of Castilla employed him in commissions very important to the service of your Majesty. In the year of 617 he was granted the government of Cremona, and afterward made lieutenant of the captain-general of the soldiers of the kingdom of Aragon, having in charge the castle of Xaca; in those places he has served three years with much approval, valor, and prudence, and, in order to preserve his jurisdiction and preeminences, has often risked his life. For that your Majesty has considered yourself well served, and ordered him rewarded for it. Because of the satisfaction that the Council found in his person, they proposed him to your Majesty for the government of the province of Cartagena, to which your Majesty was pleased to appoint him; but as he did not choose to accept it, your Majesty gave it to another person.

Don Geronimo de Silva, knight of the Order of St. John—to whom after having served on various occasions, the king our sovereign who is in heaven, your Majesty's grandfather, granted him title as captain in the year 89. He raised two hundred and fifty men for the defense of Portugal. In the year 92, Don Alonso de Bargas gave him a company in the Aragon expedition, where his Majesty ordered him to go to serve with twenty-five ducados pay per month. Having gone to Flandes, he continued with his company in the assaults of Durlans, and in the captures of Chatelet and Cambray, always acting as a valiant and respected gentleman. There he was grievously wounded. In the year 96 the duke of Medina-Sidonia appointed him captain and sargento-mayor of the infantry that he was sending to Portugal. That same year, his Majesty granted him one of the ordinary companies of light cavalry of the state of Milan. In consideration of that, in the year 609 he was given the place of commandant of the forces of Terrenate, and governor of the soldiers of that presidio, which he served until the year 616, when he was promoted to the post of master-of-camp of the military forces of the Filipinas Islands, which he is serving, notwithstanding that the Council has received certain letters condemning his actions.

Will your Majesty appoint one or other of these, according to your pleasure. Madrid, March 7, 1625.


Don Juan Nino de Tavora, knight of the Order of Calatraba, comendador of Puerto Llano, whom I have appointed as my governor and captain-general of the Philipinas Islands, or the person or persons in whose charge is or shall be the government of the said islands: Father Francisco Crespo, [5] procurator-general of the Society of Jesus, of the Yndias, in the name of the college of his order in the city of Manila, of the said islands, has reported to me that the church and house of the residence, inasmuch as it was built by the fathers who first went there, is very old, and that it is falling down, on account of the earthquakes that have happened, so that only the house has remained standing, which is in danger of falling also; and that grammar, the arts, and theology have been studied there for more than the last thirty years, from which has followed the benefit that is well known. In respect to its needs, and the expenses that have been incurred in treating the sick, since its alms are very few, and its income very slight, they do not have the wherewithal with which to support the religious who live there, inasmuch as they do not ask any alms for their sacrifices [i.e., masses], or for building their church or house. Although the church is commenced, the building cannot be continued. In consideration of that, he petitions me to concede them there the sixteen thousand ducados, of which concession was made in the sum of one thousand ducados every year for sixteen years to the convent of St. Augustine, of the said city, in tributes of vacant Indians of the said islands, so that with this grant they might continue the erection of the said church, and build a comfortable house in which the religious may live, and apply themselves to the said branches, and where missionaries may be trained with whom to attend to the conversion of the Indians and the preaching of the holy gospel. After having examined what your predecessor and the archbishop of the said city reported to me in my royal Council of the Indias, and after they consulted with me, I have considered it advisable to concede to the college of the Society of Jesus in the said city of Manila, for the present, for each of ten years, one thousand ducados, which amount to three hundred and seventy-five thousand maravedis, in Indians of whom the encomienda shall be vacant, or shall first become vacant, in the said Philipinas Islands, just in the same way as the concession was made to the said convent of the Order of St. Augustine of the said city for its buildings. Accordingly, I command you to assign to the said college of the Society of Jesus in the said city of Manila, the said one thousand ducados in tributes of the Indians whose encomienda shall be vacant, or shall first become vacant, in the said islands, so that this sum may be paid to them in each one of ten years, as above said. You shall give the necessary despatch to this, so that those fathers may be assisted with it for the said purpose. I order the officials of my treasury of the said Filipinas Islands to obey what you shall order by virtue of this my decree; and they shall not place any obstacle to it, notwithstanding anything provided to the contrary. Given in Madrid, June first, one thousand six hundred and twenty-five.

I The King

Countersigned by Don Francisco Ruis de Contreras, and signed by the members of the Council.


I have informed your Majesty fully of the condition of these Filipinas Islands in all the despatches that have left them, in what concerns both ecclesiastical and secular affairs. As I am certain that my letters have been received in that royal Council, I am now only advising you of the arrival of Governor Don Fernando de Silva, knight of the habit of Sanctiago, who left these islands for those kingdoms in the former year 21, and returned to govern them about twenty days ago, with the appointment given him by the viceroy of Nueva Espana, marques de Cerralvo. [6] The choice of Don Fernando has seemed a good one, and he is governing well, as one who knows the country and has experience in it, and of the merits of his subordinates; and I see these inhabitants universally contented, [In the margin: "Seen."]

I find it very unadvisable for religious of any order to go for the present to the kingdom of Japon, and until God shall open the eyes of the emperor—either so that he may receive the holy gospel, or at least not persecute so cruelly those who preach and obey it. His severity is such that he is not satisfied with martyring its preachers with exquisite and extraordinary forms of martyrdoms—as well as those who have received the preachers into their houses and districts, even though ignorant of their identity; but he has issued an edict that no one, under penalty of death, may receive them into his ship. What may cause greater anxiety is the fact that, a number of Japanese being angered by the Dutch, who make port in their kingdom, it will be easy enough both to place these islands in danger, and, what is more, to extinguish the spark of the Catholic faith in these regions. Because of that I called a meeting of the provincials of the orders, so that they should refrain from sending their religious [to Japon] without the governor's orders and mine. Having seen the great difficulties [thus occasioned], and although, convinced of it, they promised compliance, yet their zeal for the saving of souls is so great that, without informing us, they actually sent four religious. I fear great danger from that action, and am powerless to avert the continuation of this, unless your Majesty interpose your powerful hand by ordering absolutely that which, according to this, is most advisable for the service of our Lord and your service.

[In the margin: "Let what he says be carefully heeded."]

Our Lord took Doctor Don Juan de Renteria, bishop of Nueva Segovia, to himself on November 4 of last year, 24, while he was coming from his bishopric to this city of Manila. His loss has been deeply felt in this country, as he was a man of so eminent qualities. Because of the lack of a cabildo in that bishopric I sent a man to govern it, and there is as yet nothing new of moment there of which to inform your Majesty. The inspection of this royal Audiencia and the royal officials, which your Majesty entrusted to the said bishop, was not effected because of his death. Consequently, I am bound by my obligations to your Majesty's service to remind you of what I said in regard to this matter in my letter to that royal Council in the month of August of the former year of 23, which is as follows. "Persons entirely trustworthy and zealous for your Majesty's royal service have informed me of the need of inspecting this royal treasury. If your Majesty be pleased to make choice of the person of Don Juan Cevicos who is at that court attending to affairs of this church, for this matter and for other matters of inspection, I regard it as certain that your Majesty will be well served, as he is one of the most intelligent persons in the Yndias. He also has experience with papers and accounts, so that many people in this city were wont to send such to him; and, even though most complicated, they were very easy for him. Also, since the person mentioned is at that royal court, your Majesty may test his abilities, so that he may serve you therein in like matters of your royal service. These islands have the same need of inspection, especially the cabildo of this city of Manila." I add to the above that no person can be found in that kingdom, nor is there anyone who may go to those kingdoms of the Yndias, more fitted for this employment, nor one, to my way of thinking, of greater zeal.

[Marginal note: "Seen."].

The Society of Jesus in these regions need the favor and grace of your Majesty to continue the work of the church of their college in this city of Manila, which they began, trusting to the alms of the faithful. Since those alms have failed, as the country has been and is very much exhausted, and since they are without any aid from your Majesty, it is impossible for them to continue and finish it, as has happened in the building of San Agustin and other churches on which your Majesty has been kind enough to lay your royal hand. The concession that your Majesty was pleased to make to the Society of the passage from the Parian or alcaiceria of the Chinese to their lands on the other side of the river has been of vast importance to them. But they fear lest the hospital of the said Chinese is about to petition your Majesty, not only for confirmation of the passage that they have to the door of the said hospital, but for a limit of distance in which is included the said passage from the lands of the Society, which are two arquebus-shots apart. I inform your Majesty of this, so that, considering the need of the said college, you may order what may be most advisable for your royal service. May our Lord preserve the very Catholic person of your Majesty to us, with increase of your kingdoms, as is necessary for Christendom. Manila, July 25, 1625.

Fray Miguel Garcia Serrano, archbishop of Manila.

[In the margin: "That we are advised of this; have this clause filed with what the Society petitions." "This clause was copied."]

[Endorsed: "Satisfied. Examined and decreed July 13, 626."]


On the fourth day of January, one thousand six hundred and twenty-three, other royal festivities occurred, [7] in which twelve bulls were fought; and four matches of canas were played, each of them between two gentlemen, in accordance with the inclination of the country. The wealth, embroideries, holiday attire, liveries, and ornaments, were so abundant, so sightly, and of so great price and splendor, of so many floral decorations and of so many different shades, that they surpassed those of our Espana in beauty and splendor.

The square was adorned with rich hangings of great value and price, of gold, silk, and variegated cloths, so that one cannot describe so great a variety of colors, the curious adornments in the windows, the great beauty of the women, the richness of their ornaments and clothing, and the concourse of so many conspicuous people; for all the assembly appeared to be a priceless cluster of jewels, and everything by itself a precious gem set in the cluster. And as the country contains so many and so beautiful women—who have, as a rule, faces so angelic—and since the festivities were of so great splendor, and for so great a personage, the like of which were never seen, they eclipsed everything else, and the whole scene formed a sight of beauty and an agreeable garden. About three o'clock in the afternoon, a trumpet began to sound, immediately after which appeared a number of horsemen on fine horses caparisoned and equipped with many beautiful trappings, liveries, and wealth of bands, necklaces, plumes, jewels, and ornaments of gold, precious gems, enamel, and things of great rarity. The ministers of justice followed, and the mace-bearers of the city, besides the magistrates and alcaldes-in-ordinary, who were then Doctor Juan Fernandez de Ledo—a personage worthy of attaining to great heights because of his great modesty, learning, and capacity—and Captain Miguel de Arnalto, an influential citizen, and a man of great virtue. Shortly behind them came the governor's guard, the royal Audiencia, and a number of pages and servants in beautiful and elegant livery. After they had gone the round of the square, the royal Audiencia went to its place, which was located very near the city hall in which are the halls of the regidors and alcaldes, where there are very rich and beautiful balconies.

Each one having taken his seat, two companies of Spanish infantry came in through the square, and formed a guard, one company on one side, and the other on the other side. The arquebusiers and musketeers, firing many shots, discharged their pieces many times against one another in a sham battle that was made, one troop from one company charging on one troop of the other, and the other company doing the same. And as this city is a Salamanca [8] in arms, the soldiers are very skilful and well-disciplined. As the master-of-camp, Don Geronimo de Silva, holds the soldiers under so good discipline, the militia in these regions is very efficient. When troops have become habituated to work and application, they give great delight; and when the officers are firm, and represent splendor and gravity, they hold their subordinates well in restraint and submissive—in which Scipio Africanus, Don Alonso, first king of Naples, and the Great Captain, [9] were marvels. After having spent a little more than half an hour in the military exercise—which caused great pleasure to the spectators, and aroused a furious courage in the ministers of Mars—the soldiers began again to march, some on one side and some on another, passing before the governor and the Audiencia; while the alferezes lowered their banners in salute to their captain-general, and the captains made a profound bow and courtesy, which with the many gala dresses, scarfs, and plumes, made many foolish persons desirous of imitating them.

After the infantry had left the square, those delegated from it—namely, General Don Fernando de Ayala, Captain Don Luis Enriquez de Guzman, alcalde-in-ordinary, Captain Martin de Esquivel, chief court constable, and Captain Jose de Naveda, royal alferez—went out to make preparations for the canas match. They were very fine gallants, and had considerable gala livery. Don Fernando de Ayala bestrode a bay horse, with gilded stirrups, bit, buckles, and all the trappings of the same; he wore black hose of Milan buckram, white boots, amber-colored doublet, and jacket of the same cloth as the hose. For a shoulder-sash he wore a heavy chain of gold; and he had a golden plume of great value, and a heavy tuft of heron feathers, also a gilded sword-hilt, and spurs of the same. Captain Don Luis Enriquez bestrode a black Cuatreno horse, with a saddle embroidered with gold and silver edging, a tuft of black and gray feathers, long and very costly hose lined with Milan cloth, jacket of the same, an embroidered doublet, of the workmanship of the hose, black boots, with a chain for a shoulder-sash; a hatband set with rubies, and a plume of great value, consisting of many heron feathers; sword and dagger with gilded furnishings, and sword-belt and waistband embroidered and edged with gold. Captain Martin de Esquivel bestrode a chestnut roadster and was adorned with a plume of many heron feathers, long black hose, black boots, a doublet corresponding to the hose, and a cloth jacket; a gold chain and gilded sword-hilt and dagger and spurs of the same. Captain Jose Naveda was carried by a bay horse, with black tail and mane well combed and long; an embroidered saddle, stirrups, bit, and spurs, gilded and silvered, very beautiful and of great value; a crest of unusually elegant feathers, the one that he carried on Banner day; [10] white boots, red shoulder-sash, long hose of red buckram, jacket embroidered with cloth of gold, an amber-colored doublet with rich gold buttons, a gold sword and dagger of great value; and still more precious were the diamond band and the plume of his hat. All came riding with their gilded staffs, and were followed by many servants and pages, clad in costly and gay livery. They commenced, some on one side, and some on another, to clear the square of the crowd that had gathered to see these royal festivities, and who filled all parts of the square.

Some gentlemen went into the square with their rejons. [11] About four in the afternoon, a wild and active bull was turned loose. In two or three light bounds, it made the round of the square, making itself master of it all, with which it made all the people afraid. There several lance-thrusts were given it by the people on foot and those mounted, until, the bull having been overcome, they opened the gate of the square, and delivered it to the secular arm of the infantry, who in quick order gave a good account of it, as was desirable. After three or four bulls had been run, about half past four, the gentlemen who were to engage in the canas [12] matches thought that it was high time to begin them. Accordingly, they went to dress for their entrance, which was made in the following order: One clarion-player went ahead, being followed after a short interval by trumpeters, minstrels, and drummers, all mounted, and clad in livery of different colors. Behind them were two mules, laden with bundles of lances for the canas; one mule bore a covering with the arms of Governor Don Alonso Fajardo, and the other a covering with the arms of the master-of-camp, Don Geronimo de Silva—both coverings being of velvet, and the arms of each person being embroidered on them in gold and silver. They were accompanied by lackeys clad in livery, while others led the horses by the bridle. Then followed thirty-two horses with sixteen gentlemen, besides those who led them in. They formed two files, and came from two opposite positions. The saddlebows of the horses were hung on the outside with the shields of their owners, with enigmas and devices painted on them, and covered with scarfs and tassels. The horses had their breast-leathers covered with hawk's-bells, and all had rich, rare, and costly harnesses and headstalls of gold and silver covered with precious stones, plumes, and sashes, in the utmost profusion.

They entered by a gate of the square and, after making a turn about it, they went out again. When the horses had left, the gentlemen came in on the run two by two, forming eight couples, with their liveries, and lances in hand. Brandishing the latter in their hands, it looked as if the butt ends of the lances of some of the gentlemen were joined with the points [of others]. The horses, spurred on by cries and wounded by the sharp spurs, seemed to fly.

Governor Don Alonso Fajardo made his appearance, in the place assigned to the city, taking as his companion Captain Don Juan Claudio de Verastegui. They were clad in robes of tawny-colored satin embroidered with gold and silver edging. For his cipher the governor had an "S" crowned with palms at the sides, and with scrolls at the foot. On his shield was a blue band, and on that a heart that two hands were opening, with a device as follows: "Well broken, but ill requited." His cap was embroidered, and bore in cipher an "S" of pearls, rubies, and diamonds, so beautiful, costly, and elegant, that it attracted the eyes of the people, as a thing beyond all price; while above his cap was a great tuft of rich feathers, blue, tawny, white, and straw-colored. He was mounted on a grayish horse, of noble bearing, that had a band of very fine cloth covered with pearls and silver embroidery, an embroidered saddle, and gilded stirrups and bit. The furnishings of his sword and dagger were of wrought gold, and formed ornaments of considerable value. His companion had a band of tawny-colored taffeta on his shield, with an "M" as cipher.

Then followed General Don Luis Fajardo, the governor's brother, an energetic youth, whose judgment and talent at a so tender age promise great hopes; and he was very splendidly dressed. His companion was Captain Don Juan Alonso de Sosa, regidor of this city, well known for his worth and good qualities. Their livery was of blue satin and gold, embroidered in outline through its field, and many flowers; as cipher they had a "J" while there was a blue band on the shield with letters of gold, that read: "For my king;" and on the streamer of the lance others that read, "Philipus," which was surmounted by a golden crown. Their caps and flying ornaments were very beautiful, and had many feathers and silver embroidery. They were followed by many servants clad in the same livery.

Behind them went Captain Pedro de Chaves, regidor of Manila, son of the master-of-camp, Pedro de Chaves; and as his companion, Alferez Don Mateo de Avila, now captain of infantry. Their livery consisted of straw-colored satin embroidered in rose color, with ornaments of silver. On their shields were bands of rose colored taffeta, bearing in cipher the name of "Isabel," in silver. On the streamers of the lances were the respective ciphers "Isabel" and "Maria," in letters of gold. They bore ornaments of gilded swords and daggers, and great tufts of feathers. The bands of the horses were of taffeta gilded and embroidered in gold. Their boots were silvered, their caps embroidered, and they had many more ornaments. Behind them were Sargento-mayor Pedro de Cuenca Montalvo and his companion Don Diego Maldonado, clad in livery of blue and yellow satin, embroidered in orange color, with many fringes of gold and silver, and as a cipher an "A" surmounted by a golden crown. On the shield was a yellow band, that read in letters of gold: "Steadfast unto death." On the streamers of the lances were these words: "I will be steadfast," and some very green palms.

Captains Diego Lorenzo de Trezo and Luis Alonso de Roa followed in blue livery, which was adorned with many fleurs-de-lis made of silver, edged with wavy lines, and very bright and beautiful. On the shield was a blue band with silver letters that read, "Long live King Philipe Fourth," and on the streamers of the lances was the word, in silver letters, "Philipus." Behind them entered Admiral Don Pedro de Zarate, a prudent youth, and one of great good sense. His companion was Captain Juan Rodriguez del Castillo. Their livery was green, embroidered with gold and silver, and on the shields were tawny-colored bands. On one part of the shield of Captain Juan Rodriguez del Castillo was a tower, and on another a castle, with a chain that encircled both; on one part of the streamers of the lances were the royal arms, and on the other those of the city.

They were followed by Captain Mateo de Heredia, ex-factor of the royal treasury, and Captain Silvestre de Aybar, regidor of this city, both worthy of being promoted to higher places by their talent and ability. They wore livery of violet velvet embroidered with many knots of gold and silver, with figures and designs in black and gray, orange, and green, which made an agreeable and very beautiful sight, because of the fine livery and its brilliancy. Their shields had green bands with silver letters that read: "My hopes are the highest." On the streamers of the lances, in illuminated golden letters, was the cipher of the name of "Dorotea." Their caps and the bands of the horses, their boots, and the other ornaments and liveries of the servants were beautiful, and so costly that their value cannot be reckoned.

Lastly went the master-of-camp, Don Geronimo de Silva, so gallant a trooper and so great a gentleman that with reason one may award him the laurel, both for valor and gallantry, and for his wealth and courage, as will yet be made known. The robe that he wore was of yellow satin embroidered in black with palm-trees, with clusters of fruit on them. His shield had a field of solid silver plates edged with gold. His lance was of ebony, and twenty palmos long; and instead of an iron head, a colic-stone, [13] so splendid to the sight and so well made that, however beautiful may be that of a painter, it cannot equal it. It was enclosed in a case of solid gold, a thing of inestimable value for its efficacy and its so brilliant beauty. On the banner was a palm-tree crowned, tassels, a red ribbon with large silver letters that read: "Alas for the delay, if it liveth in thee; but how well lives the faith that thou placedst in me." He wore a cap embroidered with diamonds, rubies, and large pearls, which formed a knot and ornament with a great quantity of seedpearls interwoven with some feathers, and an especially beautiful plume which gleamed among all. He had sword and dagger with furnishings of solid gold. His sword-belt was embroidered with gold of Milan; and his stirrups and spurs, buckles, and all the bolts of the bit and saddlebows were of solid gold. He bestrode a grayish horse, a fine goer, of magnificent spirit and body. He had an embroidered saddle of great value. The band on the horse was set with many pearls and rich embroidery; so that the value of the wealth that he bore was, in the judgment of experienced persons, estimated at nine or ten thousand pesos. In front were lackeys, while behind were his pages, all clad in very showy livery of yellow and black. All had feathers that beautified and glorified the festival. Not of less value and price were the jewels and ornaments of the governor estimated, because of the many diamonds, rubies, topazes, pearls, and other precious gems that he wore; and one could not estimate the value of those of the other gentlemen who engaged in the canas matches.

The charge of this pertained to the master-of-camp, who took as his companion Captain Don Juan Ezquerra, son of General Juan Ezquerra, a prudent and well-inclined gentleman. The latter went out clad in the same livery and habit, and was very splendid and showy.

Some erudite person will say what Apelles said to a painter who had painted the picture of Queen Elena richly decked in finery, jewels, gold, and precious stones: "Since thou didst not know how to paint her beautiful, thou didst paint her rich." But I adhere to and declare the truth, and I even curtail in this relation what I might say of it. Although I confess that this relation has not been designedly embellished, it is written rich in truth (which is the greatest beauty and splendor that can be given a history), with which its defects will be supplied, since there is nothing in this life that can be said not to possess some defect.

The gentlemen who were to take part in the play made their entrance in the above manner with great dexterity. They paraded through both sides of the square, couple by couple, in excellent order.

After the entrance, they changed horses; the places were assigned in divisions of fours, and they took their spears. They engaged in a well-concerted play, one division against another, two and two. From that post went out another division against the one that was advancing. It lasted more than an hour, with great gallantry, without any misfortune or disaster happening, until from the plaza the deputies entered their midst and separated them. At that juncture a fiery bull was let out. The gentlemen made very skilful movements against this bull with their rejons, and against others that were run, until the sun's light retired to illuminate the antipodes; and the gentlemen and ladies left the square, and the balconies and galleries [miradors], to return to reoccupy them on another occasion one week thereafter, when the same canas matches were played, and bulls were run for four days in succession. [14] At this second canas match, Don Fernando Galindo, a gentleman of Ecija, and at present infantry captain in this camp, entered instead of Don Diego Maldonado. On this occasion, the governor had another livery of blue cloth and silver, entirely covered with ornaments. The entrance was made as on the first day, and the play was in the same manner—thereby causing general rejoicing because the game had been so skilfully played, and has been so few times seen in this city.



I advised your Majesty that I left Capulco April 6. That is one of the latest dates on which the ships have set sail, and we were fearful lest we would not make the coasts of these islands, as the weather was contrary—although one can reach them in a voyage of three months, which is the usual duration. When we started, the wind was so light that my fear increased because we did not sail one hundred leguas in thirteen days. During that time I found that my almiranta was sailing very slowly, so that I was obliged to resolve, in order not to risk everything, to leave it, with a goodly supply of food for a longer voyage. Considering how easily the almiranta could be wrecked, and that the enemy would be waiting in the strait for a prize of so great profit; and that if once they sighted the almiranta, escape was impossible, while I could not be of any aid, as I was quite without resources: I thought it advisable for your Majesty's service to take out all your silver and that of private persons, trusting that I would not have the enemy any more to windward as had been the case while I was coming. This seems to have been the proper course, for I made the port of Cavite July eight. I arrived at so opportune a season, that I believe the islands were never in so great need of a new government and such aid. For the Audiencia having objected to the directions sent them in your name by the marquis de Yelbes [i.e., Gelves], ordering them not to interpret doubtfully the decree in which your Majesty gave him authority to do so, although he cited in those decrees your Majesty's own signature, and that of the notary before whom it was drawn, retained the government for itself, and by its own authority gave the title of captain-general to Don Geronimo de Ssilba. Thus did the obstacle that your Majesty has experienced at other times of like government remain in the greatest force and vigor. According to what I have heard, the matter came to such a pass that most of the citizens of Manila were only waiting to abandon this city, [that depending on] whether or not the aid should arrive from Nueba Espana; for they were exhausted with the extortions and bad treatment of the Audiencia. Their first action was to dismiss those whom Don Alonso Fajardo had lawfully appointed to offices of justice, without allowing them to complete their first year. [In the margin: "Seen."]

Their second—the auditors being dissatisfied with the honesty of Licentiate Don Alvaro de Mesa y Lugo, their associate, who as the senior auditor presided over them—was to admit Licentiate Geronimo de Legaspi into the assembly hall by a secret postern. He had been removed from office a long time before by act of the said Don Alonso Fajardo, a measure taken in virtue of your Majesty's decree which was sent, to take his residencia; this was confirmed by all the Audiencia. Although it was advisable to remedy that matter, the little time that I have had since my arrival until now, and my heavy press of unfinished business, and what has happened in regard to forced aid sent to various provinces, with the despatch of the vessels to Nueva Espana, and the ordinary transaction of business, have not permitted it. I shall ask for the documents, and after examining them, and after mature deliberation, I shall do what shall seem expedient for the service of your Majesty and the quiet of this community, as I may find it. My course is hastened by the return of the said Licentiate Legaspi to his post, as it is without your Majesty's order, and as, when he is there, he heeds only his own interests. [In the margin: "See what has been decreed in this particular. Have it brought."]

From the day of my arrival until now, there have been dissensions and quarrels among the members [of the Audiencia], because they did not agree in the division of offices. That was a matter of no slight importance, because not all the appointments had been given to them, as well as the encomiendas. And although your Majesty, seeing this danger before, prohibits it by your royal decrees, they apportioned some of the latter. I have regarded such encomiendas as vacant, ordering that their tributes be placed in the royal treasury. [In the margin: "It is well. Advise the new governor that this decision is approved, and that he shall put it into practice accordingly."]

The auditors of this Audiencia are all at odds. Some among them are continually refusing to act, influenced by the confidants, and even abetting these. As a result, in the sessions of the court there is nothing to be observed except dissensions; and thus the despatch of business is delayed, by the rehearings [of cases] that proceed from the tie-votes [of the auditors]. Thus they accept the salaries for their posts without serving them, so far as their judicature is concerned, which is a wrong that urgently needs remedy, for the litigants. [In the margin: "Seen."] The Dutch enemy came to this coast with a fleet of three large vessels and two small ones, while your Majesty had at the port of Cavite two galleons of very heavy burden, three of five hundred or six hundred toneladas of the northern sea, one patache of more than two hundred and fifty toneladas, and two galleys, together with many good soldiers and sailors and a goodly abundance of heavy artillery. Within forty days or thereabout, they were all ready to sail, and in charge of the master-of-camp, Don Geronimo de Silba. He encountered the enemy, but did not fight, after an expense in preparing that fleet, of many more ducados than the condition of the treasury could warrant; I found the treasury pledged to about one hundred and ten thousand pesos, while the infantry and substitutes were loaded with vouchers against it, because of the lack of reenforcements for more than a year back. The matter is so serious that the captain-general, Don Geronimo de Ssilva, having been arrested, by the Audiencia, and deposed from his office, appealed the cause to me, and I do not dare write more minutely concerning it, because of the short time. The verbal process is made, and, the said Don Geronimo's deposition having been taken, both he and the commanders of the other ships will be prosecuted. All claim that they will be cleared; each one throwing the burden of guilt on the other. When the matter assumes a proper condition I shall remit an account of it to your Majesty, so that you may take the measures advisable. [In the margin: "File."]

Under pretext of the arrest and removal of Don Geronimo de Silva, Licentiate Legaspi, not heeding the second nomination from the ships, exercised the office of captain-general, carrying the staff of office and making them lower the banners to him, and address him as "your Lordship," and his wife as "my lady." He immediately appointed his elder son to the post of sargento-mayor of this camp, and his younger son to a company, while another company was assigned to a relative of Auditor Don Matias Flores y Cassila. Others were assigned to brothers of the said Don Matias, the fiscal, and other auditors, except Don Albaro, who refused to have anything given to his household. Upon seeing the illegality of those appointments, I issued an act declaring them vacant and restoring those posts to those who had held them before.

I did the same in regard to the posts that I found filled for the ships which I am despatching now to Nueva Espana, as those appointments were not made to suitable persons. Such were holding them with their followers by illegal means and had no services or qualifications, although there are persons of excellent abilities, as are those who now hold them.

The ships are the best and most suitable that have sailed hence for a number of years past, and are of five hundred or six hundred tons burden apiece. They are well equipped with artillery and other necessities. They are heavily laden, for, although the enemy was along the coasts in smaller craft than other years, this year the Chinese came and have brought the Portuguese from Macan. Regarding the danger that might be feared on the coast of Nueba Espana from a Dutch fleet which we heard would pass through the strait of Magallanes, I left the viceroy warned, so that when those ships can reach that coast, he will have a sentinel and lookout at the island of Cedros, in front of the gulf of California—where they are ordered to reconnoiter the enemy's condition, and where the foe never expect them—and with a port to windward of the cape of Corrientes, which is the place where they may be awaited; with that I trust, God helping, that they will be secure.

Eleven of the fourteen Dutch ships that passed [the strait] this year went to Capulco; they were those which the pirate took from Olanda. Seven of them were large ships, and four small; three of them were captured in Piru. They reached Terrenate with all of them, and with eight hundred men aboard. Accordingly I believe that they will come here in a few months; and as this state and its conservation depends on maritime forces (as does that of all the islands of the world); and as the building of three ships of the size of these two (which, as it could not be avoided, are going to Nueva Espana) resulted, I hope from the willingness with which the fathers of the Society offer to make two ships for me in the province of Leyte (where they have their missions), and the Franciscans another in those of Camarines, that they will be provided for me. The condition of the royal treasury and your Majesty's heavy expenses on the point of Cavite require that very urgently.

Having found the magazines so empty of everything needed (which supplies, it seems, have been stolen from them), I was accordingly forced to send a ship to Japon with products that are esteemed there, in order to exchange them for things needed here. [In the margin: "Seen."]

Affairs in that kingdom are so bloody because of the matter of religion, that it is a lamentable thing. Ships are sent with great danger because of the close scrutiny that the Japanese make, in their fear lest religious are conveyed in them. The embassy returned, after so heavy expenses, without those barbarians having been willing to receive it. It sailed very late, since it gave the Dutch opportunity to believe, and to give that emperor to understand, that your Majesty's vassals were entering under pretense of religion to despoil them of their kingdoms.

Sargento-mayor Don Fernando de Silba, who returned with the reenforcements that he took to Macan, put in at the kingdom of Sian with one of your Majesty's ships, some artillery, and seventy Spaniards. As I have been informed, endeavor was made to carry matters with so high a hand that the natives, aided by Japanese, decapitated him and most of his men; while about thirty of them are in prison, and most of the property of your Lordship from this place, quite a large amount, is in the power of that king. I shall endeavor with all my power to collect them peaceably; for the enemy, since they are on the lookout for us, give no opportunity to punish the deed.

We have heard that Nun Albaros Botello has had good results in two battles in East India with the Dutch, over Ormus; and that he expected the recovery of those forts. However, I doubt it, because of the scant obedience of the Portuguese to the officers who commanded them in war, [In the margin: "Seen."]

The province of Cagayan has continued in revolt. I shall immediately provide a remedy, and hope to obtain one, by ordering those troops for its conquest not to leave it, as they have done hitherto, but to fortify and maintain themselves; for by their leaving the natives their fields and palm plantations, two consecutive years are necessary to reduce them. [In the margin: "Seen."]

The bishop of that province, Don Juan de Rrenteria, to whom your Majesty committed the general inspection of this royal Audiencia, died November 4 of last year. If your Majesty should decide to send another person for this place rather than for another place, it is necessary, as also that he be one who has experience, and is disinterested and conscientious. [In the margin: "Seen."]

The forts of Terrenate are garrisoned with soldiers and necessary supplies, although all, as I have heard, are quite discontented with their governor, Pedro de Heredia, because of his trade and intercourse with the enemy, of which they accuse him, and his usurpation of the duties from the export of cloves and other things. I shall investigate the truth and advise your Majesty of the result, and in the meantime I shall correct the matter. The enemy have dismantled the forts of Calomatas and Motil, and are, as I believe, somewhat weakened in those districts. I shall send the usual expedition early, with what is asked from me from there; and shall endeavor to secure very friendly intercourse with the king of Macassar, who proves himself ever a most zealous servitor of your Majesty, which is of importance for Maluco affairs. [In the margin: "File."]

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