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 XXIII, 1629-30
Edited and annotated by Emma Helen Blair and James Alexander Robertson with historical introduction and additional notes by Edward Gaylord Bourne.
CONTENTS OF VOLUME XXIII
Preface Documents of 1629-30
Decree regarding mission appointments in the Indias. Felipe IV; Madrid, April 6, 1629 Letter from Manila Dominicans to Felipe IV. Diego Duarte, and others; Manila, May 12, 1629 Letters to Felipe IV. Juan Nino de Tavora; Cavite, August 1, 1629 Relation of 1629-30. [Unsigned; Manila, July, 1630] Letters to Felipe IV. Juan Nino de Tavora; Manila, July 30, and Cavite, August 4, 1630
History of the Augustinian order in the Filipinas Islands (to be concluded). Juan de Medina, O.S.A.; 1630 [but printed at Manila, 1893] Bibliographical Data
Monument in Manila to Legazpi and Urdaneta; from a photograph in possession of the Colegio de Agustinos Filipinos, Valladolid 125 Map of the Marianas Islands (with large inset of the island of Guam); photographic facsimile of Bellin's map in Historische Beschryving der Reizen (Amsterdam, 1758), xvii, p. 6; from copy in library of Wisconsin Historical Society 135 View of boat of the Ladrone Islands; from engraving in Histoire generale des voyages (Paris, 1753) xi, facing p. 171; from copy in the library of Wisconsin Historical Society 139 Exterior of Augustinian church and convent, Manila; from plate in possession of the Colegio de Agustinos Filipinos, Valladolid 205
The present volume contains but few documents relating to current affairs in 1629-30, the greater part of its space being occupied with the Augustinian Medina's history of his order in the Philippines to 1630; but the annual reports of the governor present an interesting view of the colony's affairs at that time. As usual, the colonial treasury is but slenderly provided with the funds necessary for carrying on the government, and Tavora proposes expedients for obtaining these, and for utilizing hitherto neglected resources of the country. He has to contend with hostility on the part of the royal officials, and apathy in Mexico as to the welfare of the far western colony dependent on it. The southern Malays are hostile, but thus far have been held in check; and threatened hostilities with Japan have been averted. Medina's history is of course largely religious; but it contains considerable mention of secular events and of social and economic conditions. The length of this work obliges us to synopsize such matter as is of secondary importance, and to conclude our translation of it in Vol. XXIV.
A royal decree (April 6, 1629) commands the provincials of the religious orders in the Spanish colonies to heed the rights of the royal patronage in making or changing appointments to mission posts. The leading Dominican officials in Manila write (May 12, 1629) to the king, informing him that the country is in a ruinous condition from the piracies of the Dutch, which have also broken up the trade of the islands. They ask certain favors from the king, and are sending an envoy to Madrid to discuss their affairs with him.
The annual reports of Governor Tavora (dated August 1, 1629) include many important matters. As usual, he is embarrassed by lack of funds; little has been received from Nueva Espana, and the revenues of the islands are greatly diminished by the decline in trade. He is endeavoring to secure what cloves he can from the Moluccas, and advises that this product be bartered in India, on the royal account, for supplies needed for the royal magazines in Manila, which can be done on highly profitable terms. Tavora minimizes the possible danger to these cargoes from the Dutch enemy at Singapore, and asks that he be allowed to send cloves thus to India, at such times as he can collect a sufficient quantity for this purpose; and that in this matter the treasury officials be not allowed to interfere. He also proposes that the rations of rice allotted by the government to its workmen be provided by letting Chinese farmers cultivate certain unused crown lands; he has even begun to plan for this undertaking. Tavora recounts certain difficulties that he has experienced in dealing with the treasury officials at Manila, and asks for the royal decision. In this connection, he remarks: "The offices in the Yndias are not worth anything unless one steals." To this letter are appended the decisions made by the royal fiscal in Spain. He refers to the royal councils the proposal to trade cloves in India; approves the farming of crown lands, but is uncertain whether the Mexican treasury can provide the additional contribution thus made necessary; advises thorough inspection of the accounts of the probate treasury, and strict prohibition of the use of those funds by the governors; objects to accepting pay-warrants in place of cash; and states that the removal of minor officials in the treasury, and the fees paid to them, are matters which should be investigated. A later opinion by the fiscal is to the effect that those minor officials be removed and appointed, as hitherto, by the treasury officials, not by the governor.
Another letter from Tavora, of the same date, deals with various matters of administration, relations with other nations, etc. He again deplores the late arrival of the ships from Nueva Espana, and urges that they he sent thence earlier in the season. He has not waited for them in sending the vessels to Acapulco; and the latter carry but small cargoes, owing to the unusual lack of Chinese goods in Manila this year. The citizens desire to send a committee of their number to Mexico to conduct their trade, in order to thwart the supposed unfriendly schemes of the Mexican merchants; but the governor deprecates this proceeding, as dangerous to the best interests of the islands. It is favored by an old royal decree, which he is putting into execution; but he considers this so inexpedient that he asks the royal Council to decide the case. He deprecates the forced loans that the governors make from the inhabitants, and urges that this be prevented by having more aid sent from Nueva Espana. The governor is endeavoring to have ships built in India, Camboja, and Cochinchina, to relieve the islands from this burden; he has a prospect of success in these efforts. The king of Siam who withheld the property of Spaniards is dead; and his son, in fear of Spanish arms, seeks friendly relations with Manila. Tavora has endeavored to restore trade with Japan, and has sent an embassy thither to make amends for burning the Japanese junk off Siam. Regarding that affair, a sharp controversy has arisen between Manila and Macan, which is referred to the home government. Don Fernando de Silva has left the islands, not without certain difficulties concerning bonds for his residencia, involving the governor's right of jurisdiction—which Tavora settles by the decision of common sense. The bridge across the Pasig is nearly completed, and the cost of it has been met from the general fund of the Chinese residents, as has also the support of the hospital for their use. On the arrival of the ships from Nueva Espana, the governor is disappointed at receiving so little from the viceroy, and implores the king for more reliable and permanent aid for the islands. He is sending artillery to Mexico. To this letter are appended a report of proceedings in the council convened to discuss relations with Japan, and various official acts regarding Fernando de Silva's departure from the islands.
The Jesuit annalist for 1629-30 relates various affairs of war. An expedition is sent against Jolo; but, their commander being wounded in an attack, the Spaniards are seized with a panic, and retreat without accomplishing much. The Malays of Achen attack Malacca, and besiege it during four months; then help arrives opportunely, in an expedition headed by the viceroy of India. The enemy are finally defeated, with loss of all their ships and artillery, and practically all their men killed or captured. Soon afterward the viceroy is accidentally drowned, which puts an end to his plans of conquest. The missionaries in Cochinchina are persecuted by superstitious natives.
The more important events in the colony's affairs for 1630 are related in Tavora's letters (July 30 and August 4). The Japanese are still angry at the burning of their junk by the Spaniards, and talk of attacking the latter in both Formosa and Luzon; accordingly, Tavora has greatly strengthened the fortifications of Manila. He has sent the usual relief to Ternate, but finds hostile Dutch ships there, and more reported as not far away. He mentions the siege of Malaca, and other exploits of the Portuguese; also the unsuccessful expedition to Jolo. Affairs in Cagayan are improving, and more of the revolted Indians are being subdued. In the second letter Tavora recounts his difficulties with the auditors, who are sending secret despatches to Spain, commanding the royal officials to pay their salaries regardless of the governor's orders, endeavoring to rule the Chinese, interfering in matters which do not concern them, and complaining against the governor's acts and plans. Tavora recounts these matters in detail, defending himself against the accusations made by the auditors, and stating his services to the crown. At the end, he asks permission to resign his post as governor.
The Historia of Fray Juan de Medina, O.S.A., was written in 1630, but printed at Manila in 1893. He records the history of his order in the Philippines up to 1630, adding much interesting information regarding secular affairs and the condition of the islands and their people. He begins with a resume of the discovery and early history of the archipelago—in the former of which, it will he remembered, the Augustinian Urdaneta was so prominent. Legazpi's voyage, and his encounters with the natives, are related at length. Medina describes the island of Cebu (where the Spaniards first halted), and its economic and religious condition at the time of his writing. He adds some information regarding Panay, Negros, and other adjacent islands; then, resuming his narration, describes the founding by Legazpi of a city in Cebu, and the purification of the natives. This is at first a most difficult and vexatious matter, as the natives are faithless to their promises; but they are finally won over by a chief whose wife, captured by the Spaniards, is well treated and restored to him. In the midst of this account Medina injects another, relating how Urdaneta, sent home by Legazpi with despatches, discovers the return route from the Philippines to Nueva Espana; and recounting subsequent events in the lives of Urdaneta and his companion Aguirre. Friendship with the natives of Cebu having been established, the Augustinians there begin to labor in the conversion of the Indians, and a considerable number of baptisms are conferred. The infant colony is attacked (at the instigation of the devil) by the Portuguese, but they are obliged to depart without harming it. The missions thrive apace, and extend to neighboring islands; and Fray Diego de Herrera goes to Spain to obtain more laborers for this so promising field. Returning, he brings tokens of the royal favor to both the missionaries and Legazpi. That officer concludes to remove his seat of government to Luzon, especially to secure the valuable Chinese trade, of which Medina gives some account—not failing to reiterate the stereotyped complaint that all the silver is being carried to China.
Medina describes with enthusiasm the magnificent bay of Manila, where the Spaniards enter Luzon; and relates the dealings of the invaders with the Moros, who are, as usual, perfidious and unreliable. After a time, however, they are reduced to obedience, largely through the efforts of the religious who accompany Legazpi. The Augustinians have a large and handsome convent in Manila, which is described. The organization of their province of Filipinas is accomplished pro tempore in 1572, and Diego de Herrera is sent to Spain to secure their independence and procure more missionaries.
Medina recounts the convents and churches founded in succession by his order, with some account of the lakes Bombon and Bay, and of the communities about them. Speaking of the hospitals, he highly commends the Franciscans who have them in charge. He describes the region watered by the Pasig River, and the Augustinian convents therein; and continues his account, in like manner, for Panay and the other islands in which that order has its missions—throughout furnishing much valuable, although desultory, information regarding social and economic conditions.
Recurring to affairs at Manila, he recounts the beginning and growth of the Chinese trade there, and the unsuccessful attempts of the early Augustinians to open a mission in China. Legazpi's death (1572) is a grief and loss to that order. The people of Mindoro, hearing of Limahon's attack on Manila, rebel, and threaten to kill the missionaries there; but afterward they release the fathers. The Moros at Manila also revolt, but are finally pacified.
Various new Augustinians arrive at Manila in 1574 and 1575; but a great loss befalls them in the following year, in the death of Fray Diego de Herrera and ten missionaries whom he was bringing to the islands, their ship being wrecked when near Manila. The Augustinians, seeing their inability to cultivate so great a mission-field, invite other orders to come to their aid. Accordingly, the discalced Franciscans arrive in the islands in 1577, the Jesuits in 1580, the Dominicans in 1581. Medina enumerates the missions and colleges conducted by the latter orders, at the same time warmly commending their educational work and their pious zeal. The Dominicans are in charge of the Sangleys, of whose sharp dealings with the Spaniards Medina complains. Among the mission-fields ceded to the Dominicans by the Augustinians are the provinces of Pangasinan and Cagayan; in the latter, the natives frequently revolt against the Spaniards.
Medina extols the magnificence of the churches in Manila, and the liberality displayed by the faithful in adorning them. This is noted by foreigners who come to the city, notably the Japanese. The converts of that nation have witnessed nobly their zeal and holy devotion, for more than nine hundred have been martyred in Japan for the truth. In 1575, two Augustinians go to China with letters from the governor of the Philippines, hoping to begin a mission in that country. In this attempt they are not successful, but they return with much information regarding China, which until then had been mainly a terra incognita.
The city of Manila has made steady progress, and the religious orders are erecting stone buildings for their convents. At first, they had built their houses of wood, in the native style, which is described by our writer. Many houses, both within and without the city, are now built of stone; but the health of the city is not as good as when the people lived in wooden houses.
In 1578 Fray Agustin de Alburquerque is elected provincial, and at once begins to extend the missions of his order—especially in Pampanga, of which province some description is given. This province, once so populous, has lost many of its men by conscription for the Spanish forts, being sent away even to Maluco. It is often raided by the head-hunting tribes of the interior—something which cannot be checked, especially on account of the heedlessness and lack of foresight inherent in the character of the Indians. They are lazy, deficient in public spirit, and have no initiative; what they accomplish is only under the vigilance and urging of the missionary or the alcalde-mayor. The Panay convent is near the Spanish fort at Arevalo, and the fathers have the privilege of treatment by the surgeon there—"who, without being able to distinguish his right hand, bleeds and purges, so that in a brief time the sick man is laid in his grave." The creoles of Nueva Espana die early, and "do not reach their majority."
In 1581, Fray Andres de Aguirre is elected provincial of Filipinas: his many virtues and achievements are extolled by our writer. Medina here takes occasion to advocate the policy of gathering the Indians into reductions and there teaching them the civilized ways of Europeans. He makes interesting observations on the character and temperament of the natives; and complains of the opposition encountered by the missionaries from the Spaniards, "by whose hands the devil wages warfare against the ministry; consequently the religious tire themselves out, and the devil reaps what harvest he wills." But the Spaniards oppress the Indians; and, "if it were not for the protection of the religious, there would not now be an Indian, or any settlement." Moreover, it is the religious who are taming those wild peoples, and reducing them to subjection to the Spanish crown. All these points are illustrated by anecdotes and citations from actual experience. Under Aguirre's rule as provincial, some extensions of missions are made. Among these is Bantayan—since that time abandoned by the Augustinians, as Medina records, and almost depopulated by the raids of Moro pirates. An attempt is made to remove its inhabitants to settlements in Cebu Island; but they refuse to leave their homes. Medina recounts numerous instances of cruel and oppressive treatment of the Indians by the Spaniards, and of insolence and opposition on the part of the latter to the missionaries and their work. With this, he also urges that the religious be allowed to inflict punishments upon the natives, when the latter are disobedient or commit misdeeds. In this argument Medina makes a curious admission, especially as he writes after missionaries had labored sixty-five years in the islands—saying of the Indians: "For they detest, as a rule, church matters—to such an extent, that they would even pay two tributes to be free from the church. They love their old beliefs and revelries so strongly that they would lose their souls for them. Without any fear, how would they attend to their duties?" The missionaries also desire to break up the native habits of sloth and vagabondage, by compelling the Indians to live in villages; but many Spaniards oppose this policy. Medina recounts the difficulties between the friars and the ecclesiastical authorities, in Bishop Salazar's time, regarding the religious jurisdiction of the former.
Further extension of missions is made during the provincialate of Fray Diego de Alvarez (elected in 1584). Each district in which a mission is introduced or enlarged is described by our writer, who adds many pertinent and interesting observations on the natives and their character, their relations with the Spaniards, the affairs of his order, the progress of the colony, the products of the country, etc.
DOCUMENTS OF 1629-1630
Decree regarding mission appointments in the Indias. Felipe IV; April 6, 1629. Letter from Manila Dominicans to Felipe IV. Diego Duarte, and others; May 12, 1629. Letters to Felipe IV. Juan Nino de Tavora; August 1, 1629. Relation of 1629-30. [Unsigned; July, 1630.] Letters to Felipe IV. Juan Nino de Tavora; July 30 and August 4, 1630.
Sources: Of these documents, the first is obtained from Pastells's edition of Colin's Labor evangelica, iii, p. 686; the fourth, from the Ventura del Arco MSS. (Ayer library), i, pp. 617-625; and the remainder from MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla.
Translations: All these documents are translated by James A. Robertson.
Decree Regarding Mission Appointments in the Indias
The King. Inasmuch as I have been informed that—notwithstanding that it has been ruled and decreed, in virtue of the prerogative of my royal patronage, that the provincials of the orders in my Western Indias, whenever they have to propose any religious for the instruction or for the administration of sacraments, or to remove him who should have been appointed, shall give notice thereof to my viceroy, president, Audiencia, or governor, who should have charge of the superior government of the province, and to the bishop; and that he who may have been already appointed be not removed until another has been appointed in his place—for some time past, the said provincials have been introducing the custom of dismissing and removing the religious teacher who is stationed at any mission, and appointing another in his place, solely on their own authority, without giving notice to the said viceroy, or the persons above mentioned, as they have done on various occasions. They also claim that if a religious is once approved by the bishop for a mission, he needs no further approbation for any other mission to which his provincial may transfer him. If the archbishops or bishops of the diocese where such a thing occurs try to hinder it, the provincials base various lawsuits upon that point, whence follow many injurious and troublesome results. In order to obviate these, the matter having been discussed and considered by the members of my Council of the Indias, with their assent and advice I have deemed it advisable to ordain and order—as by the present I do ordain and order—that now and henceforth, in regard to the said provincials removing and appointing the religious of the said missions, they shall observe and obey what is ordained on that head by the said my royal patronage, according to what is mentioned in this my decree. They shall not violate or disobey it in any way; and in addition to it, whenever they shall have to appoint any religious to the said missions in their charge—whether because of the promotion of him who serves it, or by his death, or for any other reason—they shall nominate from among their religious those who shall appear most suitable for such mission, upon which their consciences are charged. This nomination shall be presented before my viceroy, president, or governor (or to the person who shall exercise the superior government, in my name, of the province where such mission shall be located), so that from the three nominated he may select one. This choice shall be sent to the archbishop or bishop of that diocese, so that the said archbishop or bishop may make the provision, collation, and canonical institution of such mission, in accordance with the choice and by virtue of such presentation. In regard to the pretension made by the said provincials, namely, that if a religious be once approved for a mission, it must be understood that that approbation is to answer for all the other missions to which he may be appointed, I consider it advisable to declare—as I declare and order by the present—that the religious who shall have once been examined and approved by the bishop for a mission, remain examined and approved for all the other missions of the same language to which he shall be appointed afterward. But if the mission for which his provincial shall present him be of a different language, he must be examined and approved anew in it; and, until he shall be examined and approved, he cannot serve in the mission. I order my viceroys, presidents, and governors of each and every part of the said my Indias, on whom falls the execution of the said royal patronage; and I request and charge the very reverend and the reverend fathers in Christ, the archbishops and bishops of the Indias—each one of them in what concerns him—to observe and obey this my decree, and its contents, exactly and punctually, without permitting or allowing anything to be done contrary to or in violation of its contents, in any manner; and that they give notice to all the provincials of the said orders of this ordinance, so that they may observe it. Given in Madrid, April six, one thousand six hundred and twenty-nine.
I the King
By order of the king our sovereign:
Don Fernando Ruiz de Contreras
Letter from Manila Dominicans to Felipe IV
Responding to our obligation, as religious of St. Dominic our father, and as vassals of your Majesty, to advise you of the condition of the lands of your seigniory, where we now reside in this country of the Philipinas and the city of Manila (where we are at present assembled in our provincial chapter and definitory), we say that this land is greatly afflicted because these seas are so infested with the Dutch. The trade with neighboring nations, which was formerly rich and supported this country, has lost its power. The result of the Dutch attacks is, that your vassals here have no sea forces, and but few for land; and those are widely scattered in various presidios of little importance, that serve no good purpose and cause very great expense to your royal treasury. At those presidios the soldiers die in great numbers from the unhealthful climate, insufficient and poor food, and their own inactivity and vicious lives. We believe that a small fleet for the sea could be maintained at a much smaller cost; that will sweep it of enemies, will keep the soldiers contented and in sufficient numbers (and if they are killed, it will be while performing their duty, and not for the above reasons); trade would return to its former condition, and all the injuries that daily befall this wretched country would cease.
Concerning the condition of our holy order, your officials will tell your Majesty, for they ought to inform you of everything that happens here. And although they are, as a rule, not very friendly to us, because our order is a friend to truth, we leave information of our affairs to be given through their statements. The report of our poverty will be given to your Majesty by our religious procurator of the province, who is at that court. We beseech your Majesty to hear, believe, and protect him, and despatch his affairs. The royal officials of Mexico, on account of the expense of these islands, which is made up from the treasury under their charge, send annually to our order, at the cost of your royal revenues, flour for the host, and two arrobas of wine for each priest, with orders that one and one-half arrobas are to be given here to each one, because of the waste on the voyage. Since we do not even see any dust from the flour, nor more than one arroba of the wine, in order to celebrate mass for a whole year, on account of which mass cannot be said, even on days of obligation, it is sufficient to propose it in this way, in order that we may expect the remedy as sure to follow from your Majesty, whose royal person may our Lord preserve for many years, as we all your vassals find necessary. From the city of Manila in the Filipinas Islands, May twelve, one thousand six hundred and twenty-nine. Your Majesty's servants and chaplains,
Fray Diego Duarte, definitor. Fray Joan Luis de Gueti, definitor. Fray Gaspar Cassablanca, definitor. Fray Pedro Martin de Lucenilla, definitor.
[A copy of the last portion of the above letter regarding the flour and wine sent from Mexico follows, and is commented upon thus: "Decree of the Council. Referred to the fiscal, November 8, 1630." "The fiscal says that what is requested by this portion of the letter appears very just and advisable; and it will be right and expedient to give strict orders to the governor of Philipinas to be very careful to relieve these necessities, and not to allow them to be again represented to the Council. Madrid, February 8, 1631."]
Letters to Felipe IV from Governor Tavora
The officials of the royal treasury will give your Majesty a detailed account of the condition of your treasury in these islands—which beyond all doubt is very pitiable, because of the smallness of the relief that has come these last few years from Nueva Espana, and the little profit that the islands themselves have produced, because of the great decrease in commerce. That obliges me to see what measures will be advisable to increase the revenues and decrease the expenses of this royal treasury. The other day, I proposed in a meeting of the treasury, of which I send a copy, what will be seen in that copy—for whose better understanding, and so that the advisability of the proposition may be seen in your royal Council, I thought it fitting to write this section.
First point of the letter
Your Majesty has ordered by many decrees that we try to obtain cloves, from our present possessions in the Malucas, and that they be cultivated for your royal treasury. In accordance with that command—although your Majesty's purpose had not been realized hitherto, either because the governors my predecessors were unable (which is the most certain thing), or they did not always have the cloves in the quantities necessary, or because of the corrupt agents who have been occupied in that business—I have now forty-five bars [i.e., bahars] of cloves stored in the magazines; and I judge that an average of fifty bars per year (rather more than less) could be obtained without much difficulty. Considering the question of the cultivation and investment of that quantity, I think that by no other route can this be better accomplished, or with more gain to your royal treasury, than by way of Yndia. I base my assertion on the following argument. Fifty bars of cloves are worth four thousand pesos in Maluco. If they are traded for clothing such as the Moros wear, the cost will be one-half less. The carriage from Maluco to Manila is nothing, for they will be brought in the ships of the usual relief expedition to those forts. The fifty bars, delivered in this city, are worth already at least ten thousand pesos. Once laden for India, and carried at your Majesty's account in your own ship, they will be worth thirty-five thousand pesos and more when delivered in Goa or Cochin, as is affirmed by men experienced in this kind of merchandise. Your Majesty needs many things in your royal magazines which are brought from the above-named cities, such as saltpetre, iron, anchors, slaves for the galleys, arms, biscuits, cayro, white cloth, and wearing apparel for convicts. Those articles are bought every year in Manila from merchants of Yndia, at excessive rates. The thirty-five thousand pesos resulting from the cloves having been invested, then, in those articles at Goa or Cochin, and having been brought to Manila on your Majesty's account and investment, will be worth at the figures now paid for the said articles, ninety or one hundred thousand pesos. And even if all this did not rise to so high prices, I am sure that fifty thousand pesos (which is one-half less than one might consider them to be worth) will be the return in products to these magazines from the fifty bars, which will cost four thousand pesos in money at first cost, as I have said—and if they be bought for the peculiar cloth of Yndia, two thousand pesos. That would be a very considerable gain and relief to the royal treasury.  [In the margin: "Consult with his Majesty as to what the governor proposes; and say that it has been judged best, before advising what we think of it, to refer the matter to his Majesty, so that he may order the council of Portugal to state their opinion regarding the matter. Having examined it from all points of view, an opinion will be given."] 
The expenses of that voyage will not amount to much, considering the profit and gain. The expenses for this gain are as follows: One ship or patache of one hundred and fifty Castilian toneladas, which, if built in these islands, will cost, when ready to sail, ten or twelve thousand pesos; eight pieces of bronze artillery, using balls of twelve and eight libras, which will be worth five thousand pesos; twenty-five sailors and a like number of musketeers, with six artillery-men, taken from those who receive the usual pay of this camp and beach—all married men and under such obligations that they cannot remain in Yndia, and who when embarked will only receive an increase in their rations of biscuit, meat, and fish, and some native wine, all of which amounts to but little; one captain for the management of the vessel, and master, pilots, boatswains, keeper of the arms [guardian], and steward—who are the officers to whom pay is assigned. The above, with all the other purchase expenses which I have given above for this ship, will not amount for the first time to twenty thousand pesos, together with the four thousand for the value of the cloves, the total amounting to twenty-four thousand, more or less. By this method, the so great profits for this treasury will be made, as above stated—adding the sum received from the freight charges for goods belonging to private persons, which can be brought and carried by this ship, and the register and the duties on them, which will here amount to considerable, and will prove of great relief for the said expenses.
The danger of this voyage is that of meeting the Dutch at the passage through the strait of Sincapura, near Malaca, which every year the Dutch inhabitants of Jacatra belonging to the Company  close up, and with a ship or two of little strength, or a couple of pataches, await the Portuguese galliots that sail from Macan to Yndia, and from Yndia to this city. The enemy knows very well that the Portuguese do not carry force enough to fight, and that on seeing the Dutch they run ashore and place their persons in safety with their gold, which is the form in which they chiefly invest their wealth. The ship which would sail from here would enter by a different channel than do the Portuguese, as the strait has three entrances. Our ship will be a swifter one, and will sail better against the wind; and a Dutch ship will not be able to catch it in two rosaries, and their pataches will not dare to grapple it because of the defense which they will encounter. Thus by fighting, without losing their route, the ship, will reach Malaca, and will make its voyage. On its return, it will stop first at Malaca, where it will hear news of the enemy. In case they find that the enemy are in the pass, they can wait in those forts until the former have retired to their own fort at Jacatra.
Thus far, I have mentioned all the advantages, expenses, and dangers. What still remains is to petition your Majesty to be pleased to have this matter considered; and if it appear advisable, to order that this voyage be made every year or every two years, as the governor shall deem best, and according to the quantity of cloves on hand and the opportunity offered by the weather. I petition that there shall be, in this regard, no opposition from the treasury council, in which, I have understood, your Majesty has ordered that the governor concur in the opinion of the majority. That may prove, in this country, to be a source of considerable trouble; for it might some day happen that an expedition would be determined to be necessary, in a council of war, and that the majority of the votes of the treasury council in which the expenses are voted may not concur, either through want of capacity in the officials, or through an excess of passion and private interest—and, in a land so remote, experience teaches that there are many such. In the report of the meeting that I enclose herewith, in regard to the above matter of the cloves, I guessed what were the majority of the opinions beforehand. Doctor Don Albaro de Mesa y Lugo, neutral or indecisive as he is on all questions of any importance or difficulty, and especially on those regarding revenue, for fear lest the auditors be obliged to pay. Licentiate Geronimo de Legaspi, senior auditor at the time of the council, not satisfied because I have employed his elder son in a company, tried to have a place given to the second son also, in another one. Because what he asked was not done, although I desired to please him, he was displeased. The accountant, Marten Ruiz de Salazar, has for a long time been offended, because he was not allowed to take fees from the clerks of the accountancy, and to exercise absolute authority over accepting and dismissing them, as in the present case. Hence my proposition was disliked by them both. Thus may your Majesty see carried out in this case the same motive that I stated for all the others—namely, that they do not vote without self-interest or passion. He to whom your Majesty can and ought to trust most is the person to whom all the government shall have been charged; and he should be given authority so that he may, after having heard the opinions of the treasury council, concur with the party which may seem to him more judicious, even though it be not the one with the more votes. [In the margin: "Have the fiscal see this again." "The fiscal declares that the form is laid down by the decrees and ordinances which treat of it, and he thinks it undesirable to make any innovation. For even though there happen to be some officials, of those who take part in those meetings, who are such as here described, it might also happen that there would be rash governors who might act inconsiderately, and only through self-will or caprice, and cause great and excessive expenses of the royal revenues. Consequently, it is preferable that action be taken by many votes, since in justifiable and even in doubtful cases the preference of him who governs or presides is always followed. Madrid, July 11, 1631." "Let the ordinance be kept."]
In case that your Majesty consider it fitting to have this voyage made in the aforesaid manner, it will be necessary for the decrees to come in duplicate for the viceroy of Yndia, so that he may grant free passage for this ship, and that he may give without any opposition the wares that will have to be bought on your Majesty's account; and so that no duties be imposed in Goa, Malaca, or any other part of Yndia, on what may be registered in your Majesty's name. Order must also be sent to Cochin, so that if any ship should have to be built there (as the ships cost less there, and last longer than those of these islands) all assistance and favor may be extended.
Point 2 of the letter
The second point discussed in the council is also essential; and if it be carried out, it will be the greatest relief to the islands, and will result in great saving for your Majesty. In the rations of rice (which is the bread of this country) which are furnished in Cavite and other parts, more than fifty thousand fanegas are consumed annually. This is imposed on the Indian natives by assessment or allotment,  and is paid at the rate of a peso per fanega. For the last three years the Chinese, both infidels and Christians, have devoted their efforts to sowing rice. Consequently, the country has been well supplied, as the Chinese are better farmers than the Indians. Many citizens and the convents of the religious orders have given them the loan of lands and twenty-five pesos per head, so that they might settle and equip themselves with the necessary implements for farming the land. The first year the Chinaman pays this sum, and the following years gives for every hundred brazas of land fifteen or twenty pesos rent, which is a like number of fanegas of rice. It has seemed to me expedient that in certain uncultivated lands that rightly remain in the name of your Majesty in the best region and lands of the islands (which is near here, in La Laguna de [Bay], five leguas up the river from Manila), two pieces of land should be appropriated [for this purpose]. I am assured that these will be sufficient so that two thousand Sangleys can be established on them; and that your Majesty will make the profit which the inhabitants and the religious make, since you can do so with greater advantage and protection to the farmers than private persons can give. I am also assured that a very productive agricultural estate can be made, by managing to obtain from it the cost in one or two years. For the rest of the time the rent is left free [from debt or other obligation]. For two thousand Sangleys that will amount to forty thousand fanegas of rice; and, as it increases with time, it will amount to fifty thousand. That is as much as these magazines need. [In the margin: "Let us be informed whether any of the expenses of those islands have been reduced." "Bring the memorandum of the reduction that was made in the year 618."]
The gain that will accrue to your Majesty from that will be to relieve your Majesty from the expense of fifty thousand pesos, and the Indian natives from the assessment and allotment of fifty thousand fanegas, which, as aforesaid, is the greatest relief for the islands, and for this royal treasury. The risk that will be run of the money that will be advanced to the Chinese so that they may settle and equip their farms (in which, although it is given with confidence, there is, of course, always some risk that some will run away and others will die), will all, however, be of little importance, in view of the profits that are seen to result in the estates which the religious and inhabitants are equipping.
It would be advisable for your Majesty to decree this to be carried out without any opposition; and that you order the viceroy of Nueva Espana, in order to facilitate it, to send five thousand pesos separately, and in addition [to the usual situado] in order that I may continue with capital what has been begun without it and (with what I have lent to the treasury from my own funds) make the experiment and take possession of the lands, ordering wheat to be sowed in a portion of them. I am told that it has been shown by experience that wheat bears well. This undertaking can not be accomplished in one or two years. Your Majesty holds these islands for many years through the Divine favor, and your successors as long as the world shall last. Consequently, the future must be considered, in order that these lands may not remain behind; but if this be done in all parts, in what pertains to your Majesty's revenues, the treasury will not remain in so backward a condition as at present.
Third point of the letter
Your Majesty's royal treasury owes to that of the goods of deceased persons more than forty thousand pesos, as appears from the memorandum and certification which I enclose herewith. For since the relief which is sent from Nueva Espana is so meager, and the expenses here are so great, the governors my predecessors were obliged to take, by way of loan, all that sum on different occasions. For the same reason I have not been able during my term, to repay it, nor do I hope to be able to do so, unless your Majesty order that sum to be sent from or paid in Nueva Espana on a separate account, in consideration of the fact that it is property of parties who are suffering, and, most of all, the goods of deceased persons. I give this information to your Majesty, as to the master and sovereign of it, and for the relief of my conscience.
Fourth point of the letter
The office of the notary of government and war which became vacant by the death of Captain Pedro Alvarez, was put at auction and adjudged to the heaviest bidder, who was Pedro de Heredia, governor of Terrenate. He bought it and placed it under charge of one of his sons. It was knocked down for the value of fifty-four thousand pesos—ten thousand to be paid on the spot, in reals, another ten thousand from his pay, and the thirty-four thousand remaining in the pay-warrants of various persons. It seems to have been a sale of importance for the services of your Majesty. And in order to avoid the suits which the secretaries of government have had with the governors my predecessors, as to whether that office should include the secretaryship of the permits to the Sangleys and the inspection of the Chinese ships (which are special commissions of the governor), and in order to avoid suits with my successors, I ordered that in the sale of that office it be made a condition that no more than the office of government secretary be sold; and that this was understood to be only what the governor should sign in writing; for in the commissions that the latter should give for those permits the secretary of the government was not to act as secretary. [In the margin: "As the fiscal says."]
The above is what occurs to me in regard to the increase and efficient administration of your royal treasury. I shall now declare my opinion regarding two differences of justice or jurisdiction that have arisen with the royal officials.
Fifth point of this letter
They formerly proposed the clerks whom they employed in their offices, so that the governor should appoint them at the pay that was assigned. In consequence of that power that they possessed, the accountant tried to take it upon himself to dismiss a clerk without any agreement with his associates, or the consent of the government. In fact, he abolished the position. I was informed that it was not for incompetency, or for any failure of which the clerk had been guilty in his office, but only for the accountant's own private reasons. He was ordered to return the man to his place, and to have him serve as before. The accountant alleged with too unmeasured language that he and his associates had the authority to dismiss the clerks, since they were the ones who proposed them. I was advised that it would be better government, in order to avoid the consequences, for the royal officials not to propose the clerks whom they had to employ in their offices, except in the memorial of the person who enters it, petitioning that they give information of his competency. Accordingly, I so provided; and therefore, so long as the clerks give satisfaction, it must not be understood that the royal officials can dismiss them without having information of demerits understood by the government—which is the agency to dismiss such men, as it was the one to hire them. [In the margin: "Ascertain what the royal officials write; and, if they have not written, let them report." "Search was made, and all the papers on the matter collected, together with those sections and letters which the royal officials have written."]
[Sixth point of this letter]
The accountant has also claimed the right to collect certain fees which this royal Audiencia assigned some years ago, by a sentence of examination and review, as a tariff to the clerks of the accountancy, the factor's office, and the treasury. The accountant lately renewed the suit, and declared in this Audiencia the one which I have resolved to send to your royal Council with the evidence. The matter is one of moment, for the clerks who serve carry the weight of the work of the accountancy; and as they cannot be maintained with the fees of the tariff, they charge additional fees, which parties give them in order to facilitate their business. Nor is it possible for the governors to avoid that; for it is a matter of importance to the parties themselves to conceal it, for the sake of their business. If the accountant tries to take those fees from them, the clerks will have a much greater reason to accept bribes; else they will not expedite the business, or reduce the great volume of accounts and business that are pending in this accountancy. Even the commencement of this suit has caused great trouble, and the clerks have been much disturbed by it. Will your Majesty be pleased to order the suit to be concluded, and the decision that is most expedient to be made. [In the margin: "Look up the papers regarding this matter; let it be as the fiscal says." "These sections were collected with the papers which treat of this matter."]
What is to be said is that the accountant and treasurer are very poor; and that the offices in the Yndias are not worth anything unless one steals, and they do not do that. The expenses of their households and families have been excessive in this city for some little time past, and consequently, those ministers cannot live decently on their pay. If there is any means to increase it, will your Majesty order that inquiry be made in what way this can be done without the royal officials taking away the perquisites from their clerks. May God preserve the Catholic royal person of your Majesty, as is necessary to Christendom. Cavite, August first, 1629. Sire, your Majesty's humble vassal,
Don Juan Nino de Tavora
[Addressed: "To his Majesty. Cavite, 1629."] [Endorsed: "Governor Don Juan Nino de Tavora. Treasury. Seen and decreed in the margin, July 11. Take it to the fiscal. In the Council, November 23, 630."]
[The findings of the fiscal]
1. The fiscal says that he has read this letter. In regard to the first point, concerning the ship which is to take the cloves, he thinks that if affairs move with the security and ease which the governor ascribes to them, the profit is a matter of considerable moment, and that the governor should be ordered to undertake it. But, inasmuch as many things enter into that question which pertain to the Council of War, he requests that the matter be examined and discussed by them before any resolution be taken. He also thinks that it will be necessary that a copy of what concerns the Council of Portugal be given that body, on account of the relations which the execution of this measure have and may have with Goa, Malaca, and other points of Eastern Yndia which fall within the demarcation of the said Council.
2. In regard to the second point, concerning the cultivation of the land, he thinks that it ought to be accepted; for the amount of money risked is little, and will be spent to establish a known gain. He only stops to consider that, in order to carry out this measure and the preceding one, the governor requests further increase in the situado which is generally given from Mexico to those islands; and he does not know whether the royal treasury of that city is at present able to furnish that increase, because of the loss which his Majesty's incomes have sustained from the inundation  and other troubles which have come upon them, and the heavy burdens of the said treasury.
3. In regard to the third point, concerning what is owed to the fund of the goods of deceased persons—a sum which exceeds forty thousand pesos, because the governors have used it on various urgent occasions that have arisen and have not repaid it—the fiscal recognizes how just it is that an effort be made to repay and satisfy those funds, but he finds this unadvisable at present for the royal treasury; for it is first necessary to liquidate the accounts and investigate how all that sum was spent, and whether it could have been avoided, and why the governors have not always made it up from the situado which has been sent to them all these years. That must depend on the investigation which shall be made in the inspection which has been ordered to be made of the governors, auditors, treasuries, and royal officials of those islands. This point must be set down in writing, as it is so essential, so that the inspector who shall be appointed may have it well in hand. After knowing the result and report of the inspection, orders will be given as to what shall be just in regard to the payment and integrity of the said fund of the goods of deceased persons. A royal decree must be despatched, so that this indebtedness be made no greater in the future, and so that the governors take upon themselves no authority to make payments out of the said fund; and such proceeding shall be strictly prohibited to them, as it was by another decree which was despatched to Piru in regard to this same matter, and the custom of the viceroys in making payments from the fund of the goods of deceased persons.
4. In regard to the fourth point, concerning the sale of the office of [secretary of] government and war, which the governor says he has sold for fifty-four thousand pesos, the fiscal will place before the Council what will be advisable for the investigation of this matter, when the purchaser shall come to ask for the confirmation of this sale. For the present, what he has to note is that only ten thousand pesos of the said sum appear to have been in cash; for the forty-four thousand pesos remaining were received in salary-warrants which were said to be owing from the treasury to the said purchaser and to other persons. That mode of payment has many inconveniences, as has been alleged on other occasions; and order must be given that it be avoided as much as possible.
5. In regard to the fifth point, no definite measures can be taken until the accountant and royal officials have been heard, and the custom ascertained which has been in vogue in appointing and removing the minor officials of the royal treasury; for in the majority of cases, it is usually in charge of the royal officials, to say who shall help them, and they remove or appoint as they deem best. If there has been or is anything that contradicts this, it is where such minor officials are paid and are given title by his Majesty.
6. In regard to the sixth and last point, it will be advisable to look up and collect the acts cited in it; and in the meanwhile the fiscal thinks that order should be given to pay the fees to the minor officials, as was declared by the royal Audiencia. Madrid, November 30, 1630.
[A copy of certain sections of the present letter follows (those of the fifth point) with the decree of the Council and the statement of the fiscal, all of which is given above. Several of the summaries of decrees of the Council are dated July 11, 1631. The following statement, relating to the fifth and sixth points, completes the document.]
The fiscal, having seen the acts which accompany this section of this letter, in virtue of a decree of the Council, declares that it should be ordered to observe the custom that has been followed in Manila in regard to the appointment of the clerks who serve under the royal officials; and that there be no such innovation as is attempted by the governor—by which, besides the petition that shall be given to the governor by the person who solicits such and such an office, the royal officials give information as to his ability and competency; and the governor, having considered his competency, will make the appointment. For this means to deprive the royal officials of what they now enjoy and possess, which is even less than their rights in other parts. Neither does the pretension of the accountant, Martin Ruiz de Salazar, appear suitable—namely, that he absolutely appoint his clerks and have authority to remove them; for that is contrary to the custom and procedure which has always obtained there. It is sufficient for him to propose them to the governor. It will be well for the latter to retain that privilege, especially since that royal official's associates, the treasurer and factor, do not make any demand regarding this point, although they have the same right. It will be advisable to write to the accountant that in regard to the point that he makes concerning the removing of his clerk at will, he shall go to the governor who appointed him, or to the Audiencia, where justice will be done in the presence of the parties. In regard to the laws and acts regarding this that have been referred to the Council, he thinks that either one of two means can be adopted: either to order the Audiencia of Manila to take the proper measures, after having examined the parties, since they are there, and do not come [here] under summons; or, in case the Council wishes to decide the matter, that the parties be summoned, so that they may declare what is advisable for them. For the tariff given by the Audiencia in the year 599 speaks clearly in favor of the clerks; and since it is so old and has always been observed, and since this favorable act was obtained from the Audiencia, the said royal officials cannot take any resolution within hearing of them. Thus does the fiscal petition. Madrid, June 9, 1633.
1. Slowness of the ships which come from Nueva Espana
In a separate letter sent with this same despatch, I write to your Majesty of the matters pertaining to war, revenue, the ecclesiastical estate, and the religious orders, that have arisen in the course of the year. In the present letter, I shall briefly mention some general points of the government, for which I take pen in hand today, July 19, before the arrival at this port of Cavite of the ships from Nueva Espana, or news that they have entered the islands. Consequently we (I and all this city) are as anxious as can be imagined, as it is now so late and the vendavals have already set in with some vehemence. May God, in His mercy, have pity on us; and will your Majesty be pleased to urge the viceroy of Nueva Espana, by ordering him to have the aid for these islands leave Acapulco at least by the middle of March. By that the voyage will be made certain; but if it is delayed until the last of the same month or the first of April, as has been done these last years, these islands are in evident danger of remaining without aid, and that would mean their total ruin. [In the margin: "Have him notified accordingly, and advise the governor what orders have been sent to him."]
2. Despatch of the ships leaving here this year
I am despatching these ships before the arrival of the others, to the very great inconvenience of the entire country. But the trouble would be greater if the ships sailed out of season, and after the subsidence of the vendavals, which is their proper monsoon. May God bear them with safety. They are the two best ships which have sailed from this place. The flagship was finished recently, and the almiranta is the same as new, because of the thorough overhauling that was given it on this beach. [In the margin: "Seen."]
3. Their small cargo, and the lack of trade in this year
Their cargo is small, because ships from China and Macan have not entered Manila this year, and those which were laden in the island of Hermosa have not returned. The reason why the Chinese did not come is the multitude of pirates of their own nation who have overrun their coasts; while it is understood that the reason why the ships have not returned from the island of Hermosa on time is because the vendavals must have set in earlier than usual. Accordingly, for both reasons the ships take less merchandise than they could, and what they take is at advanced prices. Everything has been incredibly dear in Manila this year; and we could not live here if we did not have the hope of better conditions and an abundance of all things. [In the margin: "Seen."]
4. Resolution taken by this city to send eight citizens to the City of Mexico, so that they may handle their merchandise in accordance with a royal decree which they have presented for that purpose.
The scarcity in the present year and the small supply of the past years have given this city occasion to resolve upon an innovation which we greatly fear will be its total ruin. The city petitioned me for the execution of a decree of your Majesty given in the year 1593, which has not as yet been given force in what pertains to the citizens; and that is the matter in which they are causing an innovation. Your Majesty permits them in that decree to go to sell their goods in Mexico, or to send them by persons who go in the ships; but not to send or consign them to citizens of Mexico, unless it he in the second place and in case of the death of those who take them. As the profits have been so small these last few years, the citizens of Manila throw the blame on the efforts of those in Mexico, which they say are unfriendly. Consequently, they have resolved to send eight men from this city with goods of those who have consented to commit these to them; for which, although they pretended that this would not remain at the will of the owners, I, however, relying upon the decree, have refused to concede them more than it mentions. The eight men have orders and instructions to form one single body, and to sell through one person, and to manage their business by the counsel and opinion of all, the majority of votes ruling. They are to make all the necessary efforts in Nueva Espana for blocking the citizens of Mexico who are not agents for those in Filipinas, even if it should be necessary for some of them to go to that court to attain their purpose. [In the margin: "Take it to the fiscal." "It was taken to him. Answered on a separate paper."]
5. Advantages and difficulties in the execution of this decree, and the ruinous outcome which may be feared from it.
As the execution of this decree, although so old, is a good method to attain what his Majesty intends and what the monarchy needs, that but little money of merchants be sent to these islands, I am giving without any opposition to the citizens of this city what is ordered by the decree, as will be seen by the acts that have been passed in this regard which I am sending to that royal Council, in order that it may understand the matter better, and that it may take the measures which seem most advisable. The truth is, that I fear lest a violent clash result from this innovation, between this city and that of Mexico; for the citizens of the latter place, when they find themselves deprived of the gains which they had by acting as agents for those of Filipinas, will render poor service as such to the latter; and further, knowing that the citizens here are combining against them, that will oblige them also to combine [against these citizens], in order not to make the returns this year with any silver. That would be the total ruin of this colony, because of the small investments and business affairs of these last years. [In the margin: "Take it to the fiscal with the acts." "They were taken to him. Response on a separate paper."]
6. That all that has been done in this matter has been with the approval and assent of the Audiencia, and against my own.
I never took my pen to sign an act in this matter (upon which all the Audiencia was unanimous), for they seemed to me the most serious acts that could arise pro and con in this community. All that I have executed has been against my own opinion. What I would gladly have done would be to have four or six alert men to take charge of the goods of private persons, and have each one administer it as best he could, without at present trying to oppose the citizens of Mexico and to deprive them at one stroke of the agencies, and that would be accomplished gradually. Besides, times becoming better by buying here cheap, the profits would be greater; and it would be a good expedient not to send too great a consignment of goods to Nueva Espana. That would be, and this city would have, some relief without so much offense to the City of Mexico, which is of no less importance to the monarchy than this city. [In the margin: "Take it to the fiscal." "It was referred to him. Response in a separate paper."]
7. How injurious it is to take loans from the inhabitants of this city
The havoc wrought by the loans which the inhabitants are forced to make to the royal treasury, which is now owing them about two hundred thousand pesos, is not little. The inhabitants have been unable to invest that money, and hence the deficiency in what they could have used in trade has embarrassed them with a like shortage in the profits that they would have made with this sum. Your Majesty ought to have this matter remedied by ordering the viceroys of Nueva Espana to aid this treasury with the sum asked for here; for surely such procedure means the total destruction of these few vassals whom your Majesty has here in this little commonwealth. If that relief be lacking, the enemy will have but little to do in making themselves masters of the South Sea. [In the margin: "That this matter is being discussed very carefully and that it will be thoroughly examined in order to give a suitable answer."]
8. The fresh supply of saltpetre which was brought from Yndia by the efforts of Don Felipe Mascarenas, captain of Cochin.
Four galliots have come from Yndia with flour and a certain quantity of saltpetre, of which we were in great need. The captain of Cochin, Don Felipe de Mascarenas, is the one who has solicited it; and he aids me very punctually with what I ask from him. I am trying to have some ships built there for the Nueva Espana line. I request your Majesty to thank him, and to encourage him to pay careful attention to the quick building of the new ships; for this would effect much, and relieve the islands of one of the greatest burdens that they endure, namely, the shipyards and shipbuilding. [In the margin: "Let his Majesty be consulted, so that the same be done in such manner as he prefers." "Consultation was held October 17."]
9. Embassy sent to the king of Camboja; the building of ships; and the trade that has been established with him.
For the same purpose I despatched an embassy this year to the kingdom of Camboja, in order to ascertain whether it has suitable timber. I have heard that those who went there have been well received by the king, and that he is answering me by another embassy composed of his vassals. They say that he has never done so with anyone else, and that the building of a ship was already being begun. I am momentarily expecting a patache which was bought there, in which the ambassadors are coming. I trust that very many matters for relief for these islands and saving for your Majesty will be arranged with them besides the shipbuilding, as well as the advantage which the Catholic faith may obtain in this commerce. For some Dominican fathers whom I sent as chaplains for the Spaniards write me that they were very cordially received by the king, and that the latter had given them permission to build a church, and to baptize those who wished to be converted. [In the margin: "Have him advise us of the result, and approve what he is doing."]
10. Embassy and trade with the king of Cochinchina
I also sent a message to the king of Cochinchina, with letters and presents, in order to establish a factory in his kingdom, both for the building of ships and for the exporting of iron and other metals—which can be imported from there at much less cost than what is now incurred here in the islands. I have already received a reply from the king, which contains many expressions of desire that what I am trying to do will be effected; and I am in hopes of accomplishing it this year. [In the margin: "Approve it and tell him to continue these efforts."]
11. Message to the king of Sian, and the condition in which the punishment meted out to him last year has placed him.
As for the king of Sian, I advised your Majesty last year of the punishment inflicted upon him for his injustice toward the inhabitants of this city in keeping their goods. After having inflicted the punishment, I thought it advisable to send him a message through an experienced person of his kingdom, declaring what was intended by the expedition of the galleons to his river; and warning him to give full satisfaction, unless he wished the punishment to proceed further. The messenger found the king dead, and all the counselors removed who were in power at the time when the matter occurred, and the new king so fearful of the arms of your Majesty that he was afraid to despatch any vessel from his coasts. He has sent the messenger back to me with letters and presents, in which he begs for our friendship, and satisfies in words the injustice which his father committed. However, he does not make any active reparation, so that I am at present in a condition of continuing the chastisement or of accepting the reparation and friendship which he asks, as shall seem to me best for the welfare of these islands. This is a matter of importance, which I am communicating in order that what is most expedient may be carried out. [In the margin: "That it is well to continue demanding from him what his father owed."]
[12.] Despatch sent to Japan in regard to the burning of the junk, of which advice was sent last year; and the controversy regarding this which the city of Macan has maintained with me.
Like efforts have been made to restore the trade with Japon, which was formerly of great importance to these islands. I sent a despatch to the governor of Nangasaqui, sending him forty-two Japanese whom General Don Juan de Alcaraso brought to me from a junk of that nation—which, as I advised you last year, he burned at the bar of the river of Sian. I offered them friendship and trade, giving them to understand that the burning was done without my orders; and that, if they would have trade and commerce with these islands as before, I would give satisfaction for the damage in the said burning. This despatch did not reach Nangasaqui in the time that I supposed, nor as yet have we heard from it. The news of the said burning having reached that same city [i.e., Nangasaqui] at a time when the Portuguese were there with the galliots that make that voyage, trading, with their merchandise, the Japanese attempted to attack them, and to force them to pay the value of the merchandise and the junk which were burned; and it is feared that thereupon they would lay an embargo on the three galliots. However, as yet we do not know with certainty or assurance, except that a suit was pending in the court of the king of Japon, the Portuguese claiming that they could not in justice be forced to repay the damage which the Castilians had done. Thereupon the city of Macan earnestly begged me to make satisfaction, and send the value of the cargo burned and lost in the said junk, in order to silence the Japanese. Being desirous of gratifying the people of Macan, and settling the matter, I called an assembly of theologians and jurists, in which I broached the subject. All agreed that so long as the Japanese persevered in locking the door to commerce with these islands, contrary to justice and reason, there should be no talk of giving satisfaction for the damage inflicted, until advice could be given to your Majesty—even though it should follow from this, by a casualty not intended, that the Portuguese with whom the said Japanese trade should have to pay for the loss. This will be seen more in detail in the authentic copy of the said council's proceedings, which I enclose herewith, so that if perchance the city of Macan should petition your Majesty through the Council of Portugal to have these damages paid, no decision may be made in the matter until you shall have seen the motives which we have here for failing to settle it. In such case, I petition your Majesty also to be pleased to examine, with this section of this letter, that of another which I wrote in the past year of 628 in regard to the same matter. It will be considered that if the damage inflicted has to be paid for, it will fall upon those who did it. That would be the soldiers of this camp and the leader under whom they were, namely, the said commander, Don Joan de Alcarasso, who distinguished themselves greatly in your Majesty's service in the said expedition of the galleons. [In the margin: "File, and have the fiscal examine it all." "It was all filed and referred to the fiscal. It is answered on a separate paper."]
13. Departure of Don Fernando de Silva, and difficulties that arose in it
Don Fernando de Silva (who is the person whom I found governing in these islands when I arrived here), exercising the permission given him by your Majesty by which he may enjoy for eight years the encomiendas held here by his wife for two lives, undertook to make his voyage this year. As I thought that a government permit in writing (as is usual with others who have not been governors) was unnecessary so that he might embark, I communicated the matter to the Audiencia in session, which was of my opinion. But the auditors added that the governor ought to issue an act by which he should notify your Majesty's fiscal and the official royal judges that the said Don Fernando was leaving these islands, and that he thus informed them in case that they had anything to plead against him. I thought it an unnecessary proceeding, as the departure of the said Don Fernando de Silva was sufficiently public; yet, in order to comply with the opinion of the Audiencia, I issued the said act. The fiscal entered a demand that the said Don Fernando be commanded to give bonds, for himself and his agents and servants, to furnish residencia for the time while he had governed these islands, and to pay the judgment and sentence therein. A copy of this document was given to the party. He replied that the governor was not a competent judge of this article of residencia, but only the royal Council of the Yndias. I thought the same, and so did the government assessor. I ruled that the fiscal should demand what was expedient for him from the judge before whom he could and should appear by right. He appealed from this to the royal Audiencia, which declared that the governor was a competent judge, and that he ought to pass judgment upon this article. This matter has been examined and reviewed, without there having been found any decree of your Majesty which orders such a thing, or any precedent of a similar case made here or in Nueva Espana—not only as far as the governor, captain-general, and president of the Audiencia is concerned, but even for the officials of the Audiencia. They, having been promoted to other parts, have gone without giving their residencia or bonds, so long as that royal Council does not provide therefor. Consequently, notwithstanding what the Audiencia declared, I thought it wise not to set such a precedent, or cause such difficulty to the superior ministers of your Majesty (who would have them under your eyes, in whatever part they might be), so that you may order them to pay what they should be sentenced to pay in their residencia, when your royal Council shall decide that it be taken. I was obliged to make this decision by the consideration that it might happen that there might not be left to a governor persons who are under obligation to him in the country, because he has given to no one other things than what he has deserved, by which no one considers himself favored and obliged. And it may be that no one can be found to go bond for him; and it will not be right that he should have to remain in the Filipinas on account of not having bonds, if there is no commission to take his residencia. And this would weigh even more heavily upon the auditors, who have less power to give favors; and, when they were promoted by your Majesty, they would be unable to go to take charge of their places for lack of bonds. Thus they would remain in this land, exposed to innumerable affronts from those to whom they had administered justice, which is a thing that your Majesty ought not to permit to happen to your ministers. Although all these reasons were sufficient to decide me not to allow this innovation without a special order from your Majesty, there is, in the present case of Don Fernando de Silba, another very special consideration, since he is leaving an encomienda in this country with an income of four thousand pesos per year. That is the best bond that one can ask. Consequently, seeing that no detriment was being incurred in not taking the bonds, I decided the matter by declaring that I was not judge in this sense. I am sending the copies of the acts to that royal Council, so that your Majesty may be pleased, after their examination, to enact what may be considered most fitting, and with all distinctness, so that there may be no abuses here, and so that the governors who depart after the entrance of the other governors may not be harassed. With Don Fernando I have maintained very harmonious relations during the three years while I kept him here. On the occasion of this despatch, I have furnished him all the accommodations possible, assigning him forty toneladas of cargo to carry his goods, household, and servants. He is a person who is worthy of what favor your Majesty may show him, and will render excellent service in any employment that he may hold. [In the margin: "Refer it to the fiscal." "It was referred. Answered on a separate paper."]
[14.] Erection of the bridge; and how the hospital has been given the revenue produced by the ferry boat.
The bridge which I began in this city (as I have advised you during the last few years) is now in such a condition that we can cross by it. It will be finished in a couple of months without having cost the citizens or your Majesty a single maravedi. The Sangleys have built it from their common fund, with which they have been freed from the amount that the ferry-boat cost them. The latter belonged to the hospital of the same Sangleys, which is in charge of the Dominican fathers; and it netted them at least two thousand pesos annually. They maintained themselves with that sum; and accordingly, so that that hospital, so necessary for that nation, might not be left without support, it has seemed best, with the consent of the Audiencia, to assign to the hospital the same sum of two thousand pesos per year from the common fund of the same Sangleys, with their consent. Thus will it be done, and the Sangleys do not pay any ferry rate, but support the hospital, in which they are treated, from their common fund. Your Majesty is patron of it as ever, the fathers happy, and the poor well provided for. [In the margin: "File this with what is enacted in the petition of the Dominican fathers." "This section was filed with a memorial given by Fray Mateo de Villa." "It is decreed in the memorial and what is to be answered, here on a separate paper."]
15. Sickness in Manila this year, and death of the archbishop
I hope to construct other works this year, if our Lord gives me life, with which this city will be no less beautified. There has been but little health in this city and its environs this year, with many sudden deaths, both of Spaniards and Indian natives and slaves. Among others has passed away the archbishop Don Fray Miguel Garcia Serrano, who died on Corpus Christi, as is written at greater length in the letter touching the ecclesiastical estate. [In the margin: "Seen."]
16. Arrival of the aid and ships from Nueva Espana
Just as I reached this point in my letter, and when about to seal it, I received news that the two ships which sailed for Nueva Espana last year for the reenforcement have returned with it; and that they have made port in different parts of these islands, because the weather did not allow them to reach this port of Cavite. They left Nueva Espana late, and the vendavals set in early. Hence the voyage has been one of hardships, and it was a great mercy of God that they were able to make the islands, although not little is the discomfort and not few the additional expenses that have been incurred because of their inability to make this port. What I grieve over most is to see the inadequacy of the aid, which does not reach two hundred and fifty thousand pesos, while I informed the viceroy that we needed four hundred thousand, as I wrote last year. Consequently, I again petition your Majesty in the same terms as in that letter, to be pleased to endow these islands with the said sum, so that it may not be at the will of the viceroys of Nueva Espana to discontinue sending it. This is the chief point, and on it is based all the government of these islands, so that we may be able to give a good account of them to your Majesty. [In the margin: "Have what was enacted for this examined." "The enactments were examined, and filed with this section for the Council. Answered on a separate paper."]
17. Aid of artillery sent to the viceroy
The viceroy of Nueva Espana asks me for bronze artillery with which to fortify the fortress of San Juan de Ulua, sending me twenty-four thousand pesos for the expense of it. Although the ships have arrived so late that I have had no time to cast it in the quantity and of the quality that he asks, I am sending him the equivalent [of the money] in eighteen excellent pieces from what we have already manufactured, with which I think that that fort will be well defended, and the viceroy will have the pieces with which to go to succor the fort if it should be necessary. He tells me that he wishes some of the artillery which he has asked of me for that purpose. [In the margin: "It is well, and let him execute what the viceroy shall advise him of in this respect."]
May God preserve the Catholic and royal person of your Majesty with the increase of kingdoms and states that is necessary to Christendom. Cavite, August first, 1629. Sire, your Majesty's humble vassal,
Don Juan Nino de Tavora
[Appended to this letter are the following documents:]
Second Council in Regard to the Injuries Committed on the Japanese Boat Which Was Captured in Sian
In the city of Manila, on the sixteenth day of the month of January, one thousand six hundred and twenty-nine, Don Juan Nino de Tavora, knight of the Order of Calatrava, comendador of Puerto Llano, member of the Council of War of the king our sovereign, his governor and captain-general of the Philipinas Islands, and president of the royal Audiencia therein, called a meeting of theologians and juries in order to discuss matters of his Majesty's service, and those touching cases of conscience and justice. And in the royal buildings and the palace of the governor's dwelling, in the presence of Licentiate Marcos Capata de Galvez, fiscal of the said royal Audiencia; the reverend fathers, Fray Domingo Gonzalez of the Order of St. Dominic, commissary of the Holy Office and rector of the college of Sancto Tomas; Fray Juan de Montemayor, of the Order of St. Augustine, Fathers Diego de Bobadilla and Francisco Colin of the Society of Jesus of this city, father Fray Gaspar de Santa Monica, lecturer on theology in the convent of St. Nicolas of the Order of the discalced Augustinians; and Licentiate Don Rodrigo Gonzalez de Varreda, his Lordship's assessor; and all being assembled: the lord governor ordered me, the present government secretary, to read a paper, which his Lordship gave me for that purpose. I read it, and it was of the following tenor.
"In May of one thousand six hundred and twenty-eight, there took place at the bar of the river of Sian the capture and burning of the junk from Xapon, caused by our galleons. In July of the same year, it was decided, at a meeting of four theologians and two jurists which was called to discuss the matter, that this act had been unjust, for lack of authority by him who did it; and that, accordingly, the one who caused the damage was under obligations to make it good to the Japanese.
"That satisfaction has not been discussed as yet, except that the king gave liberty to the Japanese who were captured; and they were made ready to be sent to their country with messages for the governor of Nangasaqui. These were to the effect that keen regret was felt over the illegal act recently committed by our galleons; and that as to the value of the junk and its cargo, order would be given to make complete reparation, if the Japanese would open commerce with this city, as was done in former years, and as they now have with the Portuguese. Of the contrary, in case that the Japanese refuse to open commerce, nothing was said; nor did it state who was the principal cause, but gave the order for the damage. No investigation or effort has been made in regard to reparation, but a reply is being awaited to the message which was sent to Japon, so that the government might know what ought to be done and ordered.
"The reason for this suspension or omission on the part of the government has been because we considered that the king our sovereign has a legitimate cause to make war on the Japanese on account of the faith which they so cruelly persecute; and because all who leave Japon in order to ship goods have to deny the faith before embarking, at least to outward appearance, and unite with the heathen in order to persecute the faith. Thus it is believed that these islands have an especial reason to consider themselves aggrieved by Japon. 1st. Because the Japanese have prohibited commerce without other reason than the faith, and that with so great severity that a ship which sailed secretly from the districts of Arima and Omura for these islands having put back, and the Japanese ascertaining whither it was bound, that resulted in the loss of many lives, and in most cruel injuries to the Christian people there. 2d. Because the Japanese refused to receive the ambassadors who were sent from here in order to bring about peace and harmony between these kingdoms. 3d. Because of the old-time robberies which were made in the time of Taicosama, and by his order, of the goods of the galleon 'San Phelipe,' which put in at their coasts because of bad weather—the Japanese martyring on that occasion the religious of St. Francis who protested against the injustice; and Taico declaring war against these islands in the endeavor to make them tributary, and for some years sending a number of ships to infest, as they did, these coasts; and although peace was made afterward in the time of Daifu, and commerce was reopened, still they never gave satisfaction for the wrong committed, nor did we obtain damages for it. Consequently, as soon as the peace was broken, on account of Daifu, and because they deprived us of commerce with them, it appears that they again revived the past insults and that they are vigorously demanding their right of procuring redress. 4th. Because from the time when our ships put in at Japon, and the Japanese had news of the richness of these islands, they have always tried to conquer them, by endeavoring to get a foothold on the island of Hermosa, in order to make it a way-station for the conquest of Luzon. That has caused the governors of Philipinas to make great expenditures and vast preparations during the past few years; and but recently it is learned that discussions of this kind are rife in Japon, and that their reason for not doing it [i.e., conquering the islands] is not the lack of malice but of power.
"For all the above reasons, it was nevertheless doubted whether the capture and burning of the said junk were unjust, if, now that it has been done, the king our sovereign could avail himself of these wrongs as a beginning and part of the compensation; and if those who govern these islands in the name of his Majesty could remain firm, and order the person who committed the injury not to give any satisfaction so long as they make no reparation in Japon—or at least so long as they do not desist from the aforesaid injuries, by opening commerce, or in some other manner that may be advantageous to these islands. In virtue of that doubt the discussion of the question of satisfaction for the injuries has been neglected until now by the government. The government has contented itself with the aforesaid measures of granting liberty and accommodations to the Japanese, and a message which was sent to the Japanese—to which the reasons and consequences of state that existed for it obliged us.
"One of these reasons was that one now urged by the correspondence with Macan, upon whose commerce Japon might perhaps fall in order to obtain reparation for the injury which this government might inflict upon them, as we see has been attempted. The city and commandant of Macan request these islands to make reparation immediately for the goods, so that the difficulty may not recoil upon them, to the damage of their goods and of the commerce between Yndia and Japon, which they declare to be of great importance for the preservation of Christianity in those islands."